Greatest Movies Through 1960

Best Movies Compiled From Many Sources

Archive for the ‘Silent’ Category

Modern Times (1936)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1936

Click to view at Amazon

Click to view at Amazon

87 min – View video trailer

Director: Charlie Chaplin
Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

IMDB 8.5 / Amazon 4.8 / MRQE 96 / Decent Films A
Zagat Overall 28, Acting 26, Story 26, Production 25

Ranked #21 Greatest Movies Through 1960, included in 17 of 41 lists of greatest movies

The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman. IMDB rating 8.5 from over 57,555 users

Zagat summary snippet: There’s little dialogue, but Chaplin’s heartwarming performance and sharp swipes at the age of technology transcend words… a must-see in THESE times.

With its barrage of unforgettable gags and sly commentary on class struggle during the Great Depression, Modern Times—though made almost a decade into the talkie era and containing moments of sound (even song!)—is a timeless showcase of Chaplin’s untouchable genius as a director of silent comedy. Amazon 4.8 stars from over 89 users

The most important reason for the film’s ongoing relevance is its contemporary themes and forward-looking perspective. The famous symbolic opening shot, with footage of wave after wave of sheep crowding through a sheepfold passageway suddenly dissolving into footage of workers bustling out of a subway station, has lost nothing of its impact. Decent Films A rating and 4 stars Artistic/Entertainment value for Kids & Up

We have to remind ourselves how prescient this movie was. To us, it may not be surprising that the boss watches the workers on screen, but this was before the invention of television–and more than a decade before the publication of Orwell’s 1984. BeliefNet Movie Mom A+ rating, content advisory: Profanity: none, Nudity/Sex: none, Violence/Scariness: none, Alcohol/Drugs: cocaine accidentally ingested

MRQE gave it 96% rating with links to more than 55 reviews.

Madison Public Library

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The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) French

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1928

Click to Amazon

Click to Amazon

(French: La passion de Jeanne d’Arc)

110 min (with English subtitles and optional music track) – view video trailer

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Writers: Carl Theodor Dreyer, Joseph Delteil
Starring: Renee Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, Andre Berley

Genres: Biography, Drama, History, Foreign

IMDB 8.2 / Amazon 4.8 / MRQE 98% / Decent Films A+

Oscars: ??

Ranked #53 Greatest Movies Through 1960

A chronicle of the trial of Jeanne d’Arc on charges of heresy, and the efforts of her ecclesiastical jurists to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions. IMDB 8.2 rating from over 16,008 users

Dreyer’s film is most devastating in its central performance by Falconetti (née Renee Falconetti), a French stage actress who made her only screen appearance here–one critic Pauline Kael has suggested “may be the finest performance ever recorded on film.” Through Falconetti, Joan’s spiritual devotion, simple dignity, and suffering become utterly real; even without a dialogue track and only sparse inter-titles, the film achieves a fevered eloquence. Amazon 4.8 stars from over 168 users

To witness Carl Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc is to glimpse the soul of a saint in her hour of trial. The film is more than a dramatization, more than a biopic, more than a documentary: It is a spiritual portrait, almost a mystical portrait, of a Christ-like soul sharing in the sufferings of Christ… The key to the film’s sense of authenticity, though, is the haunting face of Maria Falconetti, whose transcendent evocation of the Maid of Orleans has been called the greatest performance ever filmed. Read full Decent Films review (rated A+, Superior artistic-entertainment for Kids & Up)

MRQE 98% from over 50 reviews (the highest rating of any movie)

Notes: This was a silent film with French text screens.  The DVD includes a music track that is excellent in itself and also includes English subtitles.

Madison Public Library

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Metropolis (1927)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1927

Click to see it at Amazon

Click to see it at Amazon

153 min – View video trailer

Director: Fritz Lang
Starring: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Frohlich

Genres: Drama, Sci-Fi

IMDB 8.4 / Amazon 3.7 / MRQE 93 / Decent Films A
Zagat Overall 27, Acting 22, Story 24, Production 28

Ranked #58 Greatest Movie Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie, included in 15 of 41 lists of greatest movies

In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city’s mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences. IMDB rating 8.4 from over 58,564 users

Zagat summary snippet: A visionary film of magnitude, imagination and depth. A sci-fi social commentary about oppression and uprising set in a futuristic city that still retains its visual impact and remains revolutionary in every sense of the word. A movie everybody should watch at least once.

Metropolis takes place in the year 2026, when the populace is divided between workers, who must live in the dark underground, and the rich who enjoy a futuristic city of splendor. The tense balance of these two societies is realized through images that are among the most famous of the 20th century, many of which presage such sci-fi landmarks as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner. Lavish and spectacular, with elaborate sets, heart-pounding action and modern science fiction style, Metropolis stands today as the crowning achievement of classic science fiction cinema. Amazon 3.7 stars from over 373 users

More important than the story are the unforgettable images: the endless columns of workers marching in nightmarish synch to and from their terrible labor; the monstrous “M” Machine, revealed in a visionary moment to embody the spirit of Moloch, the bloodthirsty deity of Old-Testament Canaan; Freder agonizingly laboring at the clock machine looking like Christ crucified; the mecha-Maria’s lacivious striptease seducing the privileged fathers of Metropolis into the Seven Deadly Sins; the immense gothic cathedral in which the final showdown occurs. Decent Films A rating with 4 stars for Artistic/Entertainment Value

MRQE gave it 93% rating with links to more than 102 reviews

Madison Public Library

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The Kid Brother (1927)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1927

Click to Amazon

Click to Amazon

82 mins – view video clips (no trailer found)

Director: Ted Wilde, J.A. Howe
Starring: Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Walter James

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance, Silent

IMDB 7.8 / Amazon 5.0 / Decent Films A+

Oscars: none

Ranked #87 Greatest Movies Through 1960

When the town’s money is stolen by thugs from the medicine show, Harold’s father is accused, and with encouragement from Mary, Harold sets out to find the real crooks. IMDB 7.8 rating from over 1,842 users

THE KID BROTHER, another geek vs. bullies tale distiguished by some really heartwarming moments and a hilarious scene with a monkey. Amazon 5.0 stars from over 4 users

Not only was Lloyd as gifted a comic actor as either Chaplin or Keaton, his films hold up at least as well — for casual viewers unfamiliar with silent film, probably better. As a first introduction to silent film, I would pick The Kid Brother over the best of Chaplin (Modern TimesCity Lights) or Keaton (The General, Steamboat Bill, Jr.) every time. Decent Films A+ with Superior artistic/entertainment value

MRQE links to over 11 reviews

Madison Public Library

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The General (1926)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1926

Click to Amazon

Click to Amazon

107 min – view video trailer

Directors: Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton
Starring: Buster Keaton

Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy

IMDB 8.4 / Amazon 4.5 / MRQE 93% / Decent Films A+

Oscars: pre-Oscars

Ranked #35 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie

When Union spies steal an engineer’s beloved locomotive, he pursues it single handedly and straight through enemy lines. IMDB 8.4 rating from over 27,960 users

Consistently ranked among the greatest films ever made, Buster Keaton s THE GENERAL is so brilliantly conceived and executed that it continues to inspire awe and laughter with every viewing. Amazon 4.5 stars from over 112 users

Arguably the greatest of Buster Keaton’s silent comedies, The General begins with a single, brilliantly sustained premise and works it into an engaging story that combines edge-of-your-seat excitement, stunningly conceived stunts and sight gags, spectacular set pieces, touching sentiment, and a rousing finale. Read full Decent Films review (rated A+ , Superior artistic-entertainment for Kids & Up)

MRQE 93% from over 36 reviews

Madison Public Library

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Gold Rush (1925) Rereleased (1942)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1925

Click to Amazon

Click to Amazon

Rereleased with sound (1942)

95 min – view video trailer

Director: Charles Chaplin
Writer: Charles Chaplin
Starring: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family

Oscars: pre-Oscars – rerelease nominated for 2, won 0

IMDB 8.3 / Amazon 4.3 / MRQE 93% / Decent Films A

Ranked #39 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie

The Tramp goes the Klondike in search of gold and finds it and more. IMDB 8.3 rating from over 31,710 users

eorgia Hale), but it seems impossible that she could ever notice him. The Gold Rush is one of Chaplin’s simplest, loveliest features; and despite its high comedy, it never strays far from Chaplin’s keen grasp of loneliness. In 1942, Chaplin reedited the film and added music and his own narration for a successful rerelease. Amazon 4.3 stars from over 69 users

City Lights might be Chaplin’s most exquisite achievement, but he never made a funnier or more beloved film than his own personal favorite, The Gold Rush. Read full Decent Films review (rated A, Superior artistic-entertainment for Kids & Up)

MRQE 93% from over 39 reviews

Notes: originally released before the Oscars – the sound version was nominated for 2 Oscars

Madison Public Library

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