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What is your favorite silent movie of all times

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

No way could I pick one. I love Murnau and Buster Keaton. If forced to choose one it would probably be, like several others, The Crowd. Or The Big Parade.


I can't agree with Birth of a Nation. It was an important film, but excruciating to watch, even leaving the racism out of it. Griffith did much better work as a director on Orphans of the Storm and Intolerance.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, I'm a Chaney/Chaplin fan myself, so I'll try pinning down one of each.


For Chaplin my favorite film technically is "The Great Dictator", but I have to push that one aside, since it's a talkie. Silent-wise, I'd have to say, "City Lights". The music and ending alone is worth the tears I shed every time I watch it. :)


For Chaney, I'd have to say (tough choice, btw) either "The Phantom of the Opera", or "Laugh, Clown, Laugh". I can't choose! They're both so good, and I can watch them over and over, and never tire of them. :)


Phantom doesn't make me cry, but Clown does every time (the new music score alone makes me cry :P). Chaney's hand gestures alone are reason enough to watch Phantom.


As for Clown, his facial reaction at the doctor's when he is told to waste no time in pursuing the lady. So many different emotions in like 10 seconds appear out of nowhere. Simply brilliant.


And who can forget his dreamy smile, when he allows himself to embrace Simonetta and say, "If all my dreams were like this, I would sleep forever". I love that whole last scene with Tito and Simonetta. It always makes me cry. :)

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"Silent-wise, I'd have to say, "City Lights". The music and ending alone is worth the tears I shed every time I watch it."


I agree, the music is very good and the ending is very sad.

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My favorite silent film is "The Big Parade" which is also one of my favorite war movies of any era. I love John Gilbert in it; it's probably his best role and King Vidor's direction is masterful. Renee Adoree is very good, too. The battle scenes are outstanding. I also like the Griffith-Gish flicks and some of the silent horror films are very interesting. Emil Jannings' "The Last Command" is also very good as is "Sunrise" with Janet Gaynor. Silent films, especially late in their era, rock!

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I'm a little stunned that no one has mentioned (I believe) The Passion of Joan of Arc...I've seen at least 150 feature length silents, including pretty much all of the most highly aclaimed, and although I love quite a few of them (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Broken Blossoms, and The Freshman would round out my top 5), I believe Joan of Arc is in a class of its own. I would go so far as to say it is one of my 5 favorite films of all time. I encourage anyone who enjoys silent films who has not seen this movie to see it ASAP...you won't be disappointed.

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You are absolutely right, and I'm kind of embarrassed that I didn't mention it here --there was a "Favorite Silent Film" topic in the General Discussions area a while back, and I listed it as the top one:


"Silent films you absolutely must see, roughly in the order that i consider them indispensible:


The Passion of Joan of Arc

Pandora's Box

Diary of a Lost Girl


The Last Laugh


The Crowd

The Big Parade

Die Nibelungen

The Wind

Battleship Potemkin



I totally agree with you that it's an amazing film. I really don't think of it as a silent because it's too good to categorize. If I had to pick my all time favorite movie, that would be it.

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This is a tough decision! I have seen so many Silent films, that the order changes on a consistent basis! Generally, my first response is Harold Lloyd's THE FRESHMAN (1925). It has been a long time favorite.


However, among the films I have seen fairly recently, and it's a pretty good sized number, I might have to pick Frank Borzage STREET ANGEL (1928), starring Janet Gaynor, and Charles Farrell. Or, maybe THE PAGAN (1929), with Ramon Novarro, Dorothy Janis, and Renee Adoree? Those are two films that I feel are long overdue for a DVD release!


A couple of Mary Pickford features from 1921, THROUGH THE BACK DOOR, and LITTLE LORD FAUNTELROY, are high up on the list as well. Both I'm happy to say are available on DVD, in terrific editions from Milestone! These are quality prints, with among the finest musical scores I have heard on any Silent films! Still another recent favorite, is THE BATTLE OF SEXES (1928), which is probably D. W. Griffith's most underrated movie, and most contemporary film! Griffith is sometimes a little tough for me to embrace. That is most certainly not the case with this picture!


Fox, or someone working with them, seems to have recently restored both STREET ANGEL, and SEVENTH HEAVEN (1927), since newly mastered pristine prints, were shown at a recent Janet Gaynor retrospective in L. A.! So maybe they are finally getting ready to put these movies out on DVD? Would also like to see them get to work on a John Ford Silent's set, and Raoul Walsh, World War One Classic WHAT PRICE GLORY? (1926). The only print's I have seen of this picture, were in simply dismal shape! I know that much better material still exists!


I was looking for some comments on SUNRISE (1927), which TCM just aired this morning! I expected to find quite a few? I already had this film on DVD, and did notice much difference in the print that TCM aired. Odd because a newer DVD version was released over seas last year, that was supposed to be re-mastered over the older one? That being said, I'm not to certain how much re-mastering could actually be accomplished, owed to the fact that the original camera negative has been lost?


A Ramon Novarro DVD set, featuring SCARAMOUCHE (1923), THE RED LILY (1924), OLD HEIDELBERG (1927), THE FLYING FLEET (1928), and THE PAGAN, would certainly make for a tremendous collection from Warner's!

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Well, I've not seen tons of silents - maybe only 30 or 35 total. But of those, here are my favorites:


1. The Kid - actually, this is not just my favorite silent film. It's also in the top 5 of my favorite films of all time. I just LOVE this film and never get tired of it.


2. The Gold Rush - it is impossible not to love this one too.


3. City Lights - anyone beginning to see a trend here? :D Anyway, this is the third in my trio of Chaplin unmitigated triumphs.


4. The General - An amazing film. Can't get over the train scenes - they are simply brilliant.


5. Suds - I just think Mary Pickford is adorable in this one. And I love how it all tied up in the end. Great movie!

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I love all the Chaplin films I have an album that I bought in 1973 and it has all the music from the films I still have it and when I show it to my friends who alot of them are not into movies and music like me I get some strange looks ,but who cares.

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