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7 Silent Movies That Every Film Buff Should See

Updated on March 8, 2019
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Kate is a bookworm whose favorite authors include Danielle Steel, John Grisham, and Stephen King.

Silent films have been extremely popular before the time of Marvel and Avatar. In fact, numerous silent films are worth watching and rewatching. They span a variety of genre - from romantic comedies to gory horror movies. A lot of movie buffs watch silent films as they are a reminiscent artifact of the old era of filmmaking.

However, whether or not you are a hardcore movie fan, you should watch silent films. Silent films are the best proof that even with mimes, it is still possible to get a story through to its audience.

Here are seven of the best silent movies you should watch during your next movie marathon date.


1. Modern Times

When people talk about no-speech movies, the first actor that they think of is definitely Charlie Chaplin. He is the undisputed king of silent films, all thanks to the numerous silent films he acted on. The most controversial character he took on is in "Modern Times". The said movie production is a political film that criticizes the then modern industrialization during the Great Depression time. Charlie Chaplin himself, aside from portraying the lead role in the film, wrote and directed "Modern Times".

4. Intolerance

If you can sit and watch a 3 1/2 hour long epic, then you can probably finish the silent movie "Intolerance". This film shows just how much damage the concept of intolerance had done over the past decades. The film comes from the efforts of the same director who produced the Birth of a Nation, D.W. Griffith.

3. The Birth of a Nation

Credited to be the pioneer when it comes to standard film techniques, "The Birth of a Nation" is one of the two three-hour historical epics that tell the dark side of history. Although it may be considered to depict racism by some, the film has still made a huge contribution to the film industry as a breakthrough film of its time.

2. The Artist

A French film produced back in 2011, "The Artist" has made a great achievement despite being a silent movie by winning the 2011 Academy Awards Best Picture. The film stars Jean Dujardin in the role of a star whose career is falling apart as he got replaced by his younger and more beautiful counterpart, a role played by Bérénice Bejo.

"The Artist" has received not only highly positive reviews but also accolades, which include 2011 Cannes Film Festival Best Actor Award for Dujardin, six Golden Globes nominations (which the film won three), 12 BAFTAs nominations (of which they won seven), 10 Academy AWards nominations (of which they won five), and 10 César Awards (of which they won six).

5. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Psychological horror is a popular genre for no-sound film fans. Perhaps, this can be proven with the big hit "A Quiet Place"? If you are looking for true horror, then watch "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari". The plot of the film is based on a weird 11th Century myth about a monk who uses hypnotism to control another person.

The 2005 remake of the said film was released at the ScreamFest Film Festival. It has won three prizes there, namely Audience Choice Award, Best Special Effects, and Best Cinematography.

6. Nosferatu

For movie buffs who love horror and silent films at the same time, nothing can give you more creeps than the 1922 film "Nosferatu". What's amazing with this film is that it uses makeup and prosthetics to bring out the scare factor. No expensive special effects or hair-raising sounds were used to give the audience an impactful jumpscare.

7. Metropolis

Enough of horror! Another genre that is great to watch as a silent film is the sci-fi genre. The first feature-length sci-fi movie worth watching now is Fritz Lang's "Metropolis". It showcases a dystopian future and the societal issues that come with it.

With the original film as the basis, several adaptations have been made, including a musical theatre adaptation back in 1989 which was performed in London's West End.

These are just some of the greatest silent films worth watching. If you start watching them from the earliest one up to the latest, then you'll definitely be able to see just how much improvement there is in the film industry over time.

Do you have a recommendation to give?

Poll Time!

Which of these 7 films have you watched already?

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