Greatest Films of the 1920s
Greatest Films of the 1920s

Greatest Films of the 1920s
1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923 | 1924 | 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929


Title Screen Film Genre(s), Title, Year, (Country), Length, Director, Description
The Circus (1928)

The Circus (1928), 72 minutes, D: Charles Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin as The Tramp, who is a hit with circus audiences but not as a performer but property man. Without realizing it, The Tramp becomes the star of the show. He falls in love with an equestrienne, the daughter of the circus owner.

The Crowd (1928)

The Crowd (1928), 90-104 minutes, D: King Vidor
One of the greatest silent films. The poignant "everyman's" story of two young people, John (James Murray) and Mary (Eleanor Boardman) who meet, fall in love and marry. As a city clerk in a dead-end job, he and his wife (and family) struggle with life in the big city.

The Docks of New York (1928)

The Docks of New York (1928), 76 minutes, D: Josef von Sternberg

The Last Command (1928)

The Last Command (1928), 80 minutes, D: Josef von Sternberg
A silent film classic. After the great Russian Revolution of 1917, an arrogant Imperialist Russian General Dolgorucki/Sergius Alexander (Emil Jannings), commander of Czarist troops, is forced to flee Russia, and comes to America. He finds his way to Hollywood, working on a Hollywood movie lot as a Hollywood extra, making only $7.50/day. He is cast as a Russian general in a film about the Russian Revolution, interestingly, and is humiliated under the direction of another ex-Russian Leo Andreiev (William Powell), a former impoverished actor/revolutionary who suffered under the general's whip. In acting out the role of the Russian general, the elderly man relives his past, but it is too much for him and he falls dead.

October (Ten Days that Shook the World) (1928, Soviet Union)

October (Ten Days that Shook the World) (1928, Soviet Union) (aka Oktyabr, or Октябрь), 95 minutes, D: Grigori Aleksandrov, Sergei M. Eisenstein

La Passion De Jeanne D'Arc (1928, Fr.)

La Passion De Jeanne D'Arc (1928, Fr.) (aka The Passion of Joan of Arc), 110 minutes, D: Carl Theodor Dreyer

Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)

Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928), 71 minutes, D: Buster Keaton, Charles "Chuck" Reisner
Keaton plays an effeminate college boy (with beret, ukulele, and thin mustache), who returns home to his tough, burly Mississippi riverboat captain father. He falls in love with the daughter of his father's rival steamboat owner. The film includes the dangerous stunt sequence of a building facade falling over on him, and a tremendous cyclone.

Storm Over Asia (1928, Soviet Union)

Storm Over Asia (1928, Soviet Union) (aka Potomok Chingis-Khana, or Потомок Чингисхана), 74 minutes, D: Vsevolod Pudovkin

The Wind (1928)

The Wind (1928), 82 minutes, D: Victor Seastrom
One of Lillian Gish's greatest achievements in a powerfully dramatic silent film, the last of her silent films. It is the story of a poor young Virginia woman Letty Mason (Lillian Gish), a naive and sheltered girl, who travels to the wind-blown Texas prairie and lives in a dust-bowl town on her cousin's ranch. She takes care of the children, but is disliked by her cousin's wife Cora (Dorothy Cumming) who is jealous of her closeness with her husband and three children. With nowhere to go, she is forced to marry Lige (Lars Hanson), an uncouth, rough cowboy she doesn't love. During a terrific windstorm one night and with her husband absent, she is pursued and nearly raped by a married acquaintance Roddy Wirt (Montagu Love). Letty shoots and kills the attacking rapist in self defense, and attempts to bury his body in the sand, but the constantly shifting sand exposes his hand and body. She becomes hallucinatory, fearful, and half crazed. In the film's climax, her husband returns and brings her strength to face the wind.

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