10 Amazing Silent Films You Should Watch

Just because there's no dialogue doesn't mean they are no good.

Metropolois Sound films were introduced in 1927 with The Jazz Singer, the first full length film with synchronized dialogue, and the movie industry never looked back (with the notable exception of the great Charlie Chaplin, who continued making silent films throughout the 1930s). Nowadays, it€™s hard to get modern audiences interested in films that have no spoken dialogue and rely on a very dated, theatrical form of acting. But with the surprise success of The Artist in 2012, which won five Academy Awards despite having only two lines of spoken dialogue, it became clear that a silent film could capture the attention of audiences today. If the writing is good, and the acting is good, it follows that the film should be good, whether it was made in 1922 or 2014. While there are many classic silent films, these are some of the very best. They stand the test of time, and are just as good today as they were when they first hit theaters. Hopefully, viewers who are skeptical of the merits of silent film will find at least one or two that might capture their interest.

10. The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari

The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari 1 Forget about Saw and Paranormal Activity -- The Cabinet of Dr Caligari is straight up terrifying. The 1919 silent film is one of the most enduring horror films that we've been given from German Expressionism, a unique art movement from the post war period. German Expressionism is all about dark shadows and distorted angels, and the sets of this film are so perfectly designed that they almost become a character in their own right. The Cabinet of Dr Caligari is the story of a mysterious doctor and his somnambulist servant Cesare, as told in the framing story by a young man as he visits his former beloved in a psychiatric facility. It's probably the first film that really dealt with the concept of altered mental states, which are wonderfully represented on screen with the Expressionist style. Caligari features one of cinema's very first twist endings, and at only 67 minutes long it manages to tell a well-paced, engaging story without overstaying its welcome.
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Audrey Fox is an ex-film student, which means that she prefers to spend her days in the dark, watching movies and pondering the director's use of diegetic sound. She currently works as an entertainment writer, joyfully rambling about all things film and television related. Add her on Twitter at @audonamission and check out her film blog at 1001moviesandbeyond.com.