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Best Movies of the 1920s: Top 30 & Top 100 Films of the Roaring Twenties

Top 10 & Top 100 Movies of the 1920s Cinema

Welcome to the Roaring Twenties, the Heyday and Twilight of Silent Cinema

The 1920s may be a thing of the distant past, but thanks to an enthralling, good old invention called Film, it will never be really gone.

Whenever you feel like traveling back in time to relive the glamours of the decade, all you have to do, is to watch one (or more) of its movies.

But which ones should you watch?
Well, if that’s the very question lurking in your mind right now, then you came to the right place. We’re just about to present 30 of the greatest cinematic gems of the 1920s.

However, if you’re not a first-timer, then there’s a fair chance you already saw most movies of this Top 30 List, and you may want to dive a little bit deeper. No worries!

In that case, you should go and check out the Top 100 List at the end of this article.

If this is your first ride on the time-travelling FrameTrek Wagon, here’s what this is all about:

We choose a topic, in this case: “Best Movies of the 1920s”, and we set sail for a journey, where the bricks of the trek are made of movie frames, and each stop represents a magnificent achievement in Film.

The Best Movies of the 1920s is an episode of FrameTrek’s Best Movies of All Time. A mega-journey dedicated to identify the greatest films of each decade, chronologically. It starts with the Dawn of Cinema and goes all the way to our ever moving present.


So what was Cinema like in the 1920s?

The 1920s represents both the heyday and the twilight of the silent era. It also marks the birth of sound and the growing popularity of early talkies.

Silent Cinema was at its peak, when the arrival of the first sound film in 1927 shook its foundations. The last three years of the decade offered a mix of both silent and talking pictures.

Going through the 1920s, first we are enchanted by the arts of silence, then we say goodbye to the biggest stars of the silver screen and welcome new ones, who can talk.

So yeah, there’s is plenty to talk about, when it comes to the Cinema of the 1920s, but this article concentrates on its Top 30 and Top 100 Films, so let’s cut to the chase, shall we?

After all, a cinematic era is as good as its greatest achievements. Thus, the finest way to explore a decade in film history, is through watching its best movies as a marathon.

Ready? Buckle up then, and let the best movies of the 1920s carry you to the Cinematic era they came from!

See FrameTrek's definition of 'Best' and the story behind this List (click to expand) ↴

How to define ‘Best’?

That’s a pretty good question, since ‘Best’ is relative. A movie can be considered being among the best for multiple reasons, such as: Critical Acclaim, Audience Feedback, Box Office Performance, Awards and Nominations, Iconic Status, Popularity, Watchability, and even Personal Preference, or for being part of a famous list such as the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die or Roger Ebert’s The Great Movies list – or because that particular movie defined its era.

So how did we pick the Top 30 and Top 100 movies of the 1920s?

Well, it wasn’t simple, and it wasn’t easy! While composing the Best Films of the 1920s list, we tried to consider all of the factors mentioned in the ‘How to define Best’ paragraph above, and then some.

We believe that the movies that made the cut should not compete with one another any further, so we will just present them in the order they were released in.

We picked 10 movies from each year of the 1920s, thus created a Top 100 List, which can be found at the end of this article. We also highlighted three movies from each year of the decade, so there’s a Top 30 List too. Let’s start with that!



Presenting the Top 30 Films of the 1920s

Chronologically
– 3 movies from each year –

Keep reading if you want more info than what’s in the video!


The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (original German title)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari or Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari 1920, Best silent movies of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

German silent fantasy horror film directed by Robert Wiene, starring Werner Krauss and Conrad Veidt.

Story: Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders. (IMDB)

Arguably the first true horror film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari set a brilliantly high bar for the genre – and remains terrifying even more than a century after it first stalked the screen.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and Roger Ebert’s The Great Movies list.
✓ Considered a classic, it helped draw worldwide attention to the artistic merit of German cinema and had a major influence on American films, particularly in the genres of horror and film noir.


The Golem: How He Came into the World (1920)

Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam (original German title)

The Golem (1920), Paul Wegener, Best movies of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

German fantasy horror film written, directed by and starring Paul Wegener.

Story: In 16th-century Prague, a rabbi creates the Golem – a giant creature made of clay. Using sorcery, he brings the creature to life in order to protect the Jews of Prague from persecution. (IMDB)

Why is The Golem among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ Praised by critics and audiences for its expressive settings, powerful visuals and the performance of the principal cast.
✓ A timeless classic and a landmark of German Expressionism.


Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), John Barrymore, Best Films of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

Science fiction horror film starring John Barrymore.

Story: Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself. (IMDB)

Why is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ Received positive reviews from audiences and critics, who praised the movie’s style and Barrymore’s performance.
✓ One of the most popular movies of the 1920s, and an all-time silent classic.


The Kid (1921)

The Kid 1921 Charlie Chaplin, Most popular movies of the 1920s cinema
Where to Watch?   More info

Silent comedy drama film written, produced, directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin.

Story: The Tramp cares for an abandoned child, but events put that relationship in jeopardy. (IMDB)

Charles Chaplin’ irascible Tramp is given able support from Jackie Coogan as The Kid in this slapstick masterpiece, balancing the guffaws with moments of disarming poignancy.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is The Kid among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ Innovative in its combination of comedic and dramatic elements, it is widely considered one of the greatest films of the silent era.
✓ The Library of Congress selected The Kid for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.


The Phantom Carriage (1921)

Körkarlen (original title)

The Phantom Carriage (1921), Victor Sjöström, Best movies of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

Swedish fantasy horror film directed by Victor Sjöström.

Story: The last person to die on New Year’s Eve before the clock strikes twelve is doomed to take the reins of Death’s chariot and work tirelessly collecting fresh souls for the next year. It looks like David Holm, an alcoholic, abusive ne’er-do-well will become that person.

Why is The Phantom Carriage among the best films of the 1920s?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
✓ Generally considered to be one of the central works in the history of Swedish cinema.
✓ Notable for its special effects, its advanced (for the time) narrative structure with flashbacks within flashbacks, and for having been a major influence on the works of Ingmar Bergman.



Destiny (1921)

Der müde Tod (original German title)

Destiny (1921), Fritz Lang, Best Films of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

German Expressionist fantasy thriller film directed by Fritz Lang.

Story: When a woman’s fiancé disappears, Death gives her three chances to save him from his fate. (IMDB)

Why is Destiny among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ Received positive reviews from audiences and critics, who praised its art direction, photography, and special effects.
✓ An influential silent classic. Luis Buñuel and Alfred Hitchcock (among others) were deeply impressed and inspired by this film.


Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror (1922)

Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (original German title)

Nosferatu 1922 Max Schreck, Best silent films of the roaring 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

German Expressionist silent horror film directed by F. W. Murnau and starring Max Schreck as Count Orlok, the vampire.

The movie is an unauthorised adaptation of the classic gothic horror novel Dracula, first published in 1897, written by Irish author Bram Stoker. Would you like to read the book?

One of the silent era’s most influential masterpieces, Nosferatu’s eerie, gothic feel – and a chilling performance from Max Schreck as the vampire – set the template for the horror films that followed.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is Nosferatu among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ It is selected by the Vatican in the “art” category of its list of 45 “great films”.
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list
✓ The first true vampire movie ever made


Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922)

Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922), Benjamin Christensen, Best Movies of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

Swedish-Danish fantasy horror film written, directed by and starring Benjamin Christensen.

Story: Fictionalized documentary showing the evolution of witchcraft, from its pagan roots to its confusion with hysteria in modern Europe. (IMDB)

Why is Häxan among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
✓ Due to its graphic depictions of torture, nudity, and sexual perversion, it was one of the most controversial movies of its time.
✓ The film acquired a cult following among surrealists, who greatly admired its subversion.


Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922)

Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (original German title)

Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922), Fritz Lang, Top Films of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

German crime thriller film directed by Fritz Lang.

Story: Arch-criminal Dr. Mabuse sets out to make a fortune and run Berlin. Detective Wenk sets out to stop him. (IMDB)

Why is Dr. Mabuse the Gambler among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
✓ The film received overwhelmingly positive reviews from audiences and critics, who praised its plot, technical effects, Klein-Rogge’s performance and Lang’s direction.


Safety Last! (1923)

Safety Last 1923 Harold Lloyd, Best silent movies of the 1920s cinema
Where to Watch?   More info

Silent romantic slapstick comedy starring Harold Lloyd.

Story: Lloyd, the store clerk talks his manager into offering $1000 for a publicity stunt, in which a man called “human fly” would climb the face of the 12-storey store building, thus bringing customers nearby.

Persuasive enough to give audiences acrophobia when they aren’t laughing at Harold Lloyd’s antics, Safety Last! is a marvel of visual effects and slapstick comedy.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is Safety Last! among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ It features one of the most memorable scenes of the silent era (Lloyd hanging from the hour hand).
✓ The Library of Congress selected Safety Last! for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
✓ Included in Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list.



Our Hospitality (1923)

Our Hospitality (1923), Buster Keaton, Best Movies of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

American slapstick comedy film co-directed by and starring Buster Keaton.

Story: Buster falls in love with a girl on the train to his hometown and accepts her dinner invitation, only to find out that her family has vowed to kill every member of his family.

Why is Our Hospitality among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
✓ It was a groundbreaking work for the comedy film genre, as Keaton included “careful integration of gags into a dramatically coherent storyline”, “meticulous attention to period detail” and “beautiful cinematography and extensive location shooting”.


The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), Lon Chaney, Best movies of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

American romantic drama film with horror elements starring Lon Chaney.

Story: In fifteenth century Paris, the brother of the archdeacon plots with the gypsy king to foment a peasant revolt. Meanwhile, a freakish hunchback falls in love with the gypsy queen. (IMDB)

A heart-rending take on the classic book, with a legendary performance by Lon Chaney.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is The Hunchback of Notre Dame among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ Praised for its grand sets that recall 15th century Paris as well as for Chaney’s performance and make-up.
✓ One of the most successful movies of the 1920s, and an influential silent classic.


Sherlock Jr. (1924)

Sherlock Jr. 1924 Buster Keaton, Best silent films of the roaring 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

Silent slapstick comedy directed by and starring Buster Keaton.

Story: A film projectionist longs to be a detective, and puts his meagre skills to work when he is framed by a rival for stealing his girlfriend’s father’s pocketwatch. (IMDB)

Why is Sherlock Jr. among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ The Library of Congress selected Sherlock Jr. for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
✓ It is included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and the American Film Institute’s Top 100 Funniest American Movies.
✓ One of the most popular silent movies of the 1920s cinema, and a timeless classic.


The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

The Thief of Bagdad (1924), Douglas Fairbanks, Best Movies of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

American swashbuckler adventure fantasy film starring Douglas Fairbanks.

Story: A recalcitrant thief vies with a duplicitous Mongol ruler for the hand of a beautiful princess. (IMDB)

It requires some viewing commitment, but this beautifully assembled showcase for Douglas Fairbanks’ acting offers some splendid treats for classic film fans.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is The Thief of Bagdad among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
✓ Selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
✓ Widely considered one of the greatest silent films and Fairbanks’s greatest work.


Die Nibelungen Duology (1924)

Die Nibelungen Duology (1924), Fritz Lang, Best movies of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

Epic fantasy film duology directed by Fritz Lang.

Story: Siegfried sets off on a magical journey, to win over Kriemhild, the beautiful princess of Worms. On his way to her, he fights and kills a dragon and bathes in its blood. This makes his skin invulnerable to chopping or stabbing. But little does he know that his future adventures might still cost his life.

Why is Die Nibelungen Duology among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ It is such a colossal story that to do justice to it, director Fritz Lang decided to release it in two parts, totaling 5 hours. It is often referred to as the Lord of the Rings of the silent era.
✓ One of the most popular and most influential movies of the 1920s, and a timeless classic.



The Gold Rush (1925)

The Gold Rush 1925 Charlie Chaplin, Most popular silent films of the 1920s cinema
Where to Watch?   More info

Silent slapstick comedy film written, produced, directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin.

Story: A prospector goes to the Klondike in search of gold and finds it and more. (IMDB)

A delightful blend of slapstick humor, poignant emotion, and social commentary, The Gold Rush encapsulates Chaplin’s strengths as a writer, director, and star.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is The Gold Rush among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ It is included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, the American Film Institute’s list of the Top 100 Greatest American Movies and their list of the Top 100 Funniest American Movies.
✓ One of Chaplin’s most celebrated works, and he himself declared several times that it was the film for which he most wanted to be remembered.
✓ It is the fifth-highest-grossing silent film in cinema history.


Battleship Potemkin (1925)

Bronenosets Potemkin (original Russian title)

Battleship Potemkin (1925), Sergei M. Eisenstein, Best movies of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

Soviet historical drama film directed by Sergei M. Eisenstein.

Story: Based on the historical events of 1905 Russia, this is the story of a mutiny that had its roots on the Battleship Potemkin, but ignited a citywide revolution in Odessa. This resulted in the massacre of civilians, including woman and children.

A technical masterpiece, Battleship Potemkin is Soviet cinema at its finest, and its montage editing techniques remain influential to this day.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is Battleship Potemkin among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list.
✓ The film was chosen by Premiere magazine as one of the “100 Movies That Shook the World” in the 1998 issue. The list ranked the most “daring movies ever made”.
✓ Named the greatest film of all time at the Brussels World’s Fair in 1958, and in 2012, the British Film Institute named it the eleventh greatest film of all time.


The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

The Phantom of the Opera (1925), Lon Chaney, Best movies of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

American dramatic horror film starring Lon Chaney.

Story: A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer. (IMDB)

A century later, it still retains its ability to scare – and Lon Chaney’s performance remains one of the benchmarks of the horror genre.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is The Phantom of the Opera among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list.
✓ Added to the United States National Film Registry, having been deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”.


The General (1926)

The General 1926 Buster Keaton, Best silent movies of the roaring 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

Silent slapstick comedy film written, directed by and starring Buster Keaton.

Story: When Union spies steal an engineer’s beloved locomotive, he pursues it single-handedly and straight through enemy lines. (IMDB)

Brilliantly filmed and fueled with classic physical comedy, The General captures Buster Keaton at his timeless best.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is The General among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ It is included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list.
✓ Selected into the National Film Registry in 1989 for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
✓ The American Film Institute ranked this as the #18 Greatest Movie of All Time.


Faust (1926)

Faust: Eine deutsche Volkssage (original German title)

Faust (1926), F. W. Murnau, Best Movies of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

German fantasy horror film directed by F. W. Murnau.

Story: The demon Mephisto wagers with God that he can corrupt a mortal man’s soul. (IMDB)

Why is Faust among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ Featured in Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list.
✓ Perfectly captures the intensity of a medieval universe steeped in religious fanaticism and pagan alchemy.
✓ Widely considered to be an influential classic, and one of the best horror films of all time.



The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)

Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed (original German title)

The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926), Lotte Reiniger, Best Movies of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

German animated fantasy adventure film created Lotte Reiniger.

Story: A handsome prince rides a flying horse to faraway lands and embarks on magical adventures, which include befriending a witch, meeting Aladdin, battling demons and falling in love with a princess. (IMDB)

Why is The Adventures of Prince Achmed among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
✓ Considered to be the oldest surviving animated feature film.
✓ Features a silhouette animation technique invented by Reiniger, which involved manipulated cutouts made from cardboard and thin sheets of lead under a camera.


Metropolis (1927)

Metropolis (1927), Fritz Lang, Best Movies of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

German expressionist science-fiction drama film directed by Fritz Lang.

The story is based on the classic sci-fi novel of the same title, first published in 1925, written by Fritz Lang’s wife Thea von Harbou. Would you like to read the book?

Story: 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.

A visually awe-inspiring science fiction classic from the silent era.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is Metropolis among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ It is included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list, and it is also inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register.
✓ Chosen by Premiere magazine as one of the “100 Movies That Shook the World” and selected by the Vatican in the “art” category of its list of 45 “great films”.
✓ The world’s first feature-length science fiction movie.


Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927), F. W. Murnau, Best movies of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

American romantic drama film directed by German director F. W. Murnau.

Story: An allegorical tale about a man fighting the good and evil within him. Both sides are made flesh – one a sophisticated woman he is attracted to and the other his wife. (IMDB)

Boasting masterful cinematography to match its well-acted, wonderfully romantic storyline, Sunrise is perhaps the final – and arguably definitive – statement of the silent era.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is Sunrise among the top films of the 1920s?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list.
✓ Winner of 3 Oscars, including the “Best Picture of the Year” Academy Award.
✓ In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #82 Greatest Movie of All Time.


The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927)

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927), Alfred Hitchcock, Best Movies of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

British crime mystery film directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Referred to as “the first true Hitchcock film” by the monumental director himself, The Lodger is a moody thriller that follows a series of murders – all young blonde women – committed by “The Avenger,” a Jack the Ripper-like serial killer in early 20th century London. (Amazon)

Why is The Lodger among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ This was Hitchcock’s first commercial hit, and he himself considered this to be his first true suspense film.
✓ Beginning with this movie, Hitchcock helped shape the modern-day thriller genre in film.
✓ Widely considered to be one of the greatest crime films of the Silent Era.


The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

La passion de Jeanne d’Arc (original French title)

The Passion of Joan of Arc 1928, Most popular silent films of the roaring 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

French silent historical film based on the actual record of the trial of Joan of Arc.

Story: In 1431, Jeanne d’Arc is placed on trial on charges of heresy. The ecclesiastical jurists attempt to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions. (IMDB)

The Passion of Joan of Arc is must-see cinema for Renée Maria Falconetti’s incredible performance alone – and an all-time classic for innumerable other reasons.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is The Passion of Joan of Arc among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ It is included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list.
✓ Selected by the Vatican in the “religion” category of its list of 45 “great films”.
✓ It is widely regarded as a landmark of Cinema, especially for its production, Dreyer’s direction and Falconetti’s performance, which is often listed as one of the finest in Cinema history.



The Circus (1928)

The Circus (1928), Charlie Chaplin, Best movies of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

American slapstick comedy film written, produced, directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin.

A little tramp accidentally falls in with a down-on-its-luck circus and his acrobatic and comedic skills start drawing audiences to the big-top in droves, but not without a bittersweet brush with romance for the gentle clown. (Amazon)

Why is The Circus among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ Featured in Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list.
✓ It became the seventh highest grossing silent film in cinema history.
✓ Chaplin was nominated for four Academy Awards, but the Academy took him out of the running by giving him a Special Award “for writing, acting, directing and producing The Circus”.


The Cameraman (1928)

The Cameraman (1928), Buster Keaton, Best Movies of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

American slapstick comedy film co-directed by and starring Buster Keaton.

Story: Buster is so obsessed with a charming office girl at MGM that he decides to impress her at all costs, so he becomes a cameraman only to photograph the film that would make the girl fall for him.

Why is The Cameraman among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ Added to the National Film Registry as being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
✓ Upon release, the film was a critical success and a box office hit.
✓ MGM’s writing department used the film to train new writers as a “perfectly constructed comedy” for decades.


Pandora’s Box (1929)

Die Büchse der Pandora (original German title)

Pandora's Box 1929, Louise Brooks, Top silent movies of the 1920s cinema
Where to Watch?   More info

German silent romantic crime film starring Louise Brooks.

Story: The rise and inevitable fall of an amoral but naive young woman whose insouciant eroticism inspires lust and violence in those around her.

Why is Pandora’s Box among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ It is included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list
✓ Chosen by Premiere Magazine as one of the “100 Movies That Shook the World”
✓ One of the most popular silent films of the 1920s Cinema, and an all-time classic.


Blackmail (1929)

Blackmail (1929), Alfred Hitchcock, Best movies of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

British thriller drama film directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Story: After killing a man in self-defense, a young woman is blackmailed by a witness to the killing. (IMDB)

Why is Blackmail among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, and voted the best British film of 1929 in a UK poll the year it was released.
✓ It became the first successful European talkie, and it is frequently cited as the first British sound feature film, and a landmark of British Cinema.


The Cocoanuts (1929)

The Cocoanuts (1929), Marx Brothers, Best movies of the 1920s
Where to Watch?   More info

Pre-Code musical comedy film starring the Marx Brothers.

Story: During the Florida land boom, The Marx Brothers run a hotel, auction off some land, thwart a jewel robbery, and generally act like themselves. (IMDB)

Why is The Cocoanuts among the best movies of the 1920s?
✓ It was a big box office hit and one of the most successful early talking films.
✓ Received positive reviews from critics and audiences, with the Marx Brothers themselves earning most of the praise.



…end of the reel…

So there you have it: The 30 Greatest Movies of the 1920s

If you want to take a look at the movies listed above, without all that info between the titles, here’s a quick recap:

Top 30 Movies of the 1920s
One film from each year, chronologically
- 1920 -
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari 1920
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
The Golem: How He Came into the World 1920
The Golem: How He Came into the World
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1920
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
- 1921 -
The Kid 1921
The Kid
The Phantom Carriage 1921
The Phantom Carriage
Destiny 1921
Destiny
- 1922 -
Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror 1922
Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror
Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages 1922
Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages
Dr. Mabuse the Gambler 1922
Dr. Mabuse the Gambler
*Part of the Collection: Fritz Lang’s Dr. Mabuse and M Cinematic Universe
- 1923 -
Safety Last! 1923
Safety Last!
Our Hospitality 1923
Our Hospitality
The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
- 1924 -
Sherlock Jr. 1924
Sherlock Jr.
The Thief of Bagdad 1924
The Thief of Bagdad
Die Nibelungen Duology 1924
Die Nibelungen Duology
- 1925 -
The Gold Rush 1925
The Gold Rush
Battleship Potemkin 1925
Battleship Potemkin
The Phantom of the Opera 1925
The Phantom of the Opera
- 1926 -
The General 1926
The General
Faust 1926
Faust
The Adventures of Prince Achmed 1926
The Adventures of Prince Achmed
- 1927 -
Metropolis 1927
Metropolis
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans 1927
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog 1927
The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog
- 1928 -
The Passion of Joan of Arc 1928
The Passion of Joan of Arc
The Circus 1928
The Circus
The Cameraman 1928
The Cameraman
- 1929 -
Pandora's Box 1929
Pandora's Box
Blackmail 1929
Blackmail
The Cocoanuts 1929
The Cocoanuts
*Click any Title for more Info and for Streaming / Disc Buying options.

Wait, there’s more!

If you’re a hardcore fan of the 1920s, and you already saw most of the movies in the Top 30 List above, than here’s the extended version for you:

TOP 100 FILMS OF THE 1920s
Click to reveal the List ↴

The 100 Greatest Movies of the 1920s

Ten films from each year, chronologically

Top 10 Movies of 1920
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari 1920
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
The Golem: How He Came into the World 1920
The Golem: How He Came into the World
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1920
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The Mark of Zorro 1920
The Mark of Zorro
*Part of the Collection:
Douglas Fairbanks’s Zorro Duology
The Penalty 1920
The Penalty
Way Down East 1920
Way Down East
Within Our Gates 1920
Within Our Gates
Why Change Your Wife? 1920
Why Change Your Wife?
The Saphead 1920
The Saphead
The Last of the Mohicans 1920
The Last of the Mohicans
*Click any Title for more info or for Streaming / Disc Buying options
Top 10 Movies of 1921
The Kid 1921
The Kid
The Phantom Carriage 1921
The Phantom Carriage
Destiny 1921
Destiny
The Three Musketeers 1921
The Three Musketeers
*Part of the Collection: Douglas Fairbanks’s Musketeers Duology
The Ace of Hearts 1921
The Ace of Hearts
Orphans of the Storm 1921
Orphans of the Storm
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse 1921
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
The The Sheik 1921
The Sheik
*Part of the Collection: Rudolph Valentino’s Sheik Duology
The Affairs of Anatol 1921
The Affairs of Anatol
Tol'able David 1921
Tol'able David
*Click any Title for more info or for Streaming / Disc Buying options
Top 10 Movies of 1922
Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror 1922
Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror
Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages 1922
Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages
Dr. Mabuse the Gambler 1922
Dr. Mabuse the Gambler
*Part of the Collection: Fritz Lang’s Dr. Mabuse and M Cinematic Universe
Robin Hood 1922
Robin Hood
Grandma's Boy 1922
Grandma's Boy
Nanook of the North 1922
Nanook of the North
Foolish Wives 1922
Foolish Wives
Beyond the Rocks 1922
Beyond the Rocks
Phantom 1922
Phantom
Blood and Sand 1922
Blood and Sand
*Click any Title for more info or for Streaming / Disc Buying options
Top 10 Movies of 1923
Safety Last! 1923
Safety Last!
Our Hospitality 1923
Our Hospitality
The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1923
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Pilgrim 1923
The Pilgrim
A Woman of Paris 1923
A Woman of Paris
Three Ages 1923
Three Ages
The Ten Commandments 1923
The Ten Commandments
Why Worry? 1923
Why Worry?
The Wheel 1923
The Wheel
The Extra Girl 1923
The Extra Girl
*Click any Title for more info or for Streaming / Disc Buying options
Top 10 Movies of 1924
Sherlock Jr. 1924
Sherlock Jr.
The Thief of Bagdad 1924
The Thief of Bagdad
The Navigator 1924
The Navigator
Die Nibelungen: Siegfried 1924
Die Nibelungen: Siegfried
*Part of the Collection: Die Nibelungen
He Who Gets Slapped 1924
He Who Gets Slapped
Girl Shy 1924
Girl Shy
The Hands of Orlac 1924
The Hands of Orlac
The Last Laugh 1924
The Last Laugh
Greed 1924
Greed
Aelita: Queen of Mars 1924
Aelita: Queen of Mars
*Click any Title for more info or for Streaming / Disc Buying options
Top 10 Movies of 1925
The Gold Rush 1925
The Gold Rush
Battleship Potemkin 1925
Battleship Potemkin
The Phantom of the Opera 1925
The Phantom of the Opera
Seven Chances 1925
Seven Chances
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ 1925
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
The Big Parade 1925
The Big Parade
The Freshman 1925
The Freshman
*Part of the Collection: Harold Lloyd’s Freshman Duology
Strike 1925
Strike
The Lost World 1925
The Lost World
Go West 1925
Go West
*Click any Title for more info or for Streaming / Disc Buying options
Top 10 Movies of 1926
The General 1926
The General
Faust 1926
Faust
The Adventures of Prince Achmed 1926
The Adventures of Prince Achmed
Battling Butler 1926
Battling Butler
The Black Pirate 1926
The Black Pirate
Flesh and the Devil 1926
Flesh and the Devil
Mother 1926
Mother
A Page of Madness 1926
A Page of Madness
Tell it to the Marines 1926
Tell it to the Marines
The Son of the Sheik 1926
The Son of the Sheik
*Part of the Collection: Rudolph Valentino’s Sheik Duology
*Click any Title for more info or for Streaming / Disc Buying options
Top 10 Movies of 1927
Metropolis 1927
Metropolis
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans 1927
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog 1927
The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog
The Unknown 1927
The Unknown
College 1927
College
The Kid Brother 1927
The Kid Brother
Wings 1927
Wings
The Jazz Singer 1927
The Jazz Singer
Napoleon 1927
Napoleon
The Cat and the Canary 1927
The Cat and the Canary
*Click any Title for more info or for Streaming / Disc Buying options
Top 10 Movies of 1928
The Passion of Joan of Arc 1928
The Passion of Joan of Arc
The Circus 1928
The Circus
Steamboat Bill, Jr. 1928
Steamboat Bill, Jr.
The Cameraman 1928
The Cameraman
The Man Who Laughs 1928
The Man Who Laughs
Speedy 1928
Speedy
Laugh, Clown, Laugh 1928
Laugh, Clown, Laugh
The Wind 1928
The Wind
West of Zanzibar 1928
West of Zanzibar
The Crowd 1928
The Crowd
*Click any Title for more info or for Streaming / Disc Buying options
Top 10 Movies of 1929
Pandora's Box 1929
Pandora's Box
Blackmail 1929
Blackmail
The Love Parade 1929
The Love Parade
Diary of a Lost Girl 1929
Diary of a Lost Girl
Piccadilly 1929
Piccadilly
Spite Marriage 1929
Spite Marriage
The Cocoanuts 1929
The Cocoanuts
The Iron Mask 1929
The Iron Mask
*Part of the Collection: Douglas Fairbanks’s Musketeers Duology
The Manxman 1929
The Manxman
Woman in the Moon 1929
Woman in the Moon
*Click any Title for more info or for Streaming / Disc Buying options

Is there a movie on the list you’d replace with another one? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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