TCM Names the 10 Most Influential Silent Films


Thanks to the ever-growing popularity of Michel Hazanavicius’ critical darling The Artist, we’ve all had the silent film genre on the brain lately; Flavorwire film editor Jason Bailey even rounded up ten great “silent” scenes from the sound era in homage to the bygone era. If all this talk has merely whet your appetite for more (or if you’d like to brush up on your film history), then you’ll want to check out Turner Classic Movies’ new list of the 10 most influential silent films, which the French auteur helped the network compile.

“People don’t really know how a silent movie works,” Hazanavicius has said. “Usually they are amazed by the experience of watching a silent movie, which is another form of expression. It works with another part of the brain. They come expecting to be bored, and they’re amazed by the fact that it’s easy to watch and it’s a story.” Click through now to see which vintage titles made the cut; in many cases, we’ve got the entire movie streaming for your viewing pleasure.

The Birth of a Nation, directed by D.W. Griffith (1915)

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, directed by Rex Ingram (1921)

Nanook of the North, directed by Robert Flaherty (1922)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame, directed by Wallace Worsley (1923)

The Ten Commandments, directed by Cecil B. DeMille (1923)

The Gold Rush, directed by Charlie Chaplin (1925)

Battleship Potemkin, directed by Sergei Eisenstein (1925)

Metropolis, directed by Fritz Lang (1927)

Sunrise — A Song of Two Humans, directed by F.W. Murnau (1927)

The Passion of Joan of Arc, directed by Carl Theodore Dreyer (1928)

[via 24 Frames]