1925 in Film

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Strike (Stachka)

The Gold Rush

Feu Mathias Pascal (The Late Mathias Pascal)

The Whirlpool of Fate (La Fille de l’eau)

Phantom of the Opera

The Battleship Potemkin

The Freshman

The Big Parade

Orochi

Miss Flying Feet

Red Heels (Das Spielzeug von Paris)

Seven Chances

The Lost World

Ben-Hur

Quo Vadis

The Merry Widow

Little Annie Rooney

Glomdalsbruden

Go West

Isn’t Life Terrible

Prem Sanyas (Die Leuchte Asiens | The Light of Asia)

The Blackguard

Don Q, Son of Zorro

Chess Fever (Shakhmatnaya goryachka)

Le fantôme du Moulin-Rouge (The Phantom of the Moulin-Rouge)

El Húsar de la muerte (Hussar of the Dead)

Lady Windermere’s Fan

The Eagle

Tumbleweeds

Paris Qui Dort

Visages d’enfants (Faces of Children)

The Tailor from Torzhok (Zakroyshchik iz Torzhka)

Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life

Variety (Variete) (Jealousy)

The Unholy Three

Wizard of Oz

Curses!

A Woman of the World

Joyless Street (Die freudlose Gasse)

1924 in Film

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Die Nibelungen: Siegfried

Die Nibelungen: Kriemhilds Rache

Sherlock Jr.

Waxworks (Das Wachsfigurenkabinett)

The Navigator

The Iron Horse

Helena / Helena de Troya

The Thief of Bagdad

Entr’acte

The Grand Duke’s Finances (Die Finanzen des Großherzogs)

The Last Laugh (Der Letzte Mann)

Peter Pan

Michael

The Hands of Orlac

The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks (Neobychainye priklyucheniya mistera Vesta v strane bolshevikov)

Girl Shy

He Who Gets Slapped

Ballet Mécanique

Aelita Queen of Mars

The Saga Of Gösta Berlings

Au Secours! (Help)

L’Inhumaine (The Inhuman Woman)

Greed

The Marriage Circle

The City Without Jews (Die Stadt ohne Juden)

Hot Water

Symphonie diagonale

Beau Brummel

Dante’s Inferno

The Enchanted Cottage

Her Night of Romance

Monsieur Beaucaire

Forbidden Paradise

America

1923 in Film

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Cœur fidèle

Der Schatz / The Treasure

Safety Last!

Schatten – Eine nächtliche Halluzination

The Ten Commandments

The Extra Girl

Le Retour à la Raison

Die Straße / The Street

Souls for Sale

Salomé

The Covered Wagon

La Roue

The Love Nest

The Pilgrim

Our Hospitality

Scaramouche

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

I.N.R.I.

Merry-Go-Round

Frozen Hearts

Mysterien eines Friseursalons

The Balloonatic

Adam’s Rib

The White Sister

Raskolnikow

Circus Days

The Shock

Ashes of Vengeance

The White Shadow

A Woman of Paris

Little Old New York

The Shriek of Araby

1922 in Film

Nosferatu

 

Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (Nosferatu: A Symphony of Terror)

Häxan

The Loves of Pharaoh (Das Weib des Pharao)

Robin Hood

The Toll of the Sea

The Electric House

The Burning Soil (Der brennende Acker)

The Paleface

Foolish Wives

Nanook of the North

The Frozen North

Nathan the Wise

Laborer’s Love

Beyond The Rocks

Crainquebille (Coster Bill of Paris)

Pay Day

Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (Dr. Mabuse the Gambler)

Phantom

Sherlock Holmes

Grandma’s Boy

Rob Roy

Oliver Twist

Cops

Lucrezia Borgia

Sodom and Gomorrah

The Prisoner of Zenda

The Three Must-Get-Theres

Tess of the Storm Country

Lorna Doone

Dr Jack

The Blacksmith

Day Dreams

Moran of the Lady Letty

My Wife’s Relations

The Primitive Lover

The Young Rajah

Smilin’ Through

Shadows

Beauty’s Worth

Cocaine

1921 in Film

chaplin-the-kid

The Kid

 

The Haunted Castle (Schloss Vogeloed)

 

The Haunted House

 

Destiny (Der müde Tod)

 

The Sheik

 

Buried Treasure

 

Journey into the Night (Der Gang in die Nacht)

 

The Playhouse

 

Never Weaken

 

Die Bergkatze (The Wild Cat)

 

The Goat

 

The Boat

 

A Sailor-Made Man

 

L’Atlantide (Missing Husbands)

 

Camille

 

Leaves from Satan’s Book (Blade af Satans bog)

 

Les Trois Mousquetaires (The Three Musketeers)

 

El Dorado

 

Little Lord Fauntleroy

 

Through the Back Door

 

The Idle Class

 

The Ace of Hearts

 

Miss Lulu Bett

 

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

 

The Phantom Carriage (Korkarlen)

 

The Mechanical Man (L’uomo meccanico)

 

Seven Years Bad Luck

 

The Affairs of Anatol

 

Tol’able David

 

The Lucky Dog

 

The Nut

 

Jánošík

1920 in Film

caligari

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

One Week

Sumurun

Haunted Spooks

Anna Boleyn

The Flapper

The Golem: How He Came into the World

Within Our Gates

High and Dizzy

Algol

Convict 13

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Mollycoddle

The Last of the Mohicans

The Penalty

Way Down East

Suds

Neighbors

Huckleberry Finn

Outside the Law

Excuse My Dust

The Round-Up

The Restless Sex

The Mark of Zorro

Why Change Your Wife?

Genuine

Nomads of the North

Something to Think About

Sex

1919 in Film

haroldlloyd

 

Madame DuBarry

The Tantalizing Fly

The Oyster Princess

From Hand to Mouth

Sunnyside

Yankee Doodle in Berlin

J’accuse

False Faces

The Grim Game

The Hayseed

Different From The Others

A Day’s Pleasure

Male and Female

When the Clouds Roll By

Captain Kidd’s Kids

The Doll

Feline Follies

Back Stage

True Heart Susie

The Delicious Little Devil

Endurance

Sir Arne’s Treasure

Daddy-Long-Legs

The Sentimental Bloke

The Roaring Road

Bumping into Broadway

Broken Blossoms

The Lost Battalion

Victory

The Clown’s Pup

Blind Husbands

The Wicked Darling

Ravished Armenia

Bolshevism on Trial

The Miracle Man

1918 in Film

thecook

The Cook

Father Sergius

A Dog’s Life

The Heart of Humanity

Out West

The Sinking of the Lusitania

The Bond

Are Crooks Dishonest?

La dixième symphonie [The Tenth Symphony]

Tarzan of the Apes

The Bell Boy

I Don’t Want To Be A Man

Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley

The Outlaw and His Wife

The Blue Bird

Shoulder Arms

My Four Years in Germany

Old Wives For New

Fabiola

‘Blue Blazes’ Rawden

Stella Maris

M’Liss

The Whispering Chorus

Moonshine

Mickey

Intolerance

Intolerance Gif

After my very mixed feelings about the DW Griffith’s beautiful, appalling racist epic The Birth of a Nation, I was keen to check out the next film he made, Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Throughout the Ages. I’d heard that it was made to address the divisions caused by the controversial release of The Birth of a Nation, including the resurgence of the Klu Klux Klan. But it seems that I may have misunderstood DWG’s intentions.

Intolerance is supposedly about the scourge of intolerance throughout the ages – only the focus (if there is one) seems to be on closer analysis of intolerances perpetrated against the ideas and prejudices of one DW Griffith. The right to make a racist film without criticism, the right to follow a more puritanical religion, and so on. You may have a hard time actually picking these out of the immense scope of the thing, but as far as a moral core goes, I’m afraid it may be a rotten one.

Otherwise I’m left with two impressions. Firstly that the whole thing is visually absolutely stunning. The scenes in ancient Babylon in particular are some of the most ambitious I’ve seen in any era – and bearing in mind how everything needed to be constructed in real life, the achievement here is undeniable. Griffith also seems to have developed his editing style a fair amount in the year between productions, and some sections were clearly influential. That is, if you can find them. Because this is a long, long film, and what plot there is is impossible to follow.

A lot of this is due to the convoluted story of the film’s production. DWG started off shooting a film about a strike at a mill, in which the villains are not just the mill owners but also the moral puritans driving the strikers. After showing this to his friends in the industry he decided this was too slight to be the follow-up to the biggest film of all time and started shooting another three segments – one in ancient Babylon, one about Jesus’s crucifixion and one about the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of Protestant Huguenots in France.

Intolerance is therefore four films, woven together over three and a half hours of screen time. Most of the characters (and there are a lot of these) are unnamed, and the connection between the stories is highly tenuous. I’m not sure if my attention span has been destroyed by mobile phones and having small children, but it was very difficult to follow one strand, let alone four. This also seems to have been the opinion of contemporary audiences, who did not flock to the cinema as they had previously. The film barely broke even, and DWG’s career never really recovered. In the last century, however, the film has had a critical renaissance – writers who do not want to say anything nice about BOAN have instead flocked to lavish praise on it. Armond White, for example, described it as “The Greatest Movie Ever Made” in the National Review, an opinion which is clearly incorrect. More recently parallels have been drawn between the concept of “intolerance” as demonstrated in the film and the debating tactics of the alt-right, where intolerance of racism is presented as a greater crime than racism itself.

My take is this: it’s another beautiful, awful film, only this time it’s more beautiful, and also really, really confusing.

This episode of the superb podcast You Must Remember This looks at the making of Intolerance.

 

1917 in Film

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The Immigrant

Oh Doctor!

The Dying Swan

Satan Triumphant

Thaïs

The Cure

Bucking Broadway

A Little Princess

The Torture of Silence (Mater Dolorosa)

The Woman God Forgot

His Wedding Night

Cleopatra

All Aboard

Fear

The Adventurer

Bestia (aka The Polish Dancer)

A Man There Was (Terje Vigen)

The Butcher Boy

Wild and Woolly

Teddy at the Throttle

The Poor Little Rich Girl

A Reckless Romeo

Straight Shooting

Coney Island

Der Magische Gürtel

Tom Sawyer

The Rough House

The Little American