Film History

Films Throughout The Decades: 1910-1919

We’re on the second list of my favourite films from each decade 1900-2009. This list is all about films from 1910-1919; the war years! I have a few more films on this list because films were getting bigger as technology grew, despite the war.

  1. Intolerance: Love’s struggle throughout the ages (1916)

This film directed by D. W Griffith followed four parallel storylines from different stages of history: the ancient Babylonian story from 539BC, the lead up to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in 27AD, the Protestant intolerance of the French Huguenots in 1527, and the ‘modern’ American story in 1914.

The original cut of the film is 210 minutes long, that’s three and a half hours! Avengers eat your heart out. Although the film is silent, there are English subtitles.

It’s well worth the watch if you think you can sit through it for so long, you may need to take a break halfway through though, try it below!

  1. The Dying Swan (1917)

The Dying Swan is a Russian film that follows the young dancer and mute, Gizella, who falls in love with a man she meets at a lake named Victor. After he cancels a date with her, she sees him with another woman. An artist sees her dancing ‘the dying swan’ and grows a great ‘sympathy’ for her.

My description of this film does it no justice, I promise. It’s so good! I love ballet so I was drawn to this film. The film is just under an hour in length, so don’t worry you won’t have to arrange your day around it like Intolerance! Go check it out.

  1. Madame Du Barry (1919)

In America, this film was called ‘Passion’ as an alternative title. A young Parisian beauty, Jeanette, who is unknown, attracts the attention of Louis XV in this silent movie. Louis XV sets Jeanette up with Jean Du Barry and the two marry. Jeanette’s vain and ends up having an affair with Cosse-Brissac.

You can also find this film on YouTube.

  1. Frankenstein (1910)

This was the first adaptation of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel of the same name. This film is only about 15 minutes long but really captures Shelley’s story. We all know the plot, a scientist decides to create a man but ends up making a ‘monster’ instead, even though we all know the real monster is Frankenstein himself. Again, this film is on YouTube, the link below.

  1. Behind The Screen (1916)

This is the first film I’ll be talking about in this series that is directed and stars Charlie Chaplin. A legend in the comedy world, Charlie is one of the most influential figures in the history of film.

This particular film is a short silent movie about a movie set dresser, David (Chaplin), helps a young woman get hired on the set, but the rest of his colleagues strike against their enormous and lazy supervisor, Goliath. The movie is about 30 minutes long and can be found on YouTube.

  1. The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917)

This movie is about a young girl named Gwen, whose parents mostly ignore her. They only really care about money and their social status, until one day one of their servants creates a crisis due to irresponsibility that miraculously makes her parents rethink their ways and protect the things close to them.

You guessed it, it’s on YouTube! Check it out, it’s one of my favourites. Mary Pickford, who plays Gwen, is absolutely adorable!

Have you watched any of these movies? They’re all on YouTube so now you have no excuse! Check them out and let me know what you think.



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