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Yearly Roundup – 1895 through 1920

Posted by martinteller on September 18, 2012

The Cream of the Crop

I’m pretty weak and undereducated when it comes to early cinema.  It may also surprise some folks that my most hated film of the era is one that many consider one of the greatest of all time.  I recognize Griffith’s significant contributions to the craft of filmmaking, but I can’t get past the ugly content of that movie.  My one “cream” for this entire period is Starewicz’s charming and innovative invention, The Cameraman’s Revenge.  It’s one of my favorite animated films, delightfully odd and oddly delightful.

Update 3/19/14: Got another creamy one… Ernst Lubitsch’s The Doll, a really funny and clever fantasy.


Slightly Less Creamy, But Still Tasty

Most Buster Keaton is worth a look (and there’s a number from this era I haven’t seen yet).  One Week is adorable and clever as all get-out.  Stiller’s thriller/drama Sir Arne’s Treasure is fine storytelling no matter what the era, very artful and evocative.  And of course, the fanciful A Trip to the Moon has rightfully earned a place in cinema history.


Varying Degrees of Like

L’ Arrivée d’un train à La Ciotat
Ask Father
Le Diable noir
Dream of a Rarebit Fiend
An Eastern Westerner
Four Heads Are Better Than One
Gertie the Dinosaur
The Golden Beetle
The Great Train Robbery

The Immigrant
The Insects’ Christmas
Jack and the Beanstalk
Les Kiriki, acrobates japonais
A Man There Was
The Thieving Hand
Les Vampires
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz


Varying Degrees of Hate

The Birth of a Nation


Some Notable Films In The Middle

Broken Blossoms
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
From Hand to Mouth
Ingeborg Holm
The Monastery of Sendomir
Moscow Clad in Snow
The Outlaw and His Wife
True Heart Susie
Way Down East


Uncharted Territory

Alice in Wonderland, Convict 13, A Dog’s Life, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Easy Street, Electrocuting an Elephant, Employees Leaving the Lumiere Factory, The Golem, The Impossible Voyage, Karin Ingmarsdotter, The Lass from the Stormy Croft, The Man with the Head in the Cabinet, Masterman, Neighbors, The Oyster Princess, Roundhay Garden Scene, The Scarecrow, The Sea Vultures, Shoulder Arms


4 Responses to “Yearly Roundup – 1895 through 1920”

  1. Bondo said

    You seem to be neglecting Alice Guy and Lois Weber. Guy’s are too numerous to list but Weber’s essentials are Where Are My Children? and Hypocrites.

  2. JamDenTel said

    I really, really want to see how long a review you could write of “Roundhay Garden Scene”.

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