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Silent Timeline

I wouldn’t expect that you, my faithful, would be interested in all the same things I am, or vice versa. I aim to hit the target as often as I can, and I expect I do; in other words, as we are kindred spirits, I expect the things that I find intriguing enough to cover here on this site also appeal to you all, or the majority of you. Occasionally I’ll step out onto a limb and risk waxing poetic over a personal passion of mine in the hopes that those of you unfamiliar or even uninterested may develop an interest in the subject; at the least I hope to educate you in an entertaining manner. This post shall be one of that type.

I love silent movies. They truly are a lost artform. Despite my interest, however, it occurred to me that I don’t, or didn’t, know the correct timeline, the order in which the classic films I love debuted. I thus endeavored to compile said timeline, from the first movie ever made up through 1929, when the age of the silent classics ended. I include this list here in the hopes that it will be of interest to you, and that it will prove a handy reference for anyone seeking, as I did, a proper chronology. Please note that this list is anything but comprehensive. This is a compilation of silent GENRE pictures, specifically Horror pictures (and some Sci-Fi and Fantasy thrown in). Anyone interested in the films of Charlie Chaplin or something like THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY will need to look elsewhere. I do want to point out that the first “officially” recognized movie, WORKERS LEAVING THE LUMIERE FACTORY IN LYON, came out in 1895. Georges Melies bequeathed to us the first HORROR movie only one year later—and also the first onscreen vampire—in THE HAUNTED CASTLE (aka THE DEVIL’S CASTLE). Horror has been a mainstay of the cinema from its very inception. My list concludes in the year 1931, when Universal’s DRACULA and FRANKENSTEIN both debuted, ushering in the golden age of Horror.

If the reader is unfamiliar with any of the films on this list, I encourage you to look it up.

Here is the compilation:

THE HORSE IN MOTION—1878(?)

ROUNDHAY GARDEN SCENE—1888 (Filmed the same year that Jack the Ripper committed his murder spree.)

WORKERS LEAVING THE LUMIERE FACTORY IN LYON—1895

THE HAUNTED CASTLE (Melies)—1896 (First vampire—who turns into a bat!)

BLUEBEARD (Melies)—1901

A TRIP TO THE MOON (Melies)—1902

THE KINGDOM OF THE FAERIES (Melies)—1903

THE DAMNATION OF FAUST (Melies)—1903

THE IMPOSSIBLE VOYAGE (Melies) –1904

HUMANITY THROUGH THE AGES (Melies)—1908

FRANKENSTEIN—1910 (Thomas Edison’s version.)

THE CONQUEST OF THE POLE (Melies)—1912

THE GOLEM (Partially Lost)—1915

THE GOLEM AND THE DANCING GIRL (Lost)—1917

THE WICKED DARLING (First Tod Browning and Lon Chaney team-up)—1919

THE MIRACLE MAN (Chaney; Lost Film)—1919

THE GOLEM: HOW HE CAME INTO THE WORLD—1920

THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI—1920

THE PENALTY (Chaney)—1920

THE ACE OF HEARTS (Chaney)—1921

SHADOWS (Chaney)—1922

NOSFERATU—1922

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (Chaney)—1923

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS—1923 (Not a genre piece, but the FX are amazeballs!)

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Chaney)—1925

THE UNHOLY THREE (Browning, Chaney)—1925

LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT (Browning, Chaney; a lost film)—1927

THE UNKNOWN (Browning, Chaney)—1927

METROPOLIS—1927

THE JAZZ SINGER (First “Talkie”)—1927 (Not a genre picture, but it merits mention for its historicity.)

LAUGH, CLOWN, LAUGH (Chaney)—1928

THE THIRTEENTH CHAIR—1929—released as both a silent film and a “Talkie.” Directed by Tod Browning and starring Bela Lugosi.

DRACULA (Browning, Lugosi)—1931

FRANKENSTEIN (James Whale, Boris Karloff)—1931

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!

TheCheezman • April 20, 2017


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