The Roaring twenties was a pioneer decade in film. The silent epic was in full swing and some of film’s greatest stars were hitting their stride. Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd were the pinnacle of comedy and this trio made some of the most memorable films of the decade, some of which are still celebrated today.
But as with all eras of film, the silent era was bound to come to an end, as the birth of sound threatened to revolutionize the film industry in the biggest and most profound way possible. The Jazz Singer took Hollywood by storm and divided the movie world into two sects, but it set the standard for what cinema was meant to become.
It is safe to say that the twenties is my weakest decade in terms of film viewing, I much prefer the more fleshed out films of the thirties and forties, but there are quite a few gems from the twenties. Most of them are silent, but that didn’t limit them, it gave them a different outlet of expression and they should be honored for this achievement.
My picks for each year are as follows:
- 1920 – The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
- 1921 – The Kid; The Phantom Carriage
- 1922 – Nosferatu
- 1923 – Safety Last!; Three Ages
- 1924 – Sherlock Jr.
- 1925 – The Gold Rush
- 1926 – The General; The Adventures of Prince Achmed
- 1927 – Metropolis; Wings
- 1928 – The Passion of Joan of Arc
- 1929 – The Cocoanuts; Man with a Movie Camera