1921 • 106 minutes • 1.37:1 • Sweden
Spine: #579 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Based on a novel by Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerlöf, this extraordinarily rich and innovative silent classic (which inspired Ingmar Bergman to make movies) is a Dickensian ghost story and a deeply moving morality tale, as well as a showcase for groundbreaking special effects.
1921 • 53 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #799 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan make a miraculous pair in this nimble marriage of sentiment and slapstick, a film that is, as its opening title card states, “a picture with a smile—and perhaps, a tear.”
The comic genius of silent star Harold Lloyd is eternal. Chaplin is the sweet innocent, Keaton the stoic outsider, but Lloyd—the modern guy striving for success—is us. And with its torrent of perfectly executed gags and astonishing stunts, Safety Last! is the perfect introduction to him.
Carl Th. Dreyer
1925 • 107 minutes • 1.33:1 • Denmark
Spine: #706 Editions: Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD, DVD
Before he turned to the story of Joan of Arc, the Danish cinema genius Carl Theodor Dreyer fashioned this ahead-of-its-time examination of domestic life.
1928 • 69 minutes • 1.19:1 • United States
Spine: #623 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
A buried treasure from Hollywood’s golden age, Lonesome is the creation of a little-known but audacious and one-of-a-kind filmmaker, Paul Fejos (also an explorer, anthropologist, and doctor!).
1928 • 86 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #788 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
Speedy is an out-of-control love letter to New York that will have you grinning from ear to ear.
People on Sunday, an effervescent, sunlit silent, about a handful of city dwellers (a charming cast of nonprofessionals) enjoying a weekend outing, offers a rare glimpse of Weimar-era Berlin, would influence generations of film artists around the world.
1931 • 110 minutes • 1.19:1 • Germany
Spine: #30 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
Peter Lorre stars as serial killer Hans Beckert in Fritz Lang’s harrowing masterwork M, a suspenseful panorama of private madness and public hysteria that to this day remains the blueprint for the psychological thriller.
1931 • 86 minutes • 1.19:1 • United States
Spine: #680 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
The writer-director-star achieved new levels of grace, in both physical comedy and dramatic poignancy, with this silent tale of a lovable vagrant falling for a young blind woman who sells flowers on the street (a magical Virginia Cherrill) and mistakes him for a millionaire.
1931 • 96 minutes • 1.19:1 • France
Spine: #818 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
Jean Renoir’s ruthless love triangle tale, his second sound film, is a true precursor to his brilliantly bitter The Rules of the Game, displaying all of the filmmaker’s visual genius and fully imbued with his profound sense of humanity.
Erle C. Kenton
1932 • 70 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #586 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
A twisted treasure from Hollywood’s pre-Code horror heyday, Island of Lost Souls is
a cautionary tale of science run amok, adapted from H. G. Wells’s novel The Island of Dr. Moreau.
1933 • 91 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #592 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Gary Cooper, Fredric March, and Miriam Hopkins play a trio of Americans in Paris who enter into a very adult “gentleman’s agreement” in this continental pre-Code comedy, freely adapted by Ben Hecht from a play by Noël Coward and directed by Ernst Lubitsch.
1934 • 75 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #643 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
This fleet and gripping film is the first of the early thrillers the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, made during the fertile phase of his career spent at the Gaumont-British Picture Corporation.
1934 • 105 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #736 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
It Happened One Night is among the most gracefully constructed and edited films of the early sound era, packed with clever situations and gags that have entered the Hollywood comedy pantheon.
1935 • 86 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #56 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
A heart-racing spy story by Alfred Hitchcock, The 39 Steps follows Richard Hannay (Robert Donat) as he stumbles upon a conspiracy that thrusts him into a hectic chase across the Scottish moors.
1936 • 87 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #543 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
Modern Times, Charlie Chaplin’s last outing as the Little Tramp, puts the iconic character to work as a giddily inept factory employee who becomes smitten with a gorgeous gamine (Paulette Goddard).
William Cameron Menzies
1936 • 97 minutes • 1.37:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #660 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
A landmark collaboration between writer H. G. Wells, producer Alexander Korda, and designer and director William Cameron Menzies, Things to Come is a science fiction film like no other, a prescient political work that predicts a century of turmoil and progress.
1936 • 41 minutes • 1.37:1 • France
Spine: #746 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
This bittersweet film from Jean Renoir, based on a story by Guy de Maupassant, is a tenderly comic idyll about a city family’s picnic in the French countryside and the romancing of the mother and grown daughter by two local men.
1937 • 92 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #505 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Make Way for Tomorrow, by Leo McCarey, is one of the great unsung Hollywood masterpieces, an enormously moving Depression-era depiction of the frustrations of family, aging, and the generation gap.
1938 • 96 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #3 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
In Alfred Hitchcock’s most quick-witted and devilish comic thriller, a young woman finds herself drawn into a complex web of mystery and high adventure while traveling across Europe by train. The Lady Vanishes remains one of the master filmmaker’s purest delights.
1939 • 106 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #216 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
Considered one of the greatest films ever made, The Rules of the Game (La règle du jeu), by Jean Renoir, is a scathing critique of corrupt French society cloaked in a comedy of manners.
1939 • 96 minutes • 1.37:1 • United States
Spine: #516 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
This is where it all started. John Ford’s smash hit and enduring masterpiece Stagecoach revolutionized the western, elevating it from B movie to the A-list.
1939 • 91 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #559 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
The legendary Gilbert and Sullivan troupe the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company joined forces with Hollywood for this 1939 Technicolor version of the beloved comic opera The Mikado, the first work by the famed duo to be adapted for the screen.
1939 • 115 minutes • 1.37:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #583 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
This Technicolor spectacular, directed by Zoltán Korda, is considered the finest of the many adaptations of A. E. W. Mason’s classic 1902 adventure novel about the British empire’s exploits in Africa, and a crowning achievement of Alexander Korda’s legendary production company, London Films.