Results: You Voted on Your Favorite Essential Silent Film

A little while ago, I asked my readers to submit their favorite essential silent films, I then followed up by asking my readers to choose their favorite movie out of the top ten most-recommended films on the list. The results are in!

And the winner is…



Yes, F.W. Murnau’s classic romance (and possibly among the first Oscar bait films made before the Oscars were the Oscars) still has a warm place in many hearts. Congratulations!

This was not entirely unexpected since Sunrise was also the film that was the most-recommended in the lists people submitted.

Here is the complete breakdown:

Comedy did very, very well, which is also not surprising. I was a little surprised to see Safety Last end up so far down the list, though.

Fortunately, all of these films except The Wind and Pandora’s Box have been released on Bluray (Napoleon is a UK release so check your region before purchasing) so you are in a great position to judge for yourselves and see if you agree.

The final rankings, along with links for more information and where to obtain copies, are listed below for your convenience. All DVDs/Blurays are region 1/A unless otherwise noted. If there are multiple editions of the film available, I have linked to the version that I consider to be the best IN-PRINT version in my region. (No, I do not want to argue about progressive scan.)

It makes a huge difference. Evidence:

Anyway, here they are, from top vote-getters to last place. But, corny though it is, it really is an honor to be nominated because it means modern silent movie fans still know and love these pictures.


The General

City Lights

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

The Gold Rush

The Passion of Joan of Arc

The Wind (VHS, there is a Spanish DVD but I am not sure about legalities.)

Pandora’s Box (out of print DVD)

Safety Last

Napoleon (UK release)


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8 Replies to “Results: You Voted on Your Favorite Essential Silent Film”

  1. The problem is there are so many incredible films to choose from. I love Safety Last but it wasn’t my top choice from this exclusive and excellent list.

  2. A fun poll! I liked that you posed the question as “favorite” (not best, greatest, or most important contribution to civilization…)

  3. Great to see Napoléon making the cut, especially for a UK-only release. Pandora ‘s box may have been deleted in the US, but the new restoration will be released sooner rather than later.

    The Spanish DVDs of The Wind (there are several) are all bootlegs. They’re of the same poor download of a VHS copy of a Spanish TV broadcast, complete with 4% PAL speed-up. If/when it does ever make it to BD/DVD it’ll be from the US and UK first. Any subsequent Spanish release would be via Divisa.

      1. When Napoleon Blu-ray came out, I went to a film store to buy it the same day. Glad that I did, there was literally a queue of people buying Napoleon. It was soon sold out for a long time.

        I have one of those “El Viento” DVDs. Definitely there should be a better release.

      2. Yes, it was quite a surprise how well it sold but then again, it had a cache as a forbidden masterpiece due to what I understand were copyright issues (which may also be why the film has yet to receive an American release.)

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