In order to love silent films, all you need is an open mind and the right movie. But what is the right movie? Which titles are the best for winning people over to the silent side?
Obviously, it all depends on taste but there is no doubt that some silent movies are more beginner friendly than others. A bad choice can put someone off silent films forever.
As silent comedy generally gets more respect than silent drama, a good number of “first” silent films are on the slapstick side of the spectrum. However, I have had success with kitsch (The Sheik), serials (Judex), artistic milestones (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) and romantic comedies (My Best Girl). And thanks to Hugo, Georges Melies is enjoying quite a bit of name recognition.
What are some of your favorite titles to show newcomers? Or, if you are a newcomer yourself, what was the silent film that really won you over?