Five Ice Cold Silent Films to Cool Your Summer

I don’t know about everyone else but I am incredibly suggestible when it comes to movies. If a character is eating ice cream, I want some. If a character listens to jazz, it puts me in the mood to hear some as well. And if a character is hot and sweating… Oh dear, it makes summer unbearable.

We are dead in the middle of summer and as summer is objectively the worst season, we need a way to survive this. Well, kids, the power of suggestion works both ways! Let’s watch some chilly silent films to counteract all that nasty sunshine and fresh air.

As usual, this list will be comprised solely of films I have already reviewed for this site. Enjoy!

The Monster


It was a dark and stormy night… Okay, this film is silly and it doesn’t do quite enough with Lon Chaney but I enjoyed it for what it was. Besides, we get a gloriously overblown storm, the kind that can only be glimpsed on studio backlots.

(Read my review of The Monster here and enjoy my debunking of a Buster Keaton-related myth.)

The Beloved Rogue


John Barrymore’s bit of medieval mayhem is a mad romp. Everyone overacts and I couldn’t be happier. Plus, we get to have a lot of fun in a snowy Paris at night! Also, Conrad Veidt as a stooped, drooling monarch. Good times, good times.

(Read my review of The Beloved Rogue here.)

Back to God’s Country

(Not a GIF, didn't have one for this film. Bad me!)
(Not a GIF, didn’t have one for this film. Bad me!)

Nell Shipman saves herself and her man in this Canadian adventure. The plot is very by-the-numbers melodrama but Shipman elevates it with her guts and fire. Go, Nell, go!

(Read my review of Back to God’s Country here.)

The Trail of ’98

trail-of-98-hes-dead-jimThis drama of the frozen north as a grisly punchline as several members of the stunt team were killed during the treacherous river crossing scene.

(Read my review of The Trail of ’98 here.)

Way Down East


I think everyone would have been terribly disappointed if this had not made the list. Want some psychological frostbite in the good old summertime? This is the movie for you. Blizzards! Ice floes! Frost face! Brrrrrrrr!

(Read my review of Way Down East here.)

By the way, The Gold Rush is another obvious choice but I just did a little piece on it and I wanted to mix things up a bit.


  1. habsburgkitten

    in january 2013 a local indie theater did a reverse mini silent festival with the movies “haxan” and “faust.” for january in new england this was appropriate

      1. habsburgkitten

        sadly not necessarily…us yankee types drink iced coffee year-round. i personally do not but this is a VERY boston thing to do

  2. Birgit

    Great choices here and I need to see this since everything is too bloody hot here. I loved Lilian Gish in this film. the Trail of 98 still is unnerving because of the deaths of the stuntmen and what they went through. I recall this in my Hollywood series

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