What’s Your Favorite Feel-Good Silent Film?

Readers have been requesting more happy content so let’s take this opportunity to talk about the silent movies that make us smile.

Obviously, “feel-good” is relative and depends on your taste, personality, experiences and culture so feel free to share even offbeat choices.

My go-to feel-good silents are on the cute side of things. The Wishing Ring is a whimsical little rom-com set in England, shot in New Jersey and features some of the most gorgeous frames of nitrate ever made.

And The Oyster Princess is loud and raucous and fun, a much louder version of the Lubitsch Touch.

Now it’s your turn! I am looking forward to your choices. Who knows? Your picks may give someone just the boost they need for a pleasant day.


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  1. James Knuttel

    Off the top of my head I would say my favorite feel-good silent is “The Kid Brother” with Harold Lloyd. In it Harold plays the mousey klutz who turns into the gallant hero and saves pretty Jobyna Ralston from a disastrous marriage to a gold-digging bigamist. The race to the rescue at the end is terrific. Plus some of the scenes with Harold and Jobyna are sweet and tender. “The Kid Brother” is not only a funny comedy but a lovely romance as well.

  2. Brad K.

    The Rag Man is a feel good story starring Jackie Coogan as an orphan who befriends an old man and they help each other overcome long odds.

  3. Shari Polikoff

    Hard to pick one … maybe ‘Modern Times’ – funny all the way through, and then it’s nice to see the Little Tramp finally end up with a soulmate.

  4. Kurt

    It may not be as well known, but one of my favorites is “Mother of Mine” (original title “Gribiche”).

  5. Marie Roget

    Heavens, how to choose?!?! Guess my Top 5 list would be headed by The Enchanted Cottage, followed closely by Mabel at the Wheel, Two Tars, Miss Lulu Bett, and Seven Chances.

  6. Overseas Visitor


    Oyster Princess is perhaps my favourite silent comedy, but I prefer drama, and an optimistic drama is not necessarily worse than a pessimistic one.

  7. Antony Gould

    I generally rate the ‘feel good’ films higher than I should do. Here are some of my favorites.-
    My Best Girl, The Mark of Zorro, Girl Shy, One Week, The Doll and I must agree with The Wishing Ring too!

  8. Maria

    Several of the ones already listed here are among my repeat-watch make-me-happy movies — perfect rom-com My Best Girl, doggedly insane One Week, heart-felt Modern Times, wildly and destructively funny Two Tars, yes, yes, to all of those!
    But so far nobody has mentioned another of my favorites, Show People, which is both charming and fall-on-the-floor funny.
    And Tol’able David, while it has some parts that might seem grim, remains overall a sentimental favorite as an unlikely-hero movie that helps me say, “There! Take that!” to the bullies of the world.
    Also one that I’d never seen until this blog sent me searching for it — Rescued by Rover, which never fails to make me smile from ear to ear.

  9. Antony Gould

    Just watched Nell Gwyn. Was expecting it to be a dreary costume drama. But I really enjoyed it and thought it an excellent ‘feel good’ film if only because of Dorothy Gish! I’d never quite seen her like this before. She gave Nell such a happy and infectious personality I was completely mesmorised by her. Without doubt one of my favourite silent performances. I am adding this film to the ones I listed previously.

  10. Mohammed

    Hmmm, I’m going to go with City Lights, and honestly, any “Hoboe falls in love with girl out of his leauge” movie, but those are also usually by Charlie Chaplin 😛

  11. A la rencontre du Septième Art

    Considering “feel good” silent movies, I directly think of Harold Lloyd. Movies such as Safety Last !, Girl Shy or Speedy are very dynamic, crazy, with this smiling character. And they are the perfect illustration of these roaring and festive twenties.

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