Napoleon (1927)

Abel Gance was a visionary director with huge ambitions, excessive running times and lavish production values to faithfully create an expansive vision. Like Stroheim before him and Michael Cimino after, Gance was to be condemned with aspirations and demands greater than what many would dare risk. In 1927, Gance’s latest picture Napoleon premiered, but soon […]

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Metropolis (1927)

Jetpacks, time travel, teleportation and robots are classic flights of fantasy of the far future. As technology rapidly evolves, images of what may be become more elaborate, more fascinating, more open to possibility and science fiction follows suit. In the first quarter of the 20th century, Fritz Lang produced his vision of the future – […]

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Greed (1924)

Cinematic masterpieces never see the light of a projector for three prominent reasons. Carelessness, as in the fire which consumed sword and sandal epic Cleopatra (1917). Untimely death, as in auteur Orson Welles unfinished The Other Side of the Wind. Studio intervention, as in the case of Greed. Stroheim’s quintessential masterpiece is praised by critics and film lovers alike, […]

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The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

Fantasy tales from the begging of storytelling and those which have endured hundreds of years entail a common thread; a dashing hero, a dastardly villain, a beautiful princess and an enchanting city. Fairbanks and Walsh immerse within the classic fable with their epic inspired by the tales from the classic Arabian Nights. The Thief of Bagdad is […]

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The Wheel (1923)

Originally running in at eight hours in length, Director Abel Gance enters the annals of auteurs to follow vision first and tackle practicalities later. The Wheel is an epic, but unlike those of Griffith or Lean, it is an intimate epic, channeling tumultuous emotion across the screen. The Wheel is the story of Sisif, a railway […]

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Orphans of the Storm (1921)

D.W. Griffith has displayed his artistic competency with directorial masterpieces from Birth of a Nation (1914) to Way Down East (1920). Orphans of the Storm is the final appearance by Griffith on this list and it is perhaps the most indicative of classic Griffith, for better or worse. In this final story, Griffith presents two women, […]

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Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916)

After The Birth of a Nation earned a severe condemnation, D. W. Griffith’s return to the directorial chair produced a radically different thematic outlook on prejudice. Whilst the former, either consciously or unconsciously, encouraged racial inequality to prevail, Intolerance instead is a cautionary tale of sensitivity and acceptance of subjective ways of life. Simply, Intolerance is […]

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