The trend of movies started well before the 20s, but it was during this decade that things truly picked up. In Hollywood, various small studios were acquired by larger studios. MGM and Paramount were the biggest studios during this period and Fox, Universal, United Artists and Warner Brothers shared the rest of the market between them. The talkies developed mid-decade, starting the transition to sound-on-film technology. Warner Brothers and Fox Studios played an imperative role in the development of the technology of sound in motion pictures.
The movie is a silent film and a true classic. Nosferatu was an early German expressionist film that has defined the horror genre till date. Based on the concept of ‘Dracula’, the movie altered the concept. The story is about Vampire Count Orlok, who shows interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter’s wife. Directed by F. W. Murnau, the unique use of shadows and silhouettes to boost the terror quotient and enhance Max Schreck’s role as the vampire earned critical and commercial acclaim.
The Gold Rush (1925):
A name that is still remembered and admired for his comedic roles, Charlie Chaplin has left a mark in the world of cinema. A silent film, ‘The Gold Rush’ received an Academy Award nomination for Best Sound Recording. This movie is probably the most remembered movie of Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin’s well-known character ‘Tramp’ heads to Alaska to participate in the gold rush, but finds more than he bargained for. Chaplin’s other great movies were ‘The Kid’ (1921), where the Tramp finds and cares for the abandoned child, but an unfortunate event puts that relationship in jeopardy. In ‘The Circus’ (1928), the Tramp finds employment and the girl of his dreams at a circus.
Sunrise: A song of Two Humans (1927):
This is another great movie directed by F. W. Marnau. “Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans” narrates the story of a simple farmer in a broken marriage. He falls for a slatternly woman from the city, who tries to convince him to drown his wife. But he is unable to go through with it when he realizes his love for his wife. They then go on a mesmerizing trip around the city reviving their love for each other. It is a beautifully made movie that impresses viewers even after so many years have passed.
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928):
Carl Theodor Dreyer directed ‘The Passion of Joan of Arc’ and it was one of the highlights of the ‘20s. The movie is a depiction of the final hours of French national hero and saint, Joan of Arc. It chronicles the trial of Jeanne d’Arc and her claims of holy vision. The movie was considered lost until it was found hidden in a mental institute. The movie is truly a silent movie; there was no background sound or soundtrack and that made the film more effective. Also known for its use of close-up and lack of make-up, the movie was very realistically made.
Metropolis is the first science-fiction movie. It is a futuristic film in which the sharp difference between the classes is shown. The son of the city’s mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior. The movie is supposed to be the most expensive film ever made.
This is just, but a handful of movies. The year 1920 was filled with many legendary movies. Greed, The Birth of a Nation, The General, The Battleship Potemkin Sergei Eisenstein, City Lights, The Docks of New York, Un Chien Andalou, The Cameraman and an endless stream of fabulous movies were made that need to be experienced!