We know the silent canon quite well: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and German Expressionism, Battleship Potemkin and Soviet montage films, The Lodger and Hitchcock’s first films. The European Silent Cinema Project moves beyond these well-known silent European films to delve deeper into the continent’s four decades of silent cinema. Charting a course through the development of film thousands of miles away from Hollywood, we’ll discover lesser-known films from silent cinema giants like France, Germany, and Sweden and explore under-the-radar filmmakers, national silent cinemas, and genres.

Starting with the world’s first publically projected moving pictures in 1895 and ending with the transition to talkies in 1930, I will review two European silent films each year. For the first few years, especially in the 1890s, I will discuss each year’s two chosen films in a single entry. When I reach 1910, I will start reviewing one feature and one short in separate posts to better highlight short films which are often sadly not given the attention they deserve.

The following list includes all films I have reviewed (with links to that blog post) and those that I plan on reviewing next. Films listed for future review are subject to change based on personal taste, the availability of the films, and possible suggestions from readers.

1895The Boxing Kangaroo (GER)
Jumping Onto a Blanket (FRA)
1896Scene on the River Thames (UK)
The Panorama of the Grand Canal taken from the Boat (FRA)
1897The Last Cartridges (FRA)
Fight in Old Sweden (SWE)
1898Come Along Do! (UK)
Santa Claus (UK)
1899Asserted Boer War Films (UK)
King John (UK)
1900Joan of Arc (FRA)
Hamlet, Duel Scene with Laertes (FRA)
1901Fire! (UK)
History of a Crime (FRA)
1902The Epic of Napoleon (FRA)
The Coronation of Edward VII (FRA)
1903A Daring Daylight Burglary (UK)
Capital Execution (DEN)
1904Scenes from My Balcony (FRA)
An Interesting Story (UK)
1905Rescue by Rover (UK)
The Misadventures of a Frenchman with Pants (NET)
1906The Life and Death of Christ (FRA)
The Consequences of Feminism (FRA)
1907Sculpteur Express (SPA)
Lion Hunt (DEN)
1908The Assassination of the Duke de Guise (FRA)
Stenka Rankin (RUS)
1909Too Nice (ITA)
The Happy Microbes (FRA)
Film still of a kangaroo boxing in a Skladanowsky Brother's film.

The Boxing Kangaroo (1895)

Up the River Scene on the River Thames

Scene on the River Thames (1896)

Tree slowly dies as King John in the Shakespeare play featured in the European Silent Cinema Project

King John (1899)

Blair the dog saves the day in Rescued by Rover, one of the best made films in European Silent Cinema

Rescued by Rover (1905)

Film still of The Assassination of the Duke de Guise, the first in all of European silent cinema to have a score commissioned specifically for the film.

The Assassination of the Duke de Guise (1908)

1910The White Slave Trade (DEN)A Lad from Ireland (IRE)
1911The Fall of Troy (ITA)Rudi Sportsman (CZE)
1912The Gardener (SWE)The Beautiful Leukanida (RUS)
1913The Other (GER)The Film Prima Donna (DEN)
1914War is Hell (BEL)The Assassination of Franz Ferdinand (AUS)
1915Assunta Spina (ITA)Pimple Has One (UK)
1916Blind Justice (DEN)Potato Chips (SPA)
1917The Dying Swan (RUS)Thomas Graal’s Best Film (SWE)
1918The Man of Gold (HUN)War and Peace (NET)
1919The Oyster Princess (GER)Bear Hunt in Parnumaa (EST)
1920Erotikon (SWE)Captain Grogg Among Other Strange Bodies (SWE)
1921La Terre (FRA)The Star of Bethlehem (GER)
1922Fox Far (UK)Das Wunder (GER)
1923Raskolnikov (GER)Glumov’s Diary (RUS)
1924Fisherman of Myrskyluodon (FIN)Au Secours! (FRA)
1925Jewish Luck (RUS/Yiddish)KIPHO (GER)
1926The Last Days of Pompeii (ITA)Love’s Berries (UKR)
1927The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty (RUS)Charleston Parade (FRA)
1928The Italian Straw Hat (FRA)The Bridge (NET)
1929White Hell of Pitz Palu (GER)Women’s Misery—Women’s Happiness (SWI)
1930Tonka of the Gallows (CZE)How the Berlin Worker Lives (GER)
Film still of The Fall of Troy.

The Fall of Troy (1911)

Film still of Assunta Spina.

Assunta Spina (1915)

Film still of Raskolnikov.

Raskolnikov (1923)

Film still of Tonka of the Gallows.

Tonka of the Gallows (1930)

If you want to learn more about silent European cinema, the 1995 six-part documentary Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood was a great introduction into the era and provided me with the inspiration to start this project, giving me several ideas for films to review.