Best Drama Movies of 1914
Judith of Bethulia
Griffith adapts the story of the Apocryphal Book of Judith to the screen. During the siege of the Jewish city of Bethulia by the Assyrian tyrant Holofernes, a widow named Judith forms a plan to stop the war as her people suffer in starvation, nearly ready to surrender.
Samson, an Israelite whose enormous strength is legendary, falls in love with Zorah, a Philistine, and marries her, overcoming his father Manoah's objections.
Tillie's Punctured Romance
A womanizing city man meets Tillie in the country, after a fight with his girlfriend. When he sees that Tillie's father has a very large bankroll for his workers, he persuades her to elope with him.
The Avenging Conscience: or 'Thou Shalt Not Kill'
Thwarted by his despotic uncle from continuing his love affair, a young man's thoughts turn dark as he dwells on ways to deal with his uncle. Becoming convinced that murder is merely a natural part of life, he kills his uncle and hides the body. However, the man's conscience awakens; Paranoia sets in and nightmarish visions begin to haunt him.
The Perils of Pauline
The Perils of Pauline is a motion picture serial shown in weekly installments featuring the actress Pearl White playing the title character. Pauline has often been cited as a famous example of a damsel-in-distress, although viewers will find her character more resourceful and less helpless than the classic 'damsel' stereotype. Nine episodes (from a condensed 1916 re-release) survive to this day.
Based on Charles Perrault's fairy tale: Cinderella is mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters, but she is able to go to the Royal Ball with the help of the Fairy Godmother.
Ammunition Smuggling on the Mexican Border: Incidents of the Mexican Revolution
Around the film hang fascinating questions about border politics, which I’ll touch on in an introduction before the screening. One of Eugene Buck’s motivations for making the film may have been his rough cross-examination during his kidnappers’ first trials, in October 1913, when defense attorneys cast him as a confused and unreliable witness against idealistic freedom fighters. On film he could reproduce the pursuit, the shootouts, his kidnapping, and his friend’s murder just as he had testified. Reenacting the crime on film may have been the best revenge—and a way to honor the sacrifice of Deputy Ortiz, a twenty-year police veteran and, for the era, a rare Mexican American lawman.
A Christmas Carol
A miser is reformed by visions of past, present and future.
The Wrath of the Gods
An American sailor falls in love with a fisherman's daughter and convinces her that Jesus is more powerful than the gods who have cursed her.
Tess of the Storm Country
A young girl, squatting on a wealthy man's land fights for her fellow squatters' right to stay.
The Wishing Ring: An Idyll of Old England
Giles Bateson gets expelled from college for misconduct. His angry father, the Earl, sends him a message: "Never let me see you again until you have earned a half crown and proven yourself worthy of confidence."
The Little Match Girl
A poor child strikes matches for warmth and dies in the snow.
The Squaw Man
Blamed for the theft of an orphans fund, Captain James Wynnegate flees to the West where he makes a new life with the Indian woman Nat-U-Rich.
Home, Sweet Home
John Howard Payne leaves home and begins a career in the theater. Despite encouragement from his mother and his sweetheart, Payne begins to lead a life of dissolute habits, and this soon leads to ruin and misery. In deep despair, he thinks of better days, and writes a song that later provides inspiration to several others in their own times of need.
In the Land of the Head Hunters
In the Land of the Head Hunters is a 1914 silent film fictionalizing the world of the Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwakiutl) peoples of the Queen Charlotte Strait region of the Central Coast of British Columbia, Canada, written and directed by Edward S. Curtis and acted entirely by Kwakwaka'wakw natives. It was the first feature-length film whose cast was composed entirely of Native North Americans; the second, eight years later, was Robert Flaherty's Nanook of the North.
The Adventure of the Wrong Santa Claus
When a burglar dressed as Santa Claus steals a family's Christmas presents, amateur detective Octavius sets out to recover the loot.
Uncle Tom's Cabin
The first screen adaptation of Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel to star a black man in the title role.
A thin gent in formal wear, amid a club or party, reads a book about primitive man after he's ignored by a pretty lady. We see the book enacted: Weakhands loses his girlfriend to Bruteforce, but chances upon a design for a weapon to vanquish his rival and win her back. His tribe sees this and sets him up as their leader. With the club, he fends off various creatures (a winged lizard, a snake, a dinosaur) and a rival tribe led by Monkeywalk. The women even manage to repel an attack. But the rival tribe discovers the secret of the club themselves, and capture the women. Weakhands, sitting in despair, chances upon a new weapon: the bow and arrow.
Joseph in the Land of Egypt
Film realization of the Biblical story of Joseph, played here by future director James Cruze.
The Call of the North
Graehme, Ned Stewart's father, was accused of adultery and killed being innocent. Ned decided to avenge his father, but got captured and sent to the long journey to death "la longue traverse".
Cajus Julius Caesar
A colossal epic film like this that tries to depict the life and glory of Julius Caesar, must have a variety of scenery appropriate to the film's hero. This includes the Senate and its conspirators..or .. strange places beyond Rome full of barbarians that must fall under the Rome yoke. Let's not forget the sequences depicting the masses mentioned before.. or.. the human side of Caesar and his troublesome relationship with his son Brutus.
McVeagh of the South Seas
Harvard grad Bruce McVeagh has fled San Francisco for the South Seas, where he rules as a king on a remote island. With his half-crazed first-mate 'Pearly' Gates, he keeps the natives subjugated with gin. Any who dare disobey him find brutal punishment on his dreaded torture rack. But his kingdom threatens to crash down around him when his lost love, Nancy Darrell, is shipwrecked on the island, just as the aroused natives rise up against their tormentor in an armed rebellion.
The firm of John Sterling and Sons bad been organized by his father, and when son Gilbert was old enough, he took active part in the management. Gilbert's love for the high life led him away from his duties, and it was nothing unusual for him to spend six nights out of the week with questionable company. Early one morning, intoxicated, Gilbert finds his way to his home. His father reprimands him and finally puts him out of the house, telling him "never to return."
Directed by Ulysses Davis, the screenplay was based on a story by Marc Edmund Jones. Long thought to have been a lost film, a copy was found and put on YouTube. The film is the only known surviving film in which director William Desmond Taylor appears as an actor. In 1964 Taylor's co-star Margaret Gibson, shortly before her death, reportedly confessed to having murdered him in 1921.
A melodrama about an American who becomes a revolutionary leader battling evil government spies in Argentina.
At the Ferrara court, the poet Torquato Tasso meets two court ladies: Eleanora d’Este, the sister of Duke Alfonso II, with whom he soon falls in love, and Eleanora, Countess of Scandiano, one of the court’s ladies-in-waiting. The latter, having been rejected by the poet, enters into a conspiracy against Tasso.
The dead man's decentralized life is exemplified in a half-finished will and an incompleted invention of a printing press. The mother impresses upon her two sons the power of concentration by a magnifying glass held to the sun's rays. One accepts the lesson and finishes the work of the father. The other becomes the tool of the rival printer. His lesson was to come through experience and the suffering of others.
In the Canadian province of Acadia, young Evangeline is betrothed to Gabriel. But before their wedding can take place, the British imprison the men and send them into exile with their lands forfeit to the Crown Evangeline follows the exiled men in hopes of finding her beloved, but even after he and the other Acadians are released in Louisiana, she cannot find him, always arriving at some locale just after he has departed. But she dedicates her life to searching the continent for the man she loves.
Drama directed by George Irving et al.
The Man From Home
The Tear That Burned
The Tear That Burned is a silent movie drama.
May and her younger sister, Carol, live in a small town. May is the more lovely of the two, but Carol is wooed by Frank, a country boy. George, a city man, comes to town on a visit, falls in love with Carol and wins her away from Frank. Carol is pleased with his attentions and poor Frank is brokenhearted. Calling one day to see Carol, George meets May and falls madly in love with her, and finally runs away with her and they are married. Carol, in despair, turns back to Frank and they are married, and a year later a baby is born.
What's His Name
Soda jerk Harvey is the most popular man in Blakeville NY and deliriously happy through three years of poverty-stricken marriage to Nellie. After a musical comedy troupe comes through, Nellie becomes an actress. When she then falls for a millionaire and goes to Reno for a divorce, Harvey takes their child Phoebe home where her later illness brings her parents back together.
The Mystery of the Hindu Image
John Stafford is unjustly arrested on the eve of his marriage for the murder of an old gentleman whose body was found in his guardian's library. The young man is taken to the penitentiary, but eludes his guards and escapes. His sweetheart engages a noted detective who finds a small Hindu image in the hand of the dead man.
John Rance, Gentleman
A young woman, Lesbia (Norma Talmadge), who has a summer flirtation with a young doctor named John Rance (Antonio Moreno). She then throws him over. Later his best friend returns from a tour of the world with his new wife, the very same Lesbia.
An ambitious bank teller (Edward Jose) steals a large deposit and starts life over under an assumed name. While he is becoming a lawyer and making his way up the ladder of success with the help of a political boss, the wife he left behind (Eleanor Woodruff) remains destitute and is forced to give up her child to an orphanage. The girl is adopted and grows up (played as an adult by Virginia Pearson) to become the secretary to an honest young lawyer. But the girl has the same quirk that her father had, and it causes her to steal a bracelet at a department store. She is arrested and finds herself before her father, who is now a judge.
Men and Women
Robert Stevens robs the bank where he is employed, and through the efforts of Calvin Stedman, the prosecuting attorney, he is sentenced to six years' imprisonment. While in jail his wife dies and his little daughter, Agnes, is placed in a convent.
My Official Wife
This LOST film was Clara Kimball Young's first feature, and her last film for Vitagraph, where she had made all of her short films. It was a sensational success and launched her as the most popular star that year. Its Russian setting was drawn upon by Young for many more of her features. Two short clips of the film exists in Warner Brother's 1931 Vitaphone short "The Movie Album," and have been mounted on Internet Archive and Google Video. One scene shows the meeting of Helene's terrorist cell with an extra alleged to be Leon Trostky. The other clip appears to be when she and Lennox are visiting the Weletsky's. (cont. http://web.stanford.edu/~gdegroat/CKY/reviews/mow.htm)
The Battle of the Sexes
Frank Andrews is a successful businessman. He has always found pride and joy in the company of his wife, son and daughter. He suddenly finds himself enthralled by the advances of a gay young woman siren, who lives in the same apartment house as he does. So marked an influence does she have over him as time progresses that at last he quite forgets his home ties, neglects his family, and goes the way of many other men who have forgotten the meaning of paternity and blood ties. The story is advanced through many scenes enacted with the accompanying notes of New York's night life, and the denouement comes when the faithful wife discovers her husband's infidelity. At this time the mother's mind nearly loses balance, while Jane, the beautiful daughter, crazed by the grief of her mother, determines to take part in the tragedy. With revolver in hand she steals up to the apartment of the woman, but her frail nature is overcome by the temperamental anger of the woman and her mission fails.
The Woman in Black
Young gypsy girl Mary, is seduced by the immoral Robert Crane and abandoned. She is exiled from the gypsies and, along with her mother Zenda, known as "The Woman in Black," she vows revenge. Meanwhile, Crane blackmails Stella Everett's father into forcing her to marry him, even though she loves Frank Mansfield, Crane's rival for a congressional seat. Frank wins, but Stella still faces the prospect of marriage to Crane until Zenda comes to her with a plan. On their wedding day, after the vows are recited, when Crane lifts the veil from his wife's face, he is shocked to discover, that his new bride is Mary. Now Stella and Frank are free to marry, and Zenda has gained her revenge.
A Good Little Devil
A partially lost film, with only one surviving reel. A movie released in 1914 directed by Edwin S. Porter.
The Last of the Line
A film about Sioux leader Chief Gray Otter who sends his son Tiah off to a "white man's school" so that he can become a great leader. The son returns home as a worthless drunk, disappointing the father but things get worse when the son joins a group of renegades and robs a payroll. The father is then forced to make a decision.
O Mimi san
A silent melodrama from the very first series of American films to use a Japanese cast. The scenes of the story are laid in Japan during the last revolution in the late '60's.
A dramatic comparison between the mating habits of animals and the way humans choose their own partners. The film is now considered to be a lost film.
Melodrama about an artist who finds out in time about the personal and social damage that his alcohol addiction causes.
A sad story about how a working-class man tries, and succeeds, to become a writer, but finds difficulty in fitting into that world.?
Damon and Pythias
The friendship of Damon, the senator, and Pythias, the soldier, is famous in Ancient Syracuse.
For Ireland's Sake
Set in the late 1790s, a depiction of Irish villagers rebelling against British occupation (Red Coats) over the right to bear arms.
The Maid of Cefn Ydfa
A lawyer tries to drown a thatcher to prevent his marriage to an heiress.
Shep's Race with Death
The simple story of a heroic dog that saves the day appealed to audiences (especially with a well-trained animal as attractive and energetic as Shep), and became a movie staple for generations.