Best Drama Movies of 1920
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
A doctor's research into the roots of evil turns him into a hideous depraved fiend.
Way Down East
A naive country girl is tricked into a sham marriage by a wealthy womanizer, then must rebuild her life despite the taint of having borne a child out of wedlock.
Blizzard, deranged from a childhood operation in which both his legs were needlessly amputated after an accident, becomes a vicious criminal, and eventually mob leader of the San Francisco underworld.
The Mark of Zorro
Don Diego Vega pretends to be an indolent fop as a cover for his true identity, the masked avenger Zorro.
The Last of the Mohicans
As Alice and Cora Munro attempt to find their father, a British officer in the French and Indian War, they are set upon by French soldiers and their cohorts, Huron tribesmen led by the evil Magua. Fighting to rescue the women are Chingachgook and his son Uncas, the last of the Mohican tribe, and their white ally, the frontiersman Natty Bumppo, known as Hawkeye.
Why Change Your Wife?
Robert and Beth Bordon are married but share little. He runs into Sally at a cabaret and the Gordons are soon divorced. Just as he gets bored with Sally's superficiality, Beth strives to improve her looks. The original couple falls in love again at a summer resort.
Within Our Gates
Abandoned by her fiancé, an educated black woman with a traumatizing past dedicates herself to helping a near bankrupt school for impoverished black children.
An aristocrat allows his daughter to marry a tailor after he wins the VC saving his son's life.
Nick Van Alstyne owns the Henrietta silver mine and is very rich. His son Bertie is naive and spoiled. His daughter Rose is married to shady investor Mark. Mark wrecks Bertie's wedding plans by making him take the blame for Mark's illegitimate daughter. Mark also nearly ruins the family business by selling off Henrietta stock at too low a price. Bertie, of all people, must come to the rescue on the trading floor.
Amanda Afflick is a lovesick laundress who daydreams about customer Horace Greensmith and cherishes the shirt he brought in for washing eight months and sixteen days ago. She tells her fellow workers that the garment belongs to her fiancé, a lord. Just wait, Amanda boasts, one day his lordship will return for his wash — and for her.
The Soul of Youth
After directing him as the title character in Huckleberry Finn, William Desmond Taylor again used boy actor Lewis Sargent in this picture. His character, known merely as "the boy," has been raised in an orphanage where he has caused as much trouble as possible. He finally can't stand living there anymore and runs away. On the streets he finds a friend in Mike (Ernest Butterworth), a newsboy. Mike teaches him how to survive but inevitably the boy gets hauled into court. However, the judge sees potential in him and hands him over to be adopted by a young politician. The judge, incidentally, is played by Judge Ben Lindsey, who was famous in his day for his efforts to give delinquent boys a decent chance in life.
Huckleberry Finn, a rambuctious boy adventurer chafing under the bonds of civilization, escapes his humdrum world and his selfish, plotting father by sailing a raft down the Mississippi River. Accompanying him is Jim, a slave running away from being sold. Together the two strike a bond of friendship that takes them through harrowing events and thrilling adventures.
When Pollyanna is orphaned, she's sent to live with her crotchety Aunt Polly. Pollyanna discovers that many of the people in her aunt's New England hometown are as ill-tempered as her aunt. But Pollyanna's incurable optimism - exemplified by her "glad game", in which she looks for the bright side of every situation - brings a change to the staid old community.
Bim (Buck Jones) seems to be his town's biggest loser, but when he takes a needy 13-year-old boy named Bill (George Stone) under his wing, it seems there may be some hope for Bim. After learning about Bill, a young teacher, Mary (Helen Ferguson), whom Bim secretly adores, helps get the young boy into school. And when Bim then helps Mary repay a loan, defaulted on by shifty boyfriend (William Buckley), it becomes evident that Bim can reform. As the plot in this captivating film twist and turns, the stakes get higher, the action gets more intense and hope for Bim bounds upward.
Conrad in Quest of His Youth
Conrad Warrener, a man of near middle-age, reflects nostalgically on the happy times of his youth and decides to recapture them. However, what he learns about the "second time around" is neither what he expected nor what he hoped for.
Loosely based on Balzac's novel "La peau de chagrin", the story revolves around a man who steals a small, magical figurine named Narayana.
The Virgin of Stamboul
Achmet Bey, a Turkish chieftain, catches one of his many wives in adultery and murders her lover. Throwing aside the cuckolding wife, he abducts his harem an innocent girl. However, a brave American who loves her comes to her rescue.
The Jack-Knife Man
A dying mother left his child with an old man, but the village people want to take the child away from him because he is too old.
Something to Think About
Wealthy cripple Markley finances the education of blacksmith's daughter Ruth. When she returns to their small town he asks to marry her, but she runs off with city worker Jim Dirk who is then killed in a subway accident. Markley offers to marry her in name only to protect her new son.
Lady Marjorie Donegal becomes a nurse in hospital, much to the dismay of her aristocratic family. She falls in love with one of her patients, a commoner labor leader.
Adrienne, the queen of the Frivolity Theater, is a self-centered vamp who steals other women's husbands. Her current conquest is Phillip Overman, and when Overman's wife pleads with the vamp to free her husband, Adrienne turns a deaf ear. Daisy, a chorine, is shocked by her colleague's callousness, but Adrienne asserts that she is only being practical. When she meets Pittsburgh millionaire Dave Wallace, Adrienne falls in love and casts Overman aside. Soon after their marriage, Adrienne learns that her husband is having an affair with Daisy, who is now the reigning queen of Broadway. She pleads with Daisy to release her husband, who responds by repeating the philosophy that Adrienne had given her. Despondently boarding a boat bound for Europe, Adrienne sees the Overmans, who are now happily reunited, and realizes the shallowness of her life.
Young Leon Kanter dreams of being a great violinist. His parents scrape up the money for a violin and for lessons, and Leon rewards them by becoming a great player. But as an adult, Leon finds that people want more from him than just music.
The Wonderful Chance
Upon leaving prison, an ex con vows to go straight, but circumstances force him to return to crime. Meanwhile, a gang of crooks kidnaps a visiting British aristocrat, but the ex-con has an incredible likeness to the Englishman, and his intended hosts take him home to their mansion.
The Idol Dancer
A religious zealot and his nephew are thrown together on a South Seas Island with an alcoholic beach comber and a native dancer. A battle to see who will "civilize" whom ensues.
Jes' Call Me Jim
Happy-go-lucky Jim Fenton is in love with Miss Butterworth, the town milliner, who is taking care of little Harry Benedict while his father Paul, an inventor, is in the local insane asylum. Miss Butterworth convinces Jim that Belcher, one of the town's prominent citizens, has incarcerated Paul to steal the patents from his inventions. Jim breaks into the asylum and spirits away the enfeebled inventor......
The Woman in the Suitcase
Mary Moreland discovers the photograph of a woman not her mother in her father's suitcase and sets out to find her in hopes of returning her father to his rightful place in the family.
Nomads of the North
A Canadian Mountie allows an innocent fugitive to escape with the women he loves.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself.
Excuse My Dust
A top race-car driver leaves the sport to get married and settle down, because his new wife doesn't want him to race anymore. However, not long afterwards his wife takes their infant son and leaves him to go to San Francisco. The husband gets word that his son is seriously ill in San Francisco, but he has no way to get there. Just in the nick of time, however, the racer's father-in-law just happens to have developed a new car for a cross-country race--to San Francisco!
The Life of the Party
An attorney is thrust into wild adventures by an attractive young woman.
The Symbol of the Unconquered
Eve Mason, a white-passing black woman, moves to a remote cottage she inherited from her late father. She makes the acquaintance of her neighbor, a dashing black settler named Hugh Van Allen, and quickly falls for him. Trouble brews as the local cadre of racist hucksters want the valuable land Van Allen lives on, and will do anything to take it from him.
The Love Flower
A man murders his wife's lover and escapes with his daughter to the South Pacific. A detective pursues him, joined by a young man who eventually falls in love with the daughter.
The Breaking of the Drought
Wallaby Station in the outback is devastated by drought. The sheep are starving, but Jo Galloway (Charles Beetham) and his wife (Nan Taylor) battle on. Their son Gilbert (Rawdon Blandford) falls in with the wrong crowd while studying medicine in Sydney: conman Varsy Lyddleton (John Faulkner) and the seductress Olive Lorette (Marie La Varre). Gilbert forges his mother’s cheques to pay for Olive’s favours, ruining the family. A bank takes ‘friendly possession’ of Wallaby Station. Gilbert’s sister Marjorie (Trilby Clark) keeps her brother out of jail, but he becomes a tramp, after Lyddleton murders Olive and kills himself. Marjorie’s suitor Tom Wattleby (Dunstan Webb) saves Gilbert from a bushfire, just as the drought breaks, restoring the family’s fortunes. Marjorie and Tom can now wed, as the sheep and cattle fatten on rich pasture.
The Daughter of Dawn
The Daughter of Dawn is a silent Western, and one of the few films of the silent era to have an entirely Native American cast. It tells the story of a Kiowa woman and her lover, his feats of bravery, and their trials at the hands of a jealous rival and Comanche warriors. Completed in 1920, it was only shown a few times before being considered lost. Five reels of the movie were found in 2005, and restored by the Oklahoma Historical Society in 2012.
Go and Get It
Wrestling legend Bull Montana plays a murderous gorilla with a human brain transplant who is tracked by a feisty newspaper reporter.
Helen of Four Gates
HELEN OF FOUR GATES was made in Hebden Bridge in 1920 by silent film pioneer Cecil M. Hepworth, based on a popular novel of the same name. Reportedly highly successful when it first opened, the film would later fall into obscurity, with all copies believed to be destroyed. In 2007, a print was discovered in a vault in Canada.
The County Fair
"The County Fair" begins with a nasty rich guy threatening to turn an old lady onto the street--unless her niece (who lives with her) marries this man's son. While she's dead set against it, the niece is a sweet thing and would do anything to help her aunt--even marry the rich jerk. However, a possible way out is presented. When a poor young man is taken in and fed, he turns out (naturally) to be a jockey and thinks he can win the $3000 prize at the fair and save the farm.
The Tiger's Coat
The film begins in the southern California home of Alexander MacAllister (Lawson Butt) where he is confronting Andrew Hyde (Miles McCarthy) who is accused of crooked dealings. Alexander threatens to expose Hyde, and Hyde defies him to do his worst. A banker friend tells MacAllister, "Why don't you get married?" They are interrupted by an unexpected caller on that rainy evening, a young lady, Jean Ogilvie, the daughter of a Scotsman family friend from Mexico. He puts her up and later remarks that she has dark skin for a Scottish lass. "Mexican sun," she explains. "I expected to find an old man," Jean remarks to herself.
The "true story" of baseball great Babe Ruth; Ruth plays himself.
Vera Blaine, a young woman in the deep South, is passionate and romantic. So, she's easy prey for José Dalmarez.
Below the Surface
A widely respected deep-sea diver is approached by a ring of con artists who want him to be the front man for a phony scheme to recover gold from sunken ships. When he refuses, they send a sexy young woman to seduce his son, and then blackmail the father into going along with their scheme.
A priest hears a murderer's confession but can't reveal the truth, even though his brother is being tried for the crime.
The Lure of Crooning Water
A London actress collapses on stage and is sent by her doctor to stay in the country with a farmer and his wife. But when she starts an affair with the farmer, the idyllic life at "Crooning Water" is threatened with tragedy.
The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come
An orphan boy from the Kentucky hills joins the Union Army and rescues his adopted family from Morgan's raiders. He learns his real identity when he returns after the war.
DOWN HOME is a rural drama set in New England and stars Leatrice Joy as Nancy Pelot, daughter of the town drunk. He was once a businessman and still owns a local farm, but Nancy now supports her father and herself with a mysterious job in a nearby town.
A tyrannical bootmaker's daughter weds his meek assistant.
Jane Goring, a ruthlessly ambitious actress, forsakes her life as a wife and mother for the stage. Returning home from a performance one night, Jane is disgusted to find her husband Robert McNaughton victimized by a tubercular cough and so banishes him and her young daughter to a sanitarium in Colorado. Years pass, finding Jane still estranged from her family. On the opening night of her new play, Jane finds herself upstaged and outperformed by Gloria Cromwell, a rising young actress, who, unknown to Jane, is her abandoned daughter. Returning home, Jane is haunted by visions of her husband and child and begins to sob. Looking up from her pillow, she is startled to see her husband with Gloria.
The first screen adaptation of Emily Bronte's book about star cross'd lovers who demolish themselves and everyone around them with their self-destructive love.
The Family Honor
Beverly Tucker, the daughter of an impoverished aristocratic Southern family, has scraped together her last pennies to put her brother Dal through college in the hope that he will support the family after graduation. However, Dal harbors no such ambition and instead spends his time gambling and drinking in a saloon owned by the town's mayor, Curran. During a raid led by Curran's crusading son Merle, a detective is killed and Dal is accused of the crime.
A farmer in Illinois played by Lionel Barrymore is recruited by Abraham Lincoln to pose as a copperhead during the Civil War.