Best Drama Movies of 1921
A tramp cares for a boy after he's abandoned as a newborn by his mother. Later the mother has a change of heart and aches to be reunited with her son.
Orphans of the Storm
France, on the eve of the French Revolution. Henriette and Louise have been raised together as sisters. When the plague that takes their parents' lives causes Louise's blindness, they decide to travel to Paris in search of a cure, but they separate when a lustful aristocrat crosses their path.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Set in the years before and during World War I, this epic tale tells the story of a rich Argentine family, one of its two descending branches being half of French heritage, the other being half German. Following the death of the family patriarch, the man's two daughters and their families resettle to France and Germany, respectively. In time the Great War breaks out, putting members of the family on opposing sides.
Young David Kinemon is a good-natured, easy-going lad in a mountain village. Circumstances force him to take his brother's place as mail carrier for the community, and this brings him into deadly contact with the vicious Hatburn brothers.
The Ace of Hearts
A romantic rivalry among members of a secret society becomes even more tense when one of the men is assigned to carry out an assassination.
Sheik Ahmed desperately desires feisty British socialite Diana, so he abducts her and carries her off to his luxurious tent-palace in the desert. The free-spirited Diana recoils from his passionate embraces and yearns to be released. Later, allowed to go into the desert, she escapes and makes her way across the sands...
The Affairs of Anatol
Socialite Anatol Spencer, finding his relationship with his wife lackluster, goes in search of excitement. After bumping into old flame Emilie, he lets an apartment for her only to find that she cheats on him. He is subsequently robbed, conned, and booted from pillar to post. He decides to return to his wife and discovers her carousing with his best friend Max.
Straight Is the Way
Bob Carter and "Loot" Follet, are two thieves who locate themselves in the unused part of the New Hampshire home of Aunt Mehitable and her niece Dorcas. Loan shark Jonathan Squoggs presses Mehitable for payment of the mortgage, and the two crooks decide to help the ladies when they consult their Ouija board to find a hidden treasure. Finding the treasure reveals a surprise thief and a chance for new lives for the crooks, Dorcas, and Mehitable.
Little Lord Fauntleroy
An American boy turns out to be the long-lost heir of a British fortune. He is sent to live with the cold and unsentimental lord who oversees the trust.
The Love Light
Angela maintains a coastal lighthouse in Italy, where she awaits the return of her brothers from the war. She learns they are casualties and takes solace in the arms of an American sailor washed ashore. However, the sailor turns out to be a German spy, and she is torn between her love for him and her realization that he is part of the enemy force that has destroyed her family.
Professor Griggs, teaching at the college, doesn't get paid a living wage; his next door neighbor, successful shoemaker Olsen, has money and plentiful food, while the Griggses have hardly any. When the professor's rich student Phil West falls for beautiful Griggs daughter Amelia and also befriends the poor Reverend Gates (a young man who is also in love with Amelia), he observes the difference in his life and theirs and tries to help make a difference.
A Daughter of the Law
A city girl revenuer spies on illegal whiskey making in the hills.
Love Never Dies
John and Tilly's happy marriage is ruined when Tilly's father finds out about the scandalous past of John's mother. John, unaware of his father-in-law's meddling, thinks Tilly has left him, and he leaves town. Her father leads Tilly to believe that John has died in an accident, and he pushes her to marry someone else.
Outside the Law
Silent Madden and his daughter Molly have left the criminal underworld of San Francisco thanks to the wise teachings of Chang Low, a Confucian master. But the evil Black Mike Sylva is determined to frame Madden to avenge a mistake from the past…
Through The Back Door
A young Belgian girl, raised by her longtime nanny, flees Europe at the advent of World War I and travels to America to find her real mother.
Mary Maddock works as a seamstress to bring home money while her husband Steve, unemployed, has no real prospects of earning money. Mary's employers, are trying to strike an oil related business deal with a rich man by the name of Nelson Rogers. The deal does not seem to be on the table, as Mr. Rogers is leaving town shortly and does not have the time to work out the details of such a deal. In an order to entice him to stay, Mrs. Mallory - wife of Mr. Mallory who is proposing the business deal - convinces Mary to be her guest at a dinner party with the intent of making Mr. Rogers fall for her and thus stay long enough for Mr. Mallory to make him agree to a business deal.
The Conquering Power
Young playboy Charles Grandet is sent to live with his miserly uncle after his father loses his fortune. He and his cousin Eugenie fall in love, but his uncle sends him away and tries to arrange a marriage more to his liking (and profit!). Will true love triumph?
Dr. Muller, a friend to all, finds pleasure in turning the goodness in people to evil ends. He meets Marie Matin and her fiancée, Georges Roben, while viewing a new painting, "The Martyr--Truth Crucified by Evil." Marie declares that the picture was wrong--evil could never triumph over truth--and though Muller says he agrees with her, he plots to prove otherwise.
Camille is a courtesan in Paris. She falls deeply in love with a young man of promise, Armand Duval. When Armand's father begs her not to ruin his hope of a career and position by marrying Armand, she acquiesces and leaves her lover. However, when poverty and terminal illness overwhelm her, Camille discovers that Armand has not lost his love for her.
An orphan escapes immigration officials at Ellis Island and goes to live with an old ship's master who can't find work and can't pay the rent.
Soul of the Cypress
Influenced by California Pictorialist photography of the preceding decades, it was in its own day recognized as an avant-garde film, but nevertheless it secured successful commercial distribution.
A Tale of Two Worlds
A white child is adopted and raised by a Chinese citizen and brought to San Francisco, where no one surmises that she is actually not Chinese.
Three men in London compete for the love of a dance-hall girl.
Too Wise Wives
An insecure wife fears her husband may be straying back to an old flame.
The Beggar Maid
The painter Burne-Jones and his famed painting "The Beggar Maid" are depicted in this speculative drama about the creation of the painting. Burne-Jones plays matchmaker for a young British nobleman who has fallen in love with a servant girl on his estate. The artist shows that love can thrive between members of different classes by depicting on canvas a picture from Tennyson's poem about the love of King Cophetua for a beggar maid. As he relates the story of the poem in words and through his painting, the young earl sees the application to his own situation.
Where Lights Are Low
The Chinese prince T'Su Wong Shih loves Quan Yin, the daughter of a gardener, but his uncle wants him to marry a girl of his own class. Leaving to study in the United States, the young man promises his beloved that they two will be together soon. Having finished university, one day T'Su Wong Shih visits the market of San Francisco, and at an auction of slaves, he finds Quan Yin auctioned. To save her, he agrees to pay a price of five thousand dollars but, not possessing the full amount, he makes a deal with the auctioneer for a three-year extension in which he must work to raise the money needed to rescue the girl. T'Su Wong Shih has no great success until he manages to win a large sum in a lottery. However, Quan Yin is now in danger because a Chinese gangster wants to have it and, to do that, goes to threaten the auctioneer who is forced to comply. T'Su Wong Shih is then engaged in a struggle to liberate his beloved: he defeats the gangster, rescues Quan Yin and claims her as his...
Herodias, spurned by Egyptian prince who is in love with Salome, has him secretly thrown in dungeon next to the Baptist. Herodias threatens to kill her lover if Salome does not ask for death of the Baptist. Salome does so, later rescues the prince and flees with him into the desert.
By Right of Birth
Based on a story told by George Johnson, featuring Booker T. Washington. Only four minutes survive.
The Sky Pilot
The sky pilot is a preacher who helps Gwen walk again after a near-fatal accident.
Robert must avenge his son who was killed in a workplace accident.
The film is perhaps the only remaining example of silent era cinema from a Chinese-American production company, and was co-written, co-directed (with Francis J. Grandon) and produced by James B. Leong, who changed his name from Leong But-jung after emigrating from Shanghai in 1913. Of the seven reels that originally comprised 'Lotus Blossom,' only one (the fifth, running for 12 minutes at 20fps) is known to survive. This remaining reel of film is now available on Disc 2 of the DVD Collection "More Treasures from the American Film Archives," and was preserved by the UCLA Film and Television Archive.
The Life Story of John Lee, or The Man They Could Not Hang
The Life Story of John Lee, or the Man They Could Not Hang is a 1921 Australian silent film (which is now considered lost) based on the true life story of John Babbacombe Lee. It is a remake of a 1912 film with some extra scenes of Lee's childhood.
"Beau" Revel, "An Ince-Vance Special Paramount Picture," was introduced with the subtitle, "This is the story of a man who played at love, forgetting in his vain selfishness, the rules of Duty, even Decency—conceitedly 'wasting his manhood in a game unworthy of man.'" That is a precise definition of Lewis Stone as the title character, first shown having his nails trimmed, his shoes shined, and receiving a shave. His latest fancy is Alice (Kathleen Kirkham), a woman whose husband's drunkenness has given Beau an opening.
The Lotus Eater
Naive Jacques Lenoi marries money-hungry Madge Vance. When Madge realizes he isn't as moneyed as she assumed she turns a cold shoulder to him and he takes off on a balloon trip to China.
A widow's husband returns after her second marriage, and dies while assaulting her.
Ivan, a poor Russian student, lives in Switzerland. He is unexpectedly invited to Russia by a distant relative, Princess Wirsky. To finance the journey, he works as a messenger for revolutionaries who want to depose Grand Duke Wirsky. In Moscow, he delivers the message and falls in love with Marja, the daughter of the revolutionary, but Marja's father loves Princess Wirsky and wants to betray the revolutionaries. The princess falls in love with Ivan, and jealously deports Marja to Siberia. In revenge, Ivan strangles the princess. He spends the rest of his life yearning for Marja, whom he has never kissed. When he receives the news of Marja's death, he commits suicide.
The Love Special
Jim Glover is an engineer in charge of constructing a railroad to the sea. He gives the company president Gage a tour of the area of land coveted for its use as a short cut that can save hours on the journey. After the officials visit a recently constructed dam, the train makes a stop in a dull town, and Gage's daughter Laura throws a charity bazaar to combat the boredom. Jim puts together a mock-holdup that saves the event from financial ruin, endearing Laura to him. Later, an accident traps three workers in a cave, and Jim is called away to rescue the victims.
Ladies Must Live
A societal romance drama based on an Alice Duer Miller novel.
The Bonnie Brier Bush
A Lord's son is engaged to his rich ward, but prefers a peasant.
Because Bob Meredith (Jack Holt) spends all his time working, his wife Margaret (Lois Wilson) feels the romance has ebbed away from their marriage. One night, while Meredith is at the office, family friend Julian Osborn (Conrad Nagel) -- whose own spouse (Lila Lee) is out of town -takes Margaret to a dance. They wind up at a hunting lodge and begin to get carried away, but stop before things get out of hand. The pair agree to keep their encounter a secret, but unfortunately, they've been seen and word gets back to their spouses.
All Dolled Up
The department store clerk Mary prevents a robbery at the store where she works, involving a necklace belonging to a rich unmarried woman named Eva Bandy. Later, she manages via a misunderstanding to prevent a million-dollar robbery of the same woman. With the man of her dreams, who helped her foil the robberies, she is "adopted" by Eva.
What Do Men Want?
According to this Lois Weber production, men don't really seem to know what they want at all -- first Frank (J. Frank Glendon) wants to be an inventor. Then he wants to marry his childhood sweetheart, Hallie (the lovely Claire Windsor). Then he wants children. Then, when his inventions bring him financial success, he becomes restless, so he takes up with another woman. Eventually he figures out that the woman's reputation is less than squeaky clean, so he wants his wife back.
Under the Lash
The wife of a tyrannical Boer husband discovers what life could be like when a handsome Englishmen visits their home.
A Perfect Crime
Wally Griggs is your classic meek, mild bank messenger, destined to a threadbare life of earning 63 dollars a month. At least this is what he seems to be. But when he's not working Griggs is the dashing James Brown, an adventurer and storyteller who is familiar with bank president Halliday. A publisher, fascinated by Brown's wild tales, offers him a deal. Griggs also uses his alter ego to help Mary Oliver, the girl her loves.
After the Show
After the Show was adapted from Rita Weiman's story "The Stage Door." Lila Lee plays Eileen, a starry-eyed young girl employed as a chorus dancer in New York. Eileen can never be certain if the men in her life are sincere, or if they perceive her as mere temporary plaything. Among the "stage door johnnies," "tired businessmen" and "sugar daddies" surrounding Eileen are Jack Holt and Carlton S. King.
The Passion Flower
A 1921 film directed by Herbert Brenon.
The Great Moment
Sir Edward Pelham, married to a Russian Gypsy, fears that his daughter will follow in her mother's footsteps and arranges a marriage with her cousin, whom she does not love. During a trip to Nevada with her father, she meets engineer Bayard Delavel, who saves her life when she is bitten by a snake; when her father finds her with Bayard in his cabin, he forces them to marry. Believing that Nadine does not love him, Delavel leaves her and prepares to sue for divorce.
Reared in a Turkish harem and threatened with marriage to a man she does not love, Carlotta escapes to London with an English adventurer. When he is killed, she is left destitute and attaches herself to Sir Marcus Ordeyne and begs his protection. He takes her home out of pity, and her charm and innocence cause him to fall in love with her. When he plans to marry her, Judith Mainwaring, who looks upon Carlotta as a rival, tells her he merely pities her and is marrying her to avoid a scandal. Carlotta runs away with Pasquale, a friend of Sir Marcus, though she loves her guardian. Later, Mrs. Mainwaring meets Carlotta in Paris and tells the girl the truth--that Sir Marcus is searching for her. Realizing his love for her, Carlotta is reunited with her benefactor.
Voices of the City
Voices of the City is a 1921 American silent crime drama film starring Leatrice Joy and Lon Chaney that was directed by Wallace Worsley. It is considered to be a lost film.
Anna Sewell's "autobiography" of a horse named Black Beauty is here expanded to include the adventures of the humans who surround the horse.