Best Drama Movies of 1926

1.

Flesh and the Devil

4.2
7.7/10
Flesh and the Devil
As lifelong best friends Leo and Ulrich return home following completion of their military training, Leo sees stunning Felicitas at the railway station and, mesmerized by her beauty, is smitten. A scandal follows, for which Leo is sent away. Returning home three years later, he discovers that much has changed.
Starring: John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, Lars Hanson, Barbara Kent, George Fawcett
Directed by: Clarence Brown
Release date: 1926-12-25
2.

Sparrows

4.1
7.3/10

Evil Mr.Grimes keeps a rag-tag bunch orphans on his farm deep in a swamp in the US South. He forces them to work in his garden and treats them like slaves. They are watched over by the eldest, Molly. A gang in league with Mr. Grimes kidnaps Doris, the beautiful little daughter of a rich man, and hides her out on Grimes' farm, awaiting ransom. When the police close in, and Mr. Grimes threatens to throw Doris into the bottomless mire, Molly must lead her little flock out through the alligator-infested swamp.

Starring: Mary Pickford, Roy Stewart, Mary Louise Miller, Gustav von Seyffertitz, Charlotte Mineau
Directed by: William Beaudine, Tom McNamara
Release date: 1926-05-14
3.

La Bohème

4.0
7.4/10
La Bohème
It is 1830 in Paris and the rent is due, but the money is not there. An article here, a painting there and a monkey with a cup gives them enough money for the rent, but not for food. Fortunately, Musette from downstairs has enough food for everyone including Mimi - the poor little waif from next door who Rodolphe has met. But Count Paul also has his lusting eye on Mimi and uses her embroidery to get close to her. Rodolphe and Mimi fall in love and Mimi works endlessly to support Rodolphe who is writing his play with a new found passion. He does not know that he has been discharged from writing for 'Dog and Cat Fanciers'. Mimi wants to get his play produced and Count Paul offers to help, but there is a terrible fight when Rodolphe thinks that Mimi is faithless to him with Count Paul. After the fight, he seeks out a doctor as she is sick, but she has left when Rodolphe returns and will stay away until his play is finished.
Starring: Lillian Gish, John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Roy D'Arcy, Edward Everett Horton
Directed by: King Vidor
Release date: 1926-03-13
4.

Tell It to the Marines

3.8
7.0/10
Tell It to the Marines
U.S. Marine Sergeant O'Hara has his hands full training raw recruits, one of whom, 'Skeets' Burns, is a particular thorn in his side. If Burns's lackadaisical approach to the military were not bad enough, he also makes advances on nurse Nora Dale, whom Sergeant O'Hara secretly loves. Nora is oblivious to O'Hara's feelings and is attracted to the handsome 'Skeet.' But an indiscretion turns her against him, and it takes an expedition to China and a battle with a warlord's bandit brigade to sort things out among the nurse and her two Marines.
Starring: Lon Chaney, William Haines, Eleanor Boardman, Eddie Gribbon, Carmel Myers
Directed by: George W. Hill
Release date: 1926-12-23
5.

The Black Pirate

3.7
7.1/10
The Black Pirate
A nobleman vows to avenge the death of his father at the hands of pirates. To this end he infiltrates the pirate band. Acting in character he is instrumental in the capture of a ship, but things are complicated when he finds that there is a young woman on board whom he wishes to protect from the threat of rape.
Starring: Douglas Fairbanks, Billie Dove, Anders Randolf, Donald Crisp, Tempe Pigott
Directed by: Albert Parker
Release date: 1926-03-08
6.

Battling Butler

3.7
7.1/10
Battling Butler
Meek millionaire Alfred Butler goes on a camping excursion with his faithful servant. Once in the wilderness, Alfred ignores outdoor activities in favor of trying to woo a charming mountain girl, who wants nothing to do with her spoiled suitor. Trying to impress the girl, Alfred masquerades as boxing star "Battling" Butler.
Starring: Buster Keaton, Sally O'Neil, Walter James, Budd Fine, Francis McDonald
Directed by: Buster Keaton
Release date: 1926-09-19
7.

The Son of the Sheik

3.7
6.7/10
The Son of the Sheik
Ahmed, son of Diana and Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan, falls in love with Yasmin, a dancing girl who fronts her father's gang of mountebanks. She and Ahmed meet secretly until one night when her father and the gang capture the son of the sheik, torture him, and hold him for ransom.
Starring: Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Banky, George Fawcett, Montagu Love, Agnes Ayres
Directed by: George Fitzmaurice
Release date: 1926-09-05
8.

The Temptress

3.6
7.0/10
The Temptress
A seductive woman forsakes her husband and lover to pursue a young engineer.
Starring: Greta Garbo, Antonio Moreno, Marc McDermott, Lionel Barrymore, Armand Kaliz
Directed by: Fred Niblo
Release date: 1926-10-03
9.

Bardelys the Magnificent

3.4
7.1/10
Bardelys the Magnificent
Rafael Sabatini's story of the swashbuckling era and of Bardeleys, the handsome courtier who could win any woman he set his mind to...and was not above boasting about it to all who would listen.
Starring: John Gilbert, Eleanor Boardman, Roy D'Arcy, Lionel Belmore, Emily Fitzroy
Directed by: King Vidor
Release date: 1926-09-30
10.

Nell Gwyn

3.3
5.7/10
Nell Gwyn
An actress becomes the king's mistress and persuades him to convert the palace to a serviceman's home.
Starring: Dorothy Gish, Randle Ayrton, Juliette Compton, Sydney Fairbrother, Donald Macardle
Directed by: Herbert Wilcox
Release date: 1926-01-02
11.

Torrent

3.2
6.9/10
Torrent
A young girl and her father are kicked out of their house by a cruel noblewoman, and the girl's heart is broken when her sweetheart, the noblewoman's son, won't go to Paris with them. After becoming an opera star in Paris, the girl returns to her homeland and finds her romance with the nobleman rekindled
Starring: Greta Garbo, Ricardo Cortez, Gertrude Olmstead, Edward Conelly, Lucien Littlefield
Directed by: Monta Bell
Release date: 1926-02-08
12.

Twinkletoes

3.0
7.2/10
Twinkletoes
"Twinkletoes" Minasi wants to be a great dancer like her deceased mother. Twink meets Chuck Lightfoot, a noted prizefighter, who falls in love with her at first sight. She tries to avoid falling in love with Chuck, whose wife, Cissie, is a drunken harridan and more than a little bit spiteful. Meanwhile, Twink has secured a job in a singing-dancing act in a Limehouse theater, under the auspices of Roseleaf, who has more than just a protective interest in the girl. The jealous Cissie discovers that Twink's sign-painting father also has a night job as a burglar, and she turns him into the police. While a big success dancing on the stage, the arrest of her father has left her somewhat down in the dumps, and she decides to toss herself into the Thames. Possibly, the now-free Chuck, since Cissie has been killed in an accident, might come along and rescue her.
Starring: Colleen Moore, Kenneth Harlan, Tully Marshall, Gladys Brockwell, Lucien Littlefield
Directed by: Charles Brabin
Release date: 1926-11-28
13.

The Show Off

3.0
6.8/10
The Show Off
A blowhard who poses as a railroad executive (but is really just a $30-a-week clerk) catches a young bride and then drives her family's finances to the brink of ruin.
Starring: Ford Sterling, Lois Wilson, Claire McDowell, Louise Brooks, Gregory Kelly
Directed by: Malcolm St. Clair
Release date: 1926-08-16
14.

The Road to Mandalay

2.9
6.7/10
The Road to Mandalay
Joe, a former sea captain whose wife died during the birth of their child at sea, is now a pockmarked, disreputable divekeeper in Singapore where he indulges in shady operations with Herrick, known as The Admiral. They ship for Mandalay, where Joe's daughter lives with a priest, Father James, and tends a curio shop, unaware that her father regularly sends money to Father James for her support. Although his daughter clearly finds him abhorrent, Joe determines to take her away until he learns that The Admiral has fallen in love with her and plans to marry her. He persuades Father James (actually his brother) not to perform the ceremony, and The Admiral is shanghaied by Joe's men. The girl, suspecting Joe, goes to his brothel in Singapore and is about to be assaulted by Charlie, a lecherous Chinaman, when Joe intervenes and is stabbed. The Admiral comes to her rescue and escapes with her on a boat.
Starring: Lon Chaney, Lois Moran, Owen Moore, Henry B. Walthall, John George
Directed by: Tod Browning
Release date: 1926-06-26
15.

The Bells

2.9
6.5/10
The Bells
Mathias, an Alsatian innkeeper, murders a rich Pole staying at his inn But Mathias' conscience will not let him rest, and the murdered man's spirit drives the innkeeper nearly mad. The victim's brother calls for an inquest and brings with him a sideshow mesmerist supposedly able to read minds. Mathias, as burgomaster, is called upon to conduct the inquest, but under the intuitive eye of the mesmerist cannot resist torment of his own conscience.
Starring: Lionel Barrymore, Caroline Frances Cooke, Gustav von Seyffertitz, Lorimer Johnston, Boris Karloff
Directed by: James Young
Release date: 1926-07-29
16.

The Blackbird

2.9
6.8/10
The Blackbird
Two thieves, the Blackbird and West End Bertie, fall in love with the same girl, a French nightclub performer named Fifi. Each man tries to outdo the other to win her heart.
Starring: Lon Chaney, Owen Moore, Renée Adorée, Doris Lloyd, Andy MacLennan
Directed by: Tod Browning
Release date: 1926-01-11
17.

The Magician

2.8
6.8/10
The Magician
A young woman, Margaret Dauncey, is caught between the forces of a charlatan magician, Oliver Haddo, whom she is unable to resist, and the love of a young surgeon, Arthur Burdon, who has saved her from being a helpless cripple by performing a delicate operation on her spine.
Starring: Alice Terry, Paul Wegener, Firmin Gémier, Iván Petrovich, Gladys Hamer
Directed by: Rex Ingram
Release date: 1926-10-24
18.

Beau Geste

2.8
7.0/10
Beau Geste
Michael "Beau" Geste leaves England in disgrace and joins the infamous French Foreign Legion. He is reunited with his two brothers in North Africa, where they face greater danger from their own sadistic commander than from the rebellious Arabs.
Starring: Ronald Colman, Neil Hamilton, Ralph Forbes, Alice Joyce, Mary Brian
Directed by: Herbert Brenon
Release date: 1926-08-24
19.

What Price Glory

2.6
6.9/10
What Price Glory
U.S. Marine sergeants Quirt and Flagg are inveterate romantic rivals on peacetime assignments in China and the Philippines. In 1917, W.W. I brings them to France, where Flagg, now a captain, takes up with flirtatious Charmaine, inn-keeper's daughter. Of course, Quirt has to arrive and spoil his fun. But the harsh realities of war and the threat of a shotgun marriage give the two men a common cause...
Starring: Edmund Lowe, Victor McLaglen, Dolores del Río, William V. Mong, Phyllis Haver
Directed by: Raoul Walsh
Release date: 1926-11-23
20.

The Shamrock Handicap

2.4
5.9/10
The Shamrock Handicap
The first film having an Irish motif that John Ford directed, a six reel delight set in Eire's County Kildare and in the United States, with a steeplechase background, mixing charged elements of comedy and sentimental drama, benefiting from a sterling cast including Leslie Fenton, Janet Gaynor, and Ford favourite J. Farrell MacDonald.
Starring: Janet Gaynor, Leslie Fenton, Willard Louis, J. Farrell MacDonald, Claire McDowell
Directed by: John Ford
Release date: 1926-05-02

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