Best Movies of 1915
The Birth of a Nation
Two families, abolitionist Northerners the Stonemans and Southern landowners the Camerons, intertwine. When Confederate colonel Ben Cameron is captured in battle, nurse Elsie Stoneman petitions for his pardon. In Reconstruction-era South Carolina, Cameron founds the Ku Klux Klan, battling Elsie's congressman father and his African-American protégé, Silas Lynch.
At 10 years old, Owen becomes a ragged orphan when his mother dies. Abusive next-door neighbors the Conways take him in, and by 17, Owen has learned that might is right. At 25, he's a career gangster: loitering, gambling and drinking in dens of iniquity. Marie Deering arrives in Owen's area, eager to empower the impoverished, gang-affiliated youth through education. Owen slowly but surely leaves his old life behind, choosing the narrow path- all the while falling in love with Marie. Skinny, who's taken over Owen's role in the gang, reappears to him, spelling trouble.
Mary Pickford plays "Rags," a pretty but wild girl who defends her alcoholic father a disgraced bank cashier, no matter how he mistreats her. Enter a handsome engineer whose family had once fired Rag's father for theft. Rags falls in love but realizes that marriage is a hopeless proposition considering her lowly place in society. But when she learns that her father plans to rob the newcomer, Rags betrays him to the sheriff, and he is shot in the ensuing battle.
The Little Fellow finds the girl of his dreams and work on a family farm. He helps defend the farm against criminals, and all seems well, until he discovers the girl of his dreams already has someone in her life. Unwilling to be a problem in their lives, he takes to the road, though he is seen skipping and swinging his cane as if happy to be back on the road where he knows he belongs.
A venal, spoiled stockbroker's wife impulsively embezzles $10,000 from the charity she chairs and desperately turns to a Burmese ivory trader to replace the stolen money.
Walking along with his bulldog, Charlie finds a "good luck" horseshoe just as he passes a training camp advertising for a boxing partner "who can take a beating." After watching others lose, Charlie puts the horseshoe in his glove and wins. The trainer prepares Charlie to fight the world champion. A gambler wants Charlie to throw the fight. He and the trainer's daughter fall in love.
A janitor at a bank is in love with a secretary and dreams that she has fallen in love with him too.
A Night in the Show
Mr. Pest tries several theatre seats before winding up in front in a fight with the conductor. He is thrown out. In the lobby he pushes a fat lady into a fountain and returns to sit down by Edna. Mr. Rowdy, in the gallery, pours beer down on Mr. Pest and Edna. He attacks patrons, a harem dancer, the singers Dot and Dash, and a fire-eater.
Gertie the Dinosaur
A plagiarised version of Winsor McCay's short from 1914
Mother, father and daughter go to the park. The women doze off on a bench while the father plays a hide-and-seek game with a girl, blindfolded. Charlie leads him into a lake. Both dozing ladies on the bench fall for Charlie and invite him for dinner. The father returns home with a friend. Charlie rushes upstairs and dresses like a woman, shaving his mustache. Both men fall for Charlie.
Hot-blooded gypsy Carmen attempts to seduce Don Jose, a lawman sent to thwart a gang of illegal smugglers in Spain. Carmen's plan backfires when Don Jose's passion for the gypsy girl escalates into a jealous rage as she spurns him for her bullfighter beau, Escamillo, with tragic results.
Charlie and his boss have difficulties just getting to the house they are going to wallpaper. The householder is angry because he can't get breakfast and his wife is screaming at the maid as they arrive. The kitchen gas stove explodes, and Charlie offers to fix it. The wife's secret lover arrives and is passed off as the workers' supervisor, but the husband doesn't buy this and fires shots. The stove explodes violently, destroying the house.
A shipowner intends to scuttle his ship on its last voyage to get the insurance money. Charlie, a tramp in love with the owner's daughter, is grabbed by the captain and promises to help him shanghai some seamen. The daughter stows away to follow Charlie. Charlie assists in the galley and attempts to serve food during a gale.
A Burlesque on Carmen
A gypsy seductress is sent to sway a goofy officer to allow a smuggling run.
His New Job
When one of the actors on a movie set doesn't show up, Charlie gets his chance to be on camera and replaces the actor. While waiting, he plays in a dice game and gets on many people's nerves. When he finally gets to act, he ruins his scene, accidentally destroys the set, and tears the skirt of the star of the movie.
A Night Out
After a visit to a pub, Charlie and Ben cause a ruckus at a posh restaurant. Charlie later finds himself in a compromising position at a hotel with the head waiter's wife.
A Jitney Elopement
Edna's father wants her to marry wealthy Count He-Ha. Charlie, Edna's true love, impersonates the Count at dinner, but the real Count shows up and Charlie is thrown out. Later on Charlie and Edna are chased by her father, The Count, and three policeman. The pursuers drive off a pier.
By the Sea
It is windy at a bathing resort. After fighting with one of the two husbands, Charlie approaches Edna while the two husbands themselves fight over ice cream. Driven away by her husband, Charlie turns to the other's wife.
Mr. 'Silent' Haskins
Lon 'Silent' Haskins competes for the affection of a woman who recently inherited ownership of the local watering hole.
After a brief view of Edgar Allan Poe's family background, his grandfather, David Poe, Sr., an Irish immigrant to America, and his father, David Poe, Jr., the poet's life is depicted from the death of his mother and his subsequent adoption by John Allan, to his own tortured death in 1849. Expelled from the University of Virginia for incurring too many debts, Poe nonetheless courts and marries Virginia Clemm but is disowned by his foster father. While residing in Fordham, New York, Poe tries to earn a living as a writer but meets with little financial success. Overwhelmed by their impoverished state, Virginia dies and Poe sinks into a profound depression. Always a victim of alcohol and subject to hallucinations, Poe first imagines that his neighbor, Helen Whitman, is Virginia, then plunges himself into an elaborate delusion in which his wife's spirit, various other spectres and a raven finally drive him to his own death.
In the Park
A tramp steals a girl's handbag, but when he tries to pick Charlie's pocket loses his cigarettes and matches. He rescues a hot dog man from a thug, but takes a few with his walking stick. When the thief tries to take some of Charlie's sausages, Charlie gets the handbag. The handbag makes its way from person to person to its owner, who is angry with her boyfriend who didn't protect her in the first place. The boyfriend decides to throw himself in the lake in despair, so Charlie helps him out.
The Golden Chance
Despite her well-bred upbringing, Mary had disobeyed her family’s wishes and married Steve Denby, a petty thief whose penchant for booze has left them destitute. Mary answers an ad to be a society woman’s seamstress and is hired by Mrs. Hillary. Mr. Hillary is trying to close a deal with Roger Manning and entices him by inviting him, as a dinner guest, to meet the “prettiest girl in the world.” Upon learning that the “prettiest girl” is indisposed, Mrs. Hillary, realizing that Mary had good upbringing, enlists Mary as a substitute. Naturally Mary and Manning fall in love, and, since the deal still isn’t signed, the Hillary’s hire Mary’s services for the weekend.
Fanchon, the Cricket
A young wild girl, Fanchon, lives in a forest with her eccentric grandmother who is suspected by the villagers of being a witch. The unkempt Fanchon suffers from her grandmother's sorceress reputation. One day the girl rescues a boy from drowning and they fall in love, but Fanchon won't agree to marry him unless his father asks her. A year later the boy has fallen very ill and it is only the presence of the enchanting Fanchon that helps to restore his health.
Seamen Enoch Arden returns home after a long absence marooned on a desert island. At home he finds his wife married to another, and though he loves her, he cannot bear to disrupt her current happiness.
The Darkening Trail
Yukon Ed has asked saloon owner Ruby McGraw to marry him several times, and has been turned down each time. However, she falls for Jack Sturgess, a no-account who has seduced and abandoned a poor young girl and is escaping from his father's anger. She takes up with Jack to Ed's dismay, and soon the thing that Ed feared would happen does happen.
Cartoons On Tour
A father and daughter each enjoy their printed "Grouch Chaser" cartoons, which come to life for the audience. Meanwhile, the daughter is secretly planning to elope.
An immigrant leaves his sweetheart in Italy to find a better life across the sea in the grimy slums of New York.
Children of Eve
An illegitimate child of the slums who labors in an oppressive canning company, not realizing she has a significant connection to the cold-hearted factory owner.
The Hazards of Helen Ep26: The Wild Engine
Helen, informed of the danger which menaces an excursion train because another engine on the same track is running wild, mounts a motorcycle and speeds down the track to warn the passengers of their imminent peril. Nearing a river trestle under repair, she hurtles into the river; undaunted, she swims to the opposite bank and flags down the excursion train in the nick of time, causing the engineer to run his train onto a siding just a few moments before the runaway dashes by.
Set during the Balkan Wars, The Captive tells the story of Sonia, a young woman living in Montenegro and left to care for her younger brother Milos and the family farm when older brother Marko goes off to battle. Unable to handle the day-to-day tasks following her brother’s tragic death, help comes in the form of Mahmud Hassan (House Peters, Prisoners of the Storm) a captured Turk nobleman now a prisoner of war. Tasked with helping Sonia, their initial frosty relationship soon melts into love. As the war rages on Sonia, Mahmud and Milos will face near-insurmountable obstacles in their quest for a better life amidst the hell of war.
Alias Jimmy Valentine
After robbing a bank, a criminal is wrongfully pardoned from prison.
The Hazards of Helen Ep13: The Escape on the Fast Freight
Two yeggmen hold up Helen, on night duty at Ferndale, lock her in a closet, and escape. Later, standing on a bridge over the freight yards, Helen sees the two bandits aboard an outgoing freight, and drops onto the roof of the car from above as it crosses underneath. A chase along the roofs of the speeding cars ensues...
This breezy comedy is about a cub newspaper reporter who goes to investigate a family feud, which has erupted into violence again—a parody of the real Hatfield-McCoy feud.
The story of St. Gabriel, who was killed by an ignorant mob for making a nude statue representing Purity, who is also represented by a ghostly naked girl that flits through the film.
The Dinosaur and the Missing Link: A Prehistoric Tragedy
Two cavemen, The Duke and Stonejaw Steve, call on Miss Araminta Rockface. The hated rivals fight, and Steve wins when he throws The Duke into a pot of boiling water. A title card introduces a third rival, "our unassuming hero, Theophilus Ivoryhead." Miss Rockface invites the three men into her father's drawing room/cave, apologizing for not offering tea, since it has not been discovered yet. The Duke and Steve fight again, and everyone rushes out of the cave. Mr. Rockface notices his pot of food is empty; earlier, Wild Willie the Missing Link had eaten it. Mr. Rockface tells the three suitors they will have to procure their own dinner. Steve locates a desert quail and shoots an arrow at it, but the arrow misses the quail and happily (for Steve) hits The Duke's behind. Meanwhile, Wild Willie is still hungry and goes hunting for snakes. He finds a dinosaur's tail instead...
Two young clerks in a department store meet and fall in love during a seaside vacation in Maine, but part as strangers because, unknown to each other, both had been masquerading as upper-class 'swells', just to see how the better half lives.
The Girl of the Golden West
A saloon hostess loves Ramerrez, a notorious highwayman. Sheriff Jack Rance, who loves the girl too, instigates a card game that will determine the fate of all three of them. If she wins, the girl's lover will go free; but if she loses…
Bad Buck of Santa Ynez
An outlaw on the run comes upon a widow and her small child. When the child is bitten by a snake, the outlaw risks his life by riding into town to get a doctor.
Alice in Wonderland
Alice goes with her sister to a picnic and then she falls asleep and starts dreaming about a wonderland full of talking animals and walking playing cards.
Fatty's Tintype Tangle
Hubby and wifey are in love, but he's henpecked by her mother. A nip of whiskey gives him Dutch courage, and he storms out, declaring he won't be a domestic slave anymore. He heads for a park bench where a photographer mistakes him for a seated woman's sweetheart. The tintype of the two of them falls into the hands of the woman's husband, whose jealous rage frightens our hero. He abruptly leaves town, telling wifey he'll be away on business. Wifey doesn't need her house while he's away, so, unknown to hubby, she moves in with mom and rents the house to the couple from the park. When our hero returns home sooner than expected, the renter has another attack of jealousy.
A hypnotic Svengali controls the singing voice of a young starlet, but he cannot control her heart. This 1915 Maurice Tourneur film is a version of the famous duMaurier novel. It was later done in a more famous 1931 film named Svengali with John Barrymore. The later film obviously changed the title due to the huge presence of its' star.
Set during the American Civil War, Keenan stars as a Virginia colonel and Charles Ray as his weak-willed son. The son is forced, at gunpoint, by his father to enlist in the Confederate army. He is terrified by the war and deserts during a battle. The film focuses on the son's struggle to overcome his cowardice.
The Taking of Luke McVane
Luke McVane (William S. Hart) shoots a card-cheat in self-defense and has to make a run for it before the town lynch him.
Fatty’s Faithful Fido
Fatty and Al are Minta's suitors. After Fatty sics his dog on him, Al marks Fatty for roughing up by two thugs, but the plan backfires.
Mabel and Fatty Viewing the World's Fair at San Francisco
Frequent comedy co-stars Fatty Arbuckle and Mabel Normand take viewers on a tour of the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. Attractions shown include the U.S. Battleship "Oregon", the Australian convict ship "Success" (complete with such punishment devices as a flogging rack and a spiked Iron Maiden), the world's tallest flagpole (251 feet), the Court of Abundance, the Court of the Universe (with sunken garden) and the Tower of Jewels. Fatty and Mabel also visit Frisco's still-under-construction City Hall, accompanied by Frisco's then-Mayor James Rolph Jr. Also appearing in the film is opera star Ernestine Schumann-Heink.
Mabel and Fatty's Wash Day
A henpecked husband's innocent friendship with a married woman leads to chaos.
The Pay Train
Helen, overhearing Tony and his accomplices plotting to derail the pay train and steal its money, is thrown into a cattle car; grabbing a revolver which one of the men has dropped, she shoots the wire controlling the semaphore arm, which then swings up and flashes the danger flag, thus averting disaster in the nick of time.
Fatty’s Plucky Pup
Four bad men have kidnapped Fatty's girlfriend and plan to kill her. Fatty's dog knows where she is, but Fatty doesn't and he was crying. However the dog came back to get Fatty, and they and the Keystone Cops went to rescue her.
Fatty and Mabel at the San Diego Exposition
Fatty and Mabel go to the San Diego Exposition.
Behind the Screen
A look behind the scenes at Universal Studios in 1915.