Best Movies of 1917


The Immigrant

Charlie is an immigrant who endures a challenging voyage and gets into trouble as soon as he arrives in America.
Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell, Albert Austin, Henry Bergman
Directed by: Charlie Chaplin
Release date: 1917-06-17

Easy Street

When Charlie the Tramp wanders into a mission he is smitten by Edna and puts back the collection box which he has taken. Reformed, he becomes a policeman and is assigned to rough-and-tumble Easy Street. Unable to trick or beat Eric the Tough, he puts Eric's head in a gas pipe and anesthetizes him. A hero, he now helps many poor people living on Easy Street. Eric escapes jail, Edna is kidnapped, but Charlie (recharged after sitting on a doper's needle) conquers all. Easy Street is transformed as is Eric.
Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell, James T. Kelly, Albert Austin
Directed by: Charlie Chaplin
Release date: 1917-01-22

The Adventurer

The Little Tramp escapes from prison; saves a girl and her mother from drowning; and creates havoc at a swank party.
Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell, Henry Bergman, Albert Austin
Directed by: Charlie Chaplin
Release date: 1917-10-22

The Poor Little Rich Girl

Gwen's family is rich, but her parents ignore her and most of the servants push her around, so she is lonely and unhappy. Her father is concerned only with making money, and her mother cares only about her social position. But one day a servant's irresponsibility creates a crisis that causes everyone to rethink what is important to them.
Starring: Mary Pickford, Madlaine Traverse, Charles Wellesley, Gladys Fairbanks, Frank McGlynn Sr.
Directed by: Maurice Tourneur
Release date: 1917-03-05

The Butcher Boy

Customers and clerks frolic in a general store. Roscoe walks out of the freezer wearing a fur coat, then does some clever cleaver tossing. In Buster's film debut he buys a pail of molasses.
Starring: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John, Josephine Stevens, Arthur Earle
Directed by: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Release date: 1917-04-23

The Pride of the Clan

Donald MacTavish, the last chieftain of his clan on an island off the coast of Scotland, dies at sea. This leaves his only daughter, Marget, to assume the responsibilities of leadership. Marget's burden is partially eased by her blossoming romance with Jamie Campbell. But there is a secret from Jamie's past that neither of them know about.
Starring: Mary Pickford, Warren Cook, Kathryn Browne-Decker, Edward Roseman, Joel Day
Directed by: Maurice Tourneur
Release date: 1917-01-07

A Romance of the Redwoods

A young girl travels west to live with her uncle during the California Gold Rush only to find that he has been killed by Indians and his identity assumed by an outlaw.
Starring: Mary Pickford, Elliott Dexter, Tully Marshall, Raymond Hatton, Charles Ogle
Directed by: Cecil B. DeMille
Release date: 1917-05-14

The Little American

A young American has her ship torpedoed by a German U-boat but makes it back to her ancestral home in France, where she witnesses German brutality firsthand.
Starring: Mary Pickford, Jack Holt, Raymond Hatton, Hobart Bosworth, Walter Long
Directed by: Cecil B. DeMille, Joseph Levering
Release date: 1917-07-12

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917) is a silent film directed by Marshall Neilan based upon the novel Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin. This version is notable for having been adapted by famed female screenwriter Frances Marion. The film was made by the "Mary Pickford Company" and was an acclaimed box office smash.
Starring: Mary Pickford, Eugene O'Brien, Helen Jerome Eddy, Marjorie Daw, Charles Ogle
Directed by: Marshall Neilan
Release date: 1917-09-22


In the film, Cunard is a jewel thief pursuing the same wealthy marks as another thief played by Francis Ford, brother of director John Ford and himself a director and character actor.
Starring: Francis Ford, Grace Cunard
Directed by: Grace Cunard, Francis Ford
Release date: 1917-01-01

A Little Princess

Little Sara Crewe is placed in a boarding school by her father when he goes off to war, but he does not understand that the headmistress is a cruel, spiteful woman who makes life miserable for Sara.
Starring: Mary Pickford, Norman Kerry, Katherine Griffith, Anne Schaefer, Zasu Pitts
Directed by: Marshall Neilan
Release date: 1917-11-05

The Curse of Quon Gwon: When the Far East Mingles with the West

This is the oldest known Chinese-American movie and one of the earliest films to have a female director. The story appears to be one of a young "Westernized" Chinese couple living in America and the cultural clash they experience with the man's traditional family. The movie has no surviving intertitles (if it ever had any), so there's room for interpretation. Formally premiering in 1917, this film did not thereafter receive commercial distribution.
Starring: Violet Wong, Marion E. Wong
Directed by: Marion E. Wong
Release date: 1917-01-01

A Reckless Romeo

Roscoe flirts with a girl in the park. Later he takes his wife and mother-in-law to the movies only to see his flirtation showing on the screen.
Starring: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Corinne Parquet, Agnes Neilson, Alice Lake, Al St. John
Directed by: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Release date: 1917-05-21

Les Misérables

Jean Valjean, a good and decent man who has committed a minor crime, is imprisoned but escapes. He is pursued thereafter for years by Javert, the cruel and implacable arm of the law.
Starring: William Farnum, George Moss, Hardee Kirkland, Gretchen Hartman
Directed by: Frank Lloyd
Release date: 1917-12-03

Souls Triumphant

A 1917 film directed by John B. O'Brien.
Starring: Lillian Gish, Wilfred Lucas, Spottiswoode Aitken, Louise Hamilton, Kate Bruce
Directed by: John B. O'Brien
Release date: 1917-05-19

Young Mother Hubbard

Forced by the death of her mother to care for her three brothers and sisters, little Mona Fairfax is known to farmers of her district as Young Mother Hubbard. The children's step-father, heavily in debt and tired of the burden imposed by the little family, abandons his farm, leaving the children, penniless, to shift for themselves. The following day Daniel Banning, a wealthy "country gentleman" and owner of the Fairfax farm, calls to collect back rent. He finds Mona and her children panic-stricken over a note left by their step-father, telling of his decision to leave. Banning turns a deaf ear to Mona's pleas that she be allowed to remain on the farm with her wards. He notifies the Children's Welfare Society. Directors of the society go to the farm, load them into an automobile, and take them to the society's headquarters. At headquarters the chairman calls for volunteers to take the children into their homes.
Starring: Mary McAllister, William Clifford, Carolyn Irwin, Granville Bates, Virginia Holmes
Directed by: Arthur Berthelet
Release date: 1917-10-29

A Country Hero

Fatty plays a village blacksmith in “Jazzville,” an imaginary rural village. There is a rivalry between Fatty and Cy Klone, the garage owner, over the affections of a pretty schoolteacher. A city chap unites the two rivals when he tries to steal the girl. An annual village ball features amateur talent in vaudeville stunts with Keaton as a wriggling Fatima who charms a long black stocking from a cigar box like a snake. The film is presumed lost.
Starring: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Buster Keaton, Al St. John, Alice Lake, Joe Keaton
Directed by: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Release date: 1917-12-10

His Foothill Folly

Raymond Griffith out in the wild west, and in the process takes care of the bad guy to save his gal.
Starring: Raymond Griffith, Elinor Field, Frank Bond, Marianne De La Torre, Bert De Vore
Directed by: Reggie Morris
Release date: 1917-09-02

Jerry and the Outlaws

Jerry from the top of a tree is making love to his girl at the window opposite. A policeman interferes and is put to sleep when Jerry falls on him. Jerry appropriates his clothes and enters his girl's home, arrests her father, who has been peppering him with a gun, and has him sent to the police station. Jerry gets his autoped and starts with the daughter for a ride. In the country they are discovered by Bad Bill and his outlaws. They take Jerry and the girl to a cabin where a fight ensues as to who shall have possession of the girl. It is finally decided that the bandits shall draw cards. Jerry objects and is locked in the attic. He escapes by climbing down the wall. Entering the cabin, he crawls along the floor, frisks the bandits' guns from their holsters and makes the bandits back against the door. Meanwhile the policeman has recovered consciousness and with his brother officers starts on Jerry's trail. They arrive at the cabin as Jerry is about to flee.
Starring: George Ovey, George George, M.J. McCarthy, Goldie Colwell, Claire Alexander
Directed by: Milton J. Fahrney
Release date: 1917-01-25

His Naughty Thought

Café ownder Mack Swain goes gaga over a gal.
Starring: Mack Swain, Polly Moran, Fontaine La Rue
Directed by: Fred Hibbard
Release date: 1917-05-06

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