Best Movies of 1920


One Week

The story involves two newlyweds, Keaton and Seely, who receive a build-it-yourself house as a wedding gift. The house can be built, supposedly, in "one week." A rejected suitor secretly re-numbers packing crates. The movie recounts Keaton's struggle to assemble the house according to this new "arrangement".
Starring: Buster Keaton, Sybil Seely, Joe Roberts
Directed by: Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline
Release date: 1920-09-01

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.
Starring: Gloria Swanson, Thomas Meighan, Bebe Daniels, Theodore Kosloff, Sylvia Ashton
Directed by: Cecil B. DeMille
Release date: 1920-05-21

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.
Starring: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Lowell Sherman, Burr McIntosh, Kate Bruce
Directed by: D.W. Griffith
Release date: 1920-09-03

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde


A doctor's research into the roots of evil turns him into a hideous depraved fiend.

Starring: John Barrymore, Brandon Hurst, Martha Mansfield, Charles Lane, Cecil Clovelly
Directed by: John S. Robertson
Release date: 1920-03-18

Within Our Gates

Abandoned by her fiancé, an educated negro woman with a shocking past dedicates herself to helping a near bankrupt school for impoverished negro youths.
Starring: Evelyn Preer, Flo Clements, James D. Ruffin, Jack Chenault, Charles D. Lucas
Directed by: Oscar Micheaux
Release date: 1920-01-12


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.
Starring: Mary Pickford, Albert Austin, Harold Goodwin, Rose Dione, Darwin Karr
Directed by: John Francis Dillon
Release date: 1920-01-27


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 home town 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.
Starring: Mary Pickford, Katherine Griffith, Howard Ralston, Helen Jerome Eddy, George Berrell
Directed by: Paul Powell
Release date: 1920-01-18

Just Pals

This engaging adventure/character study is one of John Ford's best! 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.
Starring: Buck Jones, Helen Ferguson, George Stone, Duke R. Lee, William Buckley
Directed by: John Ford
Release date: 1920-10-21


Dinty is a newsboy whose fight to care for his ailing mother leads him into conflicts with the other boys on the street and then with drug smugglers in Chinatown.
Starring: Wesley Barry, Noah Beery, Colleen Moore, Anna May Wong, Aaron Mitchell
Directed by: John McDermott, Marshall Neilan
Release date: 1920-11-21

Get Out and Get Under

The comic adventures of a new car owner.
Starring: Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis, Fred McPherson
Directed by: Hal Roach
Release date: 1920-09-26


Genuine (original German title: Genuine, die Tragödie eines seltsamen Hauses; literally: Genuine, the tragedy of a strange house) is a 1920 silent horror film from director by Robert Wiene (the same year he directed Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari). It was also released as Genuine: A Tale of a Vampire. The film's sets were designed by the Expressionist painter César Klein.
Starring: Fern Andra, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski, Ernst Gronau, Harald Paulsen, Albert Bennefeld
Directed by: Robert Wiene
Release date: 1920-09-02

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.
Starring: Harry Todd, Bobby Kelso, F.A. Turner, Lillian Leighton, Florence Vidor
Directed by: King Vidor
Release date: 1920-07-31

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.
Starring: Richard Barthelmess, Clarine Seymour, Creighton Hale, George MacQuarrie, Kate Bruce
Directed by: D.W. Griffith
Release date: 1920-03-21

Life of the Party

An attorney is thrust into wild adventures by an attractive young woman.
Starring: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Winifred Greenwood, Roscoe Karns, Julia Faye, Frank Campeau
Directed by: Joseph Henabery
Release date: 1920-11-21

The Daughter of Dawn

Daughter of Dawn told the story of a Comanche chief's daughter torn between two lovers, one wealthy but cowardly, the other poor but honest and loyal. A contest of bravery involving a dangerous jump off of a cliff reveals the true nature of each man. The cowardly lover disgraced by his failing defects to the rival Kiowa tribe and joins in a failed attack on the Comanche village. When the Comanches successfully repel the attack the Chief gladly sends his daughter off with her true love and the young lovers, paddling together in a canoe, sail into the proverbial sunset.
Starring: Esther LeBarre, White Parker, Wanada Parker, Hunting Horse, Belo Cozad
Directed by: Norbert A. Myles
Release date: 1920-10-01

The Symbol of the Unconquered

Racists learn that the land a negro owns lies over a vast oil field, and threaten his life when he refuses to sell.
Starring: Iris Hall, Walker Thompson, Lawrence Chenault, Mattie Wilkes, Louis Dean
Directed by: Oscar Micheaux
Release date: 1920-11-28

The Restless Sex

A love triangle drama, based on a novel by Robert W. Chambers, who is better-known for weird fiction (which is not noticeable in this story.)
Starring: Marion Davies, Ralph Kellard, Carlyle Blackwell, Charles Lane, Corinne Barker
Directed by: Robert Z. Leonard, Leon D'Usseau
Release date: 1920-11-12

The Testing Block

The tough outlaw 'Sierra' Bill falls in love with the traveling girl violinist Nelly Gray. Sierra forces her into marrying him. They have a child, but family life is interrupted by the gambler Ringe, who not only persuades Nelly to leave her husband but ruins Sierra at the gaming table. With thoughts of vengeance, the angry Sierra breaks out of jail and goes after Ringe.
Starring: William S. Hart, Eva Novak, J. Gordon Russell, Florence Carpenter, Richard Headrick
Directed by: Lambert Hillyer
Release date: 1920-12-26

A Fresh Start

Two men are released from prison and while keeping up appearances, they steal everything they can from the guards hugging them farewell.
Starring: Lige Conley, Jimmie Adams, Marvel Rea, Frank J. Coleman
Directed by: Jack White
Release date: 1920-07-20

Something New

A young woman is kidnapped by a gang of bandits while vacationing in Mexico.
Starring: Nell Shipman, Bert Van Tuyle, L.M. Wells, Merrill McCormick
Directed by: Nell Shipman, Bert Van Tuyle
Release date: 1920-10-01

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