Best 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.
A series of adventures begins when Buster is mistaken for Dead Shot Dan, the evil bad guy.
The High Sign
Buster is thrown off a train near an amusement park. There he gets a job in a shooting gallery run by the Blinking Buzzards mob. Ordered to kill a businessman, he winds up protecting the man and his daughter by outfitting their home with trick devices.
Our hero is infatuated with a girl in the next office. In order to drum up business for her boss, an osteopath, he gets an actor friend to pretend injuries that the doctor "cures", thereby building a reputation. When he hears that his girl is marrying another, he decides to commit suicide and spends the bulk of the film in thrilling, failed attempts.
The Play House
After waking up from his wacky dream, a theater stage hand inadvertently causes havoc everywhere he works.
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 Idle Class
At an upper class golf resort, a tramp discovers he's the lookalike of a rich man with a beautiful, unhappy wife.
A down on his luck young man makes several attempts at committing suicide but fails them too. He then finds himself becoming more confident through a series of petty adventures, to such an extent that this becomes his undoing.
Seven Years Bad Luck
After breaking a mirror in his home, superstitious Max tries to avoid situations which could bring bad luck, but in doing so causes himself the worst luck imaginable.
Buster's handmade boat, The Damfino, is finished and is, of course, too large to get through the basement door. When he drives off with it in tow, the side of his house, then the whole thing, collapses. At the harbor he rides the boat out only to have it sink beneath him. The rest is a series of adventures he and his family have with the restored boat.
The Haunted House
Buster Keaton is a bank teller who becomes involved with a hold-up, counterfeiters, and a theatrical troupe posing as spooks in a haunted house.
A Sailor-Made Man
An idle, wealthy playboy foolishly joins the Navy when the father of the girl he wants to marry tells him to get a job to prove himself worthy.
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.
Morning reveals New York harbor, the wharves, the Brooklyn Bridge. A ferry boat docks, disgorging its huddled mass. People move briskly along Wall St. or stroll more languorously through a cemetery. Ranks of skyscrapers extrude columns of smoke and steam. In plain view. Or framed, as through a balustrade. A crane promotes the city's upward progress, as an ironworker balances on a high beam. A locomotive in a railway yard prepares to depart, while an arriving ocean liner jostles with attentive tugboats. Fading sunlight is reflected in the waters of the harbor. The imagery is interspersed with quotations from Walt Whitman, who is left unnamed.
Dodge Your Debts
A top-hatted bill collector is given the unenviable assignment of collecting the debts of a bad-tempered innkeeper.
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.
That Ice Ticket
An important example of amateur filmmaking during this era, That Ice Ticket was made by Angela Murray Gibson who ran Gibson Studios in the small community of Casselton, North Dakota. Gibson cast community members in her productions, taking on multiple roles herself, writing, directing and acting in the films, operating the camera during filming, then processing the footage and editing the finished picture together. Here she plays a young woman managing multiple male suitors with the "help" of her mischievous kid brother.
In a Mexican border town Arthur befriends cantina girl Poll. She falls for him but he still loves the dancer Rosa. When the cigar Poll gives him explodes and blinds him, Arthur is duped into thinking Poll is Rosa and marries her. When his vision is surgically restored, he leaves for Siam to find Rosa.
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.
One a Minute
An excellent silent comedy starring unjustly forgotten star Douglas MacLean. Its indictment of pharmaceutical entrepreneurs is far sharper than Side Effects'.
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.
Koko The Clown continually interrupts an animator, who turns his attention to trapping the clown.
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.
Pearls and Savages
Frank Hurley (1885-1962) was firmly established by 1925 as Australia's most famous photographer. After World War 1, having filled the position as the first official photographer of the Australian war effort, Hurley became interested in Papua New Guinea. In December 1920, he left Australia to record the work of Anglican missions in Papua and to make "travelogue entertainment". The result was this documentary, "Pearls and Savages" which was released in Sydney, in December 1921.
The Little Minister
In 1840 Scotland, a young lass named Babbie revels in the country life and frolics with the locals, simple weavers whose livelihood is threatened by increasing industrialization. When Lord Rintoul attempts to rout the rebellious weavers, Babbie always manages to send word in time to prevent their being taken by surprise. Gavin, new minister to the town, falls in love with Babbie, and his relationship with the young gypsy almost costs him his position. But what Gavin and his parishioners do not know is that Babbie is actually Lady Babbie, ward of Lord Rintoul.
The Bell Hop
A government official staying in a hotel puts some important secret papers in the hotel safe. A ring of spies out to get the papers manages to steal them from the safe, and a lady government agent enlists the help of the hotel's bumbling bellhop in getting back the papers and breaking up the spy ring.
Il Mostro di Frankenstein
The last silent Frankenstein film. While there is plenty of promotional material proving this film was shown internationally, there is currently no known film print and it is believed lost.
Be My Wife
Max is determined to woo Mary, despite her Aunt Agatha's disapproval.
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.
Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend: The Pet
After eating a rarebit, a man falls asleep and dreams his wife adopts a mysterious animal with an insatiable appetite. The pet eats its milk, the house cat, the house's furnishings, rat poison, and passing vehicles, including airplanes and a blimp, while growing larger and larger. This cartoon is part of a Dream trilogy animated by Winsor McCay in 1921. (CBGP)
Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend: The Flying House
After eating a rarebit at a party, a woman has a strange dream in which her husband converts their home into a flying machine to escape having to pay the exorbitant interest on the mortgage, on a flight that takes them around the world and to the moon.
A man with a huge hooked nose enters the Fleischer studios to have his bust sculpted. Meanwhile, across the studio, Max is animating Koko. When he's called over to consult on the too-accurate bust, Koko gets mischievous and creates his own drawings. He then escapes and crawls inside the clay bust, eventually wriggling off like an inchworm. He gets into a fight with the man being modelled, both of them flinging wads of clay.
A Small Town Idol
Sam, a young man in a small town, is accused of being a thief. Unable to prove his innocence--and not knowing that he's being framed by a local villain to keep him away from pretty young Mary, the town beauty whom the villain wants for himself--he leaves town and goes to Hollywood to become an actor. He eventually returns home to town as a star, but once again finds himself the victim of the town villain, who this time abducts sweet young Mary. Sam must use all his acting skills to track down the villain and save Mary.
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.
Rip Van Winkle
The story shows the development of the united state in divergent fields : Political, social and even economic field.
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?
Now or Never
A young man, unaccustomed to children, must accompany a young girl on a train trip.
The Rent Collector
The Rent Collector is a 1921 American silent comedy film featuring Larry Semon & Oliver Hardy.
An abstract animation from Walter Ruttmann.
Miss Lulu Bett
Lois Wilson (as Lulu) is the spinsterish member of the Deacon family: "The family beast of burden, whose timid soul has failed to break the bonds of family servitude." Her brother-in-law is patriarchal Theodore Roberts (as Dwight Deacon); running the house with an iron fist, he is both a dentist and a Justice of the Peace. As the latter, he accidentally marries Ms. Wilson to his visiting brother Clarence Burton (as Ninian Deacon) while they are out for dinner. Schoolteacher Milton Sills (as Neil Cornish) is also interested in Wilson...
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.
Ducks and Drakes
A spoiled rich young woman overspends from her parents' savings and ruthlessly vamps on young men that she calls up randomly on the telephone. When her fiancée and his friends get word of this, they hatch a plan to teach her a valuable lesson.
Among Those Present
An ambitious coat-room checker impersonates an English nobleman.