Mine is Pinocchio (1940).
I think the oldest film I have in my collection is Ben-Hur (1925). It came as a bonus feature on the blu-ray of the 1959 version so it snuck in to my collection without me deliberately purchasing it, but I'm glad I own it (even though I haven't got round to watching it yet). The next oldest, and I have watched it, is Fritz Lang's excellent Metropolis (1927).
Those are the only two silent films that I own. As a film fan, and someone deeply interested in the history of cinema, I really should have more on my shelves but to be honest I've always struggled to get into silent film. These days I subscribe to The Criterion Channel, and many of the great silent films are available on there so I'm able to dip into those from time to time even though they aren't in my physical collection.
I'm not sure, but it may be Hitchcock's "Rebecca" from 1940.
"Phantom Of The Opera", 1925, with Lon Chaney Sr. I used to have "Nosferatu" which is even older but I can't find it.
The 1922 version of THE PRISONER OF ZENDA, with Lewis Stone--later more famous as Judge Hardy in Mickey Rooney's "Andy Hardy" series--as the English swashbuckler who takes the place of a king.
The Lodger, Hitchcock 1927
Can you reccomend The Lodger?
I do recommend The Lodger,
Hitchcock's third film as director but the first he considered a Hitchcock film.
Jack-the-ripper type character out there somewhere targeting beautiful blondes, German Expressionist inspired visual style.
Prototypical Hitchcock plot: a stranger, who is suspected of murder, is investigating the very crime everybody thinks he's guilty of.
I sold all my DVD’s before I emigrated here, but I have bought hundreds from Google PLAY to stream at any time, the oldest being Dracula and Frankenstein, both from 1931, although technically Dracula is the oldest as it was released before Frankenstein.
Silent movies don't get a look in anymore on telly. It's odd, why not? Just a sample from time to time. Things like the black and white Ben Hur were pretty damn good going by the clips, well worth checking out on BBC4 with a glass of red. Ditto Napoleon (!) which got a remastered release at the flicks some years ago. Never on telly.
I find it most odd. It's almost like, well, in my teens you had Harold Lloyd films on telly and they were accompanied by a brilliant score (not the Carl Davis one, I'm not sure where I'd get hold of DVDs with the score I enjoyed). But in my teens, well, hard core porn in the UK was illegal and was subject to urban myth stories. Now? Porn can be accessed by any kid but anyone wanting to see some old classics they grew up with, forget it, you'd be on the same slightly shifty fruitless mission a teen might be after when going after saucy movies. How times change.
To answer the question, I too have Metropolis - as a freebie from a magazine. I'd have 1935's The 39 Steps (Criterian do a good version) but there's no need as this is one the BBC is always showing. The Lost Horizon is from the same era, it stars Ronald Goldman and is sophisticated.
I'm unsure when sound came in. I wonder what the earliest decent sound movie was? The Scarlett Pimpernel with Leslie Howard? King Kong? One of the aforementioned Hitchcock films?
I'd recommend Blackmail (1929) by Alfred Hitchcock as a very good early talkie. I think that is probably the earliest sound film that I have watched.
A couple of years later Fritz Lang made M...a really terrific thriller!
My other early sound favourite is the Marx Brothers comedy Animal Crackers (1930). It's not their most cinematic movie by any means, but I am a massive fan of the script. which I think was performed by them on stage before making the film.
NOSFERATU (1922) is the 'oldest' film in my collection.
the silent comedies (Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd) are accessible silent films: its all elaborately choreographed stuntwork, completely visual and much of it still impressive to this day.
The German Expressionists and early horrors are also inherently visual, though more reliant on the intertitle cards for exposition. Other more conventional dramas I find hard to sit through.
Blackmail is indeed essential early Hitchcock, and technically interesting as it started as another silent, and we can see various ways Hitchcock is experimenting with how he can incorporate sound. Much of his use of sound in this film is not what we've grown used to.
Animal Crackers is only a year later, and much of its comedy is inherently verbal, except for Harpo's routines it could not work as a silent. It is almost all clever dialog, and laughs are dependent on how this dialog is delivered by the unique voices. Filmmakers must have quickly got past the experimental phase, and were now taking full advantage of their medium's new dimension.
I’m also a big fan of the early German Expressionist, silent horror films. The oldest ones in my collection are The Cabinet of Dr Caligari and Der Golem, both made in 1920, followed by the Dr Mabuse trilogy (the first one was made in 1922) and Nosferatu, as Barbel notes, also 1922.
I guess the Disney Classic Bambi (1942) is the oldest film in my collection. Followed by Lady & The Tramp (1955).
I was at the synagoge of the Golem legend in Prague and saw the grave of the magician who suposedøy gave the Golem life. It was really atmospheric, crows and all. 😬
I don't own any DVD's anymore but the oldest film I ever 'owned' is probably 'Way Out West' with Laurel and Hardy. Worth it for the dance sequence alone.
I saw that too, a couple of years back - Prague is an amazing city and still has that ghostly, mediaeval atmosphere in places.
welcome back Lady Rose! been off on a secret mission?
Been trying to get this new 007 movie out in the cinemas ... Fingers crossed I've finally sorted it 😂
No Time To Lie...