Ultimate List

by simonzandbergs | created - 20 Dec 2014 | updated - 07 Apr 2016 | Public
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1. Roundhay Garden Scene (1888)

Not Rated | 1 min | Documentary, Short

In the garden, a man asks his friends to do something silly for him to record on film.

Director: Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince | Stars: Annie Hartley, Adolphe Le Prince, Joseph Whitley, Sarah Whitley

Votes: 5,608

2. Dickson Greeting (1891)

Not Rated | 1 min | Short

"A little while ago there was a great convention of women's clubs of America. Mrs. Edison is interested in women's clubs and their work and she decided to entertain the Presidents of the ... See full summary »

Director: William K.L. Dickson | Star: William K.L. Dickson

Votes: 1,271

3. Blacksmith Scene (1893)

Unrated | 1 min | Short, Comedy

Three men hammer on an anvil and pass a bottle of beer around.

Director: William K.L. Dickson | Stars: Charles Kayser, John Ott

Votes: 2,245

4. Dickson Experimental Sound Film (1894)

Not Rated | 1 min | Short, Music

The sound has been found in the form of an old Edisonian recording cylinder. The cylinder was repaired, then Walter Murch ACE MPSE synced the film to the correct music in (I believe) 2002. Total running time is approximately 17 seconds.

Director: William K.L. Dickson | Star: William K.L. Dickson

Votes: 2,100

5. Leaving the Factory (1895)

Not Rated | 1 min | Documentary, Short

Workers leaving the Lumière factory for lunch in Lyon, France in 1895; a place of great photographic innovation and one of the birth places of cinema.

Director: Louis Lumière

Votes: 6,289

6. The Waterer Watered (1895)

Not Rated | 1 min | Short, Comedy

An impudent child plays a prank on a gardener innocently watering his plants.

Directors: Alice Guy, Louis Lumière | Stars: François Clerc, Benoît Duval

Votes: 4,809

7. The Arrival of a Train (1896)

Not Rated | 1 min | Documentary, Short

A train arrives at La Ciotat station.

Directors: Auguste Lumière, Louis Lumière | Stars: Madeleine Koehler, Marcel Koehler, Mrs. Auguste Lumiere, Jeanne-Joséphine Lumière

Votes: 10,802

8. La fée aux choux (1896)

1 min | Short, Family, Fantasy

The first film directed by a female director, "The Cabbage Fairy" presents a brief fantasy tale involving a strange fairy who can produce and deliver babies coming out of cabbages. Gently ... See full summary »

Director: Alice Guy | Stars: Alice Guy, Germaine Serand, Yvonne Serand

Votes: 1,034

9. The House of the Devil (1896)

Not Rated | 3 min | Short, Horror

With the help of a magic cauldron, Mephistopheles conjures up a variety of supernatural characters.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Jehanne d'Alcy, Jules-Eugène Legris, Georges Méliès

Votes: 2,998

10. The Kiss (1896)

Not Rated | 1 min | Short, Romance

In a medium close-up shot of the first kiss ever recorded on screen, two fervent lovers cuddle and talk passionately at hair's breadth, just before the love-smitten gentleman decides to give his chosen one an innocent peck.

Director: William Heise | Stars: May Irwin, John C. Rice

Votes: 3,126

11. The X-Ray Fiend (1897)

1 min | Short, Comedy, Horror

A man and woman are flirting when a professor turns on an X-ray machine, revealing their insides. After turning it off again the two have a dispute and break up.

Director: George Albert Smith | Stars: Laura Bayley, Tom Green

Votes: 738

12. Four Heads Are Better Than One (1898)

1 min | Short, Comedy, Horror

Much to our amazement, an elegant and masterful illusionist detaches his own head effortlessly from his shoulders for a once-in-a-lifetime performance.

Director: Georges Méliès | Star: Georges Méliès

Votes: 3,016

13. The Kiss in the Tunnel (II) (1899)

1 min | Short, Comedy, Romance

Similar to A Kiss in the Tunnel (1899), this remake omits the phantom ride scenes and chooses to portray a significantly steamier, more prolonged, and more explicit passion between a young couple. Surely, this is a kiss to remember.

Director: James Bamforth

Votes: 374

14. The Enchanted Drawing (1900)

2 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

A cartoonist defies reality when he draws objects that become three-dimensional after he lifts them off his sketch pad.

Director: J. Stuart Blackton | Star: J. Stuart Blackton

Votes: 1,085

15. Demolishing and Building Up the Star Theatre (1901)

Unrated | 2 min | Documentary, Short

Time-lapse photography is used to show the manual dismantling and demolition of New York's Star Theatre over a period of about 30 days.

Director: Frederick S. Armitage

Votes: 887

16. A Trip to the Moon (1902)

TV-G | 13 min | Short, Adventure, Comedy

A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the Moon.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Georges Méliès, Victor André, Bleuette Bernon, Brunnet

Votes: 44,809

17. The Passion Play (1903)

44 min | Short, Biography, Drama

The story of Jesus Christ from the proclamation of his Nativity to his crucifixion. Impressive scenes and dynamism of the actors prelude to the Italian colossal movies of the silent period.

Directors: Lucien Nonguet, Ferdinand Zecca | Stars: Madame Moreau, Monsieur Moreau

Votes: 441

18. Life of an American Fireman (1903)

Not Rated | 6 min | Short, Action

A fireman rushes into a carriage to rescue a woman from a house fire. Breaks the window glasses and he goes down with the woman. After dangerous and uncertain moments, the fireman save the woman' s son, too.

Directors: George S. Fleming, Edwin S. Porter | Stars: Edwin S. Porter, Vivian Vaughan, Arthur White, James H. White

Votes: 2,170

19. The Great Train Robbery (1903)

TV-G | 11 min | Short, Action, Crime

A group of bandits stage a brazen train hold-up, only to find a determined posse hot on their heels.

Director: Edwin S. Porter | Stars: Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson, A.C. Abadie, George Barnes, Justus D. Barnes

Votes: 17,600

20. The Voyage Across the Impossible (1904)

Not Rated | 24 min | Short, Action, Adventure

Using every known means of transportation, several savants from the Geographic Society undertake a journey through the Alps to the Sun which finishes under the sea.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Georges Méliès, Fernande Albany, Jehanne d'Alcy, May de Lavergne

Votes: 3,213

21. Westinghouse Works (1904)

Not Rated | 68 min | Documentary

Collection of 21 American short silent films. The films were taken from April 18, 1904 to May 16, 1904 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and document various Westinghouse manufacturing plants.

Votes: 283

22. Rescued by Rover (1905)

Not Rated | 7 min | Short, Crime, Drama

A dog leads its master to his kidnapped baby.

Directors: Lewin Fitzhamon, Cecil M. Hepworth | Stars: Blair, May Clark, Barbara Hepworth, Cecil M. Hepworth

Votes: 1,081

23. Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906)

3 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

A cartoonist draws faces and figures on a blackboard - and they come to life.

Director: J. Stuart Blackton | Star: J. Stuart Blackton

Votes: 1,141

24. A Trip Down Market Street Before the Fire (1906)

Not Rated | 12 min | Documentary, Short

From the front of a cable car, a motion picture camera records a trip down Market Street, San Francisco, California, from a point between 8th & 9th Streets, Eastward to the cable car turnaround at the Ferry Building.

Votes: 520

25. The Dancing Pig (1907)

Not Rated | 4 min | Short, Comedy

A humongous and obese anthropomorphic swine dressed like a fine gentleman in a fancy dinner attire tries to make a pass at a solitary lady having a picnic.

Votes: 906

26. A Fantasy (1908)

2 min | Animation, Short, Fantasy

The first all-animated film in history, a series of scenes without much narrative structure, but morphing into each other.

Director: Émile Cohl

Votes: 2,263

27. The Electric Hotel (1908)

8 min | Animation, Short, Fantasy

An enthusiastic young couple is astounded with modern technology's giant leaps in the fascinating field of electricity.

Director: Segundo de Chomón | Stars: Segundo de Chomón, Julienne Mathieu

Votes: 883

28. The Thieving Hand (1908)

Unrated | 5 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Short

A one-armed man obtains an artificial limb which he cannot control.

Director: J. Stuart Blackton | Star: Paul Panzer

Votes: 548

29. The Country Doctor (1909)

Not Rated | 14 min | Short, Drama

While caring for his sick daughter, a doctor is called away to the sickbed of a neighbor. He finds the neighbor gravely ill, and ignores his wife's pleas to come home and care for his own daughter, who has taken a turn for the worse.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Frank Powell, Florence Lawrence, Gladys Egan, Kate Bruce

Votes: 564

30. Princess Nicotine; or, The Smoke Fairy (1909)

Unrated | 5 min | Comedy, Short, Fantasy

A smoker falls asleep, and two mischievious fairies play with his pipe. He discovers this, and imprisons them in a cigar box. He removes a flower from the box, which contains a fairy ... See full summary »

Director: J. Stuart Blackton | Stars: Paul Panzer, Gladys Hulette

Votes: 861

31. A Corner in Wheat (1909)

G | 14 min | Short, Crime, Drama

An unscrupulous and greedy capitalist speculator decides to corner the wheat market for his own profit, establishing complete control over the markets.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Frank Powell, Grace Henderson, James Kirkwood, Linda Arvidson

Votes: 2,202