100 picks of 1900-1909

by B1gBut | created - 3 months ago | updated - 2 months ago | Public

not all of the films here are actually good. i find them interesting, either from a history perspective or a "what were they smoking" one. alphabetical order.

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1. 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: 2,593

2. A Drunkard's Reformation (1909)

13 min | Drama, Short

A drinking man arrives home, late and sozzled as usual. His wife reminds him that he promised to take their child to a play. The play proves to be a morality tale about the evils of drink; ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Arthur V. Johnson, Linda Arvidson, Adele DeGarde, Charles Avery

Votes: 252

3. A Fantastical Meal (1900)

Not Rated | 2 min | Short, Comedy, Fantasy

A man and two women sit down to eat dinner, but several unexpected surprises prevent them from their repast: the legs of the table grow, the table disappears into the floor, and a ghostly spirit appears and takes possession of the man.

Director: Georges Méliès | Star: Georges Méliès

Votes: 394

4. A Fantasy (1908)

2 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

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

Director: Émile Cohl

Votes: 2,635

6. A Strange Meeting (1909)

11 min | Short, Drama

Mary is coerced into helping with a burglary of a minister's apartment. Later she repents and goes to the minister's storefront mission to help.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Stephanie Longfellow, Arthur V. Johnson, Henry B. Walthall, Frank Powell

Votes: 85

7. A Trip to Jupiter (1909)

8 min | Short, Sci-Fi

In a medieval palace, an astronomer with a telescope shows the king.

Director: Segundo de Chomón

Votes: 276

8. A Trip to the Moon (1902)

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

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

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

Votes: 52,445

9. Une dame vraiment bien (1908)

Not Rated | 4 min | Short, Comedy

A beautiful young woman walking home from visiting the shops. Causes more than enough problems for every man she passes, who stop to admire her beauty.

Directors: Romeo Bosetti, Louis Feuillade | Star: Renée Carl

Votes: 342

10. Addition and Subtraction (1900)

Not Rated | 1 min | Short

A man attempts to sit on a stool, only to find a woman has magically appear to steal his place. This happens again and again. Soon, more amazing transformations occur.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Georges Méliès, Jeanne Mareyla

Votes: 407

11. An Unexpected Guest (1909)

10 min | Drama, Short

Consequences result when a father breaks up his son's engagement.

Votes: 32

12. At the French Ball (1908)

7 min | Short, Comedy

A husband finishes packing a suitcase, and then says good-bye to his wife. As soon as he is gone, the wife has her maid help her to dress for a costume ball. Meanwhile, the husband meets a ... See full summary »

Director: Wallace McCutcheon | Stars: D.W. Griffith, Linda Arvidson, Edward Dillon, Robert Harron

Votes: 95

13. Betrayed by a Handprint (1908)

9 min | Short, Crime

Dashing widow Mrs. Wharton gives a party at her beautiful villa in honor of the presentation to her of a handsome diamond necklace by her fiancé, during the evening bridge party ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Florence Lawrence, Harry Solter, Linda Arvidson, Kate Bruce

Votes: 177

14. Balked at the Altar (1908)

12 min | Short, Comedy

Artemisia Sophia Stebbins was a lovelorn maiden who had delved deep into the mysteries of "Three Weeks," as well as being conversant with the teachings of Laura Jean Libby. Her one hobby ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Mabel Stoughton, Linda Arvidson, George Gebhardt, D.W. Griffith

Votes: 170

15. Rum vs. Cherries (1904)

4 min | Short, Drama

A barmaid plies a swell with smiles and with cherries from a box that's just been delivered. When she refuses a cherry to a roughly-dressed tradesman who runs a tab at the bar, he pays off ... See full summary »

Director: Robert W. Paul

Votes: 393

17. Classmates (1908)

12 min | Short, Drama, Romance

Two adolescent students at college are by circumstances thrown together almost continuously. They are classmates, roommates and players on the college football team, and being stalwart, ... See full summary »

Director: Wallace McCutcheon | Stars: Edward Dillon, Linda Arvidson, D.W. Griffith

Votes: 65

18. Comata, the Sioux (1909)

10 min | Short, Western

This story of the Black Hills consistently tells of the unrequited love of a Sioux brave for his chief's daughter, and how he premonished the awful results of her ominous marriage with a ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: James Kirkwood, Marion Leonard, Arthur V. Johnson, Linda Arvidson

Votes: 96

19. Confidence (1909)

11 min | Short, Drama

A beautiful romance of a girl from the Golden West. Confidence is the flower grown from the seed of true friendship, watered by the tears of adversity, and often assailed by the blight of ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Florence Lawrence, Charles Inslee, Arthur V. Johnson, Linda Arvidson

Votes: 113

20. The Magician and the Human Pump (1901)

Not Rated | 2 min | Short, Fantasy

In this trickery extravaganza, Excelsior, the wizard of illusion, pulls out a handkerchief from his pocket, and after that, everything is possible in his rare and spectacular show.

Director: Georges Méliès | Star: Georges Méliès

Votes: 660

21. Fetch the Bread! (1906)

5 min | Comedy, Short

A family sends a man out for some bread. Instead, he seems to be trying to find every drink in Paris. Another man goes out after him, but does the same. They both return, utterly drunk.

Votes: 50

22. Fools of Fate (1909)

11 min | Short, Drama

Fanny is the wife of Ben Webster, a trapper, and while he is an affectionate and dutiful husband, she yearns for something which appears better than her lot. She reasons: "Have I not youth ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: James Kirkwood, Marion Leonard, Frank Powell, Henry B. Walthall

Votes: 117

23. Her First Biscuits (1909)

6 min | Comedy, Short

A new bride has made a batch of biscuits. Her husband pretends to like them, so she delivers the rest to his office. But one bite of these biscuits induces violent illness, and soon all his... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: John R. Cumpson, Florence Lawrence, Linda Arvidson, Charles Avery

Votes: 78

24. His Duty (1909)

5 min | Drama, Short

A policeman faces a difficult decision when he finds out that his brother is a thief.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Kate Bruce, Frank Powell, Owen Moore, David Miles

Votes: 63

25. His First Cigar (1908)

5 min | Short, Comedy

A well-grown boy sees a box of his father's cigars, and pockets one. He goes downstairs, and no sooner is he out of the building when he joyously sticks the cheroot into his mouth. Feeling ... See full summary »

Director: Louis J. Gasnier | Star: Max Linder

Votes: 159

26. How Jones Lost His Roll (1905)

7 min | Comedy, Short

Animated intertitles help tell the tale of how a skinflint and his wife cheat their suburban neighbor at cards.

Director: Edwin S. Porter

Votes: 111

27. Stop That Bus! (1903)

2 min | Short, Comedy

An elderly woman is determined to board an omnibus that does not want to stop for her.

Director: Percy Stow

Votes: 27

28. 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: 1,378

29. Is Spiritualism a Fraud? (1906)

7 min | Short, Comedy

Men expose a fake medium's tricks and take revenge.

Director: J.H. Martin

Votes: 120

30. Japanese Varieties (1904)

3 min | Short

Stencil colour and exotic décor add dazzle to a magic show conducted by white performers in yellowface.

Director: Gaston Velle

Votes: 74

31. Madame's Cravings (1907)

4 min | Comedy, Short

A heavily pregnant woman has a series of irrepressible cravings while walking with her family.

Director: Alice Guy

Votes: 422

33. Money Mad (1908)

11 min | Short, Crime, Drama

The central figure is an old miser, who in parsimony is a Harpahon who, like Fosene, boarded his money in a secret cellar, where he met his death. We first find him begging on the street; a... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Charles Inslee, Harry Solter, George Gebhardt, Arthur V. Johnson

Votes: 126

34. Not Guilty (1908)

Not Rated | 11 min | Short, Drama

Three marauders are plotting to raid a little family, and eventually they are seen lurking around the house. The young daughter is alone and they pounce upon her, binding and gagging her ... See full summary »

Director: Georges Méliès | Star: Georges Méliès

Votes: 162

35. Nursing a Viper (1909)

10 min | Short, Drama

During the French Revolution, a wealthy couple lives safely by professing republican beliefs. When a mob attacks a nearby chateau an aristocrat bursts into the couple's home. They save his ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Arthur V. Johnson, Marion Leonard, Frank Powell, Frank Evans

Votes: 113

36. Off to Bloomingdale Asylum (1901)

1 min | Short, Comedy

Clowns ride in on a wagon drawn by a skeletal horse. The clowns proceed to transform from blackface performers to white costumed clowns, and back again, as they perform zany antics.

Director: Georges Méliès

Votes: 283

37. Personal (1904)

6 min | Comedy, Short

A man who has placed a personal advertisement for a prospective wife goes to wait at the meeting place that he designated. Soon a woman comes in response to the advertisement. Before the ... See full summary »

Director: Wallace McCutcheon

Votes: 130

38. Pippa Passes; or, the Song of Conscience (1909)

11 min | Short, Drama

Pippa awakes and faces the world outside with a song. Unknown to her, the music has a healing effect on all who hear her as she passes by.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Gertrude Robinson, George Nichols, James Kirkwood, Linda Arvidson

Votes: 137

39. Princess Nicotine; or, the Smoke Fairy (1909)

Unrated | 5 min | Comedy, Short, Fantasy

A drowsy pipe-smoker attempts to nap, only to be tormented relentlessly by the mischievous Princess Nicotine and her fairy companion.

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

Votes: 976

40. 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: 1,255

41. Resurrection (1909)

12 min | Drama, Short

Free adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's powerful novel. The subject opens with the return home of Prince Dimitri, who meets the maid Katusha, a little peasant girl, and is instantly charmed with ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Arthur V. Johnson, Florence Lawrence, Marion Leonard, Owen Moore

Votes: 144

42. Romance of a Jewess (1908)

10 min | Drama, Short

This early D.W. Griffith short shows the director's interest in Jewish ghetto life, portrayed here with sympathy and sentimentality. The melodramatic plot involves the conflict between generations in an immigrant Jewish family.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Florence Lawrence, George Gebhardt, Gladys Egan, John R. Cumpson

Votes: 133

43. The Restoration (1909)

10 min | Short, Drama

A husband suspects his wife of an affair. The wife's cousin borrows a shawl to meet her lover in the garden. The husband spies the couple embracing, and, thinking it's his wife, he strikes ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: James Kirkwood, Marion Leonard, Owen Moore, Mary Pickford

Votes: 26

44. The Song of the Shirt (1908)

11 min | Drama, Short

Struggling with poverty and a relative's declining health, a young woman struggles to find employment.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Florence Lawrence, Linda Arvidson, Robert Harron, Mack Sennett

Votes: 137

45. The '?' Motorist (1906)

3 min | Fantasy, Short, Comedy

A British trick film in which a motorist ends up driving around the rings of Saturn.

Director: Walter R. Booth

Votes: 1,212

46. The Stepmother (1906)

Not Rated | 7 min | Short, Drama