View Full Version : CONTEST #1: Silent Phantoms

10-03-2011, 07:54 AM
Many of the great images of horror cinema were first forged in the experimental silent era, of which Criterion's THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE was a relic. We've got 3 copies of the DVD, and all you need to do to get your hands on this silent classic is tell us what your favorite silent film is and why?[/b]

Many of the great images of horror cinema were first forged in the experimental silent era, of which Criterion's THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE was an important relic. We've got 3 copies of the DVD, and all you need to do to get your hands on this silent classic is tell us what your favorite silent film is and why?

Make a single post in this tread telling us your favorite silent film is and why and you'll be entered in a draw to win 1 of 3 copies of THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE on DVD.


The contest runs for one week, from today until Monday, October 10th, at which point a new contest will commence as part of our October Madness extravaganza.

Winners will be randomly selected based upon all the posts in this thread.

Let's do what we don't do nearly enough here...look into the distant past and talk about your favorite silent film and its impact on you. You could win!

10-03-2011, 07:56 AM
I haven't seen many silent films, but my favorite is the atmospheric Nosferatu.

10-03-2011, 08:39 AM
Nosferatu would easily be my choice. My best friend introduced me to the film many years ago, and the overall atmosphere would have to be my favorite aspect of the film. Sure it's silent, but the antique look of the film (to today's viewer) works so well.

10-03-2011, 08:54 AM
Hitchcock's The Manxman. By today's standards it would probably be considered corny and predictable but it works. The first time I saw it I was completely enthralled.

Body Boy
10-03-2011, 08:58 AM
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, as it currently stands. The sets and twist ending for 1920 made it and interesting capsule of the surreal. I love it! Can you believe it's 91 years old? :o

Gore Lunatic
10-03-2011, 09:10 AM
My favorite silent film is Begotten. I have seen several other silent films before but Begotten definitely left it's mark on me. The opening scene is one of the creepiest and most disturbing thing I've seen in a film. The whole film just fills you with a visceral sense of depression, dread, sorrow, depravity and filth. It makes me want to cleanse myself after viewing it. I have to admit that I think twice every time I plan on watching this film. For the past few years I try to fit this into my annual Halloween movie schedule but never seem to get to it ;). But this year I'm gonna man-up and watch it! With all the lights on :D.

10-03-2011, 10:24 AM
I have to go with Phantom Of The Opera, I have bought almost every version of this film & the reason Lon Chaney. The man was an artist not only with make-up but as an actor. His characterations make you feel his pain, joy his sorrow without every saying a word. Not many actors in this day & age can do that with words let alonr actions....

10-03-2011, 10:51 AM
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

10-03-2011, 01:27 PM

For a film that's nearly 90 years old, it still manages to be genuinely creepy at times.

10-03-2011, 01:44 PM
I'll go with The Hunchback of Notre Dame from '23. I've seen quite a few silent films, but this one is the most impressive. I figured it was about a freak with a lump on his back who gets revenge on his enemies, but that's not entirely the case. In fact, Quasimodo is hardly in it! The story focuses on religious corruption and the bane of mankind while never losing trace of the twisted love story between girl and beast. Plus, it looks like it was made for $100 mil.

10-03-2011, 02:02 PM
My favorite would have to be Metropolis. The visual aspect of the movie just blows me away. It's quite amazing how it was pulled off. I still haven't seen the "restored" version, but will pick up that blu-ray soon. Nosferatu and Phantom of the Opera are two others that I enjoy quite a bit. Nosferatu is still the definitive vampire movie.

10-03-2011, 02:26 PM
The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, it has great atmosphere and a look and story that was way ahead of it's time.

10-03-2011, 02:31 PM
It may be the most obvious--but it is my honest choice---Nosferatu

10-03-2011, 02:35 PM
I also have to give a nod to Nosferatu. Although there are aspects today that seems hillariously dated, Max Schreck's Count Orloff oozes sinister in a way that neither Lugosi or Lee would ever achieve.

10-03-2011, 02:41 PM
The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari was the first silent I saw and still holds up today.

Mutilated Prey
10-03-2011, 03:20 PM
Nosferatu easily. It was the first film we watched in my college class "History of the Horror Film". Believe it or not I got 4 upper level English credits for that sucker :D

We discussed the film at length amongst many other students which made it that much more interesting.

10-03-2011, 03:32 PM
Mel Brook's Silent Movie.

Kidding. (Although it is hilarious.)

Nosferatu. Atmospheric, beautifully shot, and an original vampire design we haven't seen replicated (unless you count the great Herzog remake).

10-03-2011, 03:44 PM
Nosferatu as I've only seen a handful of silents.

10-03-2011, 03:44 PM
Any Buster Keaton movie, but I'll go with Sherlock Jr. Why do I like it? It's simply a joy to watch Keaton perform.

10-03-2011, 04:11 PM
i'll go for Vampyr, which has some haunting imagery!

to be honest, most of the silents i've seen have been a bit of a slog to get through

10-03-2011, 05:07 PM

An enjoyable classic

10-03-2011, 05:45 PM
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari - man, the set design in that film is insane. Very disorienting and perfect for the story.

10-03-2011, 07:43 PM
I wanted to go with Phantom of the Opera because of Lon Chaney, but my favorite is definitely Nosferatu. Max Schreck was the creepiest vampire ever.

10-03-2011, 08:09 PM
Phantom of the Opera, mainly for the nostalgia of talking to my grandmother about it.

10-03-2011, 08:16 PM
Stereotypically, Nosferatu. Faust is close, but vampires always seem to win out with me.

10-03-2011, 09:05 PM
My favorite silent film is "Haxan:Witchcraft through the Ages" . I always loved how the devil in that movie looks like The Demon from DC comics. Also the way he hops around when the witches literally kiss his ass, so funny.

10-03-2011, 09:23 PM
I can't vote against Nosferatu. It was way too far ahead of it's time. It still stands as one of the best horror films ever and that's pretty tough to do, especially when they were one of the pioneers.

10-03-2011, 10:44 PM
I choose Metropolis.
I know that almost everyone here will say that Nosferatu is their favorite silent film, and I can't say that it isn't a really great film. I have a lot of respect to Nosferatu and its inspiration to later work in the horror genre.
But I have some warm feeling for Metropolis. I think that Metropolis was the first real silent film I saw in my life, and it is by far the one I saw the most times.
Even though it is not horror, it has a few horrific moments in it (considering the time it was made in).

10-03-2011, 11:48 PM
I also have to go with Nosferatu. Murnau's use of shadows is really awe-inspiring. And the film contains some of the most indelible images in the history of the genre.

But most of all I admire Murnau's conviction. Nosferatu is by far the purest and leanest of all vampire films. The influence of Eastern European vampire legends is very apparent. Orlock is no continental charmer. And Murnau makes zero effort to humanize him or make him sympathetic. He's the foulest night crawler ever to grace the silver screen.

Pretty much every vampire film from Browning's Dracula forward presents the vampire as a charismatic anti-hero. But Orlock is the living embodiment of decay and all the archetypal things that go bump in the night. The subject of vampires didn't used to be another vehicle for disposable pop culture entertainment. As a kid reading old vampire legends I got an overwhelming sense of the dread and genuine fear that people used to feel. Nosferatu captures that beautifully.

10-03-2011, 11:53 PM
The Cat and the Canary (1927)

It has all the classic trappings with a good balance of humor. I dare say it may still be effective today because its references so much of the genre it still works as a self conscious parody of silent horror.

10-04-2011, 12:09 AM
I would have to say the Cabinet of Dr Caligari is a classic and Lon Chaney in the Phantom of the Opera is amazing but The Hands of Orlac is unforgettable.

10-04-2011, 12:28 AM
For me it's a toss up between Vampyr and Nosferatu. Nosferatu is getting a lot of (well deserved) love here, so I'll settle on Vampyr.

10-04-2011, 12:38 AM
The Phantom of the Opera. Lon Chaney is iconic and I still remeber as a kid seeing the picture of him from that movie and being creeped out. It wasn't until many many years later that I actully saw it for the first time in its entirety. Even though I thought a silent movie would bore me, I was really entertained by it and I still find it enjoyable to this day.

10-04-2011, 12:54 AM
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari for me. I love German Expressionism and Caligari is loaded with it in every frame, it's beautiful really. Followed closely by Begotten, which is really quite frightening and disturbing. I think I've only actually seen those two, Nosferatu and Haxan. I don't have much Silent experience.

10-04-2011, 01:44 AM
Nosferatu, for me. The look of the vampire is very creepy and instantly recognizable.

10-04-2011, 04:15 AM
Nosferatu is good but I think Vampyr has more striking imagery and depth. Looking forward to checking out Phantom Carriage if I have to purchase it myself.

Erick H.
10-04-2011, 06:38 AM
I'll offer up an obscure one,THE MAN FROM BEYOND.Most people may not know that the famed magician and escape artist Harry Houdini was also a pretty popular actor in the silent era.In the fantasical MAN he plays a 19th century man discovered frozen on a sailing ship trapped in arctic ice.He is revived in the early 20th century and faces both culture shock and the sense that a woman he meets may be the reincarnation of his old love.A mix of fantasy,romance and thrills (including some pretty nifty stunts by Mr. H.).Not a hardcore classic but I saw this as a kid and never forgot it.It was recently restored.Fun,offbeat picture.

10-05-2011, 03:20 PM
Gotta give it up to Nosferatu, its just a CLASSIC!

10-05-2011, 10:08 PM
Nosferatu, because it still holds up today as a genuinely scary film.

10-06-2011, 01:52 AM
Have to say Sherlock, Jr. Buster Keaton is just too brilliant.

10-06-2011, 03:54 AM
I haven't seen a lot of the classics, but I'd have to go with either Georges Melies' A Trip to the Moon or the much more recent Call of Cthulhu (from 2005).

Myron Breck
10-06-2011, 04:41 AM
I know you're probably going for horror, but my favorite silent film is THE GENERAL. Keaton's stunt work is totally amazing.

But for horror, I must say that NOSFERATU still manages to haunt/charm me.

10-06-2011, 04:42 AM
Favorite silent horror is Nosferatu because of the use of locations and Max Shreck's nasty looking vampire.

Favorite silent movie is The Big Parade because it is encompasses so much of the experience of war.

10-06-2011, 08:35 AM
Metropolis. I saw the restored version at the Harbor Theater during their lakeside film festival. It was extra special for me because Loyd Kaufman from Troma was siting two seats away from me.

10-06-2011, 12:11 PM
Nosferatu. It is still a very eerie film. Max Schrek probalby never guessed how remembered the character he was portrarying would be in the years to come. Terrific film.

10-06-2011, 05:01 PM
My favorite silent horror film is F.W. Murnau's masterpiece (in my opinion anyway's) Faust. The story alone is reason enough for appreciation, but F.W. Murnau's adaptation of it brings the story to a whole new level. Where Nosferatu scores points for atmosphere, Faust is just a superior movie by far. The image of Mephisto sitting over the city with his giant demonic wings is just breath taking and the struggle Faust has to make between pleasure and his soul is something I'm sure many can relate to on one level or another.

10-07-2011, 10:10 PM
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920). The transformation scenes are still pretty damn awesome and John Barrymore's performance is top notch and creepy as hell.

10-11-2011, 02:51 AM
I love all the classics, but I would have to say Thomas Edison's Frankenstein. I wanted to see it for so long and when I finally did, I wasn't disappointed. I believe it is really the first horror film. I could be wrong, but regardless, it is significant for being done by Edison and such an early horror piece and adaptation.

10-11-2011, 08:26 AM
Interesting selections, everyone. Many great recommendations that you all should check out!

The three random winners of Criterion's THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE DVDs are:


Please send me a private message with your name and address and your discs will be shipped out promptly. Check out our new October Madness poll very soon!

10-11-2011, 08:39 AM
Nosferatu has truly striking imagery and an iconic vampire. I gotta go with Metropolis, though. Great visuals and FX throughout, and so ahead of its time. Its influence on cinema is still apparent to this day.

10-11-2011, 07:51 PM
Congratulations to the winners. What a happy way to start the month.

10-12-2011, 12:01 AM
Congratulations to the winners !

10-12-2011, 12:05 AM
A happy way indeed! Thanks!

10-12-2011, 04:25 AM
Congrats Winners!

10-12-2011, 04:52 AM
Congratulations to all! Criterion DVDs are so great.