The Best Movies of 1922: A Century Ago

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a hundred years since the year 1922 came and went. What a year for movies! Of course, there were some stinkers released that year, but there were also some true classics. 

Nosferatu is one of the most influential horror films ever made, and it all started with this German expressionist masterpiece. The movie tells the story of Count Orlok, a vampire who terrorizes the town of Wisborg. The film was so successful that it spawned countless imitations and homages over the years.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is another classic from the German expressionist movement. The film tells the story of a man who goes to see a hypnotist, only to find out that he’s become the victim of a madman. The movie is full of atmospheric visuals and unforgettable scenes, making it one of the most influential films ever made.

The list includes some overlooked masterpieces as well. Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages is a Swedish documentary about witches and witch-hunting. The movie was ahead of its time in terms of its approach to the subject matter, and it’s still shocking and eye-opening today.

Felix Saves the Day is a short film that’s also worth mentioning. The film was directed by Clyde Geronimi, who would go on to have a long career at Disney. The movie follows Felix the Cat as he tries to save his owner from some thugs. Felix the Cat was one of the first popular cartoon characters, and this film is a great example of why. It’s a fun and inventive little movie, and it’s definitely worth checking out. 



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Robin Hood is an American silent film directed by Allan Dwan and starring Douglas Fairbanks. The original story is based on the Robin Hood legend and takes place during the Crusades. The movie is full of exciting action sequences and Fairbanks’ trademark athleticism. Douglas Fairbanks was one of the biggest movie stars of the 1920s, and this film is a great example of why.

Orphans of the Storm is a silent drama film directed by D. W. Griffith and starring Lillian Gish. The movie tells the story of two sisters who are separated during the French Revolution. One of the sisters is blinded, and the other goes off to find her sister in Paris. The film is full of touching moments and beautiful visuals, making it one of Griffith’s best films.

Blood and Sand is a silent drama film directed by Fred Niblo and starring Rudolph Valentino. The movie tells the story of a bullfighter who falls in love with a married woman. The film was one of Valentino’s most popular films, and it helped to solidify his reputation as a sex symbol.

Grandma’s Boy is a comedy film directed by Fred Newmeyer and starring Harold Lloyd. The movie follows the misadventures of a young man who is sent to live with his grandparents. The film is full of slapstick humor and Lloyd’s trademark physical comedy. “Grandma’s Boy” is one of the funniest films from the silent era, and it’s still just as funny today.

The Prisoner of Zenda is an American silent film based on the 1894 novel of the same name by Anthony Hope. The movie tells the story of a man who goes to Ruritania to save the life of the king, only to find out that he looks exactly like him. The movie is full of adventure and romance, and it’s definitely one of the best films of 1922, especially because of its great use of special effects.

Nanook of the North is a documentary about the Inuit people of northern Quebec. The film was directed by Robert Flaherty, and it’s considered one of the first documentaries ever made. The movie is full of beautiful scenery and interesting characters, making it a must-see for anyone interested in documentary films.

Foolish Wives was one of the first full-length features from director Erich von Stroheim, and it’s a doozy. The movie follows a group of con artists who target wealthy women in Monte Carlo. The film is over three hours long, but it’s worth every minute.

The last film on our list is another classic from the German expressionist movement. Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam(made in 1920 but released in some areas of the U.S. in 1922) is the story of a man who creates a golem, or clay creature, to protect the Jews of Prague from persecution. The golem eventually goes out of control, and the movie ends with tragedy. Despite its downbeat themes, the film is visually stunning and full of memorable scenes.

These are just a few of the great films that were released in 1922. It’s amazing to think about how many classics came out in just one year. If you haven’t seen any of these movies, then you’re missing out on some true cinematic treasures. So make sure to track them down and check them out! You won’t be disappointed.


Content by Audere Magazine.