HBO Max: Get Your Vintage Fix With These Silent Era Classics

by Lauren Boisvert

The Turner Classic Movies hub on HBO Max is a great place to watch vintage movies. But, what if you’re specifically looking for some of the best silent-era films? If you don’t want to sift through a bunch of movies looking for just the right one, here’s a list of 8 of the best.

Charlie Chaplin‘s Modern Times from 1936 is a beloved classic of silent film buffs. The film follows the Tramp, played by Chaplin. He attempts, and fails, to understand a technologically-advancing world, plus stay out of jail.

Next, Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc from 1927 is a cinematic marvel; filmed mostly in close-ups, it follows Joan of Arc, played by Renée Jeanne Falconetti. Throughout the film, she is tried and convicted of heresy. The story of Joan of Arc concludes with Miss of Arc being burned at the stake.

Additionally, G.W. Pabst’s Pandora’s Box from 1928 stars Louise Brooks as Lulu, a woman who uses her looks to manipulate men. Eventually, she goes too far, leading to tragedy, and has to face the consequences.

A Trip to the Moon is instantly recognizable by that image of the man in the moon with a space capsule in his eye. Georges Méliès’ iconic 1902 film follows a group of astronomers. They aim to study the surface of the moon by launching a space capsule from a cannon.

Later, in 1904, Georges Méliès was at it again. He wrote and directed The Impossible Voyage, loosely based on the Jules Verne story “Journey Through the Impossible”. The premise is similar to “A Trip to the Moon”, but instead of the moon, a group of astronomers aims to study the surface of the sun.

HBO Max Has All Your Silent-Era Favorites

HBO Max‘s TCM hub also includes Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor’s Safety Last! from 1923. This film follows The Boy, played by Harold Floyd, as he gets into accidents and mishaps all around the big city. One of the most iconic shots from this comedy is of Floyd hanging from the hands of a clock on the side of a building; talk about mishaps.

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog is one of Alfred Hitchcock’s earliest films. Released in 1927, it is largely based on Jack the Ripper. The film focuses on multiple perspectives, such as a quiet man assumed to be the killer, and his landlady, who grows increasingly suspicious of him.

Charlie Chaplin’s 1925 film Gold Rush follows Chaplin’s character the Tramp once again, but now he is a gold prospector. He gets into all sorts of dangerous and comical situations; two such situations being having to eat a shoe and living in a cabin balanced on a cliff.

For 5 more of the best silent films on HBO Max, check out the list from CinemaBlend.