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Silent Classics

The first three decades of cinema gave us some of the greatest films ever made, which had to tell their stories purely visually, giving us countless unforgettable images.

Thanks to excellent preservation and restoration efforts, these films are now available to watch in pristine condition, often with new scores by world renowned musicians.

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London Symphony
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London Symphony

Documentary201772 minsDirector: Alex Barrett

A poetic journey through the capital, presenting an artistic snapshot of London as it stands today, and a celebration of its rich diversity of culture, architecture and religion.

Blancanieves
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Blancanieves

Drama2011105 minsDirector: Pablo Berger

Pablo Berger’s imaginative black-and-white ‘silent’ movie relocates the story of Snow White to 1920s Spain – complete with bullfighting dwarfs

Battleship Potemkin
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Battleship Potemkin

Historical drama192569 minsDirector: Sergei M. Eisenstein

A fixture in the critical canon almost since its premiere, Eisenstein’s film about a 1905 naval mutiny was revolutionary in both form and content.

Lodger: A Story of the London Fog
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Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

Crime192691 minsDirector: Alfred Hitchcock

Ivor Novello plays a strange lodger who may be behind a number of Jack the Ripper-style killings in Alfred Hitchcock’s silent thriller.

Downhill
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Downhill

Drama1927105 minsDirector: Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock’s fifth film features an early variation on his fabled ‘wrong man’plot, as Ivor Novello stands accused of getting a girl pregnant.

Underground
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Underground

Romance192893 minsDirector: Anthony Asquith

The BFI National Archive restoration of one of Anthony Asquith's finest silent films set in London's Underground, with a new score.

Un Chien Andalou
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Un Chien Andalou

Animation & Artists Moving Image192816 minsDirector: Luis Buñuel

A scabrous study of desire, the subconscious and anti-clericalism - Buñuel and Dalí’s provocative first film is a classic of Surrealist cinema.

The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
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The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Period drama192591 minsDirector: Rupert Julian

'Man of a thousand faces' Lon Chaney stars in the first version of Gaston Leroux's oft-filmed novel.

Nosferatu
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Nosferatu

Horror192289 minsDirector: F.W. Murnau

This influential Dracula adaptation contains some of the most famous images of expressionist film, with a new score by Hammer composer James Bernard.

The Birth of a Nation
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The Birth of a Nation

Historical drama1915191 minsDirector: D.W. Griffith

D W Griffith's highly controversial, yet extremely significant American silent epic about the American Civil War and its aftermath.

The Master of the House
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The Master of the House

Drama1925107 minsDirector: Carl Th. Dreyer

Carl Theodor Dreyer’s richly detailed tragicomedy of domestic manners is by turns funny, intensely emotional and deeply affecting.

Turksib
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Turksib

Documentary192975 minsDirector: Viktor Turin

With bold and exhilarating flair, Turksib charts the monumental efforts to build a railway linking the regions of Turkestan and Siberia in 1920s USSR.

A Cottage on Dartmoor
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A Cottage on Dartmoor

Drama193088 minsDirector: Anthony Asquith

Anthony Asquith (Underground) directs this embroiled melodrama, a tale of love and revenge, shot on location on the bleak landscape of Dartmoor.

The Battles of Coronel and Falkland Islands
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The Battles of Coronel and Falkland Islands

War1927106 minsDirector: Walter Summers

This dramatic reconstruction of two decisive naval battles from the First World War is one of the finest films of the British silent era.