Listing of silent F&SF films on YouTube

I’ve added some new content to my site (see the announcement thread).

For the first time anywhere on the Internet, AFAIK, I’ve put together a comprehensive annotated listing of every single silent film that can be considered fantasy or science fiction and is available on YouTube. I kept being frustrated that I couldn’t explore what is still available in any systematic way. People put together playlists, but those are always incomplete and hard to search. And they’re just pointers, so you’re dependent on what information the posters of the videos include.

I used a couple of major f&sf film histories and went through every listing year by year to see if I could find it on YouTube. I ended up with 82 titles, from 1895 - 1929. That’s probably around a quarter of all of them, a pretty good ratio considering that some people think 90% of all silent films have disappeared. (Admittedly, some are just fragments rather than the full films.) They’re on four pages, 1895-1906, 1907-1913, 1914-1919, and 1920-1929, because all the embedded YouTube links makes longer pages load too slowly. I list every credited name given in the histories, and I added the source material, usually a play or book, if that was known.

It’s likely I’ve missed some, and new material gets posted all the time, so feel free to let me know about omissions or mistakes. Many of the films I desperately wanted to find don’t turn up in searches, so I’m hoping that a few from film vaults will be added in the future.

All the big names are there, from Lumière and Méliès in the early days to Fritz Lang’s epics in the 1920s. Even a Charlie Chaplin spoof. I’m hoping that this is more than just a major reference work. Every f&sf fan should find amazing amounts of material they’ve never seen, maybe never heard of before. I haven’t even finished viewing all the dozens of hours of films new to me.

Many of the films have been restored and have new soundtracks and added captions or intertitles in English, so you’re getting the best experience. Have fun.

Thank you!