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The 1920s saw the emergence of film as a popular medium, and launched the glamor of Hollywood in the public consciousness. Enjoy this timeline of the best pre-1930s films.

What’s on this Best pre-1930s Films Timeline?

The 1920s could be considered the age when Hollywood and film truly became a part of our culture, expanding as a subgroup out of theatre, but becoming its own thing. This timeline includes some of the most iconic and popular films from that decade, as well as a few important selections from the years before. This begins with “The Horse in Motion” which many consider to be the first motion picture ever. We make our selections based on popularity, the iconic factor, their influence, and two films that were the first winners of Best Picture (Wings, and The Broadway Melody).

While these film timelines will not usually include a lot of short films, we’ve made an exception in this case for some of the most innovative and influential of those videos. They provide a unique history lesson.

As always, if you see something you think we should add or change, give us a shout out in the comment section below. And if you liked this timeline, you might like some of our others, such as the Shakespeare timeline.

Best Pre-1930s Films Timeline 2.0

71920s and BeforeThe Great Train Robbery1903-12-01short-filmedwin-s-porter
81920s and BeforeBuyThe Birth of a Nation1915-02-08filmd-w-griffith
101920s and BeforeBuyThe Mark of Zorro1920-11-27filmjohnston-mcculley
111920s and BeforeBuyThe Kid1921-02-06filmcharlie-chaplin
121920s and BeforeBuyNosferatu1922-03-04filmhenrik-galeen
151920s and BeforeBuySherlock Jr., , 1924-04-21filmclyde-bruckman jean-havez joseph-a-mitchell
171920s and BeforeBuyPeter Pan1924-12-29filmwillis-goldbeck
181920s and BeforeBuyThe Lost World1925-02-02filmmarion-fairfax
191920s and BeforeBuyThe Gold Rush1925-06-26filmcharlie-chaplin
211920s and BeforeBuyBattleship Potemkin, , , 1925-12-21filmnikolai-aseyev nina-agadzhanova sergei-eisenstein sergei-tretyakov
231920s and BeforeBuyThe General, , , , 1926-12-31filmal-boasberg buster-keaton charles-henry-smith clyde-bruckman paul-girard-smith
241920s and BeforeBuyMetropolis, 1927-01-10filmfritz-lang thea-von-harbou
251920s and Before7th Heaven, , 1927-05-06filmbernard-vorhaus harry-h-caldwell katharine-hilliker
261920s and BeforeBuyWings1927-08-12filmjulian-johnson
271920s and BeforeBuySunrise: A Song of Two Humans1927-09-23filmcarl-mayer
281920s and BeforeBuyThe Jazz Singer1927-10-06filmalfred-a-cohn
291920s and BeforeBuyThe Passion of Joan of Arc, 1928-04-21filmcarl-theodor-dreyer joseph-delteil
301920s and BeforeBuyThe Man Who Laughs, , , 1928-04-27filmcharles-e-whittaker j-grubb-alexander mary-mclean walter-anthony
311920s and BeforeBuyThe Cameraman, 1928-09-22filmclyde-bruckman lew-lipton
321920s and BeforeSteamboat Willie, 1928-11-18short-filmub-iwerks walt-disney
341920s and BeforeBuyPandora’s Box, 1929-01-30filmg-w-pabst ladislaus-vajda
351920s and BeforeBuyAn Andalusian Dog, 1929-06-06filmluis-bunuel salvador-dali
361920s and BeforeBuyThe Broadway Melody, , 1929-06-12filmjames-gleason norman-houston sarah-y-mason
91920s and BeforeBuyCabinet of Dr. Caligari, 1920-02-26filmcarl-mayer hans-janowitz
131920s and BeforeBuyHunchback of Notre Dame (1923), 1923-09-02filmedward-t-lowe-jr perley-poore-sheehan
161920s and BeforeBuyGreed1924-12-04filmerich-von-stroheim
141920s and BeforeBuyThief of Bagdad, 1924-03-18filmachmed-abdullah lotta-woods
201920s and BeforeBuyPhantom of the Opera, , 1925-11-25filmbernard-mcconville elliott-j-clawson walter-anthony
221920s and BeforeBuyBen-Hur: A Tale of Christ1925-12-30filmjune-mathis
331920s and BeforeBuyMan with a Movie Camera1929-01-08filmdziga-vertov
11920s and BeforeBuyThe Horse in Motion1878-06-15short-film
21920s and BeforeRoundhay Garden Scene1888-10-14short-film
31920s and BeforeBuyAnna Belle Serpentine Dance1894-08-10short-film
41920s and BeforeArrival of a Train1896-01-25short-film
51920s and BeforeThe Haunted Castle1896-12-01short-filmgeorges-melies
61920s and BeforeBuyA Trip to the Moon1902-10-04short-filmgeorges-melies
19.0011920s and BeforeThe Pleasure Garden1925-11-03filmeliot-stannard
24.0011920s and BeforeBuyThe Lodger1927-02-14filmeliot-stannard
36.0011920s and BeforeBuyBlackmail, 1929-07-28filmalfred-hitchcock benn-w-levy
Best Pre-1930s Films Timeline 2.0

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