American Feature Films of 1917

What This Page Contains

On this page you will find a table listing all 49 American silent feature films of 1917 that can be viewed online, mostly on YouTube. For each film on the list, you will find a link to the best online version of the film.

Highlights of Our List of 1917 Online Films

Mary Pickford dominates our list of 1917 online films, with six separate offerings; interestingly, she was directed for two of these films each by Cecil B. DeMille, Maurice Tourneur, and Marshall Neilan, the latter who would go on to direct Pickford regularly through 1919. Douglas Fairbanks also remained popular, as he appears in five of our films, including three with his new favorite co-star, Eileen Percy.

Brothers Chester M. Franklin and Sidney Franklin directed four films in 1917 starring the Fox Kiddies, a gaggle of child actors, of which three films survive in part and appear on our list: Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, The Babes in the Woods (both of which survive in abridged form), and Jack and the Beanstalk (of which only a reel or so survives). These offerings starred the adorably photogenic, and wonderfully overacting 7-year old Francis Carpenter and Virginia Lee Corbin.

Other interesting releases included The Black Stork, which seems to promote eugenics, and the first full-length treatment of Tom Sawyer. Finally, we welcome John Barrymore, Mae Murray and Lon Chaney to our lists, as well as directors Frank Lloyd, John Ford, Ernest C. Warde and Frank Borzage.

Want to See American Feature Films from Other Years?

Go to American Feature Films of: 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931

1917 Statistics (per the Library of Congress database):

Number of Features Released: 941
Number Extant (complete and incomplete): 277
Number Completely Lost: 664

1917 American Feature Films Available for Viewing Online

 Title# ReelsDirectorStarsGenreYoutube
'49− '175Ruth Ann BaldwinJoseph W. GirardWesternLink
Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp8Chester M. Franklin,
Sidney Franklin
Francis Carpenter,
Virginia Lee Corbin
FantasyLinkOriginal 8-reel movie survives only in this 40-minute abridgement.
Babes in the Woods, The5Chester M. Franklin,
Sidney Franklin
Francis Carpenter,
Virginia Lee Corbin
FantasyLinkNo music; LOC lists film's saved status as "incomplete", so video, which is 36 minutes, may be abridgement of original film.
Betsy Ross5George Cowl,
Travers Vale
Alice Brady,
John Bowers
BiographyLink I
Link II
Link I: inferior print, inferior music.
Link II: superior print, no music, missing first 10 minutes.
Recommendation: watch Link I to 10:55, then switch to Link II.
There is some missing film at the end of Link I:
Betty and the Buccaneers5Rollin S. StrugeonJuliette DayAdventureLink
Black Stork, The5Leopold Wharton,
Theodore Wharton
Jane Fearnley,
Dr. Harry J. Haiselden
DramaLinkNo music; video has obnoxious time-stamp running through the center of the frame. Film exists only as 1927 re-release, under the name "Are You Fit to Marry?"
Blue Jeans7John H. CollinsViola Dana,
Robert Walker
Bucking Broadway5John FordHarey Carey,
Molly Malone
Cleopatra4J. Gordon EdwardsTheda BaraBiography,
Historical Drama
LinkLess than a minute of this film survives.
Clodhopper, The5Victor SchertzingerCharles Ray,
Margery Wilson
Down to Earth5John EmersonDouglas FairbanksComedyLink
Fires of Youth, The5Emile ChautardFrederick Warde,
Helen Badgley
DramaLinkNo music.
This may be the only surviving version of the film, abbreviated from its original 5 reels.
Girl's Folly, A5Maurice TourneurRobert Warwick,
Doris Kenyon
Golden Rule Kate5Reginald BarkerLouise Glaum,
William Conklin
WesternLinkFilm survives only in this 13-minute abbreviated version.
Great White Trail, The8Leopold Wharton,
Theodore Wharton
Doris Kenyon,
Paul Gordon
DramaLinkOne reel of this film is lost. The identity of the reel is TBD.
Heart of Texas Ryan, The5E.A. MartinTom Mix,
Bessie Eyton
Jack and the Beanstalk10Chester M. Franklin,
Sidney Franklin
Francis Carpenter,
Virginia Lee Corbin
FantasyLinkOnly 16 minutes of this film survives.
Kidnapped4Alan CroslandRaymond McKee,
Robert Cain
AdventureLink"Kidnapped" begins at 31:00.
Little American, The6Cecil B. DeMille,
Joseph Levering
Mary Pickford,
Jack Holt
War, DramaLinkNo music. With ads, but superior quality to all other uploads.
Little Princess, A5Marshall NeilanMary Pickford,
Katherine Griffith
DramaLinkMusic only for first 6 minutes.
Man From Painted Post, The5Joseph HenaberyDouglas Fairbanks,
Eileen Percy
Comedy, WesternLinkNo music; film is ready for restoration.
Man Without a Country, The6Ernest C. WardeFlorence La Badie,
Holmes Herbert
Modern Musketeer, A5Allan DwanDouglas Fairbanks,
Marjorie Daw
Adventure, ComedyLink
Mormon Maid, A5Robert Z. LeonardMae Murray,
Frank Borzage
Historical Drama,
Mothers of Men5Willis RobardsDorothy Davenport,
Willis Robards
DramaLinkTechnically a lost film, but available in its 1921 re-release, under the name "Every Woman's Problem".
Poor Little Rich Girl, The6Maurice TourneurMary Pickford,
Madlaine Traverse
Pride of the Clan, The7Maurice TourneurMary Pickford,
Matt Moore
DramaLinkNo music.
Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman7George Irving John BarrymoreCrimeLink I
Link II
The two versions here have alternate classical soundtracks.
Reaching for the Moon5John EmersonDouglas Fairbanks,
Eileen Percy
ComedyLink I
Link II
Link I: with music, but aspect is incorrect (stretched too wide); poor quality video.
Link II: correct aspect, higher quality video, but no music.
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm6Marshall NeilanMary Pickford,
George O'Brien
ComedyLinkFilm quality not great.
Romance of the Redwoods, A7Cecil B. DeMilleMary Pickford,
Elliot Dexter
Drama, WesternLinkNo music; film needs restoration.
Sawdust Ring, The5Charles Miller,
Paul Powell
Bessie Love,
Harold Goodwin
DramaLinkMay survive only in this 10-minute version; no music; link is to
Scarlet Car, The5Joseph De GrasseFranklin Farnum,
Edith Johnson,
Lon Chaney
DramaLink I
Link II
Link I: With ads, but decent film quality.
Link II: lesser quality, but ad-free.
Secret Game, The5William C. deMilleSessue Hayakawa,
Jack Holt,
Florence Vidor
DramaLinkNo music.
Seven Keys to Baldpate5Hugh FordGeorge M. Cohan,
Anna Q. Nilsson
ComedyLinkNo music.
Silent Man, The5William S. HartWilliam S. Hart,
Vola Vale
WesternLink I
Link II
Link I: period recordings soundtrack.
Link II: contemporary-style soundtrack.
Spreading Dawn, The5Laurence TrimbleJane Cowl,
Orme Caldora
DramaLinkOnly a fragment of the film survives.
Straight Shooting5John FordHarey Carey,
Molly Malone
WesternLink I
Link II
Link I: superior quality, but no music.
Link II: with music, but lesser quality.
Tale of Two Cities, A7Frank LloydWilliam Farnum,
Jewel Carmen
Literary drama,
Historical drama
LinkNo music.
Tom Sawyer5William Desmond TaylorJack Pickford,
Clara Horton
ComedyLink I
Link II
Link III
Link I: with period organ accompaniment.
Link II: with traditional (mostly) piano accompaniment.
Link III: side-by-side, unrestored-restored versions.
Trip Through China, A10Benjamin Brodskyn/aDocumentaryLink I
Link II
18-minute surviving fragment of this film.
Link I: no music.
Link II: with music, colorized.
Until They Get Me5Frank BorzagePauline Starke,
Jack Curtis
DramaLinkFilm needs restoration.
Vicar of Wakefield, The6Ernest C. WardeFrederick WardeDramaLinkNo music.
Whip, The8Maurice TourneurAlan Hanlon,
Irving Cummings
DramaLinkEnglish intertitles, but French subtitles superimposed on film.
Wild and Woolly5John EmersonDouglas Fairbanks,
Eileen Percy
Comedy, WesternLinkNo music.
Wolf Lowry5William S. HartWilliam S. Hart,
Margery Wilson
WesternLinkWith English intertitles, and German subtitles.
Woman God Forgot, The5Cecil B. DeMilleWallace Reid,
Geraldine Farrar,
Raymond Hatton
Historical dramaLinkIntertitles in Italian, with English CC. Thank the uploader for the English translation!
Woman in White, The6Ernest C. WardeFlorence La Badie,
Richard Neill
DramaLinkNo music.
Young Mother Hubbard5Arthur BertheletMary McAllister DramaLinkLink to

American Feature Films of 1917 Commercially Available,
But Not Yet Uploaded Online

The goal is to get the films listed below uploaded to YouTube. All of these films are in the public domain. However, any musical accompaniment is likely not in the public domain, and may be flagged by YouTube; consequently, you may wish to upload them without any soundtrack (or add your own).

 TitleDirectorStarsBuy FromNotes
Americano, TheJohn EmersonDouglas Fairbanks,
Alma Rubens
Broadway ArizonaLynn ReynoldsOlive Thomas,
George Chesebro
SHOFSHOF item #200
Dancer's Peril, TheTravers ValeAlice Brady,
Philip Hahn
Even Break, AnLambert HillyerOlive Thomas,
Charles Gunn
SHOFSHOF item #141
Gown of Destiny, TheLynn ReynoldsAlma RubensSHOFSHOF item #121
On Dangerous GroundRobert ThornbyCarlyle Blackwell,
Gail Kane
One Touch of NatureEdward H. GriffithJohn Drew BennettOldies.comPart of DVD set, "Reel Baseball"
Polly of the CircusEdwin L. Hollywood,
Charles Horan
Mae Marsh,
Vernon Steele
Pinch Hitter, TheVictor SchertzingerCharles Ray,
Sylvia Breamer
Film is part of Charles Ray double-feature with "The Busher".
Tillie Wakes UpHarry DavenportMarie DresslerGrapevine,