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||# Reels||Director||Stars||Genre||Youtube |
|'49− '17||5||Ruth Ann Baldwin||Joseph W. Girard||Western||Link|
|Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp||8||Chester M. Franklin,|
Virginia Lee Corbin
|Fantasy||Link||Original 8-reel movie survives only in this 40-minute abridgement.|
|Babes in the Woods, The||5||Chester M. Franklin,|
Virginia Lee Corbin
|Fantasy||Link||No music; LOC lists film's saved status as "incomplete", so video, which is 36 minutes, may be abridgement of original film.|
|Betsy Ross||5||George Cowl,|
|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 Buccaneers||5||Rollin S. Strugeon||Juliette Day||Adventure||Link|
|Black Stork, The||5||Leopold Wharton,|
Dr. Harry J. Haiselden
|Drama||Link||No 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 Jeans||7||John H. Collins||Viola Dana,|
|Bucking Broadway||5||John Ford||Harey Carey,|
|Cleopatra||4||J. Gordon Edwards||Theda Bara||Biography,|
|Link||Less than a minute of this film survives.|
|Clodhopper, The||5||Victor Schertzinger||Charles Ray,|
|Down to Earth||5||John Emerson||Douglas Fairbanks||Comedy||Link|
|Fires of Youth, The||5||Emile Chautard||Frederick Warde,|
This may be the only surviving version of the film, abbreviated from its original 5 reels.
|Girl's Folly, A||5||Maurice Tourneur||Robert Warwick,|
|Golden Rule Kate||5||Reginald Barker||Louise Glaum,|
|Western||Link||Film survives only in this 13-minute abbreviated version.|
|Great White Trail, The||8||Leopold Wharton,|
|Drama||Link||One reel of this film is lost. The identity of the reel is TBD.|
|Heart of Texas Ryan, The||5||E.A. Martin||Tom Mix,|
|Jack and the Beanstalk||10||Chester M. Franklin,|
Virginia Lee Corbin
|Fantasy||Link||Only 16 minutes of this film survives.|
|Kidnapped||4||Alan Crosland||Raymond McKee,|
|Adventure||Link||"Kidnapped" begins at 31:00.|
|Little American, The||6||Cecil B. DeMille,|
|War, Drama||Link||No music. With ads, but superior quality to all other uploads.|
|Little Princess, A||5||Marshall Neilan||Mary Pickford,|
|Drama||Link||Music only for first 6 minutes.|
|Man From Painted Post, The||5||Joseph Henabery||Douglas Fairbanks,|
|Comedy, Western||Link||No music; film is ready for restoration.|
|Man Without a Country, The||6||Ernest C. Warde||Florence La Badie,|
|Modern Musketeer, A||5||Allan Dwan||Douglas Fairbanks,|
|Mormon Maid, A||5||Robert Z. Leonard||Mae Murray,|
|Mothers of Men||5||Willis Robards||Dorothy Davenport,|
|Drama||Link||Technically a lost film, but available in its 1921 re-release, under the name "Every Woman's Problem".|
|Poor Little Rich Girl, The||6||Maurice Tourneur||Mary Pickford,|
|Pride of the Clan, The||7||Maurice Tourneur||Mary Pickford,|
|Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman||7||George Irving||John Barrymore||Crime||Link I|
|The two versions here have alternate classical soundtracks.|
|Reaching for the Moon||5||John Emerson||Douglas Fairbanks,|
|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 Farm||6||Marshall Neilan||Mary Pickford,|
|Comedy||Link||Film quality not great.|
|Romance of the Redwoods, A||7||Cecil B. DeMille||Mary Pickford,|
|Drama, Western||Link||No music; film needs restoration.|
|Sawdust Ring, The||5||Charles Miller,|
|Drama||Link||May survive only in this 10-minute version; no music; link is to archive.org.|
|Scarlet Car, The||5||Joseph De Grasse||Franklin Farnum,|
|Link I: With ads, but decent film quality.
Link II: lesser quality, but ad-free.
|Secret Game, The||5||William C. deMille||Sessue Hayakawa,|
|Seven Keys to Baldpate||5||Hugh Ford||George M. Cohan,|
Anna Q. Nilsson
|Silent Man, The||5||William S. Hart||William S. Hart,|
|Link I: period recordings soundtrack.
Link II: contemporary-style soundtrack.
|Spreading Dawn, The||5||Laurence Trimble||Jane Cowl,|
|Drama||Link||Only a fragment of the film survives.|
|Straight Shooting||5||John Ford||Harey Carey,|
|Link I: superior quality, but no music.
Link II: with music, but lesser quality.
|Tale of Two Cities, A||7||Frank Lloyd||William Farnum,|
|Tom Sawyer||5||William Desmond Taylor||Jack Pickford,|
|Link I: with period organ accompaniment.
Link II: with traditional (mostly) piano accompaniment.
Link III: side-by-side, unrestored-restored versions.
|Trip Through China, A||10||Benjamin Brodsky||n/a||Documentary||Link I|
|18-minute surviving fragment of this film.
Link I: no music.
Link II: with music, colorized.
|Until They Get Me||5||Frank Borzage||Pauline Starke,|
|Drama||Link||Film needs restoration.|
|Vicar of Wakefield, The||6||Ernest C. Warde||Frederick Warde||Drama||Link||No music.|
|Whip, The||8||Maurice Tourneur||Alan Hanlon,|
|Drama||Link||English intertitles, but French subtitles superimposed on film.|
|Wild and Woolly||5||John Emerson||Douglas Fairbanks,|
|Comedy, Western||Link||No music.|
|Wolf Lowry||5||William S. Hart||William S. Hart,|
|Western||Link||With English intertitles, and German subtitles.|
|Woman God Forgot, The||5||Cecil B. DeMille||Wallace Reid,|
|Historical drama||Link||Intertitles in Italian, with English CC. Thank the uploader for the English translation!|
|Woman in White, The||6||Ernest C. Warde||Florence La Badie,|
|Young Mother Hubbard||5||Arthur Berthelet||Mary McAllister||Drama||Link||Link to archive.org.|
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).
|Americano, The||John Emerson||Douglas Fairbanks,|
|Broadway Arizona||Lynn Reynolds||Olive Thomas,|
|SHOF||SHOF item #200|
|Dancer's Peril, The||Travers Vale||Alice Brady,|
|Even Break, An||Lambert Hillyer||Olive Thomas,|
|SHOF||SHOF item #141|
|Gown of Destiny, The||Lynn Reynolds||Alma Rubens||SHOF||SHOF item #121|
|On Dangerous Ground||Robert Thornby||Carlyle Blackwell,|
|One Touch of Nature||Edward H. Griffith||John Drew Bennett||Oldies.com||Part of DVD set, "Reel Baseball"|
|Polly of the Circus||Edwin L. Hollywood,|
|Pinch Hitter, The||Victor Schertzinger||Charles Ray,|
|Film is part of Charles Ray double-feature with "The Busher".|
|Tillie Wakes Up||Harry Davenport||Marie Dressler||Grapevine,|