American Feature Films of 1920

What This Page Contains

On this page you will find a list of all 56 American silent feature films of 1920 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 1920 Online Films

The most important item on our list is the earliest appearance of Oscar Micheaux, the first African-American feature-film director. Two of his first four films (Within Our Gates and The Symbol of the Unconquered) survive, and both appear on our list of 1920 films.

A scan of our list may reveal another interesting quality: the appearance of quite a large number of unfamiliar names; this is significant, as it does suggest the wide variety of silent films that managed to survive the last century. Having said that, a number of well-known names are well-represented, as always: Mary Pickford, Richard Barthelmess, Lon Chaney, Gloria Swanson and William S. Hart appear in multiple uploaded films from 1920.

With the release of The Mark of Zorro in 1920, Douglas Fairbanks was transformed from a popular comic actor into a swashbuckling, adventure mega-star. There were two versions of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde released in 1920: the one starring John Barrymore survives, and appears on our list for this year. In 1920, Olive Thomas starred in The Flapper, introducing the partying, convention-busting female character-type which would, in a sense, define the 1920’s.

Directors Sam Wood and Wesley Ruggles and actors Leatrice Joy and Conrad Nagle make their first appearance on a feature-film list of 1920. Buster Keaton‘s first feature offering, The Saphead, also can be found on our list.

Other films of interest include: Headin’ Home, in which Babe Ruth plays himself; The Daughter of Dawn, in which we find one of the earliest films to feature a credited American Indian, Hunting Horse, in a lead role; and Stolen Moments, Rudolph Valentino’s last film (in which he plays a villain) before exploding into superstardom in 1921 with The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

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]

1920 Statistics (per the Library of Congress database):

Number of Features Released: 735
Number Extant (complete and incomplete): 228
Number Completely Lost: 507

1920 American Feature Films Available for Viewing Online

 Title# ReelsDirectorStarsGenreYoutube
Below the Surface6Irvin WallatHobart Bosworth,
Grace Darmond,
Lloyd Hughes
DramaLink I
Link II
Link I: no music, lesser quality.
Link II: great quality, no music, intertitles in Dutch.
Confession, The7Bertram BrackenHenry B. Walthall,
Francis McDonald
DramaLinkNo music.
Conrad in Quest of His Youth6William C. DeMilleThomas Meighan,
Mabel Van Buren
ComedyLinkNo music.
County Fair, The5Edmund Mortimer,
Maurice Torneur
Helen Jerome Eddy,
David Butler
DramaLinkWith ads.
Cradle of Courage5William S. Hart,
Lambert Hillyer
William S. Hart,
Ann Little
Drama, WarLinkWith untraditional, contemporary-style soundtrack.
Daughter of Dawn, The6Norbert A. MylesWhite Parker,
Esther LeBarre,
Hunting Horse
WesternLinkNo music.
Dinty7John McDermott,
Marshall Neilan
Wesley Barry,
Noah Beery,
Collen Moore
ComedyLinkNo music; with Dutch intertitles and optional Spanish CC.
Down Home7Irvin WallatLeatrice Joy,
Edward Hearn
Down on the Farm5Ray Grey,
F. Richard Jones,
Erie C. Kenton
Louise Fazenda,
Harry Gribbon
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde7John S. RobertsonJohn Barrymore,
Martha Mansfield
Drama, HorrorLink I
Link II
Link III
Link I: vintage organ accompaniment.
Link II: small ensemble score.
Link III: with classical soundtrack, sound effects, and John "Barrymore's voice".
Excuse My Dust5Sam WoodWallace Reid,
Ann Little
Flapper, The6Alan CroslandOlive ThomasComedyLink I
Link II
Link I: with period jazz soundtrack.
Link II: with a bit lifeless piano accompaniment.
Godless Men7Reginald BarkerRussell Simpson,
Jim Mason
DramaLinkNo music.
Headin' Home6Lawrence C. WindomBabe RuthBiographyLink I
Link II
Link I: old orchestral soundtrack, but awful film quality.
Link II: no music, but more watchable video quality.
His Wonderful Chance5George ArchainbaudEugene O'Brien,
Martha Mansfield
Crime, DramaLinkNo music; film could use restoration.
Homer Comes Home5Jerome StormCharles Ray,
Priscilla Bonner
Humoresque6Frank BorzageGaston Glass,
Alma Rubens
Idol Dancer, The7D.W. GriffithRichard Barthelmess,
Clarine Seymour,
Creighton Hale
Jack-Knife Man, The6King VidorF.A. TurneyDramaLink
Jungle Princess, The7E.A. MartinJuanita Hansen,
George Chesebro
AdventureLinkNo music. "The Jungle Princess" was a serial, repackaged as a feature in 1920.
Just Pals5John FordBuck Jones,
Helen Ferguson
Comedy, WesternLink
Last of the Mohicans, The6Clarence Brown,
Maurice Tourneur
Wallace Beery,
Barbara Bedford
Historical drama, AdventureLink
Leopard Woman, The7Wesley RugglesLouise Glaum,
House Peters
Love Expert, The6David KirklandConstance TalmadgeComedyLink
Love Flower, The7D.W. GriffithCarol Dempster,
Richard Barthelmess
DramaLink I
Link II
Link I: piano score.
Link II: classical soundtrack.
Man Who Had Everything, The5Alfred E. GreenJack Pickford,
Priscilla Bonner
Mark of Zorro, The8Fred NibloDouglas Fairbanks,
Marguerite De La Motte
AdventureLink I
Link II
Link III
Link IV
Link I: traditional small ensemble score.
Link II: traditional piano score.
Link III: traditional organ score. Aspect slightly off (too wide).
Link IV: contemporary score; subtitles added for all speeches.
Mollycoddle, The6Victor FlemingDouglas Fairbanks,
Ruth Renick
ComedyLink I
Link II
Link I: with untraditional music, with ads.
Link II: no music, but no ads.
Nomads of the North6David HartfordLon Chaney,
Lewis Stone,
Betty Blythe
Drama, WesternLinkGood quality video, but with tedious, looping music.
Nurse Marjorie5William Desmond TaylorMary Miles Minter,
Clyde Fillmore
Outside the Law8Tod BrowningLon Chaney,
Priscilla Dean
Crime, ThrillerLink I
Link II
Link III
Link I: looping organ soundtrack.
Link II: with classical accompaniment, but occasional long lapses of silence.
Link III: not particularly appropriate contemporary score, but best picture quality.
Penalty, The7Wallace WorsleyLon ChaneyHorrorLink I
Link II
Link III
Link IV
Link V
Link I: contemporary soundtrack.
Link II: nice piano soundtrack; English intertitles, with French subtitles.
Link III: orchestral accompaniment.
Link IV: traditional small ensemble score.
Link V: classical soundtrack.
Pink Tights5B. Reeves EastonGladys Walton,
Jack Perrin
ComedyLinkNo music.
Pollyanna6Paul PowellMary PickfordComedyLink
Sand!5Lambert HIllyerWilliam S. Hart,
Mary Thurman
Saphead, The7Herbert Blaché,
Winchell Smith
Buster Keaton,
Beulah Booker
ComedyLink I
Link II
Link I: small ensemble score.
Link II: piano score.
Sex7Fred NibloLouise Glaum,
Irving Cummings
DramaLink I
Link II
Link I: mixed contemporary soundtrack.
Link II: traditional organ accompaniment.
Something New5Nell Shipman,
Bert Van Tuyle
Nell Shipman,
Bert Van Tuyle
LinkNo music.
Something to Think About7Cecil B. DeMilleElliot Dexter,
Gloria Swanson
DramaLinkNo music.
Soul of Youth, The6William Desmond TaylorLewis Sargent,
Clyde Fillmore
Stolen Moments6James VincentMarguerite Namara,
Rudolph Valentino
DramaLinkOnly 35-minute abridged version survives. No music. Link is to
Suds6John Francis DillonMary Pickford,
Albert Austin
Link II
Link III
Symbol of the Unconquered, The8Oscar MicheauxIris Hall,
Walker Thompson
Terror Island5James CruzeHarry Houdini,
Lila Lee
Mystery, AdventureLink I
Link II
Link I: with organ accompaniment.
Link II: with ols-sounding piano accompaniment.
Link III: with classical soundtrack.
Testing Block, The6Lambert HillyerWilliam S. Hart,
Eva Novak
WesternLinkFirst seven minutes comprise nice introduction by the
Capitola Historical Museum
Texan, The5Lynn ReynoldsTom Mix,
Gloria Hope
WesternLinkIntertitles in Dutch. Link is to
Tiger's Coat, The5Roy ClementsLawson Butt,
Tina Modotti
DramaLink I
Link II
Link I: with contemporary soundtrack; first 5:30 comprise introductory material in Italian.
Link II: with piano score.
Toll Gate, The5Lambert HillyerWilliam S. Hart,
Anna Q. Nilsson
WesternLinkWith original score by Ray Lowe.
Unknown Ranger, The5Harris GordonRex Ray,
Marie Newall
WesternLinkNo music.
Unseen Forces6Sidney FranklinSylvia Breamer,
Conrad Nagle
DramaLinkNo music.
Virgin of Stamboul, The7Tod BrowningPriscilla Dean,
Wheeler Oakman,
Wallace Beery
DramaLinkNo music.
Way Down East13D.W. GriffithLillian Gish,
Richard Barthelmess
DramaLink I
What Happened to Rosa5Victor SchertzingerMabel NormandComedyLink
Why Change Your Wife?7Cecil B. DeMilleThomas Meighan,
Gloria Swanson
DramaLink I
Link II
Link I: small ensemble score.
Link II: piano accompaniment.
Within Our Gates8Oscar MicheauxEvelyn Preer,
James D. Ruffin
DramaLink I
Link II
Link III
Link I: no music, but best quality video.
Link II: string quartet soundtrack, lesser quality video.
Link III: small ensemble soundtrack, lesser quality video.
Woman in the Suitcase, The6Fred NibloEnid Bennett,
William Conklin

American Feature Films of 1920 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
April FollyRobert Z. LeonardMarion DaviesGrapevine
Grapevine edition is part of Marion Davies double-feature.
SHOF #195
Copperhead, TheCharles MaigneLionel BarrymoreSHOFSHOF #63
Dangerous DaysReginald BarkerLawson ButtSHOFSHOF #135
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeJ. Charles HaydenSheldon LewisOldies.comThere were 2 versions of this title released in 1920. The other one (starring John Barrymore) is on our other list above.
Huckleberry FinnWilliam Desmond TaylorLewis Sargent,
Katherine Griffith
Jes' Call Me JimClarence G. BadgerWill RogersSHOFSHOF #38
KismetLouis J. GasnierOtis Skinner,
Rosemary Theby
Mid-ChannelHarry GarsonClara Kimball YoungGrapevine
Night Riders, TheAlexander ButlerAlbert RayOldies.comListed as lost by LOC.
Roman CandlesJack PrattJ. Frank GlendonGrapevine
Silk Husbands and Calico WivesAlfred E. GreenHouse Peters,
Mary Alden
Whispering ShadowsEmile ChautardLucy