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||# Reels||Director||Stars||Genre||Youtube |
|Below the Surface||6||Irvin Wallat||Hobart Bosworth,|
|Link I: no music, lesser quality.
Link II: great quality, no music, intertitles in Dutch.
|Confession, The||7||Bertram Bracken||Henry B. Walthall,|
|Conrad in Quest of His Youth||6||William C. DeMille||Thomas Meighan,|
Mabel Van Buren
|County Fair, The||5||Edmund Mortimer,|
|Helen Jerome Eddy,|
|Cradle of Courage||5||William S. Hart,|
|William S. Hart,|
|Drama, War||Link||With untraditional, contemporary-style soundtrack.|
|Daughter of Dawn, The||6||Norbert A. Myles||White Parker,|
|Comedy||Link||No music; with Dutch intertitles and optional Spanish CC.|
|Down Home||7||Irvin Wallat||Leatrice Joy,|
|Down on the Farm||5||Ray Grey,|
F. Richard Jones,
Erie C. Kenton
|Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde||7||John S. Robertson||John Barrymore,|
|Drama, Horror||Link I|
|Link I: vintage organ accompaniment.
Link II: small ensemble score.
Link III: with classical soundtrack, sound effects, and John "Barrymore's voice".
|Excuse My Dust||5||Sam Wood||Wallace Reid,|
|Flapper, The||6||Alan Crosland||Olive Thomas||Comedy||Link I|
|Link I: with period jazz soundtrack.
Link II: with a bit lifeless piano accompaniment.
|Godless Men||7||Reginald Barker||Russell Simpson,|
|Headin' Home||6||Lawrence C. Windom||Babe Ruth||Biography||Link I|
|Link I: old orchestral soundtrack, but awful film quality.
Link II: no music, but more watchable video quality.
|His Wonderful Chance||5||George Archainbaud||Eugene O'Brien,|
|Crime, Drama||Link||No music; film could use restoration.|
|Homer Comes Home||5||Jerome Storm||Charles Ray,|
|Humoresque||6||Frank Borzage||Gaston Glass,|
|Idol Dancer, The||7||D.W. Griffith||Richard Barthelmess,|
|Jack-Knife Man, The||6||King Vidor||F.A. Turney||Drama||Link|
|Jungle Princess, The||7||E.A. Martin||Juanita Hansen,|
|Adventure||Link||No music. "The Jungle Princess" was a serial, repackaged as a feature in 1920.|
|Just Pals||5||John Ford||Buck Jones,|
|Last of the Mohicans, The||6||Clarence Brown,|
|Historical drama, Adventure||Link|
|Leopard Woman, The||7||Wesley Ruggles||Louise Glaum,|
|Love Expert, The||6||David Kirkland||Constance Talmadge||Comedy||Link|
|Love Flower, The||7||D.W. Griffith||Carol Dempster,|
|Link I: piano score.
Link II: classical soundtrack.
|Man Who Had Everything, The||5||Alfred E. Green||Jack Pickford,|
|Mark of Zorro, The||8||Fred Niblo||Douglas Fairbanks,|
Marguerite De La Motte
|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, The||6||Victor Fleming||Douglas Fairbanks,|
|Link I: with untraditional music, with ads.
Link II: no music, but no ads.
|Nomads of the North||6||David Hartford||Lon Chaney,|
|Drama, Western||Link||Good quality video, but with tedious, looping music.|
|Nurse Marjorie||5||William Desmond Taylor||Mary Miles Minter,|
|Outside the Law||8||Tod Browning||Lon Chaney,|
|Crime, Thriller||Link I|
|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, The||7||Wallace Worsley||Lon Chaney||Horror||Link I|
|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 Tights||5||B. Reeves Easton||Gladys Walton,|
|Pollyanna||6||Paul Powell||Mary Pickford||Comedy||Link|
|Sand!||5||Lambert HIllyer||William S. Hart,|
|Saphead, The||7||Herbert Blaché,|
|Link I: small ensemble score.
Link II: piano score.
|Sex||7||Fred Niblo||Louise Glaum,|
|Link I: mixed contemporary soundtrack.
Link II: traditional organ accompaniment.
|Something New||5||Nell Shipman,|
Bert Van Tuyle
Bert Van Tuyle
|Something to Think About||7||Cecil B. DeMille||Elliot Dexter,|
|Soul of Youth, The||6||William Desmond Taylor||Lewis Sargent,|
|Stolen Moments||6||James Vincent||Marguerite Namara,|
|Drama||Link||Only 35-minute abridged version survives. No music. Link is to archive.org.|
|Suds||6||John Francis Dillon||Mary Pickford,|
|Symbol of the Unconquered, The||8||Oscar Micheaux||Iris Hall,|
|Terror Island||5||James Cruze||Harry Houdini,|
|Mystery, Adventure||Link I|
|Link I: with organ accompaniment.
Link II: with ols-sounding piano accompaniment.
Link III: with classical soundtrack.
|Testing Block, The||6||Lambert Hillyer||William S. Hart,|
|Western||Link||First seven minutes comprise nice introduction by the
Capitola Historical Museum
|Texan, The||5||Lynn Reynolds||Tom Mix,|
|Western||Link||Intertitles in Dutch. Link is to archive.org.|
|Tiger's Coat, The||5||Roy Clements||Lawson Butt,|
|Link I: with contemporary soundtrack; first 5:30 comprise introductory material in Italian.
Link II: with piano score.
|Toll Gate, The||5||Lambert Hillyer||William S. Hart,|
Anna Q. Nilsson
|Western||Link||With original score by Ray Lowe.|
|Unknown Ranger, The||5||Harris Gordon||Rex Ray,|
|Unseen Forces||6||Sidney Franklin||Sylvia Breamer,|
|Virgin of Stamboul, The||7||Tod Browning||Priscilla Dean,|
|Way Down East||13||D.W. Griffith||Lillian Gish,|
|What Happened to Rosa||5||Victor Schertzinger||Mabel Normand||Comedy||Link|
|Why Change Your Wife?||7||Cecil B. DeMille||Thomas Meighan,|
|Link I: small ensemble score.
Link II: piano accompaniment.
|Within Our Gates||8||Oscar Micheaux||Evelyn Preer,|
James D. Ruffin
|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, The||6||Fred Niblo||Enid Bennett,|
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).
|April Folly||Robert Z. Leonard||Marion Davies||Grapevine|
|Grapevine edition is part of Marion Davies double-feature.
|Copperhead, The||Charles Maigne||Lionel Barrymore||SHOF||SHOF #63|
|Dangerous Days||Reginald Barker||Lawson Butt||SHOF||SHOF #135|
|Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde||J. Charles Hayden||Sheldon Lewis||Oldies.com||There were 2 versions of this title released in 1920. The other one (starring John Barrymore) is on our other list above.|
|Huckleberry Finn||William Desmond Taylor||Lewis Sargent,|
|Jes' Call Me Jim||Clarence G. Badger||Will Rogers||SHOF||SHOF #38|
|Kismet||Louis J. Gasnier||Otis Skinner,|
|Mid-Channel||Harry Garson||Clara Kimball Young||Grapevine|
|Night Riders, The||Alexander Butler||Albert Ray||Oldies.com||Listed as lost by LOC.|
|Roman Candles||Jack Pratt||J. Frank Glendon||Grapevine|
|Silk Husbands and Calico Wives||Alfred E. Green||House Peters,|
|Whispering Shadows||Emile Chautard||Lucy Cotton||Oldies.com|