They're heavy on effects, light on dialogue, and all available thanks to YouTube. But seriously, here's how this list came about: last week, the A.V. Club posted a four-part post listing the best films of the 1990s (links available) that, of course, brought a firestorm of opinions.
As a lark, we started talking about a companion list covering the best films of the 1890s. But the more we talked about it, the more it seemed like a good idea to turn back the clock to the very beginnings of film. We selected 10 films we found artistically compelling and historically significant. And because they’re all in the public domain, available on YouTube, and short, you can easily watch them in their entirety as you read along.
Not only that, but none of these films will cause a fight over which was the most important to readers' childhoods. Don't miss my favorite of the bunch, The X-Ray Fiend (1897). Link