1. Sherlock Jr.
Directed by Buster Keaton
Written by Clyde Bruckman, Jean Havez, and Joseph A. Mitchell
Here sit the seeds of both The Purple Rose of Cairo and Duck Amuck.
Directed by Marcel L'Herbier
Written by L'Herbier, Pierre Mac Orlan, and Georgette Leblanc
A brilliantly demented spectacle that eventually veers into science-fiction territory. Among its many attractions: a vision of television in which the performer views her audience instead of the other way around, changing channels to watch one fan after another.
3. Cartoon Factory
Written and directed by Dave and Max Fleischer
My kinda Clone War.
4. Ballet Mécanique
Directed by Fernand Léger and Dudley Murphy
Written by Léger
A Cubist ballet.
5. Au Secours!
Directed by Abel Gance
Written by Gance and Max Linder
A haunted-house farce, featuring a flurry of gags, camera tricks, and surrealist insertions.
6. He Who Gets Slapped
Directed by Victor Sjöström
Written by Sjöström and Carey Wilson
The slapping routine just might be the darkest comedy act in Hollywood history.
7. Girl Shy
Directed by Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor
Written by Taylor, Tim Whelan, Ted Wilde, and Thomas J. Gray
In the climactic chase, Harold Lloyd's character commits a series of larcenies and puts dozens of people's lives at risk, all to prevent a wedding that could have been easily annulled after the fact. Never mind, it's funny.
8. The Last Laugh
Directed by F.W. Murnau
Written by Carl Mayer
The most silent of silent dramas.
9. The Crazy Ray
Written and directed by René Clair
This list didn't have room for Clair's most celebrated film of the year, the enjoyably loopy experiment Entr'acte. But I couldn't leave out his strange sci-fi comedy about a machine that freezes a city in time.
10. The Navigator
Directed by Buster Keaton and Donald Crisp
Written by Keaton, Clyde Bruckman, Jean C. Havez, and Joseph A. Mitchell
"He had completed all arrangements—except to notify the girl."
Of the films of 1924 that I haven't seen, I'm most interested in The City Without Jews.