Chronological List of Films – A Work in Progress

chronological list of films

Why did I decide to compile a chronological list of films? In December, 2010 I embarked on a project to watch a film from every decade from years ending in zero (1890, 1900, 1910, etc.). After watching a film from 2010 I would start over again with a film (or films) from 1890. Later I decided not to restrict myself to films from years that end in zero and instead of returning to 1890 after watching a film from 2010 I would progress to 1891 and watch a film from every decade from years that end in one (1891, 1901, 1911, etc.). But I didn’t want to watch just any film from a particular year, I wanted to watch them in the order they were released during that year. This was no easy task as I couldn’t find anything like a comprehensive chronological list of films on the internet nor elsewhere. Sure, at one is able to sort all entries from a particular year by order of release date but I find that there are films out of order, inaccurate release dates, and missing entries, particularly for the early years of cinema. For example, many films produced by the Lumière company have no entries on So I decided to create my own chronological list of films in which I list the premiere date, title, director, and availability with links to or elsewhere with more information on the film, director, and on where to purchase or view the film. I began with years that end in zero but am now including films from every year beginning with 1888 up to the present year. On March 16, 2018 I began adding entries for titles that are known to exist but not available for on-demand home viewing as well as entries for films considered lost. Of course the index is nowhere near to being comprehensive but I hope that even in its present state it may prove somewhat useful for research purposes or for locating hard to find films. As of today, March 23, 2018, there are 13,529 entries and I add about ten new entries per day. The index may be viewed here.

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Dan Willard

I guess my journey to film geekdom began in high school when a friend took me to Filmex (Los Angeles Film Exposition) in 1976. The following year at Filmex I saw the premiere of 'Eraserhead' and I've never been the same since. I took some film classes while I was a student at UCLA which introduced me to European Art Cinema and I learned a little about the craft of filmmaking. I make my living as a professional musician and currently live in Oak View, CA.

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