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Films by the Year: Viewing Films in Chronological Order

Ever since I subscribed to Netflix in 2006 I’ve been coming up with different ways to populate and order my queue. Eventually I hit on the idea of choosing one film from each decade beginning with the 1880’s, then one from 1890, 1900, 1910, etc. After seeing a film from 2010 then I’d go back to the 1880’s and work my way through the decades again. After doing that for a few years I decided to advance one year on each round. So after watching films from years that end in zero (1890, 1900, ….2010) then I’d start the next round with films from years that end in one (1891, 1901, …2011). The next round starts with years that end in two and so on until I return to years that end in zero. This entails an enormous amount of research. I mostly use to locate all the films released in each year and then search the web to find out which films are available for home viewing. I enter those films in the Chronological List of Films. Starting March 16, 2018 I decided to include entries for films that are known to exist but not available for on-demand home viewing, including references in the form of a link to my source of information, as well as entries for films considered lost. 

The index is arranged by premiere dates but one may use the filter box to search for films by title, director, year, and availability. Just be sure to sure to click on “Show All Records” first (it takes a while to load) or else your search will be limited to the first 500 entries. Unfortunately the other search functions above the filter box doesn’t always return all results when searching by director though it appears to return all results for the other categories. The advantage of using the search functions is that it will search the entire database without having to click on the “Show All Records” button. I use special characters in film titles or director names if that is how they appear in their original languages. That means, for example, that if you search for films by the Japanese director Nagisa Ôshima by typing Oshima in the filter box the results will not include any on his films. You must type or paste Ôshima or you could simply type Nagisa. The search by director function will not return results for Oshima nor Ôshima. I know these things can be fixed but I don’t have the skills do it myself nor the funds to hire someone else to do it. Hopefully some day soon I will.

 The index is far from complete as I have concentrated mostly on the years 1888 to 1913, 1920 to 1921, 1930, 1940, 1950, etc. I will be posting reviews of films from each year and lists of all the films I found that are available for home viewing. I would like to acknowledge David Bond and Dr. Robert James Kiss for their invaluable and generous assistance with the identification of and accurate information pertaining to many of the films listed in the index.

  • Dan Willard – March 23, 2018


  1. Hey, Danny boy! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) Good to see you “blogging it”.

  2. Great to be here, Dan ~ thanks for the info ~ you can write a mean review.

  3. AvatarJanice Crabb says:

    I am a great fan of Chaplin and have seen all his movies ~ Modern Times and City Lights represent one of the highest peaks in cinema history ~ The Great Dictator, not so much ~ except, as you say, the final speech ~ my husband and I lived on a farm in WI for 40 years ~ one summer, in a presidential election year ~ I think it was the second GWB election ~ it was shortly before we moved away, a small group of inspired and energetic young people camped out with us while they tricked out an old school bus ~ changing it into a biodiesel vehicle so they could all live in it and drive around the country to call attention to environmental issues ~ one night, they strung a bedsheet up on the side of one of our sheds, and we watched the DVD of TGD ~ a drive-in feature, on top of a hill, in the middle of nowhere ~ it was quite a magical time and, though some were bored with many of the slapstick visual jokes, we all came together during Chaplin’s final speech ~ all close to tears ~ taken alone, the speech will always be moving and relevant.

    Thanks for your great review, Dan.

  4. AvatarDan Willard says:

    Thank you Janice!