Sunrise, 1927, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau
The Immigrant, 1917, Charles Chaplin
Shinel (Der Mantel), 1926, Grigoriy Kozintsev, Leonid Trauberg
Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, 1920, Robert Wiene

Collection on Screen:

Silent Film Classics

May 2 to June 16, 2024

For May and June, our Collection on Screen shows a selection of silent film masterpieces from the Austrian Film Museum's collection. The seven films in six programs provide a cross section of the main strands, genres, and regions of the pre-sound era. The spectrum runs the gamut from renowned masters of silent comedy – represented by Charlie Chaplin (The Immigrant, 1917) and Buster Keaton (Sherlock Jr., 1925) – to British filmmaker John Grierson, who as a critic coined the term "documentary" before realizing his own ideas on film starting with Drifters and becoming a leading figure in the development of documentary filmmaking. With Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (1920), we show the key influential work of German Expressionism and we represent pioneering Russian cinema with far too infrequently recognized Sinel (1926) by Grigorij Kosintsev and Leonid Trauberg. With Victor Sjöström's fantastic adaptation of Selma Lagerlöf's Körkarlen (1921), we will show a main work (voted best Swedish film of all time) of the silent era's long-predominant Scandinavian School and with the first Oscar-winner Sunrise (1927) by F.W. Murnau, a love story whose beauty and power remains unmatched in nearly every regard. These films demonstrate once again that silent films were not a precursor to sound film, but an art form in and of itself, which was superseded at its zenith by technological innovation. Our focus is further amplified by two parallel programs: the Domitor conference on early cinema and the Julien Duvivier retrospective, in which three of his major silent films can also be seen. (Christoph Huber / Translation: Ted Fendt)
As was standard presentation practice at the time, all silent film screenings will be presented with live musical accompaniment, nearly all with live piano.

Collection on Screen is an ongoing series focusing on film history through our own collection.
Related materials


(1929, 54 min)

Sherlock Jr.

(1924, 53 min)

Shinel (Der Mantel)

(1926, 78 min)


(1927, 94 min)

The Immigrant

(1917, 31 min)
For each series, films are listed in screening order.
Running time: 94 min
Thu, 02.05.2024 18:00
Running time: 71 min
Sun, 12.05.2024 18:00
Piano accompaniment by Elaine Loebenstein
Running time: 84 min
Sun, 19.05.2024 18:00
Piano accompaniment by Gerhard Gruber
Fri, 24.05.2024 18:00
Change of program
Running time: 78 min
Sun, 26.05.2024 20:30
Live Music: Franz Reisecker and Didi Kern
Running time: 106 min
Sun, 02.06.2024 18:00
Piano accompaniment by Elaine Loebenstein
Running time: 54 min
Sun, 16.06.2024 20:30
Piano accompaniment by Gerhard Gruber