Movies You Should Watch (Not Hear)
Visually speaking, so many of today's films are boring. They're just about people standing around talking. In the early years of film, directors were still drunk on the excitement of making IMAGES! Sure, this sometimes came at the expense of a coherent plot, but frankly (and I know I'm hypocritical for saying this considering how much I complain about modern films with bad plots) I just don't care. The images from these movies stick in my mind long after any plot problems fade into oblivion.
These days (with the exception of the occasional Dark City) films don't try to plumb the depths of visual imagination to create new pictures for the pop culture. They're usually just about people standing around talking. (Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of good films about people standing around talking.)
So, in honor of the imagination, before sound and studios came to crush it in the name of the almighty dollar, I encourage you to check out the following silent movies (I've linked them to either an Ebert essay or their IMDB page).
The Phantom of the Opera
Sunrise (The only one to get creative even in its use of subtitles!)
The Cabinet of Dr Caligari
While you're at it, go see anything with Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin. You'll then understand how physical comedy is done....and see the precursor to modern physical comedians like Jackie Chan.
I'm open for more suggestions of visually impressive films (silent or not).