10 great films of German Expressionism available online

Do you like to watch classic movies? perhaps learning more about different cultures and art styles?

German Expressionist Films were one of the greatest achievements in early cinema history, and now you can watch them for free because these movies are public domain. Expressionist films challenge our habitual perception of reality.

“The style was revolutionary, taking film from being an art that displays reality to an art that brings the viewer physical representations of emotion and theme. Taking from the Expressionist art movement, the German filmmakers began to create sets that were an embodiment of the inner feelings of the characters performing within them. By taking elements of reality-based design and altering them to suit a mood, the audience can visually identify the underlying feelings of the action taking place. Beyond simply this, German Expressionist film took two major steps forward in production ideology. One was the use of a studio for all aspects of shooting – there could only be the necessary absolute control if all sets and action took place in a studio. The other was the pure idea of giving an audience what it wanted, beyond the conventional (for the time) film structure and design. Not surprisingly, while German Expressionist films were quite successful in terms of box office they were not always well received by critics at the time” (Source).

List of free German Expressionist films you can search and download with FrostWire (licensed under public domain, you can download, share and remix into your own works).

  1. Nosferatu – directed by F. W. Murnau.  (1922)
    Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter’s wife. Silent classic based on the story “Dracula.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcyzubFvBsA
  2. The Student of Prague – directed by Stellan Rye (1913)
    A poor student rescues a beautiful countess and soon becomes obsessed with her. A sorcerer makes a deal with the young man to give him fabulous wealth and anything he wants, if he will sign his name to a contract. The student hurriedly signs the contract, but doesn’t know what he’s in for.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWycNxqotmQ
  3. Nerven – directed by Robert Reinert. (1919)
    The films tells the political disputes of an ultraconservative factory owner Herr Roloff and Teacher John, who feels a compulsive but secret love for Roloff’s sister, a left-wing radical. They are all driven psychologically and morally to the borderline, tormented souls living their lives in a tormented country.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3I5X19r1xs
  4. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari  – Directed by Robert Wiene. (1920)
    Considered one of the most influential German Expressionist films and perhaps one of the greatest horror movies of all time.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AP3WDQXkJq4
  5. Metropolis – directed by Fritz Lang. (1927)
    In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city’s mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0NzALRJifI
  6. The Golem: How He Came Into the World  – directed by Carl Boese, Paul Wegener (1920)
    In 16th-century Prague, a rabbi creates a giant creature from clay, called the Golem, and using sorcery, brings the creature to life in order to protect the Jews of Prague from persecution.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaN5IKEXBZ0
  7. The Last Laugh –  directed by F.W. Murnau (1924)
    An aging doorman, after being fired from his prestigious job at a luxurious Hotel is forced to face the scorn of his friends, neighbours and society.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmIUP0ElS7k
  8. Faust – directed by F.W. Murnau(1926)
    The demon Mephisto wagers with God that he can corrupt a mortal man’s soul.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Flnxq2HMOqA
  9. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans – directed by F.W. Murnau (1927)
    A married farmer falls under the spell of a slatternly woman from the city, who tries to convince him to drown his wife.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnLVMREVA6M
  10. M – directed by Fritz Lang (1931)
    When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihDwCKWdt0c
    (Source: OpenCulture)

You can get these movies (public domain) using FrostWire. It’s completely legal and free🙂

nosferatu frostwire

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