1917 in film
1917 in film was a particularly fruitful year for the art form, and is often cited as one of the years in the decade which contributed to the medium the most, along with 1913.
Secondarily the year saw a limited global embrace of narrative film-making and featured innovative techniques such as continuity cutting. Primarily, the year is an American landmark, as 1917 is the first year where the narrative and visual style is typified as "Classical Hollywood".
- February - Buster Keaton first meets Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle in New York and is hired as a co-star and gag man.
- April 23 - Release in the United States of the short The Butcher Boy, the first of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle's series of films with the Comique Film Corporation, and Buster Keaton's film debut.
- April 25 - Thomas Lincoln Tally, in a meeting in New York, co-founds the First National Exhibitors Circuit.
- September 13 - Release in the United States of The Gulf Between, the first film made in Technicolor System 1, a two-color process.
- November 9 - World's first feature-length animated film is made in Argentina by Quirino Cristiani (El Apóstol)
- December 18 - Foundation of Universum Film AG (UƒA), as a propaganda film company, in Berlin.
- Movette, another revision of the 17.5 mm film format, is made available.
Top-grossing films (U.S.)
Notable films released in 1917
U.S.A. unless stated
- The Adventurer, a Charlie Chaplin short.
- All Aboard, a Harold Lloyd short
- The Bad Boy, starring Robert Harron, Mildred Harris, Colleen Moore
- Bestia (aka The Polish Dancer), starring Pola Negri - (Poland)
- Big Timber
- Bucking Broadway, directed by John Ford, starring Harry Carey
- The Butcher Boy, starring "Fatty" Arbuckle with Buster Keaton
- Camille, starring Theda Bara
- Cleopatra, starring Theda Bara
- The Colonel (Az Ezredes), directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Bela Lugosi - (Hungary)
- Coney Island, a 'Fatty' Arbuckle / Buster Keaton short.
- The Cure, a Charlie Chaplin short.
- Dombey and Son directed by Maurice Elvey and starring Hayford Hobbs - (GB)
- The Dying Swan (Umirayushchii Lebed) - (U.S.S.R.)
- Easy Street, starring Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance
- El Apóstol (The Apostle), animated by Quirino Cristiani - (Argentina)
- Fear directed by Robert Wiene and starring Conrad Veidt - (Germany)
- Frank Hansen's Fortune directed by Viggo Larsen - (Germany)
- The Gay Lord Quex directed by Maurice Elvey and starring Ben Webster and Irene Vanbrugh - (GB)
- Golden Rule Kate, a drama western starring Louise Glaum
- Great Expectations, starring Jack Pickford
- The Gulf Between, All color movie.
- Harrison and Barrison, directed by Alexander Korda, starring Márton Rátkai - (Hungary)
- Her Right to Live, directed by Paul Scardon, starring Peggy Hyland, Antonio Moreno, Mae Costello, John S. Robertson
- His Wedding Night, a 'Fatty' Arbuckle / Buster Keaton short.
- The Immigrant, starring Charlie Chaplin and Edna Purviance
- A Kentucky Cinderella, starring Ruth Clifford
- The Labour Leader, directed by Thomas Bentley, starring Owen Nares, Fay Compton - (GB)
- The Little American, starring Mary Pickford; directed by Cecil B. DeMille.
- A Little Princess, directed by Marshall Neilan, starring Mary Pickford, Norman Kerry, ZaSu Pitts
- Der Magische Gürtel ("The Magic Girdle") (Germany)
- A Man There Was (Terje Vigen), directed by Victor Sjöström - (Sweden)
- The Man Without a Country, starring Florence La Badie
- The Marriage of Luise Rohrbach, directed by Rudolf Biebrach, starring Henny Porten, Emil Jannings - (Germany)
- Mothers of Men, starring Dorothy Davenport
- Oh Doctor!, a 'Fatty' Arbuckle / Buster Keaton short.
- One Law for Both directed by Ivan Abramson
- The Picture of Dorian Gray (Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray) - (Germany)
- The Poor Little Rich Girl, starring Mary Pickford
- Raffles the Amateur Cracksman, starring John Barrymore
Advertisement, August 1917
- Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, starring Mary Pickford
- A Reckless Romeo, a 'Fatty' Arbuckle short.
- A Romance of the Redwoods, directed by Cecil B. DeMille, starring Mary Pickford
- The Rough House, a 'Fatty' Arbuckle / Buster Keaton short.
- Satan Triumphant (Satana likuyushchiy) - (U.S.S.R.)
- The Silent Man, starring William S. Hart
- Souls Triumphant, starring Lillian Gish
- Straight Shooting, directed by John Ford
- The Sultan's Wife, starring Gloria Swanson
- Teddy at the Throttle, a Keystone comedy starring Gloria Swanson
- Thaïs - (Italy)
- Tom Sawyer, starring Jack Pickford
- The Tornado, directed by John Ford (his debut)
- The Torture of Silence (Mater Dolorosa), directed by Abel Gance - (France)
- U-Boote Heraus! ("U-Boat Release") (Germany)
- Wild and Woolly, starring Douglas Fairbanks
Comedy film series
- January 2 - Vera Zorina, dancer, actress (died 2003)
- January 5 - Jane Wyman, actress (died 2007)
- January 10 - Hilde Krahl, actress (died 1999)
- January 21 - Lally Bowers, English actress and singer (died 1984)
- January 24 - Ernest Borgnine, actor (died 2012)
- February 6 - Zsa Zsa Gabor, actress
- February 21 - Lucille Bremer, actress (died 1996)
- March 2 - Desi Arnaz, actor (died 1986)
- March 12 - Googie Withers, actress (died 2011)
- March 22 - Virginia Grey, actress (died 2004)
- April 14 - Valerie Hobson, actress (died 1998)
- April 29
- May 1 - Danielle Darrieux, actress
- May 10 - Margo, actress (died 1985)
- May 16 - George Gaynes, actor (died 2016)
- May 21 - Raymond Burr, actor (died 1993)
- May 25 - Steve Cochran, actor (died 1965)
- June 7 - Dean Martin, singer, actor (died 1995)
- June 30
- July 8 - Faye Emerson, actress (died 1983)
- July 17 - Phyllis Diller, comedian, actress (died 2012)
- July 26 - Lorna Gray, actress
- August 6 - Robert Mitchum, actor (died 1997)
- August 8 - Earl Cameron, actor
- August 25 - Mel Ferrer, actor (died 2008)
- September 9 - Rolf Wenkhaus, actor (died 1942)
- September 11 - Herbert Lom, actor (died 2012)
- October 7
- October 16 - Alice Pearce, actress (died 1966)
- October 17 - Marsha Hunt, U.S. actress
- October 22 - Joan Fontaine, actress (died 2013)
- November 2 - Ann Rutherford, actress (died 2012)
- November 4 - Virginia Field, actress (died 1992)
- December 7 - Hurd Hatfield, actor (died 1998)
- December 12 - Margaret Marquis, actress
- December 22 - Frankie Darro, actor (died 1976)
- February 21 - Fred Mace, 38, American actor & comedian, What Happened to Jones, His Last Scent (short), A Lover's Might (short), The Love Comet (short)
- March 6 - Valdemar Psilander, 32, Danish actor, Rytterstatuen, Lykken, Lydia, Klovnen, Favoriten, In Defense of a Nation, John Redmond, the Evangelist
- July 2 - Herbert Beerbohm Tree, 64, English stage & screen actor, Beerbohm Tree, The Great English Actor; Henry VIII; Macbeth; Trilby; The Old Folks at Home
- October 13 - Florence La Badie, 29, American actress, The Man Without a Country, War and the Woman, The Woman in White, When Love was Blind
- October 25 - Jack Standing, 31, English actor, With Hoops of Steel, The Curse of Eve, The Innocent Sinner, The Price of Her Soul, One Touch of Sin
- November 5 - Howell Hansel, 46, American actor and director
- December 20 - Eric Campbell, 38, Scottish actor, The Immigrant, Behind the Screen, The Count, Easy Street, The Adventurer (short), The Cure (short)
- ↑ Films of the Golden Age.
- ↑ First National filmography.