When Did the Silent Film Era Come to an End?

The end of the silent era of films began on Oct. 6, 1927, when Warner Brothers released "The Jazz Singer," the first full-length movie with synchronized dialogue. Studios continued to make silent films, but they slowly faded from popularity over the following decade.

Before the late 1920s, technology allowing the affordable recording and amplification of dialogue did not exist. However, with the development of the Vitaphone recording system and the Audion amplifier tube, filmmakers could record sound, synchronize it with the film and play it loud enough to fill a theater. As "talkies" became cheaper to produce, silent films waned. In 1929, "The Broadway Melody" was the first sound film to earn the first Oscar for Best Picture, marking the end of the dominance of silent films.