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.
1917 in film Wikipedia
U.S.A. unless statedJanuary 8 - Great Expectations, starring Jack Pickford
January 22 - Easy Street, starring Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance
January 22 - Her Right to Live, directed by Paul Scardon, starring Peggy Hyland, Antonio Moreno, Mae Costello, John S. Robertson
January 29 - A Man There Was (Terje Vigen), directed by Victor Sjöström - (Sweden)
February 2 - The Marriage of Luise Rohrbach, directed by Rudolf Biebrach, starring Henny Porten, Emil Jannings - (Germany)
February 18 - The Bad Boy, starring Robert Harron, Mildred Harris, Colleen Moore
March 3 - The Tornado, directed by John Ford (his debut)
March 5 - The Poor Little Rich Girl, starring Mary Pickford
March 7 - The Torture of Silence (Mater Dolorosa), directed by Abel Gance - (France)
April 15 - Teddy at the Throttle, a Keystone comedy starring Gloria Swanson
April 16 - The Cure, a Charlie Chaplin short.
April 23 - The Butcher Boy, starring "Fatty" Arbuckle with Buster Keaton
May 14 - A Romance of the Redwoods, directed by Cecil B. DeMille, starring Mary Pickford
May 19 - One Law for Both directed by Ivan Abramson
May 20 - Souls Triumphant, starring Lillian Gish
May 21 - A Reckless Romeo, a 'Fatty' Arbuckle short.
May - Frank Hansen's Fortune directed by Viggo Larsen - (Germany)
June 17 - The Immigrant, starring Charlie Chaplin and Edna Purviance
June 24 - Wild and Woolly, starring Douglas Fairbanks
June 25 - A Kentucky Cinderella, starring Ruth Clifford
June 25 - The Rough House, a 'Fatty' Arbuckle / Buster Keaton short.
June - The Labour Leader, directed by Thomas Bentley, starring Owen Nares, Fay Compton - (GB)
July 5 - Big Timber
July - The Picture of Dorian Gray (Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray) - (Germany)
August 12 - Golden Rule Kate, a drama western starring Louise Glaum
August 20 - His Wedding Night, a 'Fatty' Arbuckle / Buster Keaton short.
August 27 - The Little American, starring Mary Pickford; directed by Cecil B. DeMille.
August 27 - Straight Shooting, directed by John Ford
August - The Gay Lord Quex directed by Maurice Elvey and starring Ben Webster and Irene Vanbrugh - (GB)
September 13 - The Gulf Between, All color movie.
September 22 - Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, starring Mary Pickford
September 30 - Camille, starring Theda Bara
September 30 - Oh Doctor!, a 'Fatty' Arbuckle / Buster Keaton short.
September 30 - The Sultan's Wife, starring Gloria Swanson
September - Fear directed by Robert Wiene and starring Conrad Veidt - (Germany)
October 14 - Cleopatra, starring Theda Bara
October 21 - Satan Triumphant (Satana likuyushchiy) - (U.S.S.R.)
October 22 - The Adventurer, a Charlie Chaplin short.
October 29 - Coney Island, a 'Fatty' Arbuckle / Buster Keaton short.
November 9 - El Apóstol (The Apostle), animated by Quirino Cristiani - (Argentina)
November 11 - A Little Princess, directed by Marshall Neilan, starring Mary Pickford, Norman Kerry, ZaSu Pitts
November 12 - Harrison and Barrison, directed by Alexander Korda, starring Márton Rátkai - (Hungary)
November 25 - All Aboard, a Harold Lloyd short
November 26 - The Silent Man, starring William S. Hart
December 10 - Tom Sawyer, starring Jack Pickford
December 24 - Bucking Broadway, directed by John Ford, starring Harry Carey
December - Raffles the Amateur Cracksman, starring John Barrymore
Bestia (aka The Polish Dancer), starring Pola Negri - (Poland)
The Colonel (Az Ezredes), directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Bela Lugosi - (Hungary)
Dombey and Son directed by Maurice Elvey and starring Hayford Hobbs - (GB)
The Dying Swan (Umirayushchii Lebed) - (U.S.S.R.)
Der Magische Gürtel ("The Magic Girdle") (Germany)
The Man Without a Country, starring Florence La Badie
Mothers of Men, starring Dorothy Davenport
Runaway Romany, directed by George Lederer; starring Marion Davies and Matt Moore
Thaïs - (Italy)
U-Boote Heraus! ("U-Boat Release") (Germany)
Harold Lloyd (1913–1938)
Charlie Chaplin (1914–1940)
Lupino Lane (1915–1939)
Buster Keaton (1917–1944)
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 (died 2016)
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)
Celeste Holm, actress (died 2012)
Maya Deren, experimental filmmaker (died 1961)
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 3 - Leo Gorcey, actor, comedian (died 1969)
June 7 - Dean Martin, singer, actor (died 1995)
Lena Horne, singer, actress (died 2010)
Susan Hayward, actress (died 1975)
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)
Helmut Dantine, actor (died 1982)
June Allyson, actress (died 2006)
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)
Marion Davies - Runaway, Romany
Vittorio De Sica - The Clemenceau Affair
Richard Dix - One of Many
Elsie Ferguson - Barbary Sheep
John Ford - director, The Tornado (short) (as Jack Ford)
Mary Garden - Thais
Buster Keaton - actor, The Butcher Boy (short); writer, director, The Rough House (short)
Stan Laurel - Nuts in May (short) (as Stan Jefferson)
Bela Lugosi - Az ezredes (as Arisztid Olt)
ZaSu Pitts - Uneasy Money (short)
Marjorie Rambeau - The Greater Woman
Loretta Young - The Primrose Ring (uncredited)