... The Forgettable ... Of The 1930s

by Akira_Chimera | created - 12 Jul 2011 | updated - 4 days ago | Public

First of all, most movies on this list are not really bad. But they are not good either. In order not to bore you with every average movie I have seen I will restrain myself only to those of interest. That means you will find movies here that were successful at the box office but did not deserve that undue success or movies that did not stand the test of time. Other entries concern movies that are acclaimed by critics but to me are nothing short of being pretentious. Other titles could include films that were much talked about for whatever reason upon their initial release and therefore hold some kind of reputation that, however, do not qualify them for quality movies. You may also find movies here to which famous actors or directors contributed to but which are a let-down in the end nevertheless.

So, have fun browsing through my selection of the odds and sods of the movie world and let me know what you think.

PS: This list is by no means complete as I will add new worthwhile films as I stumble across them.

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1. Abraham Lincoln (1930)

Passed | 96 min | Biography, Drama, History

An episodic biography of the 16th President of the United States.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Walter Huston, Una Merkel, William L. Thorne, Lucille La Verne

Votes: 1,343

2. The Vagabond King (1930)

104 min | Musical, Romance

The story takes place in medieval France. Poet-rogue Francois Villon, sentenced to hang by King Louis XI for writing derogatory verses about him, is offered a temporary reprieve. His ... See full summary »

Directors: Ludwig Berger, Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Dennis King, Jeanette MacDonald, O.P. Heggie, Lillian Roth

Votes: 120

3. Holiday (1930)

91 min | Comedy, Drama

Holiday is a 1930 American Pre-Code romantic comedy film which tells the story of a young man who is torn between his free-thinking lifestyle and the tradition of his wealthy fiancée's family.

Director: Edward H. Griffith | Stars: Ann Harding, Mary Astor, Robert Ames, Hallam Cooley

Votes: 425

4. The Doorway to Hell (1930)

Passed | 78 min | Crime, Drama

Despite his efforts to go straight, a young gangster keeps falling back into crime.

Director: Archie Mayo | Stars: Lew Ayres, James Cagney, Dorothy Mathews, Leon Janney

Votes: 989

5. Night Work (1930)

Passed | 93 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

Willie, as an assistant window-dresser, is the lowest man on the totem pole at a department store. To add insult-to-injury Willie is also the store's designated 'Fired Man."; when a ... See full summary »

Director: Russell Mack | Stars: Eddie Quillan, Sally Starr, Frances Upton, Tom Keene

Votes: 73

6. Journey's End (1930)

Passed | 120 min | Drama, War

In France, 1917, an alcoholic captain is afraid that his new replacement, his sweetheart's brother, will betray his downfall.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Colin Clive, Ian Maclaren, David Manners, Billy Bevan

Votes: 234

7. Anna Christie (I) (1930)

Passed | 89 min | Drama, Romance

A young woman reunites with her estranged father and falls in love with a sailor, but struggles to tell them about her dark past.

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Greta Garbo, Charles Bickford, George F. Marion, Marie Dressler

Votes: 2,817 | Gross: $1.01M

8. Renegades (1930)

Passed | 84 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

Four one-for-all and all-for-one privates in the French Foreign Legion are all in jail for disorderly conduct, but they break out and rejoin their regiment and fight off a band of marauding... See full summary »

Director: Victor Fleming | Stars: Warner Baxter, Myrna Loy, Noah Beery, Gregory Gaye

Votes: 217

9. The Big Trail (1930)

Passed | 125 min | Adventure, Romance, Western

Breck Coleman leads hundreds of settlers in covered wagons from the Mississippi River to their destiny out West.

Directors: Raoul Walsh, Louis R. Loeffler | Stars: John Wayne, Marguerite Churchill, El Brendel, Tully Marshall

Votes: 3,377

10. Billy the Kid (1930)

Passed | 98 min | Action, Biography, Drama

In this version of the Billy the Kid legend, Billy, after shooting down land baron William Donovan's henchmen for killing Billy's boss, is hunted down and captured by his friend, Sheriff ... See full summary »

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Johnny Mack Brown, Wallace Beery, Kay Johnson, Karl Dane

Votes: 351

11. The Divorcee (1930)

Passed | 84 min | Romance, Drama

When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard | Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Chester Morris, Conrad Nagel

Votes: 2,791

12. The Unholy Three (1930)

Passed | 72 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

"Talkie" remake of Tod Browning's 1925 silent film. A trio of former sideshow performers double as the "Unholy Three" in a scam to nab some shiny rocks.

Director: Jack Conway | Stars: Lon Chaney, Lila Lee, Elliott Nugent, Harry Earles

Votes: 1,079

13. Romance (1930)

Approved | 76 min | Drama, Romance

Young Harry is in love and wants to marry an actress, much to the displeasure of his family. Harry thinks that Bishop Armstrong knows nothing about love so Armstrong tells him the story of ... See full summary »

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Greta Garbo, Lewis Stone, Gavin Gordon, Elliott Nugent

Votes: 689 | Gross: $0.73M

14. Reaching for the Moon (1930)

Unrated | 91 min | Comedy, Romance

Wall Street wizard, Larry Day, new to the ways of love, is coached by his valet. He follows Vivian Benton on an ocean liner, where cocktails, laced with a "love potion," work their magic. ... See full summary »

Director: Edmund Goulding | Stars: Douglas Fairbanks, Bebe Daniels, Edward Everett Horton, Claud Allister

Votes: 349

15. Wild Company (1930)

71 min | Drama

The son of a wealthy politician falls in with a notorious gangster planning to rob a night club.

Director: Leo McCarey | Stars: Frank Albertson, Joyce Compton, Sharon Lynn, H.B. Warner

Votes: 37

16. Sunny Skies (1930)

Passed | 75 min | Comedy, Musical, Sport

Rex Lease is the football hero whose temper and drinking threaten his spot on the team, and his romantic life..but his naive comical roommate (Benny Rubin) remains his steadfast supporter. ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Taurog | Stars: Benny Rubin, Marceline Day, Rex Lease, Marjorie Kane

Votes: 66

17. Westfront 1918 (1930)

Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Romance, War

A group of German solders fight on the front line in France at the end of World War I.

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst | Stars: Fritz Kampers, Gustav Diessl, Hans-Joachim Möbis, Claus Clausen

Votes: 1,736

18. Paid (1930)

Approved | 86 min | Drama, Film-Noir

Mary Turner goes up for three years on a crime she didn't commit. Once out she and former prison mates plan a scam in which old men can be sued for breach of promise - the "heart balm" ... See full summary »

Director: Sam Wood | Stars: Joan Crawford, Robert Armstrong, Marie Prevost, Douglass Montgomery

Votes: 616

19. Raffles (1930)

72 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

A distinguished English gentleman has a secret life--he is the notorious jewel thief the press has dubbed "The Amateur Cracksman". When he meets a woman and falls in love he decides to "... See full summary »

Directors: George Fitzmaurice, Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast | Stars: Ronald Colman, Kay Francis, David Torrence, Frederick Kerr

Votes: 781 | Gross: $1.00M

20. The Big House (1930)

Passed | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A convict falls in love with his new cellmate's sister, only to become embroiled in a planned break-out which is certain to have lethal consequences.

Directors: George W. Hill, Ward Wing | Stars: Chester Morris, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone, Robert Montgomery

Votes: 1,886

21. Murder! (1930)

TV-PG | 92 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

A juror in a murder trial, after voting to convict, has second thoughts and begins to investigate on his own before the execution.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Herbert Marshall, Norah Baring, Phyllis Konstam, Edward Chapman

Votes: 5,802

22. Inside the Lines (1930)

Passed | 72 min | Drama, History, Romance

During World War 1, German spies will stop at nothing to spy on the allied war plans stored at Gibraltar.

Director: Roy Pomeroy | Stars: Betty Compson, Ralph Forbes, Montagu Love, Ivan F. Simpson

Votes: 117

23. Scotland Yard (1930)

75 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

During World War I, criminal Dakin Barrolles, fleeing a bank robbery gone awry, has a chance meeting with a rich, drunken banker and his wife. Fascinated by the kind of people he would ... See full summary »

Director: William K. Howard | Stars: Edmund Lowe, Joan Bennett, Donald Crisp, Georges Renavent

Votes: 48

24. Alraune (1930)

103 min | Sci-Fi

A scientist, Professor Jakob ten Brinken, interested in the laws of heredity, impregnates a prostitute in a laboratory with the semen of a hanged murderer. The prostitute conceives a female... See full summary »

Director: Richard Oswald | Stars: Brigitte Helm, Albert Bassermann, Harald Paulsen, Adolf E. Licho

Votes: 67

25. Tol'able David (1930)

65 min | Drama

Young David Kinemon is a good-natured, easy-going lad in a mountain village. Circumstances force him to take his brother's place as mailman for the community, and this brings him into ... See full summary »

Director: John G. Blystone | Stars: Richard Cromwell, Noah Beery, Joan Peers, Henry B. Walthall

Votes: 23

26. The Fall Guy (1930)

Passed | 66 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

When a hapless pharmacist loses his job and falls in with criminals, he's soon made The Fall Guy. Unemployed, Johnny Quinlan (Jack Mulhall) starts doing jobs for underworld chieftain Nifty ... See full summary »

Director: Leslie Pearce | Stars: Jack Mulhall, Mae Clarke, Ned Sparks, Wynne Gibson

Votes: 152

27. Men Without Women (1930)

Passed | 77 min | Action, Drama

Navy divers clear the torpedo tube of a sunken submarine.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Kenneth MacKenna, Frank Albertson, J. Farrell MacDonald, Warren Hymer

Votes: 229

28. Up the River (1930)

Passed | 92 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

When paroled trustee Steve and former inmate Judy who try to put their criminal lives behind them are blackmailed, two career criminals come to their rescue.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Claire Luce, Warren Hymer, Humphrey Bogart

Votes: 1,082

29. Laughter (1930)

85 min | Comedy, Romance

A former chorus girl weds a millionaire after the composer she loves leaves. Meanwhile, she strings along an artist in love with her. When the composer returns, she struggles with her needs for security vs love. High jinks and drama ensue.

Director: Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast | Stars: Nancy Carroll, Fredric March, Frank Morgan, Glenn Anders

Votes: 294

30. Just Imagine (1930)

Passed | 113 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Musical

New York, 1980: airplanes have replaced cars, numbers have replaced names, pills have replaced food, government-arranged marriages have replaced love, and test tube babies have replaced ...... See full summary »

Director: David Butler | Stars: El Brendel, Maureen O'Sullivan, John Garrick, Marjorie White

Votes: 650

31. Ladies of Leisure (1930)

Passed | 99 min | Drama, Romance

An upper-crust artist hires a 'party girl' as a model; romance follows.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Ralph Graves, Lowell Sherman, Marie Prevost

Votes: 1,065

32. Moby Dick (1930)

Passed | 80 min | Adventure, Drama

In this extremely loose adaptation of Melville's classic novel, Ahab is revealed initially not as a bitter and vengeful madman, but as a bit of a lovable scamp. Ashore in New Bedford, he ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: John Barrymore, Joan Bennett, Lloyd Hughes, Noble Johnson

Votes: 414

33. Storm Over Mont Blanc (1930)

93 min | Adventure, Drama

In the Mont Blanc Observatory works Hannes. The only contact to the outside world is a pilot and Hella over the morse-code-radio. As Hella climbs the mountain with her father, the father ... See full summary »

Director: Arnold Fanck | Stars: Leni Riefenstahl, Sepp Rist, Ernst Udet, Mathias Wieman

Votes: 200

34. Manslaughter (1930)

Passed | 85 min | Romance, Drama

A spoiled young rich girl is sent to prison for accidentally running down a pedestrian. There she learns about a life and people she had never even imagined existed before. Upon her release... See full summary »

Director: George Abbott | Stars: Claudette Colbert, Fredric March, Emma Dunn, Natalie Moorhead

Votes: 191

35. Outward Bound (1930)

Unrated | 83 min | Drama, Fantasy

Later remade as "Between Two Worlds."

Directors: Robert Milton, Ray Enright | Stars: Leslie Howard, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Beryl Mercer, Dudley Digges

Votes: 459

36. Born Reckless (1930)

Passed | 82 min | Crime, Drama, War

Hoping to use the publicity to get re-elected, a judge sentences a notorious gangster to fight in the war.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Edmund Lowe, Catherine Dale Owen, William Harrigan, Marguerite Churchill

Votes: 331

37. Min and Bill (1930)

Passed | 69 min | Comedy, Drama

Min, the owner of a dockside hotel, is forced to make difficult decisions about the future of Nancy, the young woman she took in as an infant.

Director: George W. Hill | Stars: Marie Dressler, Wallace Beery, Dorothy Jordan, Marjorie Rambeau

Votes: 1,578

38. Whoopee! (1930)

Passed | 93 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Western sheriff Bob Wells is preparing to marry Sally Morgan; she loves part-Indian Wanenis, whose race is an obstacle. Sally flees the wedding with hypochondriac Henry Williams, who thinks... See full summary »

Director: Thornton Freeland | Stars: Eddie Cantor, Ethel Shutta, Paul Gregory, Eleanor Hunt

Votes: 943

39. Oh, Sailor Behave! (1930)

Passed | 70 min | Comedy, Musical

An American newspaper reporter is sent to Venice to interview a Romanian general. While there, he falls in love with a young heiress.

Director: Archie Mayo | Stars: Ole Olsen, Chic Johnson, Irene Delroy, Charles King

Votes: 24

40. Swing High (1930)

Passed | 95 min | Drama, Musical

To avoid hostilities, Maryan, the ward of Doc May, a medicine show owner, induces Pop Garner, a circus owner, to join forces with her guardian. Doc May and Daphne, his wife, work as clowns;... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Santley | Stars: Helen Twelvetrees, Fred Scott, Dorothy Burgess, John Sheehan

Votes: 36

41. Alexander Hamilton (1931)

Passed | 70 min | Biography, Drama, History

With the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783, General George Washington took Colonel Hamilton with him into the newly formed government. While the main disagreements in the early days was ... See full summary »

Director: John G. Adolfi | Stars: George Arliss, Doris Kenyon, Dudley Digges, June Collyer

Votes: 231 | Gross: $0.99M

42. Mata Hari (1931)

Passed | 89 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A semi-fictionalized account of the life of Mata Hari, an exotic dancer who was accused of spying for Germany during World War I.

Director: George Fitzmaurice | Stars: Greta Garbo, Ramon Novarro, Lionel Barrymore, Lewis Stone

Votes: 3,324 | Gross: $0.93M

43. The Public Defender (1931)

Passed | 69 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery