1920s-40s: Horror.

by gig-panas | created - 15 Jul 2016 | updated - 03 Nov 2019 | Public
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1. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Not Rated | 67 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders.

Director: Robert Wiene | Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover

Votes: 59,301

2. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (I) (1920)

Unrated | 69 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself.

Director: John S. Robertson | Stars: John Barrymore, Martha Mansfield, Brandon Hurst, Charles Lane

Votes: 5,074

3. The Golem (1920)

Unrated | 91 min | Fantasy, Horror

In 16th-century Prague, a rabbi creates the Golem - a giant creature made of clay. Using sorcery, he brings the creature to life in order to protect the Jews of Prague from persecution.

Directors: Carl Boese, Paul Wegener | Stars: Paul Wegener, Albert Steinrück, Ernst Deutsch, Lyda Salmonova

Votes: 7,092

4. Nosferatu (1922)

Not Rated | 94 min | Fantasy, Horror

Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wangenheim, Greta Schröder

Votes: 91,061

5. Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922)

Not Rated | 242 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Arch-criminal Dr. Mabuse sets out to make a fortune and run Berlin. Detective Wenk sets out to stop him.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Aud Egede-Nissen, Gertrude Welcker, Alfred Abel

Votes: 7,798

6. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (I) (1923)

Passed | 133 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

In 15th-century Paris, the brother of the archdeacon plots with the gypsy king to foment a peasant revolt. Meanwhile, a freakish hunchback falls in love with the gypsy queen.

Director: Wallace Worsley | Stars: Lon Chaney, Patsy Ruth Miller, Norman Kerry, Kate Lester

Votes: 5,030 | Gross: $2.22M

7. The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Passed | 93 min | Horror

A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer.

Directors: Rupert Julian, Lon Chaney, Ernst Laemmle, Edward Sedgwick | Stars: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, Arthur Edmund Carewe

Votes: 17,291 | Gross: $3.75M

8. Faust (1926)

Not Rated | 107 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

The demon Mephisto wagers with God that he can corrupt a mortal man's soul.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Gösta Ekman, Emil Jannings, Camilla Horn, Frida Richard

Votes: 14,383

9. London After Midnight (1927)

Passed | 69 min | Horror

The abandoned home of a wealthy man who supposedly committed suicide five years earlier is taken over by ghoulish figures - could they be vampires?

Director: Tod Browning | Stars: Lon Chaney, Marceline Day, Henry B. Walthall, Percy Williams

Votes: 1,226 | Gross: $0.52M

10. The Fall of the House of Usher (1928)

Not Rated | 63 min | Horror

Allan visits the sinister Usher family mansion, where his friend Roderick is painting a portrait of his sickly wife Madeline. The portrait seems to be draining the life out of Madeline, slowly leading to her death.

Director: Jean Epstein | Stars: Jean Debucourt, Marguerite Gance, Charles Lamy, Fournez-Goffard

Votes: 3,640

11. Un Chien Andalou (1929)

Not Rated | 16 min | Short, Fantasy, Horror

Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí present 16 minutes of bizarre, surreal imagery.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Luis Buñuel, Pancho Cossío

Votes: 47,410

12. Dracula (1931)

Passed | 75 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

71 Metascore

After a naive real estate agent succumbs to the will of Count Dracula, the two head to London where the vampire sleeps in his coffin by day and searches for potential victims by night.

Directors: Tod Browning, Karl Freund | Stars: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Dwight Frye

Votes: 48,307

13. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

Passed | 98 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

Dr. Jekyll faces horrible consequences when he lets his dark side run wild with a potion that transforms him into the animalistic Mr. Hyde.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian | Stars: Fredric March, Miriam Hopkins, Rose Hobart, Holmes Herbert

Votes: 12,940

© Paramount Pictures

14. Frankenstein (1931)

Passed | 70 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

91 Metascore

Dr. Frankenstein dares to tamper with life and death by creating a human monster out of lifeless body parts.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff, John Boles

Votes: 67,290

15. Svengali (1931)

Approved | 81 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

Through hypnotism and telepathic mind control, a sinister music maestro controls the singing voice, but not the heart, of the woman he loves.

Director: Archie Mayo | Stars: John Barrymore, Marian Marsh, Donald Crisp, Bramwell Fletcher

Votes: 1,884

16. Doctor X (1932)

Unrated | 76 min | Comedy, Crime, Horror

A wisecracking New York reporter intrudes on a research scientist's quest to unmask The Moon Killer.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Lee Tracy, Preston Foster

Votes: 3,089

First Color Horror Film

17. Freaks (1932)

Not Rated | 64 min | Drama, Horror

80 Metascore

A circus' beautiful trapeze artist agrees to marry the leader of side-show performers, but his deformed friends discover she is only marrying him for his inheritance.

Director: Tod Browning | Stars: Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova, Roscoe Ates

Votes: 43,294

18. The Old Dark House (1932)

Not Rated | 72 min | Comedy, Horror, Thriller

Seeking shelter from a storm, five travelers are in for a bizarre and terrifying night when they stumble upon the Femm family estate.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton, Gloria Stuart

Votes: 9,987 | Gross: $0.03M

19. The Mummy (1932)

Approved | 73 min | Fantasy, Horror

An Egyptian mummy searches Cairo for the girl he thinks is his long-lost princess.

Director: Karl Freund | Stars: Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, David Manners, Arthur Byron

Votes: 24,482

20. Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)

Passed | 61 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

A mad scientist seeks to mingle human blood with that of an ape, and resorts to kidnapping women for his experiments.

Director: Robert Florey | Stars: Bela Lugosi, Sidney Fox, Leon Ames, Bert Roach

Votes: 4,056

21. The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)

G | 68 min | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi

Englishmen race to find the tomb of Genghis Khan before the sinister Fu Manchu does.

Directors: Charles Brabin, Charles Vidor | Stars: Boris Karloff, Lewis Stone, Karen Morley, Charles Starrett

Votes: 3,190

22. White Zombie (1932)

Passed | 69 min | Horror

A young man turns to a witch doctor to lure the woman he loves away from her fiancé, but instead turns her into a zombie slave.

Director: Victor Halperin | Stars: Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, Joseph Cawthorn, Robert Frazer

Votes: 9,754

23. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)

Not Rated | 122 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

A criminal mastermind uses hypnosis to rule the rackets after death.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Otto Wernicke, Thomy Bourdelle, Gustav Diessl

Votes: 11,801

24. The Ghoul (1933)

Not Rated | 77 min | Action, Drama, Horror

An Egyptologist returns from the dead to take revenge on those who have violated his tomb.

Director: T. Hayes Hunter | Stars: Boris Karloff, Cedric Hardwicke, Ernest Thesiger, Dorothy Hyson

Votes: 2,480

25. Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)

Passed | 77 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

The disappearance of people and corpses leads a reporter to a wax museum and a sinister sculptor.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Glenda Farrell, Frank McHugh

Votes: 5,163

© Warner Bros

26. The Black Cat (1934)

Not Rated | 65 min | Adventure, Crime, Horror

American honeymooners in Hungary become trapped in the home of a Satan-worshiping priest when the bride is taken there for medical help following a road accident.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer | Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners, Julie Bishop

Votes: 10,155 | Gross: $0.51M

27. Phantom Ship (1935)

Approved | 62 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

During a horrific storm at sea, the crew realizes that there is a murderer among them who is killing them off one by one.

Director: Denison Clift | Stars: Bela Lugosi, Shirley Grey, Arthur Margetson, Edmund Willard

Votes: 759

28. The Raven (1935)

Approved | 61 min | Crime, Horror

44 Metascore

Dr. Vollin is a brilliant but unstable surgeon with a morbid obsession for instruments of torture. He saves the life of Jean Thatcher, a beautiful young socialite injured in an automobile accident and becomes increasingly attracted to her.

Director: Lew Landers | Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lester Matthews, Irene Ware

Votes: 4,920

29. Mad Love (1935)

Passed | 68 min | Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi

In Paris, a demented surgeon's obsession with a British actress leads him to secretly replace her concert pianist husband's mangled hands with those of a guillotined murderer with a gift for knife-throwing.

Director: Karl Freund | Stars: Peter Lorre, Frances Drake, Colin Clive, Ted Healy

Votes: 4,812

30. The Invisible Ray (1936)

Approved | 80 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A scientist becomes murderous after discovering, and being exposed to the radiation of, a powerful new element called Radium X.

Director: Lambert Hillyer | Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Frances Drake, Frank Lawton

Votes: 2,329

31. The Man Who Lived Again (1936)

Not Rated | 66 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

Dr. Laurience, a brilliant but unstable scientist experimenting with transferring minds, becomes vengeful when his magnate patron withdraws his support.

Director: Robert Stevenson | Stars: Boris Karloff, Anna Lee, John Loder, Frank Cellier

Votes: 993

32. Black Friday (1940)

Approved | 70 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Dr. Sovac transplants the brain of a gangster into his professor friend's body to save his life, but there is a side effect that causes a dangerous split personality.

Director: Arthur Lubin | Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Stanley Ridges, Anne Nagel

Votes: 2,145

33. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Passed | 113 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Dr. Jekyll allows his dark side to run wild when he drinks a potion that turns him into the evil Mr. Hyde.

Director: Victor Fleming | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman, Lana Turner, Donald Crisp

Votes: 8,454

34. The Wolf Man (1941)

Passed | 70 min | Horror, Mystery, Romance

72 Metascore

Larry Talbot returns to his father's castle in Wales and meets a beautiful woman. One fateful night, Talbot escorts her to a local carnival where they meet a mysterious gypsy fortune teller.

Director: George Waggner | Stars: Claude Rains, Warren William, Ralph Bellamy, Patric Knowles

Votes: 24,793

35. Cat People (1942)

Not Rated | 73 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

An American man marries a Serbian immigrant who fears that she will turn into the cat person of her homeland's fables if they are intimate together.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Simone Simon, Tom Conway, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph

Votes: 20,872 | Gross: $4.00M

36. Flesh and Fantasy (1943)

Approved | 94 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

An anthology of three loosely connected occult tales, with ironic and romantic twists.

Director: Julien Duvivier | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Charles Boyer, Barbara Stanwyck, Betty Field

Votes: 812

37. I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

Approved | 69 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A nurse is hired to care for the wife of a sugar plantation owner, who has been acting strangely, on a Caribbean island.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Frances Dee, Tom Conway, James Ellison, Edith Barrett

Votes: 11,529

38. The Seventh Victim (1943)

Approved | 71 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A woman in search of her missing sister uncovers a Satanic cult in New York's Greenwich Village, and finds that they may have something to do with her sibling's random disappearance.

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Kim Hunter, Tom Conway, Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell

Votes: 6,287

39. The Mad Ghoul (1943)

Passed | 65 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A university chemistry professor experiments with an ancient Mayan gas on a medical student, turning the would-be surgeon into a murdering ghoul.

Director: James P. Hogan | Stars: David Bruce, Evelyn Ankers, George Zucco, Robert Armstrong

Votes: 671

40. Cry of the Werewolf (1944)

Passed | 63 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

A young woman raised by gypsies hides a deadly secret which she will do anything to protect.

Director: Henry Levin | Stars: Nina Foch, Stephen Crane, Osa Massen, Blanche Yurka

Votes: 908

© Columbia Pictures

41. The Uninvited (1944)

Passed | 99 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

A composer and his sister discover that the reason they are able to purchase a beautiful gothic seacoast mansion very cheaply is the house's unsavory past.

Director: Lewis Allen | Stars: Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Donald Crisp, Cornelia Otis Skinner

Votes: 10,451

42. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A corrupt young man somehow keeps his youthful beauty, but a special painting gradually reveals his inner ugliness to all.

Director: Albert Lewin | Stars: George Sanders, Hurd Hatfield, Donna Reed, Angela Lansbury

Votes: 12,377

43. Dead of Night (1945)

Approved | 77 min | Drama, Horror

Architect Walter Craig senses impending doom as his half-remembered recurring dream turns into reality. The guests at the country house encourage him to stay as they take turns telling supernatural tales.

Directors: Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden, Robert Hamer | Stars: Mervyn Johns, Michael Redgrave, Roland Culver, Mary Merrall

Votes: 11,462

44. Isle of the Dead (1945)

Not Rated | 71 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

On a Greek island during the 1912 war, several people are trapped by quarantine for the plague. If that isn't enough worry, one of the people, a superstitious old peasant woman, suspects ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Boris Karloff, Ellen Drew, Marc Cramer, Katherine Emery

Votes: 4,313

45. Carnival of Sinners (1943)

Approved | 80 min | Fantasy, Horror

Roland Brissot bought for a nickel a talisman that gives him love, fame and wealth. The talisman is a cut left hand, and it works perfectly. But of course there is nothing free in this ... See full summary »

Director: Maurice Tourneur | Stars: Pierre Fresnay, Josseline Gaël, Noël Roquevert, Guillaume de Sax

Votes: 1,226



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