Best Films of the 1930's

by PaulJPoduslo | created - 22 Apr 2017 | updated - 05 May 2017 | Public
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1. Imitation of Life (1934)

Approved | 111 min | Drama, Romance

A struggling widow and her daughter take in a black housekeeper and her fair-skinned daughter; the two women start a successful business, but face familial, identity, and racial issues along the way.

Director: John M. Stahl | Stars: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Rochelle Hudson, Ned Sparks

Votes: 3,885

2. Juarez (1939)

Approved | 125 min | Biography, Drama, History

Louis Napoleon III takes advantage of the American Civil War to circumvent the Monroe Doctrine and expand his power by helping Emperor Maximillian Hapsburg to add Mexico to his empire. of Mexico.

Director: William Dieterle | Stars: Paul Muni, Bette Davis, Brian Aherne, Claude Rains

Votes: 1,859

3. Gone with the Wind (1939)

Passed | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance

97 Metascore

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 273,486 | Gross: $198.68M

4. Anthony Adverse (1936)

Passed | 141 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

In 18th-century Italy, an orphan's debt to the man who raised him threatens to separate him forever from the woman he loves.

Directors: Mervyn LeRoy, Michael Curtiz | Stars: Fredric March, Olivia de Havilland, Donald Woods, Anita Louise

Votes: 1,529

5. Les Misérables (1935)

Approved | 108 min | Drama, History, Romance

In early 19th Century France an ex-convict who failed to report to parole is relentlessly pursued over a 20 year period by an obsessive policeman.

Director: Richard Boleslawski | Stars: Fredric March, Charles Laughton, Cedric Hardwicke, Rochelle Hudson

Votes: 3,176

6. You Can't Take It with You (1938)

Passed | 126 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A man from a family of rich snobs becomes engaged to a woman from a good-natured but decidedly eccentric family.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore, Edward Arnold

Votes: 21,968 | Gross: $4.66M

7. Jesse James (1939)

Approved | 106 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

After railroad agents forcibly evict the James family from their family farm, Jesse and Frank turn to banditry for revenge.

Directors: Henry King, Irving Cummings | Stars: Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly, Randolph Scott

Votes: 3,752

8. Wuthering Heights (1939)

Not Rated | 104 min | Drama, Romance

A servant in the house of Wuthering Heights tells a traveller the unfortunate tale of lovers Cathy (Merle Oberon) and Heathcliff (Sir Laurence Olivier).

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, David Niven, Flora Robson

Votes: 15,435 | Gross: $0.08M

9. Lost Horizon (1937)

Approved | 132 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

A plane crash delivers a group of people to the secluded land of Shangri-La - but is it the miraculous utopia it appears to be?

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Ronald Colman, Jane Wyatt, Edward Everett Horton, John Howard

Votes: 11,476

10. 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: 2,555

11. Grand Hotel (I) (1932)

Not Rated | 112 min | Drama, Romance

A group of very different individuals staying at a luxurious hotel in Berlin deal with each of their respective dramas.

Director: Edmund Goulding | Stars: Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery

Votes: 16,308 | Gross: $2.69M

12. Rain (1932)

Passed | 94 min | Drama

A prostitute newly arrived in the South Pacific finds herself at odds with a stern missionary determined to save her soul.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Joan Crawford, Walter Huston, Fred Howard, Ben Hendricks Jr.

Votes: 2,240

13. The Women (1939)

Not Rated | 133 min | Comedy, Drama

A study of the lives and romantic entanglements of various interconnected women.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Mary Boland

Votes: 11,931 | Gross: $2.27M

14. If I Were Free (1933)

Passed | 66 min | Drama, Romance

A suicidal World War I veteran and an antique dealer, both of whom are married to different people, embark on a love affair.

Director: Elliott Nugent | Stars: Irene Dunne, Clive Brook, Nils Asther, Henry Stephenson

Votes: 233

15. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Not Rated | 129 min | Comedy, Drama

73 Metascore

A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold

Votes: 101,412 | Gross: $9.60M

16. The Secret 6 (1931)

Passed | 83 min | Crime, Drama

After rising bootlegger Slaughterhouse Scorpio eliminates his gangland competition, two reporters and a cabal of six businessmen work to expose him.

Director: George W. Hill | Stars: Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone, Johnny Mack Brown, Jean Harlow

Votes: 702

17. Cimarron (1931)

Passed | 123 min | Drama, Western

A newspaper editor settles in an Oklahoma boom town with his reluctant wife at the end of the nineteenth century.

Director: Wesley Ruggles | Stars: Richard Dix, Irene Dunne, Estelle Taylor, Nance O'Neil

Votes: 5,021

18. Skippy (1931)

Approved | 85 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

Skippy, the mischievous son of a wealthy doctor, meets Sooky in poverty-ridden Shantytown, and together they try to save Sooky's pet from a cruel dogcatcher.

Director: Norman Taurog | Stars: Jackie Cooper, Robert Coogan, Mitzi Green, Jackie Searl

Votes: 643

19. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

Not Rated | 132 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

87 Metascore

A tyrannical ship captain decides to exact revenge on his abused crew after they form a mutiny against him, but the sailor he targets had no hand in it.

Director: Frank Lloyd | Stars: Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone, Herbert Mundin

Votes: 19,634

20. Boys Town (1938)

Passed | 96 min | Biography, Drama

When a death row prisoner tells him he wouldn't have led a life of crime if only he had had one friend as a child, Father Edward Flanagan decides to do something about. An advocate of child... See full summary »

Director: Norman Taurog | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney, Henry Hull, Leslie Fenton

Votes: 4,885

21. Cavalcade (1933)

Passed | 112 min | Drama, Romance, War

The triumphs and tragedies of two English families, the upper-crust Marryots and the working-class Bridges, from 1899 to 1933 are portrayed.

Director: Frank Lloyd | Stars: Diana Wynyard, Clive Brook, Una O'Connor, Herbert Mundin

Votes: 4,191 | Gross: $7.63M

22. Gold Is Where You Find It (1938)

Approved | 94 min | Drama, History, Romance

Hydraulic Mining versus Sacramento Valley Farming.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: George Brent, Olivia de Havilland, Claude Rains, Margaret Lindsay

Votes: 395



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