1931 American films

by sigfriedm | created - 8 months ago | updated - 8 months ago | Public

An exploration of American films from the year 1931. Accent on highest rated.

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1. City Lights (1931)

G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

99 Metascore

With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee, Harry Myers

Votes: 171,802 | Gross: $0.02M

2. 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: 66,646

3. The Public Enemy (1931)

Not Rated | 83 min | Crime, Drama

An Irish-American street punk tries to make it big in the world of organized crime.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods, Joan Blondell

Votes: 18,387

4. 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: 12,795

5. Street Scene (1931)

Passed | 80 min | Drama, Romance

Twenty-four hours elapse on the stoop of a Hell's Kitchen tenement as a microcosm of the American melting pot interacts with each other during a summer heatwave.

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Sylvia Sidney, William Collier Jr., Estelle Taylor, Beulah Bondi

Votes: 1,637

6. Waterloo Bridge (1931)

81 min | Drama, Romance

A prostitute's self-loathing makes her reluctant to marry an idealistic soldier during World War I.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Mae Clarke, Douglass Montgomery, Doris Lloyd, Frederick Kerr

Votes: 2,519

7. Monkey Business (1931)

Not Rated | 77 min | Comedy, Musical

74 Metascore

On a transatlantic crossing, The Marx Brothers get up to their usual antics and manage to annoy just about everyone on board the ship.

Director: Norman Z. McLeod | Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, The Marx Brothers, Chico Marx

Votes: 11,638

8. 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: 47,824

9. The Champ (I) (1931)

Passed | 86 min | Drama, Sport

An alcoholic ex-boxer struggles to provide a good living for his son.

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper, Irene Rich, Roscoe Ates

Votes: 2,868

10. Little Caesar (1931)

Not Rated | 79 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A small-time criminal moves to a big city to seek bigger fortune.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Glenda Farrell, William Collier Jr.

Votes: 12,449

11. The Miracle Woman (1931)

Passed | 90 min | Drama, Romance

After an unappreciated minister dies, his daughter loses her faith in God, prompting her to open a phony temple with a con man. Can the love of a blind aviator restore her faith and happiness?

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, David Manners, Sam Hardy, Beryl Mercer

Votes: 1,882

12. The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)

Passed | 93 min | Comedy, Romance, Musical

An amorous lieutenant is forced to marry a socially awkward princess, though he tries to keep his violin-playing girlfriend on the side.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Claudette Colbert, Miriam Hopkins, Charles Ruggles

Votes: 3,404

13. Five Star Final (1931)

Not Rated | 89 min | Crime, Drama

The City Editor of a sleazy tabloid goes against his own journalistic ethics to resurrect a twenty year old murder case... with tragic results.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Marian Marsh, H.B. Warner, Anthony Bushell

Votes: 1,847

14. Drácula (1931)

Unrated | 104 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Centuries-old vampire Dracula preys upon the innocent Eva and her friends.

Director: George Melford | Stars: Carlos Villarías, Lupita Tovar, Barry Norton, Pablo Álvarez Rubio

Votes: 4,119

15. City Streets (1931)

Passed | 83 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Man joins a gang to free his girlfriend from prison.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian | Stars: Gary Cooper, Sylvia Sidney, Paul Lukas, William 'Stage' Boyd

Votes: 1,440

16. Blonde Crazy (1931)

TV-G | 79 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

The adventures of an egoistic con man and his glamorous accomplice.

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Louis Calhern, Noel Francis

Votes: 1,745

17. Safe in Hell (1931)

Passed | 73 min | Crime, Drama

After accidentally killing the man who raped her and forced her into prostitution, a New Orleans woman flees to a Caribbean island. While she awaits her fiancé, the vicious local police chief sets his sights on her.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Dorothy Mackaill, Donald Cook, Ralf Harolde, John Wray

Votes: 1,221

18. Pardon Us (1931)

Approved | 56 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Two guys end up in prison after attempting to sell beer to a policeman during Prohibition.

Director: James Parrott | Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, June Marlowe, Wilfred Lucas

Votes: 2,342

19. Night Nurse (1931)

Passed | 72 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A nurse enlists the help of a petty criminal to foil a sinister plot to murder two children.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Ben Lyon, Joan Blondell, Clark Gable

Votes: 3,466

20. Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (1931)

Not Rated | 86 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

On the South Pacific island of Bora Bora, a young couple's love is threatened when the tribal chief declares the girl a sacred virgin.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Anne Chevalier, Matahi, Hitu, Bill Bambridge

Votes: 5,291

21. In Old Cheyenne (1931)

Passed | 60 min | Action, Romance, Western

A remake of 1930's "Phantom of the Desert", in which a crooked foreman and the ranch hands are rustling horses, and laying the blame on a wild stallion that roams the surrounding hills.In ... See full summary »

Director: Stuart Paton | Stars: Rex Lease, Dorothy Gulliver, Jay Hunt, Harry Woods

Votes: 16

22. The Maltese Falcon (1931)

Passed | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A lovely dame with dangerous lies employs the services of a private detective, who is quickly caught up in the mystery and intrigue of a statuette known as the Maltese Falcon.

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: Bebe Daniels, Ricardo Cortez, Dudley Digges, Una Merkel

Votes: 2,768

23. A House Divided (1931)

70 min | Drama

In a small Pacific village, a widowed fisherman marries a girl young enough to be his daughter. Complications ensue when the new wife falls in love with her husband's son.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Walter Huston, Douglass Montgomery, Helen Chandler, Mary Foy

Votes: 170

24. 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: 1,840

25. Smart Money (1931)

Passed | 81 min | Crime, Drama

A Greek barber has uncommon skills in playing poker and soon rises in the seedy world of illegal gambling, but pretty blondes remain his Achilles' heel.

Director: Alfred E. Green | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, Evalyn Knapp, Ralf Harolde

Votes: 1,790

26. An American Tragedy (1931)

Approved | 96 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A poor factory worker, employed by a wealthy uncle, falls in love with a beautiful heiress but his happiness and promising future are jeopardized by a previous affair with a coworker he impregnated.

Director: Josef von Sternberg | Stars: Phillips Holmes, Sylvia Sidney, Frances Dee, Irving Pichel

Votes: 674

27. The Vanishing Legion (1931)

Passed | 220 min | Action, Western, Adventure

A mysterious master criminal known as The Voice plots with his gang to sabotage the Milesburg Oil Company, but the rightful heir has a secret army of her own to protect her rights.

Directors: Ford Beebe, B. Reeves Eason | Stars: Harry Carey, Edwina Booth, Rex, William Desmond

Votes: 62

28. The Struggle (1931)

Passed | 87 min | Drama

A young couple's marriage is jeopardized by the husband's descent into alcoholism.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Hal Skelly, Zita Johann, Charlotte Wynters, Evelyn Baldwin

Votes: 292

29. Dishonored (1931)

Approved | 91 min | Drama, Romance, War

The Austrian Secret Service sends its most seductive agent to spy on the Russians.

Director: Josef von Sternberg | Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Victor McLaglen, Gustav von Seyffertitz, Warner Oland

Votes: 2,343



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