Best of 1930's

by robertalancashman | created - 5 months ago | updated - 9 hours ago | Public

1930-1939

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1. Modern Times (1936)

G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

96 Metascore

The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman, Tiny Sandford

Votes: 217,337 | Gross: $0.16M

2. Duck Soup (1933)

Not Rated | 69 min | Comedy, Musical, War

93 Metascore

Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale.

Director: Leo McCarey | Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Zeppo Marx

Votes: 55,516

3. It Happened One Night (1934)

Approved | 105 min | Comedy, Romance

87 Metascore

A renegade reporter and a crazy young heiress meet on a bus heading for New York, and end up stuck with each other when the bus leaves them behind at one of the stops.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns

Votes: 93,762 | Gross: $4.36M

4. My Man Godfrey (1936)

Not Rated | 94 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

A scatterbrained socialite hires a vagrant as a family butler - but there's more to Godfrey than meets the eye.

Director: Gregory La Cava | Stars: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Alice Brady, Gail Patrick

Votes: 21,079

5. Horse Feathers (1932)

Passed | 68 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

83 Metascore

Quincy Adams Wagstaff, the new president of Huxley University, accidentally hires bumblers Baravelli and Pinky to help his school win the big football game against the rival Darwin University.

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

Votes: 11,765

6. Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Passed | 102 min | Comedy, Family, Romance

91 Metascore

While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled paleontologist is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress and her pet leopard, Baby.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charles Ruggles, Walter Catlett

Votes: 55,052

7. M (1931)

Passed | 99 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut, Otto Wernicke

Votes: 143,087 | Gross: $0.03M

8. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Passed | 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: 106,797 | Gross: $9.60M

9. 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: 289,547 | Gross: $198.68M

10. Easy Living (1937)

Passed | 88 min | Comedy, Romance

A wealthy banker throws his wife's expensive fur coat off the roof of a building; it lands on the head of a stenographer, leading to everyone assuming she is his mistress and has access to his millions.

Director: Mitchell Leisen | Stars: Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold, Ray Milland, Luis Alberni

Votes: 3,022

11. 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: 23,300 | Gross: $4.66M

12. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

92 Metascore

Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home to Kansas and help her friends as well.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, Richard Thorpe, King Vidor | Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr

Votes: 371,056 | Gross: $2.08M

13. Trouble in Paradise (1932)

Not Rated | 83 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance

A gentleman thief and a lady pickpocket join forces to con a beautiful perfume company owner. Romantic entanglements and jealousies confuse the scheme.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Herbert Marshall, Charles Ruggles

Votes: 13,035

14. A Night at the Opera (1935)

Passed | 96 min | Comedy, Music, Musical

A sly business manager and two wacky friends of two opera singers help them achieve success while humiliating their stuffy and snobbish enemies.

Directors: Sam Wood, Edmund Goulding | Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Kitty Carlisle

Votes: 30,527 | Gross: $2.54M

15. I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)

Passed | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Wrongly convicted James Allen serves in the intolerable conditions of a southern chain gang, which later comes back to haunt him.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Helen Vinson, Noel Francis

Votes: 11,617

16. Captains Courageous (1937)

G | 117 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

A spoiled brat who falls overboard from a steamship gets picked up by a fishing boat, where he's made to earn his keep by joining the crew in their work.

Director: Victor Fleming | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Freddie Bartholomew, Lionel Barrymore, Melvyn Douglas

Votes: 8,707

17. The Roaring Twenties (1939)

Passed | 106 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Three men attempt to make a living in Prohibitionist America after returning home from fighting together in World War I.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Priscilla Lane, Gladys George

Votes: 12,718

18. The Awful Truth (1937)

Passed | 90 min | Comedy, Romance

87 Metascore

A married couple file an amicable divorce, but find it harder to let go of each other than they initially thought.

Director: Leo McCarey | Stars: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy, Alexander D'Arcy

Votes: 17,751

19. 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: 11,385

20. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)

Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A simple small-town man inherits a massive fortune and is immediately hounded by those who wish to take advantage of him.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, George Bancroft, Lionel Stander

Votes: 19,710

21. The Invisible Man (1933)

TV-PG | 71 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

87 Metascore

A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, William Harrigan, Henry Travers

Votes: 30,557

22. The Lady Vanishes (1938)

Not Rated | 96 min | Mystery, Thriller

While travelling in continental Europe, a rich young playgirl realizes that an elderly lady seems to have disappeared from the train.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas, May Whitty

Votes: 47,299

23. King Kong (1933)

Passed | 100 min | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.

Directors: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack | Stars: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot, Frank Reicher

Votes: 78,803 | Gross: $10.00M

24. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Passed | 152 min | Drama, War

91 Metascore

A German youth eagerly enters World War I, but his enthusiasm wanes as he gets a firsthand view of the horror.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray, Arnold Lucy

Votes: 57,230 | Gross: $3.27M

25. Way Out West (1937)

Passed | 66 min | Action, Comedy, Family

Stanley and Ollie are enlisted to deliver the deed to a goldmine in a small village, only for it to be stolen.

Director: James W. Horne | Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Sharon Lynn, James Finlayson

Votes: 7,603

26. 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: 42,048

27. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Approved | 83 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

95 Metascore

Exiled into the dangerous forest by her wicked stepmother, a princess is rescued by seven dwarf miners who make her part of their household.

Directors: William Cottrell, David Hand, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Adriana Caselotti, Harry Stockwell, Lucille La Verne, Roy Atwell

Votes: 181,285 | Gross: $184.93M

28. Animal Crackers (1930)

G | 97 min | Comedy, Musical

77 Metascore

Mayhem and zaniness ensue when a valuable painting goes missing during a party in honor of famed African explorer Captain Spaulding.

Director: Victor Heerman | Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, The Marx Brothers

Votes: 13,540 | Gross: $0.16M

29. The Thin Man (1934)

TV-PG | 91 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

86 Metascore

Former detective Nick Charles and his wealthy wife Nora investigate a murder case, mostly for the fun of it.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O'Sullivan, Nat Pendleton

Votes: 26,567

30. Stagecoach (1939)

Passed | 96 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

93 Metascore

A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo and learn something about each other in the process.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine, John Carradine

Votes: 43,498

31. Baby Face (1933)

Approved | 71 min | Drama, Romance

A young woman, sexually exploited all her life, decides to turn the tables and exploit the hapless men at a big city bank - by gleefully sleeping her way to the top.

Director: Alfred E. Green | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, Donald Cook, Alphonse Ethier

Votes: 6,265

32. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

95 Metascore

Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson

Votes: 43,449 | Gross: $4.36M

33. Stella Dallas (1937)

Approved | 106 min | Drama, Romance

A working-class woman is willing to do whatever it takes to give her daughter a socially promising future.

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, Anne Shirley, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 4,763 | Gross: $2.00M

34. Destry Rides Again (1939)

Approved | 95 min | Comedy, Western

81 Metascore

Deputy sheriff Destry tames the town of Bottle Neck, including saloon singer Frenchy.

Director: George Marshall | Stars: Marlene Dietrich, James Stewart, Mischa Auer, Charles Winninger

Votes: 10,257 | Gross: $0.35M

35. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

Passed | 132 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

87 Metascore

First mate Fletcher Christian leads a revolt against his sadistic commander, Captain Bligh, in this classic seafaring adventure, based on the real-life 1788 mutiny.

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

Votes: 20,769

36. Scarface (1932)

PG | 93 min | Action, Crime, Drama

87 Metascore

An ambitious and nearly insane violent gangster climbs the ladder of success in the mob, but his weaknesses prove to be his downfall.

Directors: Howard Hawks, Richard Rosson | Stars: Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak, Karen Morley, Osgood Perkins

Votes: 25,257

37. 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: 65,208

38. 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: 17,790

39. Imitation of Life (1934)

Approved | 111 min | Drama, Romance

72 Metascore

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: 4,127

40. The Petrified Forest (1936)

Not Rated | 82 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

A waitress, a hobo and a bank robber get mixed up at a lonely diner in the desert.

Director: Archie Mayo | Stars: Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Genevieve Tobin

Votes: 12,509

41. Son of Frankenstein (1939)

Approved | 99 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Returning to the ancestral castle long after the death of the monster, the son of Dr. Frankenstein meets a mad shepherd who is hiding the comatose creature. To clear the family name, he revives the creature and tries to rehabilitate him.

Director: Rowland V. Lee | Stars: Boris Karloff, Basil Rathbone, Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill

Votes: 9,086

42. 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: 12,040

43. Ten Cents a Dance (1931)

Passed | 75 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

Men pay a dime to dance with Barbara and her fellow taxi dancers. She marries Eddie and plans to quit dancing. Before she does, she meets a handsome and rich gentleman.

Directors: Lionel Barrymore, Edward Buzzell | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Ricardo Cortez, Monroe Owsley, Sally Blane

Votes: 660

44. À Propos de Nice (1930)

Not Rated | 24 min | Documentary, Short, Comedy

What starts off as a conventional travelogue turns into a satirical portrait of the town of Nice on the French Cote d'Azur, especially its wealthy inhabitants.

Directors: Boris Kaufman, Jean Vigo

Votes: 3,811

45. 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: 3,380

46. Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

Passed | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance