Top 1930s

by la_beignoire | created - 07 Jun 2013 | updated - 4 days ago | Public
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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: 204,138 | Gross: $0.16M

--- 10/10 ---

2. La Grande Illusion (1937)

Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, War

During WWI, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are eventually sent to a seemingly inescapable fortress.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Jean Gabin, Dita Parlo, Pierre Fresnay, Erich von Stroheim

Votes: 32,296 | Gross: $0.17M

--- 9.5/10 ---

3. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

100 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: 361,895 | Gross: $2.08M

--- 9/10 ---

4. L'Atalante (1934)

Not Rated | 89 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Newly married couple Juliette and a ship captain Jean struggle through marriage as they travel on the L'atalante along with the captain's first mate Le père Jules and a cabin boy.

Director: Jean Vigo | Stars: Dita Parlo, Jean Dasté, Gilles Margaritis, Louis Lefebvre

Votes: 13,679

5. It Happened One Night (1934)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Romance

87 Metascore

A spoiled heiress running away from her family is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story.

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

Votes: 88,770 | Gross: $4.36M

6. M (1931)

Not Rated | 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: 135,164 | Gross: $0.03M

--- 8.5/10 ---

7. 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: 157,117 | Gross: $0.02M

8. Frankenstein (1931)

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

91 Metascore

An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

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

Votes: 61,748

9. The Rules of the Game (1939)

Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

A bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II, as the rich and their poor servants meet up at a French chateau.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost, Mila Parély

Votes: 25,332

10. Holiday (1938)

Not Rated | 95 min | Comedy, Romance

A young man in love with a girl from a rich family finds his unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancée's eccentric sister and long-suffering brother.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Doris Nolan, Lew Ayres

Votes: 13,582

11. The Blue Angel (1930)

Not Rated | 104 min | Drama, Music

88 Metascore

An elderly professor's ordered life spins dangerously out of control when he falls for a nightclub singer.

Director: Josef von Sternberg | Stars: Emil Jannings, Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Gerron, Rosa Valetti

Votes: 12,985 | Gross: $0.08M

12. Scarface (1932)

PG | 93 min | Action, Crime, Drama

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: 24,004

13. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)

Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A simple, small town man inherits a massive fortune, making him the target for scammers and publicity-seekers. Overwhelmed by the turn his life has taken, and awoken to another use for his new-found fortune, he makes a momentous decision.

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

Votes: 18,810

14. 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: 102,145 | Gross: $9.60M

15. The Awful Truth (1937)

Not Rated | 90 min | Comedy, Romance

Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other's attempts to find new romance.

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

Votes: 16,839

16. The Thin Man (1934)

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

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: 25,178

17. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (1939)

Not Rated | 148 min | Drama, Romance

The adopted son of a legendary actor, and an aspiring star himself, turns to his infant brother's wet nurse for support and affection - only for her to give up everything for her beloved's glory.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Shôtarô Hanayagi, Kôkichi Takada, Ryôtarô Kawanami, Kinnosuke Takamatsu

Votes: 2,966

18. The Lower Depths (1936)

Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A charismatic thief makes friends with a bankrupt baron who comes to live in the thief's slum. Meanwhile the thief seeks the love of a young woman, who is held emotionally captive by her slumlord family.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Jean Gabin, Suzy Prim, Louis Jouvet, Jany Holt

Votes: 2,812

19. The 39 Steps (1935)

Not Rated | 86 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

A man in London tries to help a counter-espionage Agent. But when the Agent is killed, and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to save himself and stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim, Godfrey Tearle

Votes: 48,955

--- 8/10 ---

20. Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Not Rated | 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: 52,705

21. 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: 11,080

22. Osaka Elegy (1936)

90 min | Comedy, Drama

A young woman becomes a mistress of her boss in order to support her family.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Isuzu Yamada, Seiichi Takegawa, Chiyoko Ôkura, Shinpachirô Asaka

Votes: 1,902

23. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Not Rated | 152 min | Drama, War

91 Metascore

A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.

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

Votes: 55,272 | Gross: $3.27M

24. 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: 76,142 | Gross: $10.00M

25. Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932)

Not Rated | 85 min | Comedy

A bookseller saves a tramp from drowning and shelters him, but the tramp's odd behavior starts to wear everyone down.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Michel Simon, Marcelle Hainia, Sévérine Lerczinska, Jean Gehret

Votes: 4,900

26. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

PG | 102 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

97 Metascore

When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard's absence, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley | Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains

Votes: 45,367 | Gross: $3.98M

27. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)

Not Rated | 122 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

French version of the German movie The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933). Both movies were directed simultaneously by Fritz Lang in Germany.

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

Votes: 10,904

28. The Informer (1935)

Approved | 91 min | Crime, Drama

In 1922, an Irish rebel informs on his friend, then feels doom closing in.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Victor McLaglen, Heather Angel, Preston Foster, Margot Grahame

Votes: 5,365

29. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

G | 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: 173,035 | Gross: $184.93M

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: 40,594

31. A Day in the Country (1946)

Not Rated | 40 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

The family of a Parisian shop-owner spends a day in the country. The daughter falls in love with a man at the inn, where they spend the day.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Sylvia Bataille, Jane Marken, Georges D'Arnoux, André Gabriello

Votes: 5,401

32. Zero for Conduct (1933)

Not Rated | 44 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

In a repressive boarding school with rigid rules of behavior, four boys decide to rebel against the direction on a celebration day.

Director: Jean Vigo | Stars: Jean Dasté, Robert le Flon, Louis Lefebvre, Du Verron

Votes: 7,392

33. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

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

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: 41,194 | Gross: $4.36M

34. The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)

Approved | 101 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

An Englishman on a Ruritarian holiday must impersonate the king when the rightful monarch, a distant cousin, is drugged and kidnapped.

Directors: John Cromwell, W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: Ronald Colman, Madeleine Carroll, C. Aubrey Smith, Raymond Massey

Votes: 4,028

35. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)

Passed | 117 min | Drama, Romance

In 15th-century France, a gypsy girl is framed for murder by the infatuated Chief Justice, and only the deformed bellringer of Notre Dame Cathedral can save her.

Director: William Dieterle | Stars: Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Hara, Cedric Hardwicke, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 9,923 | Gross: $3.27M

36. Camille (1936)

Passed | 109 min | Drama, Romance

A Parisian courtesan must choose between the young man who loves her and the callous baron who wants her, even as her own health begins to fail.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan

Votes: 6,970 | Gross: $1.15M

37. L'Age d'Or (1930)

Not Rated | 63 min | Comedy, Drama

A surrealist tale of a man and a woman who are passionately in love with each other, but their attempts to consummate that passion are constantly thwarted by their families, the Church, and bourgeois society.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Gaston Modot, Lya Lys, Caridad de Laberdesque, Max Ernst

Votes: 12,088 | Gross: $0.03M

--- 7.5/10 ---

38. La Chienne (1931)

Not Rated | 95 min | Crime, Drama

A woman and her pimp exploit a painter for money.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Michel Simon, Janie Marèse, Georges Flamant, Roger Gaillard

Votes: 3,477

39. David Copperfield (1935)

Passed | 130 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

A gentle orphan discovers life and love in an indifferent adult world.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Freddie Bartholomew, Frank Lawton, Edna May Oliver, Elizabeth Allan

Votes: 3,590

40. Sisters of the Gion (1936)

95 min | Drama

Two geisha sisters lead a hard life in the Gion district of Kyoto. After one of them feels obliged to support a bankrupt businessman, the other sister sets up various schemes to get rid of him.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Isuzu Yamada, Yôko Umemura, Benkei Shiganoya, Eitarô Shindô

Votes: 2,276

41. Freaks (1932)

Not Rated | 64 min | Drama

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: 40,176

42. The Invisible Man (1933)

Not Rated | 71 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

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: 28,297

43. Marius (1931)

Not Rated | 130 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Marius is faced with a choice whether to fulfill his passion by sailing the seas or stay and marry the woman he loves.

Director: Alexander Korda | Stars: Raimu, Pierre Fresnay, Fernand Charpin, Alida Rouffe

Votes: 1,888

44. Toni (1935)

84 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

In the 1920s, the Provence is a magnet for immigrants seeking work in the quarries or in agriculture. Many mingle with locals and settle down permanently - like Toni, an Italian who has ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Charles Blavette, Celia Montalván, Jenny Hélia, Édouard Delmont

Votes: 1,397

45. The Crime of Monsieur Lange (1936)

Not Rated | 77 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

The boss of a publishing company is a womanizer and a jerk, but what would happen if he suddenly disappeared?

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: René Lefèvre, Florelle, Jules Berry, Marcel Lévesque

Votes: 2,797 | Gross: $0.04M

46. Dracula (1931)

Passed | 75 min | Fantasy, Horror