The Best 30 films of the 30's.

The decade of the 30's was surprising in terms of the many
quality, excellent feature film entries, given that the film industry was in it's fledgling years, at least in terms of talking pictures. The great film makers learned quickly and we are fortunate as movie fans to have the considerable talents of Frank Capra, John Ford and Victor Fleming making movies, with the likes of William Wyler, John Huston and many others emerging as great talents as well. It's a pleasure to suggest just 30 of the very best. Enjoy.
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1.
Gone with the Wind (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A manipulative Southern belle carries on a turbulent affair with a blockade runner during the American Civil War. (238 mins.)
Director: Victor Fleming
 
2.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
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. (129 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
 
3.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home. (102 mins.)
Director: Victor Fleming
 
4.
The Informer (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In 1922, an Irish rebel informs on his friend, then feels doom closing in. (91 mins.)
Director: John Ford
 
5.
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Midshipman Roger Byam joins Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian aboard the HMS Bounty for a voyage to Tahiti... (132 mins.)
Director: Frank Lloyd
 
6.
It Happened One Night (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A spoiled heiress, running away from her family, is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story. (105 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
 
7.
All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I. (136 mins.)
Director: Lewis Milestone
 
8.
Captains Courageous (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Harvey Cheyne is a spoiled brat used to having his own way. When a prank goes wrong onboard an ocean liner Harvey ends up overboard and nearly drowns... (117 mins.)
Director: Victor Fleming
 
9.
Grand Hotel (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A group of very different individuals staying at a luxurious hotel in Berlin deal with each of their respective dramas. (112 mins.)
Director: Edmund Goulding
 
10.
Duck Soup (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale. (68 mins.)
Director: Leo McCarey
 
11.
The Awful Truth (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other's attempts to find new romance. (91 mins.)
Director: Leo McCarey
 
12.
Stagecoach (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
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. (96 mins.)
Director: John Ford
 
13.
Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids. (97 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
 
14.
The Thin Man (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Former detective Nick Charles and his wealthy wife Nora investigate a murder case, mostly for the fun of it. (91 mins.)
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
 
15.
King Kong (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal giant gorilla who takes a shine to their female blonde star. Then he's captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition. (100 mins.)
 
16.
City Lights (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
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. (87 mins.)
Director: Charles Chaplin
 
17.
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
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. (102 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
18.
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Longfellow Deeds, a simple-hearted Vermont tuba player, inherits a fortune and has to contend with opportunist city slickers. (115 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
 
19.
The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The biopic of the famous French muckraking writer and his involvement in fighting the injustice of the Dreyfuss Affair. (116 mins.)
 
20.
Modern Times (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman. (87 mins.)
Director: Charlie Chaplin
 
21.
Wuthering Heights (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A servant in the house of Wuthering Heights tells a traveler the unfortunate tale of lovers Cathy and Heathcliff. (104 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
 
22.
I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Wrongly convicted James Allen serves in the intolerable conditions of a southern chain gang, which later comes back to haunt him. (92 mins.)
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
 
23.
Stage Door (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A boardinghouse full of aspiring actresses and their ambitions, dreams and disappointments. (92 mins.)
Director: Gregory LaCava
 
24.
La Grande Illusion (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
During the first World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from. (114 mins.)
Director: Jean Renoir
 
25.
The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The biography of the pioneering French microbiologist who helped revolutionize agriculture and medicine. (86 mins.)
 
26.
Ninotchka (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A stern Russian woman sent to Paris on official business finds herself attracted to a man who represents everything she is supposed to detest. (110 mins.)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
 
27.
Dead End (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The Dead End Kids, an unemployed architect, and gangster Baby Face Martin interact with an East Side neighborhood over one day and night. (93 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
 
28.
Of Mice and Men (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Two itinerant migrant workers, one mentally disabled and the other his carer, take jobs as ranch hands during the Great Depression to fulfill their shared dream of owning their own ranch. (106 mins.)
Director: Lewis Milestone
 
29.
Lost Horizon (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
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? (97 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
 
30.
My Man Godfrey (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A scatterbrained socialite hires a vagrant as a family butler...but there's more to Godfrey than meets the eye. (94 mins.)
Director: Gregory La Cava