Best of the 1930s

My 50 favorite from the 1930s.
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1.
L'Atalante (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
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. (89 mins.)
Director: Jean Vigo
 
2.
Autumn Fire (1931 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A story told with few words. We see a solitary man and a solitary woman, each alone with their thoughts... (15 mins.)
 
3.
City Girl (1930)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A Chicago waitress falls in love with a Minnesota farmer, and decides to face a life in the country. (77 mins.)
Director: F.W. Murnau
 
4.
The Shopworn Angel (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Shortly after the United States enters World War I in 1917, a Broadway actress agrees to let a naive soldier court her in order to impress his friends, but a real romance soon begins. (85 mins.)
Director: H.C. Potter
 
5.
Under the Roofs of Paris (1930)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Albert is smitten for Pola but ends up wrongly committed in jail, in the meantime her affections are sort after by his friend, and on his release both love and friendship must be tested. (96 mins.)
Director: René Clair
 
6.
Dodge City (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A Texas cattle agent witnesses first hand, the brutal lawlessness of Dodge City and takes the job of sheriff to clean the town up. (104 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
 
7.
I Was Born, But... (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The Yoshi family - husband and wife Kennesuke and Haha, a middle manager at an office and a housewife respectively... (100 mins.)
Director: Yasujirô Ozu
 
8.
Bezucelná procházka (1930 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A young man sets out for an aimless stroll by tram from the center to the outskirts of Prague. (9 mins.)
 
9.
The Kidnapping (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Hans has killed the dog of Firmin, a shepherd. Wild with rage, Firmin kidnaps Elsi, Hans' fiancée and locks her up at his home... (83 mins.)
 
10.
Other Men's Women (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Events take an unhappy turn for two Bill and Jack, two locomotive engineers, after Bill is attracted to his best friend's wife. (71 mins.)
 
11.
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
 
12.
The Cowboy and the Lady (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A lonely socialite masquerades as a maid and meets an unpretentious, plain-spoken cowboy who is unaware of her true identity. (91 mins.)
Director: H.C. Potter
 
13.
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
 
14.
M (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt. (117 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
 
15.
Modern Times (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman. (87 mins.)
Director: Charlie Chaplin
 
16.
Man's Castle (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Bill takes Trina into his depression camp cabin. Later, just as he finds showgirl LaRue who will support him, Trina becomes pregnant. (75 mins.)
Director: Frank Borzage
 
17.
A Story of Floating Weeds (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A kabuki actor's mistress hatches a jealous plot to bring down her lover's son. (86 mins.)
Director: Yasujirô Ozu
 
18.
To the Last Man (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
In Kentucky just after the Civil War, the Hayden-Colby feud leads to Jed Colby being sent to prison for 15 years for murder. The Haydens head for Nevada and when Colby gets out of prison he heads there also seeking revenge. The head of the Hayden family tries to avoid more killing but the inevitable showdown has to occur, complicated by Lynn Hayden and Ellen Colby's plans to marry. (74 mins.)
Director: Henry Hathaway
 
19.
Little Man, What Now? (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A young couple struggling against poverty must keep their marriage a secret in order for the husband to keep his job, as his boss doesn't like to hire married men. (98 mins.)
Director: Frank Borzage
 
20.
À Propos de Nice (1930 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
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. (25 mins.)
 
21.
Dante's Inferno (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Jim Carter moves in on the McWade's carnival concession which shows scenes from Dante's "Inferno". He makes it a going concern... (89 mins.)
Director: Harry Lachman
 
22.
Mr. Thank You (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Mr. Thank You is the kindly young driver of a local bus traveling from poverty stricken coastal villages... (78 mins.)
Director: Hiroshi Shimizu
 
23.
Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A fictionalized account of the early life of the American president as a young lawyer facing his greatest court case. (100 mins.)
Director: John Ford
 
24.
Stolen Heaven (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Engineering a $20,000 robbery, Mary and Joe draw up a pact to spend all the money foolishly and then commit suicide. (76 mins.)
Director: George Abbott
 
25.
The Informer (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In 1922, an Irish rebel informs on his friend, then feels doom closing in. (91 mins.)
Director: John Ford
 
26.
July 14 (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Jean is a young cab driver. Anna, a flower-girl neighbour, is in love with him. But he is still thinking to Pola... (86 mins.)
Director: René Clair
 
27.
Port of Shadows (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A military deserter finds love and trouble (and a small dog) in a smoky French port city. (91 mins.)
Director: Marcel Carné
 
28.
Three Comrades (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A love story centered around the lives of three young German soldiers in the years following World War I... (98 mins.)
Director: Frank Borzage
 
29.
A Bronx Morning (1931 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Arrival in the Bronx is shown with a view from an elevated train as it enters the city. Then follows a montage of sights from the Bronx. Many typical neighborhood activities are shown, along with scenes from many local businesses. (11 mins.)
Director: Jay Leyda
 
30.
Zero for Conduct (1933 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In a repressive boarding school with rigid rules of behavior, four boys decide to rebel against the direction on a celebration day. (44 mins.)
Director: Jean Vigo
 
31.
Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Boudu, a tramp, jumps into the Seine. He is rescued by Mr Lestingois, a gentle and good bookseller, who gives shelter to him... (85 mins.)
Director: Jean Renoir
 
32.
Sentimental Romance (1930 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
(20 mins.)
Stars: Mara Griy
 
33.
The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
This documentary is about what happened to the Great Plains of the United States when a combination of farming practices and environmental factors led to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. (25 mins.)
Director: Pare Lorentz
 
34.
Frontier Marshal (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Earp agrees to become marshal and establish order in Tombstone in this very romanticized version of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral (e.g., Doc is killed by Curley before the actual battle and Earp must do the job alone). (71 mins.)
Director: Allan Dwan
 
35.
Man of Aran (1934 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In this blend of documentary and fictional narrative from pioneering filmmaker Robert Flaherty, the everyday trials of life on Ireland's unforgiving Aran Islands are captured with attention to naturalistic beauty and historical detail. (76 mins.)
 
36.
Morocco (1930)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A cabaret singer and a Legionnaire fall in love, but their relationship is complicated by the results of his womanizing and due to the appearance of a rich man who wants her for himself. (92 mins.)
 
37.
Big City (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
To avoid a taxi war, city officials blame a gang bombing on driver Joe Benton's wife Anna and put her on a ship to deport her... (80 mins.)
Director: Frank Borzage
 
38.
The Lady Vanishes (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
While traveling in continental Europe, a rich young playgirl realizes that an elderly lady seems to have disappeared from the train. (96 mins.)
 
39.
Mickey's Trailer (1938 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Goofy's in the driver's seat, Mickey's in the kitchen, and Donald's in bed in Mickey's high-tech house trailer... (7 mins.)
 
40.
Chanson d'Armor (1934 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Ballad-type drama-documentary spoken in the Breton language and set in a Breton fishing community, telling of the impossible love between a fisherman and the lady of the manor. (42 mins.)
Director: Jean Epstein
 
41.
By the Bluest of Seas (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Yussuf and Aliosha are two shipwrecked sailors on an island in the Caspian Sea. They start working as... (71 mins.)
 
42.
Frisco Jenny (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Frisco Jenny was orphaned by the 1906 earthquake and fire and has become the madame of a prosperous bawdy house... (73 mins.)
 
43.
The 39 Steps (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information. (86 mins.)
 
44.
Santa's Workshop (1932 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Santa's little helpers must hurry to finish the toys before Christmas Day. (7 mins.)
 
45.
Le Jour se Leve (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
After committing a murder, a man locks himself in his apartment and recollects the events that led him to the killing. (93 mins.)
Director: Marcel Carné
 
46.
Les berceaux (1931 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
(5 mins.)
Director: Jean Epstein
 
47.
A Day in the Country (1936 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The family of a Parisian shop-owner spends a day in the country. The daughter falls in love to a man at the inn, where they spend the day. (40 mins.)
Director: Jean Renoir
 
48.
Frankenstein (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses. (70 mins.)
Director: James Whale
 
49.
Freaks (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
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. (64 mins.)
Director: Tod Browning
 
50.
The Lost Patrol (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A dozen British soldiers, lost in a Mesopotamian desert during world war I, are menaced by unseen Arab enemies. (73 mins.)
Director: John Ford