My Top 40 Movies from the 1930's

My all-time favourite movies from from the decade that started with a whisper and ended with a bang.
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1.
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
 
2.
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An aged teacher and former headmaster of a boarding school recalls his career and his personal life over the decades. (114 mins.)
Director: Sam Wood
 
3.
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
 
4.
The Good Earth (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The story of a farmer in China: a story of humility and bravery. His father gives Wang Lung a freed slave as wife... (138 mins.)
Director: Sidney Franklin
 
5.
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
 
6.
The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A noblewoman discovers her husband is The Scarlet Pimpernel, a vigilante who rescues aristocrats from the blade of the guillotine. (97 mins.)
Director: Harold Young
 
7.
Dodsworth (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A retired auto manufacturer and his wife take a long-planned European vacation only to find that they want very different things from life. (101 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
 
8.
Sons of the Desert (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
When Stan and Ollie trick their wives into thinking that they are taking a medicinal cruise while they're actually going to a convention, the wives find out the truth the hard way. (68 mins.)
 
9.
Things to Come (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The story of a century: a decades-long second World War leaves plague and anarchy, then a rational state rebuilds civilization and attempts space travel. (100 mins.)
 
10.
Jezebel (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A haughty headstrong Southern Belle in Antebellum Louisiana loses her fiance due to her stubborn vanity and pride and vows to get him back. (104 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
 
11.
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
 
12.
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.)
 
13.
Pygmalion (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Shaw's play in which a Victorian dialect expert bets that he can teach a lower-class girl to speak proper English and thus be taken for a lady. (96 mins.)
 
14.
The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Elizabeth Barrett's tyrannical father has forbidden any of his family to marry. Nevertheless, Elizabeth falls in love with the poet Robert Browning. (109 mins.)
Director: Sidney Franklin
 
15.
Little Women (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Little Women is a "coming of age" drama tracing the lives of four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. During the American Civil War... (115 mins.)
Director: George Cukor
 
16.
The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An Englishman on a Ruritarian holiday must impersonate the king when the rightful monarch, a distant cousin, is drugged and kidnapped. (101 mins.)
Director: John Cromwell
 
17.
The Petrified Forest (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A waitress, a hobo and a bank robber get mixed up at a lonely diner in the desert. (82 mins.)
Director: Archie L. Mayo
 
18.
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
 
19.
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate. (75 mins.)
Director: James Whale
 
20.
Les Misérables (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The lives of numerous people over the course of 20 years in 19th century France, weaved together by the story of an ex-convict named Jean Valjean on the run from an obsessive police inspector, who pursues him for only a minor offense. (281 mins.)
Director: Raymond Bernard
 
21.
A Tale of Two Cities (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A pair of lookalikes, one a former French aristocrat and the other an alcoholic English lawyer, fall in love with the same woman amongst the turmoil of the French Revolution. (128 mins.)
Director: Jack Conway
 
22.
A Night at the Opera (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A sly business manager and two wacky friends of two opera singers help them achieve success while humiliating their stuffy and snobbish enemies. (96 mins.)
Director: Sam Wood
 
23.
The Four Feathers (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Resigning his commission on the eve of his unit's deployment against Egyptian rebels, a British officer... (129 mins.)
Director: Zoltan Korda
 
24.
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
 
25.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
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. (117 mins.)
 
26.
Dark Victory (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A young socialite is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, and must decide whether she'll meet her final days with dignity. (104 mins.)
Director: Edmund Goulding
 
27.
The Thin Man (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Nick and Nora Charles, a former detective and his rich, playful wife, investigate a murder case mostly for the fun of it. (91 mins.)
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
 
28.
The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Three British soldiers on the Northwest Frontier of India struggle against the enemy - and themselves. (109 mins.)
Director: Henry Hathaway
 
29.
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A major countermands orders and attacks to revenge a previous massacre of men, women and children. (115 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
 
30.
Gunga Din (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In 19th century India, three British soldiers and a native waterbearer must stop a secret mass revival of the murderous Thuggee cult before it can rampage across the land. (117 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
 
31.
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
 
32.
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
 
33.
Frankenstein (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses. (70 mins.)
Director: James Whale
 
34.
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.)
 
35.
Captain Blood (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
After being wrongly convicted as a traitor, Peter Blood, an English physician, is sent to exile in the British colonies of the Caribbean, where he becomes a pirate. (119 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
 
36.
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
 
37.
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
 
38.
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
 
39.
The Lady Vanishes (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
While traveling in continental Europe, a rich young playgirl realizes that an elderly lady seems to have disappeared from the train. (96 mins.)
 
40.
Boys Town (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Against all odds Father Flanagan starts "Boys' Town" after hearing a convict's story. Whitey Marsh comes there... (96 mins.)
Director: Norman Taurog