G. Calm Before the Storm (1930-1935)

These are the various movies which covered the period before and during the Great Depression era and the period before the 2nd World War. It includes famous gangster characters and Broadway stories. It also covers a lot of ethical issues like racial equality and democracy.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Bad Girl (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A man and woman, skeptical about romance, nonetheless fall in love and are wed, but their lack of confidence in the opposite sex haunts their marriage. (90 mins.)
Director: Frank Borzage
 
2.
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
 
3.
Five Star Final (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The City Editor of a sleazy tabloid goes against his own journalistic ethics to resurrect a twenty year old murder case... with tragic results. (89 mins.)
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
 
4.
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
 
5.
Giant (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Sprawling epic covering the life of a Texas cattle rancher and his family and associates. (201 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
 
6.
Little Caesar (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A small-time criminal moves to a big city to seek bigger fortune. (79 mins.)
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
 
7.
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
 
8.
Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Nitta Sayuri reveals how she transcended her fishing-village roots and became one of Japan's most celebrated geisha. (145 mins.)
Director: Rob Marshall
 
9.
The Champ (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Alcoholic ex-boxer struggles to provide a good living for his son. (86 mins.)
 
10.
The Front Page (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
As a tabloid newspaper editor tries to prevent his top reporter from retiring, an escaped death row convict shows up at the office trying to convey his innocence. (105 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
11.
The Untouchables (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team. (119 mins.)
Director: Brian De Palma
 
12.
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Bonnie Parker, a bored waitress falls in love with an ex-con named Clyde Barrow and together they start a violent crime spree through the country, robbing cars and banks. (111 mins.)
Director: Arthur Penn
 
13.
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
 
14.
Hugo (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In Paris in 1931, an orphan named Hugo Cabret who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton. (126 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
15.
Malcolm X (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam. (202 mins.)
Director: Spike Lee
 
16.
Of Mice and Men (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Two drifters, one a gentle but slow giant, try to make money working the fields during the Depression so they can fulfill their dreams. (115 mins.)
Director: Gary Sinise
 
17.
Road to Perdition (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Bonds of loyalty are put to the test when a hitman's son witnesses what his father does for a living. (117 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
 
18.
Shanghai Express (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A loose woman rediscovers a former lover during a dangerous train ride to Shanghai. (82 mins.)
 
19.
42nd Street (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A director puts on what may be his last Broadway show and, at the last moment, a naive newcomer has to replace the star. (89 mins.)
Director: Lloyd Bacon
 
20.
Cabaret (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A female girlie club entertainer in Weimar Republic era Berlin romances two men while the Nazi Party rises to power around them. (124 mins.)
Director: Bob Fosse
 
21.
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
 
22.
Gosford Park (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The lives of upstairs guests and downstairs servants at a party in 1932 in a country house in England as they investigate a murder involving one of them. (131 mins.)
Director: Robert Altman
 
23.
King Kong (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 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. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition. (100 mins.)
 
24.
Lady for a Day (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A gangster tries to make Apple Annie, the Times Square apple seller, a lady for a day. (96 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
 
25.
My Left Foot (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Christy Brown, born with cerebral palsy, learns to paint and write with his only controllable limb - his left foot. (103 mins.)
Director: Jim Sheridan
 
26.
The English Patient (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair. (162 mins.)
 
27.
The Invisible Man (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane. (71 mins.)
Director: James Whale
 
28.
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice. (129 mins.)
Director: Robert Mulligan
 
29.
Assassination (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
While Korea is occupied by the Japanese Army in 1933, the resistance plans to kill the Japanese Commander. But their plan is threatened by a traitor within their group and also the enemies' forces are hunting them down. (140 mins.)
Director: Dong-hoon Choi
 
30.
Baby Face (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
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. (71 mins.)
Director: Alfred E. Green
 
31.
Brighton Rock (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Pinkie Brown is a small-town hoodlum whose gang runs a protection racket based at Brighton race course... (92 mins.)
Director: John Boulting
 
32.
Bugsy (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The story of how Bugsy Siegel started Las Vegas. (136 mins.)
Director: Barry Levinson
 
33.
Café Society (2016)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
In the 1930s, a Bronx native moves to Hollywood and falls in love with a young woman who is seeing a married man. (96 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
34.
Imitation of Life (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
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. (111 mins.)
Director: John M. Stahl
 
35.
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
 
36.
King Kong (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A movie crew, travelling to a mysterious island to shoot their picture, encounter a furious gorilla, taking their leading actress and forming a special relationship with her, protecting her at all costs. (187 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
 
37.
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
 
38.
Public Enemies (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The Feds try to take down notorious American gangsters John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd during a booming crime wave in the 1930s. (140 mins.)
Director: Michael Mann
 
39.
Ship of Fools (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A varied group of passengers boarding a ship bound for post-war Germany represents a microcosm of 1930s society. (149 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kramer
 
40.
Sounder (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The oldest son of a loving and strong family of black sharecroppers comes of age in the Depression-era South after his father is imprisoned for stealing food. (105 mins.)
Director: Martin Ritt
 
41.
The Black Cat (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
American honeymooners in Hungary become trapped in the home of a Satan-worshiping priest when the bride is taken there for medical help following a road accident. (65 mins.)
Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
 
42.
The Gay Divorcee (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
An American woman travels to England to seek a divorce from her absentee husband, where she meets - and falls for - a dashing performer. (107 mins.)
Director: Mark Sandrich
 
43.
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery. (92 mins.)
 
44.
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
 
45.
Alice Adams (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The misadventures of two social-climbing women in small town America. (99 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
 
46.
Miller's Crossing (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Tom Regan, an advisor to a Prohibition-era crime boss, tries to keep the peace between warring mobs but gets caught in divided loyalties. (115 mins.)
Director: Joel Coen
 
47.
Ruggles of Red Gap (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An English valet brought to the American west assimilates into the American way of life. (90 mins.)
Director: Leo McCarey
 
48.
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.)
 
49.
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
 
50.
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A poor Midwest family is forced off their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression. (129 mins.)
Director: John Ford
 
51.
Top Hat (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An American dancer comes to Britain and falls for a model whom he initially annoyed, but she mistakes him for his goofy producer. (101 mins.)
Director: Mark Sandrich
 
52.
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
 
53.
Atonement (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a thirteen-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit. (123 mins.)
Director: Joe Wright
 
54.
Camille (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
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. (109 mins.)
Director: George Cukor
 
55.
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
 
56.
Farewell My Concubine (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The story of two men, who met as apprentices in the Peking Opera, and stayed friends for over 50 years. (171 mins.)
Director: Kaige Chen
 
57.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone. He agrees, and stumbles upon a secret cult plotting a terrible plan in the catacombs of an ancient palace. (118 mins.)
 
58.
Ip Man (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
During the Japanese invasion of 1937, when a wealthy martial artist is forced to leave his home and work to support his family, he reluctantly agrees to train others in the art of Wing Chun for self-defense. (106 mins.)
Director: Wilson Yip
 
59.
Libeled Lady (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A newspaper man, his ignored fiancée, and his former employee a down on his luck reporter hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news story into the truth, to stop a high-society woman from suing for libel. (98 mins.)
Director: Jack Conway
 
60.
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
 
61.
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
 
62.
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
 
63.
Papillon (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape. (151 mins.)
 
64.
Places in the Heart (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In the Deep South in the 1930s, a widow and her family try to run their cotton farm with the help of a disparate group of friends. (111 mins.)
Director: Robert Benton
 
65.
Race (2016)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Jesse Owens' quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history thrusts him onto the world stage of the 1936 Olympics, where he faces off against Adolf Hitler's vision of Aryan supremacy. (134 mins.)
Director: Stephen Hopkins
 
66.
Swing Time (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A performer and gambler travels to New York City to raise the $25,000 he needs to marry his fiancée, only to become entangled with a beautiful aspiring dancer. (103 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
 
67.
The Crime of Monsieur Lange (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A man and a woman arrive in a cafe-hotel near the belgian frontier. The customers recognize the man from the police's description... (80 mins.)
Director: Jean Renoir
 
68.
The Green Mile (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
The lives of guards on Death Row are affected by one of their charges: a black man accused of child murder and rape, yet who has a mysterious gift. (189 mins.)
Director: Frank Darabont
 
69.
The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In New Jersey in 1935, a movie character walks off the screen and into the real world. (82 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
70.
Three Smart Girls (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Three sisters scheme to reunite their divorced parents before their wealthy father marries a conniving gold digger. (84 mins.)
Director: Henry Koster