30 Films Of The 30's

by tsamaica | created - 30 Mar 2011 | updated - 02 Apr 2011 | Public
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1. City Lights (1931)

G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

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: 134,135 | Gross: $0.02M

2. 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: 22,992

3. Freaks (1932)

Not Rated | 64 min | Drama, Horror

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: 36,264

4. 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: 92,436 | Gross: $9.60M

5. 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 in Kansas and help her friends as well.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor | Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr

Votes: 333,230 | Gross: $22.20M

6. The Roaring Twenties (1939)

Not Rated | 106 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Three men attempt to make a living in Prohibitionist America after returning home from fighting together in World War I.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Priscilla Lane, Gladys George

Votes: 10,713

7. Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Not Rated | 102 min | Comedy, Family, Romance

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: 48,952

8. The Lady Vanishes (1938)

Not Rated | 96 min | Mystery, Thriller

While traveling in continental Europe, a rich young playgirl realizes that an elderly lady seems to have disappeared from the train.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas, May Whitty

Votes: 40,257

9. The Awful Truth (1937)

Not Rated | 91 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: 15,060

10. La Grande Illusion (1937)

Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, War

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.

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

Votes: 29,653 | Gross: $0.17M

11. Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

Passed | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

An elderly couple are forced to separate when they lose their house and none of their five children will take both parents in.

Director: Leo McCarey | Stars: Victor Moore, Beulah Bondi, Fay Bainter, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 5,880

12. 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: 174,872 | Gross: $0.16M

13. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)

Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Longfellow Deeds, a simple-hearted Vermont tuba player, inherits a fortune and has to contend with opportunist city slickers.

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

Votes: 17,041

14. My Man Godfrey (1936)

Not Rated | 94 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A scatterbrained socialite hires a vagrant as a family butler...but there's more to Godfrey than meets the eye.

Director: Gregory La Cava | Stars: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Alice Brady, Gail Patrick

Votes: 17,404

15. Things to Come (1936)

Not Rated | 100 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, War

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.

Director: William Cameron Menzies | Stars: Raymond Massey, Edward Chapman, Ralph Richardson, Margaretta Scott

Votes: 5,833

16. A Night at the Opera (1935)

Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Music, Musical

A sly business manager and two wacky friends of two opera singers help them achieve success while humiliating their stuffy and snobbish enemies.

Directors: Sam Wood, Edmund Goulding | Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Kitty Carlisle

Votes: 27,340

17. The 39 Steps (1935)

Not Rated | 86 min | Mystery, Thriller

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.

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

Votes: 44,358

18. 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, Michel Simon, Gilles Margaritis

Votes: 11,954

19. It's a Gift (1934)

Passed | 68 min | Comedy

A henpecked New Jersey grocer makes plans to move to California to grow oranges, despite the resistance of his overbearing wife.

Director: Norman Z. McLeod | Stars: W.C. Fields, Kathleen Howard, Jean Rouverol, Julian Madison

Votes: 4,212

20. Duck Soup (1933)

Not Rated | 68 min | Comedy, Musical, War

Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale.

Director: Leo McCarey | Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Zeppo Marx

Votes: 50,479

21. King Kong (1933)

Not Rated | 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: 70,678 | Gross: $10.00M

22. 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: 6,381

23. 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: 21,813

24. Vampyr (1932)

Not Rated | 75 min | Fantasy, Horror

A drifter obsessed with the supernatural stumbles upon an inn where a severely ill adolescent girl is slowly becoming a vampire.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer | Stars: Julian West, Maurice Schutz, Rena Mandel, Sybille Schmitz

Votes: 12,781

25. Frankenstein (1931)

Not Rated | 70 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

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: 55,101 | Gross: $12.00M

26. M (1931)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

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: 118,585 | Gross: $0.03M

27. Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (1931)

TV-PG | 86 min | Drama, Romance, Adventure

On the South Pacific island of Bora Bora, a young couple's love is threatened when the tribal chief declares the girl a sacred virgin.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Anne Chevalier, Matahi, Hitu, Bill Bambridge

Votes: 4,032

28. L'Age d'Or (1930)

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: 10,740 | Gross: $0.03M

29. Island of Lost Souls (1932)

Not Rated | 70 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

An obsessed scientist conducts profane experiments in evolution, eventually establishing himself as the self-styled demigod to a race of mutated, half-human abominations.

Director: Erle C. Kenton | Stars: Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi, Richard Arlen, Leila Hyams

Votes: 6,636

30. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)

Not Rated | 122 min | Crime

A new crime wave grips the city and all clues seem to lead to the nefarious Dr. Mabuse, even though he has been imprisoned in a mental asylum for nearly a decade.

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

Votes: 9,749