... The Forgettable ... Of The 1930s

by Akira_Chimera | created - 12 Jul 2011 | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public

First of all, most movies on this list are not really bad. But they are not good either. In order not to bore you with every average movie I have seen I will restrain myself only to those of interest. That means you will find movies here that were successful at the box office but did not deserve that undue success or movies that did not stand the test of time. Other entries concern movies that are acclaimed by critics but to me are nothing short of being pretentious. Other titles could include films that were much talked about for whatever reason upon their initial release and therefore hold some kind of reputation that, however, do not qualify them for quality movies. You may also find movies here to which famous actors or directors contributed to but which are a let-down in the end nevertheless.

So, have fun browsing through my selection of the odds and sods of the movie world and let me know what you think.

PS: This list is by no means complete as I will add new worthwhile films as I stumble across them.

 Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc
  • Instant Watch Options
  • Genres
  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • On TV
  • Release Year
  • Keywords



IMDb user rating (average) to
Number of votes to »




Reset



Reset
Release year or range to »




































































































1. Abraham Lincoln (1930)

Approved | 96 min | Biography, Drama, History

An episodic biography of the 16th President of the United States.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Walter Huston, Una Merkel, William L. Thorne, Lucille La Verne

Votes: 1,124

2. The Doorway to Hell (1930)

Passed | 78 min | Crime, Drama

Lou Ricarno is a smart guy. His plan is to organize the various gangs in Chicago so that the mugs will not liquidate each other. WIth the success of his leadership, Louie prospers, marries ... See full summary »

Director: Archie Mayo | Stars: Lew Ayres, James Cagney, Charles Judels, Dorothy Mathews

Votes: 702

3. Anna Christie (I) (1930)

Passed | 89 min | Drama, Romance

A young woman reunites with her estranged father and falls in love with a sailor, but struggles to tell them about her dark past.

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Greta Garbo, Charles Bickford, George F. Marion, Marie Dressler

Votes: 2,322 | Gross: $1.01M

4. Renegades (1930)

Passed | 84 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

Four one-for-all and all-for-one privates in the French Foreign Legion are all in jail for disorderly conduct, but they break out and rejoin their regiment and fight off a band of marauding... See full summary »

Director: Victor Fleming | Stars: Warner Baxter, Myrna Loy, Noah Beery, Gregory Gaye

Votes: 193

5. The Big Trail (1930)

Passed | 125 min | Adventure, Western, Romance

Breck Coleman leads hundreds of settlers in covered wagons from the Mississippi River to their destiny out West.

Directors: Raoul Walsh, Louis R. Loeffler | Stars: John Wayne, Marguerite Churchill, El Brendel, Tully Marshall

Votes: 2,792

6. The Divorcee (1930)

Passed | 84 min | Romance, Drama

When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard | Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Chester Morris, Conrad Nagel

Votes: 2,253

7. The Unholy Three (1930)

Passed | 72 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

"Talkie" remake of Tod Browning's 1925 silent film. A trio of former sideshow performers double as the "Unholy Three" in a scam to nab some shiny rocks.

Director: Jack Conway | Stars: Lon Chaney, Lila Lee, Elliott Nugent, Harry Earles

Votes: 882

8. Romance (1930)

Approved | 76 min | Drama, Romance

Young Harry is in love and wants to marry an actress, much to the displeasure of his family. Harry thinks that Bishop Armstrong knows nothing about love so Armstrong tells him the story of ... See full summary »

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Greta Garbo, Lewis Stone, Gavin Gordon, Elliott Nugent

Votes: 543 | Gross: $0.73M

9. Wild Company (1930)

71 min | Drama

The son of a wealthy politician falls in with a notorious gangster planning to rob a night club.

Director: Leo McCarey | Stars: Frank Albertson, Joyce Compton, Sharon Lynn, H.B. Warner

Votes: 27

10. Westfront 1918 (1930)

Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Romance, War

A group of German infantrymen of the First World War live out their lives in the trenches of France. They find brief entertainment and relief in a village behind the lines, but primarily ... See full summary »

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst | Stars: Fritz Kampers, Gustav Diessl, Hans-Joachim Möbis, Claus Clausen

Votes: 1,105

11. Paid (1930)

Approved | 86 min | Drama, Film-Noir

Mary Turner goes up for three years on a crime she didn't commit. Once out she and former prison mates plan a scam in which old men can be sued for breach of promise - the "heart balm" ... See full summary »

Director: Sam Wood | Stars: Joan Crawford, Robert Armstrong, Marie Prevost, Douglass Montgomery

Votes: 459

12. Raffles (1930)

72 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

A distinguished English gentleman has a secret life--he is the notorious jewel thief the press has dubbed "The Amateur Cracksman". When he meets a woman and falls in love he decides to "... See full summary »

Directors: George Fitzmaurice, Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast | Stars: Ronald Colman, Kay Francis, David Torrence, Frederick Kerr

Votes: 633 | Gross: $1.00M

13. The Big House (1930)

Passed | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A convict falls in love with his new cellmate's sister, only to become embroiled in a planned break-out which is certain to have lethal consequences.

Directors: George W. Hill, Ward Wing | Stars: Chester Morris, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone, Robert Montgomery

Votes: 1,458

14. Murder! (1930)

TV-PG | 92 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

A juror in a murder trial, after voting to convict, has second thoughts and begins to investigate on his own before the execution.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Herbert Marshall, Norah Baring, Phyllis Konstam, Edward Chapman

Votes: 4,717

15. Inside the Lines (1930)

Approved | 72 min | Drama

During World War 1, German spies will stop at nothing to spy on the allied war plans stored at Gibraltar.

Director: Roy Pomeroy | Stars: Betty Compson, Ralph Forbes, Montagu Love, Ivan F. Simpson

Votes: 67

16. Alraune (1930)

103 min | Sci-Fi

A scientist, Professor Jakob ten Brinken, interested in the laws of heredity, impregnates a prostitute in a laboratory with the semen of a hanged murderer. The prostitute conceives a female... See full summary »

Director: Richard Oswald | Stars: Brigitte Helm, Albert Bassermann, Harald Paulsen, Adolf E. Licho

Votes: 52

17. Up the River (1930)

Passed | 92 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

When paroled trustee Steve and former inmate Judy who try to put their criminal lives behind them are blackmailed, two career criminals come to their rescue.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Claire Luce, Warren Hymer, Humphrey Bogart

Votes: 855

18. Laughter (1930)

85 min | Comedy, Romance

A former chorus girl weds a millionaire after the composer she loves leaves. Meanwhile, she strings along an artist in love with her. When the composer returns, she struggles with her needs for security vs love. High jinks and drama ensue.

Director: Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast | Stars: Nancy Carroll, Fredric March, Frank Morgan, Glenn Anders

Votes: 226

19. Just Imagine (1930)

Passed | 113 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Musical

New York, 1980: airplanes have replaced cars, numbers have replaced names, pills have replaced food, government-arranged marriages have replaced love, and test tube babies have replaced ...... See full summary »

Director: David Butler | Stars: El Brendel, Maureen O'Sullivan, John Garrick, Marjorie White

Votes: 528

20. Ladies of Leisure (1930)

Passed | 99 min | Drama, Romance

An upper-crust artist hires a 'party girl' as a model; romance follows.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Ralph Graves, Lowell Sherman, Marie Prevost

Votes: 802

21. Moby Dick (1930)

Passed | 80 min | Adventure, Drama

In this extremely loose adaptation of Melville's classic novel, Ahab is revealed initially not as a bitter and vengeful madman, but as a bit of a lovable scamp. Ashore in New Bedford, he ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: John Barrymore, Joan Bennett, Lloyd Hughes, Noble Johnson

Votes: 300

22. Manslaughter (1930)

85 min | Romance, Drama

A spoiled young rich girl is sent to prison for accidentally running down a pedestrian. There she learns about a life and people she had never even imagined existed before. Upon her release... See full summary »

Director: George Abbott | Stars: Claudette Colbert, Fredric March, Emma Dunn, Natalie Moorhead

Votes: 168

23. Outward Bound (1930)

Unrated | 83 min | Drama, Fantasy

Later remade as "Between Two Worlds."

Directors: Robert Milton, Ray Enright | Stars: Leslie Howard, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Beryl Mercer, Dudley Digges

Votes: 353

24. Mata Hari (1931)

Passed | 89 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A semi-fictionalized account of the life of Mata Hari, an exotic dancer who was accused of spying for Germany during World War I.

Director: George Fitzmaurice | Stars: Greta Garbo, Ramon Novarro, Lionel Barrymore, Lewis Stone

Votes: 2,774 | Gross: $0.93M

25. The Front Page (1931)

TV-PG | 101 min | Comedy

An investigative reporter sees an opportunity for the story of a lifetime when an accused murderer escapes hanging.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Adolphe Menjou, Pat O'Brien, Mary Brian, Edward Everett Horton

Votes: 1,827

26. City Streets (1931)

Passed | 83 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Man joins a gang to free his girlfriend from prison.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian | Stars: Gary Cooper, Sylvia Sidney, Paul Lukas, William 'Stage' Boyd

Votes: 1,021

27. Cimarron (1931)

Passed | 123 min | Drama, Western

A newspaper editor settles in an Oklahoma boom town with his reluctant wife at the end of the nineteenth century.

Director: Wesley Ruggles | Stars: Richard Dix, Irene Dunne, Estelle Taylor, Nance O'Neil

Votes: 4,382

28. The Secret 6 (1931)

Passed | 83 min | Crime, Drama

After rising bootlegger Slaughterhouse Scorpio eliminates his gangland competition, two reporters and a cabal of six businessmen work to expose him.

Director: George W. Hill | Stars: Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone, Johnny Mack Brown, Jean Harlow

Votes: 619

29. Hell Divers (1931)

Passed | 109 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

Story of rivalry between 2 Navy aircrewmen on and off duty.

Director: George W. Hill | Stars: Clark Gable, Wallace Beery, Conrad Nagel, Dorothy Jordan

Votes: 395

30. Corsair (1931)

75 min | Adventure

A stock market broker plans to liven up his boring life by taking up piracy on the high seas.

Director: Roland West | Stars: Chester Morris, Thelma Todd, Fred Kohler, Ned Sparks

Votes: 124

31. Dirigible (1931)

Passed | 100 min | Adventure

Jack Bradon is tasked to reach the South Pole with a dirigible.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Jack Holt, Fay Wray, Ralph Graves, Hobart Bosworth

Votes: 491

32. Arrowsmith (1931)

Approved | 108 min | Drama

Based on Sinclair Lewis's novel "Arrowsmith". A medical researcher is sent to a plague outbreak, where he has to decide priorities for the use of a vaccine.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Ronald Colman, Helen Hayes, Richard Bennett, A.E. Anson

Votes: 1,255

33. The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)

Passed | 93 min | Comedy, Romance, Musical

An amorous lieutenant is forced to marry a socially awkward princess, though he tries to keep his violin-playing girlfriend on the side.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Claudette Colbert, Miriam Hopkins, Charles Ruggles

Votes: 2,835

34. The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931)

Passed | 75 min | Drama

Out of jail for a crime she did not commit, Madelon turns to prostitution and thievery to send her illegitimate son to medical school.

Director: Edgar Selwyn | Stars: Helen Hayes, Lewis Stone, Neil Hamilton, Robert Young

Votes: 648

35. The Miracle Woman (1931)

Passed | 90 min | Drama, Romance

After an unappreciated minister dies, his daughter loses her faith in God, prompting her to open a phony temple with a con man. Can the love of a blind aviator restore her faith and happiness?

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, David Manners, Sam Hardy, Beryl Mercer

Votes: 1,530

36. The Skin Game (1931)

TV-G | 85 min | Drama

An old traditional family and a modern family battle over land in a small English village and almost destroy each other.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Edmund Gwenn, Jill Esmond, C.V. France, Helen Haye

Votes: 2,396

37. The Struggle (1931)

Not Rated | 87 min | Drama

A young couple's marriage is jeopardized by the husband's descent into alcoholism.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Hal Skelly, Zita Johann, Charlotte Wynters, Evelyn Baldwin

Votes: 242

38. East of Shanghai (1931)

Not Rated | 83 min | Comedy, Romance, Thriller

Believing that an unexpected inheritance will bring them happiness, a married couple instead finds their relationship strained to the breaking point.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Henry Kendall, Joan Barry, Percy Marmont, Betty Amann

Votes: 3,394

39. Women of All Nations (1931)

72 min | Comedy, Drama

Marines Flagg and Quirt fought together in WWI and Panama. After some time in New York they go to Sweden and compete for the love of Else. Next they go to Nicaragua and help earthquake ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: Victor McLaglen, Edmund Lowe, Greta Nissen, El Brendel

Votes: 68

40. The Mad Genius (1931)

Unrated | 81 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

A crippled man finds a boy and vows to make him a great dancer.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: John Barrymore, Marian Marsh, Charles Butterworth, Donald Cook

Votes: 429

41. The Yellow Ticket (1931)

Passed | 88 min | Adventure, Drama, War

A young Russian girl is forced into a life of prostitution in Czarist Russia, and she and a British journalist find their lives endangered when she reveals to him information regarding the ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: Elissa Landi, Lionel Barrymore, Laurence Olivier, Walter Byron

Votes: 115

42. Mary (1931)

78 min | Mystery, Thriller

A juror in a murder trial, after voting to convict, has second thoughts and begins to investigate on his own before the execution.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Alfred Abel, Olga Tschechowa, Paul Graetz, Lotte Stein

Votes: 486

43. Quick Millions (1931)

72 min | Crime, Drama

Truck driver Bugs Raymond organizes the trucking associations and takes protection money. Now rich, he decides to marry socialite Dorothy Stone. She rejects him for another, so he makes plans to kidnap her on her wedding day.

Director: Rowland Brown | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Marguerite Churchill, Sally Eilers, Bob Burns

Votes: 112

44. Trader Horn (1931)

Passed | 122 min | Adventure, Romance

Two white traders in the darkest Africa of the 1870s find a missionary's daughter, who was captured as a child by a savage tribe and now worshiped as a goddess.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: Harry Carey, Edwina Booth, Duncan Renaldo, Mutia Omoolu

Votes: 745

46. Illicit (1931)

Unrated | 79 min | Drama, Romance

A young couple lives together out of wedlock, but they find that they're ahead of their time.

Director: Archie Mayo | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, James Rennie, Ricardo Cortez, Natalie Moorhead

Votes: 659

47. Rain (1932)

Passed | 94 min | Drama

A prostitute finds redemption in Pago Pago thanks to a hard missionary man.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Joan Crawford, Walter Huston, Fred Howard, Ben Hendricks Jr.

Votes: 2,036

48. A Farewell to Arms (1932)

Unrated | 80 min | Drama, Romance, War

An American ambulance driver and an English nurse fall in love in Italy during World War I.

Director: Frank Borzage | Stars: Gary Cooper, Helen Hayes, Adolphe Menjou, Mary Philips

Votes: 4,057

49. The Big Stampede (1932)

Passed | 54 min | Western

Deputy Sheriff John Steele recruits bandit Sonora Joe to help him find out who's been bumping off all the local lawmen and rustling the cattle.

Director: Tenny Wright | Stars: John Wayne, Noah Beery, Paul Hurst, Mae Madison

Votes: 386

50. Haunted Gold (1932)

Passed | 58 min | Horror, Mystery, Western

John and Janet get a weird letter telling them to go to a ghost town which has an abandoned mine. There they contend with bad guys looking for hidden gold. They are aided by a mysterious Phantom.

Director: Mack V. Wright | Stars: John Wayne, Duke, Sheila Terry, Harry Woods

Votes: 464

51. 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932)

Unrated | 78 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir