AB's Favorite Films of The Golden Age (1927-64):

by abcj-2 | created - 02 Sep 2012 | updated - 24 Sep 2017 | Public

The Golden Age (1927-1964) - The studio system, the Hays Code (enforced beginning in 1934), the happy endings, the snappy dialogue, the incredible scripts, technicolor, fascinating cinematography, genius directors, triple threat performers, and glamorous movie stars are just a short list of all the many things that make this my favorite period in film history:)

These are in reverse order by year. I'll usually keep a top favorite at the beginning of list.

PS Sunrise (1927) is the oldest movie and only silent film that I love. I tacked it onto the end of this list because I didn't want to make a list with only one silent film;)

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1. The More the Merrier (1943)

Passed | 104 min | Comedy, Romance, War

During the World War II housing shortage in Washington, two men and a woman share a single apartment and the older man plays Cupid to the other two.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn, Richard Gaines

Votes: 5,217

2. Ball of Fire (1941)

Approved | 111 min | Comedy, Romance

A group of professors working on a new encyclopedia encounter a mouthy nightclub singer who is wanted by the police to help bring down her mob boss lover.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Oskar Homolka, Henry Travers

Votes: 9,562

3. 'I Know Where I'm Going!' (1945)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, Romance

A young Englishwoman goes to the Hebrides to marry her older, wealthier fiancé. When the weather keeps them separated on different islands, she begins to have second thoughts.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey, George Carney, Walter Hudd

Votes: 6,990

4. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Not Rated | 112 min | Comedy, Romance

96 Metascore

When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey

Votes: 58,024

5. Roman Holiday (1953)

Not Rated | 118 min | Comedy, Romance

76 Metascore

A bored and sheltered princess escapes her guardians and falls in love with an American newsman in Rome.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert, Hartley Power

Votes: 116,577

6. Mr. Lucky (1943)

Approved | 100 min | Comedy, Romance

A gambler has plans to swindle money from a charity program, but starts to have second thoughts when he falls for a rich society girl.

Director: H.C. Potter | Stars: Cary Grant, Laraine Day, Charles Bickford, Gladys Cooper

Votes: 2,566

7. The Awful Truth (1937)

Not Rated | 90 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: 15,984

This film is one I can watch over and over. It gets funnier every time. The little comic touches that pop out on each viewing make this one of my favorite films of all time. Also, Cary Grant and Irene Dunne made pure movie magic. I just love this film:)

8. Operation Petticoat (1959)

Approved | 124 min | Comedy, Romance, War

During World War II, a commander finds himself stuck with a decrepit (and pink) submarine, a con man executive officer, and a group of army nurses.

Director: Blake Edwards | Stars: Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, Joan O'Brien, Dina Merrill

Votes: 11,102 | Gross: $23.30M

9. The Bishop's Wife (1947)

Not Rated | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

An angel in human form enters the life of a bishop in order to help him build a new cathedral and repair his fractured marriage.

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven, Monty Woolley

Votes: 12,370

10. Life with Father (1947)

Passed | 118 min | Comedy

A financier from New York rules his numerous family, consisting of his wife and his four sons, with the meticulousness of a bookkeeper.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: William Powell, Irene Dunne, Elizabeth Taylor, Edmund Gwenn

Votes: 4,123

11. Bachelor Mother (1939)

Approved | 82 min | Comedy, Romance

An unemployed woman discovers an abandoned baby on the steps of an orphanage, and accepts an offer to take responsibility for the child in return for a job.

Director: Garson Kanin | Stars: Ginger Rogers, David Niven, Charles Coburn, Frank Albertson

Votes: 3,233

12. Lost Angel (1943)

Passed | 91 min | Drama

Alpha's been raised along scientific principles, and will make Mike Regan a great human interest story for his paper. But when his interview prompts Alpha to run away from the institute and... See full summary »

Director: Roy Rowland | Stars: Margaret O'Brien, James Craig, Marsha Hunt, Philip Merivale

Votes: 453

13. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Not Rated | 129 min | Crime, Drama

87 Metascore

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice.

Director: Robert Mulligan | Stars: Gregory Peck, John Megna, Frank Overton, Rosemary Murphy

Votes: 268,210

14. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

Not Rated | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

In the year leading up to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor, Lucille Bremer

Votes: 18,127 | Gross: $7.57M

15. Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

Not Rated | 101 min | Comedy, Romance

A food writer who has lied about being the perfect housewife must try to cover her deception when her boss and a returning war hero invite themselves to her home for a traditional family Christmas.

Director: Peter Godfrey | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet, Reginald Gardiner

Votes: 6,865

16. The Farmer's Daughter (1947)

Unrated | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

After leaving her family's farm to study nursing in the city, a young woman finds herself on an unexpected path towards politics.

Director: H.C. Potter | Stars: Loretta Young, Joseph Cotten, Ethel Barrymore, Charles Bickford

Votes: 2,045

17. Pillow Talk (1959)

Passed | 102 min | Comedy, Romance

A man and a woman who share a party line cannot stand each other, but he has fun romancing her with his voice disguised.

Director: Michael Gordon | Stars: Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Tony Randall, Thelma Ritter

Votes: 13,606 | Gross: $18.75M

18. Dear Heart (1964)

Unrated | 114 min | Comedy, Family

Single and alone, Evie arrives in New York for the annual Postmasters' convention. Staying at her hotel is a womanising salesman newly promoted to his marketing department and trying to ... See full summary »

Director: Delbert Mann | Stars: Glenn Ford, Geraldine Page, Angela Lansbury, Michael Anderson Jr.

Votes: 1,126

19. Guys and Dolls (1955)

Not Rated | 150 min | Comedy, Crime, Musical

In New York, a gambler is challenged to take a cold female missionary to Havana, but they fall for each other, and the bet has a hidden motive to finance a crap game.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra, Vivian Blaine

Votes: 13,963 | Gross: $13.00M

20. That Touch of Mink (1962)

Approved | 99 min | Comedy, Romance

A rich businessman and a young woman are attracted to each other, but he only wants an affair while she wants to save herself for marriage.

Director: Delbert Mann | Stars: Cary Grant, Doris Day, Gig Young, Audrey Meadows

Votes: 7,692 | Gross: $14.63M

21. McLintock! (1963)

Passed | 127 min | Comedy, Romance, Western

Wealthy rancher G.W. McLintock uses his power and influence in the territory to keep the peace between farmers, ranchers, land-grabbers, Indians and corrupt government officials.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen | Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Patrick Wayne, Stefanie Powers

Votes: 11,357

22. Remember the Night (1940)

Passed | 94 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A shoplifter and her prosecutor fall in love, creating tensions for his career and family.

Director: Mitchell Leisen | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson

Votes: 3,928 | Gross: $0.17M

23. Sabrina (1954)

Not Rated | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

72 Metascore

A playboy becomes interested in the daughter of his family's chauffeur, but it's his more serious brother who would be the better man for her.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Walter Hampden

Votes: 52,751

24. The Thrill of It All (1963)

Approved | 108 min | Comedy, Romance

A housewife's sudden rise to fame as a soap spokesperson leads to chaos in her home life.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Doris Day, James Garner, Arlene Francis, Edward Andrews

Votes: 4,203

25. Week-End at the Waldorf (1945)

Passed | 130 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

The misadventures of a group of diverse guests at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard | Stars: Ginger Rogers, Lana Turner, Walter Pidgeon, Van Johnson

Votes: 929 | Gross: $9.51M

26. Holiday Affair (1949)

Approved | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A young widow is romanced by a sales clerk whom she inadvertently got fired.

Director: Don Hartman | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Janet Leigh, Wendell Corey, Gordon Gebert

Votes: 3,767

27. The Devil and Miss Jones (1941)

Approved | 92 min | Comedy, Romance

A tycoon goes undercover to ferret out agitators at a department store, but gets involved in their lives instead.

Director: Sam Wood | Stars: Jean Arthur, Robert Cummings, Charles Coburn, Edmund Gwenn

Votes: 3,170

28. Margie (1946)

Approved | 94 min | Comedy

A woman reminisces about her teenage years in the 1920s, when she fell in love with her teacher.

Director: Henry King | Stars: Jeanne Crain, Glenn Langan, Lynn Bari, Alan Young

Votes: 663

29. The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947)

Approved | 95 min | Comedy, Romance

A high school girl falls for a playboy artist, with screwball results.

Director: Irving Reis | Stars: Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple, Rudy Vallee

Votes: 7,093

30. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)

Not Rated | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

In 1900, a young widow finds her seaside cottage is haunted...and forms a unique relationship with the ghost.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, George Sanders, Edna Best

Votes: 14,107

31. Captains Courageous (1937)

Passed | 117 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

A spoiled brat who falls overboard from a steamship gets picked up by a fishing boat, where he's made to earn his keep by joining the crew in their work.

Director: Victor Fleming | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Freddie Bartholomew, Lionel Barrymore, Melvyn Douglas

Votes: 7,855

32. How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)

Not Rated | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Three women set out to find eligible millionaires to marry, but find true love in the process.

Director: Jean Negulesco | Stars: Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, Lauren Bacall, David Wayne

Votes: 18,556

33. Third Finger, Left Hand (1940)

Passed | 96 min | Comedy

A single magazine editor pretends to be married in order to avoid advances from male colleagues, but complications ensue when she meets a potential suitor.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard | Stars: Myrna Loy, Melvyn Douglas, Raymond Walburn, Lee Bowman

Votes: 715

34. Lucky Partners (1940)

Approved | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Two strangers share a sweepstakes ticket and then embark on an "imaginary" honeymoon with their "winnings".

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Ronald Colman, Ginger Rogers, Jack Carson, Spring Byington

Votes: 712

35. It Happened One Night (1934)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Romance

87 Metascore

A spoiled heiress running away from her family is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns

Votes: 83,838 | Gross: $4.36M

36. Trouble in Paradise (1932)

Not Rated | 83 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance

A gentleman thief and a lady pickpocket join forces to con a beautiful perfume company owner. Romantic entanglements and jealousies confuse the scheme.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Herbert Marshall, Charles Ruggles

Votes: 11,595

37. It Started with Eve (1941)

Approved | 90 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

In order to please his dying father, a man convinces a hat-check girl to impersonate his fiancée, but complications arise when the father's health suddenly improves.

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: Deanna Durbin, Charles Laughton, Robert Cummings, Guy Kibbee

Votes: 1,063

38. Pride and Prejudice (1940)

Approved | 118 min | Drama, Romance

Mr. and Mrs. Bennet have five unmarried daughters, and Mrs. Bennet is especially eager to find suitable husbands for them. When the rich single gentlemen Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy come to ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Z. Leonard | Stars: Greer Garson, Laurence Olivier, Mary Boland, Edna May Oliver

Votes: 6,799

39. His Girl Friday (1940)

Passed | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, Gene Lockhart

Votes: 48,058 | Gross: $0.30M

40. My Man Godfrey (1957)

Unrated | 92 min | Comedy

The eccentric Bullock household again need a new butler. Daughter Irene encounters bedraggled Godfrey Godfrey at the docks and, fancying him and noticing his obviously good manners, gets ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: June Allyson, David Niven, Jessie Royce Landis, Robert Keith

Votes: 722

41. Come Live with Me (1941)

Passed | 86 min | Comedy, Romance

Seeking US citizenship, a Viennese refugee arranges a marriage of convenience with a struggling writer.

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: James Stewart, Hedy Lamarr, Ian Hunter, Verree Teasdale

Votes: 1,494

42. My Favorite Wife (1940)

Approved | 88 min | Comedy, Romance

Missing for seven years and presumed dead, a woman returns home on the day of her husband's second marriage.

Director: Garson Kanin | Stars: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Randolph Scott, Gail Patrick

Votes: 8,298

43. The Talk of the Town (1942)

Approved | 118 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

An escaped prisoner and a stuffy law professor vie for the hand of a spirited schoolteacher.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Ronald Colman, Edgar Buchanan

Votes: 6,361

44. The Nun's Story (1959)

Not Rated | 149 min | Drama

After leaving a wealthy Belgian family to become a nun, Sister Luke struggles with her devotion to her vows during crisis, disappointment, and World War II.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Peter Finch, Edith Evans, Peggy Ashcroft

Votes: 8,401 | Gross: $12.80M

45. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

PG | 122 min | Drama

96 Metascore

Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden

Votes: 90,725 | Gross: $8.00M

46. The Doctor Takes a Wife (1940)

Approved | 88 min | Comedy, Romance

A best-selling author of women's issues and a medical academic find it is to their mutual advantage to falsely claim that they are married.

Director: Alexander Hall | Stars: Loretta Young, Ray Milland, Reginald Gardiner, Gail Patrick

Votes: 694

47. Random Harvest (1942)

Passed | 126 min | Drama, Romance

8