1930s Best

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1. White Zombie (1932)

Passed | 69 min | Horror

A young man turns to a witch doctor to lure the woman he loves away from her fiancé, but instead turns her into a zombie slave.

Director: Victor Halperin | Stars: Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, Joseph Cawthorn, Robert Frazer

Votes: 8,270

2. Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Not Rated | 102 min | Comedy, Family, Romance

91 Metascore

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: 51,106

3. A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)

Approved | 133 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Theseus, Duke of Athens, is going to marry Hyppolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Demetrius is engaged with Hermia, but Hermia loves Lysander. Helena loves Demetrius. Oberon and Titania, of the ... See full summary »

Directors: William Dieterle, Max Reinhardt | Stars: James Cagney, Dick Powell, Ian Hunter, Verree Teasdale

Votes: 2,876

4. Dracula (1931)

Passed | 75 min | Fantasy, Horror

The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina.

Directors: Tod Browning, Karl Freund | Stars: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Dwight Frye

Votes: 41,305

5. Camille (1936)

Passed | 109 min | Drama, Romance

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.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan

Votes: 6,674 | Gross: $1.15M

6. Chained (1934)

Not Rated | 76 min | Drama, Romance

A mistress of one man has a shipboard romance with another and is torn between both men.

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Otto Kruger, Stuart Erwin

Votes: 737

7. Queen Christina (1933)

Approved | 99 min | Biography, Drama, History

Queen Christina of Sweden is a popular monarch who is loyal to her country. However, when she falls in love with a Spanish envoy, she must choose between the throne and the man she loves.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian | Stars: Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Ian Keith, Lewis Stone

Votes: 6,576 | Gross: $0.77M

8. 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: 3,022 | Gross: $0.93M

9. Possessed (1931)

Passed | 76 min | Drama, Romance

An ambitious factory girl meets a handsome, wealthy lawyer, but he's interested in her as a mistress, not a wife.

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Wallace Ford, Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher

Votes: 1,507

10. The Painted Veil (1934)

Passed | 85 min | Drama, Romance

A wife neglected by her husband, a medical researcher in China, falls in love with a dashing diplomatic attaché.

Director: Richard Boleslawski | Stars: Greta Garbo, Herbert Marshall, George Brent, Warner Oland

Votes: 1,179 | Gross: $1.17M

11. 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: 84,897 | Gross: $4.36M

12. Dancing Lady (1933)

Passed | 92 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

An attractive dancer is rescued from jail by a rich man, who helps her to have her first big opportunity at a musical play on Broadway.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard | Stars: Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone, May Robson

Votes: 1,806

13. Storm in a Teacup (1937)

Approved | 87 min | Comedy, Romance

A local politician in Scotland tries to break the reporter who wrote a negative story about him, and who is also in love with his daughter.

Directors: Ian Dalrymple, Victor Saville | Stars: Vivien Leigh, Rex Harrison, Cecil Parker, Sara Allgood

Votes: 705

14. The Mummy (1932)

Approved | 73 min | Fantasy, Horror

A resurrected Egyptian mummy stalks a beautiful woman he believes to be the reincarnation of his lover and bride.

Director: Karl Freund | Stars: Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, David Manners, Arthur Byron

Votes: 20,751

15. Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)

Passed | 61 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

A mad scientist seeks to mingle human blood with that of an ape, and resorts to kidnapping women for his experiments.

Director: Robert Florey | Stars: Bela Lugosi, Sidney Fox, Leon Ames, Bert Roach

Votes: 3,252

16. 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: 18,781

17. Mad Love (1935)

Passed | 68 min | Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi

In France, an insane surgeon's obsession with an actress from England leads him to replace her pianist husband's hands that got mangled in an accident with the hands of a late knife murderer which still have the urge to throw knives.

Director: Karl Freund | Stars: Peter Lorre, Frances Drake, Colin Clive, Ted Healy

Votes: 3,967

18. The Petrified Forest (1936)

Not Rated | 82 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

A waitress, a hobo and a bank robber get mixed up at a lonely diner in the desert.

Director: Archie Mayo | Stars: Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Genevieve Tobin

Votes: 11,273

19. Tarzan the Ape Man (1932)

Passed | 100 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

A trader and his daughter set off in search of the fabled graveyard of the elephants in deepest Africa, only to encounter a wild man raised by apes.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: Johnny Weissmuller, Neil Hamilton, C. Aubrey Smith, Maureen O'Sullivan

Votes: 6,482

20. Red Dust (1932)

Passed | 83 min | Drama, Romance

The owner of a rubber plantation becomes involved with the new wife of one of his employees.

Director: Victor Fleming | Stars: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Gene Raymond, Mary Astor

Votes: 3,388

21. King Kong (1933)

Passed | 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: 73,802 | Gross: $10.00M

22. Ninotchka (1939)

Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Romance

A stern Russian woman sent to Paris on official business finds herself attracted to a man who represents everything she is supposed to detest.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire, Bela Lugosi

Votes: 17,245 | Gross: $1.19M

23. Pygmalion (1938)

Not Rated | 89 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A phonetics and diction expert makes a bet that he can teach a cockney flower girl to speak proper English and pass as a lady in high society.

Directors: Anthony Asquith, Leslie Howard | Stars: Leslie Howard, Wendy Hiller, Wilfrid Lawson, Marie Lohr

Votes: 7,166 | Gross: $3.05M

24. As You Desire Me (1932)

Approved | 70 min | Drama

Budapest bar entertainer Zara is a discontented alcoholic who is pursued by many men but lives with novelist Carl Salter. A strange man (Tony) shows up on Salter's estate claiming that Zara... See full summary »

Director: George Fitzmaurice | Stars: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Erich von Stroheim, Owen Moore

Votes: 541 | Gross: $0.71M

25. Dark Victory (1939)

Approved | 104 min | Drama, Romance

A young socialite is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, and must decide whether or not she'll meet her final days with dignity.

Director: Edmund Goulding | Stars: Bette Davis, George Brent, Humphrey Bogart, Geraldine Fitzgerald

Votes: 8,910

26. China Seas (1935)

Passed | 87 min | Action, Drama, Adventure

When earthy Dolly Portland is rejected by Captain Gaskell in favor of a socialite, she aids Jamesy McCardle, in league with Malay pirates, in his plot to seize his ship.

Director: Tay Garnett | Stars: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone

Votes: 2,053

27. Cleopatra (1934)

Passed | 100 min | Biography, Drama, History

The man-hungry Queen of Egypt leads Julius Caesar and Mark Antony astray, amid scenes of DeMillean splendor.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Henry Wilcoxon, Joseph Schildkraut

Votes: 3,079

28. Marie Antoinette (1938)

Passed | 149 min | Biography, Drama, History

The tragic life of Marie Antoinette, who became queen of France in her late teens.

Directors: W.S. Van Dyke, Julien Duvivier | Stars: Norma Shearer, Tyrone Power, John Barrymore, Robert Morley

Votes: 2,449

29. Marked Woman (1937)

Approved | 96 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

A crusading DA persuades a clip joint "party girl" to testify against her mobster boss after her innocent sister is accidentally murdered during one of his unsavory "parties".

Directors: Lloyd Bacon, Michael Curtiz | Stars: Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Lola Lane, Isabel Jewell

Votes: 2,948

30. The Women (1939)

Not Rated | 133 min | Comedy, Drama

A study of the lives and romantic entanglements of various interconnected women.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Mary Boland

Votes: 11,511 | Gross: $2.27M

31. 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 to Kansas and help her friends as well.

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

Votes: 352,446 | Gross: $2.08M

32. M (1931)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

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: 128,793 | Gross: $0.03M

33. The Sign of the Cross (1932)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama, History

A Roman soldier becomes torn between his love for a Christian woman and his loyalty to Emperor Nero.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Fredric March, Claudette Colbert, Elissa Landi, Charles Laughton

Votes: 1,800

34. The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1932)

Approved | 88 min | Drama, Romance, War

A Chinese warlord and an engaged Christian missionary fall in love.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Nils Asther, Toshia Mori, Walter Connolly

Votes: 3,136

35. A Free Soul (1931)

Passed | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

An alcoholic lawyer who successfully defended a notorious gambler on a murder charge objects when his free-spirited daughter becomes romantically involved with him.

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, Lionel Barrymore, Clark Gable

Votes: 2,024

36. The Black Cat (1934)

Not Rated | 65 min | Adventure, Crime, Horror

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.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer | Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners, Julie Bishop

Votes: 8,163 | Gross: $0.24M

37. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

G | 83 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

95 Metascore

Exiled into the dangerous forest by her wicked stepmother, a princess is rescued by seven dwarf miners who make her part of their household.

Directors: William Cottrell, David Hand, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Adriana Caselotti, Harry Stockwell, Lucille La Verne, Roy Atwell

Votes: 164,680 | Gross: $184.93M

38. Death Takes a Holiday (1934)

Passed | 79 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

The Grim Reaper (Frederic March) takes the form of a Prince in an attempt to relate to humans and, along the way, also learns what it is to love.

Director: Mitchell Leisen | Stars: Fredric March, Evelyn Venable, Guy Standing, Katharine Alexander

Votes: 1,470

39. Gone with the Wind (1939)

Passed | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance

97 Metascore

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 264,472 | Gross: $198.68M

40. Charlie Chan in Egypt (1935)

Approved | 73 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

While investigating the theft of antiquities from an ancient tomb excavation, Charlie discovers that the body of the expedition's leader concealed inside the mummy's wrappings.

Director: Louis King | Stars: Warner Oland, Pat Paterson, Thomas Beck, Rita Hayworth

Votes: 1,678

41. 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: 11,375

42. Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (1939)

Approved | 60 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Nancy helps two aging spinsters fulfill the byzantine provisions of their father's will, but the murder of their chauffeur complicates matters.

Director: William Clemens | Stars: Bonita Granville, Frankie Thomas, John Litel, Frank Orth

Votes: 600

43. The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)

Approved | 115 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

A major countermands orders and attacks to avenge a previous massacre of men, women, and children.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Patric Knowles, Henry Stephenson

Votes: 4,090

44. Lost Horizon (1937)

Approved | 132 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

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?

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Ronald Colman, Jane Wyatt, Edward Everett Horton, John Howard

Votes: 11,147

45. Dracula's Daughter (1936)

Approved | 71 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Hungarian countess Marya Zaleska seeks the aid of a noted psychiatrist, hoping to free herself of a mysterious evil influence.

Director: Lambert Hillyer | Stars: Otto Kruger, Gloria Holden, Marguerite Churchill, Edward Van Sloan

Votes: 5,055

46. The Invisible Ray (1936)

Approved | 80 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A scientist becomes murderous after discovering, and being exposed to the radiation of, a powerful new element called Radium X.

Director: Lambert Hillyer | Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Frances Drake, Frank Lawton

Votes: 1,948

47. Frankenstein (1931)

Passed | 70 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

91 Metascore

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: 58,738 | Gross: $12.00M

48. Night Nurse (1931)

Not Rated | 72 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A nurse enlists the help of a petty criminal to foil a sinister plot to murder two children.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Ben Lyon, Joan Blondell, Clark Gable

Votes: 2,899



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