Favorite Films of the 1930s (as of 01.05.2019)

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1. 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: 127,123 | Gross: $0.03M

2. 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: 189,708 | Gross: $0.16M

3. The Goddess (1934)

TV-PG | 85 min | Drama

Street walker by night, devoted mother by day, a woman fights to get her young son an education amid criminal and social injustice in China.

Director: Yonggang Wu | Stars: Lingyu Ruan, Tian Jian, Zhizhi Zhang, Keng Li

Votes: 1,547

4. The Story of a Cheat (1936)

81 min | Comedy

A charming scoundrel reflects on his exploits, from childhood through to manhood.

Director: Sacha Guitry | Stars: Sacha Guitry, Adolphe Borchard, Marcel Lucien, Raymond Clunie

Votes: 1,635

5. Earth (1930)

Unrated | 75 min | Drama

In the peaceful countryside, Vassily opposes the rich kulaks over the coming of collective farming.

Director: Aleksandr Dovzhenko | Stars: Stepan Shkurat, Semyon Svashenko, Yuliya Solntseva, Yelena Maksimova

Votes: 4,285

6. Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)

Not Rated | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

A wealthy composer rescues unemployed Broadway performers with a new play.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Warren William, Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon, Ruby Keeler

Votes: 6,551 | Gross: $4.80M

7. That Night's Wife (1930)

65 min | Crime, Drama

A desperate man with a sick daughter decides to commit a robbery in order to help her. He begins to feel remorse though, which makes him question his decision.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Mitsuko Ichimura, Tokihiko Okada, Chishû Ryû, Tatsuo Saitô

Votes: 570

8. 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: 10,234

9. Limite (1931)

Not Rated | 114 min | Drama, Romance

Three people sail aimlessly while remembering their past.

Director: Mario Peixoto | Stars: Olga Breno, Tatiana Rey, Raul Schnoor, Brutus Pedreira

Votes: 1,529

10. 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: 52,225

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: 6,396

12. Le Jour Se Leve (1939)

Not Rated | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

After committing a murder, a man locks himself in his apartment and recollects the events that led him to the killing.

Director: Marcel Carné | Stars: Jean Gabin, Jacqueline Laurent, Arletty, Jules Berry

Votes: 5,895 | Gross: $0.03M

13. Salt for Svanetia (1930)

TV-14 | 55 min | Documentary

Story of distant mountainous region in Georgia that depicts folklore, lifestyle and daily routines of Svani people, focuses on the scarcity of salt in Svaneti region. Rich with documentary ... See full summary »

Director: Mikhail Kalatozov

Votes: 533

14. 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: 3,127

15. Horse Feathers (1932)

Not Rated | 68 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Quincy Adams Wagstaff, the new president of Huxley University, accidentally hires bumblers Baravelli and Pinky to help his school win the big football game against the rival Darwin University.

Director: Norman Z. McLeod | Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, The Marx Brothers

Votes: 10,817

16. 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: 30,995 | Gross: $0.17M

17. I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)

Passed | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Wrongly convicted James Allen serves in the intolerable conditions of a southern chain gang, which later comes back to haunt him.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Helen Vinson, Noel Francis

Votes: 10,535

18. 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: 351,426 | Gross: $2.08M

19. 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: 146,434 | Gross: $0.02M

20. Street Angel (1937)

91 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

In old Shanghai, two sisters, a prostitute and a singer, tried to escape from the local scoundrels with the help of a trumpet player and a newspaper seller.

Director: Muzhi Yuan | Stars: Dan Zhao, Heling Wei, Xuan Zhou, Jiting Wang

Votes: 651

21. A Story of Floating Weeds (1934)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama

A kabuki actor's mistress hatches a jealous plot to bring down her lover's son.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Takeshi Sakamoto, Chôko Iida, Kôji Mitsui, Rieko Yagumo

Votes: 2,594

22. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (1939)

Not Rated | 148 min | Drama, Romance

The adopted son of a legendary actor, and an aspiring star himself, turns to his infant brother's wet nurse for support and affection - only for her to give up everything for her beloved's glory.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Shôtarô Hanayagi, Kôkichi Takada, Ryôtarô Kawanami, Kinnosuke Takamatsu

Votes: 2,738

23. Humanity and Paper Balloons (1937)

86 min | Drama

The lives of two slum neighbors, one of a happy-go-lucky gambler and the other of a poor ronin, converge when the two get involved with the affairs of a powerful samurai official and his gangsters.

Director: Sadao Yamanaka | Stars: Chôjûrô Kawarasaki, Kan'emon Nakamura, Tsuruzô Nakamura, Chôemon Bandô

Votes: 1,553

24. Wife! Be Like a Rose! (1935)

74 min | Drama

A young woman reaches maturity and yearns to know about her father. Her mother has poisoned her mind about the man who left her for another woman. There is a tender moment when they see ... See full summary »

Director: Mikio Naruse | Stars: Sachiko Chiba, Yuriko Hanabusa, Toshiko Itô, Setsuko Horikoshi

Votes: 299

25. 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: 13,712

26. The Only Son (1936)

Not Rated | 87 min | Drama

A widow sends her only son away to receive a better education. Years later, she visits him, finding him a poor school teacher with a wife and son.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chôko Iida, Shin'ichi Himori, Masao Hayama, Yoshiko Tsubouchi

Votes: 2,666

27. The Lady Vanishes (1938)

Not Rated | 96 min | Mystery, Thriller

While travelling 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: 42,622

28. Passing Fancy (1933)

100 min | Drama

Two Tokyo co-workers come across a destitute young lady in search of a place to live.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Takeshi Sakamoto, Nobuko Fushimi, Den Ohinata, Chôko Iida

Votes: 1,135

29. La Bête Humaine (1938)

Not Rated | 100 min | Crime, Drama

In this classic adaptation of Emile Zola's novel, a tortured train engineer falls in love with a troubled married woman who has helped her husband commit a murder.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Jean Gabin, Julien Carette, Simone Simon, Fernand Ledoux

Votes: 6,077

30. I Was Born, But... (1932)

Not Rated | 100 min | Comedy, Drama

91 Metascore

Two young brothers throw a tantrum when they discover that their father isn't the most important man in his workplace.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Tatsuo Saitô, Tomio Aoki, Mitsuko Yoshikawa, Hideo Sugawara

Votes: 4,214

31. Sazen Tange and the Pot Worth a Million Ryo (1935)

92 min | Comedy, Drama

A man gets rid of a cheap pot without knowing it contains a map to a treasure. As word spreads, many join in hunting it.

Director: Sadao Yamanaka | Stars: Denjirô Ôkôchi, Kiyozo, Kunitarô Sawamura, Reizaburô Yamamoto

Votes: 803

32. Fury (1936)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

When a wrongly accused prisoner barely survives a lynch mob attack and is presumed dead, he vindictively decides to fake his death and frame the mob for his supposed murder.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Spencer Tracy, Walter Abel, Bruce Cabot

Votes: 10,254

33. An Inn in Tokyo (1935)

80 min | Drama

Unemployed Kihachi and his two sons struggle to make ends meet. But that doesn't keep Kihachi from wooing single mother Otaka.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Takeshi Sakamoto, Yoshiko Okada, Chôko Iida, Tomio Aoki

Votes: 1,095

34. 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: 38,190

35. Dragnet Girl (1933)

100 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A gangster tries to find redemption with the inadvertent help of an innocent shop girl and his jealous girlfriend will do anything to keep him.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Jôji Oka, Sumiko Mizukubo, Kôji Mitsui

Votes: 565

36. Man of Aran (1934)

Not Rated | 76 min | Documentary

In this blend of documentary and fictional narrative from pioneering filmmaker Robert Flaherty, the everyday trials of life on Ireland's unforgiving Aran Islands are captured with attention to naturalistic beauty and historical detail.

Director: Robert J. Flaherty | Stars: Colman 'Tiger' King, Maggie Dirrane, Michael Dirrane, Pat Mullin

Votes: 1,764

37. Every-Night Dreams (1933)

64 min | Drama

A single mother works tirelessly as a Ginza bar hostess to ensure a better life for her young son until--her long-lost husband returns.

Director: Mikio Naruse | Stars: Sumiko Kurishima, Teruko Kojima, Jun Arai, Tatsuo Saitô

Votes: 391

38. Tokyo Chorus (1931)

90 min | Comedy, Drama

A married Tokyo man faces unemployment after standing up for an older colleague.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Tokihiko Okada, Emiko Yagumo, Hideo Sugawara, Hideko Takamine

Votes: 1,101

39. Happiness (1935)

Not Rated | 95 min | Comedy, Drama

A hapless loser (with the surname of Loser) undergoes misadventures with avaracious clergy, a tired horse, and a walking granary (among other things) on his road to collectivized happiness.

Director: Aleksandr Medvedkin | Stars: Pyotr Zinovyev, Yelena Yegorova, Nikolay Cherkasov, Mikhail Gipsi

Votes: 847

40. Olympia Part One: Festival of the Nations (1938)

Not Rated | 111 min | Documentary, Sport

The document of the 1936 Olympics at Berlin.

Director: Leni Riefenstahl | Stars: David Albritton, Arvo Askola, Jack Beresford, Erwin Blask

Votes: 3,934

41. The Blood of a Poet (1932)

Not Rated | 55 min | Fantasy

A young artist draws a face at a canvas on his easel. Suddenly the mouth on the drawing comes into life and starts talking. The artist tries to wipe it away with his hand, but when he looks... See full summary »

Director: Jean Cocteau | Stars: Enrique Rivero, Elizabeth Lee Miller, Pauline Carton, Odette Talazac

Votes: 5,109

42. The 3 Penny Opera (1931)

Not Rated | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

In London at the turn of the century, the bandit Mack the Knife marries Polly without the knowledge of her father, Peachum, the 'king of the beggars'.

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst | Stars: Rudolf Forster, Lotte Lenya, Carola Neher, Reinhold Schünzel

Votes: 1,792

43. The Thin Man (1934)

Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Former detective Nick Charles and his wealthy wife Nora investigate a murder case, mostly for the fun of it.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O'Sullivan, Nat Pendleton

Votes: 24,137

44. The Invisible Man (1933)

Not Rated | 71 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, William Harrigan, Henry Travers

Votes: 26,079

45. 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, Gilles Margaritis, Louis Lefebvre

Votes: 12,882

46. 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: 24,237

47. Tonari no Yae-chan (1934)

76 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Keitaro (Obinata Den) is a law student and Yaeko (Aizome Yumeko) is a high school girl. They are neighbors, and their friendship is starting to develop into something more romantic. Then, ... See full summary »

Director: Yasujirô Shimazu | Stars: Yumeko Aizome, Ryôtarô Mizushima, Den Ohinata, Chôko Iida

Votes: 174

48. Everybody's Woman (1934)

89 min | Drama

Gaby is expelled from school after a married teacher commits suicide after telling her he can't live without her. Though she has done nothing, she is punished for his act.

Director: Max Ophüls | Stars: Isa Miranda, Memo Benassi, Tatyana Pavlova, Friedrich Benfer

Votes: 654

49. Le Million (1931)

Not Rated | 81 min | Musical, Comedy

An impoverished painter and his rival engage in a race across Paris to recover a jacket concealing a winning lottery ticket.

Director: René Clair | Stars: Annabella, René Lefèvre, Jean-Louis Allibert, Paul Ollivier

Votes: 2,940

50. Sabotage (1936)

Not Rated | 76 min | Crime, Thriller