Year by year: 1938

by cafg-0 | created - 1 month ago | updated - 1 month ago | Public

The top 40 films of 1938

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1. 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: 31,195 | Gross: $0.17M

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: 51,301

3. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

PG | 102 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

97 Metascore

When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard's absence, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley | Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains

Votes: 44,166 | Gross: $3.98M

4. 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: 42,919

5. Jezebel (1938)

Approved | 104 min | Drama, Romance

In 1850s Louisiana, a free-spirited Southern belle loses her fiancé due to her stubborn vanity and pride, and vows to win him back.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, George Brent, Margaret Lindsay

Votes: 10,734

6. Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

Passed | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan

Votes: 18,432

7. 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: 7,189 | Gross: $3.05M

8. Holiday (1938)

Not Rated | 95 min | Comedy, Romance

A young man in love with a girl from a rich family finds his unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancée's eccentric sister and long-suffering brother.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Doris Nolan, Lew Ayres

Votes: 12,961

9. 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: 2,458

10. You Can't Take It with You (1938)

Passed | 126 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A man from a family of rich snobs becomes engaged to a woman from a good-natured but decidedly eccentric family.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore, Edward Arnold

Votes: 21,353 | Gross: $4.66M

11. Merrily We Live (1938)

Passed | 95 min | Comedy, Romance

Dizzy society matron Emily Kilbourne has a habit of hiring ex-cons and hobos as servants. Her latest find is a handsome "tramp" who shows up at her doorstep and soon ends up in a ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Z. McLeod | Stars: Constance Bennett, Brian Aherne, Alan Mowbray, Billie Burke

Votes: 1,379

12. Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (1938)

Passed | 85 min | Comedy, Romance

After learning her multi-millionaire fiancé has already been married seven times, the daughter of a penniless marquis decides to tame him.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Claudette Colbert, Gary Cooper, Edward Everett Horton, David Niven

Votes: 2,883

13. The Citadel (1938)

Passed | 110 min | Drama

Andrew Manson, a young, enthusiastic doctor takes his first job in a Welsh mining town, and begins to wonder at the persistent cough many of the miners have. When his attempts to prove its ... See full summary »

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Robert Donat, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Richardson, Rex Harrison

Votes: 1,687

14. A Woman's Face (1938)

Unrated | 100 min | Drama

An embittered woman, leader of a criminal gang, has a change of heart.

Director: Gustaf Molander | Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Tore Svennberg, Anders Henrikson, Georg Rydeberg

Votes: 662

15. Alexander Nevsky (1938)

Not Rated | 112 min | Action, Biography, Drama

The story of how a great Russian prince led a ragtag army to battle an invading force of Teutonic Knights.

Directors: Sergei M. Eisenstein, Dmitriy Vasilev | Stars: Nikolay Cherkasov, Nikolai Okhlopkov, Andrei Abrikosov, Dmitriy Orlov

Votes: 9,692

16. The Novel of Werther (1938)

85 min | Drama, Romance

Herr Werther, a new magistrate to the Grand Duchy of Walheim who is a violinist and poet, seems to have fate on his side as he meets and pursues a beautiful local woman, Charlotte. But as ... See full summary »

Director: Max Ophüls | Stars: Pierre Richard-Willm, Annie Vernay, Jean Galland, Jean Périer

Votes: 187

17. Three Comrades (1938)

Passed | 98 min | Drama, Romance

A love story centered around the lives of three young German soldiers in the years following World War I. Their close friendship is strengthened by their shared love for the same woman who ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Borzage | Stars: Robert Taylor, Margaret Sullavan, Franchot Tone, Robert Young

Votes: 1,502

18. The Young in Heart (1938)

Approved | 90 min | Comedy, Drama

Thrown out of the Riviera, a family of grifters meets a lonely, vulnerable rich old woman and insinuate themselves into her life while they sponge off her.

Directors: Richard Wallace, Lewis Milestone, Gilbert Pratt, Richard Thorpe | Stars: Janet Gaynor, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Roland Young, Billie Burke

Votes: 1,114

19. The Great Waltz (1938)

Passed | 104 min | Biography, Drama, Music

In 1845 Vienna, Johann Strauss II - Schani to his friends - would rather write and perform waltzes than anything else, this at a time when a waltz is not considered proper society music. ... See full summary »

Directors: Julien Duvivier, Victor Fleming, Josef von Sternberg | Stars: Luise Rainer, Fernand Gravey, Miliza Korjus, Hugh Herbert

Votes: 957

20. Four Daughters (1938)

Approved | 90 min | Drama, Music, Romance

Adam Lemp, the Dean of the Briarwood Music Foundation, has passed on his love of music to his four early adult daughters - Thea, Emma, Kay and Ann - who live with him and his sister, the ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Claude Rains, John Garfield, Jeffrey Lynn, Frank McHugh

Votes: 1,567

21. 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: 3,967

And part 2

22. Test Pilot (1938)

Passed | 119 min | Drama, Romance

Jim is a test pilot. His wife Ann and best friend Gunner try their best to keep him sober. But the life of a test pilot is anything but safe.

Director: Victor Fleming | Stars: Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy, Lionel Barrymore

Votes: 1,946

23. Vivacious Lady (1938)

Approved | 90 min | Comedy, Romance

A professor marries a nightclub singer, much to the consternation of his family and friends back home.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Ginger Rogers, James Stewart, James Ellison, Beulah Bondi

Votes: 2,886

24. Boys Town (1938)

Passed | 96 min | Biography, Drama

When a death row prisoner tells him he wouldn't have led a life of crime if only he had had one friend as a child, Father Edward Flanagan decides to do something about. An advocate of child... See full summary »

Director: Norman Taurog | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney, Henry Hull, Leslie Fenton

Votes: 4,776

25. Algiers (1938)

Unrated | 96 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

Beautiful Gaby meets a romantic jewel thief in the mysterious Casbah.

Director: John Cromwell | Stars: Charles Boyer, Hedy Lamarr, Sigrid Gurie, Joseph Calleia

Votes: 2,227

26. White Banners (1938)

Approved | 92 min | Drama

A homeless woman named Hannah drifts into the lives of the kindly Ward family, in a small Indiana town in 1919. Hannah makes herself useful as a cook and housekeeper and stays with the ... See full summary »

Director: Edmund Goulding | Stars: Claude Rains, Fay Bainter, Jackie Cooper, Bonita Granville

Votes: 343

27. If I Were King (1938)

Passed | 101 min | Adventure, History

Vagabond poet François Villon rises to high office in 1463 Paris.

Director: Frank Lloyd | Stars: Ronald Colman, Basil Rathbone, Frances Dee, Ellen Drew

Votes: 706

28. The Sisters (1938)

Approved | 99 min | Drama

Three daughters of a small town pharmacist undergo trials and tribulations in their problematic marriages between 1904 and 1908.

Director: Anatole Litvak | Stars: Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, Anita Louise, Ian Hunter

Votes: 1,582

29. Of Human Hearts (1938)

Passed | 103 min | Drama, Western

This is a story about family relationships, set in the time before and during the American Civil War. Ethan Wilkins is a poor and honest man who ministers to the human soul, while his son ... See full summary »

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Walter Huston, James Stewart, Beulah Bondi, Guy Kibbee

Votes: 902

30. The Cowboy and the Lady (1938)

Approved | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A lonely socialite masquerades as a maid and meets an unpretentious, plain-spoken cowboy who is unaware of her true identity.

Directors: H.C. Potter, Stuart Heisler, William Wyler | Stars: Gary Cooper, Merle Oberon, Patsy Kelly, Walter Brennan

Votes: 1,102

31. Block-Heads (1938)

Approved | 57 min | Comedy, War

Stan, who has remained faithfully at his World War I post for twenty years, finally comes home where his best friend, Ollie, takes him in, thus allowing him to discover the many conveniences of the modern world.

Director: John G. Blystone | Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Patricia Ellis, Minna Gombell

Votes: 3,135

32. Sidewalks of London (1938)

Approved | 85 min | Comedy

On the sidewalks of the London theater district the buskers (street performers) earn enough coins for a cheap room. Charles, who recites dramatic monologues, sees that a young pickpocket, ... See full summary »

Director: Tim Whelan | Stars: Charles Laughton, Vivien Leigh, Rex Harrison, Larry Adler

Votes: 1,038

33. The Divorce of Lady X (1938)

Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Divorce lawyer Everard Logan thinks the woman who spent the night in his hotel room is the erring wife of his new client.

Director: Tim Whelan | Stars: Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, Binnie Barnes, Ralph Richardson

Votes: 1,121

34. The Drum (1938)

Not Rated | 104 min | Adventure, War

During the British Raj, Captain Carruthers works under cover to track smuggled shipments of arms on the restless Northwest Frontier of India. He fears a full-scale rebellion is brewing. To ... See full summary »

Director: Zoltan Korda | Stars: Sabu, Raymond Massey, Roger Livesey, Valerie Hobson

Votes: 729

35. Mad About Music (1938)

Approved | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

A young woman at a girl's school in Switzerland makes up stories about and writes herself letters from an imaginary explorer-adventurer father; and is eventually put in a position where she... See full summary »

Director: Norman Taurog | Stars: Deanna Durbin, Herbert Marshall, Gail Patrick, Arthur Treacher

Votes: 361

36. The Rage of Paris (1938)

Approved | 78 min | Comedy

Nicole has no job and is several weeks behind with her rent. Her solution to her problem is to try and snare a rich husband. Enlisting the help of her friend Gloria and the maitre'd at a ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: Danielle Darrieux, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Mischa Auer, Louis Hayward

Votes: 603

37. Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)

Approved | 106 min | Drama, Music, Musical

This send-up of ragtime song and dance begins in 1915 San Francisco when society boy Roger Grant decides to pursue popular rather than serious music.

Director: Henry King | Stars: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche, Ethel Merman

Votes: 1,755

38. Blockade (1938)

Approved | 85 min | Drama, Romance, War

A simple peasant is forced to take up arms to defend his farm during the Spanish Civil War. Along the way he falls in love with Russian whose father is involved in espionage.

Director: William Dieterle | Stars: Madeleine Carroll, Henry Fonda, Leo Carrillo, John Halliday

Votes: 404

39. Honeysuckle (1938)

93 min | Musical

A film star enjoys a romance with the daughter of a puppeteer, but his criminal past threatens to ruin it.

Director: Luis César Amadori | Stars: Libertad Lamarque, Hugo del Carril, Malisa Zini, Miguel Gómez Bao

Votes: 26

40. Mannequin (1937)

Passed | 95 min | Drama

Rags-to-riches Hennessey meets newlyweds Jessie and Eddie from his old neighborhood. Eddie plots to have Jessie divorce him, marry Hennessey, divorce Hennessey, then bring Hennessey's money... See full summary »

Director: Frank Borzage | Stars: Joan Crawford, Spencer Tracy, Alan Curtis, Ralph Morgan

Votes: 919



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