mightysparks's Favourite Films of the 1930s

by DaveHedgehog | created - 22 Jan 2013 | updated - 06 Apr 2014 | Public
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1. Jack Frost (1934)

Approved | 9 min | Animation, Short, Family

A young grizzly bear, undaunted by his mother's warnings of the coming winter, runs away from home only to be confronted by Old Man Winter himself.

Director: Ub Iwerks

Votes: 334

2. 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: 351,049 | Gross: $2.08M

3. 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: 52,188

4. 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: 10,526

5. 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: 6,544 | Gross: $4.80M

6. City Girl (1930)

Passed | 90 min | Drama, Romance

A Chicago waitress falls in love with a Minnesota farmer, and decides to face a life in the country.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Charles Farrell, Mary Duncan, David Torrence, Edith Murgatroyd

Votes: 2,544

7. 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: 84,518 | Gross: $4.36M

8. 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: 18,683

9. 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: 5,102

10. 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: 17,172 | Gross: $1.19M

11. 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: 43,854 | Gross: $3.98M

12. I Love to Singa (1936)

Approved | 8 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

A spoof of Al Jolson's "The Jazz Singer", a strict piano teaching owl is cursed with a son who "loves to singa", but only jazz.

Director: Tex Avery | Stars: Billy Bletcher, Tommy Bond, Johnnie Davis, Joe Dougherty

Votes: 1,571

13. Frankenstein (1931)

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

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: 58,485 | Gross: $12.00M

14. The Cat and the Canary (1939)

Approved | 72 min | Comedy, Horror, Mystery

When an eccentric family meets in their uncle's remote, decaying mansion on the tenth anniversary of his death for the reading of his will, murder and madness follow.

Director: Elliott Nugent | Stars: Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, John Beal, Douglass Montgomery

Votes: 2,296

15. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson

Votes: 39,079

16. 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: 26,043

17. Shanghai Express (1932)

Approved | 82 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

A loose woman rediscovers a former lover during a dangerous train ride to Shanghai.

Director: Josef von Sternberg | Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Anna May Wong, Warner Oland

Votes: 6,491 | Gross: $3.70M

18. The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)

Approved | 80 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson investigate the legend of a supernatural hound, a beast that may be stalking a young heir on the fog-shrouded moorland that makes up his estate.

Director: Sidney Lanfield | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Richard Greene, Wendy Barrie

Votes: 8,550

19. 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: 11,109

20. Glens Falls Sequence (1937)

8 min | Animation, Short

An experimental animated short from Douglass Crockwell which derives its subject matter from his home Glens Falls.

Director: Douglass Crockwell

Votes: 127

21. The Old Dark House (1932)

Not Rated | 72 min | Comedy, Horror, Thriller

Seeking shelter from a storm, five travelers are in for a bizarre and terrifying night when they stumble upon the Femm family estate.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton, Gloria Stuart

Votes: 7,643 | Gross: $0.03M

22. Toni (1935)

84 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

In the 1920s, the Provence is a magnet for immigrants seeking work in the quarries or in agriculture. Many mingle with locals and settle down permanently - like Toni, an Italian who has ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Charles Blavette, Celia Montalván, Jenny Hélia, Édouard Delmont

Votes: 1,287

23. Angel (1937)

Approved | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A woman and her husband take separate vacations, and she falls in love with another man.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Melvyn Douglas, Edward Everett Horton

Votes: 1,898

24. Animal Crackers (1930)

G | 97 min | Comedy, Musical

Mayhem and zaniness ensue when a valuable painting goes missing during a party in honor of famed African explorer Captain Spaulding.

Director: Victor Heerman | Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, The Marx Brothers

Votes: 12,206

25. A Cartoonist's Nightmare (1935)

7 min | Family, Animation, Short

A cartoonist falls victim to the very villains he has drawn. It's up to Beans the Cat to save the day.

Director: Jack King | Star: Billy Bletcher

Votes: 151

26. 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: 163,703 | Gross: $184.93M

27. 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: 263,441 | Gross: $198.68M

28. 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: 11,696

29. 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: 42,584

30. 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: 189,414 | Gross: $0.16M

31. The Devil-Doll (1936)

Passed | 78 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

An escaped convict uses miniaturized humans to wreak vengeance on those that framed him.

Director: Tod Browning | Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Maureen O'Sullivan, Frank Lawton, Rafaela Ottiano

Votes: 3,304

32. Hindenburg Disaster Newsreel Footage (1937)

5 min | Short, News

Film of the famous airship explosion.

Stars: Graham McNamee, Herbert Morrison

Votes: 428

33. A Night at the Opera (1935)

Passed | 96 min | Comedy, Music, Musical

A sly business manager and two wacky friends of two opera singers help them achieve success while humiliating their stuffy and snobbish enemies.

Directors: Sam Wood, Edmund Goulding | Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Kitty Carlisle

Votes: 28,557

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: 38,147

35. 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: 7,914



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