Have you heard all of these 1930's Movies? We guarantee you'll find some new movies. We gathered 25 of the best ones.
From Charles Chaplin, starring Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee, Harry Myers
City Lights is a 1931 romantic comedy silent film starring and directed by Charles Chaplin. The movie follows the story of a poor but optimistic tramp who falls in love with a beautiful blind flower girl. The tramp befriends a wealthy man and helps him in various charitable endeavors. However, the tramp's efforts to gain enough money for the flower girl to gain her sight back fails, and he ends up in jail. When he is released from jail, the tramp realizes that the flower girl can now see, as she had regained her sight while he was in jail. The film ends happily with the tramp and the flower girl embracing each other.
Sam Wood, starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil
Gone with the Wind is an American classic set in the American South during the Civil War. It follows the story of Scarlett O'Hara, a strong-willed Southern belle from a wealthy plantation-owning family. After her father's death, Scarlett must use every means possible to save Tara, the family property. Her struggles are further complicated by her feelings for her dashing but married beau, Rhett Butler, who is determined to win her heart. Scarlett faces the hardships of the Civil War and Reconstruction, but she never gives up the fight for what she loves. The sweeping epic is filled with tragedy and romance, enthralling audiences for generations with its timeless story.
From Frank Capra, starring James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a classic 1939 comedy-drama film directed by Frank Capra, starring James Stewart as Jefferson Smith, a naive but idealistic man who is appointed to the United States Senate. Smith is sent to Washington, D.C. to fill a vacancy, but quickly finds himself at odds with the corrupt political machine that runs the capital. With the help of his secretary, Clarissa Saunders (Jean Arthur), Smith sets out to pass a bill that would create a boys' camp in his home state. Along the way, he must confront the powerful political bosses and the media's relentless attack on his character. Despite the odds, Smith remains steadfast in his mission and ultimately triumphs in his idealism. The film is considered a classic of American cinema and is a prime example of Capra's signature style of feel-good films.
From Lewis Milestone, starring Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray, Arnold Lucy
All Quiet on the Western Front is a 1930 American war film based on Erich Maria Remarque's 1929 novel of the same name. Directed by Lewis Milestone, it stars Louis Wolheim, Lew Ayres, John Wray, Arnold Lucy and Ben Alexander. The film follows a group of German schoolboys who are eager to join the army in World War I, and their experiences and disillusionment as they fight in the trenches. The film shows the horrors of war, the physical and psychological effects of combat, and the camaraderie of the soldiers in the face of adversity. Through the eyes of the protagonist, Paul Baumer, the film illustrates how war can destroy innocence and how the men of war can be changed by the experience. The film was universally acclaimed, winning two Academy Awards and being named as one of the greatest films ever made by the American Film Institute.
From Gregory La Cava, starring William Powell, Carole Lombard, Alice Brady, Gail Patrick
My Man Godfrey is a 1936 screwball comedy film directed by Gregory La Cava and starring William Powell and Carole Lombard. The film follows Godfrey (Powell), a "forgotten man" who is found by a scatterbrained socialite, Irene Bullock (Lombard), in a city dump. She hires him as the family butler, only to find out later that he is a millionaire in disguise. Throughout the film, Godfrey uses his wisdom and wit to help bring the family together and teach them about the importance of helping the poor. Along the way, Irene falls in love with Godfrey and the two eventually marry. In the end, Godfrey's true identity is revealed, and the family learns to appreciate their fortune and use it to help others.
Merian C. Cooper,
Ernest B. Schoedsack, starring Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot, Frank Reicher
King Kong is a 1933 American monster adventure film directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. It stars Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, and Bruce Cabot and tells the story of a film crew who travel to a remote island to capture a giant ape called King Kong, only to have him escape and wreak havoc in New York City. After being captured and taken to the United States, Kong quickly escapes and proceeds to climb the Empire State Building where he is killed by airplanes. The film is often noted for its groundbreaking special effects and has been deemed both a horror classic and a milestone in stop-motion animation.
William Keighley, starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains
The Adventures of Robin Hood is a 1938 swashbuckling adventure film directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley. The film follows the legendary English folk hero Robin Hood (Errol Flynn) as he defends the English people against the oppressive Norman lords and the tyrannical King John. With the help of his band of Merry Men, including Little John (Alan Hale), Friar Tuck (Eugene Pallette), and Maid Marian (Olivia de Havilland), Robin Hood outwits his adversaries and champions the cause of justice. Together, they fight off the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham (Basil Rathbone) and restore the rightful king to the throne. The classic score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold helps to bring the tale to life. The epic film is filled with thrilling action sequences and iconic performances from its legendary cast.
From W.S. Van Dyke, starring William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O'Sullivan, Nat Pendleton
The Thin Man is a 1934 romantic comedy-mystery by W.S. Van Dyke and based on the novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett. The film follows the adventures of Nick and Nora Charles, a former detective and his wealthy wife, who team up to solve a murder mystery. Along the way, they are aided by Asta, their schnauzer, and must outwit a variety of eccentric characters. The film was a critical and commercial success, and is credited with starting the "screwball comedy" genre. Its success spawned five sequels and a television series.
From John Ford, starring John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine, John Carradine
Stagecoach is a classic Western directed by John Ford. Set in the 1880s, the film follows a group of travelers making their way from Arizona to New Mexico on a stagecoach. The passengers include a whiskey salesman, a pregnant woman, a gambler, a bank robber, and a gentleman. Along the way, the travelers must face the dangers of the Wild West, from bandits and hostile Native Americans to rough terrain and a raging thunderstorm. As they make the journey, they are forced to confront their own preconceived notions and prejudices, ultimately finding strength and courage in one another. Despite the danger, the travelers reach their destination and ultimately learn to respect each other's differences.
From James Whale, starring Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson
Rated Not Rated
The Bride of Frankenstein is a 1935 horror film directed by James Whale and starring Boris Karloff as the monster. It is the sequel to Whale's 1931 film, Frankenstein. The film follows an obsessed scientist, Dr. Pretorius, as he tries to create a mate for the Frankenstein monster, with unintended consequences. The Bride is brought to life by a bolt of lightning, but she rejects the monster's advances. The monster soon becomes jealous, leading to a final confrontation between Dr. Pretorius, the Bride, and the monster. The film is an entertaining mix of horror and dark comedy and is considered a classic of the genre.
Robert Z. Leonard, starring Ronald Colman, Elizabeth Allan, Edna May Oliver, Reginald Owen
A Tale of Two Cities (1935) tells the story of two men—Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton—who become entangled in the chaos of the French Revolution. Charles, an aristocrat, is accused of treason and awaits his trial. Sydney, a lawyer, steps in to help Charles, and in the process finds himself falling in love with Charles’ wife, Lucie Manette. The film follows the two men as they try to survive the Reign of Terror, escape the guillotine, and ultimately triumph over the forces of evil. Along the way, they discover the power of love and sacrifice in the face of a revolution. The film stars Ronald Colman, Elizabeth Allen, Edna May Oliver, Basil Rathbone, and Claude Rains.
From James Whale, starring Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff, John Boles
Frankenstein (1931) is a classic horror film directed by James Whale and starring Boris Karloff as the fearsome monster. The film is based on Mary Shelley’s classic novel of the same name and follows the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a monster from a patchwork of corpses. When the monster comes alive, a terrifying chain of events is set in motion. Frankenstein must protect the people he loves from his own creation, though his efforts may be in vain. With its groundbreaking special effects and iconic performances, Frankenstein has become a timeless classic and an essential part of horror film history.
From Howard Hawks, starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charles Ruggles, Walter Catlett
Bringing Up Baby is a screwball comedy classic from 1938 directed by Howard Hawks. It follows the adventures of paleontologist David Huxley (Cary Grant) and playgirl Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn). Huxley is on the brink of a major scientific discovery when he meets Susan, who is determined to win him over despite his protests. On their journey together, they find themselves in a whirlwind of zany escapades stemming from Susan's acquisition of a pet leopard, Baby. As David attempts to maintain some level of order, he finds his world being turned upside down by the charming, yet chaotic, Susan. With a delightful mix of wit, charm, and screwball antics, Bringing Up Baby is a timelessly funny romantic comedy.
From Alfred Hitchcock, starring Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas, May Whitty
Rated Not Rated
The Lady Vanishes is a 1938 British mystery-thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The plot follows a young woman, Iris, who is travelling on a train when she meets an elderly woman named Mrs. Froy. However, when Iris wakes up the next morning, Mrs. Froy has vanished and no one on the train remembers her. With the help of a young man named Gilbert, Iris begins to investigate Mrs. Froy’s disappearance, uncovering a plot involving international espionage. Iris and Gilbert must race against time to uncover the truth before it’s too late.
From Leo McCarey, starring Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy, Alexander D'Arcy
The Awful Truth is a romantic comedy released in 1937, directed by Leo McCarey. The film stars Irene Dunne and Cary Grant as a married couple, Jerry and Lucy Warriner, who decide to divorce. Despite the divorce, Jerry and Lucy continue to bicker and find themselves constantly drawn back to each other. Along the way, they each find themselves in romantic entanglements with other people, which further complicates matters. In the end, the couple realizes that the love between them is more powerful than any of the outside forces that have been pulling them apart. They reunite and the film ends with a happy ending.
From Josef von Sternberg, starring Emil Jannings, Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Gerron, Rosa Valetti
The Blue Angel is a 1930 German movie directed by Josef von Sternberg. It follows the story of a professor, played by Emil Jannings, who is seduced away from his respectable life by a cabaret singer, Lola Lola (Marlene Dietrich). He follows her to a seedy nightclub, abandoning his standing in society, only to find himself humiliated and degraded by the other patrons. When he can no longer take his downward spiral, he begs Lola to return to him, but she refuses and he is left broken and alone. The Blue Angel is considered a classic for its innovative camera angles and expressionistic lighting, its bold exploration of the dark side of human nature, and its role in launching Marlene Dietrich’s career as one of the most iconic figures of her time.
From Julien Duvivier, starring Jean Gabin, Gabriel Gabrio, Saturnin Fabre, Fernand Charpin
Rated Not Rated
Pépé le Moko is a 1937 French-Italian crime drama film directed by Julien Duvivier and starring Jean Gabin as the titular character. Set in the Casbah of Algiers, the film follows Pépé, a renowned thief and fugitive who hides in the city's labyrinthine streets and eludes the authorities. His life of freedom is disrupted when he meets Gaby, an upper-class tourist, and falls in love with her. While Pépé is determined to stay in the Casbah, Gaby's presence threatens his freedom and forces him to choose between the life he knows and the woman he loves. The film was praised for its realistic portrayal of the Algerian underworld and for Gabin's performance as Pépé, which made him a star in France.
From Mark Sandrich, starring Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton, Erik Rhodes
Rated Not Rated
Top Hat is a classic romantic comedy from 1935 starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Directed by Mark Sandrich, the movie follows the story of a wealthy American dancer, Jerry Travers (Astaire) who arrives in London to appear in a stage show. After accidentally entering the bedroom of the beautiful Dale Tremont (Rogers), the two quickly fall in love. However, the complications between the two are increased when Dale's ex-fiancé, known as Horace Hardwick, begins to interfere. With the help of Dale's friend Madge, Jerry and Dale must prove to Horace that they are made for each other. Filled with musical numbers, impressive dance sequences, and plenty of romantic comedy, Top Hat is a timeless classic from the Golden Age of Hollywood. It was nominated for Best Picture at the 1935 Academy Awards and won several other awards, including Best Dance Direction and Best Music Direction. A charming and timeless classic, Top Hat is the perfect film for fans of classic romantic comedies.
From Michael Curtiz, starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Lionel Atwill, Basil Rathbone
Captain Blood is an adventure swashbuckler film directed by Michael Curtiz. The film stars Errol Flynn as an Irish doctor and former slave Oliver Blood, who is accused of treason and wrongly sentenced to slavery in the Caribbean. After escaping his slavery, Blood becomes a notorious pirate, tasked with protecting the Caribbean from Spanish invaders. Along the way, he meets and falls in love with Arabella Bishop (Olivia de Havilland), a noblewoman who has also been wronged by the Spanish. In the end, they team up to bring down the Spanish and save the Caribbean.
Ben Sharpsteen, starring Adriana Caselotti, Harry Stockwell, Lucille La Verne, Roy Atwell
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a classic animated film from 1937, directed by a team of visionary directors. The story follows Snow White, a princess who flees her jealous stepmother the Queen and finds refuge in a cottage in the forest, home to seven dwarfs. When the Queen discovers Snow White’s whereabouts she attempts to destroy her with a poisoned apple, but the dwarfs manage to save her. In the end, Snow White is reunited with her prince, and the Queen is vanquished. The film features iconic characters, memorable songs, and stunning animation that have made it a timeless classic.
From Howard Hawks, starring Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Rita Hayworth, Richard Barthelmess
Only Angels Have Wings is a 1939 American adventure drama directed by Howard Hawks and starring Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Rita Hayworth, Richard Barthelmess, and Thomas Mitchell. The film is set in the fictional South American port of Barranca and follows a group of brave and courageous pilots who work for a small, struggling airmail carrier called "Barranca Airways". The pilots risk their lives to deliver mail to remote locations, enduring bad weather and dangerous terrain in the process. Complications arise when a new pilot named Geoff Carter (Grant) joins the company, and his old flame Bonnie Lee (Arthur) follows him to Barranca. The pilots must also deal with a wanted criminal who hides out in the town, as well as the sudden arrival of a British aristocrat who puts pressure on Geoff to marry her. The film is a thrilling, action-packed drama about loyalty, courage and friendship in the face of incredible danger.
From William A. Wellman, starring Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, Robert Preston, Brian Donlevy
Set in French Morocco during World War I, Beau Geste tells the story of three brothers, Beau (Gary Cooper), John (Ray Milland), and Digby (Robert Preston), who enlist in the French Foreign Legion after their family home is burgled and a valuable sapphire is stolen. The three brothers join the Legion and are sent to a remote desert post where they come under the command of their sadistic sergeant, Markoff (Brian Donlevy). As the brothers struggle to survive in their new environment, they must also deal with a brewing rebellion among their fellow legionnaires and fight off a daring attack from a band of Arab raiders. In the end, after many battles and personal sacrifices, they eventually uncover the truth behind the theft of the sapphire and are reunited with their family.
From John Ford, starring Henry Fonda, Alice Brady, Marjorie Weaver, Arleen Whelan
Young Mr. Lincoln is a 1939 biographical drama film directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda as the iconic 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The film follows Lincoln's rise from his humble beginnings in Kentucky to his days as a young lawyer in Illinois as he embarks on a career as a lawyer. Along the way, Lincoln must face questions of morality and justice as he defends two men accused of a heinous crime. With its stunning cinematography and Fonda's acclaimed performance, Young Mr. Lincoln is considered one of Ford's finest films.
From George Cukor, starring Freddie Bartholomew, Frank Lawton, Edna May Oliver, Elizabeth Allan
From Mark Sandrich, starring Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Alice Brady, Edward Everett Horton
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