My favourite 1930s films

by Anne-F | created - 19 Mar 2012 | updated - 19 Mar 2012 | Public

In no particular order, except that my 10/10s are at the top of the list and 9/10s are below them.

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1. Le Jour se Leve (1939)

Not Rated | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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: 5,310 | Gross: $0.03M

2. Pépé le Moko (1937)

Not Rated | 94 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
98 Metascore

A wanted gangster is both king and prisoner of the Casbah. He is protected from arrest by his friends, but is torn by his desire for freedom outside. A visiting Parisian beauty may just tempt his fate.

Director: Julien Duvivier | Stars: Jean Gabin, Gabriel Gabrio, Saturnin Fabre, Fernand Charpin

Votes: 5,153 | Gross: $0.15M

3. Sons of the Desert (1933)

Passed | 68 min | Comedy

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When Stan and Ollie trick their wives into thinking that they are taking a medicinal cruise while they're actually going to a convention, the wives find out the truth the hard way.

Director: William A. Seiter | Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charley Chase, Mae Busch

Votes: 6,195

4. Port of Shadows (1938)

Approved | 91 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A military deserter finds love and trouble (and a small dog) in a smoky French port city.

Director: Marcel Carné | Stars: Jean Gabin, Michel Simon, Michèle Morgan, Pierre Brasseur

Votes: 6,811 | Gross: $0.03M

5. Trouble in Paradise (1932)

Not Rated | 83 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

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: 10,682

6. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Not Rated | 136 min | Drama, War

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray, Arnold Lucy

Votes: 50,457 | Gross: $3.27M

7. Hôtel du Nord (1938)

83 min | Drama, Romance

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young couple, Renee and Pierre, take one night a room at the Hotel du Nord, in Paris, near the canal Saint-Martin. They want to die together, but after having shooted at Renee, Pierre ... See full summary »

Director: Marcel Carné | Stars: Annabella, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Louis Jouvet, Arletty

Votes: 1,746

8. The Rules of the Game (1939)

Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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: 22,598

9. M (1931)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

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: 112,604 | Gross: $0.03M

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

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

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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: 9,798

11. The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)

Not Rated | 97 min | Adventure, Drama

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A noblewoman discovers her husband is The Scarlet Pimpernel, a vigilante who rescues aristocrats from the blade of the guillotine.

Director: Harold Young | Stars: Leslie Howard, Merle Oberon, Raymond Massey, Nigel Bruce

Votes: 3,219

12. Love Me Tonight (1932)

Passed | 104 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A Parisian tailor finds himself posing as a baron in order to collect a sizeable bill from an aristocrat, only to fall in love with an aloof young princess.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian | Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Charles Ruggles, Charles Butterworth

Votes: 3,015

13. L'Atalante (1934)

Not Rated | 89 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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, Michel Simon, Gilles Margaritis

Votes: 11,697

14. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

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

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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: 36,142

15. Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (1933)

Not Rated | 122 min | Crime

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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: 9,599

16. Fury (1936)

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

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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: 9,587

17. Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)

Unrated | 114 min | Drama, Romance

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An aged teacher and former headmaster of a boarding school recalls his career and his personal life over the decades.

Directors: Sam Wood, Sidney Franklin | Stars: Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Terry Kilburn, John Mills

Votes: 8,507

18. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)

Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Longfellow Deeds, a simple-hearted Vermont tuba player, inherits a fortune and has to contend with opportunist city slickers.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, George Bancroft, Lionel Stander

Votes: 16,483

19. The 39 Steps (1935)

Not Rated | 86 min | Mystery, Thriller

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim, Godfrey Tearle

Votes: 43,607

20. Tower of London (1939)

Approved | 92 min | Drama, History

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In the 15th century Richard Duke of Gloucester, aided by his club-footed executioner Mord, eliminates those ahead of him in succession to the throne, then occupied by his brother King ... See full summary »

Director: Rowland V. Lee | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, Barbara O'Neil, Ian Hunter

Votes: 1,463

21. Sous les toits de Paris (1930)

Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Albert is smitten for Pola but ends up wrongly committed in jail, in the meantime her affections are sort after by his friend, and on his release both love and friendship must be tested.

Director: René Clair | Stars: Albert Préjean, Pola Illéry, Edmond T. Gréville, Bill Bocket

Votes: 1,665

22. La Grande Illusion (1937)

Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, War

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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: 29,183 | Gross: $0.17M

23. The Story of the Fox (1930)

65 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In the kingdom of animals, Master Fox is used to trick and fool everyone. So the King, the Lion, receives more and more complaints about him. He orders that Master Fox is arrested and ... See full summary »

Directors: Irene Starewicz, Wladyslaw Starewicz | Stars: Claude Dauphin, Romain Bouquet, Sylvain Itkine, Léon Larive

Votes: 844

24. Ask a Policeman (1939)

Not Rated | 83 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The mirthful adventures of Police-Sergeant Samuel Dudfoot and his two constables, Albert Brown and Jeremiah Harbottle, who stage a fabricated crime-wave to save their jobs---and then find themselves involved in the real thing.

Director: Marcel Varnel | Stars: Will Hay, Graham Moffatt, Moore Marriott, Glennis Lorimer

Votes: 657

25. The Lady Vanishes (1938)

Not Rated | 96 min | Mystery, Thriller

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

While traveling 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: 39,367

26. King Kong (1933)

Not Rated | 100 min | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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: 69,721 | Gross: $10.00M