Best movies of the 1930s

Best of the best

  • The Wizard of Oz
    • One of the greatest musicals ever — I haven’t seen the movie in decades but I still remember the songs. Dorothy gets caught in a tornado and is whisked off to the magical land of Oz. Judy Garland plays Dorothy.

Runner ups

  •  Gone With the Wind
    • Adjusted for inflation, the top grossing movie of all time. You might not want Scarlett as your best friend, but she’s a fascinating character. Rhett and Scarlett have a tumultuous relationship at the time of the Civil War. Clark Gable plays Rhett and Vivien Leigh plays Scarlett.
  • M
    • Directed by Fritz Lang, who also directed Metropolis. Some scenes were shot without sound. A child killer is on the loose, causing so much trouble that other criminals join the police in searching for him. “M” is the first letter in the German word for “murderer.” Peter Lorre plays the killer.
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
    • A subject that’s still relevant today. Mr. Smith is appointed to the US Senate, where he’s supposed to do what he’s told — but he has his own ideas. Jimmy Stewart plays Mr. Smith.

Honourable mentions

  • Frankenstein
    • Fans of science fiction/fantasy/horror should give it a watch. Dr. Frankenstein creates life from death but then has second thoughts. Boris Karloff plays the monster.
  • King Kong
    • A fantastic early example of stop motion animation. A giant ape is found on a remote island and is brought back to New York to be displayed. Fay Wray plays the woman Kong is interested in.

I previously listed the best movies of the 1920s.

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