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10 Great Movie Classics of the 1930's

Updated on July 18, 2008

Little Caeser ~ 1930

Dracula ~ 1931

Love Me Tonight ~ 1932

Me and My Gal ~ 1932

42nd Street ~ 1933

She done him wrong ~ 1933

Duck Soup ~ 1933

King Kong ~ 1933

It's a Gift ~ 1934

It Happened One Night ~ 1934


10 Great Movie Classics of the 1930's

I love movies. Well-developed characters, detailed story-lines and breath-taking scenery. Here are ten films that I think deserve a second look. Decades later, these films still astound and brilliantly entertain.

  1. Little Caeser ~ 1930 Edward G. Robinson plays a small-time thief by the name of Caeser "Rico" Bandello. Along with his sidekick "Joe" played by Douglas Fairbanks, jr., they move to the hustle and bustle of Chicago to find their easy fortune and fame. Their choice of this crooked path to success leads to homicidal mayhem. Robert N. Lee won an Oscar for his brilliant and timely screenplay.

  2. Dracula ~ 1930 Brilliantly released on Valentine's Day, Bela Lugosi played this break-out role to sinister perfection. With a rickety Hungarian accent and a charming but eerie setting, the count delivers such memorable lines as "I nevair dreenk vine"! Amid a Transylvanian backdrop, this film leaves an undeniable print that is both provoking and a fan-favorite from this genre.

  3. Love Me Tonight ~ 1932 With a cast that included, Marice Chevalier, Jeanette McDonald, Charles Butterworth and Myrna Loy, the talent alone is worth noting. Frigid princess meets lowly small-time tailor. Beyond romantic, outstanding special effects and a cinema wardrobe to die for.

  4. Me and My Gal ~ 1932 Starring Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, Marion Burns and George Walsh. Dim-witted cop (Spencer Tracy) romances quirky and air-headed waitress (Joan Bennett). The presence of Manhattan lends to sophisticated beauty and makes for a defiant and hilariously warped script.

  5. 42nd St ~ 1933 Nominated for an Oscar for best picture, 42nd St proved to raise the bar for future Hollywood standards. The audience was magically transported from the daily horrors of the depression to the glamour and romance of broadway. The cast included Warner Baxter, Ruby Keeler, Ginger Rogers and Dick Powell.

  6. She done Him wrong ~ 1933 Set in early Hollywood, Mae West divinely plays "Lady Lou", a saloon keeper who makes her own dough and has the diamonds to prove it. As independent and bawdy, her character appears to be no match for her romantic counterpart, played by the incredibly handsome Cary Grant. Looks can be deceiving though and what follows is pure entertainment. It shouldn't be any wonder that West utters her most famous line "Why don't you come up sometime and see me" to her suave and sophisticated leading man.

  7. Duck Soup ~ 1933 Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx and Zeppo Marx star in their last film together in this crazy comedy full of one-line zingers. Genius that would still hold strong today, as if it were just written. It is said that Mussolini banned this film in Italy. It seems the role that Groucho Marx took on translated a little too close for comfort for Mussolini sake. Needless to say, Groucho felt honored by the attention.

  8. King Kong ~ 1933 One of the greatest cinematic treasures to have ever graced the silver screen. New York under siege. Amazing and groundbreaking special effects wrapped in a fairy-tale story. Faye Wray gave a heart-warming performance and made us believe her sympathetic love for the massively, warm giant that was King Kong.

  9. It's a Gift ~ 1934 Touted as W.C. Fields finest comedic films, "It's a Gift" follows a family man in search of a dream. His wish for a better life for his wife and children turns out to be less than expected. What he finds, is that the promises don't measure up. Each scene outshines the last.

  10. It Happened One Night ~ 1934 Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert play lovers who meet on the run. She's spoiled and pretentious, he's sold and debonair. The intensity in chemistry proves heart-stopping and ultimately satisfying. A classic comedy that broke boundaries and deserves to be found, in order to watch again and again.


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    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 9 years ago

      I love old movies! From your list I've only seen King Kong and Dracula when I was a kid. My favorite actresses are Betty Davis and Joan Crawford. Kathy Bates is up there, as well as Diane Keaton and Julia Roberts. Oh, and I can't forget Shirley Temple!

      Thanks, I'll be looking for some of the ones you mentioned.