Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Top 10 Favorite Films of the 1930s

The 1930s were a decade of great political and economic turmoil. After the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the entire world was consumed by an economic downfall called the Great Depression, which led to widespread unemployment and poverty. As a result fascist political movements emerged in several countries in South America and Europe, in particular the Third Reich in Germany, whose expansionist policy resulted in the outbreak of World War II, a few months before the end of the decade.

In such uncertain times as these, what the world needed was an escape, a pure fantastical escape that made people forget of the hardships that were turning their lives upside down. And that was exactly what Hollywood gave them. From spectacular musical extravaganzas to exciting swashbuckling adventures to witty screwball comedies, the 1930s were the decade that made Hollywood.

So far, I have watched 209 films produced in the 1930s. From those, I picked out my top 10 favorites.
It was not easy, but I think I am happy with my choices. 

Directed by Ernst Lubitsch | Starring Gary Cooper, Claudette Colbert, David Niven and Edward Everett Horton | Paramount Pictures

An impoverish aristocratic marries a millionaire banker she meets in the French Riviera and decides to teach him a lesson. Supreme commedienne Claudette Colbert plays the impoverish aristocrat and All-American Gary Cooper plays the millionaire banker. David Niven and Edward Everett Horton provide even more hilarious comedy bits. Honestly, what's not to like?

#9: Gone with the Wind (1939)
Directed by Victor Fleming | Starring Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Olivia de Havilland, Leslie Howard and Hattie McDaniel | MGM

Indomitable Vivien Leigh spends three hours running away from dashing Clark Gable and when she finally realizes that she loves and needs him, he doesn't give a damn. Serves her right, too.

#8: Love is News (1937)
Directed by Tay Garnett | Starring Tyrone Power, Loretta Young, Don Ameche, George Sanders and Slim Summerville | 20th Century Fox

Tyrone Power and Loretta Young are without a doubt the single most attractive movie pairing that has ever graced our screens. If you don't believe me, just watch Love is News.

Directed by Alfred Santell | Starring Ginger Rogers, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Red Skelton, Lucille Ball and Eve Arden | RKO

Ginger Rogers plays an office girl who falls in love with a law student-turned-waiter while vacationing at a camp in the Catskill Mountains. The waiter is played by Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Of course she would fall in love with him. Who wouldn't? Also, Red Skelton makes his first screen appearance.

#6: Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Directed by Howard Hawks | Starring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, May Robson, Charles Ruggles and Walter Catlett | RKO

Mix an awkward Cary Grant, a frisky Katharine Hepburn and a cute leopard named Baby and what do you get? One of the kookiest, zaniest comedies of all time. And also one the best.

Directed by Frank Capra | Starring James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains and Thomas Mitchell | Columbia Pictures

James Stewart was nominated for an Academy Award with this film and they gave it to Bob Donuts, I mean, Robert Donat, for Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939). Well, you can't always get it right.

#4: Vivacious Lady (1938)
Directed by George Stevens | Starring Ginger Rogers, James Stewart, Charles Coburn, Beulah Bondi and James Ellison | RKO

James Stewart and Ginger Rogers had a bit of thing going on when they made Vivacious Lady. Watching the film I kind of wished they had stayed together forever.

#3: Small Town Girl (1936)
Directed by William A. Wellman | Starring Robert Taylor, Janet Gayno, Binnie Barnes and James Stewart | MGM

Robert Taylor and Janet Gaynor in same film. It shouldn't work, but guess what? It does!

#2: The Thin Man (1934)
Directed by W. S. Van Dyke | Starring William Powell, Myrna Loy, Skippy, Maureen O'Sullivan and Nat Pendleton | MGM

If there was ever such a thing as soulmates, I'd say William Powell and Myrna Loy were pretty much it. They were just perfectly suited to each other. The Thin Man and its sequels are proof of that.

Directed by Frank Capra | Starring Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly and Roscoe Karns | Columbia Pictures

Watching It Happened One Night and seeing the incredible chemistry and rapport that Frank Capra was able to create between Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, I would never have guessed in a million years that neither one of them wanted to make the film in the first place.

And that's it. These are, as of this moment, my top 10 favorite films of the 1930s. Were you surprised by my choices? Did I mentioned any of your own favorites?

In other news, I'm back to the blogging world. I'm sorry that I was away for so long, but I had to put blogging aside for a while due to work. I promised I'll upload more regularly from now on.


  1. Hi Catia. I'm not sure if you will receive this comment, as I'm having problems commenting from my Wordpress account, and I can't find a more direct way to contact you. I just thought I would drop by to invite you to participate in my next blogathon. Here is the link below with more details.


  2. Great list! It's so hard to get it down to 10 isn't it. I haven't seen 7, 8, or 10.

    Welcome back!!!