My Top Tens: 1930s

My top ten films for each year of the 2010s. These are always up for revision as I watch more films, revisit ones I’ve seen before, and think about them over time. I don’t really believe in top “ten” lists, despite using the common nomenclature for the title of this page, nor do I hold fast to the order, though it’s generally from films I liked better to films I liked less well. This is going to be my top several films of each year, down to whatever point I feel is right. Might be eight one year, might be twenty-three another.

1939

  • The Wizard of Oz
  • The Women
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  • Gone With the Wind
  • Stagecoach
  • Ninotchka
  • Midnight
  • Wuthering Heights
  • Bachelor Mother
  • The Roaring Twenties
  • Dark Victory
  • Destry Rides Again
  • Dodge City
  • Drums Along the Mohawk
  • Only Angels Have Wings
  • Love Affair

TOP FIVE YET TO SEE
Young Mr. Lincoln
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum
Le jour se leve
The Old Maid

1938

  • The Adventures of Robin Hood
  • Bringing Up Baby
  • You Can’t Take It With You
  • The Lady Vanishes
  • Four Daughters
  • Holiday
  • Port of Shadows
  • Porky in Wackyland
  • Topper Takes a Trip
  • Jezebel
  • Carefree

TOP FIVE NOT YET SEEN
Angels with Dirty Faces
Alexander Nevsky
La bete humaine
Olympia
Boys Town

1937

  • Stage Door
  • The Awful Truth
  • Grand Illusion
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • A Day at the Races
  • Topper
  • Nothing Sacred
  • Stella Dallas
  • Shall We Dance
  • A Star is Born

TOP FIVE YET TO SEE
Captains Courageous
Make Way for Tomorrow
Pepe le Moko
You Only Live Once
Way Out West

1936

  • Modern Times
  • Swing Time
  • Libeled Lady
  • After the Thin Man
  • Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
  • Follow the Fleet
  • Sabotage
  • Poor Little Rich Girl
  • My Man Godfrey
  • Three Smart Girls
  • The Petrified Forest

TOP FIVE YET TO WATCH
Dodsworth
Things to Come
Camille
Fury
The Crime of Monsieur Lange

1935

  • Top Hat
  • Captain Blood
  • The 39 Steps
  • Bride of Frankenstein
  • A Night at the Opera
  • The Little Colonel
  • Triumph of the Will

TOP FIVE YET TO SEE
The Informer
A Tale of Two Cities
Anna Karenina
David Copperfield
Dangerous

1934

  • The Thin Man
  • It Happened One Night
  • The Gay Divorcee
  • Tarzan and His Mate
  • Twentieth Century

TOP FIVE YET TO SEE
The Girl from Missouri
The Scarlet Empress
A Story of Floating Weeds
It’s a Gift
L’Atalante

1933

  • King Kong
  • Lady for a Day
  • 42nd Street
  • Gold Diggers of 1933
  • Dinner at Eight
  • Duck Soup
  • The Story of Temple Drake
  • Mystery of the Wax Museum
  • Little Women
  • Footlight Parade
  • Design for Living
  • Queen Christina
  • The Kennel Murder Case

TOP FIVE YET TO SEE
Bombshell
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse
Sons of the Desert
Zero for Conduct
I’m No Angel

1932

  • Trouble in Paradise
  • Love Me Tonight
  • Scarface
  • American Madness
  • Freaks
  • This is the Night
  • I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
  • Red Dust
  • White Zombie
  • Horse Feathers
  • Red-Headed Woman
  • Island of Lost Souls
  • One Hour With You
  • The Old Dark House

TOP FIVE YET TO SEE
Shanghai Express
Vampyr
The Mummy
The Most Dangerous Game
Jewel Robbery

1931

  • Frankenstein
  • M
  • City Lights
  • Private Lives
  • The Miracle Woman
  • The Public Enemy
  • The Champ
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Monkey Business
  • Dracula

TOP FIVE YET TO SEE
Night Nurse
Maedchen in Uniform
The Front Page
The Threepenny Opera
Tabu: A Story of the South Seas

1930

  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • The Big Trail
  • People on Sunday
  • Animal Crackers
  • The Office Wife
  • The Blue Angel

TOP FIVE YET TO SEE
Morocco
Hell’s Angels
Murder!
L’age d’or
Under the Roofs of Paris