11 January 2010

My Top "Twenty" Films From Another Decade That is Not The Preceding One (Hint: It's the 1930's)


The "gang" hanging out in I Am A Fugitive from a Chain Gang.

Regular readers of this blog (both of us) may recall that I recently balked at presenting a list of my top twenty films of the oughts as I wasn't satisfied there were enough worthy films. I instead offered a list of that same number from a far better decade in film, the 1970's. I rummaged around and managed to dig up an even better decade. Indeed the best that cinema has thus far offered.

I now offer my top "twenty" films of the 1930's. To keep this list at a manageable "twenty" I had to limit this list to American films only. I realize that there are some NumbersNazis out there who will feel that I've made too liberal an interpretation of the number twenty. Perhaps I found that just a score of films from such a prodigious decade was hardly enough to represent the surfeit of great 1930's movies. Or maybe I'm just sick and tired of the strict interpretations society has imposed on what amount constitutes a given number. If a person has got four of something and wants to say they've got ten or two, I don't see why strictures need be imposed.

With numerical liberation in mind I now present my list of my "twenty" favorite films from the 1930's. But before you peruse I pose this query: Why the hell haven't the ensuing seven decades come anywhere near producing such a massive quantity of cinema gold? (For the record, I don't know either.)


Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Duck Soup (1933)

The Roaring Twenties (1939)

Holiday (1938)


Stagecoach (1939)

I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)

The Public Enemy (1931)

Shanghai Express (1932)

Red Dust (1932)

Heroes For Sale (1933)

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)

Bombshell (1932)

Wild Boys of the Road (1933)

Five Star Final (1931)

Blonde Venus (1932)

Twentieth Century (1934)

Baby Face (1933)

Footlight Parade (1933)

The Big Trail (1930)

My Man Godfrey (1936)

The Mayor of Hell (1933)

Midnight (1939)

King Kong (1933)

Horse Feathers (1932)

Fury (1936)

Modern Times (1936)

City Lights (1931)

Hell's Angels (1930)

Scarface (1932)

Our Daily Bread (1934)

Ninotchka (1939)

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Morocco (1930)

It Happened One Night (1934)

The Great Man Votes (1939)

The Petrified Forest (1936)

The Old Dark House (1932)

Midnight Mary (1933)

Counsellor at Law (1933)

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