1939 & earlier faves

by zoelu | created - 12 Jul 2014 | updated - 3 months ago | Public
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1. The Mad Miss Manton (1938)

Approved | 80 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

When the murdered body discovered by beautiful, vivacious socialite Melsa Manton disappears, police and press label her a prankster until she proves them wrong.

Director: Leigh Jason | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Sam Levene, Frances Mercer

Votes: 1,922

2. Holiday (1938)

Not Rated | 95 min | Comedy, Romance

A young man in love with a girl from a rich family finds his unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancée's eccentric sister and long-suffering brother.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Doris Nolan, Lew Ayres

Votes: 13,371

3. Golden Boy (1939)

Approved | 99 min | Drama, Romance, Sport

Despite his musical talent, Joe Bonaparte wants to be a boxer.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Adolphe Menjou, William Holden, Lee J. Cobb

Votes: 1,637

4. Fury (1936)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

When a wrongly accused prisoner barely survives a lynch mob attack and is presumed dead, he vindictively decides to fake his death and frame the mob for his supposed murder.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Spencer Tracy, Walter Abel, Bruce Cabot

Votes: 10,547

5. Craig's Wife (1936)

Passed | 73 min | Drama

A domineering woman marries a wealthy man for his money, and then uses her position to further her own ambitions for money and power.

Director: Dorothy Arzner | Stars: Rosalind Russell, John Boles, Billie Burke, Jane Darwell

Votes: 782

6. Thirteen Women (1932)

Passed | 73 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

Ursula plots to murder 12 women with her supernatural powers.

Director: George Archainbaud | Stars: Irene Dunne, Ricardo Cortez, Jill Esmond, Myrna Loy

Votes: 983

7. Night Must Fall (1937)

Passed | 116 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

When a rich but cantankerous dowager on an isolated estates hires an engaging handyman, her niece/companion becomes suspicious of his motives.

Director: Richard Thorpe | Stars: Merle Tottenham, Kathleen Harrison, May Whitty, Rosalind Russell

Votes: 2,014

8. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

100 Metascore

Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home to Kansas and help her friends as well.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, Richard Thorpe, King Vidor | Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr

Votes: 359,642 | Gross: $2.08M

9. The Women (1939)

Not Rated | 133 min | Comedy, Drama

A study of the lives and romantic entanglements of various interconnected women.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Mary Boland

Votes: 11,888 | Gross: $2.27M

10. The Little Princess (1939)

Approved | 93 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

A little girl is left by her father in an exclusive seminary for girls, due to her father having to go to South Africa to fight in the Second Boer War.

Directors: Walter Lang, William A. Seiter | Stars: Shirley Temple, Richard Greene, Anita Louise, Ian Hunter

Votes: 5,300

11. Another Thin Man (1939)

Passed | 103 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

An explosives manufacturer suspects a young man is out to kill him. He calls in new parents Nick and Nora to sort things out.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Virginia Grey, Otto Kruger

Votes: 6,054

12. The Old Maid (1939)

Approved | 95 min | Drama

The arrival of an ex-lover on a young woman's wedding day sets in motion a chain of events which will alter her and her cousin's lives forever.

Director: Edmund Goulding | Stars: Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins, George Brent, Donald Crisp

Votes: 2,979

13. The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)

Approved | 106 min | Biography, Drama, History

A depiction of the love/hate relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Donald Crisp

Votes: 4,740

14. Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Not Rated | 102 min | Comedy, Family, Romance

91 Metascore

While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled paleontologist is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress and her pet leopard, Baby.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charles Ruggles, Walter Catlett

Votes: 52,259

15. The Lady Vanishes (1938)

Not Rated | 96 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

While travelling in continental Europe, a rich young playgirl realizes that an elderly lady seems to have disappeared from the train.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas, May Whitty

Votes: 44,171

16. You Can't Take It with You (1938)

Passed | 126 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A man from a family of rich snobs becomes engaged to a woman from a good-natured but decidedly eccentric family.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore, Edward Arnold

Votes: 21,878 | Gross: $4.66M

17. The Shopworn Angel (1938)

Passed | 85 min | Drama, Romance, War

Shortly after the United States enters World War I in 1917, a Broadway actress agrees to let a naive soldier court her in order to impress his friends, but a real romance soon begins.

Director: H.C. Potter | Stars: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Walter Pidgeon, Hattie McDaniel

Votes: 1,284

18. Stage Door (1937)

Approved | 92 min | Comedy, Drama

A chronicle of the ambitions, dreams, and disappointments of aspiring actresses who all live in the same boarding house.

Director: Gregory La Cava | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Adolphe Menjou, Gail Patrick

Votes: 7,193

19. Stella Dallas (1937)

Approved | 106 min | Drama, Romance

A working-class woman is willing to do whatever it takes to give her daughter a socially promising future.

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, Anne Shirley, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 4,234 | Gross: $2.00M

20. They Won't Forget (1937)

Passed | 95 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

A politically ambitious district attorney, unscrupulous tabloid journalists, and regional prejudice combine to charge a teacher with the murder of his student.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Claude Rains, Gloria Dickson, Edward Norris, Otto Kruger

Votes: 1,380

21. The Petrified Forest (1936)

Not Rated | 82 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

A waitress, a hobo and a bank robber get mixed up at a lonely diner in the desert.

Director: Archie Mayo | Stars: Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Genevieve Tobin

Votes: 11,719

22. Dracula's Daughter (1936)

Approved | 71 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Hungarian countess Marya Zaleska seeks the aid of a noted psychiatrist, hoping to free herself of a mysterious evil influence.

Director: Lambert Hillyer | Stars: Otto Kruger, Gloria Holden, Marguerite Churchill, Edward Van Sloan

Votes: 5,307

23. After the Thin Man (1936)

Passed | 112 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Nick investigates the case of a missing man and later a murder that is connected to Nora's family.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, James Stewart, Elissa Landi

Votes: 8,886

24. Captain January (1936)

Approved | 77 min | Comedy, Family, Musical

A little girl named Star lives with a lighthouse keeper who rescued her when her parents drowned. A truant officer decides she should go to boarding school but she's rescued by relatives.

Director: David Butler | Stars: Shirley Temple, Guy Kibbee, Slim Summerville, Buddy Ebsen

Votes: 1,119

25. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson

Votes: 40,744 | Gross: $4.36M

26. Alice Adams (1935)

Passed | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

The misadventures of two social-climbing women in small town America.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Fred MacMurray, Fred Stone, Evelyn Venable

Votes: 3,529

27. Mad Love (1935)

Passed | 68 min | Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi

In France, an insane surgeon's obsession with an actress from England leads him to replace her pianist husband's hands that got mangled in an accident with the hands of a late knife murderer which still have the urge to throw knives.

Director: Karl Freund | Stars: Peter Lorre, Frances Drake, Colin Clive, Ted Healy

Votes: 4,148

28. The Thin Man (1934)

Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Former detective Nick Charles and his wealthy wife Nora investigate a murder case, mostly for the fun of it.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O'Sullivan, Nat Pendleton

Votes: 24,948

29. Of Human Bondage (1934)

Not Rated | 83 min | Drama, Romance

A young man finds himself attracted to a cold and unfeeling waitress who may ultimately destroy them both.

Director: John Cromwell | Stars: Bette Davis, Leslie Howard, Frances Dee, Kay Johnson

Votes: 5,750

30. Baby Face (1933)

Approved | 71 min | Drama, Romance

A young woman, sexually exploited all her life, decides to turn the tables and exploit the hapless men at a big city bank - by gleefully sleeping her way to the top.

Director: Alfred E. Green | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, Donald Cook, Alphonse Ethier

Votes: 5,786

31. Wife vs. Secretary (1936)

Passed | 88 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

The wife of a publishing executive mistakenly believes that her husband's relationship with his attractive secretary is more than professional.

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Myrna Loy, May Robson

Votes: 2,867

32. She Married Her Boss (1935)

Approved | 85 min | Comedy, Romance

A super-efficient secretary at a department store falls for and marries her boss, but finds out that taking care of him at home (and especially his spoiled-brat daughter) is a lot different from taking care of him at work.

Director: Gregory La Cava | Stars: Claudette Colbert, Melvyn Douglas, Michael Bartlett, Raymond Walburn

Votes: 543

33. Love Affair (1939)

Approved | 88 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A French playboy and an American former nightclub singer fall in love aboard a ship. They arrange to reunite six months later, after he has had a chance to earn a decent living.

Director: Leo McCarey | Stars: Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer, Maria Ouspenskaya, Lee Bowman

Votes: 4,041

34. Reckless (1935)

Not Rated | 97 min | Drama, Musical, Comedy

Wealthy Bob Harrison buys all the seats in the theatre to watch Mona Leslie's musical by himself. He loves her, her agent Ned Riley loves her. Conflict ensues.

Director: Victor Fleming | Stars: Jean Harlow, William Powell, Franchot Tone, May Robson

Votes: 951

35. Ever in My Heart (1933)

TV-PG | 68 min | Drama, Romance, War

World War I brings tribulations to an American woman married to a German.

Director: Archie Mayo | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Otto Kruger, Ralph Bellamy, Ruth Donnelly

Votes: 603

36. The Old Mill (1937)

Approved | 9 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

A variety of animals find a shelter in the old mill during a fierce storm.

Director: Wilfred Jackson | Stars: Marie Arbuckle, Jean MacMurray, Louise Myers, Clarence Nash

Votes: 3,269

37. Evelyn Prentice (1934)

Passed | 79 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

The neglected wife of a high profile attorney dallies with a unscrupulous womanizer and finds herself involved in blackmail and murder.

Director: William K. Howard | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Una Merkel, Rosalind Russell

Votes: 1,322

38. These Three (1936)

Passed | 93 min | Drama, Romance

Two school teachers and the man they both love face ruin when a malicious student cooks up a lie.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Merle Oberon, Joel McCrea, Catherine Doucet

Votes: 2,139

39. The Cat and the Canary (1939)

Approved | 72 min | Comedy, Horror, Mystery

When an eccentric family meets in their uncle's remote, decaying mansion on the tenth anniversary of his death for the reading of his will, murder and madness follow.

Director: Elliott Nugent | Stars: Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, John Beal, Douglass Montgomery

Votes: 2,429

40. La Bête Humaine (1938)

Not Rated | 100 min | Crime, Drama

In this classic adaptation of Emile Zola's novel, a tortured train engineer falls in love with a troubled married woman who has helped her husband commit a murder.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Jean Gabin, Julien Carette, Simone Simon, Fernand Ledoux

Votes: 6,393

41. In Name Only (1939)

Approved | 94 min | Drama, Romance

After a wealthy man finds out his wife is a gold digger, he meets and falls for a widowed mother, and complications ensue.

Director: John Cromwell | Stars: Cary Grant, Carole Lombard, Kay Francis, Charles Coburn

Votes: 2,472

42. The Flame Within (1935)

72 min | Drama

Psychiatrist finds herself falling for her patient.

Director: Edmund Goulding | Stars: Ann Harding, Herbert Marshall, Maureen O'Sullivan, Louis Hayward

Votes: 176

43. Libeled Lady (1936)

Passed | 98 min | Comedy, Romance

A newspaper man, his ignored fiancée, and his former employee, a down on his luck reporter, hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news story into the truth in order to prevent a high-society woman from suing for libel.

Director: Jack Conway | Stars: Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy

Votes: 6,613



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