The 1930s

Welcome to the era of sound. Silent films are all but a thing of the past and the ‘talkies’ are in full swing. The end of the silent era was a definite boon to the film industry, but it was a little bitter sweet to some and the stars of the silent era mostly fell into obscurity as they failed to adapt, with one notable exception, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

The thirties also birthed some of the classic monster movies that are still cherished to this day, and Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi proved exactly how terrifying these classic characters could be on the big screen. The thirties brought to life some of the biggest names in cinema and most of them have been remade or rebooted several times since.

Lastly, the thirties also brought technicolor into theaters and moviegoers were able to see some of their favorite stars in living color for the first time. But as much as many of the stars adapted to all of these new changes, it was Charlie Chaplin who railed against sound the hardest and he remained a stoic opponent for many years.

My picks for each year are as follows:

  • 1930 – All Quiet on the Western Front; Animal Crackers
  • 1931 – Dracula; Frankenstein; The Public Enemy; M
  • 1932 – Tarzan the Ape Man; The Mummy
  • 1933 – King Kong; The Invisible Man
  • 1934 – It Happened One Night
  • 1935 – Mutiny on the Bounty; Bride of Frankenstein
  • 1936 – Modern Times
  • 1937 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; Grand Illusion
  • 1938 – The Adventures of Robin Hood; The Lady Vanishes
  • 1939 – Gone with the Wind; The Wizard of Oz; The Rules of the Game; Stagecoach

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