Best Action Movies of 1931

1.

Little Caesar

5.1
7.2/10 IMDB

A small-time hood shoots his way to the top, but how long can he stay there?

Starring: Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Glenda Farrell, William Collier Jr., Sidney Blackmer, Ralph Ince, Thomas E. Jackson, Stanley Fields, Maurice Black, George E. Stone ..
Directed by: Mervyn LeRoy
Release date: 1931-01-25
Best Action Movies of 1931 : Smart Money
2.

Smart Money

3.6
6.8/10 IMDB

Two brothers' trip to the big city to do a little gambling results in a fateful turn of events.

Starring: Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, Margaret Livingston, Evalyn Knapp, Ralf Harolde, Noel Francis, Maurice Black, Billy House, Paul Porcasi, Gladys Lloyd ..
Directed by: Alfred E. Green
Release date: 1931-07-11
Best Action Movies of 1931 : The Vanishing Legion
3.

The Vanishing Legion

3.3
6.7/10 IMDB

A mysterious master criminal known as The Voice plots with his gang to sabotage the Milesburg Oil Company, but the rightful heir has a secret army of her own to protect her rights.

Starring: Harry Carey, Edwina Booth, William Desmond, Frankie Darro, Philo McCullough, Yakima Canutt, Joe Bonomo, Tom Dugan, Lafe McKee, Bob Kortman ..
Directed by: Ford Beebe, B. Reeves Eason
Release date: 1931-06-01
4.

Trader Horn

2.7
6.3/10 IMDB

While on safari in an unexplored area of Africa, Trader Horn and Peru find missionary Edith Trent killed by natives. They decide to carry on her quest for her lost daughter Nina. They find her as the queen of a particularly savage tribe, and try to bring her back to civilization.

Starring: Harry Carey, Edwina Booth, Duncan Renaldo, Mutia Omoolu, Olive Carey, C. Aubrey Smith ..
Directed by: W.S. Van Dyke
Release date: 1931-03-03
Best Action Movies of 1931 : The Seas Beneath
5.

The Seas Beneath

2.6
5.9/10 IMDB

In the waning days of WWI, a U.S. "Mystery Ship," sets sail for the coast of Spain towing a submarine. Their mission is to find and sink a U-boat that has been especially effective in attacking Allied shipping. Posing as a harmless schooner, the mystery ship is in fact fitted with a formidable gun capable of sinking a U-boat. Stopping in the Canary Islands to refuel, the crew interacts with locals involved with Germans, and with Germans themselves, including the sister of the U-Boat commander, who is lurking offshore waiting for the coming battle.

Starring: George O’Brien, Marion Lessing, Mona Maris, Walter C. Kelly, Warren Hymer, Steve Pendleton, Walter McGrail, Larry Kent, Henry Victor, John Loder ..
Directed by: John Ford
Release date: 1931-01-30
Best Action Movies of 1931 : Fighting Caravans
6.

Fighting Caravans

2.4
5.7/10 IMDB

Clint Belmet (Gary Cooper) is a bit of a firebrand and is sentenced to at least 30 days in jail, but his partners, Bill Jackson (Ernest Torrence) and Jim Bridger (Tully Marshall) talk a sympathetic Frenchwoman named Felice (Lili Damita) into telling the bumbling, drunken marshal that Clint had married her the previous night. Clint is released so he can accompany Felice on the wagon train heading west to California.

Starring: Gary Cooper, Lili Damita, Ernest Torrence, Tully Marshall, Fred Kohler, Eugene Pallette, Roy Stewart, May Boley, Eve Southern, Frank Campeau ..
Directed by: Otto Brower, David Burton
Release date: 1931-02-01
Best Action Movies of 1931 : Battling with Buffalo Bill
7.

Battling with Buffalo Bill

2.4
5.8/10 IMDB

A western adventure serial in 12 episodes. Buffalo Bill battles gambler Jim Rodney who is trying to scare off the townspeople so he can gain possession of a gold strike discovered in the area. A nearby Indian tribe is provoked to attack the town and the cavalry is called in.

Starring: Tom Tyler, Lucile Browne, William Desmond, Rex Bell, Francis Ford, George Regas, Yakima Canutt, John Bose ..
Directed by: Ray Taylor
Release date: 1931-11-22
Best Action Movies of 1931 : The Viking
8.

The Viking

2.3
6.0/10 IMDB

Originally called White Thunder, American producer Varick Frissell's 1931 film was inspired by his love for the Canadian Arctic Circle. Set in a beautifully black-and-white filmed Newfoundland, it is the story of a rivalry between two seal hunters that plays out on the ice floes during a hunt. Unsatisfied with the first cut, Frissell arranged for the crew to accompany an actual Newfoundland seal hunt on The SS Viking, on which an explosion of dynamite (carried regularly at the time on Arctic ships to combat ice jams) killed many members of the crew, including Frissell. The film was renamed in honor of the dead.

Starring: Charles Starrett, Louise Huntington, Arthur Vinton, Bob Bartlett, Wilfred Grenfell ..
Directed by: Varick Frissell, George Melford
Release date: 1931-06-21
Best Action Movies of 1931 : The Sea Ghost
9.

The Sea Ghost

2.3
5.3/10 IMDB

A crooked lawyer trying to cheat a young girl out of her inheritance tries to convince a sea captain to help him. Re-released in 1939 as "Phantom Submarine U-67."

Starring: Alan Hale, Laura La Plante, Clarence Wilson, Peter Erkelenz, Claud Allister, Broderick O'Farrell ..
Directed by: William Nigh
Release date: 1931-11-28
Best Action Movies of 1931 : The Montana Kid
10.

The Montana Kid

2.3
5.4/10 IMDB

A cowboy whose friend has been swindled out of his ranch and then murdered must take care of the man's son, then he goes after the killers.

Starring: Doris Hill, Bill Cody, Andy Shuford, William L. Thorne, Gordon De Main, John Elliott, Paul Panzer ..
Directed by: Harry L. Fraser
Release date: 1931-08-09
Best Action Movies of 1931 : Law of the Rio Grande
11.

Law of the Rio Grande

2.3
5.4/10 IMDB

Escaping from the Sheriff, Jim and Cookie decide to go straight. But when they meet their old cohort, The Blanco Kid, he tells their new boss they are outlaws and they are in trouble again.

Starring: Bob Custer, Betty Mack, Edmund Cobb, Harry Todd, Carlton King, Nelson McDowell, Edward Peil Sr., Tracy Lane, Charles LeMoyne, Fred Burns ..
Directed by: Forrest Sheldon
Release date: 1931-08-08
Best Action Movies of 1931 : The Lightning Warrior
12.

The Lightning Warrior

2.3
6.2/10 IMDB

A Rin-Tin-Tin serial presented in 12 episodes. The mysterious Wolf Man is terrorizing settlers in a western town. With the help of Rinty, young Jimmy Carter unmasks the Wolf Man and foils his evil plot.

Starring: Rin-Tin-Tin, Frankie Darro, Hayden Stevenson, George Brent, Pat O'Malley, Georgia Hale, Theodore Lorch, Lafe McKee, Frank Brownlee, Bob Kortman ..
Directed by: Armand Schaefer, Benjamin H. Kline
Release date: 1931-12-01
Best Action Movies of 1931 : A Holy Terror
13.

A Holy Terror

2.3
5.3/10 IMDB

Eastern millionaire's son Bard finds his father murdered and flies west to see rancher Drew who may know something about it. En route he crashes his plane into Jerry's bathroom; she falls in love with him which makes her suitor Steve jealous.

Starring: George O’Brien, Sally Eilers, Rita La Roy, Humphrey Bogart, James Kirkwood, Stanley Fields, Robert Warwick, Richard Tucker, Earl Pingree, Buck Bucko ..
Directed by: Irving Cummings
Release date: 1931-07-19
Best Action Movies of 1931 : Dragnet Patrol
14.

Dragnet Patrol

2.2
5.0/10 IMDB

A sailor falls for a gangster's moll, leaves his wife and finds himself caught up in a life of crime.

Starring: Glenn Tryon, Vera Reynolds, Marjorie Beebe, Vernon Dent, Symona Boniface, Walter Long, George 'Gabby' Hayes, George Chesebro, Lionel Backus, Jack Cheatham ..
Directed by: Frank R. Strayer
Release date: 1931-12-14
Best Action Movies of 1931 : The Blonde Captive
15.

The Blonde Captive

1.9
4.4/10 IMDB

An expedition is sent into the rugged Australian outback to search for a lost white woman.

Starring: Lowell Thomas, Clifton Childs, Paul Withington ..
Directed by: Clinton Childs, Ralph P. King, Linus J. Wilson, Paul Withington
Release date: 1931-12-29
Best Action Movies of 1931 : The Galloping Ghost
16.

The Galloping Ghost

1.8
5.8/10 IMDB

A gambling ring run out of the Mogul Taxi company is intent on fixing college football games. Football star Harold "Red" Grange is a target for the gamblers, whose thugs try to eliminate Grange from playing. Grange's buddy Buddy is himself vulnerable to blackmail, since he has broken team rules by marrying. The crooks use all their wiles to keep Grange and Buddy from leading their team to victory.

Starring: Dorothy Gulliver, Tom Dugan, Gwen Lee, Francis X. Bushman, Theodore Lorch, Walter Miller, Edward Hearn, Ernie Adams, Tom London, Frank Brownlee ..
Directed by: Armand Schaefer, B. Reeves Eason
Release date: 1931-09-01
Best Action Movies of 1931 : King of the Wild
17.

King of the Wild

1.7
6.1/10 IMDB

Richard Grant, imprisoned in India for a crime he did not commit, escapes and makes his way to Africa.

Starring: Walter Miller, Tom Santschi, Boris Karloff, Dorothy Christy, Victor Potel, Arthur McLaglen, Mischa Auer, Nora Lane ..
Directed by: B. Reeves Eason, Richard Thorpe
Release date: 1931-03-01
Best Action Movies of 1931 : Men Like These
18.

Men Like These

1.6
6.1/10 IMDB

A British submarine on patrol is accidentally rammed by a merchant ship, that tears a big hole in in sub which sinks trapping the crew.

Starring: John Batten, Sydney Seaward, James Enstone, Syd Crossley, John Hunt, Edward Gee, Charles Peachey, Atholl Fleming, Lesley Wareing ..
Directed by: Walter Summers
Release date: 1931-01-01
Best Action Movies of 1931 : Gun Smoke
19.

Gun Smoke

1.5
5.8/10 IMDB

Following a killing and robbery in a big city back east, gang leader Kedge Darvas and some of his henchies take a train to a small western town in Idaho, with intentions of hiding out there until things cool down back in Chi or NYC, or wherever they lammed from.They are welcomed with open arms by the citizens under the impression they are there as capital investors with money to spend. Before long, Darvas figures the town is ripe for the taking and sends word for reinforcements, and each arriving train unloads a few suits and snappy-brim hats.Then they get rough, kill Sheriff Posey Meed and rile up the citizens, led by cowhand Brad Farley, who had Darvas spotted for a wrong number just by the way he made moves on Sue Vancey.

Starring: Richard Arlen, Mary Brian, William 'Stage' Boyd, Eugene Pallette, Charles Winninger, Louise Fazenda, Brooks Benedict, William Arnold, J. Carrol Naish, Stanley Mack ..
Directed by: Edward Sloman
Release date: 1931-04-10
Best Action Movies of 1931 : Soul of the Slums
20.

Soul of the Slums

1.4
5.6/10 IMDB

A young man, framed and sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit, is released after serving his stretch and vows to find those responsible for framing him. Meanwhile he sets up a mission in the slums he came from, and falls in love with a girl he meets there.

Starring: William Collier Jr., Blanche Mehaffey, James Bradbury Jr., Murray Smith, Walter Long, Matthew Betz, Paul Weigel, Max Asher, George Chesebro, Murdock MacQuarrie ..
Directed by: Frank R. Strayer
Release date: 1931-11-15
Best Action Movies of 1931 : The Spider
21.

The Spider

1.4
6.0/10 IMDB

Lowe plays Chatrand the Great, a magician with great hypnotic and magical powers. During his evening performance at an upscale theater, a murder occurs. A hand wearing a sinister spider ring raises a revolver, the lights go out, and a shot rings out! When the lights come on, the body of a patron is lying on the floor, dying. Who is the mysterious killer? What is the strange secret of Lowe’s clairvoyant, amnesia-plagued assistant? After the police restrain the audience from leaving, Lowe uses his magical powers to help expose the killer. Watch for the terrific séance scene where weird ghost-like creatures float above the stage.

Starring: Edmund Lowe, Lois Moran, El Brendel, John Arledge, George E. Stone, Earle Foxe, Manya Roberti, Howard Phillips, Purnell Pratt, Jesse De Vorska ..
Directed by: William Cameron Menzies, Kenneth MacKenna
Release date: 1931-09-27
Best Action Movies of 1931 : The Last Parade
22.

The Last Parade

1.4
5.9/10 IMDB

During the war two friends love the same nurse. After the war one becomes a detective, the other a racketeer.

Starring: Jack Holt, Tom Moore, Constance Cummings, Robert Ellis, Steve Pendleton, Jesse De Vorska, Robert Graham, Gino Corrado, Earle D. Bunn ..
Directed by: Erle C. Kenton
Release date: 1931-01-01
Best Action Movies of 1931 : Lariats and Six-Shooters
23.

Lariats and Six-Shooters

1.3
5.2/10 IMDB

A gang of jewel smugglers swears to take revenge on a deputy sheriff after his dogged pursuit of them forces them to flee without their goods.

Starring: Jack Perrin, Ann Lee, George Chesebro, Art Mix, Virginia Bell, Lafe McKee, Richard Cramer, Olin Francis, Jimmy Aubrey, Gloria Joy ..
Directed by: Alan James
Release date: 1931-10-25
Best Action Movies of 1931 : Defenders of the Law
24.

Defenders of the Law

1.2
4.9/10 IMDB

A gang of racketeers, with the aid of a high-ranking city official has control of a big-city, and the police plant an undercover cop to gather evidence against the hoodlums - except the police keep telling the wrong person what they are up to.

Starring: Catherine Dale Owen, Edmund Breese, Mae Busch, Paul Panzer, Joseph W. Girard, Robert Gleckler, Philo McCullough, John Holland ..
Directed by: Joseph Levering
Release date: 1931-05-23
Best Action Movies of 1931 : Air Eagles
25.

Air Eagles

1.2
5.0/10 IMDB

Two former WWI aces from opposite sides, Bill Ramsey and Otto Shumann, in the best tradition of Eddie Rickenbacker and the Red Baron, barnstorm their way across the Poverty Row skies of middle-America while competing for daredevil honors and the favors of the lovely Eve.

Starring: Lloyd Hughes, Bill Ramsey, Shirley Grey, Berton Churchill, Matty Kemp, Otis Harlan, Kathrin Clare Ward, Eddie Fetherston, Olin Francis, John Ince ..
Directed by: Phil Whitman
Release date: 1931-12-20
26.

Sporting Chance

1.1
4.2/10 IMDB

A jockey finally hits the big time, but he lets his success go to his head, threatening his career and his life.

Starring: William Collier Jr., Claudia Dell, James Hall, Eugene Jackson, Mahlon Hamilton, Hedwiga Reicher, Joseph Levering, Henry Roquemore ..
Directed by: Albert Herman
Release date: 1931-10-25
Best Action Movies of 1931 : Two-Gun Caballero
27.

Two-Gun Caballero

1.0
3.9/10 IMDB

A cowhand named Bob Blake visits with Sally Thompson and her kid-brother, Jimmy, on their hard-scrabble homestead adjoining the Steele Ranch where Bob works. He learns that their father just died, and he plans on seeing if he can make things a bit easier for them.

Starring: Robert Frazer, Consuelo Dawn, Carmen Laroux, Bobby Nelson, Jack Perrin, Diane Esmonds, Al Ferguson, Pat Harmon ..
Directed by: Jack Nelson
Release date: 1931-12-15
Best Action Movies of 1931 : The Sky Spider
28.

The Sky Spider

0.7
3.0/10 IMDB

The three Morgan brothers, Glenn, Jim and Buddy are all air mail pilots. The plane flown by Jim is shot down by Hugh Jeffries for the money it carries. Another flight is made by Buddy followed by Jeffries intending to shoot him down also...

Starring: Glenn Tryon, Beryl Mercer, Blanche Mehaffey, Pat O'Malley, John Trent, Philo McCullough, Jay Hunt, Joseph W. Girard, George Chesebro ..
Directed by: Richard Thorpe
Release date: 1931-10-01
Best Action Movies of 1931 : Spell of the Circus
29.

Spell of the Circus

0.0
0.0/10 IMDB

The manager of The Big Circus plots to marry the owner's daughter and gain control of the outfit.

Starring: Francis X. Bushman Jr., Alberta Vaughn, Tom London, Walter Shumway, Charles Murphy, Monte Montague, Bobby Nelson ..
Directed by: Robert F. Hill
Release date: 1931-01-12
Best Action Movies of 1931 : Sit Tight
30.

Sit Tight

0.0
5.1/10 IMDB

Winnie Lightner is the head of a health clinic and has Joe E. Brown as one of her employees. Brown is a wrestler named JoJo and he is forced to enter the ring and face down a musclebound masked opponent (Frank S. Hagney). Making matters worse, the masked marauder is convinced that his wife has been fooling around with JoJo. JoJo is knocked out early in the proceedings, whereupon he dreams he's a sultan surrounded by harem girls. A romantic subplot involves Paul Gregory and Claudia Dell. Gregory works for Dell's father and Dell asks her father to give Gregory a promotion so that she can spend more time with him. When Gregory refuses to be promoted without earning the position, she threatens to have him fired and Gregory quits his job. Gregory attempts to start a new career as a championship wrestler and is trained by Lightner and Brown. When Dell finds out about this, she attempts to stop him and asks for his forgiveness. She pleads with him to not fight but he has already promised...

Starring: Winnie Lightner, Joe E. Brown, Paul Gregory, Claudia Dell, Lotti Loder, Hobart Bosworth, Frank Hagney, Snitz Edwards ..
Directed by: Lloyd Bacon
Release date: 1931-02-19

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