Best Crime Movies of 1930
When a woman is convicted of murder, one of the jurors selected to serve on the murder-trial jury believes the accused, an aspiring actress, is innocent of the crime and takes it upon himself to apprehend the real killer.
The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case
The boys think their days of fishing to feed themselves have come to an end, when Stan's rich uncle Ebenezer dies leaving a large estate. But they soon learn that Ebenezer was murdered and all the relatives, including Stan, are suspects.
The Big House
Convicted of manslaughter for a drunken driving accident, Kent Marlowe is sent to prison, where he meets vicious incarcerated figures who are planning an escape from the brutal conditions.
The Criminal Code
After young Robert Graham commits a murder while drunk and defending his girlfriend, he is prosecuted by ambitious Mark Brady and sentenced to 10 years. Six years later, Brady becomes the prison warden and offers the beleaguered Robert a job as his chauffeur. Robert cleans up his act, but, on the eve of his pardon, his cellmate drags him back into the world of violence, and he faces a difficult choice that could return him to prison.
The Bat Whispers
Infamous burglar "The Bat" commits a daring jewelry theft despite heavy police presence. Soon after, a bank theft occurs, which may be the work of the criminal as well. Meanwhile, Cornelia Van Gorder has various people arrive at her old mansion, including her niece, Dale, a bank employee, and police detective Anderson. When guests start turning up dead, Cornelia begins to suspect that The Bat may be lurking around the estate.
The Doorway to Hell
A vicious crime lord decides that he has had enough and much to the shock of his colleagues decides to give the business to his second in command and retire to Florida after marrying his moll. Unfortunately, he has no idea that she and the man are lovers.
The Unholy Three
A trio of former sideshow performers double as the "Unholy Three" in a scam to nab some shiny rocks.
Up the River
Daily life at men and women's prison units where baseball and the marching band are serious business. Two prisoners escape in order to help paroled Steve from being blackmailed by his girlfriend's ex-partner-in-crime.
Shadow of the Law
John Nelson, a well-to-do businessman, is escorting a woman he knows as Ethel Barry to the door of her apartment suite when a man steps out of the shadows and angrily demands to know where she has been. The embarrassed Nelson excuses himself and goes to his rooms in the same hotel. The woman rushes into his apartment followed by the man who met her in the hall. The man threatens her with violence and Nelson comes to her defense. In the ensuing fight, the man is knocked out of the window and falls to his death to the pavement many stories down. He is charged with the killing and his only witness that can prove self-defense for him has disappeared, and can not be found.
Street of Chance
'Natural' Davis (William Powell) is a respected gambler who follows a ruthless code of honor with those who cheat against him. His wife, Alma (Kay Francis), wants to divorce him because of his addiction and lifestyle, but they agree on a reconciliation and second honeymoon together and 'Natural' promises to give up gambling. However, his plans change when his brother, 'Babe' (Regis Toomey), arrives in town looking to score big, and 'Natural' has to devise a plan quickly to put him off gambling forever.
Those Who Dance
A policeman doubles as a gunman to get in with the mob.
Man to Man
A young man attempts to overcome the memory of his father, who was sent to jail for committing a murder.
Ma Delano runs a penny arcade in Coney Island, living upstairs with her sons and daughter. Story involves rum-running, accidental murder and a frame-up.
A distinguished English gentleman has a secret life--he is the notorious jewel thief the press has dubbed "The Amateur Cracksman". When he meets a woman and falls in love he decides to "retire" from that life, but an old friend comes to him with a predicament that entails him committing one last job.
Rose Manning swears revenge for the unjust slaying of her father by Inspector McArthur. Five years later, as a nightclub hostess, she is sought by Chuck Gaines, secretly a bootlegger, but she centers her attentions on young Jimmy Carter, who, she learns, is the son of McArthur.
Road to Paradise
Loretta Young plays dual roles in this 1930 crime drama about a young thief planning to steal jewels from a wealthy socialite.
For the Defense
William Foster is a slick attorney who stays within the law, but specializes in representing crooks and shady characters. He's adept at keeping them out of jail, winning acquittals, and having decisions reversed, thus springing criminals out of prison. He is romantically involved with dancer Irene Manners, who is two-timing him, although she wants to marry him. She kills a man driving while out with her other man, Jack Defoe, who takes the blame. Unfortunately, a ring Foster had just given Irene is found at the crime scene. Foster ends up defending Jack, but when the ring is found, he thinks he is protecting Irene, so pleads guilty to jury tampering.
When Matt Denant (Gerald de Maurier) finds himself wrongly imprisoned for manslaughter, he takes an opportunity to escape from jail during a foggy day and is forced to rely on the goodwill of local people to remain a fugitive of the law.
Ladies Love Brutes
The movie stars George Bancroft, Mary Astor and Fredric March who are all excellent in their roles. The story begins as Joe Forziati (Bancroft), an Italian immigrant who has battled his way to success as a New York building contractor, decides to embark on a social career.
A gambler wanted for murder hides under the guise of a clergyman.
Nora Mason becomes entangled in a family mix-up of murder and scandal that threatens to ruin her career and entire future; Unless the mother she does not know can find a way to save her.
An embezzler, Bill Marsh, swears vengeance on a businessman, John Travers, who has turned him in to the police. Twenty years pass, and Marsh emerges from jail and establishes himself as the head of a powerful crime empire, with his daughter, Paula, serving as bait to attract wealthy victims. Paula falls in love with Lee Travers, the adopted son of Marsh's old enemy, and begins to have doubts about her life of crime. Only after a series of tragic incidents is she set free to marry Lee and start life anew. This silent feature was highly regarded for its set design and 'unusual sensitivity to the expressive range of the camera and their awareness of careful scenario construction as a key to emotionally powerful cinema'. Cast includes Marie Lorraine, Arthur Greenaway, John Faulkner. A sound version was attempted soon after but was not successful and was never released.
The Benson Murder Case
A ruthless, crooked stockbroker is murdered at his luxurious country estate, and detective Philo Vance just happens to be there; he decides to find out who killed him.
In order to use the publicity to get re-elected, a judge sentences a notorious gangster to fight in the war.
The Big Dog House
In this MGM Dogville series short, an all-dog cast play out a story of jealousy, murder and justice thwarted.
The Cuckoo Murder Case
The Cuckoo Bird residing in an old clock in a creepy old mansion is shot dead by an unknown assailant; Flip the Frog is called in to investigate (and finds more than he bargained for). |
Birds of Prey
At a reception given by Arthur Hilton at his Sussex home the conversation turns to the subject of danger, with Hilton recalling a case in which he was involved as a Natal police commissioner. In it there were three guilty persons, but only one of them was hanged; the other two were sentenced to long terms, vowing vengeance on Hilton. Unknown to him, the same two men are now among his guests, and are determined to have their revenge.
The Woman Racket
During a raid, a cop lets a pretty speakeasy employee escape and later begins dating her. Although she loves him, his salary and dull life leave her wanting.
The Runaway Bride
Mary Gray elopes to Atlantic City, NJ, but begins having second thoughts about the marriage. Then she becomes inexplicably locked in her hotel room, and a series of cops, robbers and kidnappers passes through. Desperate, Mary trusts the shifty chambermaid Clara who whisks her away to the mansion of wealthy George Blaine. There, Mary must pretend to be a lowly cook, but that seems better than sticking with the guy she was engaged to.
A thug robs a young engaged couple of their last few dollars. When the thug's gang boss hears of the robbery, he gives them back their money and takes them under his wing. The thug, resentful of the couple, plans to organize a mutiny against the gang's boss, but when he is killed in a botched robbery, the police focus their attention on the young couple.
Outside the Law
Fingers is planning a half-million-dollar bank robbery in gang boss Cobra Collins' territory. Fingers' moll Connie tries to bluff Cobra into thinking the hit won't be for another week when the call comes through saying it's now.
Passing herself off as a countess, glamorous Lucy Stavrin hobnobs with the rich and famous along the French Riviera. Aware that Lucy is a phony, jewel-thief Malatroff blackmails Lucy into helping him steal the valuable necklace owned by the young wife of phlegmatic American businessman Sylvester Corbett.
Prison drama from 1930. Mary Dane and falsely imprisoned Bud Leonard love each other, but Lou Rinaldo, who framed Bud to get Mary, and escape-minded King Callahan, set events in motion to prove that love and justice will prevail.
A jeremiad against intemperance, jazz music, and abortion, set on a train filled with unrepentant sinners hurtling toward damnation.
In this light-hearted musical, an early color film, a successful actress tires of the bustle and hustle of her tawdry life and settles down to what she thinks is the blissful mundaneness of married life. Unfortunately, the actual drudgery of wifedom takes her by surprise and domestic turmoil ensues.
Racecar-driver Lou Larrigan gets mixed up with a crooked gang of racetrack promoters, and is in love with Ruth Morgan, whose father is marked as a victim by the gang.
Bill O'Brien is promoted to lieutenant in the police department for his arrest of Mike Patello, gang leader and racketeer, for murder. Ruth Dale, who loves Bill, is concerned when her brother, Johnny, who witnessed the murder, proposes to testify against the racketeer. Meanwhile, Captain Antrim informs Bill that his father has just been released from prison and does not know his son is a policeman. On the way from prison, O'Brien (J. P.) meets Limo, a former cockney pal who recognizes Bill and keeps J. P. from seeing his son; later, J. P. arrives intoxicated and is enraged, forcing Bill to knock him unconscious. J. P. is arrested for robbery but returns the loot to save his son from disgrace; Johnny is killed before testifying against Patello, who is released but confronted by J. P., who proves his guilt and, when he struggles with the police, kills him. Bill plans to resign, but confident of Ruth's love, he decides to remain on the force.
A young girl falls in love with a member of a gang of crooks. She determines to bring the rest of the gang to justice so she can save the man she loves.
Early British thriller about a master criminal named 'Flash Jack', who heads a gang of top-hatted thieves that rob the wealthy. A detective tracks the crimes to a posh night club.
An Irish policeman handles gangsters, a mystery woman and a wise-guy reporter.
Children of Chance
A casual date at a high-class hotel leads Binnie, an aspiring showgirl, to be mistaken for model and actress Lia de Marita – landing her an audition for the producer of a new musical stage show. Marvelling at her good fortune, what Binnie doesn't know is that Lia is also the wife of a notorious jewel thief and that she's already fled the country in possession of a valuable, ill-gotten necklace!
Just after newsman Rooker and Ruth Kearns are married he covers a double murder during a bank robbery. Cigarettes at the scene implicate gangster Tony Garotta. Garotta kidnaps Rooker and another reporter, intending to kill them.
The Czar of Broadway
Mort Bradley, New York political boss and underworld czar, controls not only the city's most popular nightclub but also much of the press; however, the managing editor of the Times is determined to expose him. Jay Grant, a San Francisco reporter, is assigned to investigate Mort, who believes Jay to be a country boy and is delighted to see him fall in love with Connie Colton, of whom Mort has tired. Dismayed to learn that Jay is a reporter, Mort plans to have his gunman, Francis, kill him, but both Mort and Francis are shot by rival gangsters. Jay, believing that Mort will recover, rushes to the newspaper with an exposé, but while writing it he learns of Mort's death and decides their friendship would not permit him to submit the story. He leaves his paper and embarks on a new life with Connie.
Too Many Crooks
A man tries to burgle his own safe on the same night that a professional criminal attempts it.
East Is West
Ming Toy is on the auction block in China. She is saved by Billy and taken to San Francisco by Lo Sang Kee. To save her from deportation she is sold to Charlie Yong, the Chop Suey King. Billy kidnaps her with plans of marriage.
Alias French Gertie
A safecracker poses as a French maid in order to gain access to wealthy homes. In the midst of a nocturnal search for a cache of valuables, she is interrupted by another safecracker. Narrowly escaping arrest, they decide to pool their talents, but she gets the urge to reform and encourages him to do the same.
A hard-boiled nightclub owner saves a beautiful young girl from drowning. He promptly falls in love with her, but she prefers a younger, more-genteel lover.
Prince of Diamonds
Eve Marley (Aileen Pringle)is forced to marry a wealthy jeweler that she does not love in order to save the man she loves, Rupert Endon (Ian Keith), from being unjustly arrested as a thief. Rupert, unaware of the reason his sweetheart married his rival, goes to the Far East where he grows rich after discovering a diamond mine. He breaks Eve's husband by underselling him and then returns to England to exact his revenge on the woman he thinks did him wrong.
Heyst, a hermit on his own tropical island, plays unwilling host to red-headed stowaway Alma. Danger looms...
The Fall Guy
Johnny Quinlan is so desperate for a job that he takes a gig as a "bag man" for the mob. Meanwhile, his beleaguered wife has to deal with her bizarre, unemployed, wise-cracking brother and various neighbors while keeping house in their Brooklyn tenement.