Best Crime Movies of 1931
The Public Enemy
Two young Chicago hoodlums, Tom Powers and Matt Doyle, rise up from their poverty-stricken slum life to become petty thieves, bootleggers and cold-blooded killers. But with street notoriety and newfound wealth, the duo feels the heat from the cops and rival gangsters both. Despite his ruthless criminal reputation, Tom tries to remain connected to his family, however, gang warfare and the need for revenge eventually pull him away.
A small-time hood shoots his way to the top, but how long can he stay there?
Adventures of a cocky con man and his beautiful accomplice.
Five Star Final
An unscrupulous newspaper editor searches for headlines at any cost.
Two brothers' trip to the big city to do a little gambling results in a fateful turn of events.
Lora Hart manages to land a job in a hospital as a trainee nurse. Upon completion of her training she goes to work as a night nurse for two small children who seem to be very sick, though something much more sinister is going on.
This dramatization of Christie's novel was first produced on stage in London with Charles Laughton in the role of Poirot.
The Phantom of Paris
Chéri-Bibi is a world class escape artist, but he cannot escape the false murder charge that is placed on him.
A semi-fictionalized account of the life of Mata Hari, an exotic dancer who was accused of spying for Germany during World War I.
A mobster's daughter leads her boyfriend from the circus into bootlegging.
The Maltese Falcon
A lovely dame with dangerous lies employs the services of a private detective, who is quickly caught up in the mystery and intrigue of a statuette known as the Maltese Falcon.
A Free Soul
An alcoholic lawyer who successfully defended a notorious gambler on a murder charge objects when his free-spirited daughter becomes romantically involved with him.
The Front Page
Hildy Johnson is an investigative reporter is looking for a bigger paycheck. When an accused murderer escapes from custody, Hildy sees an opportunity for the story of a lifetime. But when he finds the criminal, he learns that the man may not be guilty. With the help of his editor, Hildy attempts to hide the convict, uncover the conspiracy and write the scoop of his career.
A year after their former exploits, Tom Sawyer's puppy love of Becky Thatcher keeps him home while Huck Finn, chafing under "civilizing" influences like school and shoes, plans to run away. His scapegrace, abusive father intervenes; Tom and black Jim help him escape; and (departing from the novel) all three raft down the Mississippi, where they're joined by two likable rogues and meet pretty orphans Ella and Mary Jane. The latter may change Huck's mind about girls...
A gray-haired convict, within the shadows of the gallows, tells his story to the prison chaplain beginning twenty years earlier when he was sent to prison for a crime he did not commit.
Amidst a backdrop of growing violence and intimidation, independent cab drivers struggling against a consolidated juggernaut rally around hot-tempered Matt Nolan. Nolan is determined to keep competition alive on the streets, even if it means losing the woman he loves.
Dance, Fools, Dance
When misfortune hits hard on the Jordan family of Chicago's upper class, Bonnie Jordan, a dazzling and witty girl, finds a job as an aspiring reporter; however, his naive younger brother Rodney takes a twisted path and gets involved with the wrong people.
The Black Camel
Movie star Shelah Fane is seeing wealthy Alan Jaynes while filming in Honolulu, Hawaii, but won't marry him without consulting famed psychic Tanaverro first. Tanaverro confronts her about the unsolved murder of fellow film star Denny Mayo three years earlier, and she decides to reject Jaynes' proposal. When Shelah is found shot to death in her beach-front pavilion, Charlie Chan of the Honolulu Police investigates.
The Vanishing Legion
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.
A truck driver "too lazy to work and too nervous to steal" gets mixed up in racketeering. Naturally his underhanded business practices make him a pillar of the community.
Sidewalks of New York
A dim-witted slumlord tries to reform a gang of urban boys (and impress an attractive young woman) by transforming their rough neighborhood into a more decent place.
The Vice Squad
A diplomat is blackmailed by crooked vice cops into helping them frame prostitutes.
The Star Witness
A tough District Attorney goes after a murderous crime gang, only to find that his witnesses, an innocent family, have clammed up in fear of reprisals.
Charlie Chan Carries On
Charlie steps in to solve the murder of a wealthy American found dead in a London hotel. Settings include London, Nice, San Remo, Honolulu and Hong Kong. Fast-paced with lots of wisecracking. The first film to star Warner Oland as Charlie Chan.
A district attorney commits the perfect murder when he kills his daughter's womanizing fiancé and then tries framing the fiancé's lover.
The Hound of the Baskervilles
On his uncle's death Sir Henry Baskerville returns from abroad and opens up the ancestral hall on the desolate moors of Devonshire. Holmes uncovers a plot to have Sir Henry murdered by a terrible trained hound.
The Finger Points
Lee is a fresh young kid from the South when he gets a job with The Press. His first assignment on gangsters gets his name in the paper, the police on a raid and Lee in the hospital.
A widow's decision to run for mayor kicks off a battle of the sexes in a small town.
The Lawyer's Secret
Sailor Joe Hart, who is spending his shore leave at a gambling joint, sells his gun to young Laurie Roberts after losing terribly. After Hart again loses his last dime, he leaves the joint and steals a car in order to return to his ship. Later that night, a tough gambler named "The Weasel" convinces Laurie, who also lost badly, that Baldy, the joint's owner, is crooked, and they both return to the joint to break open the safe. During the holdup, The Weasel kills Baldy with Joe's gun and, after being picked up for speeding, Joe is arrested for murder.
An American Tragedy
A social climber charms a debutante, seduces a factory worker and commits murder.
The Secret Six
Bootlegger/cafe owner, Johnny Franks recruits crude working man Scorpio to join his gang, masterminded by crooked criminal defense lawyer Newton. Scorpio eventually takes over Frank's operation, beats a rival gang, becomes wealthy and dominates the city for several years until a secret group of 6 masked businessmen have him prosecuted and sent to the electric chair.
The Public Defender
A mysterious phantom who calls himself The Reckoner vows to expose the crooked bankers who embezzled their company's funds.
The Guilty Generation
The children of feuding gangsters fall in love and fight to escape their parents' notoriety.
The Ruling Voice
A mob boss has a change of heart when his daughter convinces him to move on from crime.
X Marks the Spot
The story begins in 1923 where after an accident, a newspaper reporter needs to raise $5,000 to pay for an operation, otherwise his young sister will be crippled for life. The desperate reporter is finally able to get the cash from a shady acquaintance, Riggs. Eight years later in New York, circumstances conspire to place the reporter as the number one suspect in the murder of a showgirl. With no witness or alibi, the reporter devises a plan to smoke out the real culprit. A meeting is arranged under the cover of night and to the surprise of both men, the murderer is Riggs. Out of gratitude for past generosity to his sister, the reporter agrees not to expose Riggs, however unwittingly leads the police to him! Riggs is found guilty, and a dramatic scene in the courthouse ensues.
The Gang Buster
Naïve insurance agent 'Cyclone' Case falls in love with Sylvia Martine, whose father has a dispute with gangster Mike Slade. When Sylvia is kidnapped by Slade and his gang, 'Cyclone' decides to save her and wanders straight into a gang war without even realizing it.
A bootlegger falls apart when his wife leaves him.
The Bum Bandit
Masked bandit Bimbo holds up a train carrying someone tougher… Betty Boop (with dog's ears), played by a different, deeper-voiced actress.
The Big Gamble
A gambler, hopelessly in debt, agrees to pay off his debt by allowing his creditor to take out a life insurance policy on him and collecting once the one-year suicide clause has elapsed.
Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour
A card cheat is threatened with exposure into joining a criminal enterprise that Holmes believes is controlled by Professor Moriarity.
The Speckled Band
After her sister dies under mysterious circumstances, a young heiress seeks Holmes' help when she feels threatened by her brutish stepfather.
Daughter of the Dragon
At her Chinese father's bidding, a woman goes to murder an enemy and meets a Scotland Yard detective.
A young radio repairman becomes involved with gangsters and one of their girlfriends when he repairs their radio.
Big Man from the North
Bosko is a Mountie in the cold, snowy north. His sergeant demands that he get his man: a peg-legged villain wanted dead or alive.
A young couple finds themselves mixed up with mobsters planning to rob a warehouse.
Night Life in Reno
A story of love, humor and drama against the background of America's "Biggest Little City." An (interrupted) indiscretion by John Wyatt with a floozy prompts his wife, June, to make a trip to Reno, Nevada in order to get a quickie six-week-waiting-period divorce. John, penitent over his past actions (since he got caught), follows his wife to Reno and manages a reconciliation after a murder gives him a chance to prove his true devotion.
A salesman gets in trouble with a party girl and a debutante in Detroit.
A sailor falls for a gangster's moll, leaves his wife and finds himself caught up in a life of crime.
A Honeymoon Adventure
An exciting tale of international crooks and stolen plans, in which an inventor is kidnapped by foreign agents whilst honeymooning in Scotland.
A reporter helps the police investigate the murder of a disagreeable and philandering actor who is found strangled to death in his theater dressing room with its door and window locked from the inside.