Best Crime Movies of 1934

1.

The Thin Man

5.7
8.1/10

A husband-and-wife detective team takes on the search for a missing inventor and almost get killed for their efforts.

Starring: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O'Sullivan, Nat Pendleton, Minna Gombell
Directed by: W.S. Van Dyke
Release date: 1934-05-25
2.

The Man Who Knew Too Much

4.9
6.9/10
The Man Who Knew Too Much
While vacationing in St. Moritz, a British couple receive a clue to an imminent assassination attempt, only to learn that their young daughter has been kidnapped to keep them quiet.
Starring: Leslie Banks, Edna Best, Peter Lorre, Frank Vosper, Hugh Wakefield
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Release date: 1934-11-30
3.

Manhattan Melodrama

3.7
7.2/10

The friendship between two orphans endures even though they grow up on opposite sides of the law and fall in love with the same woman.

Starring: Clark Gable, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Leo Carrillo, Nat Pendleton
Directed by: W.S. Van Dyke
Release date: 1934-05-04
4.

Jimmy the Gent

3.6
7.0/10
Jimmy the Gent
An unpolished racketeer, whose racket is finding heirs for unclaimed fortunes, affects ethics and tea-drinking manners to win back the sweetheart who now works for his seemingly upright competitor.
Starring: James Cagney, Bette Davis, Allen Jenkins, Alan Dinehart, Alice White
Directed by: Michael Curtiz
Release date: 1934-03-17
5.

Fog Over Frisco

3.4
7.0/10
Fog Over Frisco
Bette Davis and Margaret Lindsay portray stepsisters from a society family in this atmospheric tale of crime and punishment in the City by the Bay. One sister is amiable, upright, eager to uphold the family name. The other is volatile, risk-taking, a moth hovering too close to the flame of high-living lowlifes who launder stolen bonds. Care to guess which actress plays her?
Starring: Bette Davis, Donald Woods, Margaret Lindsay, Lyle Talbot, Hugh Herbert
Directed by: William Dieterle
Release date: 1934-06-02
6.

Hide-Out

3.1
7.0/10
Hide-Out
Wounded criminal Lucky Wilson takes refuge in a small Connecticut farm. He falls in love with the farmer's daughter who at first is unaware of his criminal record. Lucky is fully prepared to shoot his way out when the cops come calling, but he is softened by the daughter's affections.
Starring: Robert Montgomery, Maureen O'Sullivan, Edward Arnold, Elizabeth Patterson, Whitford Kane
Directed by: W.S. Van Dyke
Release date: 1934-08-24
7.

Heat Lightning

3.0
7.2/10
Heat Lightning
A lady gas station attendant gets mixed up with escaped murderers.
Starring: Aline MacMahon, Ann Dvorak, Preston Foster, Lyle Talbot, Glenda Farrell
Directed by: Mervyn LeRoy
Release date: 1934-03-03
8.

Upperworld

3.0
6.5/10
Upperworld
A railroad tycoon, disillusioned with his marriage, starts seeing a showgirl. Things go agreeably until the woman's manager decides to blackmail the millionaire.
Starring: Warren William, Mary Astor, Ginger Rogers, Andy Devine, J. Carrol Naish
Directed by: Roy Del Ruth
Release date: 1934-04-28
9.

The Man with Two Faces

2.9
6.5/10

Actress Jessica Wells, sister of actor Damon Wells, is on top of her form except when her husband Vance is around. When Vance takes her to the apartment of a theatrical producer she comes home incoherent and Vance is found dead in the vanished producer's hotel suite

Starring: Edward G. Robinson, Mary Astor, Ricardo Cortez, Mae Clarke, Louis Calhern
Directed by: Archie Mayo
Release date: 1934-08-04
10.

Among the Missing

2.8
6.4/10
Among the Missing
Seeking to avoid arrest while fleeing through a city park at night, two jewel thieves, Gordon and young Tommy, stash some just-stolen jewels on elderly, unknowing Martha Abbott. They then invite Martha to come live with them as their housekeeper, duping her into helping fence their goods. When Martha eventually becomes aware of the criminal activities, she strives to help Tommy reform.
Starring: Richard Cromwell, Henrietta Crosman, Billie Seward, Arthur Hohl, Ivan F. Simpson
Directed by: Albert S. Rogell
Release date: 1934-09-25
11.

Crime Without Passion

2.7
7.2/10
Crime Without Passion
A suave but unscrupulous lawyer boasts that he "lives by lies". His attempts to finish his affair with a clinging, besotted cabaret artist do not go according to plan.
Starring: Claude Rains, Margo, Whitney Bourne, Stanley Ridges, Paula Trueman
Directed by: Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur
Release date: 1934-08-30
12.

Hi, Nellie!

2.7
6.9/10
Hi, Nellie!
Managing Editor Brad Bradshaw refuses to run a story linking the disappearance of Frank Canfield with embezzlement of the bank. He considers Frank a straight shooter and he goes easy on the story. Every other paper goes with the story that Frank took the money and Brad is demoted, by the publisher, to the Heartthrob column - writing advice to the lovelorn. After feeling sorry for himself for two months, he takes the column seriously and makes it the talk of the town. But Brad still wants his old job back so he will have to find Canfield and the missing money.
Starring: Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Ned Sparks, Robert Barrat, Donald Meek
Directed by: Mervyn LeRoy
Release date: 1934-01-20
13.

The Big Shakedown

2.6
6.8/10

Former bootlegger Nick Barnes pressures neighborhood druggist Jimmy Morrell into making cut-rate drugs. The money makes it possible for Jimmy to marry Norma Frank, a pharmacy clerk. Expecting a baby, she wants Jimmy to quit the racket. Beaten by the mob, Jimmy works on, diluting the medications still further. Norma is rushed to the hospital for a premature delivery and given bogus medication. .

Starring: Bette Davis, Ricardo Cortez, Glenda Farrell, Allen Jenkins, Henry O'Neill
Directed by: John Francis Dillon
Release date: 1934-01-06
14.

Midnight

2.5
5.7/10
Midnight
Jury foreman Edward Weldon's questioning leads to the death sentence for Ethel Saxon. His daughter Stella claims to have killed her lover, the gangster Garboni, just as Saxon was to sit in the electric chair.
Starring: Sidney Fox, O.P. Heggie, Henry Hull, Margaret Wycherly, Lynne Overman
Directed by: Chester Erskine
Release date: 1934-03-17
15.

Inside Information

2.5
5.4/10
Inside Information
Lloyd Wilson, trusted employee of an investment firm, is suspected of theft when $20,000 in security bonds is stolen from his office. Tarzan, the Famous Police Dog, has an intuitive dislike of an apparently respectable citizen, and this leads Wilson and the police to the gang headquarters. Tarzan wins a public citation for his leading part in breaking the case against a desperate gang of criminals.
Starring: Rex Lease, Marion Shilling, Tarzan, Philo McCullough, Henry Hall
Directed by: Robert F. Hill
Release date: 1934-09-24
16.

The Furies

1.7
7.4/10
The Furies
Slavko Vorkapich's opening montage for Crime Without Passion (1934).
Directed by: Slavko Vorkapich
Release date: 1934-01-01
17.

Limehouse Blues

1.4
6.3/10
Limehouse Blues
Fresh from Chinatown in New York, Harry Young has taken over the illegal import business in the seamy Limehouse district of London, where he cold-bloodedly disposes of rivals and runs a smoky nightclub. He falls for a low-class, white pickpocket, diminishing his pride in the Chinese half of his heritage and sparking the jealousy of the nightclub's moody star performer.
Starring: George Raft, Jean Parker, Anna May Wong, Kent Taylor, Montagu Love
Directed by: Alexander Hall
Release date: 1934-12-11
18.

Woman in the Dark

1.4
6.0/10
Woman in the Dark
Lightweight but entertaining crime/drama about a man (Ralph Bellamy) released from prison and deciding to stay alone in his cabin so that his bad temper won't get him back into prison.
Starring: Fay Wray, Ralph Bellamy, Melvyn Douglas, Roscoe Ates, Ruth Gillette
Directed by: Phil Rosen
Release date: 1934-11-08
19.

Sleepers East

0.0
0/10
Sleepers East
No good deed goes unpunished for Lena Karelson (Wynne Gibson), hooker with a heart of gold trying to go straight in the big city. Covering a bachelor party for a friend in need, Lena winds up at a gambling house where she is the sole witness when Mayor Wentworth's drunken lout of a son shoots the owner. Wentworth's political machine wants Lena to falsely incriminate mob boss Callahan to bolster their re-election campaign. Callahan's mouthpiece nabs Lena first, conveying her stealthily by train from Toledo to New York to prevent her from testifying against the big boss. A midnight special smash-up, a tense courtroom finale and true love triumphant round out this typical Fox pre-Code programmer, released just before the Legion of Decency dropped the hammer in 1934.
Starring: Wynne Gibson, Preston Foster, Mona Barrie, Harvey Stephens, Roger Imhof
Directed by: Kenneth MacKenna
Release date: 1934-01-01
20.

Call It Luck

0.0
6.3/10
Call It Luck
A London taxicab driver cashes in on a big sweepstakes ticket and becomes the prey of a confidence-gang that sells him a nag of a cavalry horse on the claim that it is a brother to a current Derby winner.
Starring: Pat Paterson, Herbert Mundin, Charles Starrett, Gordon Westcott, Georgia Caine
Directed by: James Tinling
Release date: 1934-07-09

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