Best Drama Movies of 1931
In this sound-era silent film, a tramp falls in love with a beautiful blind flower seller.
Dr. Henry Frankenstein attempts to create life by assembling a creature from body parts of the deceased. Aided by his loyal misshapen assistant, Fritz, Frankenstein succeeds in animating his monster, but, confused and traumatized, it escapes into the countryside and begins to wreak havoc. Frankenstein searches for the elusive being and eventually must confront his tormented creation.
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.
British estate agent Renfield travels to Transylvania to meet with the mysterious Count Dracula, who is interested in leasing a castle in London and is, unbeknownst to Renfield, a vampire. After Dracula enslaves Renfield and drives him to insanity, the pair sail to London together, and as Dracula begins preying on London socialites, the two become the subject of study for a supernaturalist professor, Abraham Van Helsing.
A small-time hood shoots his way to the top, but how long can he stay there?
The youngsters Matahi and Reri are in love with each other. The old warrior Hitu announces that Reri is to be the new chosen virgin for the gods. This means she must stay untouched, otherwise she and her lover will be killed. But Matahi abducts and escapes with her to an island ruled by the white man, where their gods would be harmless and powerless.
A broken-down alcoholic prizefighter struggles to keep custody of his adoring son.
In World War I London, Myra is an American out-of-work chorus girl making ends meet by picking up men on Waterloo Bridge. During a Zeppelin air raid she meets Roy, a naive young American who enlisted in the Canadian army. After they fall for each other, Roy tricks Myra into visiting his family, who live in a country estate outside London, his mother having remarried to a retired British Major. Myra is reluctant to continue the relationship with Roy, he not aware of her past.
Marian is a factory worker determined to leave the assembly line behind and move up in the world.
The setting is a city block during a sweltering summer, where the residents serve as representatives of the not-very-idealized American melting pot. There is idle chitchat, gossip, jealousy, racism, adultery, and suddenly but not unexpectedly, a murder.
The Austrian Secret Service sends its most seductive agent to spy on the Russians.
Adventures of a cocky con man and his beautiful accomplice.
Five Star Final
An unscrupulous newspaper editor searches for headlines at any cost.
The Miracle Woman
After an unappreciated minister dies, his daughter loses her faith in God, prompting her to open a phony temple with a con man. Can the love of a blind aviator restore her faith and happiness?
Safe in Hell
To avoid the rigors of the law, Gilda flees New Orleans and hides on a Caribbean island where the worst criminals can ask for asylum. Besieged by the scum of the earth, Gilda will soon find out that she has found refuge in hell.
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.
The Last Flight
Cary, Shep, Bill, and Francis are pilots during World War I. The four friends, haunted by the devastation of the war, head to Paris instead of home, where they meet Nikki, an eccentric and wealthy young woman. Nikki is drawn to Cary, and the five friends, tagged by the boorish reporter, Frink, drink their way from Paris to Lisbon.
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.
Amanda and Elyot are one another's former spouse. Elyot remarries to Sibyl, Amanda weds Victor. Unexpectedly, both honeymooning couples arrive to a hotel on the same day and are put in rooms with adjoining terraces. Things go well until Amanda sees Elyot on the adjacent terrace.
A semi-fictionalized account of the life of Mata Hari, an exotic dancer who was accused of spying for Germany during World War I.
Five and Ten
John owns the largest chain of five and ten cent stores in the country. He moves his family to New York from Kansas City and their life, though grand, is falling apart due to his constant working. Wife and mother Jenny is lonely. Son Avery hates his job. Daughter Jennifer is snubbed by classmate Muriel and her friends. At a charity bazaar, Jennifer meets Berry and sparks are evident. However, he is engaged to Muriel and Muriel will make sure that she, and only she, marries Berry. After the marriage, Berry still thinks of Jennifer as Jennifer thinks of Berry. Avery laments about the state of his family since they were happy in Kansas City.
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 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.
Susan Lenox (Her Fall and Rise)
A young woman runs away from an abusive home and pre-arranged marriage only to be frustrated in her attempts to find happiness with a handsome engineer.
A music maestro uses hypnotism on a young model he meets in Paris to make her both his muse and wife.
A medical researcher is sent to a plague outbreak, where he has to decide priorities for the use of a vaccine.
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.
The Bachelor Father
Lonely in his English country estate, Sir Basil decides to gather his grown (albeit illegitimate) children around him in his declining years. He uses a ledger which keeps track of the payments he has been making to ex-lovers to locate 2 of them, and a third is found by a lawyer in New York, her mother was too proud to accept any money. Sir Basil is a curmudgeon, and his three adult children have a hard time with him at first. Toni, the American, is a free spirit who had a budding career in show business. Jeffery is English and a semi-gentleman, and Maria is Italian, with a Latin temperament. They begin to bond, especially Sir Basil and Toni, whose outgoing personality finally wins over the old man. But past lives begin to creep back into the picture and threaten the old man's plans for a life filled with his children.
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.
Other Men's Women
The friendship of two working stiff railroad engineers is put to the test when one falls for the other’s wife.
Over the Hill
In their farm house in a New York village, Ma Shelby prepares breakfast for her four children, Isaac, Tommy, Johnny and Susan, and then awakens them. The racket the boys make as they play and fight awakens their father, who spanks the eldest, Isaac. When a visitor chides Pa for not working, Ma sticks up for her husband, saying that he has a weak back and that he is waiting for a promised government job.
A young woman jeopardizes the relationship with the man she loves when a no-account from her past shows up.
Ann, a young woman with outrageously advanced ideas, has been living in sin with Dick, her lover, because of her conviction that marriage would destroy their love; but social pressure ends up paying off, so Ann and Dick get married.
A millionaire automaker retires upon the advice of his doctor, but becomes so bored he buys half interest in a gas station and works it on the sly.
When the government opens up the Oklahoma territory for settlement, restless Yancey Cravat claims a plot of the free land for himself and moves his family there from Wichita. A newspaperman, lawyer, and just about everything else, Cravat soon becomes a leading citizen of the boom town of Osage. Once the town is established, however, he begins to feel confined once again, and heads for the Cherokee Strip, leaving his family behind. During this and other absences, his wife Sabra must learn to take care of herself and soon becomes prominent in her own right.
William Kell, the keeper of a lighthouse on a lonely stretch of coastline, marries cabaret dancer Eileen. His young wife, however, goes on to have an affair with Henry Cass, the handsome assistant later taken on by her husband; when she then begins to flirt with a stranger who is rescued from the wreck of a motor-launch, a chain of shocking events is set in motion...
A society man's loving, devoted wife, upon learning that he has been unfaithful and is planning to leave her for the other woman, strategically pretends to be having an affair of her own. The woman's friends gladly assist in the deception.
In England, two young friends, confronted with the outbreak of World War I, enlist together to serve in the same company on the battle-field.
The Bad Sister
Marianne falls in love with con man Valentine who uses their relation to get her father's endorsement on a money-raising scheme. He runs off with the money and Marianne, later dumping her. Her sister Laura loves Dr. Lindley although she knows he loves Marianne. Marianne returns and marries a wealthy young man, and Lindley turns his love toward Laura.
Two brothers, Jack and Tom, are in love with the same woman, Molly. While the two brothers go off to war and Molly does her part in the effort, Tom believes that Rose is waiting for him, while in fact, she loves Jack and only turned to Tom on the rebound. Jack and Molly meet while he is on leave, and when he returns to battle, he doesn't know how to handle the situation with his brother.
The Right of Way
Snobbish attorney Charles 'Beauty' Steele loses his wife due to his drinking and his heirs at the same time that his brother-in-law absconds with funds belonging to one of Steele's clients. In search of the thief, Steele is attacked and left for dead. He is rescued by a kindly couple, but suffers from amnesia. He starts life afresh and is happy, until the return of his memory sends him back to resolve his old involvements.
Working girl Margie Evans has decided there are two kinds of opportunities for a slum kid during the Depression: Those you make and those you take. Determined to help her family out of its financial bind, she is ready to do both after she shows up at the penthouse pool bash of a wealthy playboy.
Rich and Strange
Believing that an unexpected inheritance will bring them happiness, a married couple instead finds their relationship strained to the breaking point.
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.
The film features the leading actress Greta Garbo as Yvonne, an artist's model. Other stars include Robert Montgomery, Lewis Stone, Marjorie Rambeau and Judith Vosselli. It is a romantic melodrama, portraying a Parisian belle with a past returning to haunt her. The film is the only one where Montgomery played opposite Garbo.