Best Movies of 1930


All Quiet on the Western Front


A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I. Together with several other young German soldiers, he experiences the horrors of war, such evil of which he had not conceived of when signing up to fight. They eventually become sad, tormented, and confused of their purpose.

Starring: Lew Ayres, Arnold Lucy, John Wray, Louis Wolheim, Ben Alexander
Directed by: Lewis Milestone
Release date: 1930-04-29

Animal Crackers


The well-known explorer and hunter Captain Spaulding has just returned from Africa, and is being welcomed home with a lavish party at the estate of influential society matron Mrs. Rittenhouse when a valuable painting goes missing. The intrepid Captain Spaulding attempts to solve the crime with the help of his silly secretary Horatio Jamison, while sparring with the anarchic Signor Emanuel Ravelli and his nutty sidekick The Professor.

Starring: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Zeppo Marx, Lillian Roth
Directed by: Victor Heerman
Release date: 1930-08-28

The Florodora Girl

A chorus girl gets bad advice from her fellow chorines in handling a rich suitor who assumes she is a gold-digger.
Starring: Marion Davies, Lawrence Gray, Walter Catlett, Louis John Bartels, Ilka Chase
Directed by: Harry Beaumont
Release date: 1930-05-31

City Girl

A waitress from Chicago falls in love with a man from rural Minnesota and marries him, with the intent of living a better life - but life on the farm has its own challenges.
Starring: Charles Farrell, Mary Duncan, David Torrence, Edith Yorke, Anne Shirley
Directed by: F.W. Murnau
Release date: 1930-02-16

Hell's Angels


In this aerial spectacle, brothers Roy and Monte Rutledge, each attending Oxford university, enlist with the Royal Flying Corps when World War I breaks out.

Starring: Ben Lyon, James Hall, Jean Harlow, John Darrow, Lucien Prival
Directed by: Howard Hughes, Edmund Goulding, James Whale
Release date: 1930-11-15


Stan fakes receiving a telegram so he can go to a club with Ollie and a bottle of his unsuspecting wife's liquor, but she overhears his plans.
Starring: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Anita Garvin, Baldwin Cooke, Jean De Briac
Directed by: James Parrott
Release date: 1930-02-08


Stanley and Oliver are trying to spend a relaxing night at home playing checkers, but the antics of their mischievous sons keep interrupting their recreation.
Starring: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy
Directed by: James Parrott
Release date: 1930-03-22

Another Fine Mess

Two homeless vagabonds hide out in a vacant mansion and pose as the residents when prospective lessees arrive and try to rent it.
Starring: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Thelma Todd, James Finlayson, Charles K. Gerrard
Directed by: James Parrott
Release date: 1930-11-29

Hog Wild

Ollie can't find his hat, much to the amusement of his wife and maid. Then Ollie and Stan attempt to install a rooftop radio antenna.
Starring: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Dorothy Granger, Fay Holderness, Charles McMurphy
Directed by: James Parrott
Release date: 1930-05-30

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. This is the first film where Oliver says "Here's Another 'Nice' Mess You've Gotten Me Into". The phrase is commonly misquoted as "Here's Another 'Fine' Mess You've Gotten Me Into" and has passed into everyday language usage.
Starring: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Frank Austin, Stanley Blystone, Bobby Burns
Directed by: James Parrott
Release date: 1930-09-06

The Big Trail


Breck Coleman leads a wagon train of pioneers through Indian attack, storms, deserts, swollen rivers, down cliffs and so on while looking for the murder of a trapper and falling in love with Ruth Cameron.

Starring: John Wayne, Marguerite Churchill, El Brendel, Tully Marshall, Tyrone Power Sr.
Directed by: Raoul Walsh
Release date: 1930-11-01



The Foreign Legion marches in to Mogador with booze and women in mind just as singer Amy Jolly arrives from Paris to work at Lo Tinto's cabaret. That night, insouciant legionnaire Tom Brown catches her inimitably seductive, tuxedo-clad act. Both bruised by their past lives, the two edge cautiously into a no-strings relationship while being pursued by others. But Tom must leave on a perilous mission: is it too late for them?

Starring: Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich, Ullrich Haupt, Adolphe Menjou, Eve Southern
Directed by: Josef von Sternberg
Release date: 1930-11-14

The Divorcee

When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.
Starring: Norma Shearer, Chester Morris, Conrad Nagel, Robert Montgomery, Florence Eldridge
Directed by: Robert Z. Leonard
Release date: 1930-04-19


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.
Starring: Herbert Marshall, Norah Baring, Phyllis Konstam, Edward Chapman, Miles Mander
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Release date: 1930-07-31

The Silent Enemy

Food is getting scarce for the tribe, and the chief must choose between the advice of Baluk to go north to the caribou herds, or the conniving medicine man Dagwan to stay put. On the way north they endure great hardship, and the conflict between Baluk and Dagwan deepens. It doesn't help that both want to marry the chief's daughter.
Starring: Chief Yellow Robe, Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance, Mali Spotted Elk, Chief Akawanush, Mary Alice Nelson Archambaud
Directed by: H.P. Carver
Release date: 1930-08-02

Abraham Lincoln


Silent film master D.W. Griffith's first talkie works as a companion piece to his classic BIRTH OF A NATION, providing a detailed biographical sketch of the 16th president. We see his birth in a log cabin, the tragic death of his first love, Ann Rutledge (Una Merkel), his debates with Douglas, his accepting of the presidency, the terrible toll of the Civil War, and finally the tragic assassination at Ford's Theater. Griffith shows his usual meticulous attention to period detail, and the framing of the various vignettes has the feel of historical photographs come to life. Walter Huston is excellent in the title role, with a portrayal that subtly evolves from laconic, wizened rascal to noble elder statesman. This is a fascinating, worthy film, and an interesting historical document in and of itself.

Starring: Walter Huston, Una Merkel, William L. Thorne, Lucille La Verne, Helen Freeman
Directed by: D.W. Griffith
Release date: 1930-11-08

Not So Dumb

Not-so-smart chatterbox Dulcy Parker does and says all the wrong things, but they right themselves to prove she's not so dumb after all.
Starring: Marion Davies, Elliott Nugent, Raymond Hackett, Franklin Pangborn, Julia Faye
Directed by: King Vidor
Release date: 1930-02-02

True to the Navy

Ruby is a counter girl at the San Diego Soda Shop with a habit of being a girlfriend to Sailors stopping by. Things get a little zany when she sets her eyes on Bull's Eye McCoy a gunner who refuses to settle down.
Starring: Clara Bow, Fredric March, Harry Green, Rex Bell, Eddie Fetherston
Directed by: Frank Tuttle
Release date: 1930-05-25

The Devil to Pay!

Spendthrift Willie Hale again returns penniless to the family home in London. His father is none too pleased, but Willie smooth-talks him into letting him stay. At the same time he turns the charm on Dorothy Hope, whose father is big in linoleum and who, before Willie's arrival, was about to become engaged to a Russian aristocrat.
Starring: Ronald Colman, Loretta Young, Frederick Kerr, David Torrence, Florence Britton
Directed by: George Fitzmaurice
Release date: 1930-12-20

Monte Carlo

A countess fleeing her husband mistakes a count for her hairdresser at a Monte Carlo casino.
Starring: Jack Buchanan, Jeanette MacDonald, Claud Allister, Zasu Pitts, Tyler Brooke
Directed by: Ernst Lubitsch
Release date: 1930-08-27

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