Best 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.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Dr. Henry Jekyll believes that there are two distinct sides to men - a good and an evil side. He believes that by separating the two, man can become liberated. He succeeds in his experiments with chemicals to accomplish this and transforms into Hyde to commit horrendous crimes. When he discontinues use of the drug, it is already too late.
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.
Four stowaways get mixed up with gangsters while running riot on an ocean liner.
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.
Oliver is making plans to marry his sweetheart Dulcy with Stan as his best man, but the plans are thwarted when Dulcy's father sees a picture of Ollie and forbids the marriage. The couple plan to elope, and run away to a Justice of the Peace. After typical Laurel and Hardy blundering, they manage to sneak the girl away from her father's house.
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.
Chickens Come Home
Ollie is running for mayor when an old flame tries to blackmail him with a old photo.
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.
Marian is a factory worker determined to leave the assembly line behind and move up in the world.
Stan and Ollie try to hide their pet dog Laughing Gravy from their exasperated, mean tempered landlord, who has a "No Pets" policy.
Stan and Ollie join the French Foreign Legion after Ollie's sweetheart rejects him.
The Hardys wish to have a quiet evening in their apartment, but are interrupted when the Laurels pay a visit. Stan and Ollie go out for ice cream, and manage to prevent a shrewish woman from committing suicide on the way back home. The woman is ungrateful and makes threats against the them unless they look after her. They spend a chaotic evening trying to keep her hidden from their wives.
Bimbo finds himself surrounded by a mysterious group of robed figures who invite him to become a member of their secret organisation. When he refuses, they fling him through a nightmarish sequence of terror and torture devices. Will our hapless hero make it out alive?
The Smiling Lieutenant
A simple wink, intended by Austrian palace guard Lt. Nikolaus von Preyn for girlfriend, Franzi, is accidentally intercepted -- and misread -- by the visiting Princess Anna. As a result, the soldier has no choice but to marry the royal lady and move with her to the neighboring kingdom of Flausenthurm. His girlfriend follows to continue the romance and, subversively, give Princess Anna tips on how to keep her husband satisfied.
The Austrian Secret Service sends its most seductive agent to spy on the Russians.
One Good Turn
Down and out Stan and Ollie beg for food from a friendly old lady who provides them with sandwiches. While eating, they overhear the lady's landlord tell her he's going to throw her out because she can't pay her mortgage. They don't realize that the old lady is really rehearsing for a play. Stan and Ollie decide to help the old lady by selling their car. During the auction a drunk puts a wallet in Stan's pocket. Ollie accuses Stan of robbing the old lady, but when the truth is revealed Stan takes revenge on Ollie.
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?
Stan and Ollie are on their way to Atlantic City with their wives, when Ollie gets a phone call from a lodge buddy telling him that a stag party is taking place that night in their honor. Ollie pretends to be sick and sends the wives on ahead, promising that he and Stan will meet them in the morning. The pair dress in their lodge gear, but their wives return having missed their train. With no obvious escape route, Stan and Ollie take to a bed in fear and in response to Stan's plea of "What'll I do?", Ollie replies "Be big!".
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.
The Ugly Duckling
The film begins with a mother hen sitting on her eggs from which six baby chicks are born. Though initially overjoyed, her mood changes to disgust when the final egg hatches out a duckling. Though the duckling desperately attempts to win his foster family's acceptance, the mother hen is adamant in her refusal to care for an infant that isn't even her species, let alone not even hers.
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 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.
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.
Anne Schuyler is an upper-crust socialite who bullies her reporter husband into conforming to her highfalutin ways. The husband chafes at the confinement of high society, though, and yearns for a creative outlet. He decides to write a play and collaborates with a fellow reporter.
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.
It's Prohibition, and the boys wind up behind bars after Stan sells some of their home-brew beer to a policeman.
Tonight or Never
A young opera singer finds her career stalled because of her cold and passionless performances, until she finds romance with a handsome admirer.
A mobster's daughter leads her boyfriend from the circus into bootlegging.
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.
Musical comedy antics in an art deco bakery (motto: "Glorifying the American Doughnut") with Eddie Cantor as an assistant to a phoney psychic, who is mistaken for an efficiency expert and placed in charge. Complications ensue when the psychic and his gang attempt to rub the payroll.
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 man and woman, skeptical about romance, nonetheless fall in love and are wed, but their lack of confidence in the opposite sex haunts their marriage.
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.
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.
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.