Best Thriller Movies of 1938


Angels with Dirty Faces

7.9/10 IMDB

In New York, the boys Rocky Sullivan and Jerry Connelly are best friends and small time thieves. After a robbery, Rocky is arrested and sent to a reformatory school, where he begins his criminal career. Jerry escapes and later becomes a priest. After three years in prison, Rocky is released and demands the return of $100,000 deposited with his solicitor - prior to his jail term.

Starring: James Cagney, Pat O’Brien, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan, George Bancroft, The 'Dead End' Kids, Billy Halop, Bobby Jordan, Leo Gorcey, Gabriel Dell ..
Directed by: Michael Curtiz
Release date: 1938-11-26

The Lady Vanishes

7.8/10 IMDB

On a train headed for England a group of travelers is delayed by an avalanche. Holed up in a hotel in a fictional European country, young Iris befriends elderly Miss Froy. When the train resumes, Iris suffers a bout of unconsciousness and wakes to find the old woman has disappeared. The other passengers ominously deny Miss Froy ever existed, so Iris begins to investigate with another traveler and, as the pair sleuth, romantic sparks fly.

Starring: Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, May Whitty, Paul Lukas, Basil Radford, Naunton Wayne, Cecil Parker, Linden Travers, Mary Clare, Emile Boreo ..
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Release date: 1938-10-07
Best Thriller Movies of 1938 : You and Me

You and Me

6.9/10 IMDB

Mr. Morris, the owner of a large metropolitan department store, gives jobs to paroled ex-convicts in an effort to help them reform and go straight. Among his 'employed-prison-graduates' are Helen Roberts and Joe Dennis, working as sales clerks. Joe is in love with Helen and asks her to marry him, but she is forbidden to marry as she is still on parole, but she says yes and they are married. In spite of their poverty-level life, their marriage is a happy one until Joe discovers she has lied about her past, in order to marry him. Disillusioned, he leaves, goes back to his old gang and plans to rob the department store.

Starring: Sylvia Sidney, George Raft, Robert Cummings, Barton MacLane, Roscoe Karns, Harry Carey, George E. Stone, Warren Hymer, Guinn Williams, Carol Paige ..
Directed by: Fritz Lang
Release date: 1938-06-01
Best Thriller Movies of 1938 : Charlie Chan in Honolulu

Charlie Chan in Honolulu

6.7/10 IMDB

While Charlie is distracted with the birth of his first grandchild, son Jimmy impersonates his father in order to investigate a murder aboard a freighter in the harbor.

Starring: Sidney Toler, Phyllis Brooks, Victor Sen Yung, Eddie Collins, John 'Dusty' King, Claire Dodd, George Zucco, Robert Barrat, Marc Lawrence, Richard Lane ..
Directed by: H. Bruce Humberstone
Release date: 1938-12-30
Best Thriller Movies of 1938 : Mr. Wong, Detective

Mr. Wong, Detective

6.0/10 IMDB

A chemical manufacturer is killed just after asking detective James Wong to help him. So Detective Wong decides to investigate this as well as two subsequent murders.

Starring: Boris Karloff, Grant Withers, Maxine Jennings, Evelyn Brent, George Lloyd, Lucien Prival, John St. Polis, William Gould, Hooper Atchley, John Hamilton ..
Directed by: William Nigh
Release date: 1938-10-05

Mr. Moto's Gamble

6.6/10 IMDB

Celebrated as supersleuth, Mr. Moto comes out fighting when a brutal boxing match turns into cold-blooded murder! Assisted by detective-in-training Lee Chan, Moto sets out to track down the killer based on a single ominous clue: a poisoned boxing glove! But when Moto's hunch points to a corrupt gambling syndicate, he's forced to wager his very life to unmask the culprit—or go down for the count...permanently!

Starring: Peter Lorre, Keye Luke, Dick Baldwin, Lynn Bari, Douglas Fowley, Jayne Regan, Harold Huber, Maxie Rosenbloom, John Hamilton, George E. Stone ..
Directed by: James Tinling
Release date: 1938-04-07
Best Thriller Movies of 1938 : They Drive by Night

They Drive by Night

7.1/10 IMDB

“Shorty” Matthews having recently been released from prison visits his girlfriend in London only to discover her murdered. Fearing he will be wrongly accused of being the culprit he disappears amongst the long-distance lorry driving community. Meanwhile, the real killer, unassuming ex-schoolteacher Walter Hoover, continues to prey on London women. As Shorty had feared he has become the main suspect. He returns to London with old flame Molly to prove his innocence.

Starring: Emlyn Williams, Ernest Thesiger, Anna Konstam, Allan Jeayes, Anthony Holles, Ronald Shiner, William Hartnell, Joe Cunningham, Yolande Terrell, Jennie Hartley ..
Directed by: Arthur B. Woods
Release date: 1938-12-01
Best Thriller Movies of 1938 : Arrest Bulldog Drummond

Arrest Bulldog Drummond

6.1/10 IMDB

The invention of a machine that can cause remote explosions brings the attention of Scotland Yard and Bulldog Drummond.

Starring: John Howard, Heather Angel, H.B. Warner, Reginald Denny, E. E. Clive, Jean Fenwick, Zeffie Tilbury, George Zucco, Leonard Mudie, Evan Thomas ..
Directed by: James P. Hogan
Release date: 1938-11-25
Best Thriller Movies of 1938 : Convicted


5.8/10 IMDB

A nightclub dancer and a detective try and catch the gangster who framed her brother.

Starring: Charles Quigley, Rita Hayworth, Marc Lawrence, George McKay, Doreen MacGregor, William Irving, Eddie Laughton, Edgar Edwards, Phyllis Clare, Bob Rideout ..
Directed by: Leon Barsha
Release date: 1938-08-18

Mysterious Mr. Moto

6.7/10 IMDB

The Japanese detective rounds up a league of assassins for Scotland Yard.

Starring: Peter Lorre, Mary Maguire, Henry Wilcoxon, Erik Rhodes, Leon Ames, Forrester Harvey, Frederick Vogeding, Lester Matthews, Jimmy Aubrey, May Beatty ..
Directed by: Norman Foster
Release date: 1938-09-17
Best Thriller Movies of 1938 : The Saint in New York

The Saint in New York

6.3/10 IMDB

A crime spree in New York forces the police commissioner to turn to Englishman Simon Templar, who fights lawlessness and corruption through unorthodox methods. Templar sets his sights on individual crimes bosses, and after bringing down two vicious leaders through disguise and deception, discovers that there is a mastermind behind all the city's crime.

Starring: Louis Hayward, Kay Sutton, Sig Ruman, Jonathan Hale, Jack Carson, Paul Guilfoyle, Frederick Burton, Ben Welden, Charles Halton, Cliff Bragdon ..
Directed by: Ben Holmes
Release date: 1938-05-25

Mr. Moto Takes a Chance

6.4/10 IMDB

In the jungle near Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Mr. Moto poses as an ineffectual archaeologist and a venerable holy man with mystical powers to help foil two insurgencies against the government.

Starring: Peter Lorre, Rochelle Hudson, Robert Kent, J. Edward Bromberg, Chick Chandler, George Regas, Frederick Vogeding, H.W. Gim, Al Kikume, James B. Leong ..
Directed by: Norman Foster
Release date: 1938-06-11
Best Thriller Movies of 1938 : Gang Bullets

Gang Bullets

5.6/10 IMDB

Gang Bullets was one of a myriad of late-1930s Monogram crime pictures, bearing such interchangable titles as I Am a Criminal, Convict's Code and Federal Bullets. Morgan Wallace plays a Capone-like racketeer named Anderson, who after being chased out of one town by the authorities immediately sets up shop in another. Unable to get any tangible evidence against Anderson, DA Wayne (Charles Trowbridge) orders his assistant Carter (Robert Kent) to dig up some dirt on the gangster boss. To do this, Carter pretends to turned crooked, joining Anderson's gang in order to accumulate evidence. Alas, Carter's girl friend Patricia (Anne Nagel) knows nothing of her boyfriend's subterfuge, and she suspects the worst. With such formidable henchmen as John Merton and Carleton Young at his beck and call, it's something of a surprise when Anderson comes a-cropper in the last reel.

Starring: Anne Nagel, Robert Kent, Charles Trowbridge, Morgan Wallace, J. Farrell MacDonald, John T. Murray, Joseph Crehan, Benny Bartlett, John Merton, Roger Williams ..
Directed by: Lambert Hillyer
Release date: 1938-11-10
Best Thriller Movies of 1938 : The Patient in Room 18

The Patient in Room 18

5.9/10 IMDB

Choreographer Bob Connolly and prolific screenwriter Crane Wilbur teamed up on the direction of Warner Bros.' The Patient in Room 18. Patric Knowles delivers a delightfully comic performance as Lance, an outwardly normal young man obsessed with detective stories. When his obsession threatens to lapse over into lunacy, Lance is sent to the hospital for a nice long rest. It isn't long before he gets mixed up in a genuine murder mystery, using his second-hand knowhow to solve the case. Up-and-coming Ann Sheridan is quite amusing as Lance's nurse and confidante, while the murderer is played by a fellow who is usually cast as the murder victim.

Starring: Patric Knowles, Ann Sheridan, Eric Stanley, John Ridgely, Rosella Towne, Jeanne Benedict, Charles Trowbridge, Cliff Clark, Harland Tucker, Edward Raquello ..
Directed by: Bobby Connolly, Crane Wilbur
Release date: 1938-01-08
Best Thriller Movies of 1938 : Bulldog Drummond's Peril

Bulldog Drummond's Peril

5.9/10 IMDB

Drummond's wedding with Phyllis is interrupted when the inspector guarding their gifts is killed. He tries to trace the killers and uncovers the mystery of diamond counterfeiters.

Starring: John Barrymore, John Howard, Louise Campbell, Reginald Denny, E. E. Clive, Porter Hall, Elizabeth Patterson, Nydia Westman, Halliwell Hobbes, Matthew Boulton ..
Directed by: James P. Hogan
Release date: 1938-03-18
Best Thriller Movies of 1938 : Prison Break

Prison Break

6.1/10 IMDB

Story of a tuna fisherman who has been wrongfully convicted of a murder he did not commit. His exemplary behavior in prison ensures that he is up for early parole. He realizes, however, that his movements will be limited, and he will be unable to join and wed his beloved. The only solution is to escape and hunt down the real killer, himself.

Starring: Barton MacLane, Glenda Farrell, Paul Hurst, Constance Moore, Edward Pawley, Edmund MacDonald, Ward Bond, Guy Usher, Victor Kilian, Frank Darien ..
Directed by: Arthur Lubin
Release date: 1938-07-12
Best Thriller Movies of 1938 : Sexton Blake and the Hooded Terror

Sexton Blake and the Hooded Terror

5.4/10 IMDB

Sexton Blake and Tinker foil criminal plot connected with the Tongs, and master-minded by "famous stamp collector" and millionaire.

Starring: George Curzon, Tod Slaughter, Greta Gynt, Tony Sympson, Charles Oliver, Marie Wright, David Farrar, Norman Pierce, H.B. Hallam, Billy Watts ..
Directed by: George King
Release date: 1938-02-01

Tell Your Children

3.7/10 IMDB

High-school principal Dr. Alfred Carroll relates to an audience of parents that marijuana can have devastating effects on teens: a drug supplier entices several restless teens, Mary and Jimmy Lane, sister and brother, and Bill, Mary's boyfriend, into frequenting a reefer house. Gradually, Bill and Jimmy are drawn into smoking dope, which affects their family lives.

Starring: Dorothy Short, Lillian Miles, Frank LaRue, Lester Dorr, Mary MacLaren, Richard Alexander, Dave O'Brien, Walter McGrail, Frank O'Connor, Marin Sais ..
Directed by: Louis J. Gasnier
Release date: 1938-06-15
Best Thriller Movies of 1938 : Strange Boarders

Strange Boarders

6.8/10 IMDB

Pre-war intelligence man Tommy Blythe interrupts his honeymoon to investigate the discovery of vital Air Ministry blueprints on a woman killed in a London road accident. The trail leads to a boarding house in Notting Hill and its varied tenants.

Starring: Tom Walls, Googie Withers, Ronald Adam, C. V. France, Nina Boucicault, Leon M. Lion, C. Denier Warren, Irene Handl, Marda Vanne, Arthur Goullet ..
Directed by: Herbert Mason
Release date: 1938-05-01
Best Thriller Movies of 1938 : Kate Plus Ten

Kate Plus Ten

6.1/10 IMDB

Kate is secretary to Lord Flamborough. But she is also leader of a criminal gang. Can Mike Pemberton catch her red-handed?

Starring: Jack Hulbert, Genevieve Tobin, Noel Madison, Francis L. Sullivan, Arthur Wontner, Frank Cellier, Peter Haddon, Googie Withers, Edward Lexy, Felix Aylmer ..
Directed by: Reginald Denham
Release date: 1938-03-17
Best Thriller Movies of 1938 : Female Fugitive

Female Fugitive

5.5/10 IMDB

Police set up a dragnet to trap an outlaw's wife whom they believe to be his accomplice.

Starring: Evelyn Venable, Craig Reynolds, Reed Hadley, John Merton, John Kelly, Ray Bennett, Emmett Vogan, Lee Phelps, Sam Flint, Martha Tibbetts ..
Directed by: William Nigh
Release date: 1938-04-15
Best Thriller Movies of 1938 : Dead Men Tell No Tales

Dead Men Tell No Tales

5.3/10 IMDB

The middle aged matron at a Norwich school wins a large prize in a French lottery. She is murdered in London and the murderer's secretary impersonates her and draws the old lady's prize money. There follows a series of killings until the murderer realises that he is trapped and commits suicide.

Starring: Emlyn Williams, Sarah Seegar, Hugh Williams, Marius Goring, Lesley Brook, Christine Silver, Clive Morton, Ann Wilton, Jack Vyvyan, Marjorie Dale ..
Directed by: David MacDonald
Release date: 1938-02-01
Best Thriller Movies of 1938 : Murder in the Family

Murder in the Family

6.2/10 IMDB

After a wealthy woman is killed, her extended family all fall under suspicion of murder.

Starring: Barry Jones, Jessica Tandy, Evelyn Ankers, Donald Gray, Jessie Winter, David Markham, Glynis Johns, Roddy McDowall, Annie Esmond, rani waller ..
Directed by: Albert Parker
Release date: 1938-01-01
Best Thriller Movies of 1938 : Second Thoughts

Second Thoughts

0.0/10 IMDB

A chemist is left unhinged following a laboratory explosion and begins to plot a murder.

Starring: Frank Fox, Evelyn Ankers, Frank Allenby, A. Bromley Davenport, Marjorie Fielding, Joan Hickson ..
Directed by: Albert Parker
Release date: 1938-01-01

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