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The Best '30s Comedy Movies 

Ranker Film
2.3k votes 418 voters 8.9k views 50 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite film comedies that were released in the 1930s.

The Golden Age of Hollywood was also a golden age of comedy. Comedy titans like the Marx Brothers and Charlie Chaplin released countless comedy pictures during the 1930s, giving us a myriad of hilarious titles to choose from for our list of the best ‘30s comedy movies.


Chaplin’s
Modern Times, released in 1936, was preserved by the Library of Congress in 1989 for its cultural and historical significance. In the film, Chaplin’s iconic Little Tramp character confronts the harsh realities of the Depression-era. Both funny and tragic, Modern TImes held a mirror up to society and highlighted the hard truths of the day with more than a few laughs in the mix. Other great ‘30s comedies on this list include the Marx Brothers satirical Duck Soup, and their farce A Night at the Opera.


Even master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock got in on the comedy game in the 1930s with his caper film
The Lady Vanishes, a funny and mysterious film set on a train. Vote up the best '30s comedies below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section. 
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1
Footlight Parade is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Dorothy Lamour

Released: 1933

Directed by: Busby Berkeley, Lloyd Bacon

Footlight Parade is a 1933 American musical film starring James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell and featuring Frank McHugh, Guy Kibbee, Hugh Herbert and Ruth Donnelly. The ...more
2
Topper is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Cary Grant, Constance Bennett, Roland Young

Released: 1937

Directed by: Norman Z. McLeod

Topper is an American comedy film starring Constance Bennett and Cary Grant which tells the story of a stuffy, stuck-in-his-ways man, Cosmo Topper who is haunted by the ghosts of a fun-loving ...more
3
Bringing Up Baby is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Barry Fitzgerald

Released: 1938

Directed by: Howard Hawks

Bringing Up Baby is a 1938 American screwball comedy film directed by Howard Hawks, starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The film tells the story of a ...more

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4
My Man Godfrey is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Carole Lombard, Jane Wyman, William Powell

Released: 1936

Directed by: Gregory La Cava

My Man Godfrey is a 1936 American comedy-drama film directed by Gregory La Cava. The screenplay was written by Morrie Ryskind, with uncredited contributions by La Cava, based on 1101 Park ...more
5
Gold Diggers of 1933 is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Ginger Rogers, Joan Blondell, Billy Barty

Released: 1933

Directed by: Mervyn LeRoy, Busby Berkeley

Gold Diggers of 1933 is a pre-code Warner Bros. musical film directed by Mervyn LeRoy with songs by Harry Warren and Al Dubin, staged and choreographed by Busby Berkeley. It stars Warren ...more
6
Duck Soup is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Zeppo Marx

Released: 1933

Directed by: Leo McCarey

Duck Soup is a 1933 Marx Brothers anarchic comedy film written by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, with additional dialogue by Arthur Sheekman and Nat Perrin, and directed by Leo McCarey. First ...more

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7
It Happened One Night is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Ward Bond

Released: 1934

Directed by: Frank Capra

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial It Happened One Night is a 1934 American romantic comedy film with elements of screwball comedy directed by Frank Capra, in which a pampered socialite tries to get out from under her father's ...more

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8
Holiday is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Lew Ayres

Released: 1938

Directed by: George Cukor

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Holiday is a 1938 film directed by George Cukor, a remake of the 1930 film of the same name. The film is a romantic comedy which tells the story of a man who has risen from humble beginnings ...more
9
A Night at the Opera is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Leonard Marx

Released: 1935

Directed by: Sam Wood, Edmund Goulding

A Night at the Opera is a 1935 American comedy film starring Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, and Harpo Marx, and featuring Kitty Carlisle, Allan Jones, Margaret Dumont, Sig Ruman, and Walter Woolf ...more

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10
The Thin Man is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Myrna Loy, Cesar Romero, Maureen O'Sullivan

Released: 1934

Directed by: W. S. Van Dyke

The Thin Man is a 1934 American comedy-mystery film directed by W.S. Van Dyke and based on the novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett. The film stars William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and ...more

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11
Modern Times is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Edward LeSaint

Released: 1936

Directed by: Charlie Chaplin

Modern Times is a 1936 comedy film written and directed by Charlie Chaplin in which his iconic Little Tramp character struggles to survive in the modern, industrialized world. The film is a ...more

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12
Follow the Fleet is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Lucille Ball, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire

Released: 1936

Directed by: Mark Sandrich

Follow the Fleet is a 1936 Hollywood musical comedy film with a nautical theme which stars Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and features Randolph Scott, Harriet Hilliard, and Astrid Allwyn, with ...more
13
The Awful Truth is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Ralph Bellamy

Released: 1937

Directed by: Leo McCarey

The Awful Truth is a 1937 screwball comedy film starring Irene Dunne and Cary Grant. The plot concerns the machinations of a soon-to-be-divorced couple, played by Dunne and Grant, who go to ...more
14
42nd Street is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Ginger Rogers, Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler

Released: 1933

Directed by: Lloyd Bacon

42nd Street is a 1933 American Warner Bros. musical film directed by Lloyd Bacon with choreography by Busby Berkeley. The songs were written by Harry Warren and Al Dubin, and the script was ...more

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15
Animal Crackers is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Zeppo Marx

Released: 1930

Directed by: Victor Heerman

Animal Crackers is a 1930 Marx Brothers comedy film, in which mayhem and zaniness ensue when a valuable painting goes missing during a party in honor of famed African explorer Captain Spaulding. ...more
16
Sons of the Desert is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Sons of the Desert Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Robert Cummings

Released: 1933

Directed by: William A. Seiter

Sons of the Desert is a 1933 American film starring Laurel and Hardy, and directed by William A. Seiter. It was first released in the United States on December 29, 1933 and is regarded as one of ...more

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17
Horse Feathers is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Thelma Todd

Released: 1932

Directed by: Norman Z. McLeod

Horse Feathers is a Marx Brothers film comedy. It stars the four Marx Brothers and Thelma Todd. It was written by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, S. J. Perelman, and Will B. Johnstone. Kalmar and Ruby ...more

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18
A Day at the Races is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Maureen O'Sullivan

Released: 1937

Directed by: Sam Wood

A Day at the Races is the seventh film starring the three Marx Brothers, with Margaret Dumont, Allan Jones, and Maureen O'Sullivan. Like their previous MGM feature A Night at the Opera, this ...more

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19
Way Out West is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Rosina Lawrence

Released: 1937

Directed by: James W. Horne

Way Out West is a Laurel and Hardy comedy film released in 1937. It was directed by James W. Horne, produced by Stan Laurel and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. This was the second picture ...more
20
Monkey Business is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Thelma Todd

Released: 1931

Directed by: Norman Z. McLeod

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Monkey Business is a 1931 comedy film. It is the third of the Marx Brothers' released movies, and the first not to be an adaptation of one of their Broadway shows. The film stars the four ...more

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21
Swing Time is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Betty Furness

Released: 1936

Directed by: George Stevens

Swing Time is a 1936 American RKO musical comedy film set mainly in New York City, and starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. It features Helen Broderick, Victor Moore, Eric Blore and Georges ...more

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22
After the Thin Man is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
James Stewart, Myrna Loy, William Powell

Released: 1936

Directed by: W. S. Van Dyke

After the Thin Man is a 1936 American film, starring William Powell, Myrna Loy, and James Stewart, that is the sequel to the film The Thin Man. The movie presents Powell and Loy as Dashiell ...more
23
Libeled Lady is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Jean Harlow, Spencer Tracy, Myrna Loy

Released: 1936

Directed by: Jack Conway

Libeled Lady is a 1936 screwball comedy film starring Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy, and Spencer Tracy, written by George Oppenheimer, Howard Emmett Rogers, Wallace Sullivan, and ...more
24
The Music Box is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Sam Lufkin

Released: 1932

Directed by: James Parrott

The Music Box is a Laurel and Hardy short film comedy released in 1932. It was directed by James Parrott, produced by Hal Roach and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The film, which depicts ...more
25
You Can't Take It With Y... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '30s Comedy Movies
James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Ann Miller

Released: 1938

Directed by: Frank Capra

You Can't Take It With You is a 1938 American romantic comedy film directed by Frank Capra and starring Jean Arthur, Lionel Barrymore, James Stewart, and Edward Arnold. Adapted from the Pulitzer ...more