The Best '30s Fantasy Movies  

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514 votes 154 voters 8.7k views 29 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite fantasy films that were released in the 1960s.

What do ghosts, flying monkeys, time travelers, and Death have in common? They all make appearances in some of the best 1930s fantasy movies. These fantasy films were all about escapism, as they premiered during the Great Depression. Many people during this era were going to the  movies as a means of getting away from their everyday lives for a few hours. They could be strolling down the yellow brick road with Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, or walking through the doldrums with Miles from The Phantom Toll Booth.  

Among the best '30s fantasy movies are Topper, starring Cary Grant as a fun-loving ghost. Lost Horizon showcases talented director, Frank Capra, and tells the tale of Robert Conway, who is tasked with rescuing all of the Westerners who are being held captive in China. Capra also directed Death Takes a Holiday, the story of what might happen if Death went on vacation. W.C. Fields and Cary Grant make cameo appearances in the 1933 version of Alice in Wonderland. 

Vote up the top '30s fantasy movies below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section. 

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Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton, Frank Morgan
The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the most well-known and commercially successful adaptation based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful ...more
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Billy Gilbert, Pinto Colvig, Jimmy MacDonald
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a 1937 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by RKO Radio Pictures. Based on the German fairy tale by the ...more
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Bela Lugosi, Tod Browning, Carla Laemmle
Dracula is a 1931 vampire-horror film directed by Tod Browning and starring Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula. The film was produced by Universal and is based on the 1924 stage play Dracula by ...more
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Fay Wray, Merian C. Cooper, Bruce Cabot
King Kong is a 1933 American fantasy monster/adventure film directed and produced by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. The screenplay by James Ashmore Creelman and Ruth Rose was from an ...more
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Maureen O'Sullivan, Johnny Weissmuller, C. Aubrey Smith
Tarzan the Ape Man is a 1932 pre-Code American action adventure film featuring Edgar Rice Burroughs' famous jungle hero Tarzan and starring Johnny Weissmuller, Neil Hamilton, C. Aubrey Smith and ...more
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Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, W. C. Fields
Alice in Wonderland is a 1933 film version of the famous Alice novels of Lewis Carroll. The film was produced by Paramount Pictures, featuring an all-star cast. It is all live-action, except for ...more
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Mickey Rooney, Olivia de Havilland, James Cagney
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a 1935 American romance fantasy film of William Shakespeare's play, directed by Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle, and starring Ian Hunter, James Cagney, Mickey ...more
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Maureen O'Hara, Charles Laughton, Edmond O'Brien
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a 1939 American film starring Charles Laughton as Quasimodo and Maureen O'Hara as Esmeralda. Directed by William Dieterle and produced by Pandro S. Berman, the ...more
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Ronald Colman, Jane Wyatt, Thomas Mitchell
Lost Horizon is a 1937 American drama-fantasy film directed by Frank Capra. The screenplay by Robert Riskin is based on the 1933 novel of the same title by James Hilton. The film exceeded its ...more
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Boris Karloff, Edward Van Sloan, Noble Johnson
The Mummy is a 1932 horror film from Universal Studios directed by Karl Freund and stars Boris Karloff as a revived ancient Egyptian priest. The movie also features Zita Johann, David Manners ...more
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Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers, George Cleveland
Flash Gordon is a 1936 science fiction film serial. Told in 13 installments, it was the first screen adventure for the comic-strip character Flash Gordon, and tells the story of his first visit ...more
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Claude Dauphin, Sylvain Itkine, Léon Larive
The Tale of the Fox was stop-motion animation pioneer Ladislas Starevich's first fully animated feature film. The film is based on the tales of Renard the Fox. Although the animation was ...more
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Rita Hayworth, Mark Hamill, Spencer Tracy
Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic is a direct to DVD animated dark fantasy action film released on February 9, 2010. The film is based on Dante's Inferno video game.
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Cary Grant, Constance Bennett, Roland Young
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
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Fredric March, Kent Taylor, Evelyn Venable
Death Takes a Holiday is a 1934 romantic drama starring Fredric March, Evelyn Venable and Guy Standing, based on the Italian play La Morte in Vacanza by Alberto Casella.
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Leslie Howard, Heather Angel, Colin Keith-Johnston
Berkeley Square is a science fiction/drama film produced by Fox Film Corporation, directed by Frank Lloyd, and starring Leslie Howard and Heather Angel. It recounts the tale of young American ...more
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Charles Boyer, Antonin Artaud, Florelle
Liliom is a 1934 French fantasy film directed by Fritz Lang based on the Hungarian stage play of the same name by Ferenc Molnár. The film stars Charles Boyer as Liliom, a carousel barker ...more
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Myrna Loy, Will Rogers, Maureen O'Sullivan
A Connecticut Yankee is a 1931 American film adaptation of Mark Twain's 1889 novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. It was directed by David Butler to a script by William M. ...more
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Robert Donat, Eugene Pallette, Jean Parker
The Ghost Goes West is a British romantic comedy/fantasy film starring Robert Donat, Jean Parker, and Eugene Pallette, and directed by René Clair, his first English-language film. The ...more
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Lee Tracy, Mae Clarke
Turn Back the Clock is an MGM comedy-drama film directed by Edgar Selwyn, written by Edgar Selwyn and Ben Hecht, and starring Lee Tracy. The film also stars Mae Clarke. The Three Stooges ...more
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The New Gulliver is a Soviet stop motion-animated cartoon, and the first to make such extensive use of puppet animation, running almost all the way through the film. The film was released in ...more
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Brigitte Helm, John Stuart, Gibb McLaughlin
L'Atlantide is a 1932 German-French adventure and fantasy film directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst based on the novel L'Atlantide by Pierre Benoît.
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Leni Riefenstahl, Bela Balazs, Mathias Wieman
The Blue Light is a black-and-white 1932 film written and directed by Leni Riefenstahl and Béla Balázs, with uncredited scripting by Carl Mayer. In Riefenstahl's film version, the ...more
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Abraham Morewski, Ajzyk Samberg, Leon Liebgold
The Dybbuk is a 1937 Yiddish language Polish fantasy film drama directed by Michał Waszyński. It is based on the play The Dybbuk by S. Ansky. The Dybbuk, or Between Two Worlds is a 1914 play by ...more
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Loretta Young, Sidney Blackmer, David Manners
Kismet is a 1930 costume drama photographed entirely in an early widescreen process using 65mm film that Warner Bros. called Vitascope. The film, now considered lost, was based on Edward ...more