films The Best '30s Romance Movies  

Ranker Film
504 votes 111 voters 3.1k views 77 items Embed

List Rules Vote up your favorite love films that were released in the 1930s

This list tanks 1930s romance movies from best to worst, with those that have aged like fine wine at the top and those that haven't stood the test of time so well closer to the bottom. Many of these '30s love movies are still popular today, gaining new fans every year. Some have held up so well, in fact, that you might even be surprised scrolling through this 1930s romance movies list.

It's a Wonderful Life is such a holiday favorite, for example, that it's difficult to image a time when it didn't exist. This 1930s romance film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including a Best Actor nod for Jimmy Stewart. Another classic 1930s love story is Gone with the Wind, which was by far the most successful movie of its time. Fun Fact: Gone with the Wind was the first color film to take home an Oscar for Best Picture.

Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire were one of the most beloved onscreen duos of the 1930s. Their films The Gay Divorcee, Swing Time and Top Hat all appear on this list of '30s romantic movies.

Which romance movie from the 1930s is your favorite? Vote up the best and feel free to add any great '30s romances that aren't already included. And if you've seen all of the films on the list, rerank it to create your own definitive version!
list ordered by

1
27 4
It Happened One Night is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
It Happened One Night Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Ward Bond 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

2
30 6
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Gone with the Wind Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel. It was produced by David O. Selznick of Selznick International ...more

3
14 5
Bringing Up Baby is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Bringing Up Baby Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Barry Fitzgerald 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

4
12 4
Shall We Dance is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Shall We Dance Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Edward Everett Horton Shall We Dance is the seventh of the ten Astaire-Rogers musical comedy films. It was released in 1937. The idea for this film originated in the studio's desire to exploit the successful formula ...more

5
13 7
Wuthering Heights is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Wuthering Heights Laurence Olivier, David Niven, Merle Oberon Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Wuthering Heights is a 1939 American black-and-white film directed by William Wyler and produced by Samuel Goldwyn. It is based on the novel, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. The film ...more

6
8 3
Twentieth Century is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Twentieth Century Carole Lombard, John Barrymore, Charles Lane Twentieth Century is a 1934 American screwball comedy film. Much of the film is set on the 20th Century Limited train as it travels from Chicago to New York. The film was directed by Howard ...more

7
13 8
My Man Godfrey is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
My Man Godfrey Carole Lombard, Jane Wyman, William Powell 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

8
13 9
Dark Victory is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Dark Victory Ronald Reagan, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart Dark Victory is a 1939 American drama film directed by Edmund Goulding, starring Bette Davis and featuring George Brent, Humphrey Bogart, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Ronald Reagan, Henry Travers and ...more

9
10 6
Swing Time is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Swing Time Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Betty Furness 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

10
10 6
Top Hat is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Top Hat Lucille Ball, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire Top Hat is a 1935 screwball musical comedy film in which Fred Astaire plays an American dancer named Jerry Travers, who comes to London to star in a show produced by Horace Hardwick. He meets ...more

11
7 3
42nd Street is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
ForLuvOfAnimals added 42nd Street Ginger Rogers, Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler 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

12
10 7
Jezebel is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Jezebel Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, Margaret Lindsay Jezebel is a 1938 American romantic drama film released and directed by William Wyler. It stars Bette Davis and Henry Fonda, supported by George Brent, Margaret Lindsay, Donald Crisp, Richard ...more

The Best '30s War Movies

13
9 7
Ninotchka is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Ninotchka Greta Garbo, Bela Lugosi, Melvyn Douglas Ninotchka is a 1939 American film made for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer by producer and director Ernst Lubitsch that stars Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas. It was written by Billy Wilder, Charles ...more

14
8 6
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, Lionel Stander Mr. Deeds Goes to Town is a 1936 American screwball comedy film directed by Frank Capra, starring Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur in her first featured role. Based on the 1935 short story Opera Hat ...more

15
6 4
Bachelor Mother is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Bachelor Mother Ginger Rogers, David Niven, Charles Coburn Bachelor Mother is an American comedy film directed by Garson Kanin, and starring Ginger Rogers, David Niven, and Charles Coburn. The screenplay was written by Norman Krasna based on an Academy ...more

16
5 3
Gold Diggers of 1933 is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
ForLuvOfAnimals added Gold Diggers of 1933 Ginger Rogers, Joan Blondell, Billy Barty 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

17
2 0
In Old Chicago is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added In Old Chicago Tyrone Power, Don Ameche, Alice Faye In Old Chicago is a 1937 American drama film directed by Henry King. The screenplay by Sonya Levien and Lamar Trotti was based on the Niven Busch story, "We the O'Learys." The film is ...more

The Best Ninja Movies of All Time

18
2 0
Love is News is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Love is News Tyrone Power, George Sanders, Don Ameche Love Is News is a 1937 romantic film starring Tyrone Power, Loretta Young, and Don Ameche. The movie was directed by Tay Garnett and was the first film for which Power had top billing. The ...more

19
2 0
Marie Antoinette is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Marie Antoinette Tyrone Power, Norma Shearer, John Barrymore Marie Antoinette is a 1938 film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was directed by W. S. Van Dyke and starred Norma Shearer as Marie Antoinette. Based upon the 1932 biography of the ill-fated ...more

20
2 0
The Rains Came is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added The Rains Came Myrna Loy, Tyrone Power, Joseph Schildkraut The Rains Came is a 1939 20th Century Fox film based on an American novel by Louis Bromfield. A remake of the film was released in 1955 under the name The Rains of Ranchipur. The film was ...more

21
2 0
Ladies in Love is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Ladies in Love Tyrone Power, Don Ameche, Loretta Young Ladies in Love is a romantic comedy film directed by Edward H. Griffith and starring Janet Gaynor, Constance Bennett and Loretta Young. The film revolves around three roommates in exotic ...more

22
2 0
Second Honeymoon is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Second Honeymoon Tyrone Power, Loretta Young Second Honeymoon is a 1937 screwball romantic comedy, starring Tyrone Power and Loretta Young about a newly remarried woman who finds her businessman husband boring and runs into her wealthy ...more

The 17 Greatest Simpsons Religion Jokes

23
2 0
Thin Ice is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Thin Ice Tyrone Power, Sonja Henie, Bobby Vitale Thin Ice is a United States comedy/romance film directed by Sidney Lanfield starring Tyrone Power and figure skater Sonja Henie.

24
2 0
Café Metropole is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Café Metropole Tyrone Power, Loretta Young, Adolphe Menjou Café Metropole is a 1937 film directed by Edward H. Griffith.

25
2 0
Ranker Video
Lucy Hall added Day-Time Wife Tyrone Power

When a young wife discovers her husband of two years is involved with his beautiful secretary, she applies for a job as secretary to a business rival.

26
2 0
Ranker Video
Lucy Hall added Lloyd's of London Tyrone Power

Lloyd's of London is a 1936 American drama film directed by Henry King. It stars Tyrone Power, Madeleine Carroll, and Guy Standing. The supporting cast includes Freddie Bartholomew, George Sanders, Virginia Field, and C. Aubrey Smith. Loosely based on historical events, the film follows the dealings of a man who works for Lloyd's of London during the Napoleonic Wars. Lloyd's of London was a hit; it demonstrated that 23-year-old Tyrone Power, in his first starring role, could carry a film, and that the newly formed 20th Century Fox was a major Hollywood studio.

27
9 8
Holiday is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Holiday Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Lew Ayres 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

Easter Eggs From Every Marvel Movie

28
6 5
You Can't Take It With You is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
You Can't Take It With You James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Ann Miller 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

29
5 4
Trouble in Paradise is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Trouble in Paradise Herbert Marshall, Charlie Ruggles, Miriam Hopkins Trouble in Paradise is a 1932 American pre-Code romantic comedy film directed by Ernst Lubitsch, starring Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, and Herbert Marshall and featuring Charles Ruggles and ...more

30
3 2
Love Affair is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Ana Milhinhos added Love Affair Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer, Maria Ouspenskaya Love Affair is a 1939 American romantic film starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer and featuring Maria Ouspenskaya. It was directed by Leo McCarey and written by Delmer Daves and Donald Ogden ...more

31
1 0
Internes Can't Take Money is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Internes Can't Take Money Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Lloyd Nolan Internes Can't Take Money is a 1937 American drama film directed by Alfred Santell and starring Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Lloyd Nolan, and Stanley Ridges. McCrea portrays Dr. Kildare in the ...more

32
1 0
Girls About Town is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Girls About Town Joel McCrea, Eugene Pallette, Louise Beavers Girls About Town is a 1931 American pre-Code comedy film directed by George Cukor and starring Kay Francis and Joel McCrea.

Full List of Gunsmoke Episodes

33
1 0
Two in a Crowd is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Two in a Crowd Joan Bennett, Joel McCrea, Reginald Denny Two in a Crowd is a romantic comedy film directed by Alfred E. Green, starring Joan Bennett and Joel McCrea, and released by Universal Pictures. The screenplay was written by Lewis R. Foster, ...more

34
1 0
Bird of Paradise is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Bird of Paradise Lon Chaney, Jr., Dolores del Río Bird of Paradise is a 1932 American romantic adventure drama film directed by King Vidor, starring Dolores del Río and Joel McCrea. It was released by RKO Radio Pictures. In 1960, the ...more

35
1 0
The Richest Girl in the World is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added The Richest Girl in the World Joel McCrea, Miriam Hopkins The Richest Girl in the World is a 1934 romantic comedy film directed by William A. Seiter and starring Miriam Hopkins and Joel McCrea. Norman Krasna was nominated for the Academy Award for Best ...more

36
1 0
Suez is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Suez Tyrone Power, Loretta Young, Annabella Suez is an American film released on October 28, 1938 by 20th Century Fox, with Darryl F. Zanuck in charge of production, directed by Allan Dwan and starring Tyrone Power, Loretta Young and ...more

37
1 0
Design for Living is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Design for Living Gary Cooper, Fredric March, Edward Everett Horton Design for Living is a 1933 American pre-Code comedy film produced and directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Fredric March, Gary Cooper, and Miriam Hopkins. Based on the 1932 play Design for ...more

If You Could Only Eat One Food for the Rest of Your Life...

38
1 0
Our Betters is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Our Betters Anita Louise, Constance Bennett, Gilbert Roland Our Betters is a 1933 American satirical comedy film directed by George Cukor. The screenplay by Jane Murfin and Harry Wagstaff Gribble is based on the 1923 play of the same title by W. Somerset ...more

39
1 0
It's Love I'm After is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added It's Love I'm After Leslie Howard Bette Davis

It's Love I'm After was initiated by Leslie Howard, who after heavy dramatic roles in The Petrified Forest (1936), Romeo and Juliet (1936) and most of his other films, demanded a comic change of pace for his next picture at Warner Bros. Despite some misgivings at the executive level about Howard's ability to play comedy, producer Hal Wallis reluctantly accepted Howard's suggestion that he film the story "Gentleman After Midnight," all about a matinee idol who takes time from romantic sparring with his leading lady to try to cure a young female fan of her mindless devotion to him. Casey Robinson fashioned a witty screenplay that gave Howard the chance to drop comic zingers, swashbuckle through the grounds of a posh Pasadena mansion and spoof his Romeo and Juliet when he and his leading lady perform the play's final scene while whispering insults to each other.

40
1 0
Second Fiddle is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Second Fiddle Tyrone Power

Second Fiddle is a 1939 American musical romance film directed by Sidney Lanfield, starring Sonja Henie, Tyrone Power, Rudy Vallee and Lyle Talbot and released by 20th Century Fox. The score was composed by Irving Berlin.[1] The screenplay involves a Hollywood publicity agent who falls in love with a new actress he helped to discover. The film parodies the extensive search for an actress to play Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind. It is sometimes known as Irving Berlin's Second Fiddle.

41
1 0
Kept Husbands is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Kept Husbands Joel McCrea, Clara Kimball Young, Mary Carr Kept Husbands is a 1931 Pre Code American drama film directed by Lloyd Bacon, starring Dorothy Mackaill and Joel McCrea, with major supporting roles filled by Robert McWade, Florence Roberts and ...more

42
1 0
Chance at Heaven is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Chance at Heaven Ginger Rogers, Joel McCrea, Andy Devine Chance at Heaven is a 1933 American drama film directed by William A. Seiter and written by Julien Josephson and Sarah Y. Mason. The film stars Ginger Rogers, Joel McCrea, Marian Nixon, Andy ...more

The Best 30s Dance Movies

43
1 0
The Silver Cord is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added The Silver Cord Irene Dunne, Joel McCrea, Laura Hope Crews The Silver Cord is a Pre code film produced and released by RKO Radio Pictures, directed by John Cromwell, and based on a 1926 Broadway play, The Silver Cord by Sidney Howard, that starred Laura ...more

44
1 0
The Common Law is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added The Common Law Hedda Hopper, Joel McCrea, Constance Bennett The Common Law is a 1931 black and white film, directed by Paul L. Stein and produced by Charles R. Rogers. Based on Robert W. Chambers' 1911 novel, this was the third time the book was made ...more

45
1 0
Born to Love is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Born to Love Joel McCrea, Constance Bennett, Billy Bevan Born to Love is a 1931 American melodrama film, directed by Paul L. Stein from an original screenplay by Ernest Pascal. It starred Constance Bennett, Joel McCrea and Paul Cavanagh in a lovers' ...more

46
1 0
Rockabye is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Rockabye Walter Pidgeon, Joel McCrea, Paul Lukas Rockabye is a 1932 American drama film directed by George Cukor. The screenplay by Jane Murfin is based on a play by Lucia Bronder.

47
1 0
A Farewell to Arms is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added A Farewell to Arms Gary Cooper, Helen Hayes, Adolphe Menjou A Farewell to Arms is a 1932 American romance drama film directed by Frank Borzage and starring Helen Hayes, Gary Cooper, and Adolphe Menjou. Based on the 1929 semi-autobiographical novel A ...more

48
1 0
Rose of Washington Square is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Rose of Washington Square Tyrone Power, Al Jolson, Louis Prima Rose of Washington Square is a 1939 American musical drama film. Set in 1920s New York City, it focuses on singer Rose Sargent and her turbulent relationship with con artist Barton DeWitt ...more

49
1 0
Sin Takes a Holiday is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Sin Takes a Holiday Basil Rathbone, Constance Bennett, ZaSu Pitts Sin Takes a Holiday is a 1930 American romantic comedy film, directed by Paul L. Stein, from a screenplay by Horace Jackson, based on a story by Robert Milton and Dorothy Cairns. It starred ...more

50
1 0
Bed of Roses is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Bed of Roses Joel McCrea, Constance Bennett, Pert Kelton Bed of Roses is a Pre-Code comedy film directed by Gregory La Cava and starring Constance Bennett. The picture was released by RKO Radio Pictures.