Entertainment

The Best '30s Romance Movies  

Ranker Film
904 votes 167 voters 7k views 80 items

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
Chance at Heaven is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added 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
2
Platinum Blonde is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Jean Harlow, Loretta Young, Halliwell Hobbes
Platinum Blonde is a 1931 American romantic comedy motion picture starring Jean Harlow, Robert Williams, and Loretta Young. The film was written by Jo Swerling and directed by Frank Capra. ...more
3
Made for Each Other is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added James Stewart, Carole Lombard, Charles Coburn
Made for Each Other is a 1939 drama film directed by John Cromwell, produced by David O. Selznick, and starring Carole Lombard, James Stewart and Charles Coburn. Lombard and Stewart portray a ...more
4
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
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
5
Internes Can't Take Money is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added 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
6
Man's Castle is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
ardensokolowski added Man's Castle Spencer Tracy, Loretta Young, Glenda Farrell

Man's Castle is a 1933 film directed by Frank Borzage about a man and woman who fall in love while living in a Depression era Hooverville

Man's Castle is a 1933 romantic drama film directed by Frank Borzage.
7
Gambling Lady is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Pat O'Brien
Gambling Lady is a 1934 American drama film directed by Archie Mayo, and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea.
8
A Farewell to Arms is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added 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
9
Bed of Roses is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added 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.
10
It Happened One Night is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
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
11
The Silver Cord is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
Design for Living is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added 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
13
Topper is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added 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
14
Girls About Town is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added 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.
15
Two in a Crowd is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added 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
16
Bird of Paradise is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added 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
17
Anna Karenina is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added Greta Garbo, Basil Rathbone, Maureen O'Sullivan
Anna Karenina is a 1935 film adaptation of the novel Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and directed by Clarence Brown. The film stars Greta Garbo, Fredric March, Basil Rathbone and Maureen ...more
18
She Wouldn't Say Yes is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
AnupNadkarni added She Wouldn't Say Yes Rosalind Russell, Darren McGavin, Adele Jergens
She Wouldn't Say Yes is a 1945 romantic-comedy film screenplay by Virginia Van Upp, John Jacoby and Sarett Tobias, story by László Görög and Wilhelm Thiele, and directed
19
The Doctor Takes a Wife is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
AnupNadkarni added Ray Milland, Loretta Young, Edmund Gwenn
The Doctor Takes a Wife is a 1940 comedy film directed by Alexander Hall.
20
Rockabye is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added 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.
21
Born to Love is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
The Richest Girl in the World is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added 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
23
Sin Takes a Holiday is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added 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
24
Rose of Washington Square is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '30s Romance Movies
Lucy Hall added 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
25
Kept Husbands is listed (or ranked) 25 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