The Best '30s Romance Movies

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!
Ranked by
  • It Happened One Night
    Claudette Colbert, Clark Gable, Walter Connolly
    • Released: 1934
    • Directed by: Frank Capra
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  • Gone with the Wind
    Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard
    • Released: 1939
    • Directed by: Victor Fleming
  • Wuthering Heights
    Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, David Niven
    • Released: 1939
    • Directed by: William Wyler
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  • Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
    Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, George Bancroft
    • Released: 1936
    • Directed by: Frank Capra
  • Dark Victory
    Bette Davis, George Brent, Humphrey Bogart
    • Released: 1939
    • Directed by: Edmund Goulding
  • Marie Antoinette
    Tyrone Power, Norma Shearer, John Barrymore
    • Released: 1938
    • Directed by: W. S. Van Dyke, Julien Duvivier
  • Holiday
    Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Doris Nolan
    • Released: 1938
    • Directed by: George Cukor
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  • Grand Hotel
    Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, John Barrymore
    • Released: 1932
    • Directed by: Edmund Goulding
  • Gold Diggers of 1933
    Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell
    • Released: 1933
    • Directed by: Mervyn LeRoy
  • Bringing Up Baby
    Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charlie Ruggles
    • Released: 1938
    • Directed by: Howard Hawks
  • 42nd Street
    Ruby Keeler, Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels
    • Released: 1933
    • Directed by: Lloyd Bacon
  • Shall We Dance
    Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Eric Blore
    • Released: 1937
    • Directed by: Mark Sandrich
  • Bachelor Mother
    Ginger Rogers, David Niven, Charles Coburn
    • Released: 1939
    • Directed by: Garson Kanin
  • Swing Time
    Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Victor Moore
    • Released: 1936
    • Directed by: George Stevens
  • Top Hat
    Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton
    • Released: 1935
    • Directed by: Mark Sandrich
  • Jezebel
    Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, George Brent
    • Released: 1938
    • Directed by: William Wyler
  • My Man Godfrey
    William Powell, Carol Lombard, Alice Brady
    • Released: 1936
    • Directed by: Gregory La Cava
  • You Can't Take It With You
    Jean Arthur, Lionel Barrymore, James Stewart
    • Released: 1938
    • Directed by: Frank Capra
  • The Gay Divorcee
    Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Alice Brady
    • Released: 1934
    • Directed by: Mark Sandrich
  • The Doctor Takes a Wife
    Ray Milland, Loretta Young, Edmund Gwenn
    • Released: 1940
    • Directed by: Alexander Hall
  • Ninotchka
    Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire
    • Released: 1939
    • Directed by: Ernst Lubitsch
  • Love Affair
    Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer, Maria Ouspenskaya
    • Released: 1939
    • Directed by: Leo McCarey
  • Topper
    Cary Grant, Constance Bennett, Roland Young
    • Released: 1937
    • Directed by: Norman Z. McLeod
  • Day-Time Wife
    Tyrone Power
    • Released: 1939
    • Directed by: Gregory Ratoff

    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.

  • Only Angels Have Wings
    Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Rita Hayworth
    • Released: 1939
    • Directed by: Howard Hawks