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The Best '30s Romantic Comedies 

Ranker Film
Updated October 2, 2019 478 votes 114 voters 3k views 37 items

Love stories are some of the oldest stories told. For proof, look no further than Hollywood in the 1930s. This was truly the golden age of cinema in the United States, and many beloved romantic comedies were produced in this era. Some of the funniest romantic movies from the 30s were inspired by plays, while others featured lavish musical numbers. A number of the greatest '30s romantic comedies made their stars household names.

What film should top this list of the greatest '30s romantic comedies? Maybe the honors should go to City Lights, starring Charlie Chaplin. Cinema was transitioning into talkies, but Chaplin preferred to remain silent for this classic movie. Lucille Ball may be best known for starring in I Love Lucy, but she also captivated moviegoers with a small part in the 1935 film Top Hat. Frank Capra's You Can't Take It with You has charmed audiences for decades with its screwball take on love and family. Other great movies that are featured on this top '30s romantic comedies list include My Man Godfrey and Trouble in Paradise.

Which 1930s romantic comedy is the best? Share your opinion by giving your favorite films a thumbs up and add any great movies that are missing.

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list ordered by
1
It Happened One Night is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Ward Bond

Released: 1934

Directed by: Frank Capra

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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2
My Man Godfrey is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
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
3
Bringing Up Baby is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
RobLein added 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
Top Hat is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
Lucille Ball, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire

Released: 1935

Directed by: Mark Sandrich

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

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5
Nothing Sacred is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
Carole Lombard, Hattie McDaniel, Margaret Hamilton

Released: 1937

Directed by: William A. Wellman

Nothing Sacred is a 1937 Technicolor screwball comedy film directed by William A. Wellman, produced by David O. Selznick, and starring Carole Lombard and Fredric March. with a supporting cast ...more

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6
City Lights is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
Charlie Chaplin, Jean Harlow, Virginia Cherrill

Released: 1931

Directed by: Charlie Chaplin

City Lights is a 1931 American romantic comedy film written by, directed by, and starring Charlie Chaplin. The story follows the misadventures of Chaplin's Tramp as he falls in love with a blind ...more

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7
Ninotchka is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
Greta Garbo, Bela Lugosi, Melvyn Douglas

Released: 1939

Directed by: Ernst Lubitsch

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
8
Pygmalion is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
Wendy Hiller, Leslie Howard, Wilfrid Lawson

Released: 1938

Directed by: Leslie Howard, Anthony Asquith

Pygmalion is a 1938 British film based on the George Bernard Shaw play of the same title, and adapted by him for the screen. It stars Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller. The film was a financial and ...more
9
Shall We Dance is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Edward Everett Horton

Released: 1937

Directed by: Mark Sandrich

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
10
Bachelor Mother is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
Ginger Rogers, David Niven, Charles Coburn

Released: 1939

Directed by: Garson Kanin

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

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11
Platinum Blonde is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
Jean Harlow, Loretta Young, Halliwell Hobbes

Released: 1931

Directed by: Frank Capra

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
12
Vivacious Lady is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
James Stewart, Ginger Rogers, Hattie McDaniel

Released: 1938

Directed by: George Stevens

Vivacious Lady is a 1938 American black-and-white romantic comedy film starring Ginger Rogers and James Stewart, produced and directed by George Stevens, and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The ...more
13
Easy Living is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
Ray Milland, Jean Arthur, William Demarest

Released: 1937

Directed by: Mitchell Leisen

Easy Living is an American screwball comedy film, directed by Mitchell Leisen, written by Preston Sturges from a story by Vera Caspary, and starring Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold, and Ray Milland. ...more
14
Twentieth Century is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
Carole Lombard, John Barrymore, Charles Lane

Released: 1934

Directed by: Howard Hawks

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
15
Holiday is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Lew Ayres

Released: 1938

Directed by: George Cukor

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
16
You Can't Take It With Y... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
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

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17
Second Honeymoon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
PietraChandlerRadcliff added Tyrone Power, Loretta Young

Released: 1937

Directed by: Walter Lang

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
18
Libeled Lady is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
vp81955 added 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
19
Midnight is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, John Barrymore

Released: 1939

Directed by: Mitchell Leisen

Midnight is a 1939 American screwball comedy film directed by Mitchell Leisen and starring Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, John Barrymore, Francis Lederer, Mary Astor, and Elaine Barrie. Written ...more
20
The Lady Vanishes is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas

Released: 1938

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

The Lady Vanishes is a 1938 British comic thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas and Dame May Whitty. Written by Sidney Gilliat ...more
21
Theodora Goes Wild is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
Irene Dunne, Melvyn Douglas, Thomas Mitchell

Released: 1936

Directed by: Richard Boleslawski

Theodora Goes Wild is a 1936 American romantic comedy film that tells the story of a small town which is incensed by a risqué novel, little knowing that it was written under a pseudonym ...more
22
Day-Time Wife is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
PietraChandlerRadcliff added Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Warren William

Released: 1939

Directed by: Gregory Ratoff

Day-Time Wife is a 1939 Comedy directed by Gregory Ratoff, starring Tyrone Power and Linda Darnell. Linda Darnell and Tyrone Power play Jane and Ken Norton, a married couple approaching their ...more
23
Trouble in Paradise is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
Herbert Marshall, Charlie Ruggles, Miriam Hopkins

Released: 1932

Directed by: Ernst Lubitsch

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

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24
Jewel Robbery is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
William Powell, Kay Francis

Released: 1932

Directed by: William Dieterle

Jewel Robbery is a 1932 American comedy-mystery film, directed by William Dieterle and starring William Powell and Kay Francis. It is based on the 1931 Hungarian play Ekszerrablás a ...more
25
Café Metropole is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '30s Romantic Comedies
PietraChandlerRadcliff added Café Metropole Tyrone Power, Loretta Young, Adolphe Menjou

Released: 1937

Directed by: Edward H. Griffith

Café Metropole is a 1937 film directed by Edward H. Griffith.