Graveyard Shift The Best Golden Age of Horror Movies  

Ranker Horror
1.9k votes 191 voters 8.3k views 38 items

List Rules Best horror films from Hollywood's Golden Age.

The Golden Age of Hollywood began at the end of the silent era in American cinema in the later part of the 1920s and lasted all the way through to the 1960s. The movies produced in the Golden Age were classic black and white films that have stood the test of time as being the greatest in the history of movies! Warner Brothers, Twentieth Century Fox and Paramount were all introduced during this key time in movie history, and some of Hollywood’s greatest actors and actresses were also introduced, including Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Spencer Tracy and John Wayne.

This era also resulted in some of the best horror movies. The movies on this list are still considered some of the best in the industry, and no matter what kind of horror you're looking for, you're sure to find it.

This list has the best horror movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood, including: Freaks, The Wolf Man, Psycho, Dracula, Night of the Living Dead, and King Kong.

Vote for your favorite horror flick below, or add any of your favorites from the Golden Age that aren't already on the list.
list ordered by
1
90 7
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Boris Karloff, John Boles, Colin Clive
Frankenstein is a 1931 horror monster film from Universal Pictures directed by James Whale and adapted from the play by Peggy Webling, which in turn is based on the novel of the same name by ...more
2
88 14
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Golden Age of Horror Movies
Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins
Psycho is a 1960 American horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film centers on an encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane, who ends up at a secluded motel after taking money from ...more
3
73 10
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Bela Lugosi, Claude Rains, Lon Chaney
The Wolf Man is a 1941 American drama horror film written by Curt Siodmak and produced and directed by George Waggner. The film stars Lon Chaney, Jr. as a werewolf named "The Wolf Man" ...more
4
81 13
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Boris Karloff, Walter Brennan, Billy Barty
Bride of Frankenstein is a 1935 American horror film, the first sequel to Frankenstein. Bride of Frankenstein was directed by James Whale and stars Boris Karloff as The Monster, Elsa Lanchester ...more
5
87 15
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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
6
69 10
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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
7
58 8
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OCD Man added Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, Julie Adams
Creature from the Black Lagoon is a 1954 monster horror 3-D film in black-and-white, directed by Jack Arnold and starring Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno and Whit ...more
8
76 17
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George A. Romero, Duane Jones, Bill Hinzman
Night of the Living Dead is a 1968 American independent zombie horror film directed by George A. Romero, starring Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea and Karl Hardman. It premiered on October 1, 1968, and ...more
9
63 15
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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
10
50 12
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Fredric March, Wallace Beery, Miriam Hopkins
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a 1931 American Pre-Code horror film directed by Rouben Mamoulian and starring Fredric March. The film is an adaptation of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, ...more
11
53 15
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Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, Mary Philbin
The Phantom of the Opera is a 1925 American silent horror film adaptation of Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, directed by Rupert Julian and starring Lon Chaney, Sr. ...more
12
47 15
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Wallace Ford, Edward Brophy, Roscoe Ates
Freaks is a 1932 American horror film in which the eponymous characters were played by people who worked as carnival sideshow performers and had real deformities. The original version was ...more
13
45 15
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Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, Una O'Connor
The Invisible Man is a 1933 science fiction film based on H. G. Wells' science fiction novel The Invisible Man, published in 1897, as adapted by R. C. Sherriff, Philip Wylie and Preston Sturges, ...more
14
35 8
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The Werewolf of London
15
39 12
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Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Basil Rathbone
Son of Frankenstein is a horror monster film and is the third film in Universal Studios' Frankenstein series and the last to feature Boris Karloff as the Monster as well as the first to feature ...more
16
37 11
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Lon Chaney, Jr., John Carradine
House of Dracula is an American horror film released by Universal Pictures Company in 1945. It was a direct sequel to House of Frankenstein and continued the theme of combining Universal's three ...more
17
39 17
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Vincent Price, Bela Lugosi, Lou Costello
Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein, or Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein —although the film is usually referred to as simply Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein—is a 1948 ...more
18
27 8
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OCD Man added Lon Chaney, Ernest Torrence, Raymond Hatton
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a 1923 American film starring Lon Chaney, directed by Wallace Worsley, and produced by Carl Laemmle and Irving Thalberg. The supporting cast includes Patsy Ruth ...more
19
29 10
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Boris Karloff, Charles Laughton, Gloria Stuart
The Old Dark House is an American comedy and horror film directed by James Whale and starring Boris Karloff. The film is based on the 1927 novel Benighted by J. B. Priestley. The supporting cast ...more
20
31 12
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Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Ian Wolfe
The Raven is a 1935 American horror film directed by Lew Landers and starring Boris Karloff and Béla Lugosi. The picture revolves around Edgar Allan Poe's famous homonymous poem, ...more
21
29 11
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Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners
Not to be confused with the 1941 version also featuring Bela Lugosi. The Black Cat is a 1934 horror film that became Universal Pictures' biggest box office hit of the year. The picture was the ...more
22
29 13
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Boris Karloff, Frances Dee, Tom Conway
I Walked with a Zombie is a 1943 horror film directed by Jacques Tourneur. It was the second horror film from producer Val Lewton for RKO Pictures.
23
28 13
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Angela Lansbury, Donna Reed, George Sanders
The Picture of Dorian Gray is a 1945 American horror-drama film based on Oscar Wilde's 1890 novel of the same name. Released in March 1945 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the film is directed by Albert ...more
24
25 12
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Bela Lugosi, Charles Laughton, Randolph Scott
Island of Lost Souls is a 1932 American science fiction horror film starring Charles Laughton, Richard Arlen, Leila Hyams, Bela Lugosi and Kathleen Burke as the Panther Woman. The film was ...more
25
25 15
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Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a 1920 German silent horror film, directed by Robert Wiene and written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. Considered the quintessential work of German Expressionist ...more