Horror The Best Golden Age of Horror Movies  

Ranker Horror
1.5k votes 162 voters 7k 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.

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Frankenstein 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

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Psycho is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Golden Age of Horror Movies
Psycho Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins Psycho is a 1960 Psychological thriller and horror film written by Joseph Stefano and directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

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The Wolf Man 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

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OCD Man added Creature from the Black Lagoon 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

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Bride of Frankenstein 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

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Dracula 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

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Night of the Living Dead 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

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The Mummy 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

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King Kong 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

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 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

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House of Dracula 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

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The Invisible Man 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

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The Phantom of the Opera 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

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Son of Frankenstein 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

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Freaks 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

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The Old Dark House 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

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I Walked with a Zombie 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.

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OCD Man added The Hunchback of Notre Dame 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

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The Raven 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

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Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein 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

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The Black Cat 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

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Cat People Alan Napier, Simone Simon, Tom Conway Cat People is a 1942 horror film produced by Val Lewton and directed by Jacques Tourneur. DeWitt Bodeen wrote the original screenplay which was based on Val Lewton's short story The Bagheeta ...more

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The Picture of Dorian Gray 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

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Island of Lost Souls 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

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The Uninvited Ray Milland, Gail Russell, Donald Crisp The Uninvited is a 1944 American supernatural mystery/romance directed by Lewis Allen in his feature film debut. It is based on the Dorothy Macardle novel Uneasy Freehold. The film stars Ray ...more

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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari 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

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Dracula's Daughter Hedda Hopper, Otto Kruger, Halliwell Hobbes Dracula's Daughter is a 1936 American vampire horror film produced by Universal Studios, a sequel to the 1931 film Dracula. Directed by Lambert Hillyer from a screenplay by Garrett Fort, the ...more

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Cry of the Werewolf Nina Foch, Osa Massen Cry of the Werewolf, also known as Daughter of the Werewolf, is a 1944 film starring Nina Foch, based on a story by Griffin Jay and directed by Henry Levin.

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Mystery of the Wax Museum Fay Wray, Lionel Atwill, Glenda Farrell Mystery of the Wax Museum is a 1933 American mystery horror-thriller film released by Warner Bros. in two-color Technicolor and directed by Michael Curtiz. The film stars Lionel Atwill, Fay ...more

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The Ghoul Boris Karloff, Ralph Richardson, Cedric Hardwicke The Ghoul is a British horror film starring Boris Karloff, Cedric Hardwicke, Ernest Thesiger, and Ralph Richardson, making his film debut.

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RICH14420 added Black Sunday

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The Cat and the Canary Gertrude Astor, Tully Marshall, Flora Finch The Cat and the Canary is an American silent horror film adaptation of John Willard's 1922 black comedy play of the same name. Directed by German Expressionist filmmaker Paul Leni, the film ...more

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Dead of Night Michael Redgrave, Googie Withers, Mervyn Johns Dead of Night is a British portmanteau horror film made by Ealing Studios; the individual stories were directed by Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden and Robert Hamer. The film ...more

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The Seventh Victim Kim Hunter, Tom Conway, Evelyn Brent The Seventh Victim is a 1943 horror and film noir starring Tom Conway, Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell, Kim Hunter, and Hugh Beaumont, directed by Mark Robson, and produced by Val Lewton for RKO ...more

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Flesh and Fantasy Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Charles Boyer Flesh and Fantasy is a 1943 American anthology film directed by Julien Duvivier, starring Edward G. Robinson, Charles Boyer and Barbara Stanwyck. The making of this film was inspired by the ...more

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Mad Love Peter Lorre, Colin Clive, Sara Haden Mad Love is a 1935 American horror film, an adaptation of Maurice Renard's story The Hands of Orlac. It was directed by German-émigré film maker Karl Freund, and stars Peter Lorre ...more

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The Golem Paul Wegener, Henrik Galeen, Lyda Salmonova Der Golem is a 1915 silent horror film written and directed by Paul Wegener and Henrik Galeen. It is inspired by ancient Jewish legend. It is the first of a trilogy by Wegener, followed by The ...more