film The Best Movies of 1931  

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1.8k votes 34 voters 1.6k views 203 items Embed

List of the best movies of 1931, with movie trailers when available. These top movies of 1931 are listed by popularity, so the movies with the most votes are at the top. This list consists of all different movie genres, but each film was released in 1931. You can filter this list of films that came out in 1931 for various bits of information, such as who directed the movie and what genre it is. Think the best 1931 movie isn't as high as it should be? Vote up your favorite so it will rise to the top.

Movies include everything from Dracula to Frankenstein.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best movies from 1931?" and "What are the most popular movies of 1931?"

1931 was a great year for movies, since a lot of classic films were released in 1931. This is a crowd sourced list that has been voted on by many people, so these top films of 1931 aren't just one persons opinion.
list ordered by

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City Lights Charlie Chaplin, Jean Harlow, Virginia Cherrill 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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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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The Smiling Lieutenant Claudette Colbert, Maurice Chevalier, Charlie Ruggles The Smiling Lieutenant is an American film directed by Ernst Lubitsch, starring Maurice Chevalier and Claudette Colbert, and released by Paramount Pictures. Made in the Pre-Code era, it was ...more

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The Front Page Adolphe Menjou, Mary Brian, Edward Everett Horton The Front Page is a 1931 American comedy film, directed by Lewis Milestone and starring Adolphe Menjou and Pat O'Brien. Based on a Broadway play of the same name, the film was produced by Howard ...more

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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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M Peter Lorre, Theo Lingen, Georg John M is a 1931 German drama-thriller film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Peter Lorre. It was written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou and was the director's first sound film. Now ...more

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11 2
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Monkey Business Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Thelma Todd Monkey Business is a 1931 comedy film. It is the third of the Marx Brothers' released movies, and the first not to be an adaptation of one of their Broadway shows. The film stars the four ...more

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12 3
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Pardon Us Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Wilfred Lucas Pardon Us is Laurel and Hardy's first feature length comedy film. It was produced by Hal Roach and Stan Laurel, directed by James Parrott, and originally distributed by MGM in 1931.

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The Miracle Woman Barbara Stanwyck, David Manners, Sam Hardy The Miracle Woman is a 1931 American drama film directed by Frank Capra and starring Barbara Stanwyck, David Manners, and Sam Hardy. Based on the play Bless You Sister by John Meehan and Robert ...more

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13 4
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The Public Enemy Jean Harlow, James Cagney, Joan Blondell The Public Enemy is a 1931 American all-talking pre-code crime film produced and distributed by Warner Brothers. The film was directed by William A. Wellman and stars James Cagney, Jean Harlow, ...more

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Possessed Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Wallace Ford Possessed is a Pre-Code 1931 drama film directed by Clarence Brown, starring Joan Crawford and Clark Gable, and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The film is the story of Marian Martin, a factory ...more

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12 5
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Little Caesar Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks^! Jr., Glenda Farrell Little Caesar is a 1931 Warner Bros. Pre-Code crime film that tells the story of a hoodlum who ascends the ranks of organized crime until he reaches its upper echelons. Directed by Mervyn LeRoy ...more

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Safe in Hell Rondo Hatton, Charles Middleton, Donald Cook Safe in Hell is a 1931 pre-Code American thriller film directed by William Wellman and starring Dorothy Mackaill and Donald Cook with featured performances by Morgan Wallace, Ralf Harolde, Noble ...more

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Waterloo Bridge Bette Davis, Doris Lloyd, Douglass Montgomery Waterloo Bridge is a 1931 American drama film directed by James Whale. The screenplay by Benn Levy and Tom Reed is based on the 1930 play of the same title by Robert E. Sherwood. The film was ...more

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The Mad Genius Boris Karloff, John Barrymore, Carmel Myers The Mad Genius is an all-talking pre-code horror drama film produced and distributed by Warner Bros. and directed by Michael Curtiz. The film stars John Barrymore, Marian Marsh, Donald Cook, ...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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The Tip-Off Ginger Rogers, Mike Donlin, Eddie Quillan The Tip-Off is a 1931 comedy crime film based on the story by George Kibbe Turner, written by Earl Baldwin and directed by Albert S. Rogell.

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Honor Among Lovers Ginger Rogers, Claudette Colbert, Fredric March Honor Among Lovers is a 1931 drama film made by Paramount Pictures, directed by Dorothy Arzner. The film stars Claudette Colbert, Fredric March, Monroe Owsley, Charles Ruggles and Ginger

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7 2
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Svengali John Barrymore, Donald Crisp, Carmel Myers Svengali is an all-talking pre-code drama/horror film produced and distributed by Warner Brothers. The film stars John Barrymore, Marian Marsh, and Bramwell Fletcher. It was directed by Archie ...more

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The Maltese Falcon Thelma Todd, William Dieterle, Bebe Daniels The Maltese Falcon is an American pre-code crime film, based on the novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett and directed by Roy Del Ruth. The film stars Ricardo Cortez as private detective ...more

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Five Star Final Boris Karloff, Edward G. Robinson, H.B. Warner Five Star Final is a 1931 American film about crime and the excesses of tabloid journalism. The picture was written by Robert Lord and Byron Morgan from the play of the same name by Louis ...more

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9 4
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The Sin of Madelon Claudet Helen Hayes, Robert Young, Marie Prevost The Sin of Madelon Claudet is a 1931 American drama film directed by Edgar Selwyn and starring Helen Hayes. The screenplay by Charles MacArthur and Ben Hecht was adapted from the play The ...more

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9 4
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Beau Hunks Jean Harlow, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy Beau Hunks is a 1931 movie starring Laurel and Hardy and directed by James W. Horne. Beau Hunks is a reference to Beau Geste, and to the common ethnic slur of the time, "bohunk". At 37 ...more

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The Skin Game Edmund Gwenn, Edward Chapman, George Bancroft The Skin Game is a British feature film by Alfred Hitchcock, based on a play by John Galsworthy and produced by British International Pictures. The story revolves around two rival families, the ...more

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10 5
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Night Nurse Clark Gable, Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Blondell Night Nurse is a 1931 American pre-code crime drama and mystery film produced and distributed by Warner Bros. and directed by William A. Wellman. The film stars Barbara Stanwyck, Ben Lyon, Joan ...more

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Street Scene Sylvia Sidney, Beulah Bondi, Estelle Taylor Street Scene is a black-and-white drama film produced by Samuel Goldwyn and directed by King Vidor. With a screenplay by Elmer Rice adapted from his Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Street Scene ...more

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A Free Soul Clark Gable, Norma Shearer, Lionel Barrymore A Free Soul is a 1931 Pre-Code film which tells the story of an alcoholic defense attorney who must defend his daughter's ex-boyfriend on a charge of murdering the mobster she had started a ...more

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The Bad Sister Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Conrad Nagel The Bad Sister is a 1931 American drama film directed by Hobart Henley. The screenplay by Edwin H. Knopf, Tom Reed, and Raymond L. Schrock is based on the 1913 novel The Flirt by Booth ...more

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Cimarron Irene Dunne, Edna May Oliver, Richard Dix Cimarron is a 1931 Pre-Code Western film directed by Wesley Ruggles, starring Richard Dix and Irene Dunne, and featuring Estelle Taylor and Roscoe Ates. The Oscar winning script was written by ...more

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Goldie Jean Harlow, Spencer Tracy, Billy Barty Goldie is a 1931 black-and-white romantic comedy film. The script was written by Paul Perez and Gene Towne, and directed by Benjamin Stoloff. It was made before the Hays Code was rigidly ...more

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God's Gift to Women Joan Blondell, Louise Brooks, Laura La Plante God's Gift to Women is an all-talking pre-code musical romantic comedy film released by Warner Brothers, and starring Frank Fay, Laura LaPlante, Louise Brooks and Joan Blondell. The film was ...more

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The Secret Six Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Ralph Bellamy The Secret Six is a fast-paced 1931 American Pre-Code crime film starring Wallace Beery as "Slaughterhouse Scorpio", a character very loosely based on Al Capone, and featuring Lewis ...more

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8 4
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Chickens Come Home Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Thelma Todd Chickens Come Home is a 1931 short film starring Laurel and Hardy, directed by James W. Horne and produced by Hal Roach. It was shot in January, 1931 and released on February 21, 1931. It is a ...more

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7 3
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Fighting Caravans Gary Cooper, Eugene Pallette, Ernest Torrence Fighting Caravans is a 1931 American Western film directed by Otto Brower and David Burton and starring Gary Cooper, Lili Damita, and Ernest Torrence. Based on the 1929 novel Fighting Caravans ...more

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Platinum Blonde 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

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Sporting Blood Clark Gable, Ernest Torrence, Madge Evans Sporting Blood is a 1931 American MGM sports drama film directed by Charles Brabin. The film stars Clark Gable, Ernest Torrence and Madge Evans.

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Kameradschaft Ernst Busch Comradeship is a 1931 dramatic directed by Austrian director G. W. Pabst. The French-German co-production drama is noted for combining expressionism and realism. The picture concerns a mine ...more

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City Streets Gary Cooper, Sylvia Sidney, Paul Lukas City Streets is a 1931 American crime film noir directed by Rouben Mamoulian and starring Gary Cooper, Sylvia Sidney and Paul Lukas. Based on a story by Dashiell Hammett, this Pre-Code crime ...more

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The Champ Jackie Cooper, Wallace Beery, Irene Rich The Champ is a 1931 American film directed by King Vidor from a screenplay by Frances Marion, Leonard Praskins and Wanda Tuchock, and starring Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper, that tells the ...more

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The Easiest Way Clark Gable, Robert Montgomery, Adolphe Menjou The Easiest Way is a 1931 American MGM drama film directed by Jack Conway. Adapted from the 1909 play of the same name written by Eugene Walter and directed by David Belasco, the film stars ...more

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East Lynne East Lynne is an English sensation novel of 1861 by Ellen Wood. A Victorian bestseller, it is remembered chiefly for its elaborate and implausible plot, centreing on infidelity and double ...more

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Suicide Fleet Ginger Rogers, William Boyd, James Gleason Suicide Fleet is a 1931 comedy war-drama film based from the story by Herbert A. Jones, written by Lew Lipton and directed by Albert S. Rogell.

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The Man in Possession Robert Montgomery, Reginald Owen, C. Aubrey Smith The Man in Possession is a 1931 comedy film written by H.M. Harwood and directed by Sam Wood.

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Bachelor Apartment Irene Dunne, Bess Flowers, Arline Judge Bachelor Apartment is a 1931 RKO comedy/romance film directed by and starring Lowell Sherman as a womanizing playboy who falls in love with Irene Dunne's honest working girl. The credits for the ...more

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The Struggle Helen Mack, Charles Richman, Zita Johann The Struggle is a sound feature film directed by D. W. Griffith, and was his only other full-sound film besides Abraham Lincoln. After several films directed by Griffith failed at the box ...more

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The Road to Singapore William Powell, nm0129894, Doris Kenyon The Road to Singapore is a 1931 [Pre-Code] romantic drama film starring William Powell and Doris Kenyon, who play two thirds of a romantic triangle, along with Louis Calhern.

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One Good Turn Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Billy Gilbert One Good Turn is a 1931 short comedy film starring Laurel and Hardy.

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Battling with Buffalo Bill William Desmond, Chief Thunderbird, Rex Bell Battling with Buffalo Bill is a 1931 American Western serial film directed by Ray Taylor and starring Tom Tyler, Lucile Browne, William Desmond, Rex Bell, and Francis Ford. Based on the book The ...more

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8 5
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Body and Soul Humphrey Bogart, Myrna Loy, Charles Farrell Body and Soul is an action and drama film directed by Alfred Santell. The story, adapted from the stage play Squadrons by Elliott White Springs and A.E. Thomas, depicts Royal Air Force pilots in ...more

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The Squaw Man Warner Baxter, Eleanor Boardman The Squaw Man is a film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. It was the third version of the same play that he filmed, and the first in sound. It stars Warner Baxter in the leading role.