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118 voters

The Best Movies of 1931

Updated September 24, 2019 5.8k votes 118 voters 3k views203 items

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.
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  • 1
    Irene Dunne, Edna May Oliver
    59
    13

    Released1931

    Directed byWesley Ruggles

    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 Howard  ...more

    #167 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#90 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picture#359 of 552 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

  • 2
    Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy
    60
    14

    Released1931

    Directed byJames Parrott

    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.  ...more
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  • 3
    Bela Lugosi, Tod Browning
    42
    12

    Released1931

    Directed byTod Browning, Karl Freund

    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 Hamilton  ...more

    #21 of 138 The Best Movies Based On Plays#88 of 379 The Best Movies Based On Books#63 of 718 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

  • 4
    Gary Cooper, Eugene Pallette
    33
    10

    Released1931

    Directed byOtto Brower, David Burton

    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 by  ...more
  • 5
    Boris Karloff, John Barrymore
    47
    26

    Released1931

    Directed byMichael Curtiz

    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, Charles  ...more
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  • 6
    William Powell, nm0129894
    28
    8

    Released1931

    Directed byAlfred E. Green

    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.  ...more
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  • 7
    Clark Gable, Robert Montgomery
    25
    10

    Released1931

    Directed byJack Conway

    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 Constance  ...more
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  • 8
    Jean Harlow, James Cagney
    32
    18

    Released1931

    Directed byWilliam A. Wellman

    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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    #36 of 130 The Best Mafia Films Of All Time#106 of 225 The Best Black And White Movies Ever Made#9 of 63 The Best James Cagney Movies

  • 9
    Hoot Gibson, Lina Basquette
    21
    6

    Released1931

    Directed byOtto Brower

    The Hard Hombre is a 1931 American Western film directed by Otto Brower and starring rodeo champion Hoot Gibson. The film follows a simpleton rancher who is mistaken for the notorious outlaw known as  ...more
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  • 10
    Lupita Tovar, Carlos Villarías
    17
    6

    Released1931

    Directed byGeorge Melford

    Drácula is a 1931 American Spanish-language horror film directed by George Melford. It is an adaptation of the 1897 novel of the same name by Bram Stoker and was filmed at night on the same sets that  ...more
  • 11
    George Brent, Frankie Darro
    28
    20

    Released1931

    Directed byBenjamin H. Kline, Armand Schaefer

    The Lightning Warrior is a 1931 American Mascot movie serial starring Rin Tin Tin in his last role. It is regarded as one of the better Mascot serials. A number of the production's outdoor action  ...more
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  • 12
    Florence Gill
    15
    5

    Released1931

    Directed byWilfred Jackson

    The Ugly Duckling is an animated black-and-white cartoon released by Walt Disney in 1931 as part of the Silly Symphonies series. This cartoon was later remade into a color version released in 1939.  ...more
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  • 13
    Boris Karloff, Harry Carey
    18
    9

    Released1931

    Directed byB. Reeves Eason, Ford Beebe

    The Vanishing Legion is a 1931 Mascot film serial directed by Ford Beebe and B. Reeves Eason. The stars Harry Carey and Edwina Booth were originally intended to be in the studio's previous serial,  ...more
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  • 14
    Mae Busch, Matthew Beard
    21
    13

    Released1931

    Directed byRobert F. McGowan

    Fly My Kite is a 1931 Our Gang short comedy film directed by Robert F. McGowan. It was the 107th Our Gang short that was released.  ...more
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  • 15
    Fay Wray, George "Gabby" Hayes
    30
    25

    Released1931

    Directed byFrank Capra

    Dirigible is a 1931 American adventure film directed by Frank Capra for Columbia Pictures and starring Jack Holt, Ralph Graves and Fay Wray. The picture focuses on the competition between naval  ...more
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  • 16
    William Desmond, Chief Thunderbird
    30
    25

    Released1931

    Directed byRay Taylor

    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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  • 17
    Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy
    30
    25

    Released1931

    Directed byJames W. Horne

    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 remake  ...more
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  • 18
    Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy
    29
    24

    Released1931

    Directed byJames W. Horne

    One Good Turn is a 1931 short comedy film starring Laurel and Hardy.  ...more
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  • 19
    Clark Gable, Joan Crawford
    29
    25

    Released1931

    Directed byHarry Beaumont

    Laughing Sinners Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer feature film starring Joan Crawford and Clark Gable in a story about a cafe entertainer who experiences spiritual redemption. The dialogue by Martin Flavin was  ...more
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  • 20
    Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery
    30
    26

    Released1931

    Directed bySidney Franklin

    Private Lives is a 1931 American comedy film directed by Sidney Franklin. The screenplay by Hanns Kräly and Richard Schayer is based on the 1930 play Private Lives by Noël Coward.  ...more
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  • 21
    Barbara Stanwyck, David Manners
    34
    32

    Released1931

    Directed byFrank Capra

    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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  • 22
    Helen Hayes, Robert Young
    29
    26

    Released1931

    Directed byEdgar Selwyn

    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 Lullaby by  ...more
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  • 23
    Boris Karloff, Edward G. Robinson
    29
    26

    Released1931

    Directed byMervyn LeRoy

    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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  • 24
    Bette Davis, Doris Lloyd
    30
    27

    Released1931

    Directed byJames Whale

    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 remade  ...more
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  • 25
    Jackie Cooper, Bobby Hutchins
    18
    13

    Released1931

    Directed byRobert F. McGowan

    Love Business is a 1931 Our Gang short comedy film directed by Robert F. McGowan. It was the 104th Our Gang short that was released.  ...more
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