Entertainment

The Best Movies of 1931  

Ranker Film
2.4k votes 80 voters 2.3k views 203 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.
list ordered by
1
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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
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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
3
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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
4
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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
5
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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
6
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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
7
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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
8
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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
9
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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
10
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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
11
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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
12
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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
13
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Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
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
14
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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
15
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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
16
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Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery
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.
17
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Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Cliff Edwards
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 ...more
18
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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.
19
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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.
20
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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
21
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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
22
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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
23
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Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Cliff Edwards
Dance, Fools, Dance is a pre-code Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer feature film starring Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, and Lester Vail in a story about a reporter investigating the murder of a colleague. Story ...more
24
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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
25
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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