Entertainment The Best Movies of 1931  

Ranker Film
2.1k votes 63 voters 2.1k 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
26 4
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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
24 8
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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
17 4
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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
19 6
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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
20 7
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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
21 8
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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
16 5
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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 2
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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
15 6
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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
16 7
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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
11 3
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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
12 4
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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
9 2
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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
11 4
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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
12 5
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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.
12 5
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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
11 5
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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
12 6
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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
9 4
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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
9 4
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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
11 6
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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
10 6
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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
10 6
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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
9 5
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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
9 5
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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