... And The Ugly Of The 1930s

by Akira_Chimera | created - 18 Mar 2014 | updated - 4 weeks ago | Public

Have you ever been in a situation when you read a flims title or summary or saw a movie poster, a trailer or just some screen shots of a movie (especially of B-films) and you thought: "Wow, this looks like heaps of fun!"? You rented that film and after one and a half hours (at the most) you got that nagging feeling that someone stole that exact amount of precious quality lifetime from you. Well, basically this list is about those films. No matter how reduced your expectations had already been, no matter how much you care for flicks of that genre in general - these films did not even meet those expectations, not by a far shot. Even as a fan of trash films you refuse to acknowledge the existence of this list's entries, simply because a good trash film, even considering its manifold shortcomings, is at least fun. So beware, the films on this list are everything - except fun. Needless to say, I had quite some fun in doing this list, although it brought back painful memories.

Feel free to comment on my choice of movies.

PS: This list is by no means complete as I will add new worthwhile films as I stumble across them.

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1. Ingagi (1930)

75 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

An expedition enters an area of the Congo jungle to investigate reports of a gorilla-worshipping tribe. After many dangerous adventures, they come upon the tribe they sought, only to watch ... See full summary »

Director: William Campbell | Stars: Sir Hubert Winstead, Charles Gemora, Daniel Swayne, Arthur Clayton

Votes: 42 | Gross: $4.00M

2. Pardon My Gun (1930)

Passed | 67 min | Comedy, Western

Ted is riding for Pa Martin against Cooper in the big race. When Cooper has his men capture Ted, Peggy overhears them and sets out to free Ted in time for the race.

Director: Robert De Lacey | Stars: Sally Starr, Tom Keene, Mona Ray, Lee Moran

Votes: 36

3. The Drums of Jeopardy (1931)

Not Rated | 75 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

A mad doctor is determined to take revenge on the family he believes is responsible for his daughter's death.

Director: George B. Seitz | Stars: Warner Oland, June Collyer, Lloyd Hughes, Clara Blandick

Votes: 195

4. Chinatown After Dark (1931)

59 min | Crime, Drama

The female head of a criminal gang in Chinatown is after a valuable jewel, and lets nothing stand in her way of finding it.

Director: Stuart Paton | Stars: Carmel Myers, Rex Lease, Barbara Kent, Edmund Breese

Votes: 107

5. The Mystery Train (1931)

Passed | 62 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A group of passengers are trapped in a runaway Pullman car.

Director: Phil Whitman | Stars: Hedda Hopper, Marceline Day, Nick Stuart, Bryant Washburn

Votes: 85

6. The Phantom (1931)

Approved | 62 min | Horror, Thriller

A group of people are stalked by a masked killer in an old mansion.

Director: Alan James | Stars: Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams, Allene Ray, Niles Welch, Tom O'Brien

Votes: 264

7. The Man from Death Valley (1931)

Passed | 61 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

Dave and Hank ride out of Death Valley, heading for the town of Mesa, but stop to rest in Alkali Springs, twenty miles from Mesa. Walking along the saloon porch, they overhear through an ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Nosler | Stars: Tom Tyler, Betty Mack, John Oscar, Si Jenks

Votes: 11

8. The Monster Walks (1932)

Passed | 57 min | Horror, Mystery

People in an old dark house on a stormy night are menaced by a killer ape.

Director: Frank R. Strayer | Stars: Rex Lease, Vera Reynolds, Sheldon Lewis, Mischa Auer

Votes: 770

9. Strangers of the Evening (1932)

70 min | Comedy, Mystery

Bodies start mysteriously disappearing from the city morgue. An investigator tries to determine what is going on.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone | Stars: Zasu Pitts, Eugene Pallette, Lucien Littlefield, Tully Marshall

Votes: 173

10. Partners (1932)

Passed | 58 min | Western

A rancher is arrested for murdering his young partner's grandfather, but he escapes to try to prove his innocence.

Director: Fred Allen | Stars: Tom Keene, Nancy Drexel, Otis Harlan, Victor Potel

Votes: 26

11. The World Gone Mad (1933)

Unrated | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A district attorney and a reporter try to find the killer of a D.A. who uncovered a massive stock fraud.

Director: Christy Cabanne | Stars: Pat O'Brien, Evelyn Brent, Neil Hamilton, Mary Brian

Votes: 426

12. Lightning Range (1933)

Passed | 53 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

Hester and Hezekiah plan to get Dorothy Horton's inheritance. But when Black Pete and his men rob the stagecoach, they learn of the scheme and send gang member Jim to replace Hezekiah. The ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Adamson | Stars: Buddy Roosevelt, Patsy Bellamy, Lafe McKee, Olin Francis

Votes: 11

13. The Trail Drive (1933)

Passed | 60 min | Action, Adventure, Western

Honest John is pulling off a swindle by buying cattle in Texas with worthless scrip and selling them in New Mexico for cash. Ken is leading the cattle drive not knowing that when they cross... See full summary »

Director: Alan James | Stars: Ken Maynard, Cecilia Parker, William Gould, Frank Rice

Votes: 18

14. Narcotic (1933)

Not Rated | 57 min | Biography, Drama

As the opening scroll tells us, Narcotic was "presented in the hope that the public may become aware of the terrific struggle to rid the world of drug addiction." The movie itself is a ... See full summary »

Directors: Dwain Esper, Vival Sodar't | Stars: Harry Cording, Joan Dix, Patricia Farley, Jean Lacy

Votes: 248

15. The Mysterious Mr. Wong (1934)

Approved | 63 min | Mystery

Investigating a series of murders in Chinatown, wise-guy reporter Jason Barton is captured by the megalomaniacal Mr. Wong, desperately trying to complete his collection of the twelve gold ... See full summary »

Director: William Nigh | Stars: Bela Lugosi, Wallace Ford, Arline Judge, E. Alyn Warren

Votes: 638

16. The Rawhide Terror (1934)

Approved | 52 min | Action, Drama, Horror

Twelve renegades dressed as Indians kill the parents of two brothers. The brothers who have similar birth marks then separate. Ten years later a man known as the Rawhide Terror is murdering... See full summary »

Directors: Bruce Mitchell, Jack Nelson | Stars: Art Mix, Edmund Cobb, William Desmond, William Barrymore

Votes: 118

17. Chloe, Love Is Calling You (1934)

62 min | Horror

A black voodoo priestess comes out of the Louisians swamps to take revenge on the white plantation owner she believes killed her husband.

Director: Marshall Neilan | Stars: Olive Borden, Reed Howes, Molly O'Day, Francis Joyner

Votes: 214

18. The Beast of Borneo (1934)

Not Rated | 63 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

A crazed scientist needs primates to conduct experiments to prove his own theory of evolution, so he organizes an expedition into the jungles of Borneo to capture the animals he needs.

Director: Harry Garson | Stars: Mae Stuart, John Preston, Eugene Sigaloff, Alexander Schoenberg

Votes: 106

19. Maniac (1934)

Not Rated | 51 min | Horror

A former vaudevillian gifted at impersonation assists a mad scientist in reanimating corpses and soon goes mad himself.

Director: Dwain Esper | Stars: Bill Woods, Horace B. Carpenter, Ted Edwards, Phyllis Diller

Votes: 2,007

20. Hollywood Mystery (1934)

Passed | 53 min | Action, Drama

A PR man for a low-budget studio comes up with what he believes is the perfect gimmick: to make a gangster picture with a real gangster in the lead role! He convinces a director--a ... See full summary »

Director: B. Reeves Eason | Stars: June Clyde, Frank Albertson, José Crespo, Tenen Holtz

Votes: 40

21. Mystery Ranch (1934)

Passed | 56 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

The famous western fiction writer Bob Morris arrives at the Henderson ranch. He quickly realizes the hanging, runaway horses, and the shootout are fakes for his benefit. But when a real robbery takes place he thinks it's another fake.

Director: Bernard B. Ray | Stars: Tom Tyler, Roberta Gale, Louise Cabo, Jack Perrin

Votes: 55

22. 'Neath the Arizona Skies (1934)

Approved | 52 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

A little Indian girl, heiress to a fortune in oil, is kidnapped.

Director: Harry L. Fraser | Stars: John Wayne, Sheila Terry, Shirley Jean Rickert, Jack Rockwell

Votes: 791

23. Cowboy Holiday (1934)

Passed | 56 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

A cowboy tries to help his lawman friend, who will lose his job if he doesn't bring in a bandit known as the Juarez Kid.

Director: Robert F. Hill | Stars: Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams, Janet Chandler, Julian Rivero, Richard Alexander

Votes: 42

24. Ridin' Thru (1934)

Passed | 55 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

Dad Brooks is in financial trouble and needs to sell a lot of horses. But they are being rustled and needing help, he sends for Tom. Tom looks for the rustlers but eventually realizes that ... See full summary »

Director: Harry S. Webb | Stars: Tom Tyler, Ruth Hiatt, Lafe McKee, Philo McCullough

Votes: 14

25. Fighting Hero (1934)

Approved | 59 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

Tyler abducts a young Mexican girl to save her from a lynching when she is accused of the murder of a VIP whom she killed in self defense. They soon fall in love, but Tyler discovers she may actually be in cahoots with a gang of robbers.

Director: Harry S. Webb | Stars: Tom Tyler, Renee Borden, Edward Hearn, Dick Botiller

Votes: 12

26. The Fighting Trooper (1934)

Approved | 61 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

When the Mountie Sergeant returns murdered with a note that LaFarge did it, Trooper Burke sets out to after LaFarge. Working undercover, he saves LaFarge's life and this gets him into ... See full summary »

Director: Ray Taylor | Stars: Kermit Maynard, Barbara Worth, LeRoy Mason, Charles Delaney

Votes: 28

27. The Road to Ruin (1934)

62 min | Drama

A young girl gets involved with a crowd that smokes marijuana, drinks and has sex. She winds up an alcoholic, pregnant drug addict and is forced to get an abortion.

Directors: Dorothy Davenport, Melville Shyer | Stars: Helen Foster, Nell O'Day, Glen Boles, Robert Quirk

Votes: 252

28. Murder by Television (1935)

Approved | 53 min | Mystery, Thriller

James Houghland, inventor of a new method by which television signals can be instantaneously sent anywhere in the world, refuses to sell the process to television companies, who then send ... See full summary »

Director: Clifford Sanforth | Stars: Bela Lugosi, June Collyer, Huntley Gordon, George Meeker

Votes: 528

29. Life Returns (1935)

Passed | 63 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

A doctor who has spent his career working on ways to revive the dead sees his chance to prove his theory by performing his procedures on a recently deceased dog.

Directors: Eugene Frenke, James P. Hogan | Stars: Onslow Stevens, Lois Wilson, Valerie Hobson, Frank Reicher

Votes: 164

30. Hong Kong Nights (1935)

Approved | 59 min | Action, Drama, Romance

Customs agents track a ring of arms smugglers into Hong Kong.

Director: E. Mason Hopper | Stars: Tom Keene, Wera Engels, Warren Hymer, Tetsu Komai

Votes: 35

32. The Law of 45's (1935)

Passed | 57 min | Western

Lawyer Rontel has made Geologist Sheffield his prisoner and by power of attorney is using his money to buy the ranches of those driven off by his hired men. But when he goes after Hayden, ... See full summary »

Director: John P. McCarthy | Stars: Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams, Molly O'Day, Al St. John, Ted Adams

Votes: 70

33. Big Boy Rides Again (1935)

Approved | 57 min | Action, Mystery, Western

A man comes to town to claim the estate of his father, who was shot by a masked killer. He sets out to find who did it.

Director: Albert Herman | Stars: Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams, Constance Bergen, Charles K. French, Lafe McKee

Votes: 68

34. Texas Terror (1935)

Approved | 51 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Sheriff John Higgins quits and goes into prospecting after he thinks he has killed his best friend in shooting it out with robbers. He encounters his dead buddy's sister and helps her run ... See full summary »

Director: Robert N. Bradbury | Stars: John Wayne, Lucile Browne, LeRoy Mason, Fern Emmett

Votes: 766

35. The Silver Bullet (1935)

Approved | 58 min | Romance, Western

Tom Henderson is made Sheriff of Chico to fight Slim Walker's gang. Unknown to Tom, banker Luke Hargrave is the gang's real boss. Dad Kane is looking for the man that blinded him whom he ... See full summary »

Director: Bernard B. Ray | Stars: Tom Tyler, Jayne Regan, Lafe McKee, Charles King

Votes: 17

36. Trigger Tom (1935)

Approved | 57 min | Western

Tom Hilton and Stub Macey are heading to the Jergenson ranch to buy his cattle. But Jeckyl and Sheriff Slater control the cattle market forcing the ranchers to buy at their price and they ... See full summary »

Director: Harry S. Webb | Stars: Tom Tyler, Al St. John, William Gould, John Elliott

Votes: 24

37. Born to Battle (1935)

Approved | 63 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

Good-natured troublemaker "Cyclone" Tom Saunders is hired by a ranchers' association manager to investigate recent cattle rustling at one of their ranches and to see if a pair of nesters ... See full summary »

Director: Harry S. Webb | Stars: Tom Tyler, Jean Carmen, Earl Dwire, Julian Rivero

Votes: 47

38. Frontier Justice (1935)

Approved | 58 min | Action, Adventure, Music

When Brent Halston returns he finds his father in an insane asylum and Wilton about to foreclose on their ranch and bring sheep onto the cattle range. When Wilton kills a rancher, Brent is ... See full summary »

Director: Robert F. McGowan | Stars: Hoot Gibson, Jane Barnes, Richard Cramer, Roger Williams

Votes: 51

39. The Red Blood of Courage (1935)

Passed | 55 min | Western

A man posing as Mark Henry is after Henry's oil land but Henry's niece is part owner and he needs to marry her off to his henchman Slager. Mountie Jim Sullivan arives posing as a wanted man... See full summary »

Director: John English | Stars: Kermit Maynard, Ann Sheridan, Reginald Barlow, Ben Hendricks Jr.

Votes: 58

40. Unconquered Bandit (1935)

Approved | 59 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

Tom plans to revenge his fathers death at the hands of Cleyburn's men. He makes a deal with wanted outlaw the Nighthawk. Then posing as the Nighthawk, he plans to rob Cleyburn until he is ... See full summary »

Director: Harry S. Webb | Stars: Tom Tyler, Lillian Gilmore, Slim Whitaker, William Gould

Votes: 19

41. Desert Mesa (1935)

Approved | 55 min | Action, Drama, Western

Reissued in 1941 as "Mormon Conquest", this bottom-of-the-barrel entry from Victor Adamson/Art Mix/Denver Dixon productions finds jobless cowpuncher Jim Kirk riding into Cottonwood, Arizona... See full summary »

Director: Victor Adamson | Stars: Wally West, Tanya Beauford, Franklyn Farnum, Bill Patton

Votes: 33

42. Trails of the Wild (1935)

Approved | 60 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

An agent tracking down a man who disappeared in the mysterious "Ghost Mountain" area discovers discovers the hideout of a gang of murderous outlaws.

Director: Sam Newfield | Stars: Kermit Maynard, Billie Seward, Monte Blue, Matthew Betz

Votes: 22

43. Heir to Trouble (1935)

Approved | 59 min | Action, Adventure, Music

Cowboy fights to keep his land after oil is discovered on it.

Director: Spencer Gordon Bennet | Stars: Ken Maynard, Joan Perry, Harry Woods, Martin Faust

Votes: 18

44. Revolt of the Zombies (1936)

Approved | 65 min | Adventure, Horror

An international expedition is sent into Cambodia to destroy an ancient formula that turns men into zombies.

Director: Victor Halperin | Stars: Dorothy Stone, Dean Jagger, Roy D'Arcy, Robert Noland

Votes: 1,392

45. A Face in the Fog (1936)

Approved | 61 min | Mystery, Thriller

A mysterious killer known as The Fiend uses an unusual bullet as his trademark for his murders.

Director: Robert F. Hill | Stars: June Collyer, Lloyd Hughes, Lawrence Gray, Jack Mulhall

Votes: 131

46. The Macabre Trunk (1936)

79 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Mystery