1932 Movies

Our Plex database offers a seamless and effortless way to explore the films from 1932. Featuring an extensive compilation of films from that year, conveniently linked for easy browsing. Designed with movie buffs in mind, this resource offers an improved road to all of 1932's cinematic landmarks.
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Browse 736 titles in our 1932 Movies Database

The Best Movies in 1932

Grand Hotel

Directed by Edmund Goulding, "Grand Hotel" stands out as a pioneering ensemble drama. Set against the backdrop of a luxurious hotel in Berlin, it weaves together the lives of its guests, creating a narrative of human experience. The star-studded cast, including Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, and Wallace Beery, brings depth to the multi-layered narrative. "Grand Hotel" earned critical and commercial success, partly due to Garbo's memorable performance, immortalizing the line, "I want to be alone". This film not only captivated audiences of its time but also set a high standard for ensemble dramas in the years to follow.


Howard Hawks' "Scarface" took a critical stance on the gangster lifestyle, following the rise and fall of Tony Camonte, portrayed by Paul Muni. Set in Chicago, the film explores into the ambitions and ultimate downfall of a violent gangster, offering a candid look at the consequences of lawlessness. The direction, performance, and ground-breaking portrayal of crime distinguished "Scarface" in the gangster genre. Despite initial controversy, it was lauded for laying the groundwork for future crime dramas.


Tod Browning's "Freaks" presented an unprecedented horror story featuring actual carnival performers with real-life physical deformities. The narrative centers around a scheming trapeze artist aiming to exploit a sideshow performer for his inheritance. Initially met with controversy for its portrayal of disabled characters, "Freaks" has gained recognition over the years for its empathetic depiction of its protagonists. This film stands as a testament to Browning's innovative vision in representing marginalized individuals in cinema.

Trouble in Paradise

Ernst Lubitsch's "Trouble in Paradise" mixes comedy, crime, and romance, showcasing the entanglements of a gentleman thief, a lady pickpocket, and their wealthy target. Celebrated for its sophisticated humor, sharp dialogue, and captivating lead chemistry, this film exemplifies Lubitsch's adeptness at crafting engaging narratives. "Trouble in Paradise" remains a favorite for its witty storytelling and the comedic interplay among its characters.

Horse Feathers

Norman Z. McLeod's "Horse Feathers" features the Marx Brothers in a memorable comedy set in a college environment. Groucho Marx, as a college president, aims to boost the school's reputation by winning an important football game. Known for its slapstick humor and absurd situations, "Horse Feathers" highlights the Marx Brothers' comedic genius. Their distinctive style of humor and the film's clever script have cemented "Horse Feathers" as an iconic comedy.

Film & Industry Highlights of 1932

Notable Films and Achievements

In the year 1932, the film industry saw the release of numerous titles that have since been etched into the annals of cinematic history. "Grand Hotel," renowned for its captivating narrative and stellar cast, stood out to clinch the Academy Award for Best Picture. This victory solidified its position in film, alongside "The Champ" and "Bad Girl," both of which garnered two Oscars each. These films were instrumental in defining cinema of their time, praised not only for their storytelling but also for their production quality. "Scarface" and "I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang" emerged as pivotal in their contributions to the crime and drama genres. With their intense storytelling and critical acclaim, they highlighted the darker aspects of society, engaging audiences with their compelling narratives and complex characters. Additionally, "Trouble in Paradise" and "Shanghai Express" captured audiences' imaginations, showcasing the versatility of 1932 cinema through their exploration of comedy, romance, adventure, and drama. This variety underlined the era's creative variety, appealing to a wide range of audience preferences.

Industry Developments

1932 marked a important phase in the film industry's evolution, primarily characterized by the transition to sound films. This era saw Hollywood studios at the forefront of technological advancements and artistic innovation. According to The Film Daily, this period was brimming with activity as the industry adapted to new sound technologies, a change that would redefine cinematic storytelling and viewer engagement. The global scope of the film industry was also a topic of discussion, notably at the Ottawa Conference, where British films and their international market presence were examined. This dialogue underscored the film industry's expansive nature, highlighting its influence beyond national borders and underscoring the shared cultural and artistic contributions at an international level.

Awards and Recognition

The 5th Academy Awards ceremony, held on November 18, 1932, played a pivotal role in acknowledging the exceptional talents and films of the previous year. It's worth noting that during this period, the Oscars were not aligned with the calendar year, which sometimes led to confusion about the award years. Despite this, the ceremony recognized outstanding achievements in filmmaking. Norman Taurog's "Skippy" received the Best Directing accolade, a testament to his directorial prowess and the film's innovative storytelling. Marie Dressler and Lionel Barrymore were honored with Best Actress and Best Actor awards, respectively, for their compelling performances in "Min and Bill" and "A Free Soul." Their achievements spotlighted the depth of talent within the industry, celebrating the artistry and emotional impact of their performances.