1937 Movies

Our Plex database makes it simple to browse the 1937 film releases. Our list of movies from that year is presented in a simplified format, with each title conveniently linked for quick and easy access. For those captivated by the cinema of that era, this offers a remarkable opportunity to gain insight into the vibrant world of 1937 movies.
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The Best Movies in 1937

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Released in 1937, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" represents an advancement in the world of animation. Directed by William Cottrell, among others, the film unfolds the tale of Snow White, a princess forced into exile by her malevolent stepmother. Her journey leads her to find refuge with seven dwarf miners, introducing audiences to a blend of captivating storytelling and pioneering animation techniques. This movie stands out for its elaborate animation process and its ability to convey intricate emotions and personalities through animated characters, setting a precedent for future animations.

Lost Horizon

Frank Capra's "Lost Horizon" takes its viewers on an extraordinary journey to Shangri-La, a mystical utopian society hidden in the mountains of Tibet, which the protagonists discover following a plane crash. This blend of adventure and fantasy captivates with its exploration of idealism, the human condition, and the pursuit of peace in a tumultuous world. The film's rich thematic narrative, combined with Capra's direction, showcases the potential of cinema to explore complex ideas through engaging storytelling.

A Star Is Born

Directed by talents including William A. Wellman, Jack Conway, and Victor Fleming, "A Star Is Born" narrates the poignant tale of a young woman ascending to stardom in Hollywood while navigating a complex relationship with a fading alcoholic actor. This story has proven its enduring appeal through multiple remakes, each adapted to fit its era, yet the original 1937 version remains a landmark for its raw depiction of fame, addiction, love, and loss. Its exploration of the darker side of celebrity and entertainment remains relevant, reflecting the timeless nature of its themes.

The Grand Illusion

Jean Renoir's "The Grand Illusion" is a profound war drama that gets into the lives of French soldiers detained in a German POW camp during World War I. What sets this film apart is its humanist approach to the war narrative, emphasizing the shared experiences and aspirations of individuals from opposing sides. Through its thoughtful depiction of camaraderie, loyalty, and the universal desire for peace, the film critiques the futility of conflict and underscores the common humanity that can transcend even the deepest divisions.

The Awful Truth

"The Awful Truth," directed by Leo McCarey, emerges as a masterclass in romantic comedy, weaving the story of a couple amidst divorce who gradually realize the depth of their feelings for each other. Distinguished for its sharp wit and expert comedic timing, the film excels in presenting the complexities of relationships through humor and light-hearted scenarios. Its success lies not just in eliciting laughs but in its portrayal of rediscovery, love, and the sometimes circuitous path to true happiness.

Film & Industry Highlights of 1937

The Groundbreaking Achievements of 1937

1937 stands as a remarkable year within the film industry, marking progressions in technology, storytelling, and the commercial scene of cinema. Walt Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" not only emerged as the first American full-length animated film but also set a precedent for future productions in terms of both its financial success and technical innovation. With a groundbreaking budget of $1.5 million, it defied expectations by grossing $8 million, making it the highest-earning film of 1938. The significance of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" extends beyond its financial achievements; it was the first film to have an official soundtrack and was the pioneer in releasing a motion picture soundtrack album.

The 9th Academy Awards

The 9th Academy Awards ceremony, conducted on March 4, 1937, introduced the categories of Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, broadening the scope of recognition within the industry. "The Great Ziegfeld" clinched the Best Picture award, while "Anthony Adverse" led with four wins. Notably, "Anthony Adverse," "Dodsworth," and "The Great Ziegfeld" each secured seven nominations, showcasing the year's strong contenders. The expansion of award categories and the variety of nominees underscore the evolving nature of cinematic achievements during this period.

Noteworthy Film Releases of 1937

In addition to "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937 witnessed the release of several other films that have since been acknowledged for their artistic and cultural contributions. "Captains Courageous," an adventure drama family film, "A Day at the Races," a comedy that featured the Marx Brothers, and "The Grand Illusion," a war drama directed by Jean Renoir, stand out among the year's cinematic offerings. "The Grand Illusion" is especially recognized as one of the greatest films ever made, demonstrating the year's range in genre and thematic content.

Technological Innovations

1937 was also a year of technological innovation within the film industry. Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies short, "The Old Mill," utilized the multi-plane camera for the first time. This technology enabled a greater depth of image and a more dynamic sense of movement, allowing for more complex panning shots. Such advancements were instrumental in enhancing the visual appeal of animated films, setting new standards for animation that would influence future productions.

Personalities and Box Office Success

The year also saw the tragic loss of Jean Harlow, celebrated as the first film actress to grace the cover of Life magazine. Her untimely death due to uremic poisoning occurred before she could complete her role in "Saratoga" alongside Clark Gable, adding a somber note to a year of otherwise remarkable achievements.

In terms of box office success, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" led the charts, followed by "Saratoga" and "Maytime." The success of these films reflects the varied preferences of the American public, showcasing a broad range of interests, from animated features to romantic dramas.