List of Horror Films of The 1930s

A list of horror films released in the 1930s. The American horror film was properly created in the 1930s, most notably the Universal Horror film productions. A number of Hollywood actors made a name for themselves in horror films of this decade, in particular Bela Lugosi (Dracula, 1931) and Boris Karloff (Frankenstein,1931). Films of this era frequently took their inspiration from the literature of gothic horror and more often dealt with themes of science versus religion rather than supernatural themes.

Many horror films of this era provoked public outcry and censors cut many of the more violent and gruesome scenes from such films as Frankenstein, The Black Cat and Island of Lost Souls. In the 1933, the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) introduced an "H" rating for films labeled "Horrific" for "any films likely to frighten or horrify children under the age of 16 years" and only a year later Hollywood initiated a strict production code limiting the violence and sexuality that could be portrayed in films. In 1935, the President of the BBFC Edward Shortt, wrote "although a separate category has been established for these films, I am sorry to learn they are on the increase...I hope that the producers and renters will accept this word of warning, and discourage this type of subject as far as possible." As the United Kingdom was a significant market for Hollywood, American producers listened to Shortt's warning, and the number of Hollywood produced horror films decreased in 1936. A trade paper Variety reported that Universal Studios abandonment of horror films after the release of Dracula's Daughter was that "European countries, especially England are prejudiced against this type product ."

At the end of the decade, a profitable re-release of Dracula and Frankenstein would encourage Universal to produce Son of Frankenstein (1939), starting off a resurgence of the horror film that would continue into the mid-1940s.

Horror films released in the 1930s
Title Director Cast Country Notes
The Bat Whispers Roland West Spencer Charters, Chester Morris, Una Merkel
The Cat Creeps Rupert Julian Helen Twelvetrees, Raymond Haskell, Neil Hamilton
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Rouben Mamoulian Fredric March, Miriam Hopkins, Rose Hobart
Dracula Tod Browning Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Dwight Frye, Edward Van Sloan
Dracula George Melford Carlos Villarias, Lupita Tovar, Barry Norton
Frankenstein James Whale Colin Clive, Boris Karloff, Dwight Frye, Edward Van Sloan, Mae Clarke
The Phantom Alan James Guinn "Big Boy" Williams, Allene Ray, Niles Welch
Castle Sinister Widgey R. Newman Haddon Mason, Wally Patch
Dr. X Michael Curtiz Lionel Atwill, Lee Tracy, Fay Wray
Freaks Tod Browning Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams
Island of Lost Souls Erle C. Kenton Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi, Richard Arlen, Leila Hyams
Kongo William J. Cowen Walter Huston, Lupe Vélez, Conrad Nagel
The Mask of Fu Manchu Charles J. Brabin, Charles Vidor, King Vidor Boris Karloff, Lewis Stone, Karen Morley
The Monster Walks Frank Strayer Vera Reynolds, Sheldon Lewis
The Most Dangerous Game Ernest B. Schoedsack Joel McCrea, Fay Wray, Leslie Banks
The Mummy Karl Freund Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, David Manners
Murders in the Rue Morgue Robert Florey Sidney Fox, Bela Lugosi
The Old Dark House James Whale Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton, Gloria Stuart, Lillian Bond
Tales of the Uncanny Richard Oswald Paul Wegener, Harald Paulsen, Roma Bahn
Vampyr Carl Theodor Dreyer Julian West, Maurice Schutz, Jan Hieronimko
White Zombie Victor Halperin Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, Joseph Cawthorn
La Llorona Ramón Peon Ramón Pereda, Virginia Zuri, Carlos Orellana
The Ghoul T. Hayes Hunter Boris Karloff, Cedric Hardwicke, Ernest Thesiger, Dorothy Hyson, Anthony Bushell
The Invisible Man James Whale Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, Henry Travers, William Harrigan
The Monkey's Paw Wesley Ruggles, Ernest B. Schoedsack Ivan Simpson, C. Aubrey Smith, Bramwell Fletcher
Murders in the Zoo Edward Sutherland Charlie Ruggles, Lionel Atwill, Gail Patrick, Randolph Scott
Mystery of the Wax Museum Michael Curtiz Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Glenda Farrell, Frank McHugh
Night of Terror Benjamin Stoloff Bela Lugosi, George Meeker, Tully Marshall
Supernatural Victor Halperin Carole Lombard, Alan Dinehart, Vivienne Osborne
The Vampire Bat Frank Strayer Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Melvyn Douglas, Maude Eburne
The Black Cat Edgar G. Ulmer Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners, Jacqueline Wells
Black Moon Roy William Neill Jack Holt, Fay Wray, Dorothy Burgess
Chloe, Love is Calling You Marshall Neilan Olive Borden, Georgette Harvey, Reed Howes
House of Mystery William Nigh Ed Lowry, Verna Hillie, John Sheehan
Maniac Dwain Esper Bill Woods, Thea Ramsey
The Phantom of the Convent Fernando de Fuentes Marta Roel, Carlos Villatoro, Enrique del Campo
The Tell-Tale Heart Brian Desmond Hurst Norman Dryden, John Kelt, Yolande Terrell
The Black Room Roy William Neill Boris Karloff, Marian Marsh
Bride of Frankenstein James Whale Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson, Elsa Lanchester, Ernest Thesiger, Dwight Frye
Condemned to Live Frank Strayer Ralph Morgan, Maxine Doyle, Russell Gleason
The Crime of Dr. Crespi John H. Auer Erich Von Stroheim, Dwight Frye, Paul Guilfoyle
Mad Love Karl Freund Peter Lorre, Frances Drake, Colin Clive, Ted Healy, Sara Haden
Mark of the Vampire Tod Browning Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Bela Lugosi
Ouanga George Terwilliger Fredi Washington, Sheldon Leonard, Philip Brandon
The Raven Lew Landers, Louis Friedlander Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Irene Ware
Der Student von Prag (1935 film) Arthur Robison Anton Wohlbrueck, Dorothea Wieck, Theodor Loos
Werewolf of London Stuart Walker Henry Hull, Warner Oland, Valerie Hobson
The Devil-Doll Tod Browning Lionel Barrymore, Maureen O'Sullivan
Dracula's Daughter Lambert Hillyer Otto Kruger, Gloria Holden
Fährmann Maria Frank Wisbar Sybille Schmitz, Peter Voss, Aribert Mog
The Golem Julien Duvivier Harry Baur, Germaine Dussey, Roger Karl
The Invisible Ray Lambert Hillyer Bela Lugosi, Frances Drake, Frank Lawton, Walter Kingsford
El Baúl Macabro Miguel Zacarias Esther Fernandez, Ramón Pereda, René Cardona
The Man Who Changed His Mind Robert Stevenson Boris Karloff, Anna Lee, John Loder, Frank Cellier
Revolt of the Zombies Victor Halperin Dorothy Stone, Dean Jagger, Roy D'Arcy, Robert Noland
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street George King Tod Slaughter, Stella Rho, John Singer, Eve Lister
The Walking Dead Michael Curtiz Boris Karloff, Ricardo Cortez, Edmund Gwenn, Marguerite Churchill
Buried Alive Victor Halperin Paul McVey, Beverly Roberts, Wheeler Oakman
The Cat and the Canary Elliott Nugent Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, John Beal
The Dark Eyes of London Walter Summers Béla Lugosi, Hugh Williams, Greta Gynt
The Devil's Daughter Arthur H. Leonard Nina Mae McKinney, Jack Carter, Hamtree Harrington, Ida James
The Face at the Window George King Tod Slaughter, John Warwick
The Gorilla Allan Dwan The Ritz Brothers, Anita Louise, Patsy Kelly
La Herencia Macabra José Bohr Miguel Arenas, Consuela Frank, Ramón Armengod
The Man They Could Not Hang Nick Grinde Lorna Gray, Robert Wilcox, Roger Pryor, Don Beddoe
The Return of Dr. X Vincent Sherman Humphrey Bogart, Rosemary Lane, Dennis Morgan, John Litel
Son of Frankenstein Rowland V. Lee Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, Josephine Hutchinson
Torture Ship Victor Halperin Lyle Talbot, Irving Pichel, Julie Bishop, Sheila Bromley

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