Cinema 1937: You Must Remember This…..Events, Trends, Movies, Stars

Cineliteracy: What You Need to Know about 1937 as a Movie Year 

Top-grossing films:

Top Ten 1937 released films by box office gross

1 Saratoga, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer $2,432,000

2. Maytime, $2,183,000

3. The Good Earth, $2,002,000

4. Stella Dallas, United Artists/Samuel Goldwyn, $2,000,000

5. Broadway Melody of 1938 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer $1,889,000

6. A Star Is Born, United Artists/Selznick International, $1,800,000

7. Captains Courageous, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer $1,688,000

8. Lost Horizon, Columbia Pictures $1,683,000

9. A Day at the Races, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer $1,600,000

10, Thin Ice, 20th Century Fox $1,590,000


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April 16:

Way Out West premieres in the US.

May 7:

Shall We Dance premieres in the US.

May 11:

Monogram Pictures, which merged with Republic Pictures in 1935, decide to separate and distribute their own films again.

June 7:

Jean Harlow, one of Hollywood’s top stars, dies, aged 26 in Los Angeles. The cause of death is listed as cerebral edema, a complication of kidney failure.

June 25:

Colin Clive, British actor, dies at 37 (best known for Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein).

July 9:

The silent film archives of Fox Films are destroyed by the 1937 Fox vault fire.

July 23:

Six weeks after Jean Harlow’s death, her final film, Saratoga, is released. It becomes the year’s highest-grossing picture, and most successful film of Harlow’s career.

December 21:

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premieres at the Carthay Circle Theatre in L.A. The film is released nationally in the US on February 4, 1938. A massive box-office success, it briefly holding the record as highest-grossing sound film of all time.


Best Actress

Oscar: Luise Rainer (The Good Earth)

New York Film Critics Circle: Greta Garbo (Camille)

National Board of Review: Danielle Darieux (Mayerling)

Venice Film Festival: Bette Davis (Marked Woman)


Best Actor

Oscar: Spencer Tracy, Captains Courageous

N.Y. Film Critics Circle: Paul Muni, The Life of Emile Zola

Venice Film Fest: Emil Jannings, Der Herrscher


Most Popular Stars (rank-ordered)

Shirley Temple

Clark Gable

Robert Taylor

Bing Crosby

William Powell

Jane Withers

Fred Astaire–Ginger Rogers

Sonja Henie

Gary Cooper

Myrna Loy