Cinema 1936: You Must Remember This…..Events, Trends, Movies, Stars

Cineliteracy: What You Need to Know about 1936 as a Movie and Pop Culture Year

Top-Grossing Films of 1936 (U.S.)

Rank Title Studio Box office gross rental

1. The Great Ziegfeld, MGM, $3,089,000

2. San Francisco, MGM, $2,868,000

3. The Plainsman, Paramount Pictures $2,278,000

4. After the Thin Man, MGM, $1,992,000

5. Modern Times, United Artists, $1,800,000

6. Anthony Adverse, Warner Bros. $1,783,000

7. Strike Me Pink, United Artists/Samuel Goldwyn Productions $1,700,000

8. Rose Marie, MGM, $1,695,000

9. Swing Time, RKO Radio Pictures $1,624,000

10. Libeled Lady, MGM, $1,601,000



January 9 –

Silent screen icon John Gilbert, best known for his appearances in The Merry Widow and The Big Parade, dies suddenly of a heart attack at his Bel Air home, aged 38.

February 15 –

First Republic serial, Darkest Africa, is released.

May 29 –

Fritz Lang’s first Hollywood film, Fury, starring Spencer Tracy, is released.

September 14 –

Film producer Irving Thalberg, the “Boy Wonder of Hollywood,” dies from pneumonia at his home in Santa Monica, aged 37.

1936 Academy Awards: Year 9

Best Picture: The Great Ziegfeld – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Best Director: Frank Capra – Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Best Actor: Paul Muni – The Story of Louis Pasteur
Best Actress: Luise Rainer – The Great Ziegfeld
Best Supporting Actor: Walter Brennan – Come and Get It
Best Supporting Actress: Gale Sondergaard – Anthony Adverse

Top Ten Money-Making Stars

Rank Actor/Actress
1. Shirley Temple
2. Clark Gable
3. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
4. Robert Taylor
5. Joe E. Brown
6. Dick Powell
7. Joan Crawford
8. Claudette Colbert
9. Jeanette MacDonald
10. Gary Cooper
Top Western stars

A poll of the top Western stars was also published for the first time.

Rank Actor/Actress
1. Buck Jones
2. George O’Brien
3. Gene Autry
4. William Boyd
5. Ken Maynard
6. Dick Foran
7. John Wayne
8. Tim McCoy
9. Hoot Gibson
10. Buster Crabbe