Cinema 1930: You Must Remember This…..Events, Trends, Movies, Stars

Research in Progress (June 11, 2021)

Cineliteracy: What You Need to Know about 1930 as Movie and Pop Culture Year–Events, Trends, Movies, Stars


February 23:

Silent screen star Mabel Normand dies at the age of 37 in Monrovia, California after a lengthy battle with tuberculosis.

March 10:

Release of Goodbye Argentina (Adiós Argentina), the first Argentine film with musical soundtrack, with Ada Cornaro in her first starring role and Libertad Lamarque in her debut.


Release of The Blue Angel, shot simultaneously in German and English, starring Oscar winner Emil Jannings and Marlene Dietrich in breakthrough performance.

April 6:

William Fox sells his interest in Fox Film for $18 million and Harley L. Clarke becomes president.

May 27:

Howard Hughes’ epic, Hell’s Angels, premieres at Grauman’s Chinese in Hollywood, starring Jean Harlow in her first major role, as well as some impressive aerial sequences. Although not a financial success upon release, the film is acclaimed by critics and launches Harlow as one of the 1930s’ biggest stars.

September 3:

The Hollywood Reporter is first published, becoming a rival to the more vet and reliable trade, Daily Variety.

September 19:

The Love Parade receives a record six Academy Award nominations (see below).

November 1:

The Big Trail featuring a young John Wayne in his first starring role is released in both 35mm and early form of 70mm film. It’s the first large scale big-budget sound film, costing over $2 million. Though praised for its artistic quality, due to the new format, and release timing during the Depression, the film was a box office failure. Wayne would have to wait another decade to become a star, in John Ford’s superb western, Stagecoach (1938)

Oscar: Winners and Nominees 

If you want to know more about the Oscars, please read my book, All About Oscar: History and Politics of the Academy Awards (now in its 11th edition).

Best Picture: All Quiet on the Western Front (Universal, produced by Carl Laemmle, Jr.)


Best Director: Lewis Milestone, All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Actor: George Arliss, Disraeli



Disraeli (1929): Biopic Starring George Arliss in Oscar-Winning Performance

Best Actress: Norma Shearer, The Divorcee


Best Writing: Frances Marion, The Big House



Cinematography: Joseph T. Rucker and Willard Van Der Veer, With Byrd at the South Pole

Interior Decoration: Herman Rosse, King of Jazz

Sound Recording: Douglas Shearer, The Big House

Nominations by Picture

All Quiet on the Western Front (2)
The Big House (2)

Box-Office Hits: Top-Grossing Films 

1. Whoopee! United Artists/Samuel Goldwyn Productions $2,655,000

2. Check and Double Check, RKO Radio Pictures $1,751,000

3. All Quiet on the Western Front, Universal Pictures $1,634,000

4. Hell’s Angels, United Artists $1,600,000

5 .The Big House, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer $1,300,000

6. Common Clay, Fox Film Corporation $1,246,000

7. Min and Bill, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer $1,223,000

8. Song o’ My Heart, Fox Film Corporation $1,200,000

9. Son of the Gods, Warner Bros. $1,069,000

10. Animal Crackers, Paramount, $1,050,000


Popular Movie Stars

George Arliss

Lew Ayres

John Barrymore

Warner Baxter

Ruth Chatterton

Maurice Chevalier

Ronal Colman

Gary Cooper

Greta Garbo

John Gilbert

Edmund Love

Ramon Novarro

Jack Oakie

William Powell

If you want to know more about the Oscars, please read my book, All About Oscar: History and Politics of the Academy Awards (now in its 11th edition).