A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (1935)

The Marx Brothers reinvented comedy for the sound era, but had to tone down their sheer anarchy (a little) to score their biggest hit.

LA REGLE DE JEU (1939)

A French masterpiece about upper-class romantic games, played blithely as the world teeters on disaster.

MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939)

If Frank Capra’s particular brand of idealistic American mythmaking feels dated today, that may be more our problem than his.

FRANKENSTEIN (1931)

This iconic Horror classic has lost some of its power to shock, but still elicits sympathy for its “Monster.”

GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)

It’s well over three hours, is super racist, and features a very unlikable heroine. It’s also maybe the single biggest hit of all time.

MADCHEN IN UNIFORM (1931)

Maybe the first feature film dealing with themes of homosexuality, it feels surprisingly fresh today.