1930 in film

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List of years in film (table)
In television

The following is an overview of 1930 in film, including significant events, a list of films released and notable births and deaths.


  • November 1: The Big Trail featuring a young John Wayne in his first starring role is released in both 35mm and a very early form of 70mm film. It was the first large scale big-budget film of the sound era costing over $2 million. The film was praised for its aesthetic quality and realism that wouldn't become commonplace until many decades later. However, due to the new film format and the film's release during the great depression, the film would go on to become a financial failure at the box office.

Top grossing films[edit]

Rank Title Studio/Gross[1] Actors
1. All Quiet on the Western Front Universal / $3,000,000 Lew Ayres
2. Whoopee! United Artists / $2,600,000 Eddie Cantor
3. Hell's Angels United Artists / $8,000,000 Jean Harlow, Ben Lyon and James Hall
4. Animal Crackers Paramount / $1,500,000 Marx Brothers
5. Feet First Paramount / $1,300,000 Harold Lloyd
6. The Rogue Song MGM Lawrence Tibbett
7. The Life of the Party Warner Bros. Winnie Lightner
8. Hold Everything Warner Bros. Winnie Lightner, Joe E. Brown
9. Sunny MGM Marilyn Miller
10. The Vagabond King Paramount Dennis King, Jeanette MacDonald
11. Song of the Flame Warner Bros. Noah Beery, Bernice Claire
12. The Green Goddess Warner Bros. George Arliss

Academy Awards[edit]

Notable films released in 1930[edit]

U.S.A. unless stated


Short film series[edit]

Animated short film series[edit]



Film debuts[edit]


  1. ^ Grosses for first five films from the article entitled "Biggest Money Pictures" in Variety Magazine, June 21, 1932, page 1.