Timeline of Greatest Film
Milestones and Turning Points
in Film History


The Year 1930

Timeline of Greatest Film History Milestones and Turning Points
(by decade and year)
Introduction | Pre-1900s | 1900s | 1910s | 1920s | 1930s | 1940s | 1950s
1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s
1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939

The Year 1930
Year
Event and Significance
1930s
The most popular film genres of the time were musicals, gangster films, newspaper movies, westerns, comedies, melodramas and horror movies.
1930
Warner Bros. inaugurated the crime-gangster film, with director Mervyn LeRoy's Little Caesar (1930) (starring Edward G. Robinson as a small-time hood) - the first talkie gangster film. It has often been called the grandfather of the modern crime film (the prototype of future gangster films), and is one of the most well-known and best of the early classical gangster films. Edward G. Robinson created a quintessential portrayal of an underworld character, ruthless gangster Caesar Enrico "Rico" Bandello.
1930s-40s
This was the era which has been predominantly referred to as "The Golden Age of Hollywood" by film critics and historians, and considered the apex of film history. (Some have extended the time period into the 50s). The "Golden Age" came to a close with the breakup of the studios and declining attendance from challenges brought by shopping centers and television.
1930
Public pressure (mainly from the Catholic Church) applied further censorship guidelines and clearly outlined what was acceptable (and unacceptable) in films within the industry. Pre-marital sex, alcoholism, immoral and criminal activity, among other subjects, led to the establishment and adoption of the Motion Picture Production Code. As head of the MPPDA, William Hays established this new code of decency, known in short as the Production Code or Hays Code.
1930
The Marx Brothers starred in Animal Crackers (1930) - it was the second of many classic Marx Brothers films (their first film was The Cocoanuts (1929), also for Paramount Studios). It was also the last of their films to be taken from one of their stage successes and the last to be filmed on the East Coast on Astoria sound stages before they transferred to Hollywood.
1930
Greta Garbo starred in her first talkie, MGM's Anna Christie (1930), advertised with the tagline: GARBO TALKS! The Best Actress-nominated actress, in the role of the title character, spoke her first line of dialogue with: "Give me a whisky, ginger ale on the side. And don't be stingy, baby." The film, the second screen version of Eugene O'Neill's 1922 play about the Minnesota-raised Swedish girl and ex-prostitute, was co-produced by Irving Thalberg and directed/produced by Clarence Brown.
1930
Unknown Berlin, Germany stage revue actress Marlene Dietrich starred in her first Josef von Sternberg film, The Blue Angel (1930), playing the role of cabaret singer Lola-Lola and performing her signature song: "Falling in Love Again (Can't Help It)." Her performance in the first major German sound film led to a contract with Paramount in the US. She became von Sternberg's ingenue and ultimately starred in seven of his productions, including Morocco (1930), Dishonored (1931), Shanghai Express (1932), Blonde Venus (1932), The Scarlet Empress (1934), and The Devil Is a Woman (1935).
1930
All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) was the first major anti-war film of the sound era, faithfully based upon the timeless, best-selling 1929 novel by Erich Maria Remarque. Although it won the Academy Award for Best Picture, it was criticized as being propagandistic and anti-militaristic. For its perceived anti-German message, it was denounced by the Nazi government in Berlin of the 30s and subsequently banned there.
1930
The first feature-length prison film was released, MGM's The Big House, starring Wallace Beery in a breakthrough role (following the death of Lon Chaney, Sr. who was scheduled to be the main lead actor).
1930
The animated Disney character of Pluto was introduced in the Mickey Mouse cartoon The Chain Gang (1930).
1930
Two ex-Disney animators -- Hugh Harman (1903-1982) and Rudolf Ising (1903-1992), began to make the first cartoons for Warner Bros. They drew the 5-minute pilot film named Bosko The TalkInk Kid (1929) - the first synchronized talking animated short/cartoon (as opposed to a cartoon with a soundtrack), with a little black boy character named Bosko who actually spoke dialogue. The Bosko pilot film was the impetus for the birth of Warners Bros.' Looney Tunes. The black and white Sinkin' in the Bathtub, with Bosko in the starring role, was the earliest talking 'Looney Tune', originally released in April of 1930.
1930
The animation sequence (about a safari hunt in Africa by bandleader Paul Whiteman) created by Walter Lantz (the creator of Woody Woodpecker) in The King of Jazz (1930) was the first 2-strip Technicolor animation ever produced. It featured Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
1930
A prototype of the squeaky- and baby-voiced cartoon queen Betty Boop (voiced for most of the 30s by Mae Questel) was introduced in a Fleischer Brothers' Bimbo Talkartoon entitled Dizzy Dishes (1930) - with her appearing as a long-eared puppy dog!
1930
The movie industry began to dub in the dialogue of films exported to foreign markets.
1930
The first daily newspaper for the Hollywood film industry, The Hollywood Reporter, had its debut.
1930
British director Alfred Hitchcock's second all-talkie thriller Murder was the first film in which a character's (Sir John Menier, played by Herbert Marshall) thoughts were heard in voice-over.
1930
French director René Clair's musical romance Under the Roofs of Paris (aka Sous les toits de Paris, Fr.), was an unexpected musical hit with groundbreaking use of the new technology of sound. It was the director's first sound film.
1930
"Man of a Thousand Faces" American character actor Lon Chaney, Sr., noted for his portrayal of grotesque and tortured characters (i.e., "The Frog" in The Miracle Man (1919), Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), Erik the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera (1925), Alonzo the Armless in The Unknown (1927), and Professor Echo in The Unholy Three (1930)) died at the age of 47 from bronchial lung cancer.


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