1932 in film

The following is an overview of 1932 in film, including significant events, a list of films released and notable births and deaths.

List of years in film
In television

Top-grossing films (U.S.)Edit

The top ten 1932 released films by box office gross in North America are as follows:

Highest-grossing films of 1932
Rank Title Studio Box office gross rental
1 The Kid from Spain United Artists/Samuel Goldwyn Productions $2,621,000[1]
2 Emma Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer $1,409,000[2]
3 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Paramount Pictures $1,300,000[3]
4 Hell Divers Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer $1,244,000[2]
5 Grand Hotel $1,235,000[2]
6 Prosperity $1,166,000[2]
7 Tarzan the Ape Man $1,112,000[2]
8 One Hour with You Paramount Pictures $1,100,000[4]
9 Smilin' Through Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer $1,004,000[2]
10 Strange Interlude $957,000[2]


The Film Daily Yearbook listed the following as the ten leading headline events of the year.[5]

  • Sidney Kent leaves Paramount Pictures and joins Fox Film.
  • Merlin H Aylesworth succeeds Hiram S Brown as president of RKO.
  • Jesse L. Lasky leaves Paramount and becomes an independent producer for Fox.
  • Sam Katz leaves Paramount.
  • James R Grainger leaves Fox and is succeeded by John D Clark, formerly of Paramount.
  • Publix and Fox decentralization of cinemas.
  • New industry program, including standard exhibition contract along lines of 5-5-5, proposed by Motion Picture Theater Owners of America and Allied.
  • Joe Brandt retires from Columbia Pictures joins World-Wide and later resigns again.
  • Two Radio City theaters open, under direction of "Roxy", with coincident acquisition of the Rockefeller interests of 100,000 shares of RKO stock and 100,000 shares of RCA stock.
  • Experimentation with exclusive runs.

Other notable events include:

Top Ten Money Making StarsEdit

Exhibitors selected the following as the Top Ten Money Making Stars for 1931–1932 in Quigley Publishing Company's first annual poll.[6]

Rank Actor/Actress
1. Marie Dressler
2. Janet Gaynor
3. Joan Crawford
4. Charles Farrell
5. Greta Garbo
6. Norma Shearer
7. Wallace Beery
8. Clark Gable
9. Will Rogers
10. Joe E. Brown

Academy AwardsEdit

The 5th Academy Awards were conducted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on November 18, 1932,[7] at a ceremony held at The Ambassador Hotel[7] in Los Angeles, California. The ceremony was hosted by Conrad Nagel.[7] Films screened in Los Angeles between August 1, 1931, and July 31, 1932, were eligible to receive awards.[7]

Major awards:

Note: Prior to 1933 awards were not based on calendar years, which is how there are no Best Actor, Best Actress or Best Director awards for 1932 films. The 1931–32 awards went to 1931 films.

1932 film releasesEdit

United States unless stated





Notable films released in 1932Edit

United States unless stated




















The Shadow of the Eagle poster.

Ordered by release date:

Short film seriesEdit

Lobby card for the 1932 Laurel and Hardy short film Any Old Port!.

Ordered by release date:

  • Buster Keaton (1917–1923, 1934–1937, 1939–1941)
  • Laurel and Hardy (1927–1935); the team later made one instructional short subject, released nontheatrically in 1943
  • Our Gang (1922–1944) The series was officially called both Our Gang and Hal Roach's Rascals until 1932, when Our Gang became the sole title of the series.
  • Shirley Temple (1932–1934)

Animated short film seriesEdit

Ordered by release date of the film series. This list only includes shorts released in 1932:



Film debutsEdit


  1. ^ Jones, Lon (March 4, 1944). "Which Cinema Films Have Earned the Most Money Since 1914?". The Argus. Melbourne. p. 3 Supplement: The Argus Weekend magazine. Retrieved August 6, 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles, California: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  3. ^ Finler, Joel Waldo (2003). The Hollywood Story. Wallflower Press. pp. 356–357. ISBN 978-1-903364-66-6.
  4. ^ "All-Time Film Rental Champs". Variety. October 15, 1990.
  5. ^ "Ten Leading Headline Events". Film Daily Year Book (1933). p. 47.
  6. ^ "The Ten Biggest Money Makers". Motion Picture Herald. August 6, 1932. p. 10. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d "The 5th Academy Awards – 1933". Archived from the original on September 4, 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d e "The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia: 1932". Archived from the original on March 25, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  9. ^ The Athlete (1932) – from the Pooch the Pup Theatrical Cartoon Series
  10. ^ The Butcher Boy (1932) – from the Pooch the Pup Theatrical Cartoon Series
  11. ^ The Crowd Snores (1932) – from the Pooch the Pup Theatrical Cartoon Series
  12. ^ The Underdog (The Under Dog) (1932) – from the Pooch the Pup Theatrical Cartoon Series
  13. ^ Cats And Dogs (1932) – from the Pooch the Pup Theatrical Cartoon Series