Academy Award Rankings

Ranking All The Movies Nominated At The 2nd Academy Awards In 1930

2nd Academy Awards 1930

“What are the best movies nominated for the 2nd Academy Awards in 1930?” We looked at all 28 movies nominated for an Oscar in 1930 and ranked them again one another to answer that very question!

We took all 28 movies that were nominated for an Academy Award in 1930 and looked at their Rotten Tomato Critic, Rotten Tomato User, IMDB, and Letterboxd scores, ranking them against one another to see which movies came out on top. The movies are ranked on our list below, with the full chart of rankings included at the bottom of the page. We did not use Metacritic scores because of the lack of data for older movies on that site. Metacritic scores will be included when we do rankings for other years in the future.

If you want to see the rankings for additional years you can visit our Academy Award Rankings page.

Happy Viewing!



The Top 28 Academy Award Movie Rankings



28 ) The Last of Mrs. Cheyney

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing

There is a big charity function at the house of Mrs. Cheyney and a lot of society is present. With her rich husband, deceased, rich old Lord Elton and playboy Lord Arthur Dilling are both very interested in the mysterious Fay. Invited to the house of Mrs. Webley, Fay is again the center of attention for Arthur and Elton with her leaning towards stuffy old Elton. When Arthur sees Charles, Fay’s Butler, lurking in the gardens, he remembers that Charles was a thief caught in Monte Carlo and he figures that Fay may be more interested in the pearls of Mrs. Webley, which she is. After Fay takes the pearls, but before she can toss them out the window, she is caught by Arthur who is very disappointed in how things are turning out.

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27 ) The Valiant

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing
  • Best Actor


26 ) The Patriot

Nominated For:

  • Outstanding Picture
  • Best Actor
  • Best Writing (Win)
  • Best Art Direction
  • Best Director

EMIL JANNINGS – Cruel, brutal, but also pathetic. The mad Czar who holds all Russia in his tyrannical grasp. FLORENCE VIDOR – An exotic beauty of the court. The Czar’s favorite! Betrayed by her lover, she becomes a thorn in the hands of the conspirators! LEWIS STONE – Prime Minister and trusted friend of the mad Czar, who conspires against the monster ruler of Russia. NEIL HAMILTON – Heir to the throne. Worshiped by the Russians. The only man who can hold the government from self-destruction.

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25 ) Madame X

Nominated For:

  • Best Actress
  • Best Director

A young, unfaithful wife and mother is thrown out by her husband and barred from ever seeing her three year old son again despite her earnest attempts to make amends. For many years the mother seeks refuge overseas and in Absinthe. In the end, her son, a young and promising lawyer unknowingly defends her in court. Ruth Chatterton gives a marvelous performance in this early talkie in her portrayal of Madame X.

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24 ) The Broadway Melody

Nominated For:

  • Best Director
  • Best Actress
  • Outstanding Picture (Win)

Harriet and Queenie Mahoney, a vaudeville act, come to Broadway, where their friend Eddie Kerns needs them for his number in one of Francis Zanfield’s shows. Eddie was in love with Harriet, but when he meets Queenie, he falls in love to her, but she is courted by Jock Warriner, a member of the New Yorker high society. It takes a while till Queenie recognizes, that she is for Jock nothing more than a toy, and it also takes a while till Harriet recognizes, that Eddie is in love with Queenie

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21 (Tie) ) Drag

Nominated For:

  • Best Director

1928-29 film directed by Frank Lloyd. It was an Oscar nominee for Best Director in the second year of the Academy Awards. The story concerns a man’s family life, especially his wife’s parents and their impact on his peace and solitude. it is a light comedy and supposedly is available at, at least, one unknown archive. It has been shown in recent years at one film festival in LA. This is an important film due to its Oscar status and because it is in existence somewhere and deserves to be mentioned.



21 (Tie) ) Sal of Singapore

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing

SAL OF SINGAPORE was nominated for an Oscar for achievement in Writing during the second year of the Academy Awards. The film, being a part-talkie, nearly disappared from view. However, a preservation print does exist at UCLA, although it is unavailable for public viewing, awaiting restoration.



21 (Tie) ) The Awakening

Nominated For:

  • Best Art Direction

A vast number of films from this year are lost and this is no exception. No print or negative materials are known to exist at this time. William Cameron Menzies received his third nomination for this film, having received two the prior year and winning for both

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17 (Tie) ) In Old Arizona

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor (Win)
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Director
  • Outstanding Picture
  • Best Writing

Army Sergeant Mickey Dunn sets out in pursuit of the Cisco Kid, a notorious if kind-hearted and charismatic bandit of the Old West. The Kid spends much of his loot on Tonia, the woman he loves, not realizing that she is being unfaithful to him in his absence. Soon, with her oblivious paramour off plying his trade, Tonia falls in with Dunn, drawn by the allure of a substantial reward for the Kid’s capture — dead or alive. Together, they concoct a plan to ambush and do away with the Cisco Kid once and for all.

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17 (Tie) ) Skyscraper

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing

Blondy and Swede are gruff best friends who build skyscrapers. Blondy gets sweet on a girl he saves from a falling beam, Sally, but when he is injured in an accident and temporarily crippled, he rejects her. Swede tries every desperate measure to get Blondy to fight back, to try to walk, even masquerading as stealing Sally away from him.



17 (Tie) ) The Divine Lady

Nominated For:

  • Best Actress
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Director (Win)

A partly fictionalized account of history begins with the arrival of slatternly Emma Hart, a cook’s daughter, at the home of Charles Greville. Greville takes her as his lover and grooms her until their relationship becomes an inconvenience. Greville then dupes Emma into traveling to Naples to live with his uncle, Lord Hamilton, ambassador to the court at Naples. Realizing that Greville has abandoned her, Emma agrees to marry Lord Hamilton. Soon, however, she meets Admiral Horatio Nelson of the British Navy. Emma plays a crucial role in convincing Naples to open its ports to Nelson during his campaign against Napoleon’s French fleet. Soon, Emma and the married Nelson become romantically involved — a relationship which will have consequences for them both.

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17 (Tie) ) The Leatherneck

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing

N/A



15 (Tie) ) The Cop

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing

Pete Smith, a lift bridge operator in a harbor, feels lonely in his cabin, his only visitor being a policeman on patrol, Sgt. Coughlin. One night, after hearing shots, Smith gives shelter to a wounded man, whom he hides from Coughlin. Before leaving, the man, Marcas, promises to return the favor and the coat he borrows from him. Later, Smith enters the police, and his chief, Mather, suspects he is protecting Marcas, who is actually a gangster. Marcas sends a girl, Mary Monks, to deliver a luxurious coat with a fur collar to Smith. Pete and Mary get along well, and for his sake, she betrays Marcas, who is eventually shot to death by the cops, after having stopped his mob from killing Smith. Mary goes away alone into the night, and when Mather finds out that Pete is protecting her, he drops away the evidence of her presence on the spot.



15 (Tie) ) Weary River

Nominated For:

  • Best Director

A gangster is put in prison, but finds salvation through music while serving his time. Again on the outside, he finds success elusive and temptations abound.

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14 ) The Bridge of San Luis Rey

Nominated For:

  • Best Art Direction (Win)

It is a straight-forward telling of the intermingled lives of a group of strangers doomed to die in a collapsing bridge accident.

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13 ) Alibi

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor
  • Best Art Direction
  • Outstanding Picture

Chick Williams, a prohibition gangster, rejoins his mob soon after being released from prison. When a policeman is murdered during a robbery, he falls under suspicion. The gangster took Joan, a policeman’s daughter, to the theater, sneaked out during the intermission to commit the crime, then used her to support his alibi. The detective squad employs its most sophisticated and barbaric techniques, including planting an undercover agent in the gang, to bring him to justice.

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11 (Tie) ) Dynamite

Nominated For:

  • Best Art Direction

Wealthy Cynthia is in love with not-so-wealthy Roger, who is married to Marcia. The threesome is terribly modern about the situation, and Marcia will gladly divorce Roger if Cynthia agrees to a financial settlement. But Cynthia’s wealth is in jeopardy because her trust fund will expire if she is not married by a certain date. To satisfy that condition, Cynthia arranges to marry Hagon Derk, who is condemned to die for a crime he didn’t commit. She pays him so he can provide for his little sister. But at the last minute, Derk is freed when the true criminal is discovered. Expecting to be a rich widow, Cynthia finds herself married to a man she doesn’t know and doesn’t want to.

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11 (Tie) ) Four Devils

Nominated For:

  • Best Cinematography

Film historian and collector William K. Everson stated that the only surviving print was lost by actress Mary Duncan who had borrowed it from Fox Studios. In the December 1974 issue of “Films in Review,” he explained that Mary Duncan, one of the film’s stars, wanted it to show to a group of friends in Florida. The star was aware that it was a dangerous nitrate print and assumed that Fox had others.

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10 ) Wonder of Women

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing

A German pianist is going to break up with his unfaithful wife, when he receives the message that his favourite stepchild has died.



9 ) The Barker

Nominated For:

  • Best Actress

A successful carnival barker deals with the arrival of his eager son, who he’d hoped would stay far from the carnival world, his son’s entanglement with a showgirl, and his own jealous mistress.

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8 ) Coquette

Nominated For:

  • Best Actress (Win)

A Southern belle’s flirtation with a working man leads to tragedy.

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7 ) White Shadows in the South Seas

Nominated For:

  • Best Cinematography (Win)

An alcoholic doctor on a Polynesian island, disgusted by white exploitation of the natives, finds himself marooned on a pristinely beautiful island.

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6 ) The Hollywood Revue of 1929

Nominated For:

  • Outstanding Picture

An all-star revue featuring MGM contract players.

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5 ) The Letter

Nominated For:

  • Best Actress

A planter’s wife shoots a neighbor, but tells conflicting stories of what happened.

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4 ) Thunderbolt

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor

A criminal known as Thunderbolt is imprisoned and facing execution. Into the next cell is placed Bob Morgan, an innocent man who has been framed and who is in love with Thunderbolt’s girl, without knowing of their relationship. Thunderbolt hopes to stave off the execution long enough to kill young Morgan for romancing his girl.



3 ) Our Dancing Daughters

Nominated For:

  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Writing

Diana is outwardly the hit of the party but inwardly virtuous and idealistic. Her friend Ann is thoroughly selfish and amoral. Both are attracted to Ben Black, soon-to-be millionaire. He takes Diana’s flirtations with other boys as a sign of disinterest in him and pursues Ann instead, though his real feelings are with Diana.

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2 ) Street Angel

Nominated For:

  • Best Art Direction
  • Best Cinematography

A spirited young woman finds herself destitute and on the streets before joining a traveling carnival, where she meets a vagabond painter.

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1 ) A Woman of Affairs

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing

Diana and Neville have been in love since childhood. When the young lovers are about to marry, Nevs’ father persuades him to delay until financially secure. Unhappiness follows.

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The Best 1930 Academy Award Rankings



1930 Academy Award Rankings

Film RT Critic RT User IMDB Letterboxd Overal Rank
A Woman of Affairs 6 1 1 2 1
Street Angel 6 2 2 1 2
Our Dancing Daughters 6 3 4 5 3
Thunderbolt 1 7 16 3 4
The Letter 6 4 13 6 5
The Hollywood Revue of 1929 4 12 3 11 6
White Shadows in the South Seas 6 13 10 3 7
Coquette 6 9 7 14 8
The Barker 6 13 4 15 9
Wonder of Women 6 13 4 15 9
Dynamite 6 13 7 15 11
Four Devils 6 13 7 15 11
Alibi 3 6 24 10 13
The Bridge of San Luis Rey 6 13 10 15 14
The Cop 6 13 12 15 15
Weary River 6 13 20 7 15
In Old Arizona 2 7 27 11 17
Skyscraper 6 13 13 15 17
The Divine Lady 6 11 22 8 17
The Leatherneck 6 13 13 15 17
Drag 6 13 16 15 21
Sal of Singapore 6 13 16 15 21
The Awakening 6 13 16 15 21
The Broadway Melody 5 10 23 13 24
Madame X 6 13 26 8 25
The Patriot 6 5 28 15 26
The Valiant 6 13 21 15 27
The Last of Mrs. Cheyney 6 13 24 15 28

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