1932 in film


The Film Daily Yearbook listed the following as the ten leading headline events of the year.[1]

  • 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-grossing films

RankTitleStudioWorldwide Gross
1. Shanghai Express Paramount Pictures $3,700,000
2. The Kid from Spain United Artists $2,621,000[2]
3. Grand Hotel MGM $2,594,000[3]
4. Tarzan the Ape Man MGM $2,540,000[3]
5. Smilin' Through MGM $2,033,000[3]
6. Emma MGM $1,972,000[3]
7. Prosperity MGM $1,514,000[3]
8. Movie Crazy Harold Lloyd Corporation $1,439,000
9. Rasputin and the Empress MGM $1,379,000[3]
10. As You Desire Me MGM $1,363,000[3]

Top Ten Money Making Stars

Exhibitors selected the following as the Top Ten Money Making Stars for 1931–1932 in Quigley Publishing Company's first annual poll.[4]

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 Awards

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

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 releases

United States unless stated





Notable films released in 1932

United States unless stated


Ordered by release date:

Short film series

Ordered by release date:

Animated short film series

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



Film debuts


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