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15 Movies That Bring Us Back To The Roaring 1920's

From dazzling musicals to gritty gangster epics, each film transports you to the vibrant backdrop of the 1920s, showcasing the era's cultural shifts, fashion evolution, and the echoes of an era defined by its unbridled spirit. Join us as we revisit the golden age of cinema and explore the cinematic gems that immortalize the roaring twenties in all its glory.

By Alaa Bahaa Last updated

The Great Gatsby

Step into the glitzy world of the Roaring Twenties with our cinematic journey through a bygone era of glamour, rebellion, and societal transformation. In this curated list, we unveil 15 films that vividly capture the essence of the roaring twenties – a time marked by jazz-filled nights, flapper fashion, and the clandestine allure of speakeasies.

Babylon (2022)

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Rotten tomatoes57%
iMBD61
Metacritic7.1
Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt

Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie

Diego Calva

Diego Calva

Jean Smart

Jean Smart

Flea

Flea

Jovan Adepo

Jovan Adepo

J.C. Currais

J.C. Currais

Jimmy Ortega

Jimmy Ortega

Hansford Prince

Hansford Prince

Telvin Griffin

Telvin Griffin

Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde

Circus-Szalewski

Circus-Szalewski

Directed by Damien Chazelle

In the heart of the roaring twenties, "Babylon" unfolds as a gripping tribute to Hollywood's golden age. This cinematic journey captures the relentless evolution of the film industry during the transition from silent to sound films in the late 1920s. With electrifying party scenes featuring Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt, the movie immerses viewers in the glitz and glamour of the roaring 20s theme.

Babylon (2022) - "Dance Scene"

Despite its lengthy runtime, "Babylon" stands as a humanist narrative, highlighting the resilience of working-class dreamers and paying homage to the enchantment and mystique of Hollywood's transformative years. It is a captivating portrayal of the era's excess and a tribute to the disasters and triumphs that defined the Roaring Twenties.

The Great Gatsby (2013)

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Rotten tomatoes48%
iMBD55
Metacritic7.2
Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio

Tobey Maguire

Tobey Maguire

Carey Mulligan

Carey Mulligan

Joel Edgerton

Joel Edgerton

Elizabeth Debicki

Elizabeth Debicki

Isla Fisher

Isla Fisher

Jason Clarke

Jason Clarke

Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan

Callan McAuliffe

Callan McAuliffe

Adelaide Clemens

Adelaide Clemens

Steve Bisley

Steve Bisley

Richard Carter

Richard Carter

Directed by Baz Luhrmann

"The Great Gatsby" invites you to a dazzling visual feast of the roaring twenties. This cinematic gem, based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's iconic novel, intricately captures the extravagance and glamour of the 1920s. Catherine Martin's exquisite costume designs bring the flapper style to life with fringed dresses, sequins, and Art Deco-inspired details.

The Great Gatsby (2013) - "The Mysterious Mr. Gatsby" Scene

Beyond its tale of love and betrayal, "The Great Gatsby" is a celebration of the roaring 20's theme, making it a must-watch for those eager to experience the essence of this iconic era.

Chicago (2002)

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Rotten tomatoes86%
iMBD81
Metacritic7.2
Renée Zellweger

Renée Zellweger

Catherine Zeta-Jones

Catherine Zeta-Jones

Richard Gere

Richard Gere

Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah

John C. Reilly

John C. Reilly

Lucy Liu

Lucy Liu

Taye Diggs

Taye Diggs

Colm Feore

Colm Feore

Christine Baranski

Christine Baranski

Dominic West

Dominic West

Mya

Mya

Deidre Goodwin

Deidre Goodwin

Directed by Rob Marshall

"Chicago" is a dazzling musical that delves into the dark allure of crime and fame. Set in the 1920s, it mirrors the Jazz Age glamour and dives into the underworld of Chicago's scandalous underbelly. The film's portrayal of murder, media sensationalism, and celebrity manipulation encapsulates the essence of the roaring twenties, where Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones shine in their roles as cunning murderesses.

Chicago (2002)

"Chicago" not only pays homage to the original 1926 play but also brings forth the timeless themes of ambition, celebrity, and the pursuit of freedom through its catchy tunes and brilliant performances.

The Cotton Club (1984)

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Rotten tomatoes74%
iMBD68
Metacritic6.5
Richard Gere

Richard Gere

Gregory Hines

Gregory Hines

Diane Lane

Diane Lane

Lonette McKee

Lonette McKee

Bob Hoskins

Bob Hoskins

James Remar

James Remar

Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage

Allen Garfield

Allen Garfield

Fred Gwynne

Fred Gwynne

Gwen Verdon

Gwen Verdon

Lisa Jane Persky

Lisa Jane Persky

Maurice Hines

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

In the vibrant tapestry of 1920s New York, "The Cotton Club" unfolds against the backdrop of the roaring twenties, immersing viewers in the dazzling world of Harlem's iconic nightclub. This tale of love and intrigue captures the essence of an era defined by jazz, glamour, and the cultural clash that marked the roaring twenties.

In the way it deemphasizes its script and consciously undercuts its star, Cotton Club adventurously questions the formulas of Hollywood. The Cotton Club (1984)

Delving into the cultural crossroads, "The Cotton Club" becomes a symbol of the era's racial divide, featuring mesmerizing performances by black entertainers for an all-white audience.

Some Like It Hot (1959)

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Rotten tomatoes94%
iMBD98
Metacritic8.2
Tony Curtis

Tony Curtis

Jack Lemmon

Jack Lemmon

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

George Raft

George Raft

Pat O’Brien

Pat O’Brien

Joe E. Brown

Joe E. Brown

Nehemiah Persoff

Nehemiah Persoff

Joan Shawlee

Joan Shawlee

Billy Gray

George E. Stone

George E. Stone

Dave Barry

Dave Barry

Mike Mazurki

Mike Mazurki

Directed by Billy Wilder

"Some Like It Hot" offers a spirited journey into the roaring twenties, capturing the essence of this era with a delightful blend of crime comedy and Prohibition Era charm. Set in 1929 Chicago, the film follows two jazz musicians who, after a run-in with mobsters, embark on a cross-dressing escapade to escape the criminal underworld.

Some Like It Hot (1959)

Marilyn Monroe's captivating performance as the enchanting singer Sugar adds a touch of glamour to this roaring 20's-themed gem. Filled with humor, infectious music, and timeless performances, "Some Like It Hot" stands as a cinematic celebration of the Roaring Twenties, ensuring its place among the greatest films of this vibrant and iconic period.

The Artist (2011)

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Rotten tomatoes95%
iMBD89
Metacritic7.9
Jean Dujardin

Jean Dujardin

Bérénice Bejo

Bérénice Bejo

John Goodman

John Goodman

James Cromwell

James Cromwell

Penelope Ann Miller

Penelope Ann Miller

Missi Pyle

Missi Pyle

Beth Grant

Beth Grant

Ed Lauter

Ed Lauter

Joel Murray

Joel Murray

Elizabeth Tulloch

Elizabeth Tulloch

Ken Davitian

Ken Davitian

Malcolm McDowell

Malcolm McDowell

Directed by Michel Hazanavicius

"The Artist" is a cinematic masterpiece that vividly portrays the era's fashion evolution amid the transition from silent films to talkies.

In many ways - in all ways - The Artist is a profound achievement. San Francisco Chronicle

Beyond its stylish allure, "The Artist" pays homage to silent cinema while seamlessly blending contemporary sensibilities with the visual richness of the 1920s—a must-watch for those seeking a visual feast of this iconic era.

Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

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Rotten tomatoes100%
iMBD99
Metacritic8.3
Gene Kelly

Gene Kelly

Donald O'Connor

Donald O'Connor

Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds

Jean Hagen

Jean Hagen

Millard Mitchell

Millard Mitchell

Cyd Charisse

Cyd Charisse

Douglas Fowley

Douglas Fowley

Rita Moreno

Rita Moreno

Mae Clarke

Mae Clarke

Bess Flowers

Bess Flowers

Robert Foulk

Robert Foulk

Kathleen Freeman

Kathleen Freeman

Directed by Stanley Donen

"Singin' in the Rain" bursts with the vibrant energy of the Roaring Twenties, showcasing the glamour and excitement of Hollywood during this era. Set against the transition from silent films to talkies, the film captures the essence of the roaring twenties with its lively musical numbers, tap dancing, and the cultural shift in the film industry.

"Dancing in the Rain" Scene- "Singin’ in the Rain (1952)"

Gene Kelly's spirited performance adds to the movie's timeless celebration of the roaring twenties, making it a captivating classic that endures through the decades.

Bullets Over Broadway (1994)

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Rotten tomatoes95%
Metacritic7.4
John Cusack

John Cusack

Chazz Palminteri

Chazz Palminteri

Dianne Wiest

Dianne Wiest

Jennifer Tilly

Jennifer Tilly

Mary-Louise Parker

Mary-Louise Parker

Tracey Ullman

Tracey Ullman

Jim Broadbent

Jim Broadbent

Joe Viterelli

Joe Viterelli

Harvey Fierstein

Harvey Fierstein

Rob Reiner

Rob Reiner

Jack Warden

Jack Warden

Tony Sirico

Tony Sirico

Directed by Woody Allen

'Bullets Over Broadway' catapults us into the pulsating heart of 1920s Broadway, where theater's golden era takes center stage. Against the backdrop of the roaring '20s, aspiring playwright David Shayne navigates the challenges of artistic pursuit amidst the glamour and grit of Broadway.

Bullets Over Broadway (1994)

As mobsters and talentless starlets entwine with the world of theater, the film delves into the vibrant chaos of an epoch that defined the essence of both artistic expression and criminal intrigue, capturing the essence of the roaring 20's theme with wit and charm.

Midnight in Paris (2011)

Image
Rotten tomatoes93%
iMBD81
Metacritic7.6
Owen Wilson

Owen Wilson

Rachel McAdams

Rachel McAdams

Kurt Fuller

Kurt Fuller

Mimi Kennedy

Mimi Kennedy

Michael Sheen

Michael Sheen

Nina Arianda

Nina Arianda

Marion Cotillard

Marion Cotillard

Léa Seydoux

Léa Seydoux

Carla Bruni

Carla Bruni

Maurice Sonnenberg

Maurice Sonnenberg

Thierry Hancisse

Thierry Hancisse

Guillaume Gouix

Guillaume Gouix

Directed by Woody Allen

In Midnight in Paris, the magic of nostalgia takes center stage, offering a nuanced exploration of what constitutes a "golden age." For Gil Pender, a dreamy novelist played by Owen Wilson, it's the 1920s Paris that enchants him during his midnight walks in the rain.

A movie that's loving and wistful and often hysterically funny. San Francisco Chronicle

This whimsical journey propels him into encounters with luminaries like Ernest Hemingway and Salvador Dalí. The movie's masterful storytelling invites us to revel in the Roaring Twenties' spirit, weaving a timeless love letter that stirs a renewed affection for the charms of a bygone era.

L’Argent (1928)

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Metacritic7.5
Pierre Alcover

Pierre Alcover

Brigitte Helm

Brigitte Helm

Henry Victor

Henry Victor

Marie Glory

Marie Glory

Alfred Abel

Alfred Abel

Antonin Artaud

Antonin Artaud

Jules Berry

Jules Berry

Yvette Guilbert

Yvette Guilbert

Pierre Juvenet

Pierre Juvenet

Raymond Rouleau

Raymond Rouleau

Marcelle Pradot

Marcelle Pradot

Roger Karl

Roger Karl

Directed by Marcel L'Herbier

"L’Argent" immerses viewers in the vibrant excesses of the roaring twenties. This French silent drama, a masterful depiction of crime and finance, captures the era's spirit with opulent art deco extravagance and technical innovations. As the narrative weaves through the obsessions of the années folles, including aviation and high finance, the film becomes a scathing modernization of Emile Zola's novel.

L’Argent (1928)

With mesmerizing deep-focus photography and stunning art deco sets, "L’Argent" is a cinematic gem that encapsulates the essence of the roaring twenties, released just before the Wall Street Crash in 1928.

The Idle Class (1921)

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Rotten tomatoes100%
Metacritic7.3
Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin

Edna Purviance

Edna Purviance

Henry Bergman

Henry Bergman

Al Ernest Garcia

Al Ernest Garcia

Lita Grey

Lita Grey

Lillian McMurray

John Rand

John Rand

Rex Storey

Mack Swain

Mack Swain

Directed by Charlie Chaplin

'The Idle Class' is an invitation to relive the roaring '20s in this two-reel delight. Amidst the lavish escapades of the carefree elite, witness mistaken identities and uproarious slapstick at a swanky resort. With a cheeky millionaire sans trousers, a Tramp's golf course havoc, and a fancy-dress ball descending into madness, the laughter is non-stop.

"Shaken, Not Stirred" Scene - The Idle Class (1921)

This roaring 20's theme unfolds, showcasing a society that embraced illegal boozing and leisurely extravagance. Chaplin's aristocratic charm and Purviance's dazzling 1920s wardrobe steal the show, making 'The Idle Class' a must-watch for vintage humor and fashion enthusiasts, proving that a good laugh transcends time.

The Roaring Twenties (1939)

Image
Rotten tomatoes100%
Metacritic7.9
James Cagney

James Cagney

Priscilla Lane

Priscilla Lane

Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart

Gladys George

Gladys George

Jeffrey Lynn

Jeffrey Lynn

Frank McHugh

Frank McHugh

Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly

Elisabeth Risdon

Elisabeth Risdon

Edward Keane

Edward Keane

Joe Sawyer

Joe Sawyer

Joseph Crehan

Joseph Crehan

George Meeker

George Meeker

Directed by Raoul Walsh

'The Roaring Twenties' immerses viewers in the tumultuous blend of Prohibition, crime, and societal upheaval, reflecting the era's dynamism. Led by Jimmy Cagney, the film captures the evolution of fashion, transitioning from conservative styles to the daring flapper wear that symbolized the spirit of the roaring twenties.

The Roaring Twenties (1939)

Amid Hollywood's golden age, the film not only explores the darker facets of the 1920s but also serves as a visual journey through the era's ever-changing fashion landscape.

Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)

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Rotten tomatoes85%
Metacritic6.9
Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews

James Fox

James Fox

Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore

Carol Channing

Carol Channing

John Gavin

John Gavin

Jack Soo

Jack Soo

Pat Morita

Pat Morita

Philip Ahn

Philip Ahn

Anthony Dexter

Anthony Dexter

Beatrice Lillie

Beatrice Lillie

Cavada Humphrey

Herbie Faye

Herbie Faye

Directed by George Roy Hill

"Thoroughly Modern Millie" whisks audiences back to the lively landscape of New York City in the Roaring Twenties. This musical romp captures the essence of the era as the feisty flapper Millie Dillmount embarks on a self-appointed mission to marry her way to success, navigating through a whirlwind of romantic entanglements and societal challenges.

"Jazz Baby" Scene - 'Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)'

The film skillfully blends humor and drama against the backdrop of the roaring '20s. Through its spirited characters and lively narrative, "Thoroughly Modern Millie" encapsulates the vibrancy and complexity of a bygone era with a modern twist.

Bugsy Malone (1976)

Image
Rotten tomatoes79%
iMBD71
Metacritic6.8
Scott Baio

Scott Baio

Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster

Florrie Dugger

Florrie Dugger

John Cassisi

John Cassisi

Martin Lev

Paul Murphy

Paul Murphy

Sheridan Earl Russell

Sheridan Earl Russell

Albin 'Humpty' Jenkins

Albin 'Humpty' Jenkins

Paul Chirelstein

Andrew Paul

Andrew Paul

Davidson Knight

Michael Jackson

Directed by Alan Parker

In the spirited realm of the 1920s, 'Bugsy Malone' emerges as a unique take on the era's dual fascinations: jazz and gangsters. This lively film transforms the roaring twenties' gritty underworld into a whimsical spectacle by casting all characters as kids under 16. Against the backdrop of speakeasies and extravagant splurges, young gangsters, dancers, and broads create an unexpected but captivating musical experience.

'My Name is Tallulah' Scene - Bugsy Malone (1976)

'Bugsy Malone', set in the fictional city of New York, introduces us to a world where child actors bring the Prohibition Era to life with humor, action, and a delightful touch of whimsy. This film, marked by its charming cast and fun-filled narrative, stands out as one of the greatest films encapsulating the spirit of the Roaring Twenties.

Changeling (2008)

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Rotten tomatoes62%
iMBD63
Metacritic7.8
Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie

John Malkovich

John Malkovich

Jeffrey Donovan

Jeffrey Donovan

Michael Kelly

Michael Kelly

Colm Feore

Colm Feore

Jason Butler Harner

Jason Butler Harner

Amy Ryan

Amy Ryan

Geoff Pierson

Geoff Pierson

Denis O'Hare

Denis O'Hare

Frank Wood

Frank Wood

Peter Gerety

Peter Gerety

Reed Birney

Reed Birney

Directed by Clint Eastwood

'Changeling' delves into the haunting tale of a mother's search for her missing son in 1920s Los Angeles. It transcends mere historical drama. The film encapsulates the Roaring Twenties' essence, mirroring an era marked by societal shifts and moral ambiguities. Set against the backdrop of the Wineville Chicken Coop murders, Changeling masterfully intertwines a mother's anguish with a society grappling with the complexities of justice, exposing the darker facets of the roaring 20s theme.

Changeling (2008)

Angelina Jolie's powerful performance adds an emotional depth that resonates, creating a captivating narrative that transcends time and echoes the echoes of an unsettling chapter in American history.

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