1937 Top Box Office Movies

Myrna Loy’s two 1937 movies grossed almost $300 million in adjusted box office

This movie page looks at 1937 Top Box Office Movies Finding box office information for movies made in the 1930s and 1940s is extremely difficult.   For somebody looking for box office information on 1937 it is very very frustrating.  Over the years, we have researched and collected information on over 33,000 movies.  So we figured we would show all the 1937 movies in our database.

To make this list a movie had to be made in 1937.  Obviously many movies made in 1936 earned box office dollars in 1937.  On the other side many movies made in 1937 made money in 1938 and later.  This page will looks at 132 1937 Top Box Office Movies.  The movies are listed in a massive table that lets you rank the movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information.

The following massive table only includes the movies made in 1937 that are in our database.  Since we are constantly adding new movies to our database….this page will quickly become obsolete.  We will try and update this page on a regular basis.

Snow White is the top grossing movie of 1937…but….it took many re-releases over many decades to end up with close to a billion in adjusted domestic gross

1937 Top Box Office Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort 1937 Top Box Office Movies by the stars or in some cases the director of the movie.  If you want to see the 3 Paul Muni movies on the table…just type in his name in the search box and up they will come
  • Sort 1937 Top Box Office Movies by domestic actual box office grosses
  • Sort 1937 Top Box Office Movies by domestic adjusted box office grosses using current movie ticket cost.
  • Sort 1937 Top Box Office Movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations and how many Oscar® wins each 1937 Top Box Office Movies received.
  • Sort 1937 Top Box Office Movies by Ultimate Movie Ranking Score (UMR).  Our UMR score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
  • *** Best Picture Oscar Nominee…..The Life Of Emile Zola won.
RankMovie (Year)UMR Co-Star LinksActual B.O. (mil)Adjusted B.O. Domestic (mil)Critic Audience RatingOscar Nom / WinUMR Score
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)Walt Disney$29.33$951.0090.00%01 / 0073.70
In Old Chicago (1937) ***Tyrone Power & Don Ameche$10.00$324.2068.00%06 / 0269.56
Saratoga (1937)Clark Gable & Jean Harlow$9.73$315.4078.00%00 / 0067.66
One Hundred Men and a Girl (1937) ***Deanna Durbin$9.08$294.4068.50%05 / 0168.80
Maytime (1937)John Barrymore$8.73$283.1076.00%02 / 0067.52
Good Earth, The (1937) ***Paul Muni$8.01$259.6085.00%05 / 0277.15
Life of Emile Zola, The (1937) ***Paul Muni$7.71$250.0072.00%10 / 0375.64
Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937)Judy Garland & Robert Taylor$7.56$245.0063.50%00 / 0060.84
Captains Courageous (1937) ***Spencer Tracy & Lionel Barrymore $6.75$218.9085.50%04 / 0176.38
Day At The Races, A (1937)Marx Brothers$6.41$207.8076.00%01 / 0067.12
Stella Dallas (1937)Barbara Stanwyck$6.00$194.5077.50%02 / 0067.37
Wee Willie Winkie (1937)Shirley Temple$5.62$182.2071.00%01 / 0062.01
Prisoner of Zenda, The (1937)David Niven & Ronald Colman$5.60$181.6082.00%02 / 0067.49
Buccaneer, The (1938)Walter Brennan & Anthony Quinn $5.56$173.5055.50%01 / 0053.37
Lost Horizon (1937) ***Ronald Colman$5.30$171.7078.00%07 / 0270.27
Double Wedding (1937)Myrna Loy & William Powell$5.26$170.4072.50%00 / 0060.48
On the Avenue (1937)$5.20$168.6062.50%00 / 0055.51
Thin Ice (1937)Tyrone Power$5.20$168.6054.50%01 / 0052.15
Shall We Dance (1937)Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire$5.10$165.4080.50%01 / 0063.88
Green Light (1937)Errol Flynn$5.00$162.2061.50%00 / 0054.04
Stage Door (1937) ***Katharine Hepburn & Ginger Rogers $5.00$162.1087.67%04 / 0070.93
Varsity Show (1937)$5.00$162.0050.50%01 / 0049.25
Wells Fargo (1937)Joel McCrea$5.00$162.1064.50%01 / 0055.85
Firefly, The (1937)$4.98$161.3065.50%00 / 0055.78
Singing Marine, The (1937)$4.52$146.6057.00%00 / 0049.51
Topper (1937)Cary Grant$4.50$145.9079.50%02 / 0060.77
Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1937)Joan Crawford & William Powell $4.43$143.6054.50%00 / 0047.88
Hurricane, The (1937)$4.40$142.7069.50%01 / 0055.18
Slave Ship (1937)Mickey Rooney & Wallace Beery$4.40$142.7065.00%00 / 0052.67
Star Is Born, A (1937) ***Fredric March$4.40$142.7081.00%07 / 0166.59
Hollywood Hotel (1937)Ronald Reagan$4.38$141.9056.50%00 / 0048.55
Personal Property (1937)Jean Harlow & Robert Taylor$4.34$140.8063.50%00 / 0051.66
Mannequin (1937)Spencer Tracy & Joan Crawford$4.26$138.3057.50%01 / 0048.86
Awful Truth, The (1937) ***Irene Dunne & Cary Grant$4.25$137.8082.25%06 / 0166.02
High, Wide and Handsome (1937)Irene Dunne & Randolph Scott$4.20$136.2065.00%00 / 0051.66
Kid Galahad (1937)Humphrey Bogart & Bette Davis $4.15$134.5064.00%00 / 0050.93
Prince and the Pauper, The (1937)Errol Flynn & Claude Rains$4.10$133.1061.50%00 / 0049.53
Tovarich (1937)Claudette Colbert$4.06$131.5069.50%00 / 0053.04
Damsel in Distress, A (1937)Fred Astaire & Joan Fontaine$4.04$131.0065.00%02 / 0152.25
I Met Him In Paris (1937)Claudette Colbert$4.01$130.0062.00%00 / 0049.29
Heidi (1937)Shirley Temple$4.00$129.7078.00%00 / 0056.76
Love is News (1937)Tyrone Power$4.00$129.7070.00%00 / 0053.00
Swing High, Swing Low (1937)Carole Lombard & Anthony Quinn$4.00$129.7064.00%00 / 0050.18
They Won't Forget (1937)Lana Turner & Claude Rains$4.00$129.7080.50%00 / 0057.94
This Is My Affair (1937)Barbara Stanwyck & Robert Taylor$4.00$129.7069.50%00 / 0052.76
Parnell (1937)Clark Gable & Myrna Loy$3.97$128.7040.50%00 / 0038.99
Bad Man of Brimstone, The (1937)Wallace Beery$3.96$128.3062.00%00 / 0049.03
Walter Wanger's Vogues of 1938 (1937)Walter Wanger$3.87$125.4056.00%02 / 0046.56
Waikiki Wedding (1937)Bing Crosby & Anthony Quinn$3.64$118.2065.00%02 / 0150.27
Big City (1937)Spencer Tracy$3.62$117.5063.00%00 / 0047.82
Navy Blue and Gold (1937)James Stewart & Lionel Barrymore$3.54$114.6067.00%00 / 0049.25
Easy Living (1937)$3.52$114.1082.00%00 / 0056.23
Every Day's A Holiday (1937)Mae West$3.50$113.5068.50%01 / 0050.19
Nothing Sacred (1937)Carole Lombard & Fredric March$3.43$111.1077.50%00 / 0053.64
Dead End (1937) ***Humphrey Bogart & Joel McCrea$3.38$109.6080.50%04 / 0059.43
Toast of New York, The (1937)Cary Grant$3.38$109.7057.00%00 / 0043.79
Internes Can't Take Money (1937)Barbara Stanwyck & Joel McCrea$3.26$105.7059.50%00 / 0044.34
Souls at Sea (1937)Gary Cooper$3.26$105.7075.00%03 / 0052.83
History Is Made At Night (1937)Walter Wanger$3.15$102.1077.00%00 / 0052.02
Perfect Specimen, The (1937)Errol Flynn$3.14$101.9063.00%00 / 0045.40
Marked Woman (1937)Humphrey Bogart & Bette Davis$3.10$100.4070.00%00 / 0048.46
Cafe Metropole (1937)Tyrone Power$3.00$97.3065.00%00 / 0045.63
That Certain Woman (1937)Bette Davis & Henry Fonda$3.00$97.1049.50%00 / 0038.31
Double or Nothing (1937)Bing Crosby$2.94$95.4066.50%00 / 0046.05
Emperor's Candlesticks, The (1937)William Powell$2.93$95.1060.00%00 / 0042.94
Conquest (1937)Greta Garbo$2.92$94.7063.50%02 / 0045.32
Breakfast for Two (1937)Barbara Stanwyck$2.90$94.0069.50%00 / 0047.23
Maid of Salem (1937)Claudette Colbert & Fred MacMurray$2.90$94.0046.50%00 / 0036.43
Woman Chases Man (1937)Joel McCrea$2.89$93.8063.50%00 / 0044.38
They Gave Him A Gun (1937)Spencer Tracy$2.87$93.1054.50%00 / 0040.05
Between Two Women (1937)$2.86$92.7053.00%00 / 0039.28
True Confession (1937)Carole Lombard & Fred MacMurray$2.86$92.6068.00%00 / 0046.31
Live, Love and Learn (1937)Robert Montgomery & Mickey Rooney$2.85$92.3058.00%00 / 0041.57
Last Gangster, The (1937)Edward G. Robinson & James Stewart$2.80$90.8061.50%00 / 0042.97
Black Legion (1937)Humphrey Bogart$2.70$87.5060.00%01 / 0042.16
Bride Wore Red, The (1937)Joan Crawford$2.60$84.3064.50%00 / 0043.39
52nd Street (1937)Produced by
Walter Wanger
$2.5281.666.50%00 / 0043.91
Call it a Day (1937)Olivia de Havilland $2.50$81.1061.00%00 / 0041.24
When You're in Love (1937)Cary Grant$2.50$81.1062.50%00 / 0041.95
Stand-In (1937)Leslie Howard & Humphrey Bogart $2.36$76.6068.00%00 / 0043.83
It's Love I'm After (1937)Bette Davis & Olivia de Havilland $2.31$75.0076.00%00 / 0047.34
Another Dawn (1937)Errol Flynn & Kay Francis$2.29$74.2060.00%00 / 0039.70
Wings Over Honolulu (1937)$2.27$73.7049.00%01 / 0034.85
Thank You, Mr. Moto (1937)Peter Lorre$2.24$72.6070.50%00 / 0044.39
Woman I Love, The (1937)Paul Muni$2.21$71.7069.00%00 / 0043.54
Night Must Fall (1937)Robert Montgomery$2.20$71.3076.50%02 / 0047.81
You Can't Beat Love (1937)Joan Fontaine$2.19$71.0045.50%00 / 0032.38
You Only Live Once (1937)Henry Fonda & Produced by Walter Wanger$2.18$70.7080.50%00 / 0048.80
Ever Since Eve (1937)Robert Montgomery$2.09$67.9081.00%00 / 0048.59
Wings of the Morning (1937)Henry Fonda$2.06$66.8058.00%00 / 0037.61
Stolen Holiday (1937)Kay Francis & Claude Rains$2.01$65.1064.00%00 / 0040.17
Fire Over England (1937)Vivien Leigh & Laurence Olivier$2.00$64.8059.50%00 / 0038.00
San Quentin (1937)Humphrey Bogart$1.96$63.5054.50%00 / 0035.46
Good Old Soak, The (1937)Wallace Beery$1.93$62.7064.00%00 / 0039.80
Slim (1937)Henry Fonda$1.90$61.7057.50%00 / 0036.58
Confession (1937)Kay Francis$1.83$59.3066.50%00 / 0040.45
Great O'Malley, The (1937)Humphrey Bogart$1.77$57.3065.50%00 / 0039.66
Something To Sing About (1937)James Cagney$1.70$55.1053.00%01 / 0033.85
Thoroughbreds Don't Cry (1937)Judy Garland & Mickey Rooney$1.70$55.2063.00%00 / 0038.17
Think Fast, Mr. Moto (1937)Peter Lorre$1.65$53.4066.00%00 / 0039.30
Wise Girl (1937)$1.62$52.7057.50%00 / 0035.19
Angel (1937)Marlene Dietrich$1.60$51.9071.00%00 / 0041.41
Lancer Spy (1937)Peter Lorre$1.59$51.7063.50%00 / 0037.85
Thunder In The City (1937)Edward G. Robinson$1.55$50.1060.50%00 / 0036.21
Ebb Tide (1937)$1.50$48.5059.00%00 / 0035.25
Family Affair, A (1937)Mickey Rooney & Lionel Barrymore$1.49$48.4059.50%00 / 0035.46
Music For Madam (1937)Joan Fontaine$1.46$47.5056.50%00 / 0033.92
Your're Only Young Once (1937)Mickey Rooney$1.45$47.1063.50%00 / 0037.14
As Good As Married (1937)Walter Pidgeon$1.30$42.3058.00%00 / 0033.82
First Lady (1937)Kay Francis$1.29$41.8063.00%00 / 0036.09
I Cover The War! (1937)John Wayne$1.18$38.2055.00%00 / 0031.77
Annapolis Salute (1937)$1.09$35.3054.50%00 / 0031.09
Bulldog Drummond Comes Back (1937)John Barrymore$1.08$35.0049.00%00 / 0028.45
Last Train from Madrid, The (1937)Anthony Quinn$1.05$34.1068.00%00 / 0037.25
Night Club Scandal (1937)John Barrymore$1.03$33.3064.00%00 / 0035.24
Storm In A Teacup (1937)Vivien Leigh$1.00$32.4066.50%00 / 0036.28
Saturday's Heroes (1937)$0.98$31.9050.00%00 / 0028.44
Non-Stop New York (1937)Science Fiction Movies$0.97$31.5068.00%00 / 0036.84
Bulldog Drummond's Revenge (1937)John Barrymore$0.95$30.9052.50%00 / 0029.43
My Dear Miss Aldrich (1937)Walter Pidgeon$0.95$30.9055.50%00 / 0030.87
Quality Street (1937)Katharine Hepburn & Joan Fontaine$0.91$29.6064.50%01 / 0035.31
Dark Journey (1937)Vivien Leigh$0.90$29.2067.00%00 / 0036.02
She's Dangerours (1937)Walter Pidgeon & Walter Brennan$0.87$28.2057.50%00 / 0031.39
Flight from Glory (1937)$0.81$26.3058.00%00 / 0031.34
Girl Overboard (1937)Walter Pidgeon$0.81$26.2061.00%00 / 0032.73
Thrill Of A Lifetime (1937)Betty Grable$.79$25.7058.00%00 / 0031.24
Girl With Ideas, A (1937)Walter Pidgeon$0.78$25.3058.00%00 / 0031.18
Knight Without Armor (1937)Marlene Dietrich$0.78$25.3063.50%00 / 0033.76
Love Is On The Air (1937)Ronald Reagan$0.77$25.0046.00%00 / 0025.50
Bulldog Drummond Escapes (1937)$0.72$23.5048.00%00 / 0026.20
Idol of the Crowds (1937)John Wayne$0.72$23.3058.00%00 / 0030.87
Doctor Syn (1937)George Arliss$0.40$13.1053.00%00 / 0026.94

My Main Sources

Source 1: Eddie Mannix MGM Ledgers

Source 2: C.J. Tevlin RKO Ledgers

Source 3: Variety Magazine – January 6th 1943

Source 4: Year In Review Variety Editions

Source 5: Grand Design: Hollywood As A Modern Business Enterprise 1930-1942 by Tino Balio

Source 6: Twentieth Century-Fox A Corporate and Financial History by Aubrey Solomon

Source 7:  Wikipedia

Source 8:  IMDb.com

Source 9:  “Revenue sharing and the coming of sound” by H. Mark Glancy

Source 10: Hollywood Power Stats by Christopher Reynolds

But Wait…Do You Want More Stats?….Well We Have More Stats For You….Adjusted Worldwide Grosses on 58 1937 Movies

  1. 52nd Street (1937) $106.60 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  2. Angel (1937) $52.30 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  3. Another Dawn (1937) $136.20 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  4. Big City (1937) $207.50 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  5. Bride Wore Red, The (1937) $156.30 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  6. Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937) $369.00 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  7. Buccaneer, The (1938) $180.40 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  8. Bulldog Drummond Comes Back (1937) $44.00 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  9. Captains Courageous (1937) $405.90 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  10. Confession (1937) $72.50 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  11. Conquest (1937) $277.70 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  12. Damsel in Distress, A (1937) $190.00 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  13. Day At The Races, A (1937) $298.80 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  14. Double Wedding (1937) $264.40 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  15. Emperor’s Candlesticks, The (1937) $173.10 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  16. Family Affair, A (1937) $57.40 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  17. Firefly, The (1937) $247.20 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  18. First Lady (1937) $49.80 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  19. Good Earth, The (1937) $460.60 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  20. Great O’Malley, The (1937) $81.30 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  21. Green Light (1937) $216.20 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  22. History Is Made At Night (1937) $180.10 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  23. Hollywood Hotel (1937) $174.90 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  24. It’s Love I’m After (1937) $123.00 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  25. Kid Galahad (1937) $196.50 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  26. Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1937) $232.60 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  27. Life of Emile Zola, The (1937) $516.00 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  28. Love Is On The Air (1937) $35.00 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  29. Mannequin (1937) $211.30 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  30. Marked Woman (1937) $149.40 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  31. Maytime (1937) $519.10 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  32. My Dear Miss Aldrich (1937) $45.90 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  33. Navy Blue and Gold (1937) $134.80 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  34. Night Must Fall (1937) $132.30 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  35. Parnell (1937) $204.70 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  36. Perfect Specimen, The (1937) $165.90 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  37. Personal Property (1937) $223.80 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  38. Prince and the Pauper, The (1937) $219.10 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  39. Quality Street (1937) $42.60 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  40. San Quentin (1937) $93.50 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  41. Saratoga (1937) $421.40 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  42. Shall We Dance (1937) $280.40 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  43. Singing Marine, The (1937) $181.60 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  44. Slave Ship (1937) $142.50 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  45. Stage Door (1937) $229.10 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  46. Stand-In (1937) $111.60 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  47. Stolen Holiday (1937) $84.30 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  48. That Certain Woman (1937) $129.10 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  49. They Gave Him A Gun (1937) $171.10 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  50. This Is My Affair (1937) $171.70 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  51. Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry (1937) $95.20 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  52. Toast of New York, The (1937) $135.70 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  53. Tovarich (1937) $167.70 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  54. Varsity Show (1937) $190.00 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  55. Walter Wanger’s Vogues of 1938 (1937) $201.40 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  56. Woman I Love, The (1937) $101.70 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  57. You Only Live Once (1937) $118.70 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  58. You’re Only Young Once (1937) $87.10 million in adjusted worldwide gross

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37 thoughts on “1937 Top Box Office Movies

  1. [leaps majestically into the melee] So, gentlemen, are we all finally agreed that Myrna Loy is the greatest thing since sliced bread? eh? No I don’t know what that means either. And Charlton Heston the greatest actor to ever drive a chariot? hmm? [cue reluctant nodding, a smattering of applause and a few confused looks]


  2. Hey Bob and John
    1. I like your thinking about Aaron, home runs and other baseball records.
    2. As for Loy and her greatness….I have never said she was the greatest of all-time…..just of all the actresses in my database she has the greatest career box office. At this point I can not see any star passing her total.
    3. I am sure one of Dan’s Oracle actresses can top her total….but they would be bit players at best…..Loy is far from a bit player she was a major star for years.
    4. Like John commented…..Oscar wins and nominations have nothing to do with career box office totals. Bruce Willis has a nice career box office total but despite he has no Oscar love….the man has been a star for years.
    5. Last night I updated my Samuel L. Jackson page..and on my tables he is now in 6th place when looking at career adjusted box office. If I only look at actual box office he is actually first now.
    6. Now granted Jackson has basically been a supporting actor in most of his hits… but if one argued he is the top grossing actor of all-time…..there are some hard stats to back up that claim.
    7. So in a nutshell….until I find an actress that has a bigger career box office total than Loy….she will keep the title of Top Box Office Actress…..regardless if she never won acting awards or did not get included in the AFI Top 25.
    At this point I think we have reached the point if agreeing to disagree. As no comment will change your mind or my mind.
    As always your feedback and visits are greatly appreciated.

  3. 1 PART 2 HI AGAIN JOHN In 1937 Gable grossed domestically virtually what Loy got worldwide and Bill Powell beat both Myrna’s totals and her averages and yet it is Loy’s domestic gross that is once more fussed over. So in my view in relation to 1937 this site yet again magnifies Loy’s box office achievements and I remain of the opinion that the site is being over-sentimental in according Myrna a status that she did not earn during her career, as witnessed by her failure to receive even a single Oscar nomination from her peers or to make the AFI lists, illustrating that the Institute does not regard her as a Legend who is in the company of Greats like Katie Hepburn, Davis, Bergman etc whereas the Institute DOES see Joan as in that select group and indeed she is in its TOP 10.

    2 However I will now wait with interest to see how you guys pick holes in Gable’s box office performance in an effort to once again magnify Loy’s but as I wish to avoid further controversy I will in future refrain from offering an opinion that is not in tandem with the ‘official line’ on this site and I simply ask others if they cannot “Render therefore unto Caesar those things which are Caesar’s” to at least try to be consistent. For example months ago Bruce in a post agreed with me that Loy’s stand-alone box office was very poor but he now seems to wish to forget that he said that or at least sees no contradiction between such an admission and proclamations about Myrna being the Queen Bee

    3 To be fair to Ms Loy if she made such claims for herself I am unaware of them and in my opinion when Betty Grable, Liz Taylor and Doris Day dominated at the box office Myrna would have done well to EARN a cameo in their films and indeed was in fact in a supporting role in Doris’ 1960 Midnight Lace whose gross of $123 million Myrna is as usual given full credit for – poor Caesar! – in that much-vaunted total of hers despite not being one of its stars and in fact being billed in small letter below the title. To again paraphrase Bilko’s Colonel “If she’s the Tops they’ll be queueing up to see what all the rest look like.” NB It is interesting to note that on the Doris Day page Ms Loy is credited with being Doris’ main co-star whereas she had just a supporting role and Psycho’s John Gavin who was Day’ leading man and had star billing is not mentioned. Where on earth does it all stop?

    1 HELLO JOHN Surely it does not become any of us to use a belittling approach such as your saying you are confused about my “main point” about Myrna Loy? Your previous posts on this site indicate that you knew full well that I was objecting to the hyperbole that she was more commercially successful than any other actress. As you have strongly disagreed with my reasons it beggars belief that you were not also clear in your mind that I felt that Loy did not deserve the accolade because she relied too heavily on other major stars to carry her movies. However if you truly were unclear would it not have been more courteous for you to seek clarification of all the argumentsbefore you contradicted me?

    2 I have taken issue with this otherwise excellent and comprehensive page because it may give the false impression that Myrna’s films were collectively the highest grossing in 1937 when they were not. The amplifications now advanced by you and Bruce such as the rentals situation, averages and profit % were not mentioned when the page first appeared and your suggestion that Myrna being at a ‘low point’ in 1937 was particularly a feather in her cap in reaching $300 million really takes the biscuit as Bruce headlines the page in a way that suggests that 1937 was indeed a great year for her.

    3 You and Bruce seem to have a disinclination to be completely fair to Joan Crawford so let’s forget about her and draw other comparisons:
    MYRNA LOY Total Box Office Gross 1937
    Domestic $300 million /Worldwide $470 million
    Averages respectively $150/$235 million
    Domestic $445 million/Worldwide $ 626million
    Averages respectively $222.5/$313 million
    Domestic $410 million//Worldwide $670 million
    Averages respectively $205/335 million SEE ALSO PART TWO

    1. Bob & Cogerson

      hi ya Bob. Well, disagreements are what make boards interesting. Cogerson is a stat guy. He goes where the stats take him, and in his post above he is very clear about what he is saying about Myrna Loy and what he is not saying.

      Keeping with my Henry Aaron analogy, the stats are clear. He hit more home runs than anyone else in the 20th century. One could cavil that some others came up short because of illness (Lou Gehrig), war service (Ted Williams) or losing years as a pitcher rather than a hitter (Babe Ruth), but the bottom line is Aaron ended up with more home runs than anyone and there is no way he could have except by being a top home run hitter over a very long period of time.

      Another sports analogy would be boxer Archie Moore scoring more knockouts than any champion in boxing history. Does this automatically make him a more dangerous puncher than Sugar Ray Robinson or Joe Louis or Rocky Marciano? No. But there is no way he could have accomplished what he did without being a very dangerous puncher over a very long time.

      So with Loy. No way she can end up selling more tickets than any other actress w/o being a box-office attraction for a very long time. Possibly, and it would be a lot of work, Cogerson could do a study restricting ticket sales only to movies in which the performer got star billing, thus screening out featured roles.

      On Loy and her co-stars. Well, Crawford and Loy shared a lot of leading men. How did they do with them? Fredric March? Loy’s movie was by far the biggest hit. Gable? Loy had the biggest hit. Tracy? Loy had the biggest hit. James Stewart? Loy had the biggest hit. Powell? Loy appeared with him so many times it is probably not fair, but she had the biggest hits. If her success was all due to the box office clout of the co-stars, why would this be true? Makes no sense to me. Folks wanted to see Loy teamed with these stars more than they wanted to see Crawford teamed with them, at least after Loy emerged as a top star.

      Cogerson’s Loy-Crawford comparison page tells the story. The top 6 are Loy movies. 9 of the top 10 are Loy movies. 12 out of the top 15 are Loy movies. 18 of the top 25 are Loy movies.

      Anyway, Bob, it is fun thinking on these issues and thanks for raising all these questions.

      The major issue for me is why has Crawford endured so much more as an icon in the modern world? My guess would be because she has, perhaps unfairly, somehow assumed the Norma Desmond mantle of the crazy old movie actress obsessed with her fading stardom. Her daughter’s tell-all book might have done her image a left-handed favor. Loy, on the other hand, seems to have been a balanced person who led a quiet life. Her biggest “scandal” was speaking out against the treatment of African-Americans in the movie industry at a time when such a viewpoint was not popular and so getting “gray” listed. It would be hard to make a lurid movie about her today.

      As for Loy being lucky to get a cameo in the films of Doris Day, Elizabeth Taylor, or Betty Grable–at the time you are talking about, Loy was 55. None of these actresses had any kind of movie career at all at that age. Barbara Stanwyck got below the title featured billing in Roustabout. Elvis was billed alone above the title. I don’t think this tells me anything about Stanwyck’s long-term status as a movie star. Nor about how she compares to Elvis.

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