I gave him a movie as a gift, though not one from the 1930's. Rather, it was a copy of Christopher Nolan's 2006 film The Prestige which is about two magicians engaged in a bitter rivalry during the late 1890's. It's an engrossing movie full of twists and turns which will keep you guessing right up until the end, and I enjoyed it very much when I watched it. My brother-in-law has never seen it, so he's definitely in for a treat.
There are a lot of really solid performances in the film, and David Bowie makes an appearance as Nikola Tesla- who can resist that?