Best Movies of the '40's

by Hairy_Lime | created - 28 May 2011 | updated - 28 May 2011 | Public
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1. The Third Man (1949)

Not Rated | 93 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard

Votes: 127,302 | Gross: $0.45M

2. Citizen Kane (1941)

PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
100 Metascore

Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 328,863 | Gross: $1.59M

3. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
100 Metascore

In Casablanca in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate encounters a former lover, with unforeseen complications.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 429,493 | Gross: $1.02M

4. Rebecca (1940)

Not Rated | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

8.2
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A self-conscious bride is tormented by the memory of her husband's dead first wife.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson

Votes: 97,764

5. Notorious (1946)

Approved | 101 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Louis Calhern

Votes: 79,501 | Gross: $10.46M

6. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Not Rated | 112 min | Comedy, Romance

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey

Votes: 54,077

7. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Not Rated | 100 min | Film-Noir, Mystery

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre

Votes: 125,605

8. The Big Sleep (1946)

Approved | 114 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers

Votes: 69,042

9. Double Indemnity (1944)

Not Rated | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Byron Barr

Votes: 110,663 | Gross: $5.72M

10. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Not Rated | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

8.3
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Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, two Americans searching for work in Mexico, convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt, Bruce Bennett

Votes: 88,691 | Gross: $5.01M

11. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Approved | 108 min | Thriller

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young woman discovers her visiting uncle may not be the man he seems to be.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey, Henry Travers

Votes: 49,484

12. Laura (1944)

Approved | 88 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price

Votes: 35,156

13. Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Approved | 106 min | Comedy, Crime

8.1
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A distant poor relative of the Duke of D'Ascoyne plots to inherit the title by murdering the eight other heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession.

Director: Robert Hamer | Stars: Dennis Price, Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson, Joan Greenwood

Votes: 29,940

14. Spellbound (1945)

Unrated | 111 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Romance

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A psychiatrist protects the identity of an amnesia patient accused of murder while attempting to recover his memory.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov, Leo G. Carroll

Votes: 36,053 | Gross: $7.00M

15. His Girl Friday (1940)

Not Rated | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, Gene Lockhart

Votes: 44,716

16. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

Approved | 88 min | Drama, Romance

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The spoiled young heir to the decaying Amberson fortune comes between his widowed mother and the man she has always loved.

Directors: Orson Welles, Fred Fleck, Robert Wise | Stars: Tim Holt, Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello, Anne Baxter

Votes: 18,234

17. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Not Rated | 118 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey, Jack Carson

Votes: 58,065

18. Fort Apache (1948)

Approved | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Western

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

At Fort Apache, an honorable and veteran war captain finds conflict when his regime is placed under the command of a young, glory hungry lieutenant colonel with no respect for the local Indian tribe.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple, Pedro Armendáriz

Votes: 13,681

19. Bambi (1942)

Approved | 70 min | Animation, Drama, Family

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of a young deer growing up in the forest.

Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, David Hand, Graham Heid, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Norman Wright | Stars: Hardie Albright, Stan Alexander, Bobette Audrey, Peter Behn

Votes: 105,836 | Gross: $102.80M

20. To Have and Have Not (1944)

Not Rated | 100 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance

8.0
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During World War II, American expatriate Harry Morgan helps transport a French Resistance leader and his beautiful wife to Martinique while romancing a sensuous lounge singer.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Walter Brennan, Dolores Moran

Votes: 25,579

21. Sullivan's Travels (1941)

Not Rated | 90 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A director of escapist films goes on the road as a hobo to learn about life, which gives him a rude awakening.

Director: Preston Sturges | Stars: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick, William Demarest

Votes: 20,003

22. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Not Rated | 129 min | Drama, History

8.1
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A poor Midwest family is forced off their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine, Charley Grapewin

Votes: 70,562

23. The Fallen Idol (1948)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
88 Metascore

A butler working in a foreign embassy in London falls under suspicion when his wife accidentally falls to her death, the only witness being an impressionable young boy.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Ralph Richardson, Michèle Morgan, Sonia Dresdel, Bobby Henrey

Votes: 6,199 | Gross: $0.06M

24. White Heat (1949)

Approved | 114 min | Action, Crime, Drama

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist. Shortly after the plan takes place, events take a crazy turn.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien, Margaret Wycherly

Votes: 22,535

25. The Lost Weekend (1945)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Film-Noir

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four-day drinking bout.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry, Howard Da Silva

Votes: 27,874 | Gross: $9.46M

26. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Not Rated | 170 min | Drama, Romance, War

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Fredric March, Teresa Wright

Votes: 45,146 | Gross: $23.65M

27. My Darling Clementine (1946)

Not Rated | 97 min | Biography, Drama, Western

7.8
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The Earps battle the Clantons at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature, Cathy Downs

Votes: 17,903

28. Suspicion (1941)

Not Rated | 99 min | Mystery, Thriller

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
83 Metascore

A shy young heiress marries a charming gentleman, and soon begins to suspect he is planning to murder her.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Cedric Hardwicke, Nigel Bruce

Votes: 26,286 | Gross: $4.50M

29. Five Graves to Cairo (1943)

Approved | 96 min | Thriller, War

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

During World War II, an undercover British soldier tries get word to the Allies that the Germans have tons of supplies buried in five excavations across Egypt.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Franchot Tone, Anne Baxter, Akim Tamiroff, Erich von Stroheim

Votes: 4,086

30. Great Expectations (1946)

Not Rated | 118 min | Adventure, Drama, Mystery

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.

Director: David Lean | Stars: John Mills, Valerie Hobson, Tony Wager, Jean Simmons

Votes: 18,949