My Favorite Films from 1940 to 1949 (in chronological order)

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1.
The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand one another, without realizing that they're falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal. (99 mins.)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
 
2.
Fantasia (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music. (125 mins.)
 
3.
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A poor Midwest family is forced off of their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression. (129 mins.)
Director: John Ford
 
4.
The Great Dictator (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime. (125 mins.)
Director: Charles Chaplin
 
5.
The Letter (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The wife of a rubber plantation administrator shoots a man to death and claims it was self-defense, but a letter in her own hand may prove her undoing. (95 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
 
6.
His Girl Friday (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying. (92 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
7.
Rebecca (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A self-conscious bride is tormented by the memory of her husband's dead first wife. (130 mins.)
 
8.
The Sea Hawk (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Geoffrey Thorpe, a buccaneer, is hired by Queen Elizabeth I to nag the Spanish Armada. The Armada is waiting for the attack on England and Thorpe surprises them with attacks on their galleons where he shows his skills on the sword. (127 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
 
9.
Gaslight (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Twenty years after the murder of Alice Barlow, her house is finally occupied again. However, the husband of the couple who have moved in has a secret which he will do anything to keep hidden. (84 mins.)
 
10.
Citizen Kane (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance. (119 mins.)
Director: Orson Welles
 
11.
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
    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. (100 mins.)
Director: John Huston
 
12.
How Green Was My Valley (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
At the turn of the century in a Welsh mining village, the Morgans, he stern, she gentle, raise coal-mining sons and hope their youngest will find a better life. (118 mins.)
Director: John Ford
 
13.
Sullivan's Travels (1941)
    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. (90 mins.)
Director: Preston Sturges
 
14.
The Lady Eve (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A trio of classy card sharps targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, till one of them falls in love with him. (94 mins.)
Director: Preston Sturges
 
15.
49th Parallel (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A WW2 U-boat crew is stranded in northern Canada. To avoid internment, they must make their way to the border and get into the still-neutral USA. (123 mins.)
Director: Michael Powell
 
16.
The Little Foxes (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The ruthless, moneyed Hubbard clan lives in, and poisons, their part of the deep South at the turn of the 20th century. (116 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
 
17.
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A film of the life of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer, and singer George M. Cohan. (126 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
 
18.
The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
    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. (88 mins.)
Director: Orson Welles
 
19.
The Dover Boys at Pimento University or The Rivals of Roquefort Hall (1942 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Three fun-loving, morally upright brothers from Pimento University save their fiancée from their fiendish archenemy, Dan Backslide, in this spoof of the Rover Boys. (9 mins.)
 
20.
Now, Voyager (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A Boston spinster blossoms under therapy and finds an impossible romance. (117 mins.)
Director: Irving Rapper
 
21.
The Palm Beach Story (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An inventor needs cash to develop his big idea. His wife, who loves him, decides to raise it for him by divorcing him and marrying a millionaire. (88 mins.)
Director: Preston Sturges
 
22.
Casablanca (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
In Casablanca, Morocco in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications. (102 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
 
23.
Cat People (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An American man marries a Serbian immigrant who fears that she will turn into the cat person of her homeland's fables if they are intimate together. (73 mins.)
 
24.
Meshes of the Afternoon (1943 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A woman returning home falls asleep and has vivid dreams that may or may not be happening in reality. Through repetitive images and complete mismatching of the objective view of time and space, her dark inner desires play out on-screen. (14 mins.)
 
25.
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A young woman discovers her visiting "Uncle Charlie" may not be the man he seems to be. (108 mins.)
 
26.
Day of Wrath (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The young wife of an aging priest falls in love with his son amidst the horror of a merciless witch hunt in 17th century Denmark. (97 mins.)
 
27.
I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A Canadian nurse is hired to care for the wife of a sugar plantation owner, who has been acting strangely, on a Caribbean island. (69 mins.)
 
28.
The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
When a posse catches up three men suspected of killing a local farmer, some of them become strongly divided on whether or not to lynch the men. (75 mins.)
 
29.
Le Corbeau: The Raven (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
French village doctor becomes target of poison-pen letters sent to village leaders, accusing him of affairs and practicing abortion. (92 mins.)
 
30.
Heaven Can Wait (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An old roué arrives in Hades to review his life with Satan, who will rule on his eligibility to enter the Underworld. (112 mins.)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
 
31.
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
From the Boer War through World War II, a soldier rises through the ranks in the British military. (163 mins.)
 
32.
Double Indemnity (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions. (107 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
33.
Gaslight (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Years after her aunt was murdered in her home, a young woman moves back into the house with her new husband. However, he has a secret that he will do anything to protect, even if it means driving his wife insane. (114 mins.)
Director: George Cukor
 
34.
The Children Are Watching Us (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A four-year old boy, Pricò, becomes the subject of emotional folly by his fluctuant parents and inattentive relatives. (84 mins.)
 
35.
Laura (1944)
    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. (88 mins.)
Director: Otto Preminger
 
36.
The Woman in the Window (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
When a conservative middle-aged professor engages in a minor dalliance with a femme fatale, he is plunged into a nightmarish quicksand of blackmail and murder. (107 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
 
37.
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In the year before the 1904 St Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York. (113 mins.)
 
38.
Brief Encounter (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Meeting a stranger in a railway station, a woman is tempted to cheat on her husband. (86 mins.)
Director: David Lean
 
39.
The Lost Weekend (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four day drinking bout. (101 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
40.
Scarlet Street (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
When a man in mid-life crisis befriends a young woman, her venal fiancé persuades her to con him out of some of the fortune she thinks he has. (103 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
 
41.
Detour (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Chance events trap hitch-hiker Al Roberts in a tightening net of film noir trouble. (67 mins.)
Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
 
42.
The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A corrupt young man somehow keeps his youthful beauty, but a special painting gradually reveals his inner ugliness to all. (110 mins.)
Director: Albert Lewin
 
43.
Fallen Angel (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A slick con man arrives in a small town looking to make some money, but soon gets more than he bargained for. (98 mins.)
Director: Otto Preminger
 
44.
Dead of Night (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An architect senses impending doom as his half-remembered recurring dream turns into reality. The guests at the country house encourage him to stay as they take turns telling supernatural tales. (103 mins.)
 
45.
Leave Her to Heaven (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A writer meets a young socialite on board a train. The two fall in love and are married soon after, but her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of both them and everyone else around them. (110 mins.)
Director: John M. Stahl
 
46.
Children of Paradise (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The theatrical life of a beautiful courtesan and the four men who love her. (190 mins.)
Director: Marcel Carné
 
47.
Notorious (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 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? (101 mins.)
 
48.
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. (130 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
 
49.
The Big Sleep (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 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. (114 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
50.
Under the Bridges (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Two barge skippers fall in love with the same woman. (99 mins.)
Director: Helmut Käutner
 
51.
The Killers (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins. (97 mins.)
Director: Robert Siodmak
 
52.
Cluny Brown (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Amateur plumber Cluny Brown gets sent off by her uncle to work as a servant at an English country estate... (100 mins.)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
 
53.
Let There Be Light (1946 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The final entry in a trilogy of films produced for the U.S. government by John Huston. This documentary film follows 75 U.S... (58 mins.)
Director: John Huston
 
54.
Odd Man Out (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A wounded Irish nationalist leader attempts to evade police following a failed robbery. Action takes place in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (116 mins.)
Director: Carol Reed
 
55.
Black Narcissus (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
After opening a convent in the Himalayas, five nuns encounter conflict and tension - both with the natives and also within their own group - as they attempt to adapt to their remote, exotic surroundings. (100 mins.)
 
56.
Dark Passage (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A man convicted of murdering his wife escapes from prison and works with a woman to try and prove his innocence. (106 mins.)
Director: Delmer Daves
 
57.
The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O'Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot. (87 mins.)
 
58.
Nightmare Alley (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The rise and fall of Stanton Carlisle, a mentalist whose lies and deceit prove to be his downfall. (110 mins.)
Director: Edmund Goulding
 
59.
Brighton Rock (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Pinkie Brown is a small-town hoodlum whose gang runs a protection racket based at Brighton race course... (92 mins.)
Director: John Boulting
 
60.
Out of the Past (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames. (97 mins.)
 
61.
Devil in the Flesh (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
During World War I, the star-crossed affair of an underage French student with a woman engaged to a soldier. (110 mins.)
 
62.
Le tempestaire (1947 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In a village in Brittany, a young maid and an old woman are spinning while the wind blows threateningly outdoors... (22 mins.)
Director: Jean Epstein
 
63.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
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. (126 mins.)
Director: John Huston
 
64.
The Fallen Idol (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
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. (95 mins.)
Director: Carol Reed
 
65.
Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A pianist about to flee from a duel receives a letter from a woman he cannot remember, who may hold the key to his downfall. (86 mins.)
Director: Max Opuls
 
66.
The Red Shoes (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A young ballet dancer is torn between the man she loves and her pursuit to become a prima ballerina. (133 mins.)
 
67.
I Remember Mama (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The ups and downs of a Norwegian immigrant family, circa 1910. (134 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
 
68.
Bicycle Thieves (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Set in Post-WWII Italy, a working class man's bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it. (89 mins.)
 
69.
Rope (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Two young men strangle their "inferior" classmate, hide his body in their apartment, and invite his friends and family to a dinner party as a means to challenge the "perfection" of their crime. (80 mins.)
 
70.
Spring in a Small Town (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A lonely housewife finds her monotonous life altered when her childhood sweetheart returns to town. (98 mins.)
Director: Mu Fei
 
71.
Portrait of Jennie (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A mysterious girl inspires a struggling artist. (86 mins.)
 
72.
Le sang des bêtes (1949 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An early example of ultra-realism, this movie contrasts the quiet, bucolic life in the outskirts of Paris with the harsh... (20 mins.)
Director: Georges Franju
 
73.
A Letter to Three Wives (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A letter is addressed to three wives from their "best friend" Addie Ross, announcing that she is running away with one of their husbands: but she does not say which one. (103 mins.)
 
74.
Caught (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
It was Leonora Eames' childhood dream come true. She had married Smith Ohlrig, a man worth millions... (88 mins.)
Director: Max Opuls
 
75.
Pacific 231 (1949 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An engine moves from the roundhouse to a track where it couples with several passenger cars. At 2:10 in the afternoon... (9 mins.)
Director: Jean Mitry
 
76.
White Heat (1949)
    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 (114 mins.)
Director: Raoul Walsh
 
77.
Thieves' Highway (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A war-veteran-turned-truck driver attempts to avenge the crippling and robbing of his father at the hands of an amoral produce scofflaw. (94 mins.)
Director: Jules Dassin
 
78.
The Heiress (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter. (115 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
 
79.
The Reckless Moment (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
After discovering the dead body of her teenage daughter's lover, a housewife takes desperate measures to protect her family from scandal. (82 mins.)
Director: Max Opuls
 
80.
Adam's Rib (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Domestic and professional tensions mount when a husband and wife work as opposing lawyers in a case involving a woman who shot her husband. (101 mins.)
Director: George Cukor
 
81.
The Third Man (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime. (104 mins.)
Director: Carol Reed
 
82.
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
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. (106 mins.)
Director: Robert Hamer
 
83.
Late Spring (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Noriko is twenty-seven years old and still living with her widowed father. Everybody tries to talk her into marrying, but Noriko wants to stay at home caring for her father. (108 mins.)
Director: Yasujirô Ozu
 
84.
Stray Dog (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
During a sweltering summer, a rookie homicide detective tries to track down his stolen Colt pistol. (122 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
85.
The Set-Up (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Over-the-hill boxer Bill 'Stoker' Thompson insists he can still win, though his sexy wife Julie pleads with him to quit... (73 mins.)
Director: Robert Wise
 
86.
Out-Foxed (1949 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Droopy is an unlikely fox-hound, but the highly civilised (and resourceful) English upper-class fox makes even more unlikely prey... (8 mins.)
Director: Tex Avery