Best of the 1940s

My 50 favorite from the 1940s. This is easily my weakest decade and the one I need to expand upon the most.
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1.
The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A nineteenth-century New Hampshire farmer who makes a compact with Satan for economic success enlists Daniel Webster to extract him from his contract. (107 mins.)
 
2.
Raw Deal (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Joe Sullivan has taken the rap for Rick who double-crosses him with a flawed escape plan and other means intended to get rid of him. (79 mins.)
Director: Anthony Mann
 
3.
Yellow Sky (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A pistol-packing tomboy and her grandfather discover a band of bank robbing bandits taking refuge in the neighboring ghost town. (98 mins.)
 
4.
Deep Valley (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Uneducated and poor, Libby lives a sheltered life in a broken down shack with her unloving parents.... (104 mins.)
Director: Jean Negulesco
 
5.
Louisiana Story (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The idyllic life of a young Cajun boy and his pet raccoon is disrupted when the tranquility of the bayou is broken by an oil well drilling near his home. (78 mins.)
Director: Robert Flaherty
 
6.
Border Incident (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Mexican and American federal agents tackle a vicious gang exploiting illegal farm workers in southern California. (94 mins.)
Director: Anthony Mann
 
7.
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.)
 
8.
Blood on the Moon (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Unemployed cowhand Jim Garry is hired by his dishonest friend Tate Riling as muscle in a dispute between homesteaders and cattleman John Lufton. (88 mins.)
Director: Robert Wise
 
9.
The Long Voyage Home (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Aboard the freighter Glencairn, the lives of the crew are lived out in fear, loneliness, suspicion and cameraderie... (105 mins.)
Director: John Ford
 
10.
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.)
 
11.
Moonrise (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Danny is being despised by his schoolmates because his father was accused to have killed another man and is condemned to the death penalty. (90 mins.)
Director: Frank Borzage
 
12.
Colorado Territory (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
In Colorado territory, outlaw Wes McQueen escapes jail to pull a railroad robbery but, upon meeting pretty settler Julie Ann, he wonders about going straight. (94 mins.)
Director: Raoul Walsh
 
13.
My Darling Clementine (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A Western retelling the tale of the Shoot-out at the OK Corral. (97 mins.)
Director: John Ford
 
14.
Pinocchio (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy. (88 mins.)
 
15.
Johnny Belinda (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In post-war Cape Breton, a doctor's efforts to tutor a deaf/mute woman are undermined when she is raped, and the resulting pregnancy causes scandal to swirl. (102 mins.)
Director: Jean Negulesco
 
16.
Hollow Triumph (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Pursued by the big-time gambler he robbed, John Muller takes a new identity, with ironic results. (83 mins.)
Director: Steve Sekely
 
17.
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.)
 
18.
The Spiral Staircase (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A serial killer (circa 1916) is targeting women with 'afflictions'; one night during a thunderstorm, mute Helen feels menaced. (83 mins.)
Director: Robert Siodmak
 
19.
Hangover Square (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A promising classical musician finds his life poisoned by a music hall dancer -- and by the strange gaps in his memory. (77 mins.)
Director: John Brahm
 
20.
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.)
 
21.
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
 
22.
The Body Snatcher (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A ruthless doctor and his young prize student find themselves continually harassed by their murderous supplier of illegal cadavers. (77 mins.)
Director: Robert Wise
 
23.
Canyon Passage (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Businessman Logan Stuart is torn between his love of two very different women in 1850's Oregon and his loyalty to a compulsive gambler friend who goes over the line. (92 mins.)
 
24.
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
 
25.
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.)
 
26.
The Mortal Storm (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The Roth family lead a quiet life in a small village in the German Alps during the early 1930s. When the Nazis come to power, the family is divided and Martin Brietner, a family friend is caught up in the turmoil. (100 mins.)
Director: Frank Borzage
 
27.
Dumbo (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Ridiculed because of his enormous ears, a young circus elephant is assisted by a mouse to achieve his full potential. (64 mins.)
 
28.
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
 
29.
Quai des Orfèvres (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Jenny Lamour wants to succeed in music hall. Her husband and accompanist is Maurice Martineau, a nice but jealous guy... (106 mins.)
Director: H. G. Clouzot
 
30.
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.)
 
31.
Donald's Snow Fight (1942 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Donald Duck, in a battleship made of ice, goes to war against his three nephews, who fight back from their ice fort. (7 mins.)
 
32.
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.)
 
33.
He Walked by Night (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
This film-noir piece, told in semi-documentary style, follows police on the hunt for a resourceful criminal who shoots and kills a cop. (79 mins.)
Director: Alfred Werker
 
34.
Reign of Terror (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Robespierrre, a powerful figure in the French revolution, is desperately looking for his black book, a death list of those marked for the guillotine. (89 mins.)
Director: Anthony Mann
 
35.
Christmas Under Fire (1941 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
How Britain coped with a Christmas during the war. (10 mins.)
 
36.
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
 
37.
I'll Be Seeing You (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A soldier suffering from combat fatigue meets a young woman on Christmas furlough from prison and their mutual loneliness blossoms into romance. (85 mins.)
 
38.
So Dark the Night (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A renowned and relentless Paris detective takes his first vacation in eleven years at a small inn in the French countryside... (71 mins.)
Director: Joseph H. Lewis
 
39.
Spellbound (1945)
    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. (111 mins.)
 
40.
At Land (1944 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Silently, a woman wakes on a beach as the tides go in reverse. Her dreamscape unfolds as she tries to locate a chess piece traveling from the beach to a party to a country road and then back. (15 mins.)
Director: Maya Deren
 
41.
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.)
 
42.
The Leopard Man (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A seemingly tame leopard used for a publicity stunt escapes and kills a young girl, spreading panic throughout a sleepy new Mexico town. (66 mins.)
 
43.
Ornamental Hairpin (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Emi Ota and her friend Okiku stay briefly at a mountain inn and then return to Tokyo. Later, Nanmura... (75 mins.)
Director: Hiroshi Shimizu
 
44.
Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family. (118 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
 
45.
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
 
46.
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.)
 
47.
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
 
48.
Hemp for Victory (1943 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An informational film produced to encourage farmers to grow hemp for the war effort during WW2. The film details the many industrial uses of hemp, including cloth and cordage, as well as a detailed history of the plant's use. (15 mins.)
Director: Raymond Evans
 
49.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In a small town, a brewing romantic rivalry with a local tough and a school-teacher culminates in a terrifying ride in the night. (34 mins.)
 
50.
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