The Best MOVIES OF THE 1940s

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1.
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
 
2.
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed. (130 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
 
3.
Casablanca (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
In Casablanca in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate encounters a former lover, with unforeseen complications. (102 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
 
4.
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.)
 
5.
Children of Paradise (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The theatrical life of a beautiful courtesan and the four men who love her. (189 mins.)
Director: Marcel Carné
 
6.
Beauty and the Beast (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her. (96 mins.)
Director: Jean Cocteau
 
7.
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
 
8.
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 each other, without realizing that they are falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal. (99 mins.)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
 
9.
Under Capricorn (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A young gentleman goes to Australia where he reunites with his now married childhood sweetheart, only to find out she has become an alcoholic and harbors dark secrets. (117 mins.)
 
10.
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
 
11.
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
 
12.
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 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
 
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 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. (134 mins.)
 
15.
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
 
16.
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 their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression. (129 mins.)
Director: John Ford
 
17.
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 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. (112 mins.)
Director: George Cukor
 
18.
Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 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
 
19.
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, until one of them falls in love with him. (94 mins.)
Director: Preston Sturges
 
20.
To Be or Not to Be (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier's efforts to track down a German spy. (99 mins.)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
 
21.
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
 
22.
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
 
23.
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.)
 
24.
The Third Man (1949)
    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. (104 mins.)
Director: Carol Reed
 
25.
Hamlet (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Prince Hamlet struggles over whether or not he should kill his uncle, whom he suspects has murdered his father, the former king. (154 mins.)
 
26.
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
 
27.
Rome, Open City (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
During the Nazi occupation of Rome in 1944, resistance leader Giorgio Manfredi is chased by Nazis and he seeks refuge and escape. (103 mins.)
 
28.
Germany Year Zero (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A young German boy faces the problems of the tough life in the immediate post WWII Berlin. (78 mins.)
 
29.
Le Corbeau (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
French village doctor becomes target of poison-pen letters sent to village leaders, accusing him of affairs and practicing abortion. (92 mins.)
 
30.
My Darling Clementine (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The Earps battle the Clantons at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. (97 mins.)
Director: John Ford
 
31.
Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
During the early part of his reign, Ivan the Terrible faces betrayal from the aristocracy and even his closest friends as he seeks to unite the Russian people. (103 mins.)
 
32.
The Lame Devil (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
(125 mins.)
Director: Sacha Guitry
 
33.
Cluny Brown (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A free-spirited parlor maid and a Czech refugee surprise an English village with their unconventional ways. (100 mins.)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
 
34.
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
 
35.
Double Indemnity (1944)
    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. (107 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
36.
The Eagle with Two Heads (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Political intrigue and psychological drama run parallel. The queen is in seclusion, veiling her face... (93 mins.)
Director: Jean Cocteau
 
37.
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
 
38.
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.)
 
39.
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 the fortune they mistakenly assume he possesses. (102 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
 
40.
La Terra Trema (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In rural Sicily, the fishermen live at the mercy of the greedy wholesalers. One family risks everything to buy their own boat and operate independently. (160 mins.)
 
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.
A Foreign Affair (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In occupied Berlin, an army captain is torn between an ex-Nazi café singer and the U.S. congresswoman investigating her. (116 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder