Top 40 of the 40s

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1.
The Thin Man Goes Home (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Nick and Nora visit Nick's hometown, and end up involved in a murder. (100 mins.)
Director: Richard Thorpe
 
2.
House of Strangers (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
After years in prison, Max promises revenge on his brothers for their betrayal. His lover Irene and memories of his past yield him a broader perspective. (101 mins.)
 
3.
Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Whilst on the telephone, an invalid woman overhears what she thinks is a murder plot and attempts to prevent it. (89 mins.)
Director: Anatole Litvak
 
4.
Penny Serenade (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A couple's big dreams give way to a life full of unexpected sadness and unexpected joy. (119 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
 
5.
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A man and his wife decide they can afford to have a house in the country built to their specifications. It's a lot more trouble than they think. (94 mins.)
Director: H.C. Potter
 
6.
All Through the Night (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Runyonesque Broadway gamblers turn patriotic when they stumble onto a cell of Nazi saboteurs. (107 mins.)
Director: Vincent Sherman
 
7.
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
 
8.
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
 
9.
Mr. Skeffington (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Popular and beautiful Fanny Trellis is forced into a loveless marriage with an older man, Jewish banker Job Skeffington, in order to save her beloved brother Trippy from an embezzlement charge, and predictable complications result. (146 mins.)
Director: Vincent Sherman
 
10.
Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Nick and Nora are at their wise-cracking best as they investigate murder and racketeering at a local race-track. (97 mins.)
 
11.
Across the Pacific (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Rick Leland makes no secret of the fact he has no loyalty to his home country after he is court-martialed... (97 mins.)
Director: John Huston
 
12.
The More the Merrier (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
During the WW2 housing shortage in Washington, two men and a woman share a single apartment and the older man plays Cupid to the other two. (104 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
 
13.
High Sierra (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
After being released from prison, notorious thief Roy Earle is hired by his old boss to help a group of inexperienced criminals plan and carry out the robbery of a California resort. (100 mins.)
Director: Raoul Walsh
 
14.
My Favorite Wife (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Missing for seven years and presumed dead, a woman returns home on the day of her husband's second marriage. (88 mins.)
Director: Garson Kanin
 
15.
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
 
16.
Reap the Wild Wind (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Florida ship salvager, Loxi, falls for Jack, captain of a ship wrecked on the Key West shore. However, their romance is complicated by the arrival of another suitor, and eventually leads to tragedy. (123 mins.)
 
17.
Gentleman's Agreement (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A reporter pretends to be Jewish in order to cover a story on anti-Semitism, and personally discovers the true depths of bigotry and hatred. (118 mins.)
Director: Elia Kazan
 
18.
Sahara (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Sergeant Joe Gunn and his tank crew pick up five British soldiers, a Frenchman and a Sudanese man with... (97 mins.)
Director: Zoltan Korda
 
19.
Key Largo (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A man visits his old friend's hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other. (100 mins.)
Director: John Huston
 
20.
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
 
21.
Sergeant York (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A hillbilly sharpshooter drafted in WW1 despite his claim to be a pacifist, who ends up becoming a war hero. (134 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
22.
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
 
23.
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
 
24.
Shock (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A psychologically distraught woman is committed to a private sanitarium by the man she witnessed commit a murder. (70 mins.)
Director: Alfred Werker
 
25.
The Naughty Nineties (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
When their captain is swindled out of his riverboat by a trio of gamblers, stage show star Abbott and his bumbling sidekick Costello must put things right. (76 mins.)
Director: Jean Yarbrough
 
26.
My Friend Flicka (1943)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Ken McLaughlin struggles to please his family in any way. He comes back from boarding school boasting... (89 mins.)
Director: Harold Schuster
 
27.
To Have and Have Not (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
During World War II, American expatriate Harry Morgan helps transport a French Resistance leader and his beautiful wife to Martinique while romancing a sexy lounge singer. (100 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
28.
Red River (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Dunson leads a cattle drive, the culmination of over 14 years of work, to its destination in Missouri. But his tyrannical behavior along the way causes a mutiny, led by his adopted son. (133 mins.)
 
29.
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
 
30.
Bambi (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The story of a young deer growing up in the forest. (70 mins.)
 
31.
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
 
32.
Song of the Thin Man (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Nick, Nora, and Nick Jr. investigate the murder of a band leader in New York. (86 mins.)
Director: Edward Buzzell
 
33.
A Night in Casablanca (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The Marx Brothers are employed at a hotel in postwar Casablanca, where a ring of Nazis is trying to recover a cache of stolen treasure. (85 mins.)
Director: Archie L. Mayo
 
34.
The Wolf Man (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A practical man returns to his homeland, is attacked by a creature of folklore, and infected with a horrific disease his disciplined mind tells him can not possibly exist. (70 mins.)
Director: George Waggner
 
35.
Oliver Twist (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Based on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist is about an orphan boy who runs away from a workhouse and meets a pickpocket on the streets of London... (116 mins.)
Director: David Lean
 
36.
Blood on the Sun (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A dedicated American reporter in 1930s Japan is determined to expose that government's plan for world domination. (98 mins.)
Director: Frank Lloyd
 
37.
My Dear Secretary (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Owen Waterbury, bestselling novelist, recruits aspiring writer Stephanie 'Steve' Gaylord as his latest of many secretaries... (94 mins.)
Director: Charles Martin
 
38.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing. (96 mins.)
Director: George Seaton
 
39.
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
 
40.
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