1940's films to watch ...

by thegingermark | created - 27 Nov 2011 | updated - 27 Nov 2011 | Public
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1. They Died with Their Boots On (1941)

Approved | 140 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

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

A highly fictionalized account of the life of George Armstrong Custer from his arrival at West Point in 1857 to his death at the battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876. He has little ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Arthur Kennedy, Charley Grapewin

Votes: 4,882

2. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Not Rated | 129 min | Drama, History

8.1
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    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.

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

Votes: 70,575

3. Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama

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

In post-war Italy, a working-class man's bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it.

Director: Vittorio De Sica | Stars: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell, Elena Altieri

Votes: 108,685 | Gross: $0.33M

4. 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: 54,085

5. Stairway to Heaven (1946)

PG | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

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

A British wartime aviator who cheats death must argue for his life before a celestial court.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: David Niven, Kim Hunter, Robert Coote, Kathleen Byron

Votes: 15,155

6. Above Suspicion (1943)

Passed | 90 min | Drama, Thriller

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Oxford Professor Richard Myles and new bride Frances are off on a European honeymoon. It isn't your typical honeymoon though, for they are on a spying mission for British intelligence on ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Thorpe | Stars: Joan Crawford, Fred MacMurray, Conrad Veidt, Basil Rathbone

Votes: 1,441

7. Behind Locked Doors (1948)

Approved | 62 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A well-known judge has become a fugitive from the police, with a large reward on his head. A reporter believes that the judge is hiding in a private sanitarium, so she seeks out a private ... See full summary »

Director: Budd Boetticher | Stars: Lucille Bremer, Richard Carlson, Douglas Fowley, Ralf Harolde

Votes: 611

8. Bodyguard (1948)

Approved | 62 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After being fired for insubordination, homicide detective Mike Carter is hired as bodyguard by the owner of a local meat-packing plant where a meat inspector has been murdered.

Director: Richard Fleischer | Stars: Lawrence Tierney, Priscilla Lane, Phillip Reed, June Clayworth

Votes: 420

9. Brighton Rock (1947)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

7.4
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    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. When Pinkie murders a journalist called Fred Hale whom he believes is responsible for... See full summary »

Director: John Boulting | Stars: Richard Attenborough, Hermione Baddeley, William Hartnell, Harcourt Williams

Votes: 4,357 | Gross: $0.22M

10. Cat People (1942)

Not Rated | 73 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

7.4
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    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.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Simone Simon, Tom Conway, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph

Votes: 15,243 | Gross: $4.00M

11. Christmas in July (1940)

Passed | 67 min | Comedy, Romance

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

When the co-workers of an ambitious clerk trick him into thinking he has won $25,000 in a slogan contest, he begins to use the money to fulfill his dreams. What will happen when the ruse is discovered?

Director: Preston Sturges | Stars: Dick Powell, Ellen Drew, Raymond Walburn, Alexander Carr

Votes: 2,601

12. Dead of Night (1945)

Approved | 77 min | Horror

7.7
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    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.

Directors: Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden, Robert Hamer | Stars: Mervyn Johns, Michael Redgrave, Roland Culver, Mary Merrall

Votes: 8,686

13. Dead Reckoning (1947)

Passed | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A soldier runs away rather than receive the Medal of Honor, so his buddy gets permission to investigate, and love and death soon follow.

Director: John Cromwell | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lizabeth Scott, Morris Carnovsky, Charles Cane

Votes: 4,947

14. Destination Tokyo (1943)

Approved | 135 min | Adventure, History, War

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In order to provide information for the first air raid over Tokyo, a U.S. submarine sneaks into Tokyo Bay and places a spy team ashore.

Director: Delmer Daves | Stars: Cary Grant, John Garfield, Alan Hale, John Ridgely

Votes: 3,947

15. Guadalcanal Diary (1943)

Approved | 93 min | Drama, War

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The story of a large U.S. Marines invasion task force bound for Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands in 1942.

Director: Lewis Seiler | Stars: Preston Foster, Lloyd Nolan, William Bendix, Richard Conte

Votes: 1,789

16. Hamlet (1948)

Unrated | 154 min | Drama

7.8
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    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.

Director: Laurence Olivier | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, John Laurie, Esmond Knight

Votes: 12,840

17. He Walked by Night (1948)

Approved | 79 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

7.2
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    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.

Directors: Alfred L. Werker, Anthony Mann | Stars: Richard Basehart, Scott Brady, Roy Roberts, Whit Bissell

Votes: 3,633

18. Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Not Rated | 106 min | Comedy, Crime

8.1
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    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.

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

Votes: 29,947

19. Lady in the Lake (1947)

Approved | 105 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The lady editor of a crime magazine hires Philip Marlowe to find the wife of her boss. The private detective soon finds himself involved in murder.

Director: Robert Montgomery | Stars: Robert Montgomery, Audrey Totter, Lloyd Nolan, Tom Tully

Votes: 4,000

20. Leave Her to Heaven (1945)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

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

A writer falls in love with a young socialite and they are married soon after, but her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of both them and everyone else around them.

Director: John M. Stahl | Stars: Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crain, Vincent Price

Votes: 8,787

21. Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)

Not Rated | 87 min | Drama, Romance

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 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.

Director: Max Ophüls | Stars: Joan Fontaine, Louis Jourdan, Mady Christians, Marcel Journet

Votes: 9,043

22. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

Approved | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In the year leading up to 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.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor, Lucille Bremer

Votes: 16,470 | Gross: $7.57M

23. Mildred Pierce (1945)

Not Rated | 111 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A hard-working mother inches towards disaster as she divorces her husband and starts a successful restaurant business to support her spoiled daughter.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden

Votes: 17,988

24. Raw Deal (1948)

Approved | 79 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

7.4
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    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.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Claire Trevor, Marsha Hunt, John Ireland

Votes: 3,114

25. Rome, Open City (1945)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Thriller, War

8.1
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    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.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Anna Magnani, Aldo Fabrizi, Marcello Pagliero, Vito Annichiarico

Votes: 18,372

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: 45,155 | Gross: $23.65M

27. The Big Sleep (1946)

Not Rated | 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: 69,050

28. The Killers (1946)

Not Rated | 103 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

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

Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins.

Director: Robert Siodmak | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, Albert Dekker

Votes: 15,479

29. The Letter (1940)

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

7.7
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    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.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson, Frieda Inescort

Votes: 9,324

30. The Mask of Dimitrios (1944)

Approved | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Mystery writer Cornelius Leyden becomes intrigued when the murdered body of a vicious career criminal washes up in the Bosphorus.

Director: Jean Negulesco | Stars: Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Zachary Scott, Faye Emerson

Votes: 2,321

31. The Mummy's Tomb (1942)

Passed | 61 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

5.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A high priest travels to America with a living mummy to kill those who had desecrated the tomb of an Egyptian princess thirty years earlier.

Director: Harold Young | Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Dick Foran, John Hubbard, Elyse Knox

Votes: 1,961

32. The Outlaw (1943)

Approved | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

5.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Western legends Pat Garrett, Doc Holliday and Billy the Kid are played against each other over the law and the attentions of vivacious country vixen Rio McDonald.

Directors: Howard Hughes, Howard Hawks | Stars: Jack Buetel, Thomas Mitchell, Jane Russell, Walter Huston

Votes: 3,214

33. The Red Shoes (1948)

Not Rated | 134 min | Drama, Music, Romance

8.3
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    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.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring, Moira Shearer, Jean Short

Votes: 22,213 | Gross: $10.90M

34. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Not Rated | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

8.3
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    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.

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

Votes: 88,716 | Gross: $5.01M

35. The Wolf Man (1941)

Approved | 70 min | Horror

7.4
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    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.

Director: George Waggner | Stars: Claude Rains, Warren William, Lon Chaney Jr., Ralph Bellamy

Votes: 18,797

36. Went the Day Well? (1942)

Approved | 92 min | Thriller, War

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

An English village is occupied by disguised German paratroopers as an advance post for a planned invasion.

Director: Alberto Cavalcanti | Stars: Leslie Banks, C.V. France, Valerie Taylor, Marie Lohr

Votes: 2,596 | Gross: $0.02M