My 40 Favorite Movies of 1940

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1.
Santa Fe Trail (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
In 1854, Jeb Stuart, George Custer and other graduates from West Point are posted to Kansas to help pacify the territory before railroad construction to Santa Fe can resume. (110 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
 
2.
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
 
3.
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.)
 
4.
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
 
5.
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
 
6.
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
 
7.
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
 
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.
Foreign Correspondent (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
On the eve of World War II, a young American reporter tries to expose enemy agents in London. (120 mins.)
 
10.
The Thief of Bagdad (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
After being tricked and cast out of Bagdad by the evil Jaffar, King Ahmad joins forces with a thief named Abu to reclaim his throne, the city, and the Princess he loves. (106 mins.)
 
11.
Waterloo Bridge (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
During World War I, believing her fianc to be dead, a young ballerina loses her job and is forced to turn to prostitution. (108 mins.)
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
 
12.
The Mark of Zorro (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A young aristocrat must masquerade as a fop in order to maintain his secret identity of Zorro as he restores justice to early California. (94 mins.)
 
13.
Christmas in July (1940)
    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? (67 mins.)
Director: Preston Sturges
 
14.
Pride and Prejudice (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Mr. and Mrs. Bennet have five unmarried daughters, and Mrs. Bennet is especially eager to find suitable husbands for them... (118 mins.)
 
15.
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
 
16.
Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Humble Abraham Lincoln gains the respect of his Illinois neighbors, growing in stature and respect until he is elected President in 1860 and departs for Washington. (110 mins.)
Director: John Cromwell
 
17.
The Bank Dick (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Henpecked Egbert Sous has comic adventures as a substitute film director and unlikely bank guard. (72 mins.)
Director: Edward Cline
 
18.
They Drive by Night (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Two brothers struggle as wildcat truck drivers; one comes to harm, the other is accused of his friend's murder. (95 mins.)
Director: Raoul Walsh
 
19.
Night Train to Munich (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
When Germany invades Czechoslovakia, the German and the British intelligence services try to capture Czech scientist Axel Bomasch, inventor of a new type of armor-plating. (95 mins.)
Director: Carol Reed
 
20.
Chad Hanna (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Country boy joins a circus in the 1840s and falls in love with Albany the star equestrian rider. Later he falls in love with Caroline another runaway who becomes the Circus' new bareback rider. (88 mins.)
Director: Henry King
 
21.
City for Conquest (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Danny is a content truck driver, but his girl Peggy shows potential as a dancer and hopes he too can show ambition. Danny acquiesces and pursues boxing to please her, but the two begin to spend more time working than time together. (104 mins.)
Director: Anatole Litvak
 
22.
North West Mounted Police (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
In 1885, a Texas Ranger travels to Canada to arrest a trapper who's wanted for murder and who's stirring up the Natives in a rebellion against the Canadian government. (126 mins.)
 
23.
Northwest Passage (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Langdon Towne and Hunk Marriner join Major Rogers' Rangers as they wipe out an Indian village. They set out for Fort Wentworth, but when they arrive they find no soldiers and none of the supplies they expected. (126 mins.)
Director: King Vidor
 
24.
The Ghost Breakers (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A radio broadcaster, his quaking manservant, and an heiress investigate the mystery of a haunted castle in Cuba. (85 mins.)
Director: George Marshall
 
25.
The House of the Seven Gables (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Fighting over an inheritance, one Pyncheon brother frames the other for murder. (89 mins.)
Director: Joe May
 
26.
The Howards of Virginia (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Beautiful young Virginian Jane steps down from her proper aristocratic upbrining when she marries down-to-earth surveyor Matt Howard... (116 mins.)
Director: Frank Lloyd
 
27.
I Take This Woman (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Georgi has attempted suicide in reaction to an earlier love affair. Now that Dr. Decker has married her he sets out to get her to love him... (98 mins.)
 
28.
Edison, the Man (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
82 year old inventor and entrepreneur Thomas Alva Edison is honored in 1929 and he reflects back on his sixty year career of scientific achievement. (107 mins.)
Director: Clarence Brown
 
29.
Boom Town (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Two buddies who rise from fly-by-night wildcatters to oil tycoons over a twenty year period both love the same woman. (119 mins.)
Director: Jack Conway
 
30.
Johnny Apollo (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The son of a jailed Wall Street broker turns to crime to pay for his father's release. (94 mins.)
Director: Henry Hathaway
 
31.
Dark Command (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
In Kansas, during the Civil War opposing pro-Union and pro-Confederate camps clash and visiting Texan Bob Seton runs afoul of William Cantrell's Raiders. (94 mins.)
Director: Raoul Walsh
 
32.
Young Tom Edison (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Inventor Thomas Edison's boyhood is chronicled and shows him as a lad whose early inventions and scientific... (86 mins.)
Director: Norman Taurog
 
33.
The Lady in Question (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A juror in a murder trial takes pity on the recently acquitted defendant and invites her to move into his family's home and his son soon falls in love with her. (80 mins.)
Director: Charles Vidor
 
34.
Knute Rockne All American (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The story of legendary Notre Dame football player and coach Knute Rockne. (98 mins.)
Director: Lloyd Bacon
 
35.
Virginia City (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Union officer Kerry Bradford escapes from Confederate Prison and is set to Virginia City in Nevada. Once there he finds that the former commander of his prison Vance Irby is planning to send $5 million in gold to save the Confederacy. (121 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
 
36.
The Return of Frank James (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Frank James continues to avoid arrest in order to take revenge on the Ford brothers for their murder of his brother Jesse. (92 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
 
37.
When the Daltons Rode (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Fictionalized story of how the Dalton brothers were wronged by a crooked development company and became outlaws when the corrupt local courts offered them no justice. (81 mins.)
Director: George Marshall
 
38.
The Fighting 69th (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Although loudmouthed braggart Jerry Plunkett alienates his comrades and officers, Father Duffy, the regimental chaplain, has faith that he'll prove himself in the end. (90 mins.)
 
39.
Beyond Tomorrow (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The ghosts of three elderly industrialists killed in an airplane crash return to Earth to help reunite a young couple whom they initially brought together. (84 mins.)
“ AKA - Beyond Christmas ” - Girgisbond
 
40.
Brigham Young (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
In 1844, after the assassination of Mormon leader Joseph Smith by an angry mob in Illinois, the Mormons choose Brigham Young as their new leader and follow him to a new promised land in Utah. (114 mins.)
Director: Henry Hathaway