Most Popular Feature Films Released 1940-01-01 to 1949-12-31


1. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

PG | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

8.6
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89 Metascore

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.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 312,340 | Gross: $7.27M

2. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

7.9
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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.

Director: George Seaton | Stars: Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Gene Lockhart

Votes: 33,321 | Gross: $2.65M

3. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

8.5
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100 Metascore

In Casablanca in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate encounters a former lover, with unforeseen complications.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 429,644 | Gross: $1.02M

4. Holiday Inn (1942)

Passed | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

7.6
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At an inn which is only open on holidays, a crooner and a hoofer vie for the affections of a beautiful up-and-coming performer.

Director: Mark Sandrich | Stars: Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds, Virginia Dale

Votes: 9,838

5. The Frozen Ghost (1945)

Unrated | 61 min | Film-Noir, Horror, Mystery

5.9
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A stage mentalist involved in a mysterious death and a discredited plastic surgeon are among the assorted characters involved in mysterious goings-on in an eerie wax museum.

Director: Harold Young | Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Evelyn Ankers, Milburn Stone, Douglass Dumbrille

Votes: 511

6. Words and Music (1948)

Not Rated | 120 min | Biography, Comedy, Musical

6.6
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Fictionalized story of the songwriting partnership of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.

Director: Norman Taurog | Stars: Mickey Rooney, Tom Drake, June Allyson, Perry Como

Votes: 966

7. Citizen Kane (1941)

PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery

8.4
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100 Metascore

Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 328,973 | Gross: $1.59M

8. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

Passed | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

8.1
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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.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan, Joseph Schildkraut

Votes: 22,121

9. Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

Not Rated | 102 min | Comedy, Romance

7.5
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A food writer who has lied about being the perfect housewife must try to cover her deception when her boss and a returning war hero invite themselves to her home for a traditional family Christmas.

Director: Peter Godfrey | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet, Reginald Gardiner

Votes: 5,705

10. The Mark of Zorro (1940)

Approved | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

7.6
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A young aristocrat must masquerade as a fop in order to maintain his secret identity of Zorro as he restores justice to early California.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian | Stars: Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Basil Rathbone, Gale Sondergaard

Votes: 8,007

11. The Yearling (1946)

Approved | 128 min | Drama, Family

7.3
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A boy persuades his parents to allow him to adopt a young deer, but what will happen if the deer misbehaves?

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman, Claude Jarman Jr., Chill Wills

Votes: 4,586 | Gross: $5.20M

12. Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Not Rated | 106 min | Comedy, Crime

8.1
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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: 29,953

13. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

Approved | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

7.7
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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: 16,478 | Gross: $7.57M

14. The Mortal Storm (1940)

Passed | 100 min | Drama

7.9
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The Roth family leads 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.

Director: Frank Borzage | Stars: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Robert Young, Frank Morgan

Votes: 3,635

15. The Bishop's Wife (1947)

Not Rated | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

7.6
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An angel in human form enters the life of a bishop in order to help him build a new cathedral and repair his fractured marriage.

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven, Monty Woolley

Votes: 11,041

16. Brute Force (1947)

Not Rated | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

7.7
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At a tough penitentiary, prisoner Joe Collins plans to rebel against Captain Munsey, the power-mad chief guard.

Director: Jules Dassin | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, Charles Bickford, Yvonne De Carlo

Votes: 7,167

17. Rebecca (1940)

Not Rated | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

8.2
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A self-conscious bride is tormented by the memory of her husband's dead first wife.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson

Votes: 97,803

18. The Great Dictator (1940)

G | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, War

8.5
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Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner

Votes: 157,653

19. In the Good Old Summertime (1949)

Approved | 102 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

7.2
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It's turn of the century America when Andrew and Veronica first meet - by crashing into each other. They develop an instant and mutual dislike which intensifies when, later on, Andrew is ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Z. Leonard | Stars: Judy Garland, Van Johnson, S.Z. Sakall, Spring Byington

Votes: 2,761 | Gross: $3.40M

20. Red River (1948)

Not Rated | 133 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

7.8
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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.

Directors: Howard Hawks, Arthur Rosson | Stars: John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Joanne Dru, Walter Brennan

Votes: 23,361

21. Lady in the Lake (1947)

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

6.6
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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: 4,005

22. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Not Rated | 118 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

8.0
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A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey, Jack Carson

Votes: 58,083

23. The Third Man (1949)

Not Rated | 93 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

8.2
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Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard

Votes: 127,349 | Gross: $0.45M

24. Double Indemnity (1944)

Not Rated | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

8.3
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An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Byron Barr

Votes: 110,717 | Gross: $5.72M

25. The Loves of Carmen (1948)

99 min | Adventure, Drama, Music

6.3
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A beautiful but amoral gypsy girl entices a young dragoon to betray his honor and get cashiered from the service, and for her sake he soon turns to a life of crime.

Director: Charles Vidor | Stars: Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, Ron Randell, Victor Jory

Votes: 686

26. Pinocchio (1940)

G | 88 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

7.5
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A living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.

Directors: Norman Ferguson, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Dickie Jones, Christian Rub, Mel Blanc, Don Brodie

Votes: 103,138 | Gross: $84.25M

27. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Not Rated | 100 min | Film-Noir, Mystery

8.1
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A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre

Votes: 125,656

28. The Stratton Story (1949)

Passed | 106 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

7.2
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Star major league pitcher Monty Stratton loses a leg in a hunting accident, but becomes determined to leave the game on his own terms.

Director: Sam Wood | Stars: James Stewart, June Allyson, Frank Morgan, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 2,163

29. Hangmen Also Die! (1943)

Not Rated | 134 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller

7.5
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After the Nazi administrator of Czechoslovakia is shot, his assassin tries to elude the Gestapo and struggles with his impulse to give himself up as hostages are executed.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Brian Donlevy, Walter Brennan, Anna Lee, Gene Lockhart

Votes: 3,603

30. Bambi (1942)

G | 70 min | Animation, Drama, Family

7.3
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The story of a young deer growing up in the forest.

Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, David Hand, Graham Heid, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Norman Wright | Stars: Hardie Albright, Stan Alexander, Bobette Audrey, Peter Behn

Votes: 105,874 | Gross: $102.80M

31. Lady on a Train (1945)

Approved | 94 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

6.9
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While in a train halted at a station, Nikki Collins witnesses a murder committed in a nearby building. When she brings the police to the scene of the crime, they think she's crazy since ... See full summary »

Director: Charles David | Stars: Deanna Durbin, Ralph Bellamy, Edward Everett Horton, Allen Jenkins

Votes: 1,153

32. Fantasia (1940)

G | 125 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

7.8
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A collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music.

Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Ford Beebe Jr., Norman Ferguson, David Hand, Jim Handley, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, Corey Burton, Walt Disney

Votes: 77,011 | Gross: $76.41M

33. Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama

8.3
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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: 108,706 | Gross: $0.33M

34. Hitler's Children (1943)

Approved | 82 min | Drama, Romance

6.4
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This lurid exposé of the Hitler Youth follows the woes of an American girl declared legally German by the Nazi government.

Directors: Edward Dmytryk, Irving Reis | Stars: Tim Holt, Bonita Granville, Kent Smith, Otto Kruger

Votes: 719 | Gross: $3.36M

35. The Big Sleep (1946)

Not Rated | 114 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

8.0
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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: 69,062

36. Rope (1948)

Approved | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

8.0
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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.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger, Dick Hogan

Votes: 105,601

37. Days of Glory (1944)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama, Romance, War

6.2
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A heroic guerilla group fights back against impossible odds during the 1941 Nazi invasion of Russia.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Gregory Peck, Tamara Toumanova, Alan Reed, Maria Palmer

Votes: 889

38. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Not Rated | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

8.3
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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: 88,735 | Gross: $5.01M

39. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Not Rated | 129 min | Drama, History

8.1
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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: 70,591

40. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Not Rated | 112 min | Comedy, Romance

8.0
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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: 54,097

41. Samson and Delilah (1949)

Not Rated | 131 min | Adventure, Drama, History

6.8
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When strongman Samson rejects the love of the beautiful Philistine woman Delilah, she seeks vengeance that brings horrible consequences they both regret.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Victor Mature, George Sanders, Angela Lansbury

Votes: 5,359 | Gross: $28.80M

42. Dumbo (1941)

Approved | 64 min | Animation, Drama, Family

7.3
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Ridiculed because of his enormous ears, a young circus elephant is assisted by a mouse to achieve his full potential.

Directors: Samuel Armstrong, Norman Ferguson, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Bill Roberts, Ben Sharpsteen, John Elliotte | Stars: Sterling Holloway, Edward Brophy, James Baskett, Herman Bing

Votes: 96,319 | Gross: $1.60M

43. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Not Rated | 170 min | Drama, Romance, War

8.1
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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: 45,162 | Gross: $23.65M

44. It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947)

Approved | 116 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

7.7
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A homeless New Yorker moves into a mansion and along the way he gathers friends to live in the house with him. Before he knows it, he is living with the actual home owners.

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: Don DeFore, Ann Harding, Charles Ruggles, Victor Moore

Votes: 2,302

45. For Me and My Gal (1942)

Not Rated | 104 min | Musical, Romance, War

7.2
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Two vaudeville performers fall in love, but find their relationship tested by the arrival of WWI.

Director: Busby Berkeley | Stars: Judy Garland, George Murphy, Gene Kelly, Mártha Eggerth

Votes: 2,418 | Gross: $4.37M

46. Stairway to Heaven (1946)

PG | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

8.1
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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: 15,159

47. Notorious (1946)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

8.0
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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?

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Louis Calhern

Votes: 79,528 | Gross: $10.46M

48. Kiss of Death (1947)

Approved | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

7.5
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With his law-breaking lifestyle in the past, an ex-con, along with his family, attempt to start a new life, knowing a betrayed someone from the past is bound to see otherwise.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: Victor Mature, Brian Donlevy, Coleen Gray, Richard Widmark

Votes: 5,795

49. Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)

Approved | 100 min | Action, Drama, Romance

7.2
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A dramatization of the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima.

Director: Allan Dwan | Stars: John Wayne, John Agar, Adele Mara, Forrest Tucker

Votes: 7,977

50. Ziegfeld Girl (1941)

Passed | 132 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Discovery by Flo Ziegfeld changes a girl's life but not necessarily for the better, as three beautiful women find out when they join the spectacle on Broadway: Susan, the singer who must ... See full summary »

Directors: Robert Z. Leonard, Busby Berkeley | Stars: James Stewart, Judy Garland, Hedy Lamarr, Lana Turner

Votes: 2,041