Favourite Films of 1939

by awoodbine | created - 29 Aug 2011 | updated - 29 Aug 2011 | Public

My favourite films of 1939

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1. The Cat and the Canary (1939)

Approved | 72 min | Comedy, Horror, Mystery

When an eccentric family meets in their uncle's remote, decaying mansion on the tenth anniversary of his death for the reading of his will, murder and madness follow.

Director: Elliott Nugent | Stars: Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, John Beal, Douglass Montgomery

Votes: 2,311

2. Charlie Chan at Treasure Island (1939)

Approved | 74 min | Comedy, Crime, Horror

Charlie's investigation of a phony psychic during the 1939 World Exposition on San Francisco's Treasure Island leads him to expose a suicide as murder.

Director: Norman Foster | Stars: Sidney Toler, Cesar Romero, Pauline Moore, Victor Sen Yung

Votes: 1,442

3. Mr. Moto in Danger Island (1939)

Passed | 64 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The U.S. government asks Mr. Moto to go to Puerto Rico to investigate diamond smuggling after an earlier investigator is murdered.

Director: Herbert I. Leeds | Stars: Peter Lorre, Jean Hersholt, Amanda Duff, Warren Hymer

Votes: 588

4. Each Dawn I Die (1939)

Approved | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A corrupt D.A. with governatorial ambitions is annoyed by an investigative reporter's criticism of his criminal activities and decides to frame the reporter for manslaughter in order to silence him.

Director: William Keighley | Stars: James Cagney, George Raft, Jane Bryan, George Bancroft

Votes: 2,532

5. Beau Geste (1939)

Passed | 112 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Three adopted English brothers join the French Foreign Legion in North Africa, after one of them steals their adoptive family's famous heirloom sapphire.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, Robert Preston, Brian Donlevy

Votes: 4,975

6. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)

Approved | 85 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

The master sleuth hunts his archenemy, Professor Moriarty, who is planning the crime of the century.

Director: Alfred L. Werker | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Ida Lupino, Alan Marshal

Votes: 5,678

7. The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)

Approved | 80 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson investigate the legend of a supernatural hound, a beast that may be stalking a young heir on the fog-shrouded moorland that makes up his estate.

Director: Sidney Lanfield | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Richard Greene, Wendy Barrie

Votes: 8,574

8. Son of Frankenstein (1939)

Approved | 99 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

One of the sons of Frankenstein finds his father's monster in a coma and revives him, only to find out he is controlled by Ygor who is bent on revenge.

Director: Rowland V. Lee | Stars: Boris Karloff, Basil Rathbone, Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill

Votes: 8,059

9. Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation (1939)

Approved | 65 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Disguised as an Austrian archaeologist, Moto helps unearth the priceless crown of the legendary Queen of Sheba and sans disguise defends it from a variety of thugs and criminals.

Director: Norman Foster | Stars: Peter Lorre, Joseph Schildkraut, Lionel Atwill, Virginia Field

Votes: 516

10. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)

Passed | 117 min | Drama, Romance

In 15th century France, a gypsy girl is framed for murder by the infatuated Chief Justice, and only the deformed bellringer of Notre Dame Cathedral can save her.

Director: William Dieterle | Stars: Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Hara, Cedric Hardwicke, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 9,475 | Gross: $3.27M

11. Another Thin Man (1939)

Passed | 103 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

An explosives manufacturer suspects a young man is out to kill him. He calls in new parents Nick and Nora to sort things out.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Virginia Grey, Otto Kruger

Votes: 5,824

12. Charlie Chan in Reno (1939)

Approved | 71 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Mary Whitman, an old friend of Charlie's in Reno for a divorce, finds herself accused of murdering the woman her husband planned to marry after the decree became final.

Director: Norman Foster | Stars: Sidney Toler, Ricardo Cortez, Phyllis Brooks, Slim Summerville

Votes: 1,166

13. Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

Not Rated | 121 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

86 Metascore

At a remote South American trading port, the manager of an air freight company is forced to risk his pilots' lives in order to win an important contract.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Rita Hayworth, Richard Barthelmess

Votes: 11,030

14. Mr. Moto's Last Warning (1939)

Approved | 71 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Moto thwarts a ruthless band of international agents who try to foment an international incident by mining the entrance to the Suez Canal and blaming the British.

Director: Norman Foster | Stars: Peter Lorre, Ricardo Cortez, Virginia Field, John Carradine

Votes: 1,083

15. Dust Be My Destiny (1939)

Approved | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Embittered after serving time for a burglary he did not commit, Joe Bell is soon back in jail, on a prison farm. His love for the foreman's daughter leads to a fight between them, leading ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Seiler | Stars: John Garfield, Priscilla Lane, Alan Hale, Frank McHugh

Votes: 503

16. City in Darkness (1939)

Approved | 75 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

While in Paris for a reunion on the eve of World War II, Charlie finds that the murder of an hated businessman leads him to a conspiracy to smuggle arms to Germany.

Director: Herbert I. Leeds | Stars: Sidney Toler, Lynn Bari, Richard Clarke, Harold Huber

Votes: 1,072

17. The Mystery of Mr. Wong (1939)

Approved | 68 min | Mystery

Detective tries to solve the murder of antiques collector who was in possession of a famous jewel known as "The Eye of the Daugther of The Moon."

Director: William Nigh | Stars: Boris Karloff, Grant Withers, Dorothy Tree, Craig Reynolds

Votes: 603

18. Gunga Din (1939)

Approved | 117 min | Adventure, Comedy, War

In 19th century India, three British soldiers and a native waterbearer must stop a secret mass revival of the murderous Thuggee cult before it can rampage across the land.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Victor McLaglen, Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

Votes: 10,149

19. Five Came Back (1939)

Passed | 75 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

Twelve people are aboard Coast Air Line's flagship the Silver Queen enroute to South America when the airplane encounters a storm and is blown off course. Crashing into jungles known to be ... See full summary »

Director: John Farrow | Stars: Chester Morris, Lucille Ball, Wendy Barrie, John Carradine

Votes: 1,617

20. Love Affair (1939)

Approved | 88 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A French playboy and an American former nightclub singer fall in love aboard a ship. They arrange to reunite six months later, after he has had a chance to earn a decent living.

Director: Leo McCarey | Stars: Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer, Maria Ouspenskaya, Lee Bowman

Votes: 3,863

21. Stagecoach (1939)

Not Rated | 96 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

93 Metascore

A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo and learn something about each other in the process.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine, John Carradine

Votes: 38,203

22. The Roaring Twenties (1939)

Not Rated | 106 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Three men attempt to make a living in Prohibitionist America after returning home from fighting together in World War I.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Priscilla Lane, Gladys George

Votes: 11,368

23. The Great Man Votes (1939)

Passed | 72 min | Drama

In 1923, Gregory Vance, a widower with two children, is a former scholar who has turned from book-to-bottle. He works, slightly, as a night-watchman and his children, who know him for what ... See full summary »

Director: Garson Kanin | Stars: John Barrymore, Peter Holden, Virginia Weidler, Katharine Alexander

Votes: 481

24. The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (1939)

85 min | Comedy, Crime, Sport

During a charity soccer match between top professional side Arsenal and touring amateur side Trojans, the Trojan's new star player collapses. When he dies, Inspector Slade of Scotland Yard ... See full summary »

Director: Thorold Dickinson | Stars: Leslie Banks, Greta Gynt, Ian McLean, Liane Linden

Votes: 428

25. The Women (1939)

Not Rated | 133 min | Comedy, Drama

A study of the lives and romantic entanglements of various interconnected women.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Mary Boland

Votes: 11,506 | Gross: $2.27M

26. The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (1939)

Passed | 71 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

A group of "spies" is after the plans for an anti-aircraft gun, and the leader uses the opportunity to embroil the Lone Wolf in the plot. Trying to settle an old score, this shady character... See full summary »

Director: Peter Godfrey | Stars: Warren William, Ida Lupino, Rita Hayworth, Virginia Weidler

Votes: 529

27. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Not Rated | 129 min | Comedy, Drama

73 Metascore

A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold

Votes: 98,284 | Gross: $9.60M

28. Of Mice and Men (1939)

Approved | 106 min | Drama

Two itinerant migrant workers, one mentally disabled and the other his carer, take jobs as ranch hands during the Great Depression to fulfill their shared dream of owning their own ranch.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Burgess Meredith, Betty Field, Charles Bickford

Votes: 4,992

29. The Gorilla (1939)

Passed | 66 min | Comedy, Horror

When a wealthy man is threatened by a killer known as The Gorilla, he hires the Ritz Brothers to investigate. A real escaped gorilla shows up at the mansion just as the investigators arrive.

Director: Allan Dwan | Stars: The Ritz Brothers, Jimmy Ritz, Harry Ritz, Al Ritz

Votes: 1,136

30. Jesse James (1939)

Approved | 106 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

After railroad agents forcibly evict the James family from their family farm, Jesse and Frank turn to banditry for revenge.

Directors: Henry King, Irving Cummings | Stars: Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly, Randolph Scott

Votes: 3,599

31. The Saint Strikes Back (1939)

Passed | 64 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Simon Templar, the Saint, travels to San Francisco to solve crime mysteries within the police department.

Director: John Farrow | Stars: George Sanders, Wendy Barrie, Jonathan Hale, Jerome Cowan

Votes: 813

32. The Rains Came (1939)

Approved | 103 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

Living in India with her crude husband, a British aristocrat is reunited with an old flame at a party, though she truly has her sights set on a handsome doctor.

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Myrna Loy, Tyrone Power, George Brent, Brenda Joyce

Votes: 1,682

33. The Saint in London (1939)

Passed | 72 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

The Saint returns to London and with the help of an American pickpocket and a beautiful adventuress breaks a counterfeiting ring.

Director: John Paddy Carstairs | Stars: George Sanders, Sally Gray, David Burns, Gordon McLeod

Votes: 735

34. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

100 Metascore

Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home to Kansas and help her friends as well.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, Richard Thorpe, King Vidor | Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr

Votes: 352,298 | Gross: $2.08M

35. Destry Rides Again (1939)

Approved | 95 min | Comedy, Western

When a tough western town needs taming, the mild-mannered son of a hard-nosed sheriff gets the job.

Director: George Marshall | Stars: Marlene Dietrich, James Stewart, Mischa Auer, Charles Winninger

Votes: 9,152 | Gross: $0.35M



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