Best of the 1940sby jewellrunner | created - 01 Sep 2011 | updated - 08 Feb 2017 | Public
My 50 favorite from the 1940s. This is easily my weakest decade and the one I need to expand upon the most.
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1. The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)
Approved | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
A nineteenth-century New Hampshire farmer who makes a pact with Satan for economic success enlists Daniel Webster to extract him from his contract.
4. Deep Valley (1947)
Approved | 104 min | Drama, Romance
Uneducated and poor, Libby lives a sheltered life in a broken down shack with her unloving parents. When a work crew of San Quentin convicts arrives to put in a new road, she takes an ... See full summary »
5. Louisiana Story (1948)
Approved | 78 min | Adventure, Drama
The idyllic life of a young Cajun boy and his pet raccoon is disrupted when the tranquility of the bayou is broken by an oil well drilling near his home.
7. Cat People (1942)
Not Rated | 73 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
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.
Votes: 15,743 | Gross: $4.00M
8. Blood on the Moon (1948)
Passed | 88 min | Western
Unemployed cowhand Jim Garry is hired by his dishonest friend Tate Riling as muscle in a dispute between homesteaders and cattleman John Lufton.
9. The Long Voyage Home (1940)
Approved | 105 min | Drama, War
In 1940, the motley crew of the British tramp steamer SS Glencairn prepares the ship for its perilous voyage from the West Indies to Baltimore and then to England.
11. Moonrise (1948)
Passed | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Danny is being despised by his schoolmates because his father was accused to have killed another man and is condemned to the death penalty.
12. Colorado Territory (1949)
Approved | 94 min | Western
In Colorado territory, outlaw Wes McQueen escapes jail to pull a railroad robbery but, upon meeting pretty settler Julie Ann, he wonders about going straight.
14. Johnny Belinda (1948)
Unrated | 102 min | Drama
In post-war Cape Breton, a doctor's efforts to tutor a deaf/mute woman are undermined when she is raped, and the resulting pregnancy causes scandal to swirl.
16. The Spiral Staircase (1946)
Approved | 83 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
In 1916, a shadowy serial killer is targeting women with "afflictions"; one night during a thunderstorm, the mute Helen feels menaced.
18. Pinocchio (1940)
G | 88 min | Animation, Comedy, Family
A living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.
Votes: 106,246 | Gross: $84.25M
19. Day of Wrath (1943)
Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, History
The young wife of an aging priest falls in love with his son amidst the horror of a merciless witch hunt in 17th century Denmark.
20. Black Narcissus (1947)
Not Rated | 101 min | Drama
After opening a convent in the Himalayas, five nuns encounter conflict and tension - both with the natives and also within their own group - as they attempt to adapt to their remote, exotic surroundings.
22. Canyon Passage (1946)
Approved | 92 min | Drama, Western
Businessman Logan Stuart is torn between his love of two very different women in 1850's Oregon and his loyalty to a compulsive gambler friend who goes over the line.
25. Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)
Not Rated | 14 min | Short
A woman returning home falls asleep and has vivid dreams that may or may not be happening in reality. Through repetitive images and complete mismatching of the objective view of time and space, her dark inner desires play out on-screen.
26. The Mortal Storm (1940)
Passed | 100 min | Drama
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.
27. Dumbo (1941)
G | 64 min | Animation, Drama, Family
Ridiculed because of his enormous ears, a young circus elephant is assisted by a mouse to achieve his full potential.
Votes: 98,820 | Gross: $1.60M
29. Quai des Orfèvres (1947)
Not Rated | 106 min | Crime, Drama
Jenny Lamour wants to succeed in music hall. Her husband and accompanist is Maurice Martineau, a nice but jealous man. When he knew Jenny is making eyes at Brignon, an old businessman, in ... See full summary »
Votes: 3,935 | Gross: $0.01M
30. Le Corbeau (1943)
Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
French village doctor becomes target of poison-pen letters sent to village leaders, accusing him of affairs and practicing abortion.
32. Rope (1948)
PG | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
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.
33. He Walked by Night (1948)
Approved | 79 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller
This film-noir piece, told in semi-documentary style, follows police on the hunt for a resourceful criminal who shoots and kills a cop.
34. Reign of Terror (1949)
Approved | 89 min | History, Romance, Thriller
Robespierrre, a powerful figure in the French revolution, is desperately looking for his black book, a death list of those marked for the guillotine.
36. The Third Man (1949)
Not Rated | 93 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller
Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.
Votes: 133,773 | Gross: $0.45M
37. I'll Be Seeing You (1944)
Approved | 85 min | Drama, Family, Romance
A soldier suffering from combat fatigue meets a young woman on Christmas furlough from prison and their mutual loneliness blossoms into romance.
38. So Dark the Night (1946)
Approved | 71 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
A renowned and relentless Paris detective takes his first vacation in eleven years at a small inn in the French countryside. There he meets and falls in love with the hotelier's daughter, ... See full summary »
39. Spellbound (1945)
Not Rated | 111 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Romance
A psychiatrist protects the identity of an amnesia patient accused of murder while attempting to recover his memory.
Votes: 36,916 | Gross: $7.00M
40. At Land (1946)
15 min | Short
Silently, a woman wakes on a beach as the tides go in reverse. Her dreamscape unfolds as she tries to locate a chess piece traveling from the beach to a party to a country road and then back.
41. The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Not Rated | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O'Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot.
Votes: 21,796 | Gross: $0.01M
44. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
Not Rated | 118 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller
A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.
45. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
Not Rated | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
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.
47. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
PG | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy
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.
Votes: 327,211 | Gross: $7.27M
48. Hemp for Victory (1943)
15 min | Documentary, Short
An informational film produced to encourage farmers to grow hemp for the war effort during WW2. The film details the many industrial uses of hemp, including cloth and cordage, as well as a detailed history of the plant's use.
49. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949)
Approved | 34 min | Animation, Short, Comedy
In a small town, a brewing romantic rivalry with a local tough and a school-teacher culminates in a terrifying ride in the night.