50 Favorite Movies of the 1940s -- WMKby williamkromer | created - 12 Jun 2012 | updated - 06 Jul 2015 | Public
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1. Lassie Come Home (1943)
Passed | 89 min | Adventure, Family
After her destitute family is forced to sell her, a collie named Lassie escapes from her new owner and begins the long trek from Scotland to her Yorkshire home.
4. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Not Rated | 129 min | Drama, History
A poor Midwest family is forced off their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.
6. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Not Rated | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Family
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.
Votes: 16,988 | Gross: $7.57M
7. 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.
8. Wake of the Red Witch (1948)
Approved | 106 min | Action, Adventure, Romance
During the 1860s in the South Pacific, Capt. Ralls, skipper of the Red Witch, has a series of adventures involving sunken gold bullion, pearls, natives, an unscrupulous ship owner and a giant octopus.
9. Green Dolphin Street (1947)
Approved | 141 min | Adventure, Romance, Drama
Sophie loved Edmund, but he left town when her parents forced her to marry wealthy Octavius. Years later, Edmund returns with his son, William. Sophie's daughter, Marguerite, and William ... See full summary »
10. The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)
Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Western
When a posse captures three men suspected of killing a local farmer, they become strongly divided over whether or not to lynch the men.
11. The Red House (1947)
Unrated | 100 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery
An old man and his sister are concealing a terrible secret from their adopted teen daughter, concerning a hidden abandon farmhouse, located deep in the woods.
14. How Green Was My Valley (1941)
Not Rated | 118 min | Drama, Family
At the turn of the century in a Welsh mining village, the Morgans, he stern, she gentle, raise coal-mining sons and hope their youngest will find a better life.
15. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Not Rated | 100 min | Film-Noir, Mystery
A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.
17. 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: 98,885 | Gross: $1.60M
18. The Letter (1940)
Not Rated | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
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.
21. The Story of Dr. Wassell (1944)
140 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
As the Japanese sweep through the East Indies during World War II, Dr. Wassell is determined to escape from Java with some crewmen of the cruiser Marblehead. Based on a true story of how Dr... See full summary »
23. Key Largo (1948)
Not Rated | 100 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A man visits his old friend's hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other.
24. 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.
26. Random Harvest (1942)
Passed | 126 min | Drama, Romance
An amnesiac World War I veteran falls in love with a music hall star, only to suffer an accident which restores his original memories but erases his post-war life.
Votes: 5,869 | Gross: $10.14M
27. Intruder in the Dust (1949)
Approved | 87 min | Crime, Drama
In 1940s Mississippi two teenage boys and an elderly woman combine forces to prevent a miscarriage of justice and clear a black man of a murder charge.
28. Duel in the Sun (1946)
Unrated | 129 min | Drama, Romance, Western
Beautiful half-breed Pearl Chavez becomes the ward of her dead father's first love and finds herself torn between her sons, one good and the other bad.
Directors: King Vidor, Otto Brower, William Dieterle, Sidney Franklin, William Cameron Menzies, David O. Selznick, Josef von Sternberg | Stars: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Gregory Peck, Lionel Barrymore
Votes: 6,978 | Gross: $20.41M
32. Leave Her to Heaven (1945)
Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance
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.
33. The Jolson Story (1946)
Approved | 128 min | Biography, Drama, Music
This movie shows the idealized career of the singer Al Jolson, a little Jewish boy who goes against the will of his father in order to be in showbiz. He becomes a star, falls in love with a... See full summary »
34. Dragon Seed (1944)
Passed | 148 min | Drama, History, War
The lives of a small Chinese village are turned Upside down when the Japanese invade it. And heroic young Chinese woman leads her fellow villagers in an uprising against Japanese Invaders.
35. Since You Went Away (1944)
Approved | 177 min | Drama, Romance, War
With her husband away to fight in World War II, a housewife struggles to care for their two daughters - and a pair of lodgers who have moved in - alone.
37. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
Not Rated | 170 min | Drama, Romance, War
Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.
Votes: 49,758 | Gross: $23.65M
38. The Human Comedy (1943)
Unrated | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Family
Teenager Homer Macauley stays at home in small-town Ithaca to support his family while his older brother Marcus prepares to go to war.
40. Sitting Pretty (1948)
Not Rated | 83 min | Comedy
Tacey and Harry King are a suburban couple with three sons and a serious need of a babysitter. Tacey puts an ad in the paper for a live-in babysitter, and the ad is answered by Lynn ... See full summary »
41. Reap the Wild Wind (1942)
Passed | 123 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Florida ship salvager, Loxi, falls for Jack, captain of a ship wrecked on the Key West shore. However, their romance is complicated by the arrival of another suitor, and eventually leads to tragedy.
42. Mr. Skeffington (1944)
Approved | 146 min | Drama, Romance
Popular and beautiful Fanny Trellis is forced into a loveless marriage with an older man, Jewish banker Job Skeffington, in order to save her beloved brother Trippy from an embezzlement charge, and predictable complications result.
43. Watch on the Rhine (1943)
Approved | 114 min | Drama
A German-born engineer, his American wife and their children travel from Mexico to the United States to visit her family but their plans are complicated by a Romanian count.
44. Double Indemnity (1944)
Passed | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions.
Votes: 117,315 | Gross: $5.72M
46. Kings Row (1942)
Not Rated | 127 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance
The dark side and hypocrisy of provincial American life is seen through the eyes of five children as they grow to adulthood at the turn-of-the-century.
47. Our Hearts Were Young and Gay (1944)
Approved | 81 min | Comedy
In 1923, two young ladies depart unescorted for a tour of Europe, meeting two eligible men aboard ship. Their great naivity and efforts to seem grown-up lead them into many comic ... See full summary »
48. The White Cliffs of Dover (1944)
Passed | 126 min | Drama, Romance, War
London based American nurse, Susan, Lady Ashwood, is at the hospital awaiting the imminent arrival of injured soldiers. She is hoping that her enlisted son, Sir John Ashwood, who resembles ... See full summary »
49. Good Sam (1948)
Approved | 114 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Sam Clayton has a good heart and likes to help out people in need. In fact, he likes to help them out so much that he often finds himself broke and unable to help his own family buy the things they need--like a house.