BEST 1940s MOVIESby mikegreco | created - 01 Feb 2018 | updated - 01 Feb 2018 | Public
The 1940s produced cinema classics that have withstood the changing taste of three generations of moviegoers and guilty pleasures that have withstood decades of assaults by high-tone critics. Challenged by war, social and economic turmoil, and changing values, 1940s nonetheless produced an extremely rich and diverse number of films among the best to ever come out of Hollywood.
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1. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
Passed | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Western
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.
Votes: 105,058 | Gross: $5.01M
2. The Lady Eve (1941)
Passed | 94 min | Comedy, Romance
A trio of classy card sharks targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, until one of them falls in love with him.
3. Casablanca (1942)
PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War
A cynical American expatriate struggles to decide whether or not he should help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape French Morocco.
Votes: 483,769 | Gross: $1.02M
4. 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.
Votes: 142,015 | Gross: $2.11M
5. Double Indemnity (1944)
Passed | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
An insurance representative lets himself be talked by a seductive housewife into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses the suspicion of an insurance investigator.
Votes: 130,711 | Gross: $5.72M
6. Notorious (1946)
Not Rated | 102 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance
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?
Votes: 86,172 | Gross: $10.46M
7. Ball of Fire (1941)
Approved | 111 min | Comedy, Romance
A group of professors working on a new encyclopedia encounter a mouthy nightclub singer who is wanted by the police to help bring down her mob boss lover.
8. The More the Merrier (1943)
Passed | 104 min | Comedy, Romance, War
During the World War II housing shortage in Washington, two men and a woman share a single apartment and the older man plays Cupid to the other two.
10. Citizen Kane (1941)
PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery
Following the death of publishing tycoon, Charles Foster Kane, reporters scramble to uncover the meaning of his final utterance; 'Rosebud'.
Votes: 368,803 | Gross: $1.59M
13. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)
Passed | 104 min | Western
Captain Nathan Brittles, on the eve of retirement, takes out a last patrol to stop an impending massive Indian attack. Encumbered by women who must be evacuated, Brittles finds his mission imperiled.
14. Out of the Past (1947)
Not Rated | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
16. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Passed | 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.
Votes: 81,878 | Gross: $0.06M
18. 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.
19. Meet John Doe (1941)
Not Rated | 122 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A man needing money agrees to impersonate a nonexistent person who said he'd be committing suicide as a protest, and a political movement begins.
20. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Family
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.
Votes: 37,141 | Gross: $2.65M
22. Key Largo (1948)
Not Rated | 100 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A man visits his war buddy's family hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other.
24. 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: 18,479 | Gross: $7.57M
25. White Heat (1949)
Not Rated | 114 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist. Shortly after the plan takes place, events take a crazy turn.