Favorite Films of the 40s

by mrkne | created - 1 month ago | updated - 1 month ago | Public
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1. Double Indemnity (1944)

Passed | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

95 Metascore

An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses the suspicion of an insurance investigator.

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

Votes: 127,142 | Gross: $5.72M

2. Gilda (1946)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

A small-time gambler hired to work in a Buenos Aires casino learns that his ex-lover is married to his employer.

Director: Charles Vidor | Stars: Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, George Macready, Joseph Calleia

Votes: 24,842

3. The Razor's Edge (1946)

Approved | 145 min | Drama, Romance

An adventuresome young man goes off to find himself and loses his socialite fiancée in the process. But when he returns 10 years later, she will stop at nothing to get him back, even though she is already married.

Director: Edmund Goulding | Stars: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, John Payne, Anne Baxter

Votes: 4,822

4. Road House (1948)

Passed | 95 min | Action, Drama, Film-Noir

A night club owner becomes infatuated with a torch singer and frames his best friend/manager for embezzlement when the chanteuse falls in love with him.

Director: Jean Negulesco | Stars: Ida Lupino, Cornel Wilde, Celeste Holm, Richard Widmark

Votes: 2,062

5. House of Strangers (1949)

Approved | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

After years in prison, Max promises revenge on his brothers for their betrayal. His lover Irene and memories of his past yield him a broader perspective.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Susan Hayward, Richard Conte, Luther Adler

Votes: 2,442

6. Daisy Kenyon (1947)

Approved | 99 min | Drama, Romance

Commercial artist Daisy Kenyon is involved with married lawyer Dan O'Mara, and hopes someday to marry him, if he ever divorces his wife Lucille. She meets returning veteran Peter, a decent ... See full summary »

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Joan Crawford, Dana Andrews, Henry Fonda, Ruth Warrick

Votes: 1,863

7. Whirlpool (1949)

Approved | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Soon afterwards, she is found at the scene of a murder with no memory of how she got there and seemingly no way to prove her innocence.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Gene Tierney, Richard Conte, José Ferrer, Charles Bickford

Votes: 3,285

8. The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947)

Approved | 95 min | Comedy, Romance

A high school girl falls for a playboy artist, with screwball results.

Director: Irving Reis | Stars: Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple, Rudy Vallee

Votes: 7,176

9. 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.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Oskar Homolka, Henry Travers

Votes: 9,611

10. Laura (1944)

Passed | 88 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price

Votes: 38,329 | Gross: $4.36M

11. Rope (1948)

PG | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

73 Metascore

Two men attempt to prove they committed the perfect crime by hosting a dinner party after strangling their former classmate to death.

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

Votes: 114,977

12. Fallen Angel (1945)

Approved | 98 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

A slick con man arrives in a small town looking to make some money, but soon gets more than he bargained for.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Alice Faye, Dana Andrews, Linda Darnell, Charles Bickford

Votes: 4,174

13. Gentleman's Agreement (1947)

Not Rated | 118 min | Drama, Romance

A reporter pretends to be Jewish in order to cover a story on anti-Semitism, and personally discovers the true depths of bigotry and hatred.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield, Celeste Holm

Votes: 13,271

14. The Lost Weekend (1945)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Film-Noir

The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four-day drinking bout.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry, Howard Da Silva

Votes: 30,349 | Gross: $9.46M

15. Adam's Rib (1949)

Not Rated | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Domestic and professional tensions mount when a husband and wife work as opposing lawyers in a case involving a woman who shot her husband.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Holliday, Tom Ewell

Votes: 17,874

16. Heaven Can Wait (1943)

Not Rated | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

An old roué arrives in Hades to review his life with Satan, who will rule on his eligibility to enter the Underworld.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Gene Tierney, Don Ameche, Charles Coburn, Marjorie Main

Votes: 8,739

17. Possessed (1947)

Approved | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

After being found wandering the streets of Los Angeles, a severely catatonic woman tells a doctor the complex story of how she wound up there.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt | Stars: Joan Crawford, Van Heflin, Raymond Massey, Geraldine Brooks

Votes: 4,085 | Gross: $1.99M

18. A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Romance

A letter is addressed to three wives from their "best friend" Addie Ross, announcing that she is running away with one of their husbands...but she does not say which one.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern, Kirk Douglas

Votes: 7,540

19. Mildred Pierce (1945)

Passed | 111 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A hard-working mother inches towards disaster as she divorces her husband and starts a successful restaurant business to support her spoiled daughter.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden

Votes: 20,185

20. Suspicion (1941)

Not Rated | 99 min | Mystery, Thriller

83 Metascore

A shy young heiress marries a charming gentleman, and soon begins to suspect he is planning to murder her.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Cedric Hardwicke, Nigel Bruce

Votes: 28,893 | Gross: $4.50M

21. The Woman in the Window (1944)

Approved | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

When a conservative middle-aged professor engages in a minor dalliance with a femme fatale, he is plunged into a nightmarish quicksand of blackmail and murder.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Raymond Massey, Edmund Breon

Votes: 11,994

22. 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.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor, Lucille Bremer

Votes: 18,231 | Gross: $7.57M

23. Foreign Correspondent (1940)

Passed | 120 min | Action, Romance, Thriller

On the eve of World War II, a young American reporter tries to expose enemy agents in London.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall, George Sanders

Votes: 16,462 | Gross: $3.48M

24. Lifeboat (1944)

Not Rated | 97 min | Drama, War

78 Metascore

Several survivors of a torpedoed merchant ship in World War II find themselves in the same lifeboat with one of the U-boat men who sunk it.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Tallulah Bankhead, John Hodiak, Walter Slezak, William Bendix

Votes: 24,209

25. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

100 Metascore

A cynical American expatriate struggles to decide whether or not he should help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape French Morocco.

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

Votes: 474,343 | Gross: $1.02M

26. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)

Not Rated | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A married woman and a drifter fall in love, then plot to murder her husband.

Director: Tay Garnett | Stars: Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway, Hume Cronyn

Votes: 16,747 | Gross: $8.33M

27. 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.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien, Margaret Wycherly

Votes: 24,451

28. Now, Voyager (1942)

Approved | 117 min | Drama, Romance

A frumpy spinster blossoms under therapy and becomes an elegant, independent woman.

Director: Irving Rapper | Stars: Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Gladys Cooper

Votes: 13,440

29. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Not Rated | 112 min | Comedy, Romance

96 Metascore

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: 58,398

30. 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.

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

Votes: 24,439 | Gross: $0.20M

31. Portrait of Jennie (1948)

Approved | 86 min | Drama, Romance, Fantasy

A mysterious girl inspires a struggling artist.

Director: William Dieterle | Stars: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Ethel Barrymore, Lillian Gish

Votes: 5,627

32. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Approved | 170 min | Drama, Romance, War

92 Metascore

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: 53,167 | Gross: $23.65M

33. The Red Shoes (1948)

Not Rated | 134 min | Drama, Music, Romance

A young ballet dancer is torn between the man she loves and her pursuit to become a prima ballerina.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring, Moira Shearer, Jean Short

Votes: 24,502 | Gross: $10.90M

34. 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.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Anna Lee, Donald Crisp

Votes: 19,047

35. The Major and the Minor (1942)

Passed | 100 min | Comedy, Romance

A woman disguises herself as a child to save on a train fare and is taken in charge by an army man who doesn't notice the truth.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland, Rita Johnson, Robert Benchley

Votes: 5,439 | Gross: $6.38M



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