Favorite 1940s Fantasy Film

by ElMaruecan82 | created - 13 Nov 2018 | updated - 24 Nov 2018 | Public

Was it because the war made people question the afterlife or because the after-war made them consider the precious, futile or somewhat volatile value of life; who knows? But let's just say that there was definitely something magical, disturbing or enchanting in the cinematic air of the 1940s... from animated music to costumed horror, whether in family-oriented dramas or heavenly comedies.

So, which of these Fantasy movies of the 40s is your favorite?

After voting, you might discuss the list here

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1. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

PG | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

89 Metascore

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.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 391,326

2. Pinocchio (1940)

G | 88 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

99 Metascore

A living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.

Directors: Norman Ferguson, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Dickie Jones, Christian Rub, Mel Blanc, Don Brodie

Votes: 128,887 | Gross: $84.25M

3. Beauty and the Beast (1946)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

92 Metascore

A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.

Directors: Jean Cocteau, René Clément | Stars: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély, Nane Germon

Votes: 23,869 | Gross: $0.30M

4. Fantasia (1940)

G | 125 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

96 Metascore

A collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music.

Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Ford Beebe Jr., Norman Ferguson, David Hand, Jim Handley, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Corey Burton

Votes: 87,378 | Gross: $76.41M

5. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

88 Metascore

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.

Director: George Seaton | Stars: Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Gene Lockhart

Votes: 39,242 | Gross: $2.65M

6. Heaven Can Wait (1943)

Passed | 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: 9,488

7. Carnival of Sinners (1943)

Approved | 80 min | Fantasy, Horror

Roland Brissot bought for a nickel a talisman that gives him love, fame and wealth. The talisman is a cut left hand, and it works perfectly. But of course there is nothing free in this ... See full summary »

Director: Maurice Tourneur | Stars: Pierre Fresnay, Josseline Gaël, Noël Roquevert, Guillaume de Sax

Votes: 1,154

8. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)

Not Rated | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

In 1900, a young widow finds her seaside cottage is haunted and forms a unique relationship with the ghost.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, George Sanders, Edna Best

Votes: 15,444

9. A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

PG | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

A British wartime aviator who cheats death must argue for his life before a celestial court.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: David Niven, Kim Hunter, Robert Coote, Kathleen Byron

Votes: 19,065

10. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A corrupt young man somehow keeps his youthful beauty, but a special painting gradually reveals his inner ugliness to all.

Director: Albert Lewin | Stars: George Sanders, Hurd Hatfield, Donna Reed, Angela Lansbury

Votes: 11,590

11. 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.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Simone Simon, Tom Conway, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph

Votes: 19,609 | Gross: $4.00M

12. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Not Rated | 83 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

The Wolf Man tries to warn a dimwitted porter that Dracula wants his brain for Frankenstein monster's body.

Directors: Charles Barton, Walter Lantz | Stars: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi

Votes: 14,478 | Gross: $4.80M

13. The Thief of Bagdad (1940)

Not Rated | 106 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

After being tricked and cast out of Bagdad by the evil Jaffar, King Ahmad joins forces with a thief named Abu to reclaim his throne, the city, and the Princess he loves.

Directors: Ludwig Berger, Michael Powell, Tim Whelan, Alexander Korda, Zoltan Korda, William Cameron Menzies | Stars: Conrad Veidt, Sabu, June Duprez, John Justin

Votes: 11,739 | Gross: $0.27M

14. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)

Approved | 110 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

A clumsy daydreamer gets caught up in a sinister conspiracy.

Director: Norman Z. McLeod | Stars: Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, Boris Karloff, Fay Bainter

Votes: 5,617

15. Portrait of Jennie (1948)

Approved | 86 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

A mysterious girl inspires a struggling artist.

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

Votes: 6,108

16. The Bishop's Wife (1947)

Not Rated | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

72 Metascore

A debonair angel comes to Earth to help an Episcopalian bishop and his wife in their quest to raise money for the new church.

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven, Monty Woolley

Votes: 13,721

17. Anchors Aweigh (1945)

Passed | 140 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Music

60 Metascore

Two sailors, one naive, the other experienced in the ways of the world, a musical set in Los Angeles.

Directors: George Sidney, Joseph Barbera, William Hanna | Stars: Frank Sinatra, Kathryn Grayson, Gene Kelly, José Iturbi

Votes: 7,746

18. I Married a Witch (1942)

Not Rated | 77 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

A beautiful 17th-century witch returns to life to plague politician Wallace Wooley, descendant of her persecutor.

Director: René Clair | Stars: Fredric March, Veronica Lake, Robert Benchley, Susan Hayward

Votes: 6,726 | Gross: $0.31M

19. Mighty Joe Young (1949)

Approved | 84 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

61 Metascore

A young woman who has raised a giant gorilla from an infant brings him to Hollywood years later seeking her fortune.

Director: Ernest B. Schoedsack | Stars: Terry Moore, Ben Johnson, Robert Armstrong, Mr. Joseph Young

Votes: 4,631

20. The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)

Passed | 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.

Director: William Dieterle | Stars: Edward Arnold, Walter Huston, Jane Darwell, Simone Simon

Votes: 4,544

21. Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940)

Approved | 220 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Flash Gordon, Dale Arden and Dr. Zarkov return to the planet Mongo for an antidote to the Purple Death, which wreaking destruction on Earth. However, Ming the Merciless has other plans for them.

Directors: Ford Beebe, Ray Taylor | Stars: Buster Crabbe, Carol Hughes, Charles Middleton, Anne Gwynne

Votes: 1,239

22. Blithe Spirit (1945)

Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Fantasy

A man and his second wife are haunted by the ghost of his first wife.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Rex Harrison, Constance Cummings, Kay Hammond, Margaret Rutherford

Votes: 5,510

23. A Guy Named Joe (1943)

Passed | 120 min | Drama, Romance, War

A dead World War II bomber pilot named Pete Sandidge, becomes the guardian angel of another pilot, Ted Randall. He guides Ted through battle and helping him to romance his old girlfriend, despite her excessive devotion to Sandidge's memory.

Director: Victor Fleming | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunne, Van Johnson, Ward Bond

Votes: 2,256

24. Topper Returns (1941)

Approved | 88 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Mystery

A fun-loving young woman is murdered after trading bedrooms with her wealthy friend. Her ghost seeks aid from Topper to find the murderer.

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: Joan Blondell, Roland Young, Carole Landis, Billie Burke

Votes: 2,592

25. The Canterville Ghost (1944)

Passed | 95 min | Comedy, Fantasy

The descendent of a ghost imprisoned for cowardice hopes to free the spirit by displaying courage when under duress.

Directors: Jules Dassin, Norman Z. McLeod | Stars: Charles Laughton, Robert Young, Margaret O'Brien, William Gargan

Votes: 2,482

26. The Enchanted Cottage (1945)

Approved | 91 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

A homely maid and a scarred ex-GI meet at the cottage where she works and where he was to spend his honeymoon prior to his accident. The two develop a bond and agree to marry, more out of ... See full summary »

Director: John Cromwell | Stars: Dorothy McGuire, Robert Young, Herbert Marshall, Mildred Natwick

Votes: 2,745

27. Wonder Man (1945)

Approved | 98 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Musical

After being murdered by gangsters, an exuberant nightclub entertainer returns as a ghost to persuade his meek twin brother to help bring his killers to justice.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone | Stars: Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, Vera-Ellen, Donald Woods

Votes: 1,919



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