1940s

by edwardtmoore52 | created - 17 Jul 2015 | updated - 2 months ago | Public
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1. 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: 480,123 | Gross: $1.02M

2. 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 in order to save her family's ranch.

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

Votes: 4,171

3. 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: 360,288

4. They Live by Night (1948)

Passed | 95 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Romance

An escaped convict, injured during a robbery, falls in love with the woman who nurses him back to health, but their relationship seems doomed from the beginning.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: Cathy O'Donnell, Farley Granger, Howard Da Silva, Jay C. Flippen

Votes: 6,029

5. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Not Rated | 100 min | Film-Noir, Mystery

96 Metascore

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre

Votes: 141,203 | Gross: $2.11M

6. 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: 53,597 | Gross: $23.65M

7. 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.

Directors: Alfred L. Werker, Anthony Mann | Stars: Richard Basehart, Scott Brady, Roy Roberts, Whit Bissell

Votes: 4,315

8. Brute Force (1947)

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

At a tough penitentiary, prisoner Joe Collins plans to rebel against Captain Munsey, the power-mad chief guard.

Director: Jules Dassin | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, Charles Bickford, Yvonne De Carlo

Votes: 7,931

9. The Naked City (1948)

Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Two New York City detectives investigate the death of an attractive young woman. The apparent suicide turns out to be murder.

Director: Jules Dassin | Stars: Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Dorothy Hart, Don Taylor

Votes: 10,859

10. Twelve O'Clock High (1949)

Not Rated | 132 min | Drama, War

A hard-as-nails general takes over a bomber unit suffering from low morale and whips them into fighting shape.

Director: Henry King | Stars: Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill, Millard Mitchell

Votes: 11,505

11. Hamlet (1948)

Not Rated | 154 min | Drama

Prince Hamlet struggles over whether or not he should kill his uncle, whom he suspects has murdered his father, the former King.

Director: Laurence Olivier | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, John Laurie, Esmond Knight

Votes: 13,965

12. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Passed | 129 min | Drama, History

96 Metascore

A poor Midwest family is forced off their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine, Charley Grapewin

Votes: 81,395 | Gross: $0.06M

13. The Curse of the Cat People (1944)

Approved | 70 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

The young, friendless daughter of Oliver and Alice Reed befriends her father's dead first wife and an aging, reclusive actress.

Directors: Gunther von Fritsch, Robert Wise | Stars: Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph, Ann Carter

Votes: 5,150

14. 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.

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

Votes: 37,003 | Gross: $2.65M

15. Rebecca (1940)

Not Rated | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

A self-conscious woman juggles adjusting to her new role as an aristocrat's wife and avoiding being intimidated by his first wife's spectral presence.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson

Votes: 111,532 | Gross: $4.36M

16. 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.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey, Jack Carson

Votes: 61,793

17. Brighton Rock (1948)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama

Pinkie Brown is a small-town hoodlum whose gang runs a protection racket based at Brighton race course. When Pinkie murders a journalist called Fred Hale whom he believes is responsible for... See full summary »

Director: John Boulting | Stars: Richard Attenborough, Hermione Baddeley, William Hartnell, Harcourt Williams

Votes: 4,771 | Gross: $0.22M

18. Oliver Twist (1948)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama

An orphan named Oliver Twist meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. From there, he joins a household of boys who are trained to steal for their master.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Robert Newton, Alec Guinness, Kay Walsh, Francis L. Sullivan

Votes: 10,312

19. Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)

Passed | 138 min | Drama, History, War

In the wake of Pearl Harbor, a young lieutenant leaves his expectant wife to volunteer for a secret bombing mission which will take the war to the Japanese homeland.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Van Johnson, Robert Walker, Tim Murdock

Votes: 4,967

20. 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: 13,449

21. My Darling Clementine (1946)

Not Rated | 97 min | Biography, Drama, Western

The Earps battle the Clantons at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature, Cathy Downs

Votes: 19,548



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