Top Movies of the 1940'sby hiddenagenda1 | created - 26 Feb 2011 | updated - 13 Nov 2013 | Public
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1. Rome, Open City (1945)
Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Thriller, War
During the Nazi occupation of Rome in 1944, the Resistance leader, Giorgio Manfredi, is chased by the Nazis as he seeks refuge and a way to escape.
2. Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)
Approved | 64 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
An aspiring reporter is the key witness at the murder trial of a young man accused of cutting a café owner's throat and is soon accused of a similar crime himself.
3. Above Suspicion (1943)
Passed | 90 min | Drama, Thriller
Oxford Professor Richard Myles and new bride Frances are off on a European honeymoon. It isn't your typical honeymoon though, for they are on a spying mission for British intelligence on ... See full summary »
4. The Great Dictator (1940)
Passed | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, War
Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.
5. They Drive by Night (1940)
Approved | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
When one of two truck-driving brothers loses an arm, they both join a transport company where later, the other is falsely charged as an accessory in the murder of the owner.
6. The Window (1949)
Approved | 73 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller
To avoid the heat of a sweltering summer night a 9-year-old Manhattan boy decides to sleep on the fire escape and witnesses a murder, but no one will believe him.
7. 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: 134,951 | Gross: $5.72M
8. 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.
Votes: 17,281 | Gross: $3.48M
9. Call Northside 777 (1948)
Approved | 112 min | Drama, Film-Noir
Chicago reporter P.J. McNeal re-opens a ten year old murder case.
10. Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941)
Approved | 95 min | Comedy, Romance
A couple who have been married for three years are shocked to learn that their marriage is not legally valid.
11. 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: 144,290 | Gross: $2.11M
12. Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
Not Rated | 106 min | Comedy, Crime
A distant poor relative of the Duke of D'Ascoyne plots to inherit the title by murdering the eight other heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession.
13. 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.
14. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
PG | 108 min | Thriller
A young woman discovers her visiting uncle may not be the man he seems to be.
15. The Big Sleep (1946)
Not Rated | 114 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery
Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.
Votes: 75,978 | Gross: $6.54M
16. On the Town (1949)
Passed | 98 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
Three sailors on a day of shore leave in New York City look for fun and romance before their twenty-four hours are up.
17. 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.
18. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Passed | 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. A Stolen Life (1946)
Approved | 109 min | Drama
When a woman's twin sister is drowned, she assumes her identity in order to be close to the man she feels her sister took from her years before.
20. L'amore (1948)
69 min | Drama
In the first episode, a heartbroken woman talks to her ex-lover on the phone. In the second, a pregnant woman believes she is carrying the child of Saint Joseph.
21. The Mummy's Hand (1940)
Approved | 67 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Horror
An ancient mummy is revived to destroy the invaders of the 3,000 year-old tomb of an Egyptian princess.
22. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
Passed | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Western
Two Americans searching for work in Mexico convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains.
Votes: 108,178 | Gross: $5.01M
23. Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)
Approved | 89 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery
While on the telephone, an invalid woman overhears what she thinks is a murder plot and attempts to prevent it.
24. Suspicion (1941)
Not Rated | 99 min | Mystery, Thriller
A shy young heiress marries a charming gentleman, and soon begins to suspect he is planning to murder her.
Votes: 30,408 | Gross: $4.50M
25. Monsieur Verdoux (1947)
Passed | 124 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
A suave but cynical man supports his family by marrying and murdering rich women for their money, but the job has some occupational hazards.
Votes: 14,805 | Gross: $0.33M
26. 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: 88,075 | Gross: $10.46M
27. Portrait of Jennie (1948)
Approved | 86 min | Drama, Romance, Fantasy
A mysterious girl inspires a struggling artist.
28. Gaslight (1944)
Not Rated | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Years after her aunt was murdered in her home, a young woman moves back into the house with her new husband. However, he has a secret that he will do anything to protect, even if it means driving his wife insane.
29. 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: 496,929 | Gross: $1.02M
30. Germany Year Zero (1948)
Not Rated | 78 min | Drama, War
A young German boy faces the problems of the tough life in the immediate post WWII Berlin.
31. 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: 83,276 | Gross: $0.06M
32. The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)
Unrated | 116 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance
A man is reunited with his childhood friend and her husband, who believe he knows the truth about the death of her rich aunt years earlier.
33. 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.
34. Bluebeard (1944)
Passed | 72 min | Crime, Horror, Thriller
In Paris, an artist hires portrait models, and after he finishes their portraits, he strangles them.
35. Dead of Night (1945)
Approved | 77 min | Drama, Horror
Architect Walter Craig (Mervyn Johns) senses impending doom as his half-remembered recurring dream turns into reality. The guests at the country house encourage him to stay as they take turns telling supernatural tales.
36. Fingers at the Window (1942)
Passed | 80 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery
In Chicago, an unemployed actor aims to solve the mystery concerning a string of ax murders, apparently committed by a lunatic.
8 or 9/10
37. Paisan (1946)
Not Rated | 120 min | Drama, War
The language barrier has tragic consequences in a series of unrelated stories set during the Italian Campaign of WWII.
8 or 9/10
38. The Third Man (1949)
Not Rated | 93 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller
Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.
Votes: 151,274 | Gross: $0.45M
39. 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: 378,929 | Gross: $1.59M
40. Rebecca (1940)
Approved | 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.
Votes: 115,676 | Gross: $4.36M
41. Rope (1948)
Approved | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Two men attempt to prove they committed the perfect crime by hosting a dinner party after strangling their former classmate to death.
7 or 8/10
42. Phantom of the Opera (1943)
Approved | 92 min | Drama, Horror, Music
A disfigured violinist haunts the Paris Opera House.
Votes: 6,068 | Gross: $3.49M
7 or 8/10
43. Spellbound (1945)
Approved | 111 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Romance
A psychiatrist protects the identity of an amnesia patient accused of murder while attempting to recover his memory.
Votes: 40,954 | Gross: $7.00M
44. The Ghost Train (1941)
Not Rated | 85 min | Comedy, Horror
High jinks and chills ensue when a group of people become stranded at an isolated station and a legendary phantom train approaches.
6 or 7/10