Top Movies of the 1940's

by 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.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Anna Magnani, Aldo Fabrizi, Marcello Pagliero, Vito Annichiarico

Votes: 21,659

10/10

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.

Director: Boris Ingster | Stars: Peter Lorre, John McGuire, Margaret Tallichet, Charles Waldron

Votes: 3,389

10/10

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 »

Director: Richard Thorpe | Stars: Joan Crawford, Fred MacMurray, Conrad Veidt, Basil Rathbone

Votes: 1,728

10/10

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.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner

Votes: 190,954

10/10

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.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: George Raft, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan, Ida Lupino

Votes: 6,707

10/10

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.

Director: Ted Tetzlaff | Stars: Bobby Driscoll, Barbara Hale, Arthur Kennedy, Paul Stewart

Votes: 3,254

10/10

7. Double Indemnity (1944)

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

95 Metascore

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.

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

Votes: 134,951 | Gross: $5.72M

10/10

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.

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

Votes: 17,281 | Gross: $3.48M

10/10

9. Call Northside 777 (1948)

Approved | 112 min | Drama, Film-Noir

Chicago reporter P.J. McNeal re-opens a ten year old murder case.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: James Stewart, Richard Conte, Lee J. Cobb, Helen Walker

Votes: 7,575

10/10

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.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Carole Lombard, Robert Montgomery, Gene Raymond, Jack Carson

Votes: 8,726

10/10

11. 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: 144,290 | Gross: $2.11M

10/10

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.

Director: Robert Hamer | Stars: Dennis Price, Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson, Joan Greenwood

Votes: 33,062

10/10

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.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson, Frieda Inescort

Votes: 11,032

10/10

14. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

PG | 108 min | Thriller

94 Metascore

A young woman discovers her visiting uncle may not be the man he seems to be.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey, Henry Travers

Votes: 56,216

10/10

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.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers

Votes: 75,978 | Gross: $6.54M

10/10

16. On the Town (1949)

Passed | 98 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

71 Metascore

Three sailors on a day of shore leave in New York City look for fun and romance before their twenty-four hours are up.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly | Stars: Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett, Ann Miller

Votes: 15,166

10/10

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.

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

Votes: 2,342

10/10

18. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Passed | 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: 378,430

10/10

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.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt | Stars: Bette Davis, Glenn Ford, Dane Clark, Walter Brennan

Votes: 2,932

10/10

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.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Anna Magnani, Federico Fellini, Peparuolo, Amelia Robert

Votes: 1,258

10/10

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.

Director: Christy Cabanne | Stars: Dick Foran, Peggy Moran, Wallace Ford, Eduardo Ciannelli

Votes: 3,269

10/10

22. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Passed | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

98 Metascore

Two Americans searching for work in Mexico convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt, Bruce Bennett

Votes: 108,178 | Gross: $5.01M

10/10

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.

Director: Anatole Litvak | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Burt Lancaster, Ann Richards, Wendell Corey

Votes: 9,122

10/10

24. 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: 30,408 | Gross: $4.50M

10/10

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.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mady Correll, Allison Roddan, Robert Lewis

Votes: 14,805 | Gross: $0.33M

10/10

26. Notorious (1946)

Not Rated | 102 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

100 Metascore

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?

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Louis Calhern

Votes: 88,075 | Gross: $10.46M

10/10

27. 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: 5,888

10/10

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.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten, May Whitty

Votes: 22,508

10/10

29. 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: 496,929 | Gross: $1.02M

10/10

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.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Edmund Moeschke, Ernst Pittschau, Ingetraud Hinze, Franz-Otto Krüger

Votes: 9,433

10/10

31. 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: 83,276 | Gross: $0.06M

10/10

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.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas

Votes: 7,804

9/10

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.

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

Votes: 63,184

9/10

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.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer | Stars: John Carradine, Jean Parker, Nils Asther, Ludwig Stössel

Votes: 1,541

9/10

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.

Directors: Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden, Robert Hamer | Stars: Mervyn Johns, Michael Redgrave, Roland Culver, Mary Merrall

Votes: 10,203

9/10

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.

Director: Charles Lederer | Stars: Lew Ayres, Laraine Day, Basil Rathbone, Walter Kingsford

Votes: 709

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.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Carmela Sazio, Gar Moore, William Tubbs, Robert Van Loon

Votes: 6,748

8 or 9/10

38. The Third Man (1949)

Not Rated | 93 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard

Votes: 151,274 | Gross: $0.45M

8/10

39. Citizen Kane (1941)

PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery

100 Metascore

Following the death of publishing tycoon Charles Foster Kane, reporters scramble to uncover the meaning of his final utterance; 'Rosebud'.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 378,929 | Gross: $1.59M

8/10

40. Rebecca (1940)

Approved | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

86 Metascore

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: 115,676 | Gross: $4.36M

8/10

41. Rope (1948)

Approved | 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: 121,209

7 or 8/10

42. Phantom of the Opera (1943)

Approved | 92 min | Drama, Horror, Music

A disfigured violinist haunts the Paris Opera House.

Director: Arthur Lubin | Stars: Nelson Eddy, Susanna Foster, Claude Rains, Edgar Barrier

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.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov, Leo G. Carroll

Votes: 40,954 | Gross: $7.00M

7/10

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.

Director: Walter Forde | Stars: Arthur Askey, Richard Murdoch, Kathleen Harrison, Peter Murray-Hill

Votes: 1,298

6 or 7/10

45. The Spanish Main (1945)

Passed | 100 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

After being wronged by the Caribbean authorities, a Dutch captain turns pirate to wage war.

Director: Frank Borzage | Stars: Paul Henreid, Maureen O'Hara, Walter Slezak, Binnie Barnes

Votes: 1,444

6/10



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