... The Forgettable ... Of The 1940s

by Akira_Chimera | created - 12 Jul 2011 | updated - 27 minutes ago | Public

First of all, most movies on this list are not really bad. But they are not good either. In order not to bore you with every average movie I have seen I will restrain myself only to those of interest. That means you will find movies here that were successful at the box office but did not deserve that undue success or movies that did not stand the test of time. Other entries concern movies that are acclaimed by critics but to me are nothing short of being pretentious. Other titles could include films that were much talked about for whatever reason upon their initial release and therefore hold some kind of reputation that, however, do not qualify them for quality movies. You may also find movies here to which famous actors or directors contributed to but which are a let-down in the end nevertheless.

So, have fun browsing through my selection of the odds and sods of the movie world and let me know what you think.

PS: This list is by no means complete as I will add new worthwhile films as I stumble across them.

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1. Second Chorus (1940)

Passed | 84 min | Comedy, Romance, Musical

When perennial college students Danny O'Neill and Hank Taylor are forced to make it on their own, the competitive pair get jobs with Artie Shaw's band and reunite with ex-manager Ellen Miller.

Director: H.C. Potter | Stars: Fred Astaire, Paulette Goddard, Artie Shaw, Charles Butterworth

Votes: 1,199

2. 21 Days Together (1940)

Approved | 72 min | Drama

After Larry Darrent accidentally kills his lover's blackmailing husband, someone else is arrested for the crime. Larry and Wanda have just three weeks together before the trial and if the ... See full summary »

Director: Basil Dean | Stars: Vivien Leigh, Leslie Banks, Laurence Olivier, Francis L. Sullivan

Votes: 806

3. Santa Fe Trail (1940)

Not Rated | 110 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

In 1854, Jeb Stuart, George Custer and other graduates from West Point are posted to Kansas to help pacify the territory before railroad construction to Santa Fe can resume.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Raymond Massey, Ronald Reagan

Votes: 2,951

4. It All Came True (1940)

Approved | 97 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

After crooked nightclub owner Chips Maguire murders a police informant, he blackmails his piano player to allow him to stay at his eccentric mother's boarding house.

Director: Lewis Seiler | Stars: Ann Sheridan, Humphrey Bogart, Jeffrey Lynn, Zasu Pitts

Votes: 919

5. The House Across the Bay (1940)

Not Rated | 88 min | Crime, Drama

An aircraft designer falls for the wife of an imprisoned gangster. All goes well until the gangster gets out of prison...

Directors: Archie Mayo, Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: George Raft, Joan Bennett, Lloyd Nolan, Walter Pidgeon

Votes: 345

6. The Howards of Virginia (1940)

Approved | 116 min | Drama, History, War

Just prior to the American War of Independence, aristocratic Virginian Jane Peyton marries unsophisticated rustic farmer and surveyor Matt Howard who takes her to his Shenandoah Valley plantation and later goes to war.

Director: Frank Lloyd | Stars: Cary Grant, Martha Scott, Cedric Hardwicke, Alan Marshal

Votes: 975

7. Three Faces West (1940)

Approved | 79 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

Viennese surgeon Dr. Braun and his daughter Leni come to a small town in North Dakota as refugees from Hitler. When the winds of the Dust Bowl threaten the town, John Phillips leads the ... See full summary »

Director: Bernard Vorhaus | Stars: John Wayne, Sigrid Gurie, Charles Coburn, Spencer Charters

Votes: 659

8. Susan and God (1940)

Approved | 117 min | Drama, Comedy

Susan Trexel is a wealthy socialite, who while vacationing in Europe undergoes a religious transformation. On her return to America, Susan takes on the task of spreading her new found ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Joan Crawford, Fredric March, Ruth Hussey, John Carroll

Votes: 1,009 | Gross: $0.82M

9. Kitty Foyle (1940)

Approved | 108 min | Drama, Romance

A hard-working, white-collar girl from a middle-class family meets and falls in love with a young socialite, but she soon clashes with his family.

Director: Sam Wood | Stars: Ginger Rogers, Dennis Morgan, James Craig, Eduardo Ciannelli

Votes: 2,934

10. The Return of Frank James (1940)

Approved | 92 min | Crime, History, Western

Frank James continues to avoid arrest in order to take revenge on the Ford brothers for their murder of his brother Jesse.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Henry Fonda, Gene Tierney, Jackie Cooper, Henry Hull

Votes: 2,646

11. Seven Sinners (1940)

Approved | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Banished from various U.S. protectorates in the Pacific, a saloon entertainer uses her femme-fatale charms to woo politicians, navy personnel, gangsters, riff-raff, judges and a ship's doctor in order to achieve her aims.

Director: Tay Garnett | Stars: Marlene Dietrich, John Wayne, Albert Dekker, Broderick Crawford

Votes: 1,077

12. North West Mounted Police (1940)

Passed | 126 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

In 1885, a Texas Ranger travels to Canada to arrest a trapper who's wanted for murder and who's stirring up the Natives in a rebellion against the Canadian government.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Gary Cooper, Madeleine Carroll, Paulette Goddard, Preston Foster

Votes: 1,341

13. Strange Cargo (1940)

Passed | 113 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

Convicts escaping from Devil's Island come under the influence of a strange Christ-like figure.

Director: Frank Borzage | Stars: Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Ian Hunter, Peter Lorre

Votes: 2,022

14. Remember the Night (1940)

Passed | 94 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A shoplifter and her prosecutor fall in love, creating tensions for his career and family.

Director: Mitchell Leisen | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson

Votes: 4,049 | Gross: $0.17M

15. Northwest Passage (1940)

Passed | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, History

Langdon Towne and Hunk Marriner join Major Rogers' Rangers as they wipe out an Indian village. They set out for Fort Wentworth, but when they arrive they find no soldiers and none of the supplies they expected.

Directors: King Vidor, Jack Conway, W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Robert Young, Walter Brennan, Ruth Hussey

Votes: 3,071

16. The Son of Monte Cristo (1940)

Passed | 102 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

In 1865, General Gurko Lanen is dictator of "Lichtenburg" in the Balkans. Rightful ruler Zona hopes to get aid from Napoleon III of France. The visiting Count of Monte Cristo falls for Zona... See full summary »

Director: Rowland V. Lee | Stars: Louis Hayward, Joan Bennett, George Sanders, Florence Bates

Votes: 611

17. The Fighting 69th (1940)

Passed | 90 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

Although loudmouthed braggart Jerry Plunkett alienates his comrades and officers, Father Duffy, the regimental chaplain, has faith that he'll prove himself in the end.

Director: William Keighley | Stars: James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, George Brent, Jeffrey Lynn

Votes: 1,645

18. Flight Command (1940)

Passed | 116 min | Drama, War

A rookie flyer, Ens. Alan Drake, joins the famous Hellcats Squadron right out of flight school in Pensacola. He doesn't make a great first impression when he is forced to ditch his airplane... See full summary »

Director: Frank Borzage | Stars: Robert Taylor, Ruth Hussey, Walter Pidgeon, Paul Kelly

Votes: 583

19. The Long Voyage Home (1940)

Approved | 105 min | Drama, War

In 1940, the motley crew of the British tramp steamer SS Glencairn prepares the ship for its perilous voyage from the West Indies to Baltimore and then to England.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, Ian Hunter, Ward Bond

Votes: 3,524

20. Dark Command (1940)

Approved | 94 min | Drama, Romance, Western

In Kansas, during the Civil War opposing pro-Union and pro-Confederate camps clash and visiting Texan Bob Seton runs afoul of William Cantrell's Raiders.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: Claire Trevor, John Wayne, Walter Pidgeon, Roy Rogers

Votes: 2,189

21. Comrade X (1940)

Passed | 104 min | Comedy, Romance

An American reporter smuggling news out of Soviet Moscow is blackmailed into helping a beautiful Communist leave the country.

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Clark Gable, Hedy Lamarr, Oskar Homolka, Felix Bressart

Votes: 1,210

22. My Little Chickadee (1940)

Passed | 83 min | Comedy, Western

After a scandal runs a gold-digger out of town, she meets a con artist and becomes embroiled in a string of petty deceits.

Director: Edward F. Cline | Stars: Mae West, W.C. Fields, Joseph Calleia, Dick Foran

Votes: 2,411

23. Mexican Spitfire (1940)

Approved | 67 min | Comedy

Newlyweds Dennis and Carmelita have several obstacles to deal with in their new marriage: Carmelita's fiery Latin temper, a meddling aunt and a conniving ex-fiancee who's determined to ... See full summary »

Director: Leslie Goodwins | Stars: Lupe Velez, Leon Errol, Donald Woods, Linda Hayes

Votes: 283

24. Virginia City (1940)

Passed | 121 min | Action, Drama, History

Union officer Kerry Bradford escapes from Confederate Prison and is set to Virginia City in Nevada. Once there he finds that the former commander of his prison Vance Irby is planning to send $5 million in gold to save the Confederacy.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Errol Flynn, Miriam Hopkins, Randolph Scott, Humphrey Bogart

Votes: 2,030

25. Turnabout (1940)

Not Rated | 83 min | Comedy, Fantasy

Bickering husband and wife Tim and Sally Willows mutter a few angry words to a statue of Buddha and wind up living each other's life.

Director: Hal Roach | Stars: Adolphe Menjou, Carole Landis, John Hubbard, William Gargan

Votes: 612

26. Johnny Apollo (1940)

Approved | 94 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

The son of a jailed Wall Street broker turns to crime to pay for his father's release.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: Tyrone Power, Dorothy Lamour, Edward Arnold, Lloyd Nolan

Votes: 1,048

27. Torrid Zone (1940)

Approved | 88 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Plagued by revolutionaries that harass his plantation in a banana republic, fruit company exec Steve Case rehires former nemesis Nick Butler to restore order and profits.

Director: William Keighley | Stars: James Cagney, Ann Sheridan, Pat O'Brien, Andy Devine

Votes: 1,139

28. Christmas in July (1940)

Passed | 67 min | Comedy, Romance

When the co-workers of an ambitious clerk trick him into thinking he has won $25,000 in a slogan contest, he begins to use the money to fulfill his dreams. What will happen when the ruse is discovered?

Director: Preston Sturges | Stars: Dick Powell, Ellen Drew, Raymond Walburn, Alexander Carr

Votes: 2,978

29. I Take This Woman (1940)

Passed | 98 min | Drama, Romance

A doctor (Spencer Tracy) marries a suicidal woman (Hedy Lamarr) but begins to doubt her fidelity.

Directors: W.S. Van Dyke, Frank Borzage, Josef von Sternberg | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Hedy Lamarr, Verree Teasdale, Kent Taylor

Votes: 539

30. Women in War (1940)

Approved | 71 min | Drama, War

A "good-time girl", raised by her somewhat lax divorced father, finds herself involved in an accidental death, and the only way she's able to get out of it is to volunteer--albeit ... See full summary »

Director: John H. Auer | Stars: Elsie Janis, Wendy Barrie, Patric Knowles, Mae Clarke

Votes: 29

31. Our Town (1940)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

Change comes slowly to a small New Hampshire town in the early 20th century.

Director: Sam Wood | Stars: William Holden, Martha Scott, Fay Bainter, Beulah Bondi

Votes: 2,146

32. Jud Süß (1940)

98 min | Drama

Infamous anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda historical drama about Duke Karl Alexander of Württemberg and his treasurer Süß Oppenheimer.

Director: Veit Harlan | Stars: Ferdinand Marian, Kristina Söderbaum, Heinrich George, Werner Krauss

Votes: 2,809

33. Green Hell (1940)

Passed | 87 min | Adventure, Romance

A group of adventurers head deep into a South American jungle in search of ancient Incan treasure. A beautiful woman, brought to their camp by hired bearers, has come to join her husband, a... See full summary »

Director: James Whale | Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Joan Bennett, John Howard, George Sanders

Votes: 268

34. Captain Caution (1940)

Approved | 86 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

When her father dies, a young woman helps a young man take command of the ship to fight the British during the war of 1812.

Director: Richard Wallace | Stars: Victor Mature, Louise Platt, Leo Carrillo, Bruce Cabot

Votes: 218

35. Mexican Spitfire Out West (1940)

Approved | 76 min | Comedy

With husband Dennis preoccupied with a business deal, Carmelita decides to teach him a lesson by running off to Reno and filing for divorce.

Director: Leslie Goodwins | Stars: Lupe Velez, Leon Errol, Donald Woods, Elisabeth Risdon

Votes: 184

36. Road to Singapore (1940)

Approved | 85 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Two playboys try to forget previous romances in Singapore - until they meet a beautiful dancer.

Director: Victor Schertzinger | Stars: Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, Charles Coburn

Votes: 3,361

37. Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940)

Passed | 102 min | Musical

Johnny Brett and King Shaw are an unsuccessful dance team in New York. A producer discovers Brett as the new partner for Clare Bennett, but Brett, who thinks he is one of the people they lent money to gives him the name of his partner.

Director: Norman Taurog | Stars: Fred Astaire, Eleanor Powell, George Murphy, Frank Morgan

Votes: 1,968

38. Michael Shayne: Private Detective (1940)

Approved | 77 min | Comedy, Mystery, Drama

After gumshoe Mike Shayne is hired by a millionaire to keep his daughter away from gambling and gamblers, he becomes involved in the murder of a racetrack tout.

Director: Eugene Forde | Stars: Lloyd Nolan, Marjorie Weaver, Joan Valerie, Walter Abel

Votes: 353

39. The Blue Bird (1940)

Approved | 88 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

Mytyl and her brother Tyltyl, a woodchopper's children, are led by the Fairy Berylune on a magical trip through the past, present, and future to locate the Blue Bird of Happiness.

Director: Walter Lang | Stars: Shirley Temple, Spring Byington, Nigel Bruce, Gale Sondergaard

Votes: 1,426

40. Dr. Kildare Goes Home (1940)

Passed | 79 min | Drama

Dr. James Kildare has just completed his internship at Blair General Hospital and is assigned to work with his mentor, Dr. Leonard Gillespie. But fearing for the health of his father, Dr. ... See full summary »

Director: Harold S. Bucquet | Stars: Lew Ayres, Lionel Barrymore, Laraine Day, Samuel S. Hinds

Votes: 275

41. Dr. Kildare's Crisis (1940)

Passed | 75 min | Drama

Nurse Mary Lamont is excited about her brother's impending visit. The young man's strange behavior puzzles Dr. Kildare who believes he may be hiding a serious illness.

Director: Harold S. Bucquet | Stars: Lew Ayres, Lionel Barrymore, Laraine Day, Robert Young

Votes: 262

42. Dr. Kildare's Strange Case (1940)

Approved | 77 min | Crime, Drama

Young Dr. Kildare tries to help an unlucky brain surgeon and his seemingly insane patient.

Director: Harold S. Bucquet | Stars: Lew Ayres, Lionel Barrymore, Laraine Day, Shepperd Strudwick

Votes: 389

43. New Moon (1940)

Passed | 105 min | Musical, Romance, Adventure

On a Louisiana-bound ship, a nobleman planning a campaign for liberty encounters an heiress.

Directors: Robert Z. Leonard, W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, Mary Boland, George Zucco

Votes: 480

44. Saps at Sea (1940)

Approved | 56 min | Comedy

Oliver suffers a nervous breakdown as a result of working in a horn factory, but when he follows doctor's orders about sea air, he finds an ex-con is aboard.

Director: Gordon Douglas | Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, James Finlayson, Ben Turpin

Votes: 2,319

45. Scatterbrain (1940)

Approved | 73 min | Comedy, Musical

Eddie MacIntyre is a press agent, talent scout and right-hand man to J.R.Russell, Producer/Director of Perfection Pictures, is planning a scheme in which he will "plant" his girl friend, ... See full summary »

Director: Gus Meins | Stars: Judy Canova, Alan Mowbray, Ruth Donnelly, Eddie Foy Jr.

Votes: 27

46. In Old Missouri (1940)

Approved | 68 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

The Weavers play sharecroppers. They confront their landlord with their tale of woe only to find he is in money trouble too. He also has a wastrel son and a socialite wife who wants a ... See full summary »

Director: Frank McDonald | Stars: Leon Weaver, Frank Weaver, June Weaver, June Storey

Votes: 22

47. Grand Ole Opry (1940)

Approved | 67 min | Comedy, Music