Gregor's Top 20 of 1939 +20

by Movie-Mate | created - 20 Oct 2013 | updated - 18 May 2017 | Public
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1. Gone with the Wind (1939)

Passed | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance

97 Metascore

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 267,881 | Gross: $198.68M

2. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

100 Metascore

Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home to Kansas and help her friends as well.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, Richard Thorpe, King Vidor | Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr

Votes: 356,002 | Gross: $2.08M

3. Stagecoach (1939)

Passed | 96 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

93 Metascore

A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo and learn something about each other in the process.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine, John Carradine

Votes: 38,919

4. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Not Rated | 129 min | Comedy, Drama

73 Metascore

A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold

Votes: 99,567 | Gross: $9.60M

5. Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

Not Rated | 121 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

86 Metascore

At a remote South American trading port, the manager of an air freight company is forced to risk his pilots' lives in order to win an important contract.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Rita Hayworth, Richard Barthelmess

Votes: 11,242

6. The Roaring Twenties (1939)

Not Rated | 106 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Three men attempt to make a living in Prohibitionist America after returning home from fighting together in World War I.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Priscilla Lane, Gladys George

Votes: 11,589

7. Ninotchka (1939)

Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Romance

A stern Russian woman sent to Paris on official business finds herself attracted to a man who represents everything she is supposed to detest.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire, Bela Lugosi

Votes: 17,506 | Gross: $1.19M

8. Destry Rides Again (1939)

Approved | 95 min | Comedy, Western

When a tough western town needs taming, the mild-mannered son of a hard-nosed sheriff gets the job.

Director: George Marshall | Stars: Marlene Dietrich, James Stewart, Mischa Auer, Charles Winninger

Votes: 9,270 | Gross: $0.35M

9. Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)

Passed | 100 min | Biography, Drama

91 Metascore

A fictionalized account of the early life of the American president as a young lawyer facing his greatest court case.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Henry Fonda, Alice Brady, Marjorie Weaver, Arleen Whelan

Votes: 6,827

10. Wuthering Heights (1939)

Not Rated | 104 min | Drama, Romance

A servant in the house of Wuthering Heights tells a traveller the unfortunate tale of lovers Cathy and Heathcliff.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, David Niven, Flora Robson

Votes: 15,103

11. Beau Geste (1939)

Passed | 112 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Three adopted English brothers join the French Foreign Legion in North Africa, after one of them steals their adoptive family's famous heirloom sapphire.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, Robert Preston, Brian Donlevy

Votes: 5,113

12. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)

Passed | 117 min | Drama, Romance

In 15th century France, a gypsy girl is framed for murder by the infatuated Chief Justice, and only the deformed bellringer of Notre Dame Cathedral can save her.

Director: William Dieterle | Stars: Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Hara, Cedric Hardwicke, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 9,619 | Gross: $3.27M

13. Midnight (1939)

Not Rated | 94 min | Comedy, Romance

A chorus girl stranded in Paris is set up by a millionaire to break up his wife's affair with another man, while being romantically pursued by a cab driver.

Director: Mitchell Leisen | Stars: Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, John Barrymore, Francis Lederer

Votes: 4,114

14. The Women (1939)

Not Rated | 133 min | Comedy, Drama

A study of the lives and romantic entanglements of various interconnected women.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Mary Boland

Votes: 11,715 | Gross: $2.27M

15. Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)

Unrated | 114 min | Drama, Romance

An aged teacher and former headmaster of a boarding school recalls his career and his personal life over the decades.

Directors: Sam Wood, Sidney Franklin | Stars: Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Terry Kilburn, John Mills

Votes: 9,091

16. Gunga Din (1939)

Approved | 117 min | Adventure, Comedy, War

In 19th century India, three British soldiers and a native waterbearer must stop a secret mass revival of the murderous Thuggee cult before it can rampage across the land.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Victor McLaglen, Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

Votes: 10,284

17. Dark Victory (1939)

Approved | 104 min | Drama, Romance

A young socialite is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, and must decide whether or not she'll meet her final days with dignity.

Director: Edmund Goulding | Stars: Bette Davis, George Brent, Humphrey Bogart, Geraldine Fitzgerald

Votes: 9,102

18. The Cat and the Canary (1939)

Approved | 72 min | Comedy, Horror, Mystery

When an eccentric family meets in their uncle's remote, decaying mansion on the tenth anniversary of his death for the reading of his will, murder and madness follow.

Director: Elliott Nugent | Stars: Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, John Beal, Douglass Montgomery

Votes: 2,353

19. The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)

Approved | 80 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson investigate the legend of a supernatural hound, a beast that may be stalking a young heir on the fog-shrouded moorland that makes up his estate.

Director: Sidney Lanfield | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Richard Greene, Wendy Barrie

Votes: 8,689

20. Another Thin Man (1939)

Passed | 103 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

An explosives manufacturer suspects a young man is out to kill him. He calls in new parents Nick and Nora to sort things out.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Virginia Grey, Otto Kruger

Votes: 5,924

21. Union Pacific (1939)

Passed | 135 min | Drama, Western

In 1862, Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads compete westward across the wilderness toward California.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Akim Tamiroff, Robert Preston

Votes: 2,380

22. Of Mice and Men (1939)

Approved | 106 min | Drama

Two itinerant migrant workers, one mentally disabled and the other his carer, take jobs as ranch hands during the Great Depression to fulfill their shared dream of owning their own ranch.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Burgess Meredith, Betty Field, Charles Bickford

Votes: 5,090

23. The Old Maid (1939)

Approved | 95 min | Drama

The arrival of an ex-lover on a young woman's wedding day sets in motion a chain of events which will alter her and her cousin's lives forever.

Director: Edmund Goulding | Stars: Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins, George Brent, Donald Crisp

Votes: 2,890

24. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)

Approved | 85 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

The master sleuth hunts his archenemy, Professor Moriarty, who is planning the crime of the century.

Director: Alfred L. Werker | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Ida Lupino, Alan Marshal

Votes: 5,763

25. Jesse James (1939)

Approved | 106 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

After railroad agents forcibly evict the James family from their family farm, Jesse and Frank turn to banditry for revenge.

Directors: Henry King, Irving Cummings | Stars: Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly, Randolph Scott

Votes: 3,660

26. Dodge City (1939)

Approved | 104 min | Action, Drama, Romance

A Texas cattle agent witnesses first hand, the brutal lawlessness of Dodge City and takes the job of sheriff to clean the town up.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Ann Sheridan, Bruce Cabot

Votes: 4,239

27. 5th Ave Girl (1939)

Approved | 83 min | Comedy, Romance

Feeling unwanted by his wife and children, a wealthy industrialist hires an unemployed young woman to pose as his mistress.

Director: Gregory La Cava | Stars: Ginger Rogers, Walter Connolly, Verree Teasdale, James Ellison

Votes: 1,163

28. Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)

Approved | 104 min | Drama, History, Romance

Newlyweds Gil and Lana Martin try to establish a farm in the Mohawk Valley but are menaced by Indians and Tories as the Revolutionary War begins.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Claudette Colbert, Henry Fonda, Edna May Oliver, Eddie Collins

Votes: 5,149 | Gross: $1.00M

29. Bachelor Mother (1939)

Approved | 82 min | Comedy, Romance

An unemployed woman discovers an abandoned baby on the steps of an orphanage, and accepts an offer to take responsibility for the child in return for a job.

Director: Garson Kanin | Stars: Ginger Rogers, David Niven, Charles Coburn, Frank Albertson

Votes: 3,328

30. The Rules of the Game (1939)

Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

A bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II, as the rich and their poor servants meet up at a French chateau.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost, Mila Parély

Votes: 24,592

31. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (1939)

Not Rated | 148 min | Drama, Romance

The adopted son of a legendary actor, and an aspiring star himself, turns to his infant brother's wet nurse for support and affection - only for her to give up everything for her beloved's glory.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Shôtarô Hanayagi, Kôkichi Takada, Ryôtarô Kawanami, Kinnosuke Takamatsu

Votes: 2,823

32. Tarzan Finds a Son! (1939)

Passed | 82 min | Action, Adventure, Family

Tarzan finds a boy from a crashed plane and raises him with Jane in the jungle. A search party comes looking for the plane.

Director: Richard Thorpe | Stars: Johnny Weissmuller, Maureen O'Sullivan, Johnny Sheffield, Ian Hunter

Votes: 2,974 | Gross: $2.27M

33. Each Dawn I Die (1939)

Approved | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A corrupt D.A. with political ambitions is angered by news stories implicating him in criminal activity and decides to frame the reporter who wrote them for manslaughter in order to silence him.

Director: William Keighley | Stars: James Cagney, George Raft, Jane Bryan, George Bancroft

Votes: 2,565

34. The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939)

Approved | 93 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

The story of married couple Irene Castle and Vernon Castle, sensational ballroom dancers prior to World War I.

Director: H.C. Potter | Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edna May Oliver, Walter Brennan

Votes: 2,116 | Gross: $1.12M

35. The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)

Approved | 106 min | Biography, Drama, History

A depiction of the love/hate relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Donald Crisp

Votes: 4,635

36. In Name Only (1939)

Approved | 94 min | Drama, Romance

After a wealthy man finds out his wife is a gold digger, he meets and falls for a widowed mother, and complications ensue.

Director: John Cromwell | Stars: Cary Grant, Carole Lombard, Kay Francis, Charles Coburn

Votes: 2,417

37. The Return of Doctor X (1939)

Approved | 62 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A hotshot reporter and a young doctor team up to investigate a series of grisly murders and a mysterious sample of synthetic blood.

Director: Vincent Sherman | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Rosemary Lane, Wayne Morris, Dennis Morgan

Votes: 1,732

38. Babes in Arms (1939)

Unrated | 94 min | Comedy, Musical

A group of vaudevillians struggling to compete with talkies hits the road hoping for a comeback. Frustrated to be left behind, all of their kids put on a show themselves to raise money for the families and to prove they've got talent, too.

Director: Busby Berkeley | Stars: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Charles Winninger, Guy Kibbee

Votes: 2,144

39. Made for Each Other (1939)

Approved | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

While on a business trip, an ambitious young lawyer meets and immediately falls in love with a stranger. They wed the following day, and tragedy soon strikes.

Director: John Cromwell | Stars: Carole Lombard, James Stewart, Charles Coburn, Lucile Watson

Votes: 2,979

40. Frontier Marshal (1939)

Approved | 71 min | Western

Earp agrees to become marshal and establish order in Tombstone in this very romanticized version of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral (e.g., Doc is killed by Curley before the actual battle and Earp must do the job alone).

Director: Allan Dwan | Stars: Randolph Scott, Nancy Kelly, Cesar Romero, Binnie Barnes

Votes: 508

41. Tower of London (1939)

Approved | 92 min | Drama, History

In the 15th century Richard Duke of Gloucester, aided by his club-footed executioner Mord, eliminates those ahead of him in succession to the throne, then occupied by his brother King ... See full summary »

Director: Rowland V. Lee | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, Barbara O'Neil, Ian Hunter

Votes: 1,614

42. They Made Me a Criminal (1939)

Approved | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A boxer flees believing he has comitted a murder while he was drunk.

Director: Busby Berkeley | Stars: John Garfield, Claude Rains, The Dead End Kids, Ann Sheridan

Votes: 1,822



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