Favourite Films of 1940

by awoodbine | created - 29 Aug 2011 | updated - 29 Aug 2011 | Public

My favourite films of 1940

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1. Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise (1940)

Passed | 76 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

Charlie tries to discover the identity of a strangler who strikes multiple times on a cruise ship bound from Honolulu to California.

Director: Eugene Forde | Stars: Sidney Toler, Marjorie Weaver, Lionel Atwill, Victor Sen Yung

Votes: 1,142

2. 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: 17,063 | Gross: $3.48M

3. Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum (1940)

Approved | 63 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

An escaped convicted murderer hides out at a New York wax museum where he hopes to get plastic surgery, which will help him revenge himself on Charlie Chan.

Director: Lynn Shores | Stars: Sidney Toler, Victor Sen Yung, C. Henry Gordon, Marc Lawrence

Votes: 1,391

4. Boom Town (1940)

Passed | 119 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

Two buddies who rise from fly-by-night wildcatters to oil tycoons over a twenty year period both love the same woman.

Director: Jack Conway | Stars: Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Claudette Colbert, Hedy Lamarr

Votes: 2,900 | Gross: $9.17M

5. The Ghost Breakers (1940)

Passed | 85 min | Comedy, Horror, Mystery

A radio broadcaster, his quaking manservant and an heiress investigate the mystery of a haunted castle in Cuba.

Director: George Marshall | Stars: Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, Richard Carlson, Paul Lukas

Votes: 2,831

6. Waterloo Bridge (1940)

Passed | 108 min | Drama, Romance, War

During World War I, believing her fiance to be dead, a young ballerina loses her job and is forced to turn to prostitution.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Vivien Leigh, Robert Taylor, Lucile Watson, Virginia Field

Votes: 8,383

7. Pinocchio (1940)

G | 88 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

99 Metascore

A living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.

Directors: Norman Ferguson, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Dickie Jones, Christian Rub, Mel Blanc, Don Brodie

Votes: 122,037 | Gross: $84.25M

8. My Favorite Wife (1940)

Approved | 88 min | Comedy, Romance

Missing for seven years and presumed dead, a woman returns home on the day of her husband's second marriage.

Director: Garson Kanin | Stars: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Randolph Scott, Gail Patrick

Votes: 8,620

9. Murder Over New York (1940)

Approved | 65 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

When Charlie's old friend from Scotland Yard is murdered when they attend a police convention in New York, Chan picks up the case he was working on.

Director: Harry Lachman | Stars: Sidney Toler, Marjorie Weaver, Robert Lowery, Ricardo Cortez

Votes: 1,089

10. 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: 82,811 | Gross: $0.06M

11. City for Conquest (1940)

Passed | 104 min | Drama, Music, Sport

Danny is a content truck driver, but his girl Peggy shows potential as a dancer and hopes he too can show ambition. Danny acquiesces and pursues boxing to please her, but the two begin to spend more time working than time together.

Directors: Anatole Litvak, Jean Negulesco | Stars: James Cagney, Ann Sheridan, Arthur Kennedy, Donald Crisp

Votes: 1,995

12. Charlie Chan in Panama (1940)

Approved | 67 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

Inspector Chan investigates a group of travelers, one of whom is a saboteur.

Director: Norman Foster | Stars: Sidney Toler, Jean Rogers, Lionel Atwill, Mary Nash

Votes: 1,195

13. His Girl Friday (1940)

Passed | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, Gene Lockhart

Votes: 50,070 | Gross: $0.30M

14. The Sea Hawk (1940)

Approved | 127 min | Action, Adventure, History

Geoffrey Thorpe, a buccaneer, is hired by Queen Elizabeth I to nag the Spanish Armada. The Armada is waiting for the attack on England and Thorpe surprises them with attacks on their galleons where he shows his skills on the sword.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains, Donald Crisp

Votes: 8,620

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: 114,500 | Gross: $4.36M

16. 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: 355

17. The Saint Takes Over (1940)

Approved | 69 min | Crime, Mystery

Inspector Fernack is framed by a cartel of five gangsters and Simon does his best to prove it before all the conspirators are murdered by a mysterious killer.

Director: Jack Hively | Stars: George Sanders, Wendy Barrie, Jonathan Hale, Paul Guilfoyle

Votes: 587

18. I Love You Again (1940)

Passed | 99 min | Comedy, Romance

Boring businessman Larry Wilson recovers from amnesia and discovers he's really a con man...and loves his soon-to-be-ex wife.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Frank McHugh, Edmund Lowe

Votes: 2,737

19. The Mark of Zorro (1940)

Approved | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

A young Spanish aristocrat must masquerade as a fop in order to maintain his secret identity of Zorro as he restores justice to early California.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian | Stars: Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Basil Rathbone, Gale Sondergaard

Votes: 8,893 | Gross: $4.36M

20. 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: 3,000

21. Angels Over Broadway (1940)

Passed | 79 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

A cuckolded embezzler on the verge of suicide is helped by a tout, an alcoholic playwright, and a pick-up girl to reimburse the money with a gambling sting.

Directors: Ben Hecht, Lee Garmes | Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Rita Hayworth, Thomas Mitchell, John Qualen

Votes: 854

22. 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: 1,658

23. The Saint's Double Trouble (1940)

Passed | 67 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

An enigmatic gang leader known as "The Boss," who is a dead-ringer for Simon, puts "The Saint" under suspicion of murder.

Director: Jack Hively | Stars: George Sanders, Helene Reynolds, Jonathan Hale, Bela Lugosi

Votes: 670

24. 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: 3,068

25. 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: 188,930

26. Saturday's Children (1940)

Approved | 102 min | Drama, Romance

Pretty Bobby Halevy loves Rims Rosson, a dreamer and inventor without much going for him. Rims has a scheme of going to Manila to turn hemp into silk and become rich. But when one of her ... See full summary »

Director: Vincent Sherman | Stars: John Garfield, Anne Shirley, Claude Rains, Roscoe Karns

Votes: 344

27. 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: 3,351

28. Doomed to Die (1940)

Approved | 68 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Mr. Wong and a girl reporter investigate a shipping magnate's murder.

Director: William Nigh | Stars: Boris Karloff, Marjorie Reynolds, Grant Withers, William Stelling

Votes: 925

29. Night Train to Munich (1940)

Not Rated | 90 min | Thriller, War

When Germany invades Czechoslovakia, the German and the British intelligence services try to capture Czech scientist Dr. Axel Bomasch (James Harcourt), inventor of a new type of armor-plating.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Rex Harrison, Paul Henreid, Basil Radford

Votes: 4,212

30. The Lone Wolf Strikes (1940)

Passed | 67 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

Delia Jordan's father is murdered and some very valuable jewelry stolen. She hires Michael Lanyard (aka The Lone Wolf), a retired-and-reformed jewel thief to find the killer and the jewels.... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Salkow | Stars: Warren William, Eric Blore, Joan Perry, Alan Baxter

Votes: 284

31. The Lone Wolf Meets a Lady (1940)

Approved | 71 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

A hardworking secretary for a rich woman finds herself engaged to the woman's son and accused of a murder she didn't commit. Lanyard, the Lone Wolf, and Jamison set out to find the real killer.

Director: Sidney Salkow | Stars: Warren William, Eric Blore, Jean Muir, Victor Jory

Votes: 279

32. Four Sons (1940)

Approved | 89 min | Drama, History, War

When the Germans invade Czechoslovakia the four sons of a Czecho-German family follow different paths: Czech patriot, Nazi supporter, artist in America, and heroic German soldier.

Director: Archie Mayo | Stars: Don Ameche, Eugenie Leontovich, Mary Beth Hughes, Alan Curtis

Votes: 83

33. 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: 2,433

34. 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: 2,218

35. The Lone Wolf Keeps a Date (1940)

Passed | 65 min | Comedy, Drama, Crime

Complicated plot involving missing stamp collection and kidnapped businessman, with the Lone Wolf keeping one step ahead of the police in Havana trying to solve the crime and make a profit.

Director: Sidney Salkow | Stars: Warren William, Frances Robinson, Bruce Bennett, Eric Blore

Votes: 250



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