Favorite Movies of the 1940's

by panos_k | created - 03 Mar 2018 | updated - 03 Mar 2018 | Public
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1. 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: 379,856 | Gross: $1.59M

2. 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: 88,275 | Gross: $10.46M

3. 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: 116,012 | Gross: $4.36M

4. 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: 151,594 | Gross: $0.45M

5. Day of Wrath (1943)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, History

The young wife of an aging priest falls in love with his son amidst the horror of a merciless witch hunt in 17th century Denmark.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer | Stars: Thorkild Roose, Lisbeth Movin, Sigrid Neiiendam, Kirsten Andreasen

Votes: 8,717

6. 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: 379,354

7. 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: 21,770

8. A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

PG | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

A British wartime aviator who cheats death must argue for his life before a celestial court.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: David Niven, Kim Hunter, Robert Coote, Kathleen Byron

Votes: 18,138

9. Obsession (1943)

TV-14 | 140 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

Gino, a drifter, begins an affair with inn-owner Giovanna as they plan to get rid of her older husband.

Director: Luchino Visconti | Stars: Clara Calamai, Massimo Girotti, Dhia Cristiani, Elio Marcuzzo

Votes: 6,395

10. Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama

In post-war Italy, a working-class man's bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it.

Director: Vittorio De Sica | Stars: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell, Elena Altieri

Votes: 136,229 | Gross: $0.33M

11. Black Narcissus (1947)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama

After opening a convent in the Himalayas, five nuns encounter conflict and tension - both with the natives and also within their own group - as they attempt to adapt to their remote, exotic surroundings.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Deborah Kerr, David Farrar, Flora Robson, Jenny Laird

Votes: 20,325

12. La Terra Trema (1948)

Not Rated | 160 min | Drama

In rural Sicily, the fishermen live at the mercy of the greedy wholesalers. One family risks everything to buy their own boat and operate independently.

Director: Luchino Visconti | Stars: Luchino Visconti, Antonio Pietrangeli, Antonio Arcidiacono, Giuseppe Arcidiacono

Votes: 4,077

13. The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

Not Rated | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O'Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles, Everett Sloane, Glenn Anders

Votes: 24,775 | Gross: $0.01M

14. Children of Paradise (1945)

Not Rated | 189 min | Drama, Romance

The theatrical life of a beautiful courtesan and the four men who love her.

Director: Marcel Carné | Stars: Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault, Pierre Brasseur, Pierre Renoir

Votes: 17,420

15. 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: 50,721 | Gross: $0.30M

16. 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: 191,533

17. 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: 41,063 | Gross: $7.00M

18. Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1944)

Not Rated | 95 min | Biography, Drama, History

During the early part of his reign, Ivan the Terrible faces betrayal from the aristocracy and even his closest friends as he seeks to unite the Russian people.

Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein | Stars: Nikolay Cherkasov, Lyudmila Tselikovskaya, Serafima Birman, Mikhail Nazvanov

Votes: 8,592

19. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

Not Rated | 163 min | Drama, Romance, War

From the Boer War through World War II, a soldier rises through the ranks in the British military.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr, Anton Walbrook, James McKechnie

Votes: 12,356

20. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)

Passed | 104 min | Western

Captain Nathan Brittles, on the eve of retirement, takes out a last patrol to stop an impending massive Indian attack. Encumbered by women who must be evacuated, Brittles finds his mission imperiled.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar, Ben Johnson

Votes: 14,991

21. Red River (1948)

Passed | 133 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

Dunson leads a cattle drive, the culmination of over 14 years of work, to its destination in Missouri. But his tyrannical behavior along the way causes a mutiny, led by his adopted son.

Directors: Howard Hawks, Arthur Rosson | Stars: John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Joanne Dru, Walter Brennan

Votes: 26,690

22. Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne (1945)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama, Romance

A society lady engineers a marriage between her lover and a cabaret dancer who is essentially a prostitute.

Director: Robert Bresson | Stars: Paul Bernard, María Casares, Elina Labourdette, Lucienne Bogaert

Votes: 3,691

23. 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: 108,433 | Gross: $5.01M

24. Great Expectations (1946)

Approved | 118 min | Adventure, Drama, Mystery

A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.

Director: David Lean | Stars: John Mills, Valerie Hobson, Tony Wager, Jean Simmons

Votes: 21,066

25. Hamlet (1948)

Not Rated | 154 min | Drama

Prince Hamlet struggles over whether or not he should kill his uncle, whom he suspects has murdered his father, the former King.

Director: Laurence Olivier | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, John Laurie, Esmond Knight

Votes: 14,500

26. 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: 135,348 | Gross: $5.72M

27. Brief Encounter (1945)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama, Romance

Meeting a stranger in a railway station, a woman is tempted to cheat on her husband.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway, Joyce Carey

Votes: 33,416

28. The Lady Eve (1941)

Passed | 94 min | Comedy, Romance

A trio of classy card sharks targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, until one of them falls in love with him.

Director: Preston Sturges | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn, Eugene Pallette

Votes: 18,068

29. The Red Shoes (1948)

Not Rated | 135 min | Drama, Music, Romance

A young ballet dancer is torn between the man she loves and her pursuit to become a prima ballerina.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring, Moira Shearer, Jean Short

Votes: 28,325 | Gross: $10.90M

30. 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: 83,383 | Gross: $0.06M

31. Laura (1944)

Passed | 88 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

A Police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price

Votes: 40,486 | Gross: $4.36M

32. Sullivan's Travels (1941)

Not Rated | 90 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

A Hollywood director, John L Sullivan, sets out to experience life as a poor, homeless person in order to gain relevant life experience for his next movie.

Director: Preston Sturges | Stars: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick, William Demarest

Votes: 22,828

33. Beauty and the Beast (1946)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

92 Metascore

A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.

Directors: Jean Cocteau, René Clément | Stars: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély, Nane Germon

Votes: 23,196 | Gross: $0.30M

34. Jour de Fête (1949)

Not Rated | 70 min | Comedy

Once a year the fair comes for one day to the little town 'Sainte-Severe-sur-Indre'. All inhabitants are scoffing at Francois, the postman, what he seems not to recognize. The rising of the... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Tati | Stars: Jacques Tati, Guy Decomble, Paul Frankeur, Santa Relli

Votes: 7,111

35. Stray Dog (1949)

Not Rated | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

During a sweltering summer, a rookie homicide detective tries to track down his stolen Colt pistol.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Awaji, Eiko Miyoshi

Votes: 14,113

36. 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: 33,129

37. Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)

Not Rated | 87 min | Drama, Romance

A pianist about to flee from a duel receives a letter from a woman he cannot remember, who may hold the key to his downfall.

Director: Max Ophüls | Stars: Joan Fontaine, Louis Jourdan, Mady Christians, Marcel Journet

Votes: 10,457

38. Random Harvest (1942)

Passed | 126 min | Drama, Romance

62 Metascore

An amnesiac World War I veteran falls in love with a music hall star, only to suffer an accident which restores his original memories but erases his post-war life.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Ronald Colman, Greer Garson, Philip Dorn, Susan Peters

Votes: 6,595 | Gross: $10.14M

39. Night Train to Munich (1940)

Not Rated | 90 min | Thriller, War

After 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: 4,286



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