Favorite films from the 1940s

by jrsl88 | created - 22 Feb 2015 | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public

Films release from 1940 to 1949 that are my favorites. Arranged in ABC order.

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1. Adam's Rib (1949)

Not Rated | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Domestic and professional tensions mount when a husband and wife work as opposing lawyers in a case involving a woman who shot her husband.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Holliday, Tom Ewell

Votes: 18,355

2. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)

Approved | 68 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

74 Metascore

An animated adaptation of "The Wind in the Willows" followed by an adaptation of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow".

Directors: James Algar, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney | Stars: Bing Crosby, Basil Rathbone, Eric Blore, John McLeish

Votes: 11,479

3. All This, and Heaven Too (1940)

Approved | 141 min | Drama, Romance

A duchess' irrational behavior toward the governess of her children triggers tragic events that will change her family's lives forever.

Director: Anatole Litvak | Stars: Bette Davis, Charles Boyer, Jeffrey Lynn, Barbara O'Neil

Votes: 4,072

4. Anchors Aweigh (1945)

Passed | 140 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Music

Two sailors, one naive, the other experienced in the ways of the world, on liberty in Los Angeles, is the setting for this movie musical.

Directors: George Sidney, Joseph Barbera, William Hanna | Stars: Frank Sinatra, Kathryn Grayson, Gene Kelly, José Iturbi

Votes: 7,457

5. 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: 62,826

6. Babes on Broadway (1941)

Approved | 118 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Tommy Williams desperately wants to get to Broadway, but as he is only singing in a spaghetti house for tips he is a long way off. He meets Penny Morris, herself no mean singer, and through... See full summary »

Director: Busby Berkeley | Stars: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Fay Bainter, Virginia Weidler

Votes: 1,289 | Gross: $3.85M

7. Bambi (1942)

G | 70 min | Animation, Drama, Family

91 Metascore

The story of a young deer growing up in the forest.

Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, David Hand, Graham Heid, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Norman Wright, Arthur Davis, Clyde Geronimi | Stars: Hardie Albright, Stan Alexander, Bobette Audrey, Peter Behn

Votes: 123,406 | Gross: $102.80M

8. The Barkleys of Broadway (1949)

Passed | 109 min | Comedy, Musical

A successful but constantly-feuding husband and wife musical comedy team threatens to break up when the wife entertains an offer to become a serious actress.

Director: Charles Walters | Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Oscar Levant, Billie Burke

Votes: 2,592

9. Bathing Beauty (1944)

Passed | 101 min | Comedy, Musical

A contrived misunderstanding leads to the breakup of a songwriter and his fiancée. She returns to work as a gym teacher at an all-girls school, but a legal loophole allows the man to enroll as one of her students.

Director: George Sidney | Stars: Red Skelton, Esther Williams, Basil Rathbone, Bill Goodwin

Votes: 1,380

10. Battleground (1949)

Approved | 118 min | Action, Drama, History

True tale about a squad of the 101st Airborne Division coping with being trapped by the Germans in the besieged city of Bastogne, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge in December of 1944.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Van Johnson, John Hodiak, Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy

Votes: 6,236 | Gross: $10.29M

11. Bedlam (1946)

Approved | 79 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

Nell Bowen, the spirited protege of rich Lord Mortimer, becomes interested in the conditions of notorious St. Mary's of Bethlehem Asylum (Bedlam). Encouraged by the Quaker Hannay, she tries... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Boris Karloff, Anna Lee, Billy House, Richard Fraser

Votes: 3,374

12. The Beginning or the End (1947)

Passed | 112 min | Biography, Drama, History

The research, development, and deployment of the first atomic bomb, as well as the bombing of Hiroshima, are detailed in this docudrama.

Director: Norman Taurog | Stars: Brian Donlevy, Robert Walker, Tom Drake, Beverly Tyler

Votes: 512

13. 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: 75,427 | Gross: $6.54M

14. The Bishop's Wife (1947)

Not Rated | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

An angel in human form enters the life of a bishop in order to help him build a new cathedral and repair his fractured marriage.

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven, Monty Woolley

Votes: 13,278

15. The Black Swan (1942)

Approved | 87 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

An ex-pirate contends with rowdy buccaneers and a love-hate relationship with an aristocratic woman who's tougher than she seems.

Director: Henry King | Stars: Tyrone Power, Maureen O'Hara, Laird Cregar, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 3,772 | Gross: $1.01M

16. Blossoms in the Dust (1941)

Approved | 99 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

After losing her young son, Edna Gladney opposes the unfair laws discriminating against children whose parents are unknown, and opens an orphanage for those children.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Felix Bressart, Marsha Hunt

Votes: 1,616

17. 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: 1,444

18. Blue Skies (1946)

Approved | 99 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Jed Potter looks back on a love triangle conducted over the course of years and between musical numbers. Dancer Jed loves showgirl Mary, who loves compulsive nightclub-opener Johnny, who ... See full summary »

Directors: Stuart Heisler, Mark Sandrich | Stars: Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Joan Caulfield, Billy De Wolfe

Votes: 1,172

19. The Body Snatcher (1945)

Approved | 78 min | Horror, Thriller

A ruthless doctor and his young prize student find themselves continually harassed by their murderous supplier of illegal cadavers.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Henry Daniell, Edith Atwater

Votes: 7,732

20. The Boy with Green Hair (1948)

Approved | 82 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

This parable looks at public reaction when the hair of an American war orphan mysteriously turns green.

Director: Joseph Losey | Stars: Pat O'Brien, Robert Ryan, Barbara Hale, Dean Stockwell

Votes: 2,388

21. 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: 2,001

22. Cabin in the Sky (1943)

Passed | 98 min | Fantasy, Musical

A compulsive gambler dies during a shooting, but he'll receive a second chance to reform himself and to make up with his worried wife.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, Busby Berkeley | Stars: Ethel Waters, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong

Votes: 2,596

23. Can't Help Singing (1944)

Passed | 90 min | Musical, Western

A senator's daughter (who can't help singing) follows her boyfriend West in the days of the California gold rush.

Director: Frank Ryan | Stars: Deanna Durbin, Robert Paige, Akim Tamiroff, David Bruce

Votes: 482

24. 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: 492,198 | Gross: $1.02M

25. Cat People (1942)

Not Rated | 73 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

An American man marries a Serbian immigrant who fears that she will turn into the cat person of her homeland's fables if they are intimate together.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Simone Simon, Tom Conway, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph

Votes: 18,395 | Gross: $4.00M

26. 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: 375,338 | Gross: $1.59M

27. 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: 1,994

28. The Clock (1945)

Passed | 90 min | Drama, Romance

In 1945, during a 48-hour leave, a soldier accidentally meets a girl at Pennsylvania Station and spends his leave with her, eventually falling in love with the lovely New Yorker.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Judy Garland, Robert Walker, James Gleason, Keenan Wynn

Votes: 2,822 | Gross: $2.78M

29. Crossfire (1947)

Approved | 86 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A man is murdered, apparently by one of a group of demobilized soldiers he met in a bar. But which one? And why?

Director: Edward Dmytryk | Stars: Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Gloria Grahame

Votes: 6,826 | Gross: $1.30M

30. A Date with Judy (1948)

Not Rated | 113 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Hyperactive teenager Judy challenges and is challenged by her overly proper parents, pesky brother Randolph, and boyfriend Oogie.

Director: Richard Thorpe | Stars: Wallace Beery, Jane Powell, Elizabeth Taylor, Carmen Miranda

Votes: 1,021

31. Diamond Horseshoe (1945)

Approved | 104 min | Musical

A medical student who wants to be a crooner gets involved with a showgirl who has an ulterior motive.

Director: George Seaton | Stars: Betty Grable, Dick Haymes, Phil Silvers, William Gaxton

Votes: 220

32. The Dolly Sisters (1945)

Approved | 114 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

Two sisters from Hungary become famous entertainers in the early 1900s. Fictionalized biography with lots of songs.

Director: Irving Cummings | Stars: Betty Grable, John Payne, June Haver, S.Z. Sakall

Votes: 689

33. 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: 133,381 | Gross: $5.72M

34. Down Argentine Way (1940)

Approved | 89 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

An American girl on vacation in Argentina falls for a wealthy racehorse owner.

Director: Irving Cummings | Stars: Don Ameche, Betty Grable, Carmen Miranda, Charlotte Greenwood

Votes: 891

35. Du Barry Was a Lady (1943)

Passed | 101 min | Comedy, Musical

A night club's coatroom attendant who's in-love with the club's singer accidentally sips a drugged drink that makes him dream he's French King Louis XV courting the infamous Madame Du Barry.

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Gene Kelly, Virginia O'Brien

Votes: 1,141

36. Dumbo (1941)

G | 64 min | Animation, Drama, Family

96 Metascore

Ridiculed because of his enormous ears, a young circus elephant is assisted by a mouse to achieve his full potential.

Directors: Samuel Armstrong, Norman Ferguson, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Bill Roberts, Ben Sharpsteen, John Elliotte | Stars: Sterling Holloway, Edward Brophy, Herman Bing, Billy Bletcher

Votes: 112,607 | Gross: $1.60M

37. Easter Parade (1948)

Approved | 103 min | Musical, Romance

A nightclub performer hires a naive chorus girl to become his new dance partner to make his former partner jealous and to prove he can make any partner a star.

Director: Charles Walters | Stars: Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford, Ann Miller

Votes: 8,009 | Gross: $9.03M

38. Fantasia (1940)

G | 125 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

96 Metascore

A collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music.

Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Ford Beebe Jr., Norman Ferguson, David Hand, Jim Handley, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, Corey Burton, Walt Disney

Votes: 84,028 | Gross: $76.41M

39. Fighting Father Dunne (1948)

Approved | 93 min | Action, Biography, Crime

In 1905, a crusading priest tries to help poor newsboys.

Director: Ted Tetzlaff | Stars: Pat O'Brien, Darryl Hickman, Charles Kemper, Una O'Connor

Votes: 191

40. For Me and My Gal (1942)

Not Rated | 104 min | Musical, Romance, War

Two vaudeville performers fall in love, but find their relationship tested by the arrival of WWI.

Director: Busby Berkeley | Stars: Judy Garland, George Murphy, Gene Kelly, Mártha Eggerth

Votes: 2,946 | Gross: $4.37M

41. Force of Evil (1948)

Passed | 79 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

89 Metascore

An unethical lawyer, with an older brother he wants to help, becomes a partner with a client in the numbers racket.

Director: Abraham Polonsky | Stars: John Garfield, Thomas Gomez, Marie Windsor, Howland Chamberlain

Votes: 5,417

42. Fun and Fancy Free (1947)

Approved | 73 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

66 Metascore

Jiminy Cricket hosts two Disney animated shorts: "Bongo," about a circus bear escaping to the wild, and "Mickey and the Beanstalk," a take on the famous fairy tale.

Directors: Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, William Morgan, Bill Roberts | Stars: Edgar Bergen, Dinah Shore, Luana Patten, Anita Gordon

Votes: 6,211

43. Gallant Bess (1946)

Passed | 100 min | Drama, War

In addition to the horse playing a dual role, the horse was also a gelding which is a male, not a female. Quite an acting challenge for any actor.

Director: Andrew Marton | Stars: Marshall Thompson, George Tobias, Clem Bevans, Donald Curtis

Votes: 165

44. Gallant Sons (1940)

Approved | 76 min | Mystery

Two childhood friends have a falling out because of their fathers' occupations, which lands one father in jail.

Director: George B. Seitz | Stars: Jackie Cooper, Bonita Granville, Gene Reynolds, Gail Patrick

Votes: 169

45. The Gang's All Here (1943)

Not Rated | 103 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance