1940s top 40

by skobic | created - 08 Jun 2014 | updated - 08 Jun 2014 | Public
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1. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, Romance

93 Metascore

The spoiled young heir to the decaying Amberson fortune comes between his widowed mother and the man she has always loved.

Directors: Orson Welles, Fred Fleck, Robert Wise | Stars: Tim Holt, Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello, Anne Baxter

Votes: 20,479

2. Kitty Kornered (1946)

Approved | 7 min | Family, Animation, Short

Porky puts his cats out in the snow, but then they put him out and have a party. Expelling them again, Porky goes to bed, only to be terrorized by the felines' mock Martian invasion.

Director: Robert Clampett | Stars: Mel Blanc, Robert Clampett

Votes: 633

3. Leave Her to Heaven (1945)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

A writer falls in love with a young socialite and they're soon married. But her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of them both, and everyone else around them.

Director: John M. Stahl | Stars: Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crain, Vincent Price

Votes: 9,781

4. Raw Deal (1948)

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

Joe Sullivan has taken the rap for Rick who double-crosses him with a flawed escape plan and other means intended to get rid of him.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Claire Trevor, Marsha Hunt, John Ireland

Votes: 3,645

5. Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs (1943)

Approved | 7 min | Family, Animation, Short

So White flees from the wicked Queenie, wins over the thugs from Murder Inc. and meets her overrated Prince Chawmin'.

Director: Robert Clampett | Stars: Ivie Anderson, Mel Blanc, Ruby Dandridge, Vivian Dandridge

Votes: 1,256

6. The Great Piggy Bank Robbery (1946)

Approved | 8 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

After reading his favorite Dick Tracy comic, Daffy Duck has a surreal dream in which he is Duck Twacy, a private eye on the trail of an army of horrifyingly grotesque villains who stole every piggy bank in town, including his own.

Director: Robert Clampett | Star: Mel Blanc

Votes: 1,721

7. Baby Bottleneck (1946)

Approved | 7 min | Family, Animation, Short

It's the start of the Baby-Boom, and the overworked delivery system is full of glitches: Mother Goose gets a baby skunk, a Scotty dog gets a little hippo, and Mr. and Mrs. Mouse wind up ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Clampett | Stars: Mel Blanc, Sara Berner

Votes: 665

8. Berlin Express (1948)

Approved | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A multinational group of train passengers become involved in a post-World War II Nazi assassination plot.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Merle Oberon, Robert Ryan, Charles Korvin, Paul Lukas

Votes: 2,593

9. Lady in the Lake (1946)

Approved | 105 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

The lady editor of a crime magazine hires Philip Marlowe to find the wife of her boss. The private detective soon finds himself involved in murder.

Director: Robert Montgomery | Stars: Robert Montgomery, Audrey Totter, Lloyd Nolan, Tom Tully

Votes: 4,600

10. The Big Clock (1948)

Not Rated | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

After murdering someone, a magazine tycoon tries to frame an unknown, innocent man for the murder instead, while the innocent man tries to solve the murder himself.

Director: John Farrow | Stars: Ray Milland, Maureen O'Sullivan, Charles Laughton, George Macready

Votes: 6,977

11. 3 Godfathers (1948)

Passed | 106 min | Drama, Western

Three outlaws on the run find a dying woman in the desert who gives birth to a baby. The mother entrusts the care of the child to the three men.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Pedro Armendáriz, Harry Carey Jr., Ward Bond

Votes: 7,557

12. None Shall Escape (1944)

Approved | 85 min | Drama, War

The career of a Nazi officer shown as flashbacks from his trial as a war criminal.

Director: André De Toth | Stars: Marsha Hunt, Alexander Knox, Henry Travers, Erik Rolf

Votes: 578

13. 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: 6,702 | Gross: $1.30M

14. The Spiral Staircase (1945)

Approved | 83 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

In 1916, a shadowy serial killer is targeting women with "afflictions"; one night during a thunderstorm, the mute Helen feels menaced.

Director: Robert Siodmak | Stars: Dorothy McGuire, George Brent, Ethel Barrymore, Kent Smith

Votes: 8,187

15. The Leopard Man (1943)

Approved | 66 min | Horror, Thriller

A seemingly tame leopard used for a publicity stunt escapes and kills a young girl, spreading panic throughout a sleepy New Mexico town.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Margo, Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell

Votes: 4,075

16. The Seventh Victim (1943)

Approved | 71 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A woman in search of her missing sister uncovers a Satanic cult in New York's Greenwich Village, and finds that they may have something to do with her sibling's random disappearance.

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Kim Hunter, Tom Conway, Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell

Votes: 4,997

17. This Land Is Mine (1943)

Approved | 103 min | Drama, War

A mild-mannered school-teacher in a Nazi-occupied town during W.W.II finds himself being torn between collaboration and resistance.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Hara, George Sanders, Walter Slezak

Votes: 2,536

18. I See a Dark Stranger (1946)

Approved | 98 min | Drama, Thriller, War

A young Irish woman hates England so much she becomes a Nazi spy.

Director: Frank Launder | Stars: Deborah Kerr, Trevor Howard, Raymond Huntley, William G. O'Gorman

Votes: 1,092

19. Ride the Pink Horse (1947)

Not Rated | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

WW2 veteran Lucky Gagin arrives in a New Mexico border-town intent on revenging against mobster Frank Hugo but FBI agent Bill Retz, who also wants Hugo, tries to keep Gagin out of trouble.

Director: Robert Montgomery | Stars: Robert Montgomery, Thomas Gomez, Wanda Hendrix, Rita Conde

Votes: 2,156

20. A Song Is Born (1948)

Approved | 113 min | Comedy, Music, Musical

With her gangster boyfriend under investigation by the police, a nightclub singer hides out in a musical research institution staffed by bachelor professors - one of whom begins to fall for her.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey

Votes: 1,903

21. Bad Luck Blackie (1949)

Approved | 7 min | Family, Animation, Comedy

A cute and very tormented kitten is bullied by an incomparably evil bulldog, who lives to know better after a black cat crosses his path.

Director: Tex Avery | Stars: Tex Avery, Dick Nelson

Votes: 1,238

22. By Night with Torch and Spear (1942)

8 min | Short

Montage of archive footage from industrial, nature and ethnographic documentaries -- a steelworks, caterpillars, Native American dances, camel trains -- made strange by juxtaposition and upside-down, backwards and negative printing.

Director: Joseph Cornell

Votes: 282

23. 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: 146,642 | Gross: $0.45M

24. 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: 8,266

25. Paisan (1946)

Not Rated | 120 min | Drama, War

The language barrier has tragic consequences in a series of unrelated stories set during the Italian Campaign of WWII.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Carmela Sazio, Gar Moore, William Tubbs, Robert Van Loon

Votes: 6,419

26. A Canterbury Tale (1944)

Not Rated | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

Three modern day pilgrims investigate a bizarre crime in a small town on the way to Canterbury.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Eric Portman, Sheila Sim, Dennis Price, John Sweet

Votes: 4,554

27. Spring in a Small Town (1948)

98 min | Drama, Romance

A lonely housewife finds her monotonous life altered when her childhood sweetheart returns to town.

Director: Mu Fei | Stars: Chaoming Cui, Wei Li, Yu Shi, Wei Wei

Votes: 2,250

28. Isle of the Dead (1945)

Approved | 71 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

On a Greek island during the 1912 war, several people are trapped by quarantine for the plague. If that isn't enough worry, one of the people, a superstitious old peasant woman, suspects ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Boris Karloff, Ellen Drew, Marc Cramer, Katherine Emery

Votes: 3,616

29. Draftee Daffy (1945)

7 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

Daffy Duck is desperate to elude the draft board respresentative bearing his conscription order.

Director: Robert Clampett | Star: Mel Blanc

Votes: 644

30. Love Letters (1945)

Approved | 101 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

Allen Quinton writes a fellow soldier's love letters; tragedy results. Later, Allen meets a beautiful amnesiac who fears postmen...

Director: William Dieterle | Stars: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Ann Richards, Cecil Kellaway

Votes: 1,341

31. The Verdict (1946)

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

After an innocent man is executed in a case he was responsible for, a Scotland Yard superintendent finds himself investigating the murder of his key witness.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Joan Lorring, George Coulouris

Votes: 1,602

32. Puce Moment (1949)

6 min | Short

A soundtrack plays folk rock as a woman prepares, at noon, to take her Borzois for a walk. She goes through her dresses, all 1920s style flapper gowns, holding them one at a time, shaking ... See full summary »

Director: Kenneth Anger | Star: Yvonne Marquis

Votes: 1,414

33. Quai des Orfèvres (1947)

Not Rated | 106 min | Crime, Drama

89 Metascore

Jenny Lamour wants to succeed in music hall. Her husband and accompanist is Maurice Martineau, a nice but jealous man. When he knew Jenny is making eyes at Brignon, an old businessman, in ... See full summary »

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot | Stars: Louis Jouvet, Simone Renant, Bernard Blier, Suzy Delair

Votes: 4,337 | Gross: $0.03M

34. 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: 25,743

35. Canyon Passage (1946)

Passed | 92 min | Action, Drama, Music

Businessman Logan Stuart is torn between his love of two very different women in 1850's Oregon and his loyalty to a compulsive gambler friend who goes over the line.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Dana Andrews, Brian Donlevy, Susan Hayward, Patricia Roc

Votes: 1,755

36. There Was a Father (1942)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama

Shuhei Horikawa, a poor schoolteacher, struggles to raise his son Ryohei by himself, despite neither money nor prospects.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chishû Ryû, Shûji Sano, Shin Saburi, Takeshi Sakamoto

Votes: 2,133

37. 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: 11,859

38. Sullivan's Travels (1941)

Not Rated | 90 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

A director of escapist films goes on the road as a hobo to learn about life, which gives him a rude awakening.

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

Votes: 21,889

39. The Three Caballeros (1944)

Approved | 71 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

85 Metascore

Donald receives his birthday gifts, which include traditional gifts and information about Brazil (hosted by Zé Carioca) and Mexico (by Panchito, a Mexican Charro Rooster).

Directors: Norman Ferguson, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney, Bill Roberts, Harold Young | Stars: Aurora Miranda, Carmen Molina, Dora Luz, Sterling Holloway

Votes: 10,686

40. 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: 119,726 | Gross: $102.80M



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