Favorite Films from the 1940s

by Opio | created - 4 months ago | updated - 3 months ago | Public

My favorite films from the 1940s.

 Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc
  • Instant Watch Options
  • Genres
  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • On TV
  • Release Year
  • Keywords




IMDb user rating (average) to
Number of votes to »




Reset



Reset
Release year or range to »




































































































1. Rebecca (1940)

Not Rated | 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: 114,908 | Gross: $4.36M

2. 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: 376,770 | Gross: $1.59M

3. 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: 134,681 | Gross: $0.33M

4. 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: 6,680

5. 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: 17,295

6. 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: 23,037 | Gross: $0.30M

7. 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: 150,517 | Gross: $0.45M

8. 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: 494,146 | Gross: $1.02M

9. The Bank Dick (1940)

Not Rated | 72 min | Comedy

Henpecked Egbert Sousé has comic adventures as a substitute film director and unlikely bank guard.

Director: Edward F. Cline | Stars: W.C. Fields, Cora Witherspoon, Una Merkel, Evelyn Del Rio

Votes: 6,429

10. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A corrupt young man somehow keeps his youthful beauty, but a special painting gradually reveals his inner ugliness to all.

Director: Albert Lewin | Stars: George Sanders, Hurd Hatfield, Donna Reed, Angela Lansbury

Votes: 11,074

11. 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: 4,702

12. 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: 13,892

13. Late Spring (1949)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama

Noriko is twenty-seven years old and still living with her widowed father. Everybody tries to talk her into marrying, but Noriko wants to stay at home caring for her father.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chishû Ryû, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka, Haruko Sugimura

Votes: 12,907

14. Sullivan's Travels (1931)

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: 22,621

15. The Lost Weekend (1945)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Film-Noir

The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four-day drinking bout.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry, Howard Da Silva

Votes: 31,662 | Gross: $9.46M

16. Germany Year Zero (1948)

Not Rated | 78 min | Drama, War

A young German boy faces the problems of the tough life in the immediate post WWII Berlin.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Edmund Moeschke, Ernst Pittschau, Ingetraud Hinze, Franz-Otto Krüger

Votes: 9,336

17. Murderers Among Us (1946)

85 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

After returning from a concentration camp, Susanne finds an ex-soldier living in her apartment. Together the two try to move past their experiences during WWII.

Director: Wolfgang Staudte | Stars: Hildegard Knef, Elly Burgmer, Erna Sellmer, Hilde Adolphi

Votes: 1,860

18. Lettres d'amour (1942)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama

France, 1855. Zélie Fontaine, a twenty-odd-year-old widow and the post mistress of the small provincial town of Argenson, has accepted to receive love letters to Hortense de la Jacquerie, ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Autant-Lara | Stars: Odette Joyeux, François Périer, Simone Renant, Jacqueline Champi

Votes: 64

19. Women of the Night (1948)

75 min | Drama

A mistress of a drug dealer in post-war Japan is shocked when she discovers that he is having an affair with her sister.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Sanae Takasugi, Tomie Tsunoda, Mitsuo Nagata

Votes: 1,001

20. Shoeshine (1946)

Not Rated | 87 min | Drama

Two shoeshine boys in postwar Rome, Italy, save up to buy a horse, but their involvement as dupes in a burglary lands them in juvenile prison where the experience take a devastating toll on their friendship.

Director: Vittorio De Sica | Stars: Rinaldo Smordoni, Franco Interlenghi, Annielo Mele, Bruno Ortensi

Votes: 5,934

21. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Not Rated | 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: 376,261

22. 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: 8,601

23. Portrait of Jennie (1948)

Approved | 86 min | Drama, Romance, Fantasy

A mysterious girl inspires a struggling artist.

Director: William Dieterle | Stars: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Ethel Barrymore, Lillian Gish

Votes: 5,856

24. 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: 21,454

25. The Curse of the Cat People (1944)

Approved | 70 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

The young, friendless daughter of Oliver and Alice Reed befriends her father's dead first wife and an aging, reclusive actress.

Directors: Gunther von Fritsch, Robert Wise | Stars: Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph, Ann Carter

Votes: 5,443

26. 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: 40,088 | Gross: $4.36M

27. The Children Are Watching Us (1944)

Not Rated | 84 min | Drama

A four-year old boy, Pricò, becomes the subject of emotional folly by his fluctuant parents and inattentive relatives.

Director: Vittorio De Sica | Stars: Emilio Cigoli, Luciano De Ambrosis, Isa Pola, Adriano Rimoldi

Votes: 2,194

28. Rope (1948)

Approved | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

73 Metascore

Two men attempt to prove they committed the perfect crime by hosting a dinner party after strangling their former classmate to death.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger, Dick Hogan

Votes: 120,157

29. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)

PG | 129 min | Drama, Romance

Encouraged by her idealistic if luckless father, a bright and imaginative young woman comes of age in a Brooklyn tenement during the early 1900s.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Dorothy McGuire, Joan Blondell, James Dunn, Lloyd Nolan

Votes: 6,723

30. Honolulu Lu (1941)

Passed | 72 min | Comedy, Music

Consuelo Cordoba is a headstrong girl trying to reform her con man uncle Don Estaban Cordoba, who is posing as a wealthy tourist in Hawaii. A local woman takes Consuelo under her wing and ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Barton | Stars: Lupe Velez, Leo Carrillo, Bruce Bennett, Marjorie Gateson

Votes: 79

31. 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: 20,939

32. Torment (1944)

95 min | Drama, Romance

An idealistic adolescent, suffering under the thumb of a sadistic schoolmaster, falls in love with a loose girl who is bullied and tormented by another lover.

Director: Alf Sjöberg | Stars: Stig Järrel, Alf Kjellin, Mai Zetterling, Olof Winnerstrand

Votes: 2,981

33. Thirst (1949)

Not Rated | 83 min | Drama

A needy couple in a bad marriage travel back to Stockholm after a trip to Italy. Meanwhile, a widow resists seductions from two different persons - her psychiatrist and a lesbian friend.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Eva Henning, Birger Malmsten, Birgit Tengroth, Hasse Ekman

Votes: 1,927

34. 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: 75,664 | Gross: $6.54M

35. San Pietro (1945)

Unrated | 32 min | Documentary, Short, War

Director John Huston documents the Battle of San Pietro Infine in December 1943.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Mark W. Clark, John Huston

Votes: 1,824

36. 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: 84,285 | Gross: $76.41M

37. 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: 124,074 | Gross: $102.80M

38. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Not Rated | 112 min | Comedy, Romance

96 Metascore

When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey

Votes: 60,271

39. I Married a Witch (1942)

Not Rated | 77 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

A beautiful 17th-century witch returns to life to plague politician Wallace Wooley, descendant of her persecutor.

Director: René Clair | Stars: Fredric March, Veronica Lake, Robert Benchley, Susan Hayward

Votes: 6,279 | Gross: $0.31M

40. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Not Rated | 100 min | Film-Noir, Mystery

96 Metascore

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre

Votes: 143,807 | Gross: $2.11M

41. The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1943)

Approved | 98 min | Comedy, Romance, War

After an all-night send-off party for the troops, a small-town girl wakes up to find herself married and pregnant, but with no memory of her husband's identity.

Director: Preston Sturges | Stars: Eddie Bracken, Betty Hutton, Diana Lynn, William Demarest

Votes: 6,448

42. Lady Luck (1946)

Approved | 97 min | Comedy

A woman marries a gambler with the hopes of reforming him, but things don't quite work out the way she planned.

Director: Edwin L. Marin | Stars: Robert Young, Barbara Hale, Frank Morgan, James Gleason

Votes: 285

43. 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: 2,438

44. To Be or Not to Be (1942)

Passed | 99 min | Comedy, War

86 Metascore

During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier's efforts to track down a German spy.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack, Felix Bressart

Votes: 24,450

45. 49th Parallel (1941)

Not Rated | 123 min | Drama, Thriller, War

A World War II U-boat cre