Must See: 1940s

by BenjaminRaymond | created - 25 Mar 2016 | updated - 4 weeks ago | Public
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1. De dag des oordeels (1943)

97 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: 7,933

2. Banshun (1949)

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: 11,599

3. Out of the Past (1947)

18 | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming

Votes: 28,115

4. The Lost Weekend (1945)

18 | 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: 29,596 | Gross: $9.46M

5. De dictator (1940)

14 | 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: 173,690

6. Roma città aperta (1945)

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: 19,753

7. Nora inu (1949)

6 | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

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: 12,922

8. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

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: 19,324

9. Spellbound (1945)

18 | 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: 38,311 | Gross: $7.00M

10. Mrs. Miniver (1942)

14 | 134 min | Drama, Romance, War

A British family struggles to survive the first months of World War II.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright, May Whitty

Votes: 13,764 | Gross: $13.50M

11. The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

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: 22,754 | Gross: $0.01M

12. Red River (1948)

18 | 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: 24,745

13. Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

6 | 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: 31,213

14. Sergeant York (1941)

134 min | Biography, Drama, History

A marksman is drafted in World War I and ends up becoming one of the most celebrated war heroes.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Joan Leslie, George Tobias

Votes: 13,861 | Gross: $16.40M

15. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

AL | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

In the year leading up to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor, Lucille Bremer

Votes: 17,653 | Gross: $7.57M

16. Arsenicum en oude kant (1944)

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: 60,460

17. Mildred Pierce (1945)

111 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A hard-working mother inches towards disaster as she divorces her husband and starts a successful restaurant business to support her spoiled daughter.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden

Votes: 19,534

18. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)

12 | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

In 1900, a young widow finds her seaside cottage is haunted...and forms a unique relationship with the ghost.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, George Sanders, Edna Best

Votes: 13,878

19. The Naked City (1948)

18 | 96 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Two New York City detectives investigate the death of an attractive young woman. The apparent suicide turns out to be murder.

Director: Jules Dassin | Stars: Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Dorothy Hart, Don Taylor

Votes: 10,442

20. To Have and Have Not (1944)

14 | 100 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance

During World War II, American expatriate Harry Morgan helps transport a French Resistance leader and his beautiful wife to Martinique while romancing a sensuous lounge singer.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Walter Brennan, Dolores Moran

Votes: 27,212

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

AL | 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, Roland Culver

Votes: 11,410

22. Key Largo (1948)

6 | 100 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A man visits his war buddy's family hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore

Votes: 33,129

23. Detour (1945)

68 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Chance events trap hitch-hiker Al Roberts in a tightening net of film noir trouble.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer | Stars: Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake, Edmund MacDonald

Votes: 11,781 | Gross: $0.01M

24. Kris (1946)

93 min | Drama, Romance

A small-town piano teacher is shocked by the arrival of her foster daughter's real mother, whose young lover soon follows and causes further disruption.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Inga Landgré, Stig Olin, Marianne Löfgren, Dagny Lind

Votes: 1,812

25. The Lady Eve (1941)

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: 16,937

26. L'amore (1948)

69 min | Drama

In the first episode, a heartbroken woman talks to her ex-lover on the phone. In the second, a pregnant woman believes she is carrying the child of Saint Joseph.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Anna Magnani, Federico Fellini, Peparuolo, Amelia Robert

Votes: 1,127

27. De grote passie (1949)

18 | 95 min | Drama

The Passionate Friends were in love when young, but separated, and she married an older man. Then Mary Justin meets Steven Stratton again and they have one last fling together in the Alps.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Ann Todd, Trevor Howard, Claude Rains, Betty Ann Davies

Votes: 1,846



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