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100 Greatest Movies Of The 1940s

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Criteria: These Greatest Movies of the '40s chosen for their quality, direction, script, cinematography, acting, storyline, originality, and success.
Title - (Year, Director) (Leading Actors)


Newly added names are in red
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Last Updated: 2012-09-08
Greatest 1940s Movies
  1. Citizen Kane - (1941, Orson Welles) (Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead)
  2. Casablanca - (1942, Michael Curtiz) (Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Peter Lorre)
  3. The Third Man - (1949, Carol Reed) (Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard)
  4. It's a Wonderful Life - (1946, Frank Capra) (James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore)
  5. The Grapes of Wrath - (1940, John Ford) (Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine)
  6. The Maltese Falcon - (1941, John Huston) (Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre)
  7. The Philadelphia Story - (1940, George Cukor) (Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart)
  8. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - (1948, John Huston) (Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston)
  9. The Bicycle Thief - (1948, Vittorio De Sica) (Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell)
10. Double Indemnity - (1944, Billy Wilder) (Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson)
11. Notorious - (1946, Alfred Hitchcock) (Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains)
12. The Big Sleep - (1946, Howard Hawks) (Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely)
13. The Best Years of Our Lives - (1946, William Wyler) (Myrna Loy, Fredric March, Dana Andrews)
14. The Killers - (1946, Robert Siodmak) (Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien)
15. Yankee Doodle Dandy - (1942, Michael Curtis) (James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston)
16. White Heat - (1949, Raoul Walsh) (James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien)
17. Hamlet - (1948, Laurence Olivier) (Laurence Olivier, Peter Cushing, Anthony Quayle)
18. The Red Shoes - (1948, Michael Powell) (Anton Walbrook, Moira Shearer, Marius Goring)
19. Great Expectations - (1946, David Lean) (John Mills, Jean Simmons, Alec Guinness)
20. The Great Dictator - (1940, Charles Chaplin) (Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie)
21. Fantasia - (1940, James Algar) (Disney Animated film, Deems Taylor - Narrator (1940 original)
22. The Magnificent Ambersons - (1942, Orson Welles) (Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello, Anne Baxter)
23. Beauty and the Beast - (1946, Jean Cocteau) (Jean Marais, Josette Day)
24. My Darling Clementine - (1946, John Ford) (Henry Fonda, Victor Mature, Walter Brennan)
25. Pinocchio - (1940, Hamilton Luske) (Disney Animated film, Voices - Mel Blanc, Christian Rub)
26. Red River - (1948, John Ford) (John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Joanne Dru)
27. Rebecca - (1940, Alfred Hitchcock) (Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders)
28. Children of Paradise - (1945, Marcel Carné) (Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault)
29. Open City - (1945, Roberto Rossellini) (Marcello Pagliero, Francesco Grandjacquet)
30. Laura - (1944, Otto Preminger) (Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb)
31. His Girl Friday - (1942, Howard Hawks) (Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy)
32. Sullivan's Travels - (1941, Preston Sturges) (Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, William Demarest)
33. The Ox-Bow Incident - (1943, William Wellman) (Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Anthony Quinn)
34. Meet Me in St. Louis - (1944, Vincente Minnelli) (Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor)
35. Out of the Past - (1947, Jacques Tourneur) (Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming)
36. The Lady Eve - (1941, Preston Sturges) (Henry Fonda, Barbara Stanwyck, Charles Coburn)
37. To Be or Not to Be - (1942, Ernst Lubitsch) (Jack Benny, Carole Lombard, Robert Stack)
38. Shadow of a Doubt - (1943, Alfred Hitchcock) (Joseph Cotten, Teresa Wright, Macdonald Carey)
39. The Bank Dick - (1940, Edward F. Cline) (W.C. Fields, Cora Witherspoon, Shemp Howard)
40. Adam's Rib - (1949, George Cukor) (Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Holliday)
41. Henry V - (1944, Laurence Olivier) (Laurence Olivier, Leslie Banks, Felix Aylmer)
42. Bambi - (1942, David Hand) (Disney Animated film, Voices - Bobby Stewart,Hardie Albright)
43. The Thief of Bagdad - (1940, Ludwig Berger) (Sabu, Conrad Veidt, June Duprez)
44. A Matter of Life and Death (aka 'Stairway to Heaven') - (1946, M. Powell) (David Niven, Kim Hunter)
45. Dumbo - (1941, Ben Sharpsteen) (Disney Animated film, Narrator - John McLeish)
46. Cat People - (1942, Jacques Tourneur) (Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph)
47. Key Largo - (1948, John Huston) (Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Edward G. Robinson)
48. The Lost Weekend - (1945, Billy Wilder) (Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Howard Da Silva)
49. Kind Hearts and Coronets - (1949, Robert Hamer) (Dennis Price, Alec Guinness)
50. Late Spring - (1949, Yasujiro Ozu) (Setsuko Hara, Chishu Ryu)
51. On the Town - (1949, Stanley Donen) (Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Ann Miller)
52. Ossessione - (1943, Luchino Visconti) (Massimo Girotti, Clara Calamai, Dhia Cristiani)
53. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp - (1943, Michael Powell) (Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr)
54. Miracle on 34th Street - (1947, George Seaton) (Natalie Wood, Maureen O'Hara, Edmund Gwenn)
55. Brief Encounter - (1946, David Lean) (Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway)
56. The Shop Around the Corner - (1940, Ernst Lubitsch) (James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan)
57. How Green Was My Valley - (1941, John Ford) (Maureen O'Hara, Roddy McDowall, Walter Pidgeon)
58. The Postman Always Rings Twice - (1946, Tay Garnett) (Lana Turner, John Garfield)
59. Here Comes Mr. Jordan - (1941, Alexander Hall) (Robert Montgomery, Claude Rains, Evelyn Keyes)
60. I Walked with a Zombie - (1943, Jacques Tourneur) (Frances Dee, Tom Conway, James Ellison)
61. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon - (1949, John Ford) (John Wayne, Joanne Dru, Ben Johnson)
62. The Stranger - (1946, Orson Welles) (Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young, Orson Welles)
63. Oliver Twist - (1948, David Lean) (John Howard Davies, Alec Guinness, Anthony Newley)
64. The Little Foxes - (1941, William Wyler) (Bette Davis, Teresa Wright, Herbert Marshall)
65. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - (1945, Elia Kazan) (Dorothy McGuire, Joan Blondell, James Dunn)
66. Vredens Dag (aka Day of Wrath) - (1943, Carl Theodor Dreyer) (Kirsten Andreasen, Albert Hoeberg)
67. Champion - (1949, Mark Robson) (Kirk Douglas, Marilyn Maxwell, Arthur Kennedy)
68. All the King's Men - (1949, Robert Rossen) (Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, Joanne Dru)
69. Kings Row - (1942, Sam Wood) (Ann Sheridan, Robert Cummings, Ronald Reagan)
70. The Yearling - (1946, Clarence Brown) (Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman, Claude Jarman Jr.)
71. The Palm Beach Story - (1942, Preston Sturges) (Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Mary Astor)
72. Mrs. Miniver - (1942, William Wyler) (Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright)
73. Gun Crazy (aka Deadly Is the Female) - (1949, Joseph H. Lewis) (Peggy Cummins, John Dall)
74. Heaven Can Wait - (1943, Ernst Lubitsch) (Don Ameche, Gene Tierney)
75. National Velvet - (1944, Clarence Brown) (Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney, Donald Crisp)
76. Mildred Pierce - (1945, Michael Curtiz) (Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott)
77. Now, Voyager - (1942, Irving Rapper) (Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains)
78. Shoeshine (aka Sciuscià) - (1947, Vittorio De Sica) (Franco Interlenghi, Rinaldo Smordoni)
79. The Inspector General - (1949, Henry Koster) (Danny Kaye, Walter Slezak, Elsa Lanchester)
80. To Have and Have Not - (1944, Howard Hawks) (Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Walter Brennan)
81. The Pride of the Yankees - (1942, Sam Wood) (Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright, Walter Brennan)
82. I Know Where I'm Going! - (1945, Michael Powell) (Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey)
83. Dead of Night - (1945, Alberto Cavalcanti) (Mervyn Johns, Roland Culver, Mary Merrall)
84. Woman of the Year - (1942, George Stevens) (Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn)
85. Gaslight - (1944, George Cukor) (Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten)
86. Sergeant York - (1941, Howard Hawks) (Gary Cooper, Joan Leslie, Walter Brennan)
87. Unfaithfully Yours - (1948, Preston Sturges) (Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell, Rudy Vallee)
88. Gentleman's Agreement - (1947, Elia Kazan) (Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield)
89. I Remember Mama - (1948, George Stevens) (Irene Dunne, Barbara Bel Geddes)
90. Sahara - (1943, Zoltan Korda) (Humphrey Bogart, Lloyd Bridges, Bruce Bennett)
91. In Which We Serve - (1942, Noel Coward) (Noel Coward, John Mills, Richard Attenborough)
92. Letter from an Unknown Woman - (1948, Max Ophüls) (Louis Jourdan, Joan Fontaine)
93. The Letter - (1940, William Wyler) (Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson)
94. The Miracle of Morgan's Creek - (1944, Preston Sturges) (Eddie Bracken, Betty Hutton)
95. La Terra trema (aka The Earth Trembles) - (1948, Luchino Visconti) (Antonio Arcidiacono)
96. Johnny Belinda - (1948, Jean Negulesco) (Jane Wyman, Lew Ayres, Agnes Moorehead)
97. Intruder in the Dust - (1949, Clarence Brown) (David Brian, Juano Hernandez)
98. The Heiress - (1949, William Wyler) (Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift)
99. Going My Way - (1944, Leo McCarey) (Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, Frank McHugh)
100. The Man Who Came to Dinner - (1941, William Keighley) (Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan)

20 More Movies Worth Mentioning
101. Orpheus - (1949, Jean Cocteau) (Jean Marais, Francois Périer, María Casares)
102. Force of Evil - (1948, Abraham Polonsky) (John Garfield, Thomas Gomez)
103. Ivan the Terrible, Part One - (1945, Sergei M. Eisenstein) (Nikolai Cherkasov, Lyudmila Tselikovskaya)
104. Odd Man Out - (1947, Carol Reed) (James Mason, Robert Newton, Cyril Cusack)
105. Detour - (1945, Edgar G. Ulmer) (Tom Neal, Ann Savage)
106. Crossfire - (1947, Edward Dmytryk) (Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan)
107. Paisan - (1946, Robert Rossellini) (Carmela Sazio, Gar Moore)
108. Twelve O'Clock High - (1949, Henry King) (Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill)
109. Black Narcissus - (1947, Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger) (Deborah Kerr, David Farrar)
110. Rope - (1948, Alfred Hitchcock) (James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger)
111. The Fallen Idol - (1948, Carol Reed) (Ralph Richardson, Michele Morgan, Sonia Dresdel)
112. Gilda - (1946, Charles Vidor) (Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, George Macready)
113. Monsier Verdoux - (1947, Charles Chaplin) (Charles Chaplin, Mady Correll, Allison Roddan)
114. Hail the Conquering Hero - (1944, Preston Sturges) (Eddie Bracken, Ella Raines, Raymond Walburn)
115. Whiskey Galore! - (1949, Alexander Mackendrick) (Basil Radford, Catherine Lacey, Bruce Seton)
116. The Snake Pit - (1948, Anatole Litvak) (Olivia de Havilland, Mark Stevens, Leo Genn)
117. Spellbound - (1945, Alfred Hitchcock (Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov)
118. They Live by Night - (1949, Nicholas Ray) (Cathy O'Donnell, Farley Granger, Howard Da Silva)
119. The Set-Up - (1949, Robert Wise) (Robert Ryan, Audrey Totter, George Tobias)
120. The Bells of St Mary's - (1945, Leo McCarey) (Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman, Henry Travers)
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Citizen Kane DVD cover
Casablanca movie poster
The Third Man movie poster
It's a Wonderful Life DVD cover
The Grapes of Wrath DVD cover
The Maltese Falcon movie poster





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