100 Greatest Movies of the 1940s

 Title (Year, Director) (Leading Actors)
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 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)


Last Updated: 2012-09-08

Criteria: These Greatest Movies of the 1940s chosen for their quality direction, script, cinematography, acting, storyline, originality, and success.