40s The Best '40s Cop Movies  

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List Rules Vote up your favorite police films that were released in the 1940s

The best '40s cop movies can be characterized by the classic film-noir style that developed in the early 1940s. Noir films were notable for their distinct black and white visual style as well as their portrayals of lone heroes and femme fatales, as well as their twisting plotlines.


So what are the greatest ‘40s cop movies? American cinematographers, such as John Alton, contributed to the unique look and feel of many noir films shot in this era. Alton filmed numerous influential movies, including 1948’s
He Walked By Night. Filmed in the semi-documentary style that was popular in the ‘40s, films like He Walked By Night and Naked City incorporated real people and events, blurring the line between fact and fiction. Foreign directors also left their stamp on the genre. Akira Kurosawa also appears on this list for his classic Japanese police film Stray Dog. This top '40s cop movie prefigured the idea of the police procedural, as well as the buddy cop genre.


On this list of ‘40s cop movies you’ll also find stars of the ‘40s and ‘50s like Gary Cooper, Tony Curtis, and Jack Webb, creator of
Dragnet. Vote up the best cop movies from the 1940s, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section. 

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Stray Dog is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
Stray Dog Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Awaji

The Best '40s Thriller Movies The Best Concert Movies Streaming on Hulu

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North West Mounted Police is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
North West Mounted Police Gary Cooper, Paulette Goddard, Lon Chaney

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The Naked City is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
The Naked City Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Don Taylor

4
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The Street with No Name is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
The Street with No Name Richard Widmark, Ed Begley, John McIntire

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Green for Danger is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
Green for Danger Trevor Howard, Alastair Sim, Leo Genn

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He Walked by Night is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
He Walked by Night Richard Basehart, Jack Webb, Whit Bissell - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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Cry of the City is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
Cry of the City Shelley Winters, Debra Paget, Victor Mature

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The Suspect is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
The Suspect Charles Laughton, Maude Eburne, Ella Raines

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Johnny O'Clock is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
Johnny O'Clock Lee J. Cobb, Dick Powell, Evelyn Keyes

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Crack-Up is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
Crack-Up Claire Trevor, Herbert Marshall, Ray Collins

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Fall Guy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
Fall Guy Leo Penn, Robert Armstrong, Teala Loring

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The Man on the Eiffel Tower is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
The Man on the Eiffel Tower Burgess Meredith, Charles Laughton, Franchot Tone

13
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Undercover Maisie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
Undercover Maisie Ann Sothern, Barry Nelson

14
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When Strangers Marry is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
When Strangers Marry Dean Jagger, Kim Hunter

15
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Behind Green Lights is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
Behind Green Lights Carole Landis, John Ireland, Don Beddoe - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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Backlash is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
Backlash Jean Rogers, Larry J. Blake, John Eldredge

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So Dark the Night is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
So Dark the Night Steven Geray, Eugene Borden, Micheline Cheirel

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Johnny Stool Pigeon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
Johnny Stool Pigeon Tony Curtis, Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea

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Follow Me Quietly is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
Follow Me Quietly William Lundigan, Jeff Corey, Nestor Paiva

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Calling Dr. Death is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
Calling Dr. Death Lon Chaney, Jr., J. Carrol Naish

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Night Editor is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '40s Cop Movies
Night Editor William Gargan, Janis Carter