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The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s

Updated October 2, 2019 262 votes 92 voters 9.1k views20 items

List RulesVote up your favorite dance films that were released in the 1940s.

For those looking for some classic dance films, here's are ranked list of the top dance movies of the 1940s. Among the best 40s dance movies you'll find here are Fantasia, featuring dancing elephants; classic ballet/horror film The Red Shoes; and three Judy Garland classics Meet Me In St. Louis, Me and My Gal, and Easter Parade. Also on this list of 40s dance films you’ll find timeless classics Yankee Doodle Dandy (the musical biography of George M. Cohen), Cover Girl (with Rita Hayworth) and Holiday Inn (featuring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire). 
 

So, which of the movies on this list of good dance movies from the 40s put the moves on you? Vote up the top ‘40s dance movies that you love the most, and feel free to add any films that aren't already on the list.

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  • 1
    Anchors Aweigh is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s
    32
    2

    Anchors Aweigh

    Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly

    Released1945

    Directed byGeorge Sidney

    Anchors Aweigh is a 1945 American Technicolor musical comedy film directed by George Sidney... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Fantasia is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s
    25
    4

    Fantasia

    Walt Disney, Corey Burton

    Released1940

    Directed byWilfred Jackson, James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, T. Hee, Ford Beebe

    Fantasia is a 1940 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and released by Walt Disney... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    On the Town is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s
    18
    0

    On the Town

    Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly

    Released1949

    Directed byStanley Donen, Gene Kelly

    On the Town is a 1949 musical film with music by Leonard Bernstein and Roger Edens and book... more on Wikipedia

    More On the Town 

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  • 4
    Easter Parade is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s
    15
    2

    Easter Parade

    Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland

    Released1948

    Directed byCharles Walters

    Easter Parade is a 1948 American musical film starring Judy Garland, Fred Astaire and Peter... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 5
    For Me and My Gal is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s
    11
    0

    For Me and My Gal

    Judy Garland, Gene Kelly

    Released1942

    Directed byBusby Berkeley

    For Me and My Gal is a 1942 American musical film directed by Busby Berkeley and starring Judy... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Yankee Doodle Dandy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s
    12
    4

    Yankee Doodle Dandy

    James Cagney, Joan Leslie

    Released1942

    Directed byMichael Curtiz

    Yankee Doodle Dandy is a 1942 American biographical musical film about George M. Cohan, known... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 7
    Holiday Inn is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s
    12
    4

    Holiday Inn

    Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire

    Released1942

    Directed byMark Sandrich

    Holiday Inn is a 1942 American musical film directed by Mark Sandrich and starring Bing Crosby... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Meet Me in St. Louis is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s
    11
    6

    Meet Me in St. Louis

    Judy Garland, Mary Astor

    Released1944

    Directed byVincente Minnelli

    Meet Me in St. Louis is a 1944 musical film from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer which tells the story of... more on Wikipedia

    More Meet Me in St. Louis 

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  • 9
    You Were Never Lovelier is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s
    6
    2

    You Were Never Lovelier

    Rita Hayworth, Fred Astaire

    Released1942

    Directed byWilliam A. Seiter

    You Were Never Lovelier is a 1942 Hollywood musical romantic comedy film set in Buenos Aires.... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 10
    Cover Girl is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s
    7
    2

    Cover Girl

    Rita Hayworth, Gene Kelly

    Released1944

    Directed byCharles Vidor

    Cover Girl is a 1944 American Technicolor musical film starring Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly.... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 11
    Dance, Girl, Dance is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s
    6
    2

    Dance, Girl, Dance

    Lucille Ball, Maureen O'Hara

    Released1940

    Directed byRobert Wise, Dorothy Arzner

    Dance, Girl, Dance is a film released in 1940 and directed by Dorothy Arzner. In 2007, Dance,... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 12
    Stormy Weather is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s
    4
    0

    Stormy Weather

    Lena Horne, Benny Carter

    Released1943

    Directed byAndrew L. Stone

    Stormy Weather is a 1943 American musical film produced and released by 20th Century Fox. The... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Bathing Beauty is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s
    7
    4

    Bathing Beauty

    Basil Rathbone, Esther Williams

    Released1944

    Directed byGeorge Sidney

    Bathing Beauty is a 1944 musical starring Red Skelton, Basil Rathbone and Esther Williams and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 14
    On an Island with You is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s
    5
    2

    On an Island with You

    Cyd Charisse, Ricardo Montalbán

    Released1948

    Directed byRichard Thorpe

    On an Island with You is a 1948 film directed by Richard Thorpe.amazon buy button
  • 15
    Moon Over Miami is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s
    2
    0

    Moon Over Miami

    Betty Grable, Don Ameche

    Released1941

    Directed byWalter Lang

    Moon Over Miami is a 1941 Technicolor musical film directed by Walter Lang, with Betty Grable... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Second Chorus is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s
    5
    1

    Second Chorus

    Fred Astaire, Burgess Meredith

    Released1940

    Directed byH. C. Potter

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  • 17
    Broadway Melody is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s
    8
    6

    Broadway Melody

    Fred Astaire, Frank Morgan

    Released1940

    Directed byNorman Taurog

    Broadway Melody of 1940 is a 1940 MGM movie musical starring Fred Astaire, Eleanor Powell and... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 18
    The Red Shoes is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s
    8
    8

    The Red Shoes

    Anton Walbrook, Robert Helpmann

    Released1948

    Directed byEmeric Pressburger, Michael Powell

    If you love this, be sure to check out these other ballet films.

    More The Red Shoes 

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  • 19
    The Barkleys of Broadway is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s
    5
    4

    The Barkleys of Broadway

    Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire

    Released1949

    Directed byCharles Walters

    The Barkleys of Broadway is a 1949 musical film from the Arthur Freed unit at... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 20
    The Gang's All Here is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Dance Movies of the 1940s
    5
    5

    The Gang's All Here

    Benny Goodman, Carmen Miranda

    Released1943

    Directed byBusby Berkeley

    The Gang's All Here is a 1943 American Twentieth Century Fox Technicolor musical film starring... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
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