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horror movies and TV The Best '40s Horror Movies  

Ranker Film
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List Rules Vote up your favorite horror films that were released in the 1940s

The horror films of the 1940s are replete with classic horror characters; terrifying figures that have embedded themselves firmly in the cultural consciousness. In a climate of growing international tension, it’s no surprise that countless horror films were produced in the ‘40s, giving voice to the undefined fears and anxiety gripping the world’s population.


So what are the best 1940s horror movies? Dracula, Frankenstein, and zombies, some of the most famous movie monsters ever, appear in numerous films in the decade. On this list you will find
I Walked with a Zombie, starring Boris Karloff, the legendary horror actor. Karloff also stars in The Body Catcher, and he reprises his role as the original silver screen Frankenstein in House of Frankenstein. Another iconic horror actor can also be found on this list of the greatest 1940s horror moves: Bela Lugosi. Lugosi played Dracula in the first movie version of the classic tale, and in the ‘40s he appeared in horror classics such as The Wolf Man.


On this list you’ll find a dash of horror comedy.
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein pit the famous comedy duo against formidable actors Lugosi as well as Lon Chaney, Jr. Vote up the best horror films of the 1940s, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section. 

1
18 3
Cat People is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
Cat People Alan Napier, Simone Simon, Tom Conway

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2
16 3
The Body Snatcher is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Body Snatcher Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Bill Williams

3
11 1
Dead of Night is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
Dead of Night Michael Redgrave, Googie Withers, Mervyn Johns

4
14 2
Abbott and Costello Meet Frank... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein Vincent Price, Bela Lugosi, Lou Costello

5
16 4
The Wolf Man is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Wolf Man Bela Lugosi, Claude Rains, Lon Chaney

6
13 2
I Walked with a Zombie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
I Walked with a Zombie Boris Karloff, Frances Dee, Tom Conway

7
11 2
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Picture of Dorian Gray Angela Lansbury, Donna Reed, George Sanders

8
10 2
House of Dracula is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
House of Dracula Lon Chaney, Jr., John Carradine

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11 3
The Uninvited is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Uninvited Ray Milland, Gail Russell, Donald Crisp

10
12 4
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Ma... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Jr.

11
10 3
Isle of the Dead is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
Isle of the Dead Boris Karloff, Alan Napier, Anna Lee

12
7 1
The Mummy's Hand is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Mummy's Hand Boris Karloff, Eduardo Ciannelli, Cecil Kellaway

13
9 3
The Mummy's Tomb is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Mummy's Tomb Lon Chaney, Jr., Elyse Knox

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9 3
The Ghost of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Ghost of Frankenstein Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Jr.

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10 4
House of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
House of Frankenstein Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Jr.

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9 4
The Invisible Man Returns is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Invisible Man Returns Vincent Price, Cedric Hardwicke, Nan Grey

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8 3
Phantom of the Opera is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
Phantom of the Opera Claude Rains, Hume Cronyn, Nelson Eddy - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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8 3
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Ingrid Bergman, Lana Turner, Spencer Tracy

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7 2
The Return of the Vampire is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Return of the Vampire Bela Lugosi, Nina Foch, Billy Bevan

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6 2
The Lodger is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Lodger George Sanders, Merle Oberon, Cedric Hardwicke

21
6 2
The Ghost Breakers is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Ghost Breakers Bob Hope, Anthony Quinn, Paulette Goddard

22
8 5
The Curse of the Cat People is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Curse of the Cat People Simone Simon, Jane Randolph, Sarah Selby

23
7 4
Dr. Cyclops is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
Dr. Cyclops Albert Dekker, Paul Fix, Charles Halton

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6 3
The Black Cat is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Black Cat Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners

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5 2
Son of Dracula is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
Son of Dracula Lon Chaney, Jr., John Carradine

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4 1
Night Monster is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
Night Monster Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, Irene Hervey

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4 1
You'll Find Out is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
You'll Find Out Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Peter Lorre

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4 1
The Face Behind the Mask is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Face Behind the Mask Peter Lorre, Evelyn Keyes, Don Beddoe

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5 3
The Beast with Five Fingers is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Beast with Five Fingers Peter Lorre, Robert Alda, Andrea King

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4 2
The Mummy's Ghost is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Mummy's Ghost Lon Chaney, Jr., John Carradine

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4 2
Black Friday is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
Black Friday Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Stanley Ridges

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4 3
Invisible Ghost is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
Invisible Ghost Bela Lugosi, Clarence Muse, Betty Compson - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

33
3 2
Dead Man's Eyes is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
Dead Man's Eyes Lon Chaney, Jr., Jean Parker

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3 2
The Spider Woman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Spider Woman Basil Rathbone, Gale Sondergaard, Nigel Bruce

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2 1
La Main du diable is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
La Main du diable Pierre Fresnay, Georges Chamarat, Antoine Balpêtré

36
2 1
Spooks Run Wild is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
Spooks Run Wild Bela Lugosi, Huntz Hall, Leo Gorcey - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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2 1
The Devil Bat is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Devil Bat Bela Lugosi, Suzanne Kaaren, Dave O'Brien - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

38
2 1
The Undying Monster is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Undying Monster Heather Angel, Halliwell Hobbes, John Brahm

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2 2
Bowery at Midnight is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
Bowery at Midnight Bela Lugosi, Dave O'Brien, J. Farrell MacDonald - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

40
1 1
Zombies on Broadway is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
Zombies on Broadway Bela Lugosi, Anne Jeffreys, Sheldon Leonard

41
1 1
The Invisible Woman is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Invisible Woman John Barrymore, Margaret Hamilton, Cedric Hardwicke

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4 5
The Mummy's Curse is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Mummy's Curse Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Jr.

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1 2
The Woman in Green is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Woman in Green Basil Rathbone, Hillary Brooke, Nigel Bruce

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0 1
King of the Zombies is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
King of the Zombies Mantan Moreland, Henry Victor, John Archer

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0 1
Invisible Agent is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
Invisible Agent Peter Lorre, Cedric Hardwicke, Keye Luke

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0 1
The Pearl of Death is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Pearl of Death Basil Rathbone, Rondo Hatton, Evelyn Ankers

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0 2
Things Happen at Night is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
Things Happen at Night Garry Marsh, Gordon Harker, Robertson Hare

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0 2
The Invisible Man's Revenge is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
The Invisible Man's Revenge John Carradine, Evelyn Ankers, Jon Hall

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0 2
Revenge of the Zombies is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
Revenge of the Zombies John Carradine, Robert Lowery, Gale Storm

50
1 4
She-Wolf of London is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best '40s Horror Movies
She-Wolf of London June Lockhart, Lloyd Corrigan, Sara Haden