Romantic Movies The Best '40s Romantic Comedies  

Ranker Film
261 votes 116 voters 3.5k views 33 items

In the 1940s, Hollywood produced stirring dramas and glittering musicals, but some of the most beloved films of that era are romantic comedies. The best 1940s romantic comedies featured witty banter and swoon-worthy scenes, all delivered by some of the greatest stars to ever grace the silver screen. Whether the plots focused on the screwball complications of love triangles or the smoldering chemistry of a will-they, won't-they relationship, the top 1940s romantic comedies still win over audiences today.

What film should win the top spot on this list of good '40s romantic comedies? The Philadelphia Story, starring Cary Grant, James Stewart, and Katharine Hepburn, is an enduring favorite. This 1940 classic took home Oscars for Best Actor (Stewart) and Best Writing (Donald Ogden Stewart). His Girl Friday, also starring Grant, is another great romantic comedy from the 1940s.

Real life couple Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy appeared in several romantic films of the '40s, including Adam's Rib and Woman of the Year. Holiday Inn, The Lady Eve, and I Married a Witch also appear on this top '40s romantic comedies list.

It's up to you to determine which movie will earn the number-one spot on this list. Give your favorite films a thumbs up and add any of the era's romantic comedies that are missing.
list ordered by

1
23 6
His Girl Friday is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy His Girl Friday is a 1940 American screwball comedy film directed by Howard Hawks, from an adaptation by Charles Lederer, Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur of the play The Front Page by Hecht and ...more

2
17 4
The Shop Around the Corner is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
James Stewart, Frank Morgan, Margaret Sullavan The Shop Around the Corner is a 1940 American romantic comedy film produced and directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan, and Frank Morgan. The screenplay was ...more

3
11 1
The Lady Eve is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Henry Fonda, Barbara Stanwyck, Charles Coburn The Lady Eve is a 1941 American screwball comedy film written and directed by Preston Sturges which stars Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda. The film is based on a story by Monckton Hoffe about a ...more

4
17 5
The Philadelphia Story is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Stewart The Philadelphia Story is a 1940 American romantic comedy film directed by George Cukor, starring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and James Stewart and featuring Ruth Hussey. Based on the ...more

5
14 5
Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Laurence Olivier, Greer Garson, Maureen O'Sullivan Pride and Prejudice is a 1940 American film adaptation of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice, directed by Robert Z. Leonard and starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier. The screenplay ...more

6
8 2
Holiday Inn is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Irving Berlin Holiday Inn is a 1942 American musical film directed by Mark Sandrich and starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. With music by Irving Berlin, the film has twelve songs written expressly for the ...more

7
9 4
Adam's Rib is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Judy Holliday Adam's Rib is a 1949 American film written by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin and directed by George Cukor. It stars Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as married lawyers who come to oppose each ...more

8
9 4
The More the Merrier is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn The More the Merrier is a 1943 American comedy film made by Columbia Pictures which makes fun of the housing shortage during World War II, especially in Washington, D.C. The picture stars Jean ...more

9
7 3
The Miracle of Morgan's Creek is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Betty Hutton, William Demarest, Brian Donlevy The Miracle of Morgan's Creek is a 1944 screwball comedy film written and directed by Preston Sturges, starring Eddie Bracken and Betty Hutton, and featuring Diana Lynn, William Demarest and ...more

10
6 3
The Bachelor and the Bobby-Sox... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Cary Grant, Shirley Temple, Myrna Loy The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer is a 1947 American comedy, directed by Irving Reis and written by Sidney Sheldon. The film stars Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, and Shirley Temple in a story about a ...more

11
6 4
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Melvyn Douglas Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House is an American comedy film directed by H. C. Potter and starring Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. The film was written and produced by the team of Melvin Frank and ...more

12
5 3
I Married a Witch is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Veronica Lake, Susan Hayward, Fredric March I Married a Witch is a 1942 fantasy romantic comedy film, directed by René Clair, and starring Veronica Lake as a witch whose plan for revenge goes comically awry, with Fredric March as ...more

13
5 3
Mr. & Mrs. Smith is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Alfred Hitchcock, Carole Lombard, Robert Montgomery Mr. & Mrs. Smith is a 1941 screwball comedy film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, written by Norman Krasna, and starring Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery. It also features Gene Raymond, ...more

14
5 3
Woman of the Year is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, William Bendix Woman of the Year is an American romantic comedy-drama film starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, written by Ring Lardner, Jr., Michael Kanin and John Lee Mahin, directed by George ...more

15
3 1
A Yank in the R.A.F. is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Blanche2 added Betty Grable, Tyrone Power, Fortunio Bonanova A Yank in the R.A.F. is a 1941 American black-and-white war film directed by Henry King, and is considered a typical early-World War II film. Originally titled The Eagle Squadron, it is based on ...more

16
4 3
Remember the Night is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Sterling Holloway Remember the Night is a 1940 American romantic comedy/drama Christmas film directed by Mitchell Leisen, and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray. The film was written by Preston ...more

17
3 2
The Major and the Minor is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland, Robert Benchley The Major and the Minor is a 1942 American comedy film starring Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland. It was the first American film directed by Billy Wilder, and launched his "incomparable" ...more

18
4 4
Blithe Spirit is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Rex Harrison, Noël Coward, Margaret Rutherford Blithe Spirit is a 1945 English fantasy-comedy film directed by David Lean. The screenplay by Lean, cinematographer Ronald Neame and associate producer Anthony Havelock-Allan is based on ...more

19
2 2
Mr. Lucky is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Cary Grant, Laraine Day, Paul Stewart Mr. Lucky is a 1943 romance film directed by H.C. Potter, starring Cary Grant and Laraine Day. It tells the story of the attraction between a shady gambler and a wealthy socialite in the early ...more

20
2 2
The Devil and Miss Jones is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Jean Arthur, Charles Coburn, William Demarest The Devil and Miss Jones is a 1941 comedy film starring Jean Arthur and Charles Coburn. Directed by Sam Wood and scripted by Norman Krasna, the film was the product of an independent ...more

21
2 2
A Thousand and One Nights is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Phil Silvers, Evelyn Keyes, Cornel Wilde A Thousand and One Nights is a tongue-in-cheek Technicolor fantasy film set in the Baghdad of the One Thousand and One Nights, starring Cornel Wilde as Aladdin, Evelyn Keyes as the genie of the ...more

22
2 2
Here Comes Mr. Jordan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Claude Rains, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Montgomery Here Comes Mr. Jordan is a romantic comedy-fantasy film in which a boxer, mistakenly taken to Heaven before his time, is given a second chance back on Earth. It stars Robert Montgomery, Claude ...more

23
2 2
Somewhere I'll Find You is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Clark Gable, Lana Turner, Keenan Wynn Somewhere I'll Find You is a film starring Clark Gable and Lana Turner, directed by Wesley Ruggles, and released by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer in 1942. The film took almost two years to complete and ...more

24
1 1
The Luck of the Irish is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Blanche2 added Tyrone Power, Anne Baxter, Lee J. Cobb The Luck of the Irish is a 1948 film with Tyrone Power, Anne Baxter, Lee J. Cobb, Cecil Kellaway, and Jayne Meadows.

25
1 1
That Wonderful Urge is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Blanche2 added Gene Tierney, Tyrone Power That Wonderful Urge is a 1948 20th Century Fox screwball comedy film, directed by Robert Sinclair and starring Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney. It is a remake of Love Is News, which starred Power ...more

26
2 3
A Foreign Affair is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Marlene Dietrich, Jean Arthur, Millard Mitchell A Foreign Affair is a 1948 American romantic comedy film directed by Billy Wilder and starring Jean Arthur, Marlene Dietrich, and John Lund. The screenplay by Wilder, Charles Brackett, and ...more

27
2 3
Cover Girl is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Rita Hayworth, Gene Kelly, Eve Arden Cover Girl is a 1944 American Technicolor musical film starring Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly. The film tells the story of a chorus girl given a chance at stardom when she is offered an ...more

28
1 2
Moon Over Miami is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Betty Grable, Don Ameche, Carole Landis Moon Over Miami is a 1941 Technicolor musical film directed by Walter Lang, with Betty Grable and Don Ameche in leading roles and co-starring Robert Cummings, Carole Landis, Jack Haley, and ...more

29
0 1
You Were Never Lovelier is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Rita Hayworth, Fred Astaire, Adolphe Menjou You Were Never Lovelier is a 1942 Hollywood musical romantic comedy film set in Buenos Aires. It stars Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth and features Adolphe Menjou and Xavier Cugat, with music by ...more

30
0 1
The Secret Life of Walter Mitt... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Boris Karloff, Danny Kaye, Ann Rutherford The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a 1947 Technicolor comedy film, loosely based on the short story of the same name by James Thurber. The film stars Danny Kaye as a young daydreaming proof ...more

31
0 1
The Bride Came C.O.D. is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Bette Davis, James Cagney, William Frawley The Bride Came C.O.D. is a 1941 Warner Bros. screwball romantic comedy starring James Cagney as a pilot and Bette Davis as a runaway heiress, and directed by William Keighley. Although the film ...more

32
0 1
Angel on My Shoulder is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Anne Baxter, Claude Rains, Paul Muni Angel on My Shoulder is a 1946 American fantasy film about a deal between the Devil and a dead man. The film was an independent production, produced by Charles R. Rogers and David W. Siegel, ...more

33
1 3
On an Island with You is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best '40s Romantic Comedies
Cyd Charisse, Ricardo Montalbán, Esther Williams On an Island with You is a 1948 film directed by Richard Thorpe.