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The Best Movies of 1939

List of the best movies of 1939, with movie trailers when available. These top movies of 1939 are listed by popularity, so the movies with the most votes are at the top. This list consists of all different movie genres, but each film was released in 1939. You can filter this list of films that came out in 1939 for various bits of information, such as who directed the movie and what genre it is. Think the best 1939 movie isn't as high as it should be? Vote up your favorite so it will rise to the top.

List movies include Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz and many additional movies as well.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best movies from 1939?" and "What are the most popular movies of 1939?"

1939 was a great year for movies, since a lot of classic films were released in 1939. This is a crowd sourced list that has been voted on by many people, so these top films of 1939 aren't just one persons opinion.
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  • 1

    The Wizard of Oz

    Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton
    151
    32

    Released1939

    Directed byMervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

    The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the most well-known and commercially successful adaptation based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard  ...more

    The Original 'Wizard of Oz' Books Are Shockingly Violent Compared To The Judy Garland Classic#116 of 371 The Best Musical Movies Of All Time#21 of 557 The Best Film Scores Of All Time

  • 2

    Gone with the Wind

    Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh
    154
    35

    Released1939

    Directed byVictor Fleming

    Runtime222

    PremieredDecember 15, 1939

    Presented as originally released in 1939. Includes themes and character depictions which may be offensive and problematic to contemporary audiences. Epic Civil War drama focuses on the life of  ...more

    #5 of 28 The Best Movies About the Civil War#88 of 367 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked#84 of 306 The Greatest Movie Themes

  • 3

    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

    James Stewart, Jean Arthur
    113
    22

    Released1939

    Directed byFrank Capra

    Runtime125

    PremieredOctober 19, 1939

    When the idealistic young Jefferson Smith (James Stewart) winds up appointed to the United States Senate, he gains the mentorship of Senator Joseph Paine (Claude Rains). However, Paine isn't as noble  ...more
  • 4

    Stagecoach

    John Wayne, John Carradine
    104
    26

    Released1939

    Directed byJohn Ford

    Stagecoach is a 1939 American Western film directed by John Ford, starring Claire Trevor and John Wayne in his breakthrough role. The screenplay, written by Dudley Nichols, is an adaptation of "The  ...more

    #23 of 400 The Best Western Movies Ever Made#80 of 102 The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channel#25 of 226 The Best Black And White Movies Ever Made

  • 5

    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

    Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce
    99
    30

    Released1939

    Directed byAlfred L. Werker

    Runtime85

    PremieredSeptember 1, 1939

    Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) square off against their archenemy, Professor Moriarty (George Zucco), who has designs on the Tower of London's Crown Jewels. As a  ...more

    #180 of 381 The Best Movies Based On Books#236 of 553 The Greatest Crime Movies Ever Made#10 of 50 The Best '30s Thriller Movies

  • 6

    Love Affair

    Irene Dunne, Charles Boyer
    67
    29

    Released1939

    Directed byLeo McCarey

    Runtime87

    PremieredMarch 16, 1939

    Engaged ladies' man Michel Marnet (Charles Boyer) encounters spoken-for singer Terry McKay (Irene Dunne) aboard a transatlantic cruise, where sparks fly and a romance ensues. Once they reach New  ...more
  • 7

    Midnight

    Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche
    62
    25

    Released1939

    Directed byMitchell Leisen

    Runtime94

    AdvisoriesAdult Situations

    When out-of-work showgirl Eve (Claudette Colbert) arrives in Paris with no work in sight, she asks taxi driver Tibor (Don Ameche) to drive her from club to club. But the more time she spends with  ...more
  • 8

    Jamaica Inn

    Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Hara
    62
    27

    Released1939

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Runtime99

    PremieredMay 15, 1939

    After the death of her mother, young Mary (Maureen O'Hara) travels to the Cornish coast seeking her Aunt Patience (Marie Ney). Stranded on a windswept, isolated road, Mary meets Humphrey Pengallan  ...more
  • 9

    In Name Only

    Carol Lombard, Cary Grant
    55
    22

    Released1939

    Directed byJohn Cromwell

    Runtime102

    Wealthy Alec Walker (Cary Grant) finds himself in a depressing and passionless marriage to Maida (Kay Francis), and is shocked to discover that she has heartlessly married him only for the prestige  ...more
  • 10

    The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex

    Bette Davis, Errol Flynn
    58
    25

    Released1939

    Directed byMichael Curtiz

    Runtime106

    PremieredSeptember 27, 1939

    Queen Elizabeth (Bette Davis) secretly loves the ambitious and courageous Earl of Essex (Errol Flynn), but at the same time she distrusts his desire for power, fearing he will exploit his political  ...more
  • 11

    Wuthering Heights

    Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier
    70
    39

    Released1939

    Directed byWilliam Wyler

    Runtime103

    PremieredApril 13, 1939

    In this adaptation of the classic Emily Bronte novel set in 19th-century England, wealthy young Cathy Earnshaw (Merle Oberon) shares a loving bond with Heathcliff (Laurence Olivier), a poor childhood  ...more

    #1054 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#37 of 81 The Best Period Romance Movies#4 of 96 Great Period Movies Set in the 19th Century

  • 12

    The Hunchback of Notre Dame

    Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Hara
    65
    34

    Released1939

    Directed byWilliam Dieterle

    Runtime116

    In 15th-century France, the evil archdeacon of Notre Dame is Claude Frollo (Sir Cedric Hardwicke). Under his command is a deformed hunchback, Quasimodo (Charles Laughton), who is instructed to  ...more
  • 13
    Dimos Dicoudis added

    The Old Maid

    Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins
    51
    21

    Released1939

    Directed byEdmund Goulding

    Runtime95

    After disappearing for two years, Clem Spender (George Brent) returns on the day his former fiancée, Delia (Miriam Hopkins), is marrying another man. Her cousin Charlotte (Bette Davis) sneaks away  ...more
  • 14

    Goodbye, Mr. Chips

    Robert Donat, Greer Garson
    68
    39

    Released1939

    Directed bySam Wood

    Runtime114

    Young schoolteacher Charles Edward Chipping (Robert Donat) imposes strict discipline on his young charges at a Victorian-era English public school, becoming a fearsome presence on the campus grounds.  ...more
  • 15
    Edward G. Robinson, Francis Lederer
    47
    19

    Released1939

    Directed byAnatole Litvak

    Runtime102

    AdvisoriesAdult Situations

    FBI agent Ed Renard (Edward G. Robinson) goes on the hunt for a Nazi spy ring bent on subverting the citizenry of America. Beginning with Nazi rabble-rouser Kurt Schneider (Francis Lederer), Renard  ...more
  • 16
    James Cagney, George Raft
    45
    17

    Released1939

    Directed byWilliam Keighley

    Runtime92

    AdvisoriesAdult Situations, Violence

    PremieredJuly 22, 1939

    Frank Ross (James Cagney) is an intrepid reporter hot on the trail of a corrupt politician when he is framed for vehicular manslaughter and sent to prison. There he meets the infamous gangster "Hood"  ...more
  • 17
    Bette Davis, George Brent
    56
    29

    Released1939

    Directed byEdmund Goulding

    Runtime106

    PremieredApril 20, 1939

    Socialite Judith Traherne (Bette Davis) lives a lavish but emotionally empty life. Riding horses is one of her few joys, and her stable master (Humphrey Bogart) is secretly in love with her. Told she  ...more

    #63 of 75 The Greatest Classic Romance Movies#15 of 88 The Best Bette Davis Movies#19 of 75 The Best Humphrey Bogart Movies

  • 18

    Ninotchka

    Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas
    60
    33

    Released1939

    Directed byErnst Lubitsch

    Runtime110

    PremieredNovember 9, 1939

    A no-nonsense diplomat of the Soviet Union, Nina Ivanovna "Ninotchka" Yakushova (Greta Garbo) arrives in Paris to ensure the sale of jewels seized during the Russian Revolution. Meanwhile, carefree  ...more
  • 19

    Intermezzo

    Ingrid Bergman, Hasse Ekman
    42
    16

    Released1936

    Directed byGustaf Molander

    Intermezzo is a 1936 Swedish drama film directed by Gustaf Molander about a concert violinist falling in love with his daughter's piano teacher. The cast includes Gösta Ekman and Ingrid Bergman in  ...more
  • 20

    Young Mr. Lincoln

    Henry Fonda, Alice Brady
    53
    28

    Released1939

    Directed byJohn Ford

    Runtime100

    PremieredMay 30, 1939

    In this dramatized account of his early law career in Illinois, Abraham Lincoln (Henry Fonda) is born into a modest log cabin, where he is encouraged by his first love, Ann Rutledge (Pauline Moore),  ...more
  • 21
    James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich
    53
    29

    Released1939

    Directed byGeorge Marshall

    Destry Rides Again is a 1939 western starring Marlene Dietrich and James Stewart, and directed by George Marshall. The supporting cast includes Mischa Auer, Charles Winninger, Brian Donlevy, Allen  ...more
  • 22
    John Wayne, Claire Trevor
    36
    12

    Released1939

    Directed byWilliam A. Seiter

    Runtime81

    In Colonial America, Jim Smith (John Wayne) leads a group, including the intense Janie MacDougall (Claire Trevor), that tries to figure out who is supplying the area Native American tribes with  ...more
  • 23
    William Powell, Myrna Loy
    52
    32

    Released1939

    Directed byW. S. Van Dyke

    Runtime105

    PremieredNovember 17, 1939

    In this third film in the "Thin Man" series based on characters created by mystery writer Dashiell Hammett, retired detective Nick Charles (William Powell) and his wife, Nora (Myrna Loy), accept an  ...more
  • 24

    Gunga Din

    Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks
    59
    40

    Released1939

    Directed byGeorge Stevens

    Runtime117

    British army sergeants Ballantine (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.), Cutter (Cary Grant) and MacChesney (Victor McLaglen) serve in India during the 1880s, along with their native water-bearer, Gunga Din (Sam  ...more
  • 25

    Of Mice and Men

    Burgess Meredith, Lon Chaney
    47
    27

    Released1939

    Directed byLewis Milestone

    Runtime107

    AdvisoriesAdult Situations, Violence

    PremieredDecember 30, 1939

    In this acclaimed adaptation of the novella by John Steinbeck, migrant farmhands George Milton (Burgess Meredith) and Lennie Small (Lon Chaney Jr.) begin working at a ranch near Soledad, California,  ...more