40s movies The Best Movies of 1940  

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List of the best movies of 1940, with movie trailers when available. These top movies of 1940 are listed by popularity, so the movies with the most votes are at the top. This list consists of all different movie genres - from the dramatic adaptation of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath to romantic comedy The Shop Around the Corner - but each film was released in 1940. You can filter this list of films that came out in 1940 for various bits of information, such as who directed the movie and what genre it is. Think the best 1940 movie isn't as high as it should be? Vote up your favorite so it will rise to the top.

Movies on this list include Fantasia and The Philadelphia Story.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best movies from 1940?" and "What are the most popular movies of 1940?"

1940 was a great year for movies, since a lot of classic films were released in 1940. This is a crowd sourced list that has been voted on by many people, so these top films of 1940 aren't just one persons opinion.

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Rebecca Laurence Olivier, Alfred Hitchcock, Joan Fontaine Rebecca is a 1940 American psychological thriller-drama film. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, it was his first American project, and his first film produced under contract with David O. Selznick. ...more

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Pinocchio Mel Blanc, Cliff Edwards, Frankie Darro Pinocchio is a 1940 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions and based on the Italian children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. It was the ...more

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The Philadelphia Story 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

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The Grapes of Wrath Henry Fonda, John Carradine, John Qualen The Grapes of Wrath is a 1940 drama film directed by John Ford. It was based on John Steinbeck's 1939 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. The screenplay was written by Nunnally ...more

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The Great Dictator Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Billy Gilbert The Great Dictator is a 1940 American satirical political comedy-drama film starring, written, produced, scored, and directed by Charlie Chaplin, following the tradition of many of his other ...more

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Fantasia Walt Disney, Corey Burton, Leopold Stokowski Fantasia is a 1940 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and released by Walt Disney Productions. With story direction by Joe Grant and Dick Huemer, and production supervision by Ben ...more

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The Shop Around the Corner 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

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His Girl Friday 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

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My Favourite Wife Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Randolph Scott My Favorite Wife is a 1940 screwball comedy produced and co-written by Leo McCarey and directed by Garson Kanin. The picture stars Irene Dunne as a woman who returns to her husband and children ...more

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Waterloo Bridge is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
Waterloo Bridge Vivien Leigh, Robert Taylor, C. Aubrey Smith Waterloo Bridge is a 1940 remake of the 1931 American drama film also called Waterloo Bridge, adapted from the 1930 play Waterloo Bridge. In an extended flashback narration, it recounts the ...more

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Pride and Prejudice 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

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The Mark of Zorro Tyrone Power, Basil Rathbone, Linda Darnell The Mark of Zorro is a 1940 American adventure film directed by Rouben Mamoulian and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck for 20th Century Fox. The action movie stars Tyrone Power as Don Diego Vega, ...more

The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1940s

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The Letter Bette Davis, Gale Sondergaard, Herbert Marshall The Letter is a 1940 American film noir directed by William Wyler, and starring Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall and James Stephenson. The screenplay by Howard E. Koch is based on the 1927 play of ...more

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Foreign Correspondent Alfred Hitchcock, George Sanders, Joel McCrea Foreign Correspondent is a 1940 American spy thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It tells the story of an American reporter who tries to expose enemy spies in Britain, a series of events ...more

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The Westerner Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Dana Andrews The Westerner is a 1940 American film directed by William Wyler and starring Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, and Doris Davenport. Written by Niven Busch, Stuart N. Lake, and Jo Swerling, the film ...more

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The Long Voyage Home John Wayne, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond The Long Voyage Home is a 1940 American drama film directed by John Ford. It features John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, Ian Hunter, Barry Fitzgerald, Wilfrid Lawson, John Qualen, Mildred Natwick, and ...more

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The Sea Hawk Errol Flynn, Claude Rains, Gilbert Roland The Sea Hawk is a 1940 American Warner Bros. feature film starring Errol Flynn as an English privateer who defends his nation's interests on the eve of the Spanish Armada. The film was the tenth ...more

The Best Wedding Dress Designers

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Go West Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Leonard Marx Go West is the 10th Marx Brothers comedy film, in which brothers Groucho, Chico, and Harpo head to the American West and attempt to unite a couple by ensuring that an evil railroad baron is ...more

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One Million B.C. Carole Landis, Lon Chaney, Jr. One Million B.C. is a 1940 American fantasy film produced by Hal Roach Studios and released by United Artists. It is also known by the titles Cave Man, Man and His Mate, and Tumak. The film ...more

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The Thief of Bagdad Conrad Veidt, Sabu Dastagir, June Duprez The Thief of Bagdad is a 1940 British Technicolor Arabian fantasy film produced by Alexander Korda, and directed by Michael Powell, Ludwig Berger, and Tim Whelan, with contributions by Korda's ...more

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Strange Cargo Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Peter Lorre Strange Cargo is a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer feature film starring Joan Crawford and Clark Gable in a story about a group of fugitive prisoners from a French penal colony. The screenplay by Lawrence ...more

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Abe Lincoln in Illinois Ruth Gordon, Raymond Massey, Gene Lockhart Abe Lincoln in Illinois is a 1940 biographical film which tells the story of the life of Abraham Lincoln from his departure from Kentucky until his election as President of the United States. ...more

16 Obscure Horror Movies from the 1940s You Probably Haven't Seen

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Remember the Night 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

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A Chump at Oxford Stan Laurel, Peter Cushing, Oliver Hardy A Chump at Oxford, directed in 1939 by Alfred J. Goulding and released in 1940 by United Artists, was the penultimate Laurel and Hardy film made at the Hal Roach studios. Originally released as ...more

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You Natzy Spy! Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Curly Howard You Nazty Spy! is the 44th short subject starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges. The trio made a total of 190 shorts for Columbia Pictures between 1934 and 1959.

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A Plumbing We Will Go Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Curly Howard A Plumbing We Will Go is the 46th short subject starring American slapstick comedy team the Three Stooges. The trio made a total of 190 shorts for Columbia Pictures between 1934 and 1959.

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Boom Town Clark Gable, Hedy Lamarr, Spencer Tracy Boom Town is a 1940 American adventure film starring Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Claudette Colbert, and Hedy Lamarr, and directed by Jack Conway. The supporting cast features Frank Morgan, ...more

16 Movie "In Jokes" You Probably Didn't Notice

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Virginia City Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn, Randolph Scott Virginia City is a 1940 American Western film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Errol Flynn, Miriam Hopkins, Randolph Scott, and a mustachioed Humphrey Bogart in the role of the real-life ...more

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The Mortal Storm James Stewart, Robert Young, Robert Stack The Mortal Storm is a drama film from MGM directed by Frank Borzage and starring Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart.

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Black Friday Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Stanley Ridges Black Friday is a 1940 American science fiction film starring Boris Karloff. Béla Lugosi, although second-billed, has only a small part in the film and does not appear with Karloff. ...more

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Santa Fe Trail Ronald Reagan, Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn Santa Fe Trail is a 1940 American western film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Raymond Massey and Ronald Reagan. Written by Robert Buckner, the film is ...more

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Private Affairs Robert Cummings, Roland Young, Nancy Kelly Private Affairs is a 1940 film comedy starring Nancy Kelly, with a supporting cast including Hugh Herbert, Roland Young, and Robert Cummings. The movie was directed by Albert S. Rogell. Roland ...more

Famous California State University, Long Beach Alumni

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Knute Rockne, All American Ronald Reagan, Brian Keith, George Reeves Knute Rockne, All American is a 1940 biographical film which tells the story of Knute Rockne, Notre Dame football coach. It stars Pat O'Brien portraying the role of Rockne and Ronald Reagan as ...more

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Vigil in the Night Carole Lombard, Peter Cushing, Anne Shirley Vigil in the Night is a 1940 film based on the 1939 serialized novel Vigil in the Night, by A. J. Cronin. The film was produced and directed by George Stevens and stars Carole Lombard, Brian ...more

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I Love You Again Myrna Loy, William Powell, Carl Switzer I Love You Again is a comedy film released in 1940. It was directed by W.S. Van Dyke and starred William Powell and Myrna Loy; all three were prominently involved in the The Thin Man series. The ...more

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North West Mounted Police Gary Cooper, Paulette Goddard, Lon Chaney "Set in the historical Riel rebellion, a Texas Ranger helps the Mounties so he can capture a murderer; but the Mountie gets the woman. In 1885 Dan Duroc (Akim Tamiroff) and Jacques Corbeau ...more

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Northwest Passage Spencer Tracy, Walter Brennan, Robert Young Northwest Passage is a 1940 film in Technicolor, starring Spencer Tracy, Robert Young, Walter Brennan, Ruth Hussey, and others. The picture is based on a novel by Kenneth Roberts titled ...more

The Biggest Turn Ons in a Person

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Christmas in July Dick Powell, William Demarest, Franklin Pangborn Christmas in July is a 1940 comedy film written and directed by Preston Sturges based on his 1931 play A Cup of Coffee. It was Sturges' second film as writer-director, after The Great McGinty, ...more

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Stranger on the Third Floor Peter Lorre, Elisha Cook, Jr. Stranger on the Third Floor is a 1940 film noir, starring Peter Lorre and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The film was directed by Boris Ingster and co-written by Nathaniel West. Stranger on the ...more

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Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe Buster Crabbe, Charles Middleton, Anne Gwynne Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe is a 1940 twelve episode serial film starring Buster Crabbe as Flash Gordon, and was the last of three Flash Gordon serials made from 1936 to 1940. The serial ...more

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They Drive by Night Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan, Ida Lupino They Drive by Night is a 1940 black-and-white film noir starring George Raft, Ann Sheridan, Ida Lupino, and Humphrey Bogart, and directed by Raoul Walsh. The picture involves a pair of embattled ...more

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The Fighting 69th James Cagney, George Reeves, Joseph Crehan The Fighting 69th is an American war film starring James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, and George Brent. The plot is based upon the actual exploits of New York City's 69th Infantry Regiment during World ...more

The Best '40s Romance Movies

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The Blue Bird Shirley Temple, Gale Sondergaard, Sterling Holloway The Blue Bird is a 1940 B&W and Technicolor American fantasy film directed by Walter Lang. The screenplay by Walter Bullock was adapted from the 1908 play of the same name by Maurice ...more

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How High Is Up? Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Curly Howard How High is Up? is the 48th short subject starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges. The trio made a total of 190 shorts for Columbia Pictures between 1934 and 1959.

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Kitty Foyle Ginger Rogers, Gladys Cooper, Eduardo Ciannelli Kitty Foyle, subtitled The Natural History of a Woman, is a 1940 film starring Ginger Rogers, Dennis Morgan and James Craig, which is based on Christopher Morley's 1939 bestseller also titled ...more

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Saps at Sea Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Ben Turpin Saps at Sea is a 1940 American film directed by Gordon Douglas, distributed by United Artists, and Laurel and Hardy's last film produced by Hal Roach Studio.

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Brother Orchid Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Ralph Bellamy Brother Orchid is a 1940 American crime/comedy film directed by Lloyd Bacon and starring Edward G. Robinson, Ann Sothern and Humphrey Bogart, with featured performances by Donald Crisp, Ralph ...more

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Escape Norma Shearer, Robert Taylor, Alla Nazimova Escape is a 1940 drama film about an American in pre-World War II Nazi Germany who discovers his mother is in a concentration camp and tries desperately to free her. It starred Norma Shearer, ...more

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'Til We Meet Again Merle Oberon, Geraldine Fitzgerald, George Brent 'Til We Meet Again is a 1940 romance film starring Merle Oberon and George Brent as two doomed, star-crossed lovers. It is a remake of the 1932 film One Way Passage and itself was remade into ...more

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Dark Command John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Walter Pidgeon Dark Command is a 1940 Western film starring Claire Trevor, John Wayne and Walter Pidgeon loosely based on Quantrill's Raiders during the American Civil War. Directed by Raoul Walsh from the ...more