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The Best Movies of 1940

Updated March 11, 2020 4.5k votes 253 voters 8.9k views205 items

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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  • 1
    Pinocchio is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    55
    29

    Pinocchio

    Mel Blanc, Cliff Edwards

    Released1940

    Directed byWilfred Jackson, T. Hee, Bill Roberts, Hamilton Luske, Ben Sharpsteen

    Pinocchio is a 1940 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    56
    34

    The Grapes of Wrath

    Henry Fonda, John Carradine

    Released1940

    Directed byJohn Ford

    The Grapes of Wrath is a 1940 drama film directed by John Ford. It was based on John... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    The Shop Around the Corner is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    53
    28

    The Shop Around the Corner

    James Stewart, Frank Morgan

    Released1940

    Directed byErnst Lubitsch

    The Shop Around the Corner is a 1940 American romantic comedy film produced and directed by... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    The Philadelphia Story is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    56
    33

    The Philadelphia Story

    Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant

    Released1940

    Directed byGeorge Cukor

    The Philadelphia Story is a 1940 American romantic comedy film directed by George Cukor,... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Fantasia is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    50
    29

    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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  • 6
    Rebecca is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    65
    47

    Rebecca

    Laurence Olivier, Alfred Hitchcock

    Released1940

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Rebecca is a 1940 American psychological thriller-drama film. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, it... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    His Girl Friday is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    48
    33

    His Girl Friday

    Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell

    Released1940

    Directed byHoward Hawks

    His Girl Friday is a 1940 American screwball comedy film directed by Howard Hawks, from an... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    The Great Dictator is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    50
    38

    The Great Dictator

    Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard

    Released1940

    Directed byCharlie Chaplin

    The Great Dictator is a 1940 American satirical political comedy-drama film starring, written,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    The Mark of Zorro is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    34
    21

    The Mark of Zorro

    Tyrone Power, Basil Rathbone

    Released1940

    Directed byRouben Mamoulian

    The Mark of Zorro is a 1940 American adventure film directed by Rouben Mamoulian and produced... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Strange Cargo is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    31
    11

    Strange Cargo

    Clark Gable, Joan Crawford

    Released1940

    Directed byFrank Borzage

    Strange Cargo is a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer feature film starring Joan Crawford and Clark Gable in... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    The Letter is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    35
    22

    The Letter

    Bette Davis, Gale Sondergaard

    Released1940

    Directed byWilliam Wyler

    The Letter is a 1940 American film noir directed by William Wyler, and starring Bette Davis,... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    'Til We Meet Again is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    26
    7

    'Til We Meet Again

    Merle Oberon, Geraldine Fitzgerald

    Released1940

    Directed byWilliam K. Howard, William Keighley, Anatole Litvak, Edmund Goulding

    'Til We Meet Again is a 1940 romance film starring Merle Oberon and George Brent as two... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Foreign Correspondent is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    35
    21

    Foreign Correspondent

    Alfred Hitchcock, George Sanders

    Released1940

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Foreign Correspondent is a 1940 American spy thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    My Favourite Wife is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    34
    21

    My Favourite Wife

    Cary Grant, Irene Dunne

    Released1940

    Directed byGarson Kanin

    My Favorite Wife is a 1940 screwball comedy produced and co-written by Leo McCarey and... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Dark Command is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    27
    11

    Dark Command

    John Wayne, Roy Rogers

    Released1940

    Directed byRaoul Walsh

    Dark Command is a 1940 Western film starring Claire Trevor, John Wayne and Walter Pidgeon... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    City for Conquest is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    30
    10

    City for Conquest

    James Cagney, Anthony Quinn

    Released1940

    Directed byJean Negulesco, Anatole Litvak

    City for Conquest is a 1940 American drama film directed by Anatole Litvak, starring James... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Brigham Young is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    29
    10

    Brigham Young

    Vincent Price, Tyrone Power

    Released1940

    Directed byHenry Hathaway

    Brigham Young is a 1940 American biographical romantic drama film that describes Young's... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Knute Rockne, All American is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    30
    9

    Knute Rockne, All American

    Ronald Reagan, Brian Keith

    Released1940

    Directed byWilliam K. Howard, Lloyd Bacon

    Knute Rockne, All American is a 1940 biographical film which tells the story of Knute Rockne,... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    The Sea Hawk is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    27
    16

    The Sea Hawk

    Errol Flynn, Claude Rains

    Released1940

    Directed byMichael Curtiz

    The Sea Hawk is a 1940 American Warner Bros. feature film starring Errol Flynn as an English... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    26
    17

    Pride and Prejudice

    Laurence Olivier, Greer Garson

    Released1940

    Directed byRobert Z. Leonard

    Pride and Prejudice is a 1940 American film adaptation of Jane Austen's novel Pride and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    Abe Lincoln in Illinois is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    23
    9

    Abe Lincoln in Illinois

    Ruth Gordon, Raymond Massey

    Released1940

    Directed byJohn Cromwell

    Abe Lincoln in Illinois is a 1940 biographical film which tells the story of the life of... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Casablanca is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    39
    5

    Casablanca

    Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart

    Released1942

    Directed byMichael Curtiz

    Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz and based on... more on Wikipedia

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  • 23
    The Ape is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    24
    10

    The Ape

    Boris Karloff, Selmer Jackson

    Released1940

    Directed byWilliam Nigh

    The Ape is a 1940 American horror film made for Monogram Pictures, co-written by Curt Siodmak... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    The Long Voyage Home is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    24
    10

    The Long Voyage Home

    John Wayne, Barry Fitzgerald

    Released1940

    Directed byJohn Ford

    The Long Voyage Home is a 1940 American drama film directed by John Ford. It features John... more on Wikipedia

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  • 25
    Green Hell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies of 1940
    20
    9

    Green Hell

    Vincent Price, George Sanders

    Released1940

    Directed byJames Whale

    Green Hell is a 1940 jungle adventure film directed by James Whale with photography by Karl... more on Wikipedia
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