The Best Joel McCrea Movies

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List of the best Joel McCrea movies, ranked best to worst with movie trailers when available. Joel McCrea's highest grossing movies have received a lot of accolades over the years, earning millions upon millions around the world. The order of these top Joel McCrea movies is decided by how many votes they receive, so only highly rated Joel McCrea movies will be at the top of the list. Joel McCrea has been in a lot of films, so people often debate each other over what the greatest Joel McCrea movie of all time is. If you and a friend are arguing about this then use this list of the most entertaining Joel McCrea films to end the squabble once and for all.

If you think the best Joel McCrea role isn't at the top, then upvote it so it has the chance to become number one. The greatest Joel McCrea performances didn't necessarily come from the best movies, but in most cases they go hand in hand.

List features films like Primrose Path, They Shall Have Music, and many more

"This list answers the questions, "What are the best Joel McCrea movies?" and "What are the greatest Joel McCrea roles of all time?"

Joel McCrea was in some really popular films, and is right up there with stars like Gary Cooper and James Arness in terms of fame and success.

Most divisive: The Unseen
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  • Sullivan's Travels
    Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick
    68 votes
    • Released: 1941
    • Directed by: Preston Sturges

    In this classic Hollywood satire, a rich and successful film director disguises himself as a hobo to experience the struggles of the American underclass firsthand, intending to inform his next socially conscious film. Along the way, he meets a beautiful but down-on-her-luck actress, and they find hope and laughter amid the hardship. This film showcases McCrea's ability to blend comedy, drama, and social commentary effortlessly, making it an essential entry in his filmography.

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  • The More the Merrier
    Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn
    81 votes
    • Released: 1943
    • Directed by: George Stevens

    When a housing shortage in Washington, D.C., during World War II forces three strangers to share a tiny apartment, romance and hilarity ensue. McCrea plays a hardworking government worker who reluctantly falls in love with his eccentric roommate's lovely fiancée. This charming screwball comedy earned McCrea a Best Actor nomination at the Academy Awards and solidified his status as a leading man.

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  • The Palm Beach Story
    Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Rudy Vallee
    47 votes
    • Released: 1942
    • Directed by: Preston Sturges

    This sparkling screwball comedy directed by Preston Sturges sees McCrea play an inventor whose disenchanted wife leaves him for the glamour of Palm Beach, only to find herself pursued by a lovestruck millionaire. Meanwhile, her husband desperately tries to win her back, igniting a series of madcap adventures filled with mistaken identities and misadventures. The film highlights the magnetic on-screen chemistry between McCrea and co-star Claudette Colbert and underscores his comedic prowess.

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  • Stars in My Crown
    Joel McCrea, Ellen Drew, Dean Stockwell
    51 votes
    • Released: 1950
    • Directed by: Jacques Tourneur

    In a heartwarming tale of faith, love, and tolerance, McCrea plays Josiah Gray, a Civil War veteran who becomes a minister in a small Tennessee town and strives to unite his community during a deadly illness outbreak. Through compassion and determination, Gray ultimately prevails, and his legacy lasts for generations. This enduring drama highlights McCrea's ability to carry a film through his captivating presence and innate charm.

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  • Foreign Correspondent
    Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall
    63 votes
    • Released: 1940
    • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

    In this Alfred Hitchcock thriller, a young American newspaper reporter is sent to Europe at the onset of World War II to cover the escalating political unrest. He finds himself entangled in a dangerous web of espionage and murder, unraveling a sinister plot that threatens the very fate of the world. While McCrea isn't Hitchcock's typical leading man, his charismatic portrayal of the intrepid journalist brings both suspense and charm to the film.

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  • Four Faces West
    Joel McCrea, William Conrad, Charles Bickford
    22 votes
    • Released: 1948
    • Directed by: Alfred E. Green

    A morally complex Western film with a twist, this compelling story follows an honest man forced into a life of crime who subsequently finds redemption through the kindness of strangers. McCrea's nuanced portrayal of the doomed protagonist is a masterclass in understatement, while his chemistry with the radiant Frances Dee (his real-life wife) only adds to the film's emotional resonance. Additionally, its distinctive lack of gunfights and violence makes it a standout in the genre.