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1940s Biographical Movies

Public list by WPS with 63 movies or TV shows/series

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60 movies found (page 1/2):

Sergeant York(1941)

NR
| 2h 14min | Drama, History, Romance / Love, War
3.6/5 (with 60 votes)

Alvin York a hillbilly sharpshooter transforms himself from ruffian to religious pacifist. He is then called to serve his country and despite deep religious and moral objections to fighting becomes one of the most celebrated American heroes of WWI.

They Died with Their Boots On(1941)

3.3/5 (with 33 votes)

The story follows General George Armstrong Custer's adventures from his West Point days to his death. He defies orders during the Civil War, trains the 7th Cavalry, appeases Chief Crazy Horse and later engages in bloody battle with the Sioux nation.

Words and Music(1948)

2h | Drama, Music
2.9/5 (with 6 votes)

Encomium to Larry Hart (1895-1943), seen through the fictive eyes of his song-writing partner, Richard Rodgers (1902-1979): from their first meeting, through lean years and their breakthrough, to their successes on Broadway, London, and Hollywood. We see the fruits of Hart and Rodgers' collaboration - elaborately staged numbers from their plays, characters' visits to night clubs, and impromptu performances at parties. We also see Larry's scattered approach to life, his failed love with Peggy McNeil, his unhappiness, and Richard's successful wooing of Dorothy Feiner.

Brigham Young(1940)

2.3/5 (with 7 votes)

Based on the story of the famous Mormon leader, it follows Brigham Young and his challenge to transport his people across the Rocky mountains to settle in Salt Lake City. The plot focuses on two fictitious characters, Jonathan Kent and Zina Webb and the hardships they have to face along the way.

Edison, the Man(1940)

1h 47min | History, Drama
3.2/5 (with 4 votes)

In flashback, fifty years after inventing the light bulb, an 82-year-old Edison tells his story starting at age twenty-two with his arrival in New York. He's on his way with invention of an early form of stock market ticker.

The First of the Few(1942)

G
| 1h 58min | War
3.3/5 (with 11 votes)

This 1942 fictionalized biopic chronicles the true story of how two of the most remarkable men in aviation history - visionary Spitfire designer R.J. Mitchell and his test pilot Geoffrey Crisp - designed a streamlined monoplane that led to the development of the Spitfire.

Wilson(1944)

2.9/5 (with 6 votes)

The political career of Woodrow Wilson is chronicled, beginning with his decision to leave his post at Princeton to run for Governor of New Jersey, and his subsequent ascent to the Presidency of the United States. During his terms in office, Wilson must deal with the death of his first wife, the onslaught of German hostilities leading to American involvement in the Great War, and his own country's reticence to join the League of Nations.

Ernie Pyle's Story of G.I. Joe(1945)

1h 48min | Drama, War
3.1/5 (with 9 votes)

War correspondent Ernie Pyle joins Company C, 18th Infantry as this American army unit fights its way across North Africa in World War II. He comes to know the soldiers and finds much human interest material for his readers back in the States.

Scott of the Antarctic(1948)

3.6/5 (with 8 votes)

The true story of the British explorer Robert Falcon Scott and his ill-fated expedition to try to be the first man to discover the South Pole - only to find that the murderously cold weather and a rival team of Norwegian explorers conspire against him.

Belle Starr(1941)

1h 23min | Western
3.1/5 (with 5 votes)

After her family's mansion is burned down by Yankee soldiers for hiding the rebel leader Captain Sam Starr (Scott) Belle Shirley (Tierney) vows to take revenge. Breaking Starr out of prison, she joins his small guerrilla group for a series of raids on banks and railroads, carpetbaggers and enemy troops. Belle's bravado during the attacks earns her a reputation amongst the locals as well as the love of Starr himself. The pair get married, but their relationship starts to break down when Sam Starr lets a couple of psychotic rebels into the gang, leaving Belle to wonder if he really cares about the Southern cause.

Night and Day(1946)

2h 8min | Drama, Music
2.9/5 (with 10 votes)

Swellegant and elegant. Delux and delovely. Cole Porter was the most sophisticated name in 20th-century songwriting. And to play him on screen, Hollywood chose debonair icon Cary Grant. Grant stars for the first time in color in this fanciful biopic. Alexis Smith plays Linda, whose serendipitous meetings with Cole lead to a meeting at the alter. More than 20 Porter songs grace this tail of triumph and tragedy, with Grand lending is amiable voice to "You're the Top", "Night and Day" and more. Monty Wooley, a Yale contemporary of Porter, portrays himself. And Jane Wyman, Mary Martin, Eve Arden and others provide vocals and verve. Lights down. Curtain up. Standards embraced by generations are yours to enjoy in "Night and Day.".

Till the Clouds Roll By(1946)

2h 12min | Music
2.8/5 (with 8 votes)

Light bio-pic of American Broadway pioneer Jerome Kern, featuring renditions of the famous songs from his musical plays by contemporary stage artists, including a condensed production of his most famous: 'Showboat'.

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The Dolly Sisters(1945)

3.4/5 (with 2 votes)

Two sisters from Hungary become famous entertainers in the early 1900s. Fictionalized biography with lots of songs.

The Jolson Story(1946)

NR
| 2h 8min | Drama, Music
3.3/5 (with 6 votes)

The Jolson Story is a 1946 musical biography which purports to tell the life story of singer Al Jolson. It stars Larry Parks as Jolson, Evelyn Keyes as "Julie Benson" (approximating Jolson's wife, Ruby Keeler), William Demarest as his manager, Ludwig Donath and Tamara Shayne as his parents, and Scotty Beckett as the young Jolson.

Jack London(1943)

3.0/5 (with 2 votes)

The true story of the adventurous and remarkable life of the American novelist Jack London(1876-1916).

Roughly Speaking(1945)

1h 57min | Comedy, Drama
3.3/5 (with 1 vote)

In the 1920s, enterprising Louise Randall is determined to succeed in a man's world. Despite numerous setbacks, she always picks herself back up and moves forward again.

Dixie(1943)

1h 29min | Music, Comedy
1.5/5 (with 1 vote)

A young songwriter leaves his Kentucky home to try to make it in New Orleans. Eventually he winds up in New York, where he sells his songs to a music publisher, but refuses to sell his most treasured composition: "Dixie." The film is based on the life of Daniel Decatur Emmett, who wrote the classic song "Dixie.".

Oh, You Beautiful Doll(1949)

1h 33min | Drama, Music

Period musical about a song plugger who vows to turn an opera composer's music into popular hits.

A Scandal in Paris(1946)

3.2/5 (with 7 votes)

A smooth-talking French thief (George Sanders) wangles his way into an important position as prefect of police.

Bonnie Prince Charlie(1948)

2h 16min | History, Drama
2.4/5 (with 1 vote)

The Pretender lands on Scottish shores and attempts to claim the crown.

My Gal Sal(1942)

3.3/5 (with 4 votes)

Biopic chronicling the early life of gay nineties-era songwriter Paul Dresser as he outgrows his job as carnival entertainer and moves up into New York society, writing one hit song after another. Despite his egotistical behavior, he manages to woo and win Sally Elliott, one of the more popular songstresses of the day.

La symphonie fantastique(1942)

1h 35min | Drama
2.6/5 (with 3 votes)

The film is biographical, telling the story of the life and artistic struggles of the French composer Hector Berlioz. Berlioz is shown as a recalcitrant medical student in an anatomy class dreaming of becoming a composer; at a demonstration during a performance at the Paris Opéra conducted by Habeneck; at supper with other young artists (Hugo, Janin, Dumas, Mérimée, Delacroix); and chasing after his future wife Harriet Smithson, after a performance of Hamlet. Also depicted are his life in a garret, while suffering from an illness due to an abscess in the throat; a visit from his mother who curses him; and the composition of the Symphonie fantastique. The film then shows his marital breakdown, the premiere of his opera Benvenuto Cellini, his travels throughout Europe, his second marriage to Marie Recio (called "Marie Martin" in the film), public acceptance in old age and reconciliation with his son.

God Is My Co-Pilot(1945)

1h 30min | Action, Adventure, War
3.8/5 (with 3 votes)

Robert L. Scott has dreamed his whole life of being a fighter pilot, but when war comes he finds himself flying transport planes over The Hump into China. In China, he persuades General Chennault to let him fly with the famed Flying Tigers, the heroic band of airmen who'd been fighting the Japanese long before Pearl Harbor. Scott gets his chance to fight, ultimately engaging in combat with the deadly Japanese pilot known as Tokyo Joe.

The Battle of Stalingrad(1949)

3h 3min | Drama, War, Action, History
2.8/5 (with 2 votes)

Heavy-handed propaganda film made by the Soviet government in 1949.

General Suvorov(1941)

1h 40min | Drama, History
3.2/5 (with 2 votes)

Primarily a biographical documentary about the military career of Alexander Vasilvich Suvorov, who was Field Marshal of the armies of Catherine the Great and Czar Paul I. After many military successes during the reign of Catherine, General Suvorov broke with her successor, Paul I, the Mad Emperor, over questions regarding army policy. He went into retirement and wrote "The Science of Victory," containing maxims such as "Swiftness of movement accompanies victory," and "the real general is he who defeats the enemy before reaching him." The czar recalled Suvorov to become the leader of the joint armies of Russia and Austria against Napoleon.

The Foreman Went to France(1942)

1h 27min | War, Drama
2.8/5 (with 3 votes)

Based on the true story of Melbourne Johns, an aircraft factory foreman sent to France to prevent the Nazis getting hold of some vital equipment.

More About Nostradamus(1941)

11min
2.5/5 (with 1 vote)

This short film portrays Nostradamus as having predicted the horrors of WWI and Hitler's rise to power, as well as the eventual triumph of "the daughter of the English Isles" against these forces.

Directed by David Miller - With John Burton

Johnny Appleseed(1948)

NR
| 19min | Animation
3.0/5 (with 6 votes)

Dennis Day tells the story of Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman), narrated by The Old Settler. He's an apple farmer who sees people going west and thinks he can't join them, until an angel appears to him and sings the virtues of apples, convincing Johnny he has a mission. He sets off without a knife or gun; at first, the animals mistrust him, but when he even treats a skunk kindly, they all take to him.

Directed by Wilfred Jackson

The Fabulous Dorseys(1947)

NR
| 1h 28min | Drama
2.5/5 (with 3 votes)

The story of Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey from their boyhood in Pennsylvania through their rise, their breakup, and their personal reunion.

Admiral Nakhimov(1946)

1h 29min | War, Drama, History
2.5/5 (with 1 vote)

A biography of a famous Russian Admiral Pavel Stepanovich Nakhimov.

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