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Movies: Popular Movies of the 1940s (1940-1949)

Movies in chronological context: The 1940s (pronounced "nineteen-forties" and commonly abbreviated as "the 40s") was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1940, and ended on December 31, 1949. Most of World War II took place in the first half of the decade, which had a profound effect on most countries and people in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. The consequences of the war lingered well into the second half of the decade, with a war-weary Europe divided between the jostling spheres of influence of the Western world and the Soviet Union, leading to the beginning of the Cold War. To some degree internal and external tensions in the post-war era were managed by new institutions, including the United Nations, the welfare state, and the Bretton Woods system, facilitating the post–World War II economic expansion, which lasted well into the 1970s. The conditions of the post-war world encouraged decolonization and the emergence of new states and governments, with India, Pakistan, Israel, Vietnam, and others declaring independence, although rarely without bloodshed. The decade also witnessed the early beginnings of new technologies (such as computers, nuclear power, and jet propulsion), often first developed in tandem with the war effort, and later adapted and improved upon in the post-war era. ()

Movies of a single year: 1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1944 | 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949


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13,332 movies found (page 1/445):

Pinocchio(1940)

G
| 1h 28min | Animation, Kids & Family
3.6/5 (with 2,268 votes)

Lonely toymaker Geppetto has his wishes answered when the Blue Fairy arrives to bring his wooden puppet Pinocchio to life. Before becoming a real boy, however, Pinocchio must prove he's worthy as he sets off on an adventure with his whistling sidekick and conscience, Jiminy Cricket.

Bambi(1942)

G
| 1h 5min | Animation, Drama, Kids & Family
3.5/5 (with 2,209 votes)

Bambi's tale unfolds from season to season as the young prince of the forest learns about life, love, and friends.

Citizen Kane(1941)

PG
| 1h 59min | Mystery, Drama
4.0/5 (with 2,028 votes)

Newspaper magnate, Charles Foster Kane is taken from his mother as a boy and made the ward of a rich industrialist. As a result, every well-meaning, tyrannical or self-destructive move he makes for the rest of his life appears in some way to be a reaction to that deeply wounding event.

Dumbo(1941)

G
| 1h 4min | Animation, Kids & Family
3.5/5 (with 1,948 votes)

Dumbo is a baby elephant born with over-sized ears and a supreme lack of confidence. But thanks to his even more diminutive buddy Timothy the Mouse, the pint-sized pachyderm learns to surmount all obstacles.

Casablanca(1942)

1h 42min | Drama, Romance / Love
4.1/5 (with 1,948 votes)

In Casablanca, Morocco in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications.

It's a Wonderful Life(1946)

PG
| 2h 10min | Drama, Kids & Family, Fantasy
4.2/5 (with 1,493 votes)

A holiday favourite for generations... George Bailey has spent his entire life giving to the people of Bedford Falls. All that prevents rich skinflint Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town is George's modest building and loan company. But on Christmas Eve the business's $8,000 is lost and George's troubles begin.

The Great Dictator(1940)

NR
| 2h 5min | Comedy
4.2/5 (with 1,195 votes)

Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

Fantasia(1940)

G
| 2h 4min | Animation, Kids & Family
3.7/5 (with 1,136 votes)

Walt Disney's timeless masterpiece is an extravaganza of sight and sound! See the music come to life, hear the pictures burst into song and experience the excitement that is Fantasia over and over again.

Rope(1948)

1h 21min | Crime, Thriller
4.0/5 (with 938 votes)

Two men attempt to prove they committed the perfect crime by hosting a dinner party after strangling their former classmate to death.

Bicycle Thieves(1948)

1h 29min | Drama
4.2/5 (with 808 votes)

A working man's livelihood is threatened when someone steals his bicycle.

The Third Man(1949)

NR
| 1h 45min | Thriller, Mystery
4.0/5 (with 628 votes)

In postwar Vienna, Austria, Holly Martins, a writer of pulp Westerns, arrives penniless as a guest of his childhood chum Harry Lime, only to learn he has died. Martins develops a conspiracy theory after learning of a "third man" present at the time of Harry's death, running into interference from British officer Major Calloway, and falling head-over-heels for Harry's grief-stricken lover, Anna.

Double Indemnity(1944)

1h 48min | Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
4.1/5 (with 615 votes)

A rich woman and a calculating insurance agent plot to kill her unsuspecting husband after he signs a double indemnity policy. Against a backdrop of distinctly Californian settings, the partners in crime plan the perfect murder to collect the insurance, which pays double if the death is accidental.

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Rebecca(1940)

4.0/5 (with 581 votes)

Story of a young woman who marries a fascinating widower only to find out that she must live in the shadow of his former wife, Rebecca, who died mysteriously several years earlier. The young wife must come to grips with the terrible secret of her handsome, cold husband, Max De Winter. She must also deal with the jealous, obsessed Mrs. Danvers, the housekeeper, who will not accept her as the mistress of the house.

The Maltese Falcon(1941)

NR
| 1h 40min | Mystery, Crime, Thriller
3.9/5 (with 556 votes)

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a beautiful liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

Notorious(1946)

3.9/5 (with 536 votes)

In order to help bring Nazis to justice, U.S. government agent T.R. Devlin recruits Alicia Huberman, the American daughter of a convicted German war criminal, as a spy. As they begin to fall for one another, Alicia is instructed to win the affections of Alexander Sebastian, a Nazi hiding out in Brazil. When Sebastian becomes serious about his relationship with Alicia, the stakes get higher, and Devlin must watch her slip further undercover.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre(1948)

NR
| 2h 6min | Adventure, Drama, Western
4.0/5 (with 382 votes)

Fred C. Dobbs and Bob Curtin, both down on their luck in Tampico, Mexico in 1925, meet up with a grizzled prospector named Howard and decide to join with him in search of gold in the wilds of central Mexico. Through enormous difficulties, they eventually succeed in finding gold, but bandits, the elements, and most especially greed threaten to turn their success into disaster.

The Big Sleep(1946)

NR
| 1h 56min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller
3.9/5 (with 343 votes)

Private Investigator Philip Marlowe is hired by wealthy General Sternwood regarding a matter involving his youngest daughter Carmen. Before the complex case is over, Marlowe sees murder, blackmail, deception, and what might be love.

Shadow of a Doubt(1943)

PG
| 1h 48min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
3.8/5 (with 333 votes)

A bored teen living in Santa Rosa, California, Charlotte "Charlie" Newton, is frustrated because nothing seems to be happening in her life and that of her family. Then, she receives wonderful news: her uncle (for whom she was named), Charlie Oakley, is arriving for a visit. But Uncle Charlie may not be the man he seems to be.

The Grapes of Wrath(1940)

G
| 2h 9min | Drama
3.9/5 (with 320 votes)

Tom Joad returns to his home after a jail sentence to find his family kicked out of their farm due to foreclosure. He catches up with them on his Uncle’s farm, and joins them the next day as they head for California and a new life... Hopefully.

Arsenic and Old Lace(1944)

1h 58min | Comedy, Crime
3.8/5 (with 307 votes)

Mortimer Brewster, a newspaper drama critic, playwright and author known for his diatribes against marriage, suddenly falls in love and gets married; but when he makes a quick trip home to tell his two maiden aunts, he finds out his aunts' hobby - killing lonely old men and burying them in the cellar!

Directed by Frank Capra - With Cary Grant, Josephine Hull, Jean Adair, Raymond Massey, Peter Lorre, Lane Sisters, ...

Spellbound(1945)

3.8/5 (with 297 votes)

When Dr. Anthony Edwardes arrives at a Vermont mental hospital to replace the outgoing hospital director, Dr. Constance Peterson, a psychoanalyst, discovers Edwardes is actually an impostor. The man confesses that the real Dr. Edwardes is dead and fears he may have killed him, but cannot recall anything. Dr. Peterson, however is convinced his impostor is innocent of the man's murder, and joins him on a quest to unravel his amnesia through psychoanalysis.

The Philadelphia Story(1940)

NR
| 1h 53min | Comedy, Romance / Love
3.9/5 (with 287 votes)

When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself.

Rome, Open City(1945)

1h 43min | Drama, History
4.1/5 (with 278 votes)

A realistic portrayal of the underground resistance in Italy in 1945. The film has strong impacting imagery with its mix of fiction and reality that strengthened Italian Neo-realism and the film industry.

His Girl Friday(1940)

3.7/5 (with 278 votes)

Hildy, the journalist former wife of newspaper editor Walter Burns, visits his office to inform him that she's engaged and will be getting remarried the next day. Walter can't let that happen and frames the fiancé, Bruce Baldwin, for one thing after another, to keep him temporarily held in prison, while trying to steer Hildy into returning to her old job as his employee.

Laura(1944)

NR
| 1h 28min | Drama, Mystery
3.9/5 (with 266 votes)

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he's investigating.

Suspicion(1941)

NR
| 1h 39min | Mystery, Romance / Love, Thriller
3.6/5 (with 254 votes)

Wealthy, sheltered Lina McLaidlaw is swept off her feet by charming ne'er-do-well Johnnie Aysgarth. Though warned that Johnnie is little more than a fortune hunter, Lina marries him anyway and remains loyal to her irresponsible husband as he plows his way from one disreputable business scheme to another. Gradually Lina comes to the conclusion that Johnnie intends to kill her in order to collect her inheritance. The suspicion seems confirmed when Johnnie's business partner dies under mysterious circumstances.

The Three Caballeros(1944)

G
| 1h 11min | Animation, Kids & Family, Music
3.2/5 (with 240 votes)

For Donald's birthday he receives a box with three gifts inside. The gifts, a movie projector, a pop-up book, and a pinata, each take Donald on wild adventures through Mexico and South America.

Directed by Norm Ferguson, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney, Bill Roberts, Harold Young - With Aurora Miranda, Carmen Molina, Dora Luz, Nestor Amaral, Almirante, Trío Calaveras, ...

Miracle on 34th Street(1947)

NR
| 1h 36min | Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family
3.7/5 (with 236 votes)

Kris Kringle, seemingly the embodiment of Santa Claus, is asked to portray the jolly old fellow at Macy's following his performance in the Thanksgiving Day parade. His portrayal is so complete that many begin to question if he truly is Santa Claus, while others question his sanity.

To Be or Not to Be(1942)

1h 39min | Comedy, War
4.0/5 (with 217 votes)

During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier's efforts to track down a German spy.

The Best Years of Our Lives(1946)

NR
| 2h 51min | Drama, Romance / Love, War
3.9/5 (with 212 votes)

It's the hope that sustains the spirit of every GI: the dream of the day when he will finally return home. For three WWII veterans, the day has arrived. But for each man, the dream is about to become a nightmare. Captain Fred Derry is returning to a loveless marriage; Sergeant Al Stephenson is a stranger to a family that's grown up without him; and young sailor Homer Parrish is tormented by the loss of his hands. Can these three men find the courage to rebuild their world? Or are the best years of their lives a thing of the past?

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