Best Adventure Movies of 1940
The Mark of Zorro
Around 1820 the son of a California nobleman comes home from Spain to find his native land under a villainous dictatorship. On the one hand he plays the useless fop, while on the other he is the masked avenger Zorro.
The Thief of Bagdad
When Prince Ahmad is blinded and cast out of Bagdad by the nefarious Jaffar, he joins forces with the scrappy thief Abu to win back his royal place, as well as the heart of a beautiful princess.
The Sea Hawk
Dashing pirate Geoffrey Thorpe plunders Spanish ships for Queen Elizabeth I and falls in love with Dona Maria, a beautiful Spanish royal he captures.
McMasters and Sand come to oil towns to get rich. Betsy comes West intending to marry Sand but marries McMasters instead. Getting rich and losing it all teaches McMasters and Sand the value of personal ties.
When a neutral Danish merchant ship is forced to put into port after trying to evade British wartime contraband control, its captain becomes involved in a beautiful British Naval Intelligent agent's efforts to capture a group of German spies operating from a London cinema.
Convicts escaping from Devil's Island come under the influence of a strange Christ-like figure.
Based on the Kenneth Roberts novel of the same name, this film tells the story of two friends who join Rogers' Rangers, as the legendary elite force engages the enemy during the French and Indian War. The film focuses on their famous raid at Fort St. Francis and their marches before and after the battle.
A Central American plantation manager and his boss battle over a traveling showgirl.
North West Mounted Police
Texas Ranger Dusty Rivers ("Isn't that a contradiction in terms?", another character asks him) travels to Canada in the 1880s in search of Jacques Corbeau, who is wanted for murder. He wanders into the midst of the Riel Rebellion, in which Métis (people of French and Native heritage) and Natives want a separate nation. Dusty falls for nurse April Logan, who is also loved by Mountie Jim Brett. April's brother is involved with Courbeau's daughter Louvette, which leads to trouble during the battles between the rebels and the Mounties. Through it all Dusty is determined to bring Corbeau back to Texas (and April, too, if he can manage it.)
Four explorers are summoned to Peru by the brilliant physicist Dr Thorkel. They discover a rich source of radium and a half-mad Thorkel who shrinks them down to one-fifth their normal size when they threaten to stop his unorthodox experimentation.
During WWI pretty German master spy Helene von Lorbeer is sent undercover to London to live with the family of a high-placed British official where she is to rendezvous with the butler Valdar, also a spy, and help him transmit secret war plans back to Germany.
The Mummy's Hand
A couple of young, out-of-work archaeologists in Egypt discover evidence of the burial place of the ancient Egyptian princess Ananka. After receiving funding from an eccentric magician and his beautiful daughter, they set out into the desert only to be terrorized by a sinister high priest and the living mummy Kharis who are the guardians of Ananka’s tomb.
The Blue Bird
An ungrateful girl and her little brother are transported in their dreams by a fairy to a wonderland, tasked with finding the mythical blue bird of happiness, meeting friends and foes along the way.
One Million B.C.
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 stars Victor Mature as protagonist Tumak, a young cave man who strives to unite the uncivilized Rock Tribe and the peaceful Shell Tribe, Carole Landis as Loana, daughter of the Shell Tribe chief and Tumak's love interest, and Lon Chaney, Jr. as Tumak's stern father and leader of the Rock Tribe.
A revolutionary leader romances a French aristocrat in Louisiana.
In the American oilfields, a fugitive from justice's destiny is intertwined with the fortunes and the misfortunes of a small oil company that hires him as a roughneck.
Spills for Thrills
Warner Bros. short about stuntmen and stuntwomen and how they do their work, featuring real-life stunt artists Harvey Parry, Mary Wiggins, and Allen Pomeroy.
The Phantom Submarine
On the night before he sails in search of the steamship Arcadia's sunken gold, Paul Sinclair (Bruce Bennett)meets Madeliene Nielson (Anita Louise) in a San Francisco nightclub. On the second day at sea, Madeliene turns up as a stowaway. While diving and searching for the sunken gold, off the Phillipines, Paul discovers that a foreign-country submarine has been laying mines in order to completely cut off the Phillipines from American protection.
I'm Nobody's Sweetheart Now
In this low-budget musical, two sets of politically ambitious parents attempt to pair up their youngsters who unfortunately despise each other and only pretend to like each other to please their parents. On the nights they are to go out, they sneak out with their respective true loves. It all works well until the unwilling couple find themselves falling in love for real. songs include: "I'm Nobody's Sweetheart Now", and "Got Romance".
The Green Hornet Strikes Again!
Second serial featuring The Green Hornet and Kato.
Give Us Wings
Dead End Kids epic. The boys want desperately to fly, and get mixed up with crooked crop dusters, whose planes are flying deathtraps.
Pride of the Bowery
Muggs is tricked into entering a Civilian Conservation Corps camp by Danny in order to get in shape. Muggs resists and battles with the camp captain and with other campers. He also becomes involved in trying to help one of his friends get out of trouble.
A courageous doctor braves a fierce blizzard in the Canadian wilderness to save a remote community from a deadly epidemic. He has come North to visit and ends up stealing a wife from her husband. When the epidemic hits, he and the wife begin their arduous journey.
The Son of Monte Cristo
Rightful owner of the kingdom, the Duchess of Zona, is engaged in a power struggle with the evil General Gurko. Edmond, the son of Monte Cristo, dons many disguises to come to the aid of the Duchess.
Ellery Queen, Master Detective
The mysteriously ill John Braun makes a new will, leaving out his daughter Barbara, over the protests of his wife. The trouble began when the daughter wanted to marry Mr. Braun's doctor, James Rogers. Mrs. Braun asks Inspector Queen to help find the long-missing Barbara. The inspector's son, Ellery, works on the case. He goes to a home frequently visited by Dr. Rogers where the bell is answered by Nikki Porter who Ellery mistakes for Barbara and insists she return to the Braun home. Nikki does, to protect Barbara, and a short time later finds herself alone in a room outside Braun's bedroom. She finds him dead - his throat cut. No weapons are found and the door to the room where Nikki had been is locked, and she is suspected. Ellery hides Nikki in his apartment. Braun's body, sent for an autopsy, disappears and in its place is a life-sized statue of the dead man.
Girls Under 21
Francis Ryan, living high-and-free-wheeling life as the wife of gangster "Smiley" Ryan, spends some time behind bars as a result of her husband's activities, and, when she gets out, realizes she has been a bad example for her kid-sister, Jennie White, and five of her friends. With the aid of her old boyfriend, she manages to divert them from their juvenile-delinquent path leading to disaster for each.
A gang of urban street kids and a club of suburban would-be federal agents, at first rivals, join forces to rescue the father of one of the kids, the inventor of a super-explosive and its remote detonator, from the clutches of a band of foreign subversives call the "Flaming Torch Gang". A 12-episode movie serial with the chapters: •1. Enemies Within •2. The Blast of Doom •3. Human Dynamite •4. Blazing Danger •5. Trapped By Traitors •6. Traitors' Treachery •7. Flaming Death •8. Hurled Through Space •9. The Plunge of Peril •10.The Toll of Treason •11.Descending Doom •12.The Power of Patriotism
The Green Hornet
A newspaper publisher and his Korean servant fight crime as vigilantes who pose as a notorious masked gangster and his aide.
Swiss Family Robinson
A family setting out for a new life across the sea is shipwrecked on a deserted island. The family members collaborate to create a home for themselves in the jungle environment.
Moon Over Burma
The managers of a teak lumber camp in Burma compete for the affections of a beautiful American entertainer who gets stranded in Rangoon.
Mysterious Doctor Satan
A mad scientist named Dr. Satan plots to steal key pieces of technology to enable him to build an army of robots based on his prototype to conquer America. The only one standing in his way is Bob Wayne, who fights Satan as the enigmatic Copperhead. Mysterious Doctor Satan is a 1940 film serial named after its chief villain. Doctor Satan's main opponent is the masked mystery man, "The Copperhead", whose secret identity is Bob Wayne, a man searching for justice and revenge on Satan for the death of his step-father. The serial charts the conflict between the two as Bob Wayne pursues Doctor Satan, while the latter completes his plans for world domination.
South of Pago Pago
Sent by cutthroat pirates to turn Kehane’s head while they loot his island paradise of a fortune in pearls, Ruby instead falls for the young chief. Together, the two save Kehane’s people and their island home from the rapacious picaroons but at the tragic cost of their own future together.
In Old Missouri
The Weavers are share-croppers who confront their landlord with their tale of woe only to find he is in money trouble too. He also has a wastrel son and a socialite wife who wants a divorce. He begs the Weavers to trade places with him and fix things up.
Half a Sinner
Although young and beautiful, schoolteacher Anne Gladden fears a dull future. She finally decides to take a walk on the wild side, splurging on some fashionable new clothes and setting off to find adventure. Her new confidence inspires her to flirt with complete strangers. When a gangster pays unwanted attention to her, she ditches him and flees in his car, unaware that there's a corpse in the trunk. Determined to recover his stolen vehicle and its incriminating cargo the thug begins a desperate search. The oblivious Anne, comes to the aid of a handsome young man stranded alongside the road. Romance blooms, but after the shocking discovery of a body in the trunk, the duo decide they have to return the car. The bickering lovebirds head back to the city, trailed by both the angry gangster and the cops, who suspect the young couple of murder.
The Marines Fly High
Marine lieutenants Dan and Jim fight bandits in the South American jungle, while competing for the attention of beautiful Joan Grant.
Under Your Hat
In pre-Second World War England, a leading film star and his wife attempt to recover a secret carburetor stolen by enemy agents. Based on a popular stage musical starring Hulbert and Courtneidge, a husband-and-wife team who had made a series of successful comedy films during the 1930s.
US-to-Central-America freight service pilot gets engaged to radio broadcaster and promises to take a desk job but the urge for adventure is too strong.
Drums of the Desert
On his way to a post as special adviser of the new parachute troops of the French Foreign Legion in Morocco, Paul Dumont meets the beautiful Helene on the ship. A romance ensues, but the two decide to part when Paul learns that Helene is the fiancée of his best friend and fellow officer Raoul. Raoul is wounded during an Arab attack and the wedding is postponed, and Helene and Paul are thrown together and find it impossible to hide their feelings. The meet in the tent of Hassan, a fortune teller, not knowing the tent is a storage place for arms and ammunition belonging to Addullah, an Arab leader determined to avenge the death of his brother Ben Ali.
Sgt. Renfrew and Constable Kelly go aloft to search for a plane missing with a shipment of gold from the Yukon Mine Company. Inventor Speavy has devised a power ray which disrupts electrical impulses, and Morgan and his gang of crooks has brought in Prof. Lewis to increase the ray's range, telling him he's helping the government develop this new weapon. Speavy spills the beans to Prof. Lewis and his daughter Madeleine,and Morgan threatens to implicate them in his crimes unless they cooperate. Morgan kills Speavy when he tries to warn Renfrew, but when Madeleine stows away on board the doomed plane Renfrew is piloting, will the crooks be able to make Prof. Lewis use the power ray to bring the plane down?
When her father dies, a young girl helps a young man take command of the ship to fight the British during the war of 1812.
The Phantom Robber gets a fortune in jewels and some valuable papers from a robbery on the crack train "The Midnight Limited" and Val Lennon and his pretty assistant, Joan Marshall, are on his trail. But the Phantom strikes three more times and adds murder to his list. Val decides to use himself as bait, although Chief Harrigan and Joan beg him not to risk his life. But Val, disguised as a wealthy Canadian, boards the train for a rendezvous with a killer.
Girls of the Road
A story of the great-depression era about women hobos, tramps, job-seekers, fugitives and runaways running from or toward something as they hitch-hiked their way across the United States, dodging the police, do-gooders, lustful men and pursuing-husbands in a bad mood. One of them is a killer, another is a girl hitch-hiking to her wedding in order to afford a wedding gown, and there is also the Governor's daughter who crusades on their behalf, while hitch-hiking along with them.
Isle Of Destiny
A pretty socialite / pilot runs into gun smugglers when she lands her plane on a Pacific island.
A group of adventurers head deep into South American jungle in search of an ancient Incan treasure.
Men with Steel Faces
Re-edited feature version of serial The Phantom Empire (1935). Singer Gene Autry discovers a race of advanced humans living beneath the earth.
A man's ex-wife is found murdered, and he finds himself to be the prime suspect.
When the plane owned by the "Yukon and Columbia Mail Service" crashes, RCMP Sergeant Renfrew (James Newill) and Constable Kelly (Dave O'Brien) suspect murder. Their suspicions are confirmed when Renfrew finds the control stick has been jammed, forcing the plane to fly in one direction until the gas ran out. Mine owner Louise Howard (Louise Stanley) reports that her superintendent is missing. The Mounties find him murdered and that too has been made to look like an accident. A new mail service pilot, Bill Shipley (Warren Hull), arrives. He had gone to training school with Renfrew but had been cashiered for misconduct. The Mounties discover that Raymond (Karl Hackett), who had been working for Louise, really owns the flying line managed by Yuke Cardoe (William Pawley.) They find proof that all the gold from the mine isn't being turned over to Louise, and suspect that Raymond and Yuke are stealing the gold and shipping it to Seattle by plane.
King of the Royal Mounted
The Canadians have discovered a valuable substance called Compound X, which can cure infantile paralysis. When a country at war with Canada learns that Compound X also contains magnetic properties that could aid them in their warfare against the British, they send agents to infiltrate Canada and steal a large quantity of the substance. It's up to Sgt. King (Allan Lane) and his Mounties to track down the agents and put an end to their scheme.
A hermit's idyllic life on an island is disturbed by the arrival of a bunch of cutthroats.
I Married Adventure
A 1940 Columbia Picture feature film, "I Married Adventure" stars Osa Johnson and closely follows her 1940 best-selling book of the same name. Osa portrays herself in studio-produced scenes which bridge the transition between actual documentary footage segments as the film recounts the Johnson's nine world expeditions to Africa, Borneo, and the South Seas. Jim Bannon, a Hollywod stuntman who lent his voice to many western's including Red Ryder, Don Clark, and Albert Duffy narrate this adventure classic that compiles the very best images from the Johnsons' original feature films.