Best Crime Movies of 1940

1.

The Letter

5.4
7.6/10 IMDB

After a woman shoots a man to death, a damning letter she wrote raises strong suspicions.

Starring: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson, Frieda Inescort, Gale Sondergaard, Bruce Lester, Elizabeth Inglis, Cecil Kellaway, Victor Sen Yung, Doris Lloyd ..
Directed by: William Wyler
Release date: 1940-11-21
2.

They Drive by Night

3.9
7.2/10 IMDB

Joe and Paul Fabrini are Wildcat, or independent, truck drivers who have their own small one-truck business. The Fabrini boys constantly battle distributors, rivals and loan collectors, while trying to make a success of their transport company.

Starring: George Raft, Ann Sheridan, Ida Lupino, Humphrey Bogart, Gale Page, Alan Hale, Roscoe Karns, John Litel, George Tobias, George Lloyd ..
Directed by: Raoul Walsh
Release date: 1940-07-26
3.

Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum

3.9
7.1/10 IMDB

A wax museum run by a demented doctor contains statues of such crime figures as Jack the Ripper and Bluebeard. In addition to making wax statues the doctor performs plastic surgery. It is here that an arch fiend takes refuge. The museum also houses a statue of Charlie. Frustrated number-two son kicks statue in rear; oops, number-two son wrong in his assumption

Starring: Sidney Toler, Victor Sen Yung, C. Henry Gordon, Marc Lawrence, Joan Valerie, Marguerite Chapman, Ted Osborne, Michael Visaroff, Hilda Vaughn, Charles Wagenheim ..
Directed by: Lynn Shores
Release date: 1940-09-06
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Charlie Chan in Panama
4.

Charlie Chan in Panama

3.7
7.1/10 IMDB

Charlie impersonates an employee of the U.S. government to foil an espionage plot which would destroy part of the Panama Canal, trapping a Navy fleet on its way to the Pacific after maneuvers in the Atlantic.

Starring: Sidney Toler, Jean Rogers, Lionel Atwill, Mary Nash, Victor Sen Yung, Kane Richmond, Chris-Pin Martin, Lionel Royce, Helen Ericson, Jack La Rue ..
Directed by: Norman Foster
Release date: 1940-03-01
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise
5.

Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise

3.7
7.1/10 IMDB

On a cruise ship from Honolulu to San Francisco, the famous Chinese detective encounters four more murders while trying to figure out the murder of a Scotland Yard friend.

Starring: Sidney Toler, Marjorie Weaver, Lionel Atwill, Victor Sen Yung, Don Beddoe, Leo G. Carroll, Robert Lowery, Harlan Briggs, Cora Witherspoon, Kay Linaker ..
Directed by: Eugene Forde
Release date: 1940-05-02
6.

City for Conquest

3.7
7.2/10 IMDB

The heartbreaking but hopeful tale of Danny Kenny and Peggy Nash, two sweethearts who meet and struggle through their impoverished lives in New York City. When Peggy, hoping for something better in life for both of them, breaks off her engagement to Danny, he sets out to be a championship boxer, while she becomes a dancer paired with a sleazy partner. Will tragedy reunite the former lovers?

Starring: James Cagney, Ann Sheridan, Frank Craven, Donald Crisp, Frank McHugh, Arthur Kennedy, George Tobias, Jerome Cowan, Elia Kazan, Anthony Quinn ..
Directed by: Jean Negulesco, Anatole Litvak
Release date: 1940-09-21
7.

Brother Orchid

3.6
7.0/10 IMDB

When retired racket boss John Sarto tries to reclaim his place and former friends try to kill him, he finds solace in a monastery and reinvents himself as a pious monk.

Starring: Edward G. Robinson, Ann Sothern, Humphrey Bogart, Donald Crisp, Ralph Bellamy, Allen Jenkins, Charles D. Brown, Cecil Kellaway, Morgan Conway, Richard Lane ..
Directed by: Lloyd Bacon
Release date: 1940-06-07
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Johnny Apollo
8.

Johnny Apollo

3.6
6.9/10 IMDB

Wall Street broker Robert Cain, Sr., is jailed for embezzling. His college graduate son Bob then turns to crime to raise money for his father's release. As assistant to mobster Mickey Dwyer, then falls for Dwyer's girl Lucky. He winds up in the same prison as his father.

Starring: Tyrone Power, Dorothy Lamour, Edward Arnold, Lloyd Nolan, Charley Grapewin, Lionel Atwill, Marc Lawrence, Jonathan Hale, Harry Rosenthal, Russell Hicks ..
Directed by: Henry Hathaway
Release date: 1940-04-19
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Stranger on the Third Floor
9.

Stranger on the Third Floor

3.5
6.8/10 IMDB

Newspaper reporter Michael Ward plunges into a nightmare of guilt, fearing that his "evidence" has sentenced the wrong man to death.

Starring: Peter Lorre, John McGuire, Margaret Tallichet, Charles Waldron, Elisha Cook Jr., Charles Halton, Ethel Griffies, Cliff Clark, Oscar O'Shea, Alec Craig ..
Directed by: Boris Ingster
Release date: 1940-08-16
10.

Murder Over New York

3.5
6.9/10 IMDB

When Charlie's old friend from Scotland Yard is murdered when they attend a police convention in New York, Chan picks up the case he was working on.

Starring: Sidney Toler, Marjorie Weaver, Robert Lowery, Ricardo Cortez, Donald MacBride, Melville Cooper, Joan Valerie, Kane Richmond, Victor Sen Yung, John Sutton ..
Directed by: Harry Lachman
Release date: 1940-12-13
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : It All Came True
11.

It All Came True

3.4
6.6/10 IMDB

After crooked nightclub owner murders a police informant, he blackmails his piano player to allow him to stay at his eccentric mother's boarding house.

Starring: Ann Sheridan, Jeffrey Lynn, Humphrey Bogart, Zasu Pitts, Una O'Connor, Jessie Busley, John Litel, Grant Mitchell, Felix Bressart, Charles Judels ..
Directed by: Lewis Seiler
Release date: 1940-04-06
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Angels Over Broadway
12.

Angels Over Broadway

3.3
6.5/10 IMDB

Small-time businessman Charles Engle is threatened with exposure for embezzling $3,000 for his free-spending wife. Deciding on suicide, he scribbles a note, stuffs it in his pocket and goes for one last night on the town. He is pulled into a poker game by conman Bill O'Brien and singer Nina Barone, but when they discover the dropped note, they resolve to turn the tables, get Engle his $3,000 and save his life.

Starring: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Rita Hayworth, Thomas Mitchell, John Qualen, George Watts, Ralph Theodore, Eddie Foster, Jack Roper, Constance Worth, Harry Antrim ..
Directed by: Ben Hecht, Lee Garmes
Release date: 1940-10-02
13.

Black Friday

3.3
6.3/10 IMDB

University professor George Kingsley is struck by gangsters while crossing the street, leaving him with brain damage and one of the gangsters, Cannon, paralyzed. Kingsley's friend Dr. Sovac attends to both men, and when Cannon offers him a reward for aiding his recovery, Kovac transplants part of Cannon's brain into the dying Kingsley's skull, creating a dual personality.

Starring: Stanley Ridges, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Anne Nagel, Anne Gwynne, Virginia Brissac, Edmund MacDonald, Paul Fix, Murray Alper, Jack Mulhall ..
Directed by: Arthur Lubin
Release date: 1940-02-29
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Before I Hang
14.

Before I Hang

3.3
6.1/10 IMDB

A physician on death row for a mercy killing is allowed to experiment on a serum using a criminals' blood, but secretly tests it on himself. He gets a pardon, but finds out he's become a Jekyll-&-Hyde.

Starring: Boris Karloff, Evelyn Keyes, Bruce Bennett, Don Beddoe, Edward Van Sloan, Ben Taggart, Pedro de Cordoba, Wright Kramer, Bertram Marburgh, Robert Fiske ..
Directed by: Nick Grinde
Release date: 1940-09-17
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Doomed to Die
15.

Doomed to Die

3.0
5.5/10 IMDB

Shipping magnate Cyrus Wentworth, downcast over a disaster to his ocean liner 'Wentworth Castle' (carrying, oddly enough, an illicit shipment of Chinese bonds) is shot in his office at the very moment of kicking out his daughter's fiance Dick Fleming. Of course, Captain Street arrests Dick, but reporter Bobbie Logan, the attractive thorn in Street's side, is so convinced he's wrong that she enlists the help of detective James Lee Wong to find the real killer.

Starring: Boris Karloff, Marjorie Reynolds, Grant Withers, William Stelling, Catherine Craig, Guy Usher, Henry Brandon, Melvin Lang, Wilbur Mack, Kenneth Harlan ..
Directed by: William Nigh
Release date: 1940-08-12
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : The Shadow
16.

The Shadow

3.0
6.7/10 IMDB

The Shadow battles a villain known as The Black Tiger, who has the power to make himself invisible and is trying to take over the world with his death ray.

Starring: Victor Jory, Veda Ann Borg, Roger Moore, Robert Fiske, John Paul Jones, Chuck Hamilton, Edward Peil Sr., Frank LaRue, Philip Ahn, Griff Barnett ..
Directed by: James W. Horne
Release date: 1940-01-05
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Castle on the Hudson
17.

Castle on the Hudson

2.9
6.7/10 IMDB

A hardened crook behind bars comes up against a reform-minded warden.

Starring: John Garfield, Ann Sheridan, Pat O’Brien, Burgess Meredith, Henry O'Neill, Jerome Cowan, Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams, John Litel, Margot Stevenson, Willard Robertson ..
Directed by: Anatole Litvak
Release date: 1940-02-17
18.

The Devil Bat

2.9
5.4/10 IMDB

Dr. Carruthers feels bitter at being betrayed by his employers, Heath and Morton, when they became rich as a result of a product he devised. He gains revenge by electrically enlarging bats and sending them out to kill his employers' family members by instilling in the bats a hatred for a particular perfume he has discovered, which he gets his victims to apply before going outdoors. Johnny Layton, a reporter, finally figures out Carruthers is the killer and, after putting the perfume on himself, douses it on Carruthers in the hopes it will get him to give himself away. One of the two is attacked as the giant bat makes one of its screaming, swooping power dives.

Starring: Bela Lugosi, Suzanne Kaaren, Dave O'Brien, Guy Usher, Yolande Donlan, Donald Kerr, Edmund Mortimer, Gene O'Donnell, Alan Baldwin, John Ellis ..
Directed by: Jean Yarbrough
Release date: 1940-12-13
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Girl in the News
19.

Girl in the News

2.8
6.8/10 IMDB

An elderly lady manages to sneak some pills away from her nurse and dies of an overdose. The nurse is tried for murder and acquitted. Some time later the nurse, under a new name and identity, cares for a patient who also dies of an overdose. When her real identity comes out, suspicions arouses.

Starring: Margaret Lockwood, Barry K. Barnes, Emlyn Williams, Roger Livesey, Basil Radford, Margaretta Scott, Wyndham Goldie, Irene Handl, Mervyn Johns, Betty Jardine ..
Directed by: Carol Reed
Release date: 1940-08-28
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Women Without Names
20.

Women Without Names

2.8
6.6/10 IMDB

Joyce and Fred MacNeil's honeymoon comes to an abrupt and unsatisfying halt when Fred is accused of murder. Railroaded into prison through the efforts of politically ambitious assistant DA Marlin, Fred awaits his doom on Death Row, while Joyce works overtime on the outside to clear her husband's name

Starring: Ellen Drew, Robert Paige, Judith Barrett, John Miljan, Fay Helm, John McGuire, Louise Beavers, James Seay, Esther Dale, Marjorie Main ..
Directed by: Robert Florey
Release date: 1940-03-14
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : San Francisco Docks
21.

San Francisco Docks

2.8
7.2/10 IMDB

Longshoreman Johnny Barnes is in love with Kitty Tracy, barmaid at her father's waterfront saloon, and he beats up Cassidy, a crooked politician who has been annoying her. Cassidy is murdered that night and Johnny is jailed for the crime. Kitty, her father Andy Tracy, and waterfront-priest Father Cameron believe Johnny is innocent but all evidence points to his guilt.

Starring: Burgess Meredith, Irene Hervey, Barry Fitzgerald, Raymond Walburn, Robert Armstrong, Esther Ralston, Edward Gargan, Edward Pawley, Lewis Howard, Don Zelaya ..
Directed by: Arthur Lubin
Release date: 1940-12-25
22.

The Green Archer

2.8
6.5/10 IMDB

Columbia's 12th serial of 57 total (following 1940's "Deadwood Dick" and ahead of 1941's "White Eagle") is another of director's James Horne's "classics" where he evidently figured that the same reactions that served him well in Laurel and Hardy films would work well in action serials where he has all hands, heroes and villains alike, doing some kind of over-the top "take", no matter the situation. This loose adaptation of an Edgar Wallace story finds Michael Bellamy (Kenne Duncan in his Kenneth Duncan period) inheriting Garr Castle, but his brother, Abel Bellamy (James Craven, as usual making Oil-Can Harry look smooth), has him imprisoned unjustly and moves into the castle himself. When Michael's wife, Elaine Bellamy (Dorothy Fay), fails to return after visiting Abel, her sister Valerie Howett (Iris Meredith), accompanied by their father,

Starring: Victor Jory, Iris Meredith, James Craven, Robert Fiske, Dorothy Fay, Forrest Taylor, Jack Ingram, Joseph W. Girard, Kit Guard, Fred Kelsey ..
Directed by: James W. Horne
Release date: 1940-10-25
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : The Lone Wolf Strikes
23.

The Lone Wolf Strikes

2.8
6.5/10 IMDB

Delia Jordan's father is murdered and some very valuable jewelry stolen. She hires The Lone Wolf.

Starring: Warren William, Joan Perry, Eric Blore, Alan Baxter, Astrid Allwyn, Montagu Love, Robert Wilcox, Don Beddoe, Fred Kelsey, Addison Richards ..
Directed by: Sidney Salkow
Release date: 1940-01-26
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : East of the River
24.

East of the River

2.8
6.3/10 IMDB

Two troublesome boys grow into very different men, one becoming a hoodlum and the other embracing college but both are in-love with the same girl.

Starring: John Garfield, Brenda Marshall, Marjorie Rambeau, George Tobias, William Lundigan, Moroni Olsen, Douglas Fowley, Jack La Rue, Paul Guilfoyle, Russell Hicks ..
Directed by: Alfred E. Green
Release date: 1940-11-09
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : I Was an Adventuress
25.

I Was an Adventuress

2.8
6.7/10 IMDB

Posing as the fabulously glamorous Countess Tanya Vronsky, a poor young ballet dancer and her two accomplices are really a team of skilled con artists! They mingle with Europe's high society, always looking for the next wealthy victim to fleece with their fake jewellery scam... Then Tanya meets the dashing young Paul Vernay. At first she wants to rob him. Then she decides she wants to marry him and to leave her criminal past behind her. Her accomplices agree but only if she'll join them in one last, big swindle...

Starring: Vera Zorina, Richard Greene, Erich von Stroheim, Peter Lorre, Sig Ruman, Fritz Feld, Cora Witherspoon, Anthony Kemble-Cooper, Inez Palange, Egon Brecher ..
Directed by: Gregory Ratoff
Release date: 1940-05-10
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : The Case of the Frightened Lady
26.

The Case of the Frightened Lady

2.8
6.3/10 IMDB

A classic British thriller set in a sinister old house, based on a story by Edgar Wallace.

Starring: Marius Goring, Helen Haye, Penelope Dudley-Ward, Felix Aylmer, George Merritt, Ronald Shiner, Patrick Barr, Roy Emerton, George Hayes, John Warwick ..
Directed by: George King
Release date: 1940-09-28
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : The Saint Takes Over
27.

The Saint Takes Over

2.8
6.5/10 IMDB

The Saint Takes Over, released in 1940 by RKO Pictures, was the fifth motion picture featuring the adventures of Simon Templar, a.k.a. "The Saint" the Robin Hood-inspired crimefighter created by Leslie Charteris. This film focuses on the character of Inspector Henry Farnack. When Farnack is framed by a gang he is investigating, it is up to The Saint to clear his name.

Starring: George Sanders, Wendy Barrie, Jonathan Hale, Paul Guilfoyle, Morgan Conway, Robert Emmett Keane, Cy Kendall, James Burke, Robert Middlemass, Roland Drew ..
Directed by: Jack Hively
Release date: 1940-06-07
28.

Money and the Woman

2.7
6.4/10 IMDB

An embezzler's wife begs his boss for forgiveness, only to fall in love with him.

Starring: Jeffrey Lynn, Brenda Marshall, John Litel, Lee Patrick, Henry O'Neill, Roger Pryor, Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams, Henry Kolker, William Gould, Edward Keane ..
Directed by: William K. Howard
Release date: 1940-08-17
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : The Green Hornet
29.

The Green Hornet

2.7
6.5/10 IMDB

A newspaper publisher and his Korean servant fight crime as vigilantes who pose as a notorious masked gangster and his aide.

Starring: Gordon Jones, Wade Boteler, Keye Luke, Anne Nagel, Phillip Trent, Cy Kendall, Stanley Andrews, Selmer Jackson, Joseph Crehan, Walter McGrail ..
Directed by: Ford Beebe, Ray Taylor
Release date: 1940-01-08
30.

The Mad Doctor

2.7
6.4/10 IMDB

A reporter sleuths the mystery behind an oft-married Viennese doctor whose wives met mysterious fates.

Starring: Basil Rathbone, Ellen Drew, Barbara Jo Allen, Ralph Morgan, Martin Kosleck, Kitty Kelly, Hugh O'Connell, Henry Victor, Wanda McKay, James Seay ..
Directed by: Tim Whelan
Release date: 1940-12-20
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Give Us Wings
31.

Give Us Wings

2.7
5.2/10 IMDB

Dead End Kids epic. The boys want desperately to fly, and get mixed up with crooked crop dusters, whose planes are flying deathtraps.

Starring: Billy Halop, Huntz Hall, Gabriel Dell, Bernard Punsly, Bobby Jordan, Wallace Ford, Anne Gwynne, Victor Jory, Shemp Howard, Milburn Stone ..
Directed by: Charles Lamont
Release date: 1940-12-20
32.

Phantom Raiders

2.7
6.1/10 IMDB

In this second Carter mystery, a mysterious rash of cargo ships sinking in Panama leads insurers Llewellyns of London to hire vacationer Nick Carter and his eccentric associate Bartholomew to investigate. Nick recognizes influential nightclub owner Al Taurez as a shady operator, but getting the goods on him depends on slick diversions involving the heavyweight champ of the Pacific Tuna Fleet, a Panamanian bombshell armed with American slang, a young couple in love and a whole raft of crooks and cutthroats.

Starring: Walter Pidgeon, Donald Meek, Joseph Schildkraut, Florence Rice, Nat Pendleton, Cecil Kellaway, John Carroll, Steffi Duna, Dwight Frye, Matthew Boulton ..
Directed by: Jacques Tourneur
Release date: 1940-06-07
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Ellery Queen, Master Detective
33.

Ellery Queen, Master Detective

2.6
6.2/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Ralph Bellamy, Margaret Lindsay, Charley Grapewin, James Burke, Michael Whalen, Marsha Hunt, Fred Niblo, Charles Lane, Ann Shoemaker, Marion Martin ..
Directed by: Kurt Neumann
Release date: 1940-11-30
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Phantom of Chinatown
34.

Phantom of Chinatown

2.6
5.9/10 IMDB

In the middle of a pictorial lecture on his recent expedition to the Mongolian Desert, Dr. John Benton,the famous explorer, drinks from the water bottle on his lecture table, collapses and dies. His last words "Eternal Fire" are the only clue Chinese detective Jimmy Wong and Captain Street of the police department have to work on.

Starring: Keye Luke, Grant Withers, Lotus Long, Charles Miller, Huntley Gordon, Virginia Carpenter, John Dilson, Paul McVey, John Holland, Richard Terry ..
Directed by: Phil Rosen
Release date: 1940-11-18
35.

Mrs Pym of Scotland Yard

2.6
5.3/10 IMDB

An eccentric woman detective investigates the murders of several people who visited the same medium.

Starring: Mary Clare, Nigel Patrick, Irene Handl, Edward Lexy, Janet Johnson, Anthony Ireland, Robert English, Arthur Ridley, Vernon Kelso, Lionel Dymoke ..
Directed by: Fred Elles
Release date: 1940-04-13
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : The Lone Wolf Keeps a Date
36.

The Lone Wolf Keeps a Date

2.6
6.1/10 IMDB

Complicated plot involving missing stamp collection and kidnapped businessman, with the Lone Wolf keeping one step ahead of the police in Havana trying to solve the crime and make a profit.

Starring: Warren William, Frances Robinson, Bruce Bennett, Eric Blore, Thurston Hall, Jed Prouty, Fred Kelsey, Don Beddoe, Lester Matthews, Edward Gargan ..
Directed by: Sidney Salkow
Release date: 1940-11-02
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Girls Under 21
37.

Girls Under 21

2.6
6.2/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Bruce Cabot, Rochelle Hudson, Paul Kelly, Tina Thayer, Roberta Smith, Lois Verner, Beryl Vaughan, Joanne Tree, Debbie Ellis, William Edmunds ..
Directed by: Max Nosseck
Release date: 1940-11-15
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Junior G-Men
38.

Junior G-Men

2.6
6.5/10 IMDB

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

Starring: Billy Halop, Huntz Hall, Kenneth Howell, Phillip Terry, Cy Kendall, Gabriel Dell, Bernard Punsly, Ken Lundy, Ben Taggart, Russell Hicks ..
Directed by: Ford Beebe, John Rawlins
Release date: 1940-11-01
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : The Flying Squad
39.

The Flying Squad

2.6
6.0/10 IMDB

Inspector Bradley of Scotland Yard is on the trail of the murderous ringleader of a smuggling organization in London.

Starring: Sebastian Shaw, Phyllis Brooks, Jack Hawkins, Basil Radford, Kathleen Harrison, Ludwig Stössel, Manning Whiley, Cyril Smith, Henry Oscar, Kynaston Reeves ..
Directed by: Herbert Brenon
Release date: 1940-10-12
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Forgotten Girls
40.

Forgotten Girls

2.6
5.7/10 IMDB

A disillusioned factory worker is charged with the attempted murder of her mother's lover.

Starring: Louise Platt, Donald Woods, Wynne Gibson, Robert Armstrong, Eduardo Ciannelli, Jack La Rue, Barbara Pepper, Charles D. Brown, Sarah Padden, Ann Baldwin ..
Directed by: Phil Rosen
Release date: 1940-03-15
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : The Saint's Double Trouble
41.

The Saint's Double Trouble

2.6
6.0/10 IMDB

Reformed jewel thief Simon Templar lands in hot water when a look-alike smuggles stolen goods out of Egypt.

Starring: George Sanders, Helene Reynolds, Jonathan Hale, Bela Lugosi, Donald MacBride, John F. Hamilton, Thomas W. Ross, Elliott Sullivan, Stanley Blystone, Ralph Dunn ..
Directed by: Jack Hively
Release date: 1940-01-26
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Cafe Hostess
42.

Cafe Hostess

2.6
6.4/10 IMDB

A dancehall girl meets a sailor and they fall in love, but the club’s owner doesn’t want the girl to leave.

Starring: Preston Foster, Ann Dvorak, Douglas Fowley, Wynne Gibson, Arthur Loft, Bruce Bennett, Eddie Acuff, Bradley Page, Dorothy Comingore, Beatrice Blinn ..
Directed by: Sidney Salkow
Release date: 1940-01-11
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : City of Chance
43.

City of Chance

2.6
6.6/10 IMDB

Texas girl goes to New York, becomes a newspaper reporter, and tries to get her gambler boyfriend to come home.

Starring: Lynn Bari, C. Aubrey Smith, Donald Woods, Amanda Duff, June Gale, Richard Lane, Robert Lowery, Alexander D'Arcy, George Douglas, Harry Shannon ..
Directed by: Ricardo Cortez
Release date: 1940-01-13
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : So You Won't Talk?
44.

So You Won't Talk?

2.5
6.4/10 IMDB

A shy book reviewer is confused with a notorious gangster who has just been release from prison.

Starring: Joe E. Brown, Frances Robinson, Vivienne Osborne, Bernard Nedell, Tom Dugan, Dick Wessel, Anthony Warde, Don Beddoe, Charles R. Moore, Helen Troy ..
Directed by: Edward Sedgwick
Release date: 1940-10-02
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Mysterious Doctor Satan
45.

Mysterious Doctor Satan

2.5
7.5/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Eduardo Ciannelli, Robert Wilcox, William Newell, C. Montague Shaw, Ella Neal, Dorothy Herbert, Charles Trowbridge, Jack Mulhall, Edwin Stanley, Walter McGrail ..
Directed by: John English, William Witney
Release date: 1940-12-13
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Girl in 313
46.

Girl in 313

2.5
6.0/10 IMDB

A priceless necklace goes missing at a plush party. Police close in on the jewel thieves but is one cop getting too close to one of the crooks?

Starring: Florence Rice, Kent Taylor, Lionel Atwill, Kay Aldridge, Mary Treen, Jack Carson, Elyse Knox, Joan Valerie, Dorothy Dearing, Dorothy Moore ..
Directed by: Ricardo Cortez
Release date: 1940-05-31
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : You, the People
47.

You, the People

2.5
6.4/10 IMDB

This MGM Crime Does Not Pay series short features a big city crime boss's attempt to use his crime "machine" to fraudulently win reelection for the current corrupt mayor. By using several illegal tactics, and aided by voter apathy, the crime boss nearly continues his control of the city.

Starring: C. Henry Gordon, Byron Shores, Paul Everton, Matt McHugh, Raymond Bailey, William Bailey, Hugh Beaumont, Barbara Bedford, Harry Burns, Naomi Childers ..
Directed by: Roy Rowland
Release date: 1940-11-30
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Jack Pot
48.

Jack Pot

2.5
6.3/10 IMDB

This entry in MGM's "Crime Does Not Pay" series deals with illegal gambling and bookmaking.

Starring: Tom Neal, Ann Morriss, Edwin Maxwell, Jean Rouverol, Hugh Beaumont, Don Barry, Joseph Crehan, Lloyd Corrigan ..
Directed by: Roy Rowland
Release date: 1940-03-09
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Calling Philo Vance
49.

Calling Philo Vance

2.5
5.8/10 IMDB

Philo is in Vienna working for the US Government to see if Archer Coe is selling aircraft designs to foreign powers. He grabs the plans with Archer's signature, but is captured by police before he can escape. Deported he comes back to America and plans to confront Archer, but Archer is found dead in his locked bedroom with a gun in his hand. While it looks like a suicide, Vance knows better and the coroner finds that Archer has been shot, hit with a blunt instrument and stabbed - making suicide unlikely. But Vance is on the case and is looking to see if government secrets have been sold and who has murdered Coe. This is a remake of "The Kennel Murder Case" using aircraft designs and espionage instead of Chinese porcelain and dog shows.

Starring: James Stephenson, Margot Stevenson, Edward Brophy, Sheila Bromley, Henry O'Neill, Ralph Forbes, Terry, Donald Douglas, Martin Kosleck, Jimmy Conlin ..
Directed by: William Clemens
Release date: 1940-02-03
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Framed
50.

Framed

2.5
5.6/10 IMDB

A young newspaper reporter finds himself framed for murder.

Starring: Frank Albertson, Constance Moore, Jerome Cowan, Robert Armstrong, Sidney Blackmer, Judith Allen, Herbert Rawlinson, Vinton Hayworth, Milburn Stone, Barbara Pepper ..
Directed by: Harold D. Schuster
Release date: 1940-02-23

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