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 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.

Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum

4.0
7.3/10 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's Murder Cruise
3.

Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise

3.8
7.3/10 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
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Charlie Chan in Panama
4.

Charlie Chan in Panama

3.8
7.3/10 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
5.

They Drive by Night

3.7
7.3/10 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
6.

Murder Over New York

3.6
7.1/10 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 : Stranger on the Third Floor
7.

Stranger on the Third Floor

3.5
6.9/10 IMDB

Newspaper reporter John McGuire 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
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : The Shadow
8.

The Shadow

3.0
7.1/10 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
9.

Castle on the Hudson

3.0
6.8/10 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 Williams, John Litel, Margot Stevenson, Willard Robertson ..
Directed by: Anatole Litvak
Release date: 1940-02-17
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : You're Not So Tough
10.

You're Not So Tough

2.9
6.4/10 IMDB

The Dead End Kids are out of the slums of New York's East Side and running around the sunny valleys of California looking for a way to make a quick buck. The idea of working never enters their minds until Halop is egged on by Grey to show his capabilities. Before long, he and Hall are working on the ranch of Galli, an elderly Italian woman who treats her workers like human beings instead of animals. Galli's son disappeared as an infant, and Halop tries to convince her that he is that long lost son, thus possibly sharing in her wealth. Galli is such a good person that Halop is soon motivated by respect instead of greed, so he devises a plan to help her when truckers and a labor organization band together to keep her crops from making it to market.

Starring: Billy Halop, Huntz Hall, Gabriel Dell, Bernard Punsly, Bobby Jordan, Nan Grey, Rosina Galli, Henry Armetta, Eddy Waller, Harry Hayden ..
Directed by: Joe May
Release date: 1940-07-26

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