Best Crime Movies of 1940

1.

The Letter

4.7
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: 1940-11-22
2.

Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum

3.9
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
4.

Brother Orchid

3.8
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: 1940-06-08
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Charlie Chan in Panama
5.

Charlie Chan in Panama

3.7
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
6.

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
7.

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
8.

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
9.

Black Friday

3.4
6.3/10 IMDB

When his friend Professor Kingsely (Ridges) is at deaths door, brain surgeon Dr. Sovac (Karloff) saves his life by means of an illegal operation that transplants part of injured gangster Red Cannon's brain. Unfortunately, the operation has a disasterous Jeckll and Hyde side effect and under certain conditions the persona of Cannon emerges. Sovac soon learns of the duel personality and of half a million dollars the gangster has hidden away. He attempts to find the money through the manipulation of his friend, an attempt that brings Kingsley closer to madness as he alternates between a meek professor of english and a brutal gangster out for murderous revenge on those who tried to kill him.

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: 1940-04-12
Best Crime Movies of 1940 : Johnny Apollo
10.

Johnny Apollo

3.0
7.0/10 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

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