Best Drama Movies of 1940

1.

Rebecca

5.8
8.1/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson, Nigel Bruce, Reginald Denny, Gladys Cooper, Florence Bates, Leo G. Carroll, Leonard Carey ..
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Release date: 1940-03-23
2.

The Grapes of Wrath

5.7
8.0/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine, Charley Grapewin, Dorris Bowdon, Russell Simpson, O.Z. Whitehead, John Qualen, Eddie Quillan, Zeffie Tilbury ..
Directed by: John Ford
Release date: 1940-03-15
3.

His Girl Friday

5.5
7.9/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, Gene Lockhart, Helen Mack, Porter Hall, Ernest Truex, Cliff Edwards, Clarence Kolb, Roscoe Karns ..
Directed by: Howard Hawks
Release date: 1940-01-18
4.

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: 1940-11-21
5.

Waterloo Bridge

4.1
7.8/10 IMDB

On the eve of World War II, a British officer revisits Waterloo Bridge and recalls the young man he was at the beginning of World War I and the young ballerina he met just before he left for the front. Myra stayed with him past curfew and is thrown out of the corps de ballet. She survives on the streets of London, falling even lower after she hears her true love has been killed in action. But he wasn't killed. Those terrible years were nothing more than a bad dream is Myra's hope after Roy finds her and takes her to his family's country estate.

Starring: Vivien Leigh, Robert Taylor, Lucile Watson, Virginia Field, Maria Ouspenskaya, C. Aubrey Smith, Janet Shaw, Janet Waldo, Steffi Duna, Virginia Carroll ..
Directed by: Mervyn LeRoy
Release date: 1940-05-17
6.

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
7.

All This, and Heaven Too

4.0
7.5/10 IMDB

When lovely and virtuous governess Henriette Deluzy comes to educate the children of the debonair Duc de Praslin, a royal subject to King Louis-Philippe and the husband of the volatile and obsessive Duchesse de Praslin, she instantly incurs the wrath of her mistress, who is insanely jealous of anyone who comes near her estranged husband. Though she saves the duchess's little son from a near-death illness and warms herself to all the children, she is nevertheless dismissed by the vengeful duchess. Meanwhile, the attraction between the duke and Henriette continues to grow, eventually leading to tragedy.

Starring: Bette Davis, Charles Boyer, Jeffrey Lynn, Barbara O'Neil, Virginia Weidler, Helen Westley, Walter Hampden, Henry Daniell, Harry Davenport, George Coulouris ..
Directed by: Anatole Litvak
Release date: 1940-07-13
8.

The Mortal Storm

4.0
7.8/10 IMDB

The Roth family leads a quiet life in a small village in the German Alps during the early 1930s. When the Nazis come to power, the family is divided and Martin Brietner, a family friend is caught up in the turmoil.

Starring: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Robert Young, Frank Morgan, Robert Stack, Bonita Granville, Irene Rich, William T. Orr, Maria Ouspenskaya, Gene Reynolds ..
Directed by: Frank Borzage
Release date: 1940-06-14
9.

Abe Lincoln in Illinois

3.8
7.3/10 IMDB

Abe Lincoln in Illinois is a 1940 biographical film which tells the story of the life of Abraham Lincoln from his departure from Kentucky until his election as President of the United States.

Starring: Raymond Massey, Gene Lockhart, Ruth Gordon, Mary Howard, Minor Watson, Alan Baxter, Harvey Stephens, Howard Da Silva, Dorothy Tree, Aldrich Bowker ..
Directed by: John Cromwell
Release date: 1940-02-22
Best Drama Movies of 1940 : Charlie Chan in Panama
10.

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

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