Best Drama Movies of 1940
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.
The Grapes of Wrath
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.
The Shop Around the Corner
Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand one another, without realising that they are falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal.
His Girl Friday
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.
After a woman shoots a man to death, a damning letter she wrote raises strong suspicions.
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.
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.
Pride and Prejudice
Mr. and Mrs. Bennet have five unmarried daughters, and Mrs. Bennet is especially eager to find suitable husbands for them. When the rich single gentlemen Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy come to live nearby, the Bennets have high hopes. But pride, prejudice and misunderstandings all combine to complicate their relationships and to make happiness difficult.
Remember the Night
When Jack, an assistant District Attorney, takes Lee, a shoplifter caught in the act, home with him for Christmas, the unexpected happens and love blossoms.
The Mortal Storm
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.
They Drive by Night
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.
Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum
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
All This, and Heaven Too
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.
I Love You Again
Boring businessman Larry Wilson recovers from amnesia and discovers he's really a con man...and loves his soon-to-be-ex wife.
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.
Abe Lincoln in Illinois
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.
Night Train to Munich
Czechoslovakia, March 1939, on the eve of World War II. As the German invaders occupy Prague, inventor Axel Bomasch manages to flee and reach England; but those who need to put his knowledge at the service of the Nazi war machine, in order to carry out their evil plans of destruction, will stop at nothing to capture him.
Charlie Chan in Panama
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.
City for Conquest
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?
The House of the Seven Gables
In 1828, the bankrupt Pyncheon family fight over Seven Gables, the ancestral mansion. To obtain the house, Jaffrey Pyncheon obtains his brother Clifford's false conviction for murder. Hepzibah, Clifford's sweet fiancée, patiently waits twenty years for his release, whereupon Clifford and his former cellmate, abolitionist Matthew, have a certain scheme in mind.
Convicts escaping from Devil's Island come under the influence of a strange Christ-like figure.
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.
Edison, the Man
In flashback, fifty years after inventing the light bulb, an 82-year-old Edison tells his story starting at age twenty-two with his arrival in New York. He's on his way with the invention of an early form of the stock market ticker.
Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet
True story of the doctor who considered it was not immoral to search for a drug that would cure syphillis.
Kitty Foyle, a hard-working white-collar girl from a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania low, middle-class family, meets and falls in love with young socialite Wyn Strafford but his family is against her.
The Long Voyage Home
The crew of the merchant ship Glencairn hope to survive a transatlantic crossing during World War II. Adapted from four Eugene O'Neill one-act plays.
Union officer Kerry Bradford escapes from a Confederate prison and races to intercept $5 million in gold destined for Confederate coffers. A Confederate sympathizer and a Mexican bandit, each with their own stake in the loot, stand in his way.
Ellie Mae lives on Primrose Hill with her good-hearted and fancy free mother, her drunken father, her younger sister and a mean-spirited grandmother. The Hill is not a good part of town, however. When she meets and falls for a hard-working man, they marry and she hides her past from him. When he discovers the truth it jeopardizes their marriage.
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.
The Stars Look Down
The Stars Look Down is based on A. J. Cronin's 1935 novel of the same name, about injustices in a mining community in North East England. While the novel follows the development of three young men in the small mining town, the film focuses on just one of them; the smart David Fenwick who gets a scholarship to university, meets a girl who only marries him because her former boyfriend has abandoned her, and eventually returns to the mine town as a teacher and takes part in a futile rescue effort when the mine is flooded, trapping both his father and his younger brother.
Murder Over New York
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.
Stranger on the Third Floor
Newspaper reporter Michael Ward plunges into a nightmare of guilt, fearing that his "evidence" has sentenced the wrong man to death.
When transplanted Texan Bob Seton arrives in Lawrence, Kansas he finds much to like about the place, especially Mary McCloud, daughter of the local banker. Politics is in the air however. It's just prior to the civil war and there is already a sharp division in the Territory as to whether it will remain slave-free. When he gets the opportunity to run for marshal, Seton finds himself running against the respected local schoolteacher, William Cantrell. Not is what it seems however. While acting as the upstanding citizen in public, Cantrell is dangerously ambitious and is prepared to do anything to make his mark, and his fortune, on the Territory. When he loses the race for marshal, he forms a group of raiders who run guns into the territory and rob and terrorize settlers throughout the territory. Eventually donning Confederate uniforms, it is left to Seton and the good citizens of Lawrence to face Cantrell and his raiders in one final clash.
The Return of Frank James
Farmer Frank and his ward hunt brother Jesse's killers, the back-shooting Fords.
It All Came True
After crooked nightclub owner Chips Maguire murders a police informant, he blackmails his piano player to allow him to stay at his eccentric mother's boarding house.
Beautiful chanteuse 'Bijou' (Marlene Dietrich) cascades through Malaysia's ports of call eventually landing in a handsome lieutenant's lap. As Bijou 'drifts through the standards', the fleet's Admiral reckons the US Navy "already has enough destroyers". A Marlene classic with songs by Frederick Hollander and a young and promising John Wayne.
Knute Rockne All American
The story of legendary Notre Dame football player and coach Knute Rockne.
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.)
The Invisible Man Returns
The owner of a coal mining operation, falsely imprisoned for fratricide, takes a drug to make him invisible, despite its side effect: gradual madness.
The ghosts of three elderly industrialists killed in an airplane crash return to Earth to help reunite a young couple whom they initially brought together.
Down Argentine Way
The story—in which an American heiress on holiday in South America falls in love with an Argentine horse breeder against the wishes of their families—takes a backseat to the spectacular location shooting and parade of extravagant musical numbers, which include the larger-than-life Carmen Miranda singing the hit “South American Way” and a showstopping dance routine by the always amazing Nicholas Brothers.
Susan and God
A flighty socialite neglects her family to promote a new religious group.
This film is based on the true story of Pastor Martin Neimuller, who was sent to Dachau concentration camp for criticising the Nazi party. The small German village of Altdorf in the 1930's has to come to terms with Chancellor Hitler and the arrival of a platoon of Stormtroopers (preceded by a flock of sheep). The Stormtrooper go about teaching and enforcing 'The New Order' but Pastor Hall is a kind and gentle man who won't be cowed. Some villagers join the Nazi party avidly, some just go along with things, hoping for a quiet life but Pastor Hall takes his convictions to the pulpit.
Angels Over Broadway
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.
An American reporter smuggling news out of Soviet Moscow is blackmailed into helping a beautiful Communist leave the country.
Change comes slowly to a small New Hampshire town in the early 20th century. We see birth, life and death in this small community.
Young Tom Edison
Inventor Thomas Edison's boyhood is chronicled and shows him as a lad whose early inventions and scientific experiments usually end up causing disastrous results. As a result, the towns folk all think Tom is crazy, and creating a strained relationship between Tom and his father. Tom's only solace is his understanding mother who believes he's headed to do great things.
The Howards of Virginia
Beautiful young Virginian Jane steps down from her proper aristocratic upbringing when she marries down-to-earth surveyor Matt Howard. Matt joins the Colonial forces in their fight for freedom against England. Matt will meet Jane's father in the battlefield.
Five Little Peppers at Home
The second entry in the four "Five Little Peppers" films finds the family struggling to keep their copper mine when their elderly business partner becomes ill.
After Larry Darrent accidentally kills his lover's blackmailing husband, someone else is arrested for the crime. When he is found guilty, Larry and Wanda have just three weeks together before he must give himself up or let an innocent man go to the gallows.