Best Fantasy Movies of 1940


The Thief of Bagdad

7.4/10 IMDB

When Prince Ahmad is blinded and cast out of Bagdad by the nefarious Jaffar, he joins forces with the scrappy thief Abu to win back his royal place, as well as the heart of a beautiful princess.

Starring: Conrad Veidt, Sabu, June Duprez, Rex Ingram, John Justin, Miles Malleson, Morton Selten, Mary Morris, Hay Petrie, Adelaide Hall ..
Directed by: Ludwig Berger, Michael Powell, Tim Whelan
Release date: 1940-12-25
Best Fantasy Movies of 1940 : Beyond Tomorrow

Beyond Tomorrow

6.5/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Harry Carey, C. Aubrey Smith, Charles Winninger, Alex Melesh, Maria Ouspenskaya, Helen Vinson, Rod La Rocque, Richard Carlson, Jean Parker, J. Anthony Hughes ..
Directed by: A. Edward Sutherland
Release date: 1940-05-10

The Mummy's Hand

6.0/10 IMDB

A couple of young, out-of-work archaeologists in Egypt discover evidence of the burial place of the ancient Egyptian princess Ananka. After receiving funding from an eccentric magician and his beautiful daughter, they set out into the desert only to be terrorized by a sinister high priest and the living mummy Kharis who are the guardians of Ananka’s tomb.

Starring: Dick Foran, Peggy Moran, Wallace Ford, George Zucco, Cecil Kellaway, Charles Trowbridge, Tom Tyler, Eduardo Ciannelli, Sig Arno, Leon Belasco ..
Directed by: Christy Cabanne
Release date: 1940-09-20
Best Fantasy Movies of 1940 : The Blue Bird

The Blue Bird

6.2/10 IMDB

An ungrateful girl and her little brother are transported in their dreams by a fairy to a wonderland, tasked with finding the mythical blue bird of happiness, meeting friends and foes along the way.

Starring: Shirley Temple, Spring Byington, Nigel Bruce, Gale Sondergaard, Eddie Collins, Sybil Jason, Jessie Ralph, Helen Ericson, Johnny Russell, Laura Hope Crews ..
Directed by: Walter Lang
Release date: 1940-01-15

One Million B.C.

5.7/10 IMDB

One Million B.C. is a 1940 American fantasy film produced by Hal Roach Studios and released by United Artists. It is also known by the titles Cave Man, Man and His Mate, and Tumak. The film stars Victor Mature as protagonist Tumak, a young cave man who strives to unite the uncivilized Rock Tribe and the peaceful Shell Tribe, Carole Landis as Loana, daughter of the Shell Tribe chief and Tumak's love interest, and Lon Chaney, Jr. as Tumak's stern father and leader of the Rock Tribe.

Starring: Victor Mature, Carole Landis, Lon Chaney Jr., John Hubbard, Mamo Clark, Inez Palange, Edgar Edwards, Nigel De Brulier, Conrad Nagel, Jacqueline Dalya ..
Directed by: Hal Roach, Hal Roach, Jr.
Release date: 1940-04-05
Best Fantasy Movies of 1940 : The Milky Way

The Milky Way

6.6/10 IMDB

The three little kittens have lost their mittens and are sent to bed without dinner. From their room, they see the Milky Way and sail up to it, using a basket and helium balloons, passing through some fanciful astronomical bodies, until they reach a Milky Way filled with every conceivable form of milk.

Starring: Bernice Hansen ..
Directed by: Rudolf Ising
Release date: 1940-06-22
Best Fantasy Movies of 1940 : Drums of Fu Manchu

Drums of Fu Manchu

6.9/10 IMDB

The nefarious Dr. Fu Manchu searches for the keys to the tomb of Genghis Khan, in order to fulfill a prophecy that will enable him to conquer the world. His nemesi, Dr. Nayland Smith and his associates fight to keep the evil doctor from getting his hands on the keys. In 1943 the serial was edited together into a feature movie also called Drums of Fu Manchu.

Starring: Henry Brandon, William Royle, Robert Kellard, Luana Walters, Olaf Hytten, Tom Chatterton, Gloria Franklin, John Merton, George Cleveland, John Dilson ..
Directed by: John English, William Witney
Release date: 1940-03-15
Best Fantasy Movies of 1940 : One for the Book

One for the Book

5.5/10 IMDB

In this entertaining short, famous literary figures step out of the pages of books after dark.

Starring: Betty Hutton, Hal Sherman, Miriam Grahame, Gae Foster Girls ..
Directed by: Roy Mack
Release date: 1940-02-03
Best Fantasy Movies of 1940 : Evolution


7.5/10 IMDB

Test footage for an uncompleted Ray Harryhausen project showcasing dinosaur animation. A glimpse of daily life during the Age of Dinosaurs is revealed. A brontosaurus roams a dangerous remote island searching for food before a vicious tyrannosaurus rex and a triceratops battle to the death during the Cretaceous period.

Directed by: Ray Harryhausen
Release date: 1940-01-01
Best Fantasy Movies of 1940 : Earthbound


5.5/10 IMDB

A murdered man helps his widow bring his killer to justice.

Starring: Warner Baxter, Andrea Leeds, Lynn Bari, Elizabeth Patterson, Charley Grapewin, Henry Wilcoxon, Russell Hicks, Ian Wolfe, Christian Rub, Pedro de Cordoba ..
Directed by: Irving Pichel
Release date: 1940-06-06
Best Fantasy Movies of 1940 : Dreams


6.1/10 IMDB

This entry in MGM's Passing Parade series looks at the meaning of dreams, including one by Abraham Lincoln that foretold his death.

Starring: John Nesbitt, Peter Cushing, Johnny Arthur ..
Directed by: Felix E. Feist
Release date: 1940-11-10
Best Fantasy Movies of 1940 : The Sorcerer's Apprentice

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

0.0/10 IMDB

The Sorcerer's Apprentice is the third and most famous segment in Disney's Fantasia and went on to be the only returning segment in its sequel, Fantasia 2000. Based on the poem of the same name by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the musical piece, it stars Mickey Mouse as the titular apprentice.

Directed by: James Algar
Release date: 1940-10-13
Best Fantasy Movies of 1940 : Seductio Ad Absurdum

Seductio Ad Absurdum

0.0/10 IMDB

A surreal 1940 film by an amateur cineaste Cynthia Childs about a woman's infidelitous evening out on the town. Added score composed and performed by Stephen Horne in 2020.

Starring: Cynthia Childs, John S. Willim, Gordon Heriot ..
Directed by: Cynthia Childs
Release date: 1940-01-01

Danse Macabre

0.0/10 IMDB

The dead and the skeletons, coming out of the ground, indulge in playful dance to the music of Camille Saint-Saëns, and rejoice in the terror that they inspire.

Directed by: Philip Jenner
Release date: 1940-10-01
Best Fantasy Movies of 1940 : Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

0.0/10 IMDB

Live-action shots of the orchestra illuminated in blue and gold, backed by superimposed shadows, fade into abstract patterns. Animated lines, shapes and cloud formations reflect the sound and rhythms of the music.

Release date: 1940-11-13
Best Fantasy Movies of 1940 : The Nutcracker Suite

The Nutcracker Suite

0.0/10 IMDB

Selections from the ballet suite underscore scenes depicting the changing of the seasons from summer to autumn to winter. A variety of dances are presented with fairies, fish, flowers, mushrooms, and leaves, including "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy", "Chinese Dance", "Arabian Dance", "Russian Dance", "Dance of the Flutes" and "Waltz of the Flowers".

Directed by: Samuel Armstrong
Release date: 1940-11-13
Best Fantasy Movies of 1940 : Rite of Spring

Rite of Spring

0.0/10 IMDB

A visual history of the Earth's beginnings is depicted to selected sections of the ballet score. The sequence progresses from the planet's formation to the first living creatures, followed by the reign and extinction of the dinosaurs.

Release date: 1940-11-13
Best Fantasy Movies of 1940 : The Pastoral Symphony

The Pastoral Symphony

0.0/10 IMDB

A mythical Greco-Roman world of colorful centaurs and "centaurettes", cupids, fauns and other figures from classical mythology is portrayed to Beethoven's music. A gathering for a festival to honor Bacchus, the god of wine, is interrupted by Zeus, who creates a storm and directs Vulcan to forge lightning bolts for him to throw at the attendees.

Release date: 1940-11-13
Best Fantasy Movies of 1940 : Dance of the Hours

Dance of the Hours

0.0/10 IMDB

A comic ballet in four sections: Madame Upanova and her ostriches (Morning); Hyacinth Hippo and her servants (Afternoon); Elephanchine and her bubble-blowing elephant troupe (Evening); and Ben Ali Gator and his troop of alligators (Night). The finale finds all of the characters dancing together until their palace collapses.

Directed by: T. Hee, Norman Ferguson
Release date: 1940-11-13

A Christmas Carol

0.0/10 IMDB

Based on the story by Charles Dickens. Filmed in Toledo, Ohio, U.S.A. Preserved by the Oesterreichisches Filmmsuem, Vienna and Temenos Archive, Zurich.

Starring: Gregory J. Markopoulos, Andrew Markopoulos, Elaine Markopoulos ..
Directed by: Gregory J. Markopoulos
Release date: 1940-01-01
Best Fantasy Movies of 1940 : Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria

Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria

0.0/10 IMDB

Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria is the final segment of Fantasia, following the music of the same name by Modest Moussorgsky and Franz Schubert. Deems Taylor introduces it as the conflict between the profane (represented by Night on Bald Mountain) and the sacred (represented by Ave Maria). At Walpurgis Night (the Witches' Sabbath), Chernabog, god of evil, emerges from the peak of Bald Mountain (in reality Mount Triglaf, near Kiev in southern Russia) to summon all of his minions, including ghosts, demons, hags and harpies, who dance furiously as he throws them into the mountain’s fiery pit. Chernabog is driven away by the light of the dawn, and a procession of figures walks up a hill to witness a sunrise. It is perhaps the most famous sequences in Fantasia, if not, second to The Sorcerer's Apprentice. The sequence showcases the animation of Vadimir Tytla and the style of Kay Nielsen, as well as the longest shot ever produced in the multi-plane camera (in the procession).

Directed by: Wilfred Jackson
Release date: 1940-11-13

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