Best Movies of 1939
Gone with the Wind
The spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner is forced to use every means at her disposal to claw her way out of poverty, following Maj. Gen. William Sherman's destructive "March to the Sea,” during the American Civil War.
The Wizard of Oz
Young Dorothy finds herself in a magical world where she makes friends with a lion, a scarecrow and a tin man as they make their way along the yellow brick road to talk with the Wizard and ask for the things they miss most in their lives. The Wicked Witch of the West is the only thing that could stop them.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Naive and idealistic Jefferson Smith, leader of the Boy Rangers, is appointed to the United States Senate by the puppet governor of his state. He soon discovers, upon going to Washington, many shortcomings of the political process as his earnest goal of a national boys' camp leads to a conflict with the state political boss.
A stern Russian woman sent to Paris on official business finds herself attracted to a man who represents everything she is supposed to detest.
A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo, and learn something about each other in the process.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Paris, France, 1482. Frollo, Chief Justice of benevolent King Louis XI, gets infatuated by the beauty of Esmeralda, a gypsy young girl. The hunchback Quasimodo, Frollo's protege and bell-ringer of Notre Dame, lives in peace among the bells in the heights of the immense cathedral until he is involved by the twisted magistrate in his malicious plans to free himself from Esmeralda's alleged spell, which he believes to be the devil's work.
The Roaring Twenties
After World War I, Armistice Lloyd Hart goes back to practice law, former saloon keeper George Hally turns to bootlegging, and out-of-work Eddie Bartlett becomes a cab driver. Eddie builds a fleet of cabs through delivery of bootleg liquor and hires Lloyd as his lawyer. George becomes Eddie's partner and the rackets flourish until love and rivalry interfere.
A happily married woman lets her catty friends talk her into divorce when her husband strays.
Only Angels Have Wings
Geoff Carter is the head of a crumbling air freight service in desperate need of a replacement pilot. He is forced to hire a descredited aviator who arrives with his wife, Carter's ex-lover. Meanwhile, traveler Bonnie Lee tries to get close to the emotionally closed-off Carter.
The Earnshaws are Yorkshire farmers during the early 19th Century. One day, Mr. Earnshaw returns from a trip to the city, bringing with him a ragged little boy called Heathcliff. Earnshaw's son, Hindley, resents the child, but Heathcliff becomes companion and soulmate to Hindley's sister, Catherine. After her parents die, Cathy and Heathcliff grow up wild and free on the moors and despite the continued enmity between Hindley and Heathcliff they're happy -- until Cathy meets Edgar Linton, the son of a wealthy neighbor.
Destry Rides Again
When a tough western town needs taming, the mild-mannered son of a hard-nosed sheriff gets the job.
The Hound of the Baskervilles
On his uncle's death Sir Henry Baskerville returns from Canada to take charge of his ancestral hall on the desolate moors of Devonshire, and finds that Sherlock Holmes is there to investigate the local belief that his uncle was killed by a monster hound that has roamed the moors since 1650, and is likely to strike again at Sir Henry.
British army sergeants Ballantine, Cutter and MacChesney serve in India during the 1880s, along with their native water-bearer, Gunga Din. While completing a dangerous telegraph-repair mission, they unearth evidence of the suppressed Thuggee cult. When Gunga Din tells the sergeants about a secret temple made of gold, the fortune-hunting Cutter is captured by the Thuggees, and it's up to his friends to rescue him.
Son of Frankenstein
One of the sons of Frankenstein finds his father's monster in a coma and revives him, only to find out he is controlled by Ygor who is bent on revenge.
Goodbye, Mr. Chips
A shy British teacher looks back nostalgically at his long career, taking note of the people who touched his life.
Young Mr. Lincoln
In this dramatized account of his early law career in Illinois, Abraham Lincoln is born into a modest log cabin, where he is encouraged by his first love, Ann Rutledge, to pursue law. Following her tragic death, Lincoln establishes a law practice in Springfield, where he meets a young Mary Todd. Lincoln's law skills are put to the test when he takes on the difficult task of defending two brothers who have been accused of murder.
Socialite Judith Traherne lives a lavish but emotionally empty life. Riding horses is one of her few joys, and her stable master is secretly in love with her. Told she has a brain tumor by her doctor, Frederick Steele, Judith becomes distraught. After she decides to have surgery to remove the tumor, Judith realizes she is in love with Dr. Steele, but more troubling medical news may sabotage her new relationship, and her second chance at life.
The Ugly Duckling
An outcast duckling's search for a family to accept him leads to constant rejection before learning his true identity as a swan.
In coastal Cornwall, England, during the early 19th Century, a young woman who's come there to visit her aunt, discovers that she's married an inkeeper who's a member of a gang of criminals who arrange shipwrecking and murder for profit.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Having once again avoided criminal conviction, Professor Moriarity develops a murderous plan to “finish off” his last major nemesis, Sherlock Holmes, by making him fail to prevent the perfect crime. Does it involve a family curse, the crown jewels of England, or something else…
The Flying Deuces
Ollie is in love with a woman. When he discovers that she is already married, he tries to kill himself. Of course, the suicide is avoided and the boys join the Foreign Legion to get away from their troubles. Finally, they are arrested for trying to desert the Legion and to escape the firing squad by stealing a plane.
An unemployed showgirl poses as Hungarian royalty to infiltrate Parisian society.
On Borrowed Time
Young Pud is orphaned and left in the care of his aged grandparents. The boy and his grandfather are inseparable. Gramps is concerned for Pud's future and wary of a scheming relative who seeks custody of the child. One day Mr. Brink, an agent of Death, arrives to take Gramps "to the land where the woodbine twineth." Through a bit of trickery, Gramps confines Mr. Brink, and thus Death, to the branches of a large apple tree, giving Gramps extra time to resolve issues about Pud's future.
Of Mice and Men
An intellectually disabled giant and his level headed guardian find work at a sadistic cowboy's ranch in depression era America.
Another Thin Man
Not even the joys of parenthood can stop married sleuths Nick and Nora Charles from investigating a murder on a Long Island estate.
The Old Maid
The lives of two cousins are complicated by the return of an ex-boyfriend and an illegitimate child.
When linguistics professor Henry Higgins boasts that he can pass off Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle as a princess with only six months' training, Colonel George Pickering takes him up on the bet. Eliza moves into Higgins's home and begins her rigorous training after the professor comes to a financial agreement with her dustman father, Alfred. But the plucky young woman is not the only one undergoing a transformation.
Academy Award winners Gary Cooper and Ray Milland star along with Robert Preston in the epic adventure Beau Geste. When three brothers join the Foreign Legion to escape a troubled past, they find themselves trapped under the command of a sadistic sergeant deep in the scorching Sahara. Now the brothers must fight for their lives as they plot mutiny against tyranny and defend a desert fortress against a brutal enemy. Nominated for 2 Academy Awards, Beau Geste has been universally acclaimed by generations of critics and audiences alike as a true motion picture classic.
Peace on Earth
Two baby squirrels ask grandpa to explain what "men" are when he comes in singing "peace on earth, goodwill to men". Grandpa tells the story of man's last war. This classic animation short was an Academy Award Best Short Subject, Cartoons nominee.
The Four Feathers
A disgraced officer risks his life to help his childhood friends in battle.
French playboy Michel Marnet and American Terry McKay fall in love during the transatlantic passage of a ship. They arrange to reunite six months later, if neither has changed their mind.
Polly Parrish, a clerk at Merlin's Department Store, is mistakenly presumed to be the mother of a foundling. Outraged at Polly's unmotherly conduct, David Merlin becomes determined to keep the single woman and "her" baby together.
A Chump at Oxford
The boys get jobs as a butler and maid (Stan in drag) for a dinner party. When that ends in disaster, they resort to sweeping streets and accidentally capture a bank robber. The thankful bank president sends them to Oxford to get an education. Predictable results ensue.
Each Dawn I Die
A corrupt D.A. with governatorial ambitions is annoyed by an investigative reporter's criticism of his criminal activities and decides to frame the reporter for manslaughter in order to silence him.
The Cat and the Canary
Ten years after the death of millionaire Cyrus Norman, his will is to be read out to his six relatives, including Joyce Norman and Wally Campbell. Organized by Norman's lawyer, Crosby, the six meet at Norman's eerie New Orleans Gothic mansion. During the reading, the superstitious housekeeper declares that someone will be dead by midnight. Wally fears for Joyce when she is declared the sole inheritor, but all are alarmed when Crosby turns up dead.
In Name Only
A wealthy man falls for a widow but is locked into a loveless marriage with a woman who has contrived to convince his parents she is the ideal wife.
The Man in the Iron Mask
Tyrannical King Louis XIV learns that he has an identical twin brother, Philippe, who was raised from birth by his late father's trusted friend D'Artagnan and his faithful musketeers, Porthos, Athos and Aramis. After Philippe falls for the king's betrothed, Spanish Princess Maria Theresa, Louis imprisons him, forcing his brother to don an iron mask that will slowly suffocate him -- and it's up to D'Artagnan to rescue him.
Charlie Chan at Treasure Island
Charlie's investigation of a phony psychic during the 1939 World Exposition on San Francisco's Treasure Island leads him to expose a suicide as murder.
In this epic Western, Wade Hatton, a wagon master turned sheriff, tames a cow town at the end of a railroad line.
The Little Princess
The classic Shirley Temple film in which a little girl goes in search of her father who is reported missing by the military during the Second Boer War.
The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle
In 1911, minor stage comic, Vernon Castle meets the stage-struck Irene Foote. A few misadventures later, they marry and then abandon comedy to attempt a dancing career together. While they're performing in Paris, an agent sees them rehearse and starts them on their brilliant career as the world's foremost ballroom dancers. However, at the height of their fame, World War I begins.
The Hockey Champ
Donald shows his nephews the moves that won him his hockey trophy. But the boys have a few moves of their own.
You Can't Cheat an Honest Man
Fields plays "Larsen E. Whipsnade", the owner of a shady carnival that is constantly on the run from the law. Whipsnade is struggling to keep a step ahead of foreclosure, and clearly not paying his performers, including Bergen and McCarthy, who try to coax money out of him, or in McCarthy's case, steal some outright.
5th Ave Girl
A wealthy man hires a poor girl to play his mistress in order to get more attention from his neglectful family.
One of the last bills signed by President Lincoln authorizes pushing the Union Pacific Railroad across the wilderness to California. But financial opportunist Asa Barrows hopes to profit from obstructing it. Chief troubleshooter Jeff Butler has his hands full fighting Barrows' agent, gambler Sid Campeau; Campeau's partner Dick Allen is Jeff's war buddy and rival suitor for engineer's daughter Molly Monahan. Who will survive the effort to push the railroad through at any cost?
Five Came Back
Twelve people are aboard Coast Air Line's flagship the Silver Queen enroute to South America when the airplane encounters a storm and is blown off course. Crashing into jungles known to be inhabited by head hunters, pilots Bill and Joe race against time to fix the engines and attempt a take off. The situation brings out the best and worst in the stranded dozen as they create a makeshift runway and prepare to escape before the natives attack. But damage to the plane and low fuel reserves means that only 5 people can be carried to safety.
It's a Wonderful World
Detective Guy Johnson's client, Willie Heywood, is framed for murder. While Guy hides him so he can catch the real killer, both of them are nabbed by the police, tried, convicted and sentenced to jail: Guy for a year with Willie to be executed. On the way to jail, Guy comes across a clue and escapes from the police.
After railroad agents forcibly evict the James family from their family farm, Jesse and Frank turn to banditry for revenge.
Drums Along the Mohawk
Albany, New York, 1776. After marrying, Gil and Lana travel north to settle on a small farm in the Mohawk River Valley, but soon their growing prosperity and happiness are threatened by the sinister sound of drums that announce dark times of revolution and war.
Despite his talent as a musician, a city boy decides to become a boxer. He's successful as a fighter -- much to the dismay of his parents. When gangsters try to by a piece of him he begins to have second thoughts.