Best Movies of 1940

1.

The Great Dictator

6.9

Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner, Henry Daniell, Billy Gilbert
Directed by: Charlie Chaplin
Release date: 1940-10-15
2.

Fantasia

6.2

Walt Disney's timeless masterpiece is an extravaganza of sight and sound! See the music come to life, hear the pictures burst into song and experience the excitement that is Fantasia over and over again.

Starring: Deems Taylor, Walt Disney, Julietta Novis, Leopold Stokowski
Directed by: Samuel Armstrong, James Algar, William Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Hamilton Luske, Jim Handley, Ford Beebe, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Norman Ferguson, David Hand, Ben Sharpsteen
Release date: 1940-11-13
3.

Pinocchio

5.9

Lonely toymaker Geppetto has his wishes answered when the Blue Fairy arrives to bring his wooden puppet Pinocchio to life. Before becoming a real boy, however, Pinocchio must prove he's worthy as he sets off on an adventure with his whistling sidekick and conscience, Jiminy Cricket.

Starring: Dickie Jones, Cliff Edwards, Christian Rub, Clarence Nash, Evelyn Venable
Directed by: Hamilton Luske, Ben Sharpsteen
Release date: 1940-02-23
4.

Rebecca

5.8

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
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Release date: 1940-04-12
5.

The Grapes of Wrath

5.7

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
Directed by: John Ford
Release date: 1940-03-15
6.

The Shop Around the Corner

5.7

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.

Starring: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan, Joseph Schildkraut, Sara Haden
Directed by: Ernst Lubitsch
Release date: 1940-01-11
7.

The Philadelphia Story

5.6

Philadelphia heiress Tracy Lord throws out her playboy husband C.K. Dexter Haven shortly after their marriage. Two years later, Tracy is about to marry respectable George Kittredge whilst Dexter has been working for "Spy" magazine. Dexter arrives at the Lord mansion the day before the wedding with journalist Mike Connor and photographer Liz Imbrie, determined to spoil things.

Starring: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey, John Howard
Directed by: George Cukor
Release date: 1940-12-05
8.

His Girl Friday

5.6

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
Directed by: Howard Hawks
Release date: 1940-01-18
9.

Foreign Correspondent

5.3

The European war was only beginning to erupt across national borders. Its titular hero, Johnny Jones, is an American crime reporter dispatched by his New York publisher to put a fresh spin on the drowsy dispatches emanating from overseas, his nose for a good story promptly leading him to the crime of fascism and Nazi Germany's designs on European conquest In attempting to learn more about a seemingly noble peace effort, Jones who walks into the middle of an assassination, uncovers a spy ring, and, not entirely coincidentally, falls in love.

Starring: Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall, George Sanders, Albert Bassermann
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Release date: 1940-08-16
10.

The Thief of Bagdad

4.6

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
Directed by: Ludwig Berger, Michael Powell, Tim Whelan
Release date: 1940-12-25
11.

The Sea Hawk

4.1

Dashing pirate Geoffrey Thorpe (Errol Flynn) plunders Spanish ships for Queen Elizabeth I and falls in love with Dona Maria a beautiful Spanish royal he captures.

Starring: Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains, Donald Crisp, Flora Robson
Directed by: Michael Curtiz
Release date: 1940-07-01
12.

Waterloo Bridge

4.1

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
Directed by: Mervyn LeRoy
Release date: 1940-05-17
13.

Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum

4.1

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
Directed by: Lynn Shores
Release date: 1940-09-06
14.

The Letter

4.0

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
Directed by: William Wyler
Release date: 1940-11-22
15.

All This, and Heaven Too

4.0

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
Directed by: Anatole Litvak
Release date: 1940-07-13
16.

Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise

4.0
{$movie_title}
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
Directed by: Eugene Forde
Release date: 1940-05-02
17.

Remember the Night

3.9

An assistant D.A. takes a shoplifter home with him for Christmas.

Starring: Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson, Willard Robertson
Directed by: Mitchell Leisen
Release date: 1940-01-01
18.

The Mark of Zorro

3.9
{$movie_title}
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.
Starring: Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Basil Rathbone, Gale Sondergaard, Eugene Pallette
Directed by: Rouben Mamoulian
Release date: 1940-11-08
19.

Boom Town

3.9

McMasters and Sand come to oil towns to get rich. Betsey 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.

Starring: Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Claudette Colbert, Hedy Lamarr, Frank Morgan
Directed by: Jack Conway
Release date: 1940-08-30
20.

You Ought to Be in Pictures

3.9
{$movie_title}
Daffy Duck convinces Porky Pig to quit the cartoon biz and try his luck in the features. Porky's adventures begin when he tries to enter the studio.
Starring: Mel Blanc, Leon Schlesinger, Henry Binder, Gerry Chiniquy, Bob Clampett
Directed by: Friz Freleng
Release date: 1940-05-18

Also check Best movies of 1939.

Check out our top containing the Best Movies of 1940. This top was obtained with our unique algorithm ordered by our unique ranking system.

tmdb