Best Movies of 1940
The Great Dictator
Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Philadelphia Story
When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself.
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.
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 suspicions.
My Favorite Wife
Seven years after a shipwreck in which she was presumed dead, Ellen Arden arrives home to find that her husband Nick has just remarried. The overjoyed Nick struggles to break the news to his new bride. But he gets a shock when he hears the whole story: Ellen spent those seven years alone on a desert island with another man.
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.
The Thief of Bagdad
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.
The European war was only beginning to erupt across national borders. Johnny Jones, an American crime reporter dispatched by his New York publisher to put a fresh spin on the drowsy dispatches emanating from overseas, has a nose for a good story—which promptly leads 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 walks into the middle of an assassination, uncovers a spy ring and—not entirely coincidentally—falls in love.
The Sea Hawk
Dashing pirate Geoffrey Thorpe plunders Spanish ships for Queen Elizabeth I and falls in love with Dona Maria, a beautiful Spanish royal he captures.
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.
The Return of Frank James
Farmer Frank and his ward hunt brother Jesse's killers, the back-shooting Fords.
You Ought to Be in Pictures
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.
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.
A Plumbing We Will Go
To escape the police, the stooges pose as plumbers and are hired to fix a leak in a fancy mansion. They wind up crossing the electrical system with the plumbing and generally ruin the place. One memorable scene has the lady of the house tuning into a television broadcast from Niagara Falls as a torrent of water pours from the set. To escape the wrath of the homeowners the stooges escape through a magicians trap door.
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.
A Wild Hare
While hunting rabbits, Elmer Fudd comes across Bugs Bunny who tricks and harasses the hunter.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Puss Gets the Boot
Jasper is given an ultimatum by his master: break one more thing and you're out. Rodent Jerry does his best to make sure that his tormentor "gets the boot".
The Great McGinty
Told in flashback, Depression-era bum Dan McGinty is recruited by the city's political machine to help with vote fraud. His great aptitude for this brings rapid promotion from "the boss," who finally decides he'd be ideal as a new, nominally "reform" mayor; but this candidacy requires marriage. His in-name-only marriage to honest Catherine proves the beginning of the end for dishonest Dan...
Twenty years removed from Alice Barlow's murder by a thief looking for her jewels, newlyweds Paul and Bella Mallen move into the very house where the crime was committed. Retired detective B.G. Rough, who worked on the Barlow case, is still in the area and grows suspicious of Paul, who he feels bears a striking resemblance to one of Barlow's relatives. Rough must find the truth before the killer can strike again and reclaim his bounty.
Christmas in July
An office clerk loves entering contests in the hopes of someday winning a fortune and marrying the girl he loves. His latest attempt is the Maxford House Coffee Slogan Contest. As a joke, some of his co-workers put together a fake telegram which says that he won the $25,000 grand prize.
Drifter Cole Harden is accused of stealing a horse and faces hanging by self-appointed Judge Roy Bean, but Harden manages to talk his way out of it by claiming to be a friend of stage star Lillie Langtry, with whom the judge is obsessed, even though he has never met her. Tensions rise when Harden comes to the defense of a group of struggling homesteaders who Judge Bean is trying to drive away.
An American goes to Germany to find his mother and discovers her in a concentration camp. With the help of an American-born widowed countess he seeks to engineer her escape.
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.
Gabby is constable in the village, and the mayor is on his case to catch pig thieves.
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.
Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise
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.
Broadway Melody of 1940
Johnny Brett and King Shaw are an unsuccessful dance team in New York. A producer discovers Brett as the new partner for Clare Bennett, but Brett, who thinks he is one of the people they lent money to, gives him the name of his partner.
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.
Saps at Sea
Stan and Ollie work in a horn factory. Ollie starts having violent fits every time he hears a horn. His doctor prescribes a restful sea voyage. Mayhem ensues.
When a neutral Danish merchant ship is forced to put into port after trying to evade British wartime contraband control, its captain becomes involved in a beautiful British Naval Intelligent agent's efforts to capture a group of German spies operating from a London cinema.
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.
The Ghost Breakers
After intrepid working girl Mary Carter becomes the new owner of a reputedly haunted mansion located on Black Island near the Cuban coast, a stranger phones warning her to stay away from the castle. Undaunted, Mary sets sail for Cuba with a stowaway in her trunk—wise-cracking Larry Lawrence, a radio announcer who helps Mary get to the bottom of the voodoo magic, zombies and ghosts that supposedly curse the spooky estate.
Mr. Duck Steps Out
Donald visits the house of his new love interest for their first known date. At first Daisy acts shy and has her back turned to her visitor. But Donald soon notices her tailfeathers taking the form of a hand and signaling for him to come closer. But their time alone is soon interrupted by Huey, Dewey and Louie who have followed their uncle and clearly compete with him for the attention of Daisy. Uncle and nephews take turns dancing the jitterbug with her while trying to get rid of each other. In their final effort the three younger Ducks feed their uncle maize in the process of becoming popcorn. The process is completed within Donald himself who continues to move wildly around the house while maintaining the appearance of dancing. The short ends with an impressed Daisy showering her new lover with kisses
Wall Street broker Robert Cain, Sr., is jailed for embezzling. His college graduate son Bob then turns to crime to raise money for his father's release. As assistant to mobster Mickey Dwyer, then falls for Dwyer's girl Lucky. He winds up in the same prison as his father.