Best Movies of 1941

1.

Citizen Kane

6.7

Newspaper magnate, Charles Foster Kane is taken from his mother as a boy and made the ward of a rich industrialist. As a result, every well-meaning, tyrannical or self-destructive move he makes for the rest of his life appears in some way to be a reaction to that deeply wounding event.

Starring: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Ray Collins, George Coulouris
Directed by: Orson Welles
Release date: 1941-04-30
2.

Dumbo

5.8

Dumbo is a baby elephant born with oversized ears and a supreme lack of confidence. But thanks to his even more diminutive buddy -- Timothy the Mouse -- the pint-sized pachyderm learns to surmount all obstacles.

Starring: Sterling Holloway, Herman Bing, John McLeish, Edward Brophy, James Baskett
Directed by: Ben Sharpsteen, Norman Ferguson, Wilfred Jackson, William Roberts, Jack Kinney, Samuel Armstrong
Release date: 1941-10-22
3.

The Maltese Falcon

5.8

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre, Barton MacLane
Directed by: John Huston
Release date: 1941-10-17
4.

Sullivan's Travels

5.7

Successful movie director John L. Sullivan, convinced he won't be able to film his ambitious masterpiece until he has suffered, dons a hobo disguise and sets off on a journey, aiming to "know trouble" first-hand. When all he finds is a train ride back to Hollywood and a beautiful blonde companion, he redoubles his efforts, managing to land himself in more trouble than he bargained for when he loses his memory and ends up a prisoner on a chain gang.

Starring: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick, William Demarest, Franklin Pangborn
Directed by: Preston Sturges
Release date: 1941-11-30
5.

How Green Was My Valley

5.5

At the turn of the century in a Welsh mining village, the Morgans (he stern, she gentle) raise coal-mining sons and hope their youngest will find a better life. Lots of atmosphere, very sentimental view of pre-union miners' lives. The film is based on the 1939 Richard Llewellyn novel of the same name.

Starring: Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Anna Lee, Donald Crisp, Roddy McDowall
Directed by: John Ford
Release date: 1941-10-28
6.

The Lady Eve

5.5

It's no accident when wealthy Charles falls for Jean. Jean is a con artist with her sights set on Charles' fortune. Matters complicate when Jean starts falling for her mark. When Charles suspects Jean is a gold digger, he dumps her. Jean, fixated on revenge and still pining for the millionaire, devises a plan to get back in Charles' life. With love and payback on her mind, she re-introduces herself to Charles, this time as an aristocrat named Lady Eve Sidwich.

Starring: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn, Eugene Pallette, William Demarest
Directed by: Preston Sturges
Release date: 1941-02-25
7.

The Wolf Man

5.2

After his brother's death, Larry Talbot returns home to his father and the family estate. Events soon take a turn for the worse when Larry is bitten by a werewolf.

Starring: Lon Chaney Jr., Evelyn Ankers, Claude Rains, Ralph Bellamy, Maria Ouspenskaya
Directed by: George Waggner
Release date: 1941-12-12
8.

Sergeant York

4.8

Alvin York a hillbilly sharpshooter transforms himself from ruffian to religious pacifist. He is then called to serve his country and despite deep religious and moral objections to fighting becomes one of the most celebrated American heroes of WWI.

Starring: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Joan Leslie, Margaret Wycherly, George Tobias
Directed by: Howard Hawks
Release date: 1941-07-02
9.

Meet John Doe

4.7

As a parting shot, fired reporter Ann Mitchell prints a fake letter from unemployed "John Doe," who threatens suicide in protest of social ills. The paper is forced to rehire Ann and hires John Willoughby to impersonate "Doe." Ann and her bosses cynically milk the story for all it's worth, until the made-up "John Doe" philosophy starts a whole political movement.

Starring: Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper, Edward Arnold, Walter Brennan, Spring Byington
Directed by: Frank Capra
Release date: 1941-03-12
10.

High Sierra

4.6

See Bogie at his best as world weary "Mad Dog Roy Earle" Given a pardon from jail he gets back into the swing of things as he robs a swanky resort.

Starring: Ida Lupino, Humphrey Bogart, Alan Curtis, Arthur Kennedy, Joan Leslie
Directed by: Raoul Walsh
Release date: 1941-01-25
11.

The Little Foxes

4.2

The ruthless, moneyed Hubbard clan lives in, and poisons, their part of the deep South at the turn of the 20th century. Regina Giddons née Hubbard has her daughter under her thumb. Mrs. Giddons is estranged from her husband, who is convalescing in Baltimore and suffers from a terminal illness. But she needs him home, and will manipulate her daughter to help bring him back. She has a sneaky business deal that she's cooking up with her two elder brothers, Oscar and Ben. Oscar has a flighty, unhappy wife and a dishonest worm of a son. Will the daughter have to marry this contemptible cousin? Who will she grow up to be - her mother or her aunt? Or can she escape the fate of both?

Starring: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, Teresa Wright, Richard Carlson, Dan Duryea
Directed by: William Wyler
Release date: 1941-08-20
12.

The Devil and Miss Jones

4.0
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The wealthiest man in the world, John P. Merrick, is a private person who likes to stay anonymous. One of his many assets, so small that he didn't even knew that he owned it, is Neeley's Department Store. There is labor unrest at the store, and the employees' anger is directed at Merrick, who they hang in effigy outside the store despite not knowing what he looks like. Merrick, not happy at what he sees going on, decides to mete out the rabble-rousers. So he goes undercover as a sales clerk, Thomas Higgins, in the shoe department. However, he soon befriends many of the employees and begins to see things from their point of view.
Starring: Jean Arthur, Charles Coburn, Robert Cummings, Edmund Gwenn, Spring Byington
Directed by: Sam Wood
Release date: 1941-04-11
13.

Ball of Fire

4.0

A group of academics have spent years shut up in a house working on the definitive encyclopedia. When one of them discovers that his entry on slang is hopelessly outdated, he ventures into the wide world to learn about the evolving language. Here he meets Sugarpuss O’Shea, a nightclub singer, who’s on top of all the slang—and, it just so happens, needs a place to stay.

Starring: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, S.Z. Sakall, Henry Travers, Oskar Homolka
Directed by: Howard Hawks
Release date: 1941-12-02
14.

The Midnight Snack

4.0
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Jerry's raiding the fridge, carrying off a giant wedge of cheese. Tom's feeling playful, so he piles the cheese high with dishes, builds a set of bread-slice steps, and ends them on a rolling pin. This sends Jerry crashing, of course. Jerry puts the cheese back. Tom dips a paw into a bowl of jelly in the process and decides to raid the fridge; he puts Jerry's tail under an iron. After some snacking, Tom buries Jerry in the cream from a creampuff. But he also tosses the cheese wedge into the china cabinet, bringing Mammy down to scold him. Time for a scapegoat: Tom stuffs Jerry into the fridge, then runs to the next room. When Mammy screams, Tom chases Jerry but this chase ends differently, with Tom trapped in the ironing board. Jerry takes careful aim with a fork, sending Tom into the fridge, where Mammy thrashes him as Jerry munches on the cheese.
Starring: Lillian Randolph, Thea Vidale
Directed by: William Hanna, Joseph Barbera
Release date: 1941-01-01
15.

Come Live with Me

4.0
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Seeking US citizenship, a Viennese refugee arranges a marriage of convenience with a struggling writer.
Starring: James Stewart, Hedy Lamarr, Ian Hunter, Verree Teasdale, Donald Meek
Directed by: Clarence Brown
Release date: 1941-01-31
16.

All That Money Can Buy

4.0
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Farmer Jabez Stone, about to lose his land, agrees to sell his soul to the devil, known as Mr. Scratch, who gives Jabez seven years to enjoy the fruits of his sale before he collects. Over that time, Jabez pays off his debts and helps many neighboring farmers, then becomes an advocate for the upstanding Sen. Daniel Webster. When Jabez's contract with Mr. Scratch concludes, he desperately turns to Webster to represent him in a trial for his soul.
Starring: Edward Arnold, Walter Huston, Jane Darwell, Simone Simon, Gene Lockhart
Directed by: William Dieterle
Release date: 1941-10-17
17.

Love Crazy

3.9

Circumstance, an old flame and a mother-in-law drive a happily married couple to the verge of divorce and insanity.

Starring: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Gail Patrick, Jack Carson, Florence Bates
Directed by: Jack Conway
Release date: 1941-05-23
18.

The Night Before Christmas

3.9
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It's snowy and cold outside, and warm inside where Jerry squeezes past a mousetrap to cavort under a present-laden Christmas tree. Mistaking the sleeping Tom for a plush toy, Jerry wakes the cat and a mad chase ensues. Various toys come to Jerry's rescue as he dashes about. Mistletoe is his final refuge before he must escape to the outdoors just ahead of Tom's claws. Out in the snow, he may become a mouse Popcycle, and unless Christmas peace can descend, Tom may be in for a nasty surprise as well. Can the lads find the spirit of the season?
Directed by: William Hanna, Joseph Barbera
Release date: 1941-12-06
19.

The Sea Wolf

3.9

Shipwrecked fugitives try to escape a brutal sea captain who's losing his mind.

Starring: Edward G. Robinson, Ida Lupino, John Garfield, Alexander Knox, Gene Lockhart
Directed by: Michael Curtiz
Release date: 1941-03-21
20.

Never Give a Sucker an Even Break

3.9

Never Give a Sucker an Even Break is a 1941 film about a man who wants to sell a film story to Esoteric Studios. On the way he gets insulted by little boys, beat up for ogling a woman, and abused by a waitress. W. C. Fields' last starring role in a feature-length film.

Starring: W.C. Fields, Gloria Jean, Leon Errol, Billy Lenhart, Kenneth Brown
Directed by: Edward F. Cline
Release date: 1941-10-10

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