Best Movies of 1941
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.
The Maltese Falcon
A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a beautiful liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.
Dumbo is a baby elephant born with over-sized 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.
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.
The Little Foxes
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?
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.
Meet John Doe
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.
How Green Was My Valley
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.
Ball of Fire
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.
The Lady Eve
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.
Wealthy, sheltered Lina McLaidlaw is swept off her feet by charming ne'er-do-well Johnnie Aysgarth. Though warned that Johnnie is little more than a fortune hunter, Lina marries him anyway and remains loyal to her irresponsible husband as he plows his way from one disreputable business scheme to another. Gradually Lina comes to the conclusion that Johnnie intends to kill her in order to collect her inheritance. The suspicion seems confirmed when Johnnie's business partner dies under mysterious circumstances.
Given a pardon from jail, Roy Earle gets back into the swing of things as he robs a swanky resort.
The Wolf Man
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.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Happily married for three years, Ann and David Smith live in New York. One morning Ann asks David if he had to do it over again, would he marry her? To her shock, he answers, "No". Later that day, they separately discover that, due to a legal complication, they are not legally married.
The Reluctant Dragon
Humorist Robert Benchley attempts to find Walt Disney to ask him to adapt a short story about a gentle dragon who would rather recite poetry than be ferocious. Along the way, he is given a tour of Walt Disney Studios, and learns about the animation process.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Dr. Jekyll believes good and evil exist in everyone and creates a potion that allows his evil side, Mr. Hyde, to come to the fore. He faces horrible consequences when he lets his dark side run amok.
Circumstance, an old flame and a mother-in-law drive a happily married couple to the verge of divorce and insanity.
The Devil and Miss Jones
The wealthiest man in the world, John P. Merrick, is a private person who likes to stay anonymous. One of his many assets is Neeley's Department Store. There is labor unrest at the store, and the employees' anger is directed at him, 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 in the shoe department.
The Midnight Snack
Jerry takes a midnight snack from the fridge unaware that Tom is watching him.
The Night Before Christmas
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 him and a mad chase ensues.
It Started with Eve
A young man asks a hat check girl to pose as his fiancée in order to make his dying father's last moments happy. However, the old man's health takes a turn for the better and now his son doesn't know how to break the news that he's engaged to someone else, especially since his father is so taken with the impostor.
Shadow of the Thin Man
High society sleuths Nick and Nora Charles run into a variety of shady characters while investigating a race-track murder.
All That Money Can Buy
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.
Tortoise Beats Hare
An upset Bugs challenges the slick Cecil Turtle to a race.
Here Comes Mr. Jordan
Boxer Joe Pendleton, flying to his next fight, crashes...because a Heavenly Messenger, new on the job, snatched Joe's spirit prematurely from his body. Before the matter can be rectified, Joe's body is cremated; so the celestial Mr. Jordan grants him the use of the body of wealthy Bruce Farnsworth, who's just been murdered by his wife. Joe tries to remake Farnsworth's unworthy life in his own clean-cut image, but then falls in love; and what about that murderous wife?
Elmer Fudd expects to find "west and wewaxation" during his visit to Jellostone National Park, but he sets up camp in Bugs' backyard, and the rabbit (and a neighboring bear) definitely don't have leisure in mind.
A Woman's Face
A female blackmailer with a disfiguring facial scar meets a plastic surgeon who offers her the possibility of looking like a normal woman.
The Sea Wolf
Shipwrecked fugitives try to escape a brutal sea captain who's losing his mind.
The Great Lie
Days after Sandra and Pete elope, they discover their consummated union isn't valid since, unbeknownst to them, Sandra's divorce isn't yet final. They decide to not stay together, but, by then, Sandra is pregnant. She doesn't learn that fact until after Pete marries his former fiancee Maggie. Pete, unaware of the baby, flies to South America on business. While there, a flight he is on goes missing and all onboard are presumed dead. Maggie persuades Sandra to let her adopt the baby, so she can raise it as Pete's legitimate child. Months later Pete - alive after all - returns. Sandra and Maggie contend for him and the baby.
Olsen and Johnson, a pair of stage comedians, try to turn their play into a movie and bring together a young couple in love, while breaking the fourth wall every step of the way.
The Mechanical Monsters
Superman battles a criminal mastermind and his robot army.
That Hamilton Woman
The story of courtesan and dance-hall girl Emma Hamilton, including her relationships with Sir William Hamilton and Admiral Horatio Nelson and her rise and fall, set during the Napoleonic Wars.
Come Live with Me
Seeking US citizenship, a Viennese refugee arranges a marriage of convenience with a struggling writer.
Hold That Ghost
Two bumbling service station attendants are left as the sole beneficiaries in a gangster's will. Their trip to claim their fortune is sidetracked when they are stranded in a haunted house along with several other strangers.
Eccentric Cambridge archaeologist Horatio Smith (Howard) takes a group of British and American archaeology students to pre-war Nazi Germany to help in his excavations. His research is supported by the Nazis, since he professes to be looking for evidence of the Aryan origins of German civilisation. However, he has a secret agenda: to free inmates of the concentration camps.
British hunter Thorndike vacationing in Bavaria has Hitler in his gun sight. He is captured, beaten, left for dead, and escapes back to London where he is hounded by German agents and aided by a young woman.
Superman: The Mad Scientist
After The Daily Planet receives a letter from a mad scientist threatening to wreak destruction with his Electrothanasia Ray, Lois Lane heads out in the hopes of getting more information for a news story.
In the early days of World War II, a German U-boat is sunk in Canada's Hudson Bay. Hoping to evade capture, a small band of German soldiers led by commanding officer Lieutenant Hirth attempts to cross the border into the United States, which has not yet entered the war and is officially neutral. Along the way, the German soldiers encounter brave men such as a French-Canadian fur trapper, Johnnie, a leader of a Hutterite farming community, Peter, an author, Philip and a soldier, Andy Brock.
The Art of Skiing
Goofy, staying at the Sugar Bowl resort, demonstrates the basics of downhill skiing, which the titles and announcer insist is pronounced "SHEEing". The equipment is, of course, of the era. As you can imagine, Goofy has much trouble keeping his skis parallel and pointing downhill. The final ski jump conveniently lands Goofy right back in bed.
The Bride Came C.O.D.
A financially-strapped charter pilot hires himself to an oil tycoon to kidnap his madcap daughter and prevent her from marrying a vapid band leader.
I Wake Up Screaming
A young promoter is accused of the murder of Vicky Lynn, a young actress he "discovered" as a waitress while out with ex-actor Robin Ray and gossip columnist Larry Evans.
The Strawberry Blonde
Biff Grimes is desperately in love with Virginia, but his best friend Hugo marries her and manipulates Biff into becoming involved in his somewhat nefarious businesses. Hugo appears to have stolen Biff's dreams, and Biff has to deal with the realisation that having what he wants and wanting what another has can be very different things.
H.M. Pulham, Esq.
A man who lived his life as he was told he should, not as he would have chosen to, is brought out of his shell by a beautiful young woman.
Petty con artists Slicker Smith and Herbie Brown mistakenly join the Army evading the cops. The cop chasing them winds up as their drill instructor. A rich young man and his former working class chauffeur are not only in the same unit, they're vying for a pretty girl who seems attracted to both.
Hold Back the Dawn
Romanian-French gigolo Georges Iscovescu wishes to enter the USA. Stopped in Mexico by the quota system, he decides to marry an American, then desert her and join his old partner Anita, who's done likewise. But after sweeping teacher Emmy Brown off her feet, he finds her so sweet that love and jealousy endanger his plans.
While listening to a recording of Penny Serenade, Julie Gardiner Adams begins reflecting on her past. She recalls her impulsive marriage to newspaper reporter Roger Adams, which begins on a deliriously happy note but turns out to be fraught with tragedy. Other songs remind her of their courtship, their marriage, their desire for a child, and the joys and sorrows they have shared. A flood of memories come back to her as she ponders on their present problems and how they arose.
Donald decides to try cooking along with a radio show.
Early to Bed
Donald has to get up early, but everything seems to be working to keep him awake. His loudly ticking alarm clock resists several attempts to quiet it. Donald ultimately swallows it; the glow-in-the-dark dial can be seen through his feathers. Then his folding bed folds up on him. Springs start popping out of it; Donald builds an elaborate framework to hold it down. Finally, enough of the clock reassembles itself to sound the alarm and night is over.
They Died with Their Boots On
The story follows General George Armstrong Custer's adventures from his West Point days to his death. He defies orders during the Civil War, trains the 7th Cavalry, appeases Chief Crazy Horse and later engages in bloody battle with the Sioux nation.
Never Give a Sucker an Even Break
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.