Best Movies of 1944

1.

Double Indemnity

6.0

A rich woman and a calculating insurance agent plot to kill her unsuspecting husband after he signs a double indemnity policy. Against a backdrop of distinctly Californian settings, the partners in crime plan the perfect murder to collect the insurance, which pays double if the death is accidental.

Starring: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Porter Hall, Richard Gaines
Directed by: Billy Wilder
Release date: 1944-04-24
2.

Laura

5.8

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he's investigating.

Starring: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, Judith Anderson
Directed by: Otto Preminger
Release date: 1944-10-11
3.

To Have and Have Not

5.7

A Martinique charter boat skipper gets mixed up with the underground French resistance operatives during WWII.

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan, Lauren Bacall, Dolores Moran, Hoagy Carmichael
Directed by: Howard Hawks
Release date: 1944-10-11
4.

Arsenic and Old Lace

5.6

Mortimer Brewster, a newspaper drama critic, playwright and author known for his diatribes against marriage, suddenly falls in love and gets married; but when he makes a quick trip home to tell his two maiden aunts, he finds out his aunts' hobby - killing lonely old men and burying them in the cellar!

Starring: Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey, Jack Carson, Edward Everett Horton
Directed by: Frank Capra
Release date: 1944-09-23
5.

Gaslight

5.4

In the late 19th century, Paula Alquist is studying music in Italy, but ends up abandoning her classes because she's fallen in love with the gallant Gregory Anton. The couple marries and moves to England to live in a home inherited by Paula from her aunt, herself a famous singer, who was mysteriously murdered in the house ten years before. Though Paula is certain that she sees the house's gaslights dim every evening and that there are strange noises coming from the attic, Gregory convinces Paula that she's imagining things. Meanwhile, a Scotland Yard inspector, Brian Cameron, becomes sympathetic to Paula's plight.

Starring: Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten, Dame May Whitty, Angela Lansbury
Directed by: George Cukor
Release date: 1944-05-04
6.

Lifeboat

5.4

During World War II, a small group of survivors is stranded in a lifeboat together after the ship they were traveling on is destroyed by a German U-boat.

Starring: Tallulah Bankhead, William Bendix, Walter Slezak, Mary Anderson, John Hodiak
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Release date: 1944-01-11
7.

Meet Me in St. Louis

5.3

In the year before the 1904 St Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York.

Starring: Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor, Lucille Bremer, Leon Ames
Directed by: Vincente Minnelli
Release date: 1944-11-23
8.

The Woman in the Window

4.8

A seductive woman gets an innocent professor mixed up in murder.

Starring: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Raymond Massey, Edmund Breon, Dan Duryea
Directed by: Fritz Lang
Release date: 1944-11-03
9.

Murder, My Sweet

4.6

Gumshoe Philip Marlowe is hired by the oafish Moose Malloy to track down his former girlfriend. He's also hired to accompany an effeminate playboy buy back some jewels. When the exchange results in the playboy's murder, Marlowe can't leave the case alone, and soon discovers it's related to Malloy's. As he gets drawn deeper into a complex web of intrigue by a mysterious blonde, the detective finds his own life in increasing jeopardy.

Starring: Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley, Mike Mazurki, Miles Mander
Directed by: Edward Dmytryk
Release date: 1944-12-09
10.

The Three Caballeros

4.6

For Donald's birthday he receives a box with three gifts inside. The gifts, a movie projector, a pop-up book, and a pinata, each take Donald on wild adventures through Mexico and South America.

Starring: Sterling Holloway, Clarence Nash, Joaquin Garay, José Oliveira, Aurora Miranda
Directed by: Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney, William Roberts, Harold Young, Norman Ferguson
Release date: 1944-07-21
11.

At Land

4.0
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A woman lies on the sand, left there by the tides and waves (and in a pose that would be copied in From Here to Eternity). She reaches up across tree roots and makes a difficult climb. Only to discover herself climbing horizontally along a long dinner table as bourgeoise black-tie guests chat and drink and smoke, oblivious to her. At the top of the table, a man is playing chess but abandons the game. Fascinated, she gazes at board, the pieces moving unaided. The woman chases a pawn as it falls to the floor. Falls down a waterfall. Is lost.
Starring: Maya Deren, John Cage, Parker Tyler, Alexander Hammid, Hella Heyman
Directed by: Maya Deren
Release date: 1944-01-01
12.

Hail the Conquering Hero

4.0
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Having been discharged from the Marines for a hayfever condition before ever seeing action, Woodrow Lafayette Pershing Truesmith (Eddie Bracken) delays the return to his hometown, feeling that he is a failure. While in a moment of melancholy, he meets up with a group of Marines who befriend him and encourage him to return home to his mother by fabricating a story that he was wounded in battle with honorable discharge.
Starring: Eddie Bracken, Ella Raines, Raymond Walburn, William Demarest, Franklin Pangborn
Directed by: Preston Sturges
Release date: 1944-08-09
13.

Mouse Trouble

3.9
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Tom's new book on "how to catch a mouse" doesn't prove too helpful against Jerry; actually, Jerry seems to make better use of it than Tom.
Directed by: William Hanna, Joseph Barbera
Release date: 1944-11-23
14.

Going My Way

3.9

Youthful Father Chuck O'Malley led a colorful life of sports, song, and romance before joining the Roman Catholic clergy. After being appointed to a run-down New York parish, O'Malley's worldly knowledge helps him connect with a gang of boys looking for direction, eventually winning over the aging, conventional Parish priest.

Starring: Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, Frank McHugh, James Brown, Gene Lockhart
Directed by: Leo McCarey
Release date: 1944-05-15
15.

The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek

3.9

A small-town girl with a soft spot for American soldiers wakes up the morning after a wild farewell party for the troops to find that she married someone she can't remember.

Starring: Eddie Bracken, Betty Hutton, Diana Lynn, William Demarest, Porter Hall
Directed by: Preston Sturges
Release date: 1944-01-19
16.

Mr. Skeffington

3.9

A popular and beautiful woman is forced into a loveless marriage with an older man to save her brother from an embezzlement charge.

Starring: Bette Davis, Claude Rains, Walter Abel, George Coulouris, Richard Waring
Directed by: Vincent Sherman
Release date: 1944-05-25
17.

A Guy Named Joe

3.9

Pete Sandidge, a daredevil bomber pilot, dies when he crashes his plane into a German aircraft carrier, leaving his devoted girlfriend, Dorinda, who is also a pilot, heartbroken. In heaven, Pete receives a new assignment: He is to become the guardian angel for Ted Randall, a young Army flyer. Invisibly, Pete guides Ted through flight school and into combat, but the ghostly mentor’s tolerance is tested when Ted falls for Dorinda. Ultimately however, Pete not only comes to terms with their relationship, but also acts as Dorinda’s copilot when she undertakes a dangerous bombing raid so that Ted won’t have to.

Starring: Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunne, Van Johnson, Ward Bond, James Gleason
Directed by: Victor Fleming
Release date: 1944-03-01
18.

National Velvet

3.9

Mi Taylor was a young wanderer and opportunist whose father had given him "all the roads in the Kingdom" to travel. One of the roads, and a notation in his father's journal, leads him to the quiet English country-side home of the Brown family. The youngest daughter, Velvet, has a passion for horses and when she wins the spirited steed Pie in a town lottery, Mi is encouraged to train the horse...

Starring: Mickey Rooney, Donald Crisp, Elizabeth Taylor, Anne Revere, Angela Lansbury
Directed by: Clarence Brown
Release date: 1944-12-21
19.

The Spider Woman

3.8

Sherlock Holmes investigates a series of so-called "pajama suicides". He knows the female villain behind them is as cunning as Moriarty and as venomous as a spider.Based on "The Sign of Four" and the short stories "The Dying Detective", "The Final Problem", "The Speckled Band" and "The Adventure of the Devil's Foot".

Starring: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Gale Sondergaard, Dennis Hoey, Vernon Downing
Directed by: Roy William Neill
Release date: 1944-01-21
20.

The Scarlet Claw

3.8

A woman is found dead -- with her throat torn out. Villagers blame a supernatural source but Holmes has other ideas.

Starring: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Gerald Hamer, Paul Cavanagh, Arthur Hohl
Directed by: Roy William Neill
Release date: 1944-05-26

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