Best Mystery Movies of 1940

1.

Rebecca

5.8
8.1/10 IMDB

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, Reginald Denny, Gladys Cooper, Florence Bates, Leo G. Carroll, Leonard Carey ..
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Release date: 1940-03-23
2.

Foreign Correspondent

5.2
7.5/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall, George Sanders, Albert Bassermann, Robert Benchley, Edmund Gwenn, Eduardo Ciannelli, Harry Davenport, Martin Kosleck ..
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Release date: 1940-08-16
3.

The Letter

4.7
7.6/10 IMDB

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, Bruce Lester, Elizabeth Inglis, Cecil Kellaway, Victor Sen Yung, Doris Lloyd ..
Directed by: William Wyler
Release date: 1940-11-21
4.

Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum

4.0
7.3/10 IMDB

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, Marguerite Chapman, Ted Osborne, Michael Visaroff, Hilda Vaughn, Charles Wagenheim ..
Directed by: Lynn Shores
Release date: 1940-09-06
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise
5.

Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise

3.8
7.3/10 IMDB

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, Leo G. Carroll, Robert Lowery, Harlan Briggs, Cora Witherspoon, Kay Linaker ..
Directed by: Eugene Forde
Release date: 1940-05-02
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Charlie Chan in Panama
6.

Charlie Chan in Panama

3.8
7.3/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Sidney Toler, Jean Rogers, Lionel Atwill, Mary Nash, Victor Sen Yung, Kane Richmond, Chris-Pin Martin, Lionel Royce, Helen Ericson, Jack La Rue ..
Directed by: Norman Foster
Release date: 1940-03-01
7.

Murder Over New York

3.6
7.1/10 IMDB

When Charlie's old friend from Scotland Yard is murdered when they attend a police convention in New York, Chan picks up the case he was working on.

Starring: Sidney Toler, Marjorie Weaver, Robert Lowery, Ricardo Cortez, Donald MacBride, Melville Cooper, Joan Valerie, Kane Richmond, Victor Sen Yung, John Sutton ..
Directed by: Harry Lachman
Release date: 1940-12-13
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : The Invisible Man Returns
8.

The Invisible Man Returns

3.3
6.5/10 IMDB

The owner of a coal mining operation, falsely imprisoned for fratricide, takes a drug to make him invisible, despite its side effect: gradual madness.

Starring: Cedric Hardwicke, Vincent Price, Nan Grey, John Sutton, Cecil Kellaway, Alan Napier, Forrester Harvey, Jimmy Aubrey, Billy Bevan, Harry Cording ..
Directed by: Joe May
Release date: 1940-01-12
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : South of Suez
9.

South of Suez

3.1
6.3/10 IMDB

Greedy diamond mine owner Eli Snedeker, resentful that his ex-foreman John Gamble stopped him from taking over kindly, but drunken, mine owner Roger Smythe's mine just as he was about to strike it rich, kills Smythe and blames it on Gamble. Grabbing the diamonds, Gamble flees Africa to England where he changes his name and begins a new life. What he hasn't counted on, though, is meeting and falling in love with Smythe's daughter Katherine, who falls in love with him but can't marry him until she can deal with her hatred of John Gamble, the man she believes killed her father.

Starring: George Brent, Brenda Marshall, George Tobias, James Stephenson, Lee Patrick, Eric Blore, Miles Mander, Cecil Kellaway, Mary Forbes ..
Directed by: Lewis Seiler
Release date: 1940-11-16
10.

The Devil Bat

2.9
5.5/10 IMDB

Dr. Carruthers feels bitter at being betrayed by his employers, Heath and Morton, when they became rich as a result of a product he devised. He gains revenge by electrically enlarging bats and sending them out to kill his employers' family members by instilling in the bats a hatred for a particular perfume he has discovered, which he gets his victims to apply before going outdoors. Johnny Layton, a reporter, finally figures out Carruthers is the killer and, after putting the perfume on himself, douses it on Carruthers in the hopes it will get him to give himself away. One of the two is attacked as the giant bat makes one of its screaming, swooping power dives.

Starring: Bela Lugosi, Suzanne Kaaren, Dave O'Brien, Guy Usher, Yolande Donlan, Donald Kerr, Edmund Mortimer, Gene O'Donnell, Alan Baldwin, John Ellis ..
Directed by: Jean Yarbrough
Release date: 1940-12-13

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