Best Mystery Movies of 1940



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

The Letter

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

Foreign Correspondent

7.4/10 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

Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum

7.0/10 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 : Gaslight


7.3/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Adolf Wohlbrück, Diana Wynyard, Frank Pettingell, Cathleen Cordell, Robert Newton, Jimmy Hanley, Minnie Rayner, Marie Wright, Aubrey Dexter, Mary Hinton ..
Directed by: Thorold Dickinson
Release date: 1940-06-25
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Charlie Chan in Panama

Charlie Chan in Panama

7.1/10 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
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise

Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise

7.1/10 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

The Ghost Breakers

7.1/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, Richard Carlson, Paul Lukas, Willie Best, Pedro de Cordoba, Virginia Brissac, Noble Johnson, Anthony Quinn, Tom Dugan ..
Directed by: George Marshall
Release date: 1940-06-21
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Stranger on the Third Floor

Stranger on the Third Floor

6.8/10 IMDB

Newspaper reporter Michael Ward plunges into a nightmare of guilt, fearing that his "evidence" has sentenced the wrong man to death.

Starring: Peter Lorre, John McGuire, Margaret Tallichet, Charles Waldron, Elisha Cook Jr., Charles Halton, Ethel Griffies, Cliff Clark, Oscar O'Shea, Alec Craig ..
Directed by: Boris Ingster
Release date: 1940-08-16

Murder Over New York

6.9/10 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

The Invisible Man Returns

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

South of Suez

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
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : The Fatal Hour

The Fatal Hour

5.4/10 IMDB

When a police officer is murdered, Captain Street looks to Mr. Wong to catch the killer. Prime Suspect: Frank Belden Jr., whose father is a businessman well known for both his success and dishonesty. Mr. Wong faces increasing danger and is nearly executed himself as the investigation develops in treachery and complexity. As Mr. Wong follows the trail of dead bodies, he uncovers a jewel smuggling ring on the San Francisco waterfront and a case much larger than the death of a police officer.

Starring: Boris Karloff, Marjorie Reynolds, Grant Withers, Charles Trowbridge, Frank Puglia, Craig Reynolds, Lita Chevret, Harry Strang, Hooper Atchley, Jason Robards Sr. ..
Directed by: William Nigh
Release date: 1940-01-15
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Doomed to Die

Doomed to Die

5.5/10 IMDB

Shipping magnate Cyrus Wentworth, downcast over a disaster to his ocean liner 'Wentworth Castle' (carrying, oddly enough, an illicit shipment of Chinese bonds) is shot in his office at the very moment of kicking out his daughter's fiance Dick Fleming. Of course, Captain Street arrests Dick, but reporter Bobbie Logan, the attractive thorn in Street's side, is so convinced he's wrong that she enlists the help of detective James Lee Wong to find the real killer.

Starring: Boris Karloff, Marjorie Reynolds, Grant Withers, William Stelling, Catherine Craig, Guy Usher, Henry Brandon, Melvin Lang, Wilbur Mack, Kenneth Harlan ..
Directed by: William Nigh
Release date: 1940-08-12
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Ten Days in Paris

Ten Days in Paris

6.4/10 IMDB

Bob Stevens awakens in a hospital with a gunshot wound to his head, and is told that he has been in Paris for ten days. However, this cannot be true because he insists that he crashed his plane and has no recollection of being anywhere for ten days. Bob decides to follow a note found in his jacket, to the woman who wrote it, "Miss D", and get to the bottom of the whole strange situation.

Starring: Rex Harrison, Kaaren Verne, C. V. France, Leo Genn, Joan Marion, Anthony Holles, John Abbott, Robert Rendel, Mavis Clair, André Morell ..
Directed by: Tim Whelan
Release date: 1940-06-01

Michael Shayne: Private Detective

6.6/10 IMDB

Millionaire sportsman Hiram Brighton hires gumshoe Michael Shayne to keep his spoiled daughter Phyllis away from racetrack betting windows and roulette wheels. After Phyllis slips away and continues her compulsive gambling, Shayne fakes the murder of her gambler boyfriend, who is also romancing the daughter of casino owner Benny Gordon, in order to frighten her. When the tout really ends up murdered, Shayne and Phyllis' Aunt Olivia, an avid reader of murder mysteries, both try to find the identity of the killer.

Starring: Lloyd Nolan, Marjorie Weaver, Joan Valerie, Walter Abel, Elizabeth Patterson, Donald MacBride, Douglass Dumbrille, Clarence Kolb, George Meeker, Charles Coleman ..
Directed by: Eugene Forde
Release date: 1940-12-19

The Devil Bat

5.4/10 IMDB

Dr. Paul 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

The Green Archer

6.5/10 IMDB

Columbia's 12th serial of 57 total (following 1940's "Deadwood Dick" and ahead of 1941's "White Eagle") is another of director's James Horne's "classics" where he evidently figured that the same reactions that served him well in Laurel and Hardy films would work well in action serials where he has all hands, heroes and villains alike, doing some kind of over-the top "take", no matter the situation. This loose adaptation of an Edgar Wallace story finds Michael Bellamy (Kenne Duncan in his Kenneth Duncan period) inheriting Garr Castle, but his brother, Abel Bellamy (James Craven, as usual making Oil-Can Harry look smooth), has him imprisoned unjustly and moves into the castle himself. When Michael's wife, Elaine Bellamy (Dorothy Fay), fails to return after visiting Abel, her sister Valerie Howett (Iris Meredith), accompanied by their father,

Starring: Victor Jory, Iris Meredith, James Craven, Robert Fiske, Dorothy Fay, Forrest Taylor, Jack Ingram, Joseph W. Girard, Kit Guard, Fred Kelsey ..
Directed by: James W. Horne
Release date: 1940-10-25
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Gallant Sons

Gallant Sons

6.3/10 IMDB

When a teenager's father is accused of murder, the boy and his high-school classmates set out to find the real killer.

Starring: Jackie Cooper, Bonita Granville, Gene Reynolds, Gail Patrick, Ian Hunter, June Preisser, Leo Gorcey, William Tracy, Tommy Kelly, Edward Ashley ..
Directed by: George B. Seitz
Release date: 1940-11-15
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : The Case of the Frightened Lady

The Case of the Frightened Lady

6.3/10 IMDB

A classic British thriller set in a sinister old house, based on a story by Edgar Wallace.

Starring: Marius Goring, Helen Haye, Penelope Dudley-Ward, Felix Aylmer, George Merritt, Ronald Shiner, Patrick Barr, Roy Emerton, George Hayes, John Warwick ..
Directed by: George King
Release date: 1940-09-28
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : The Saint Takes Over

The Saint Takes Over

6.5/10 IMDB

The Saint Takes Over, released in 1940 by RKO Pictures, was the fifth motion picture featuring the adventures of Simon Templar, a.k.a. "The Saint" the Robin Hood-inspired crimefighter created by Leslie Charteris. This film focuses on the character of Inspector Henry Farnack. When Farnack is framed by a gang he is investigating, it is up to The Saint to clear his name.

Starring: George Sanders, Wendy Barrie, Jonathan Hale, Paul Guilfoyle, Morgan Conway, Robert Emmett Keane, Cy Kendall, James Burke, Robert Middlemass, Roland Drew ..
Directed by: Jack Hively
Release date: 1940-06-07
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : The Lone Wolf Meets a Lady

The Lone Wolf Meets a Lady

6.4/10 IMDB

A hardworking secretary for a rich woman finds herself engaged to the woman's son and accused of a murder she didn't commit.

Starring: Warren William, Jean Muir, Eric Blore, Victor Jory, Roger Pryor, Warren Hull, Thurston Hall, Fred Kelsey, Robert Emmett Keane, Georgia Caine ..
Directed by: Sidney Salkow
Release date: 1940-05-30
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Sky Murder

Sky Murder

6.0/10 IMDB

This final Carter film is a lot of fun, with Nick (unwillingly, at first) taking on a ring of Fifth Columnists (since this was filmed before the US entered the war, we're not told the villains are Nazis, but it's pretty clear anyway). Of course, the helpful and persistent Bartholomew is at his side--much to Nick's irritation. To further complicate things--and to make them still funnier--Joyce Compton is along for the ride too, as a delightfully brainless "detective" named Christine Cross.

Starring: Walter Pidgeon, Donald Meek, Kaaren Verne, Edward Ashley, Joyce Compton, Tom Conway, George Lessey, Dorothy Tree, Frank Reicher, Chill Wills ..
Directed by: George B. Seitz
Release date: 1940-09-27

Phantom Raiders

6.1/10 IMDB

In this second Carter mystery, a mysterious rash of cargo ships sinking in Panama leads insurers Llewellyns of London to hire vacationer Nick Carter and his eccentric associate Bartholomew to investigate. Nick recognizes influential nightclub owner Al Taurez as a shady operator, but getting the goods on him depends on slick diversions involving the heavyweight champ of the Pacific Tuna Fleet, a Panamanian bombshell armed with American slang, a young couple in love and a whole raft of crooks and cutthroats.

Starring: Walter Pidgeon, Donald Meek, Joseph Schildkraut, Florence Rice, Nat Pendleton, Cecil Kellaway, John Carroll, Steffi Duna, Dwight Frye, Matthew Boulton ..
Directed by: Jacques Tourneur
Release date: 1940-06-07
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Phantom of Chinatown

Phantom of Chinatown

5.8/10 IMDB

In the middle of a pictorial lecture on his recent expedition to the Mongolian Desert, Dr. John Benton,the famous explorer, drinks from the water bottle on his lecture table, collapses and dies. His last words "Eternal Fire" are the only clue Chinese detective Jimmy Wong and Captain Street of the police department have to work on.

Starring: Keye Luke, Grant Withers, Lotus Long, Charles Miller, Huntley Gordon, Virginia Carpenter, John Dilson, Paul McVey, John Holland, Richard Terry ..
Directed by: Phil Rosen
Release date: 1940-11-18
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Ellery Queen, Master Detective

Ellery Queen, Master Detective

6.1/10 IMDB

The mysteriously ill John Braun makes a new will, leaving out his daughter Barbara, over the protests of his wife. The trouble began when the daughter wanted to marry Mr. Braun's doctor, James Rogers. Mrs. Braun asks Inspector Queen to help find the long-missing Barbara. The inspector's son, Ellery, works on the case. He goes to a home frequently visited by Dr. Rogers where the bell is answered by Nikki Porter who Ellery mistakes for Barbara and insists she return to the Braun home. Nikki does, to protect Barbara, and a short time later finds herself alone in a room outside Braun's bedroom. She finds him dead - his throat cut. No weapons are found and the door to the room where Nikki had been is locked, and she is suspected. Ellery hides Nikki in his apartment. Braun's body, sent for an autopsy, disappears and in its place is a life-sized statue of the dead man.

Starring: Ralph Bellamy, Margaret Lindsay, Charley Grapewin, James Burke, Michael Whalen, Marsha Hunt, Fred Niblo, Charles Lane, Ann Shoemaker, Marion Martin ..
Directed by: Kurt Neumann
Release date: 1940-11-30
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : The Lone Wolf Keeps a Date

The Lone Wolf Keeps a Date

6.1/10 IMDB

Complicated plot involving missing stamp collection and kidnapped businessman, with the Lone Wolf keeping one step ahead of the police in Havana trying to solve the crime and make a profit.

Starring: Warren William, Frances Robinson, Bruce Bennett, Eric Blore, Thurston Hall, Jed Prouty, Fred Kelsey, Don Beddoe, Lester Matthews, Edward Gargan ..
Directed by: Sidney Salkow
Release date: 1940-11-02
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : The Saint's Double Trouble

The Saint's Double Trouble

6.0/10 IMDB

Reformed jewel thief Simon Templar lands in hot water when a look-alike smuggles stolen goods out of Egypt.

Starring: George Sanders, Helene Reynolds, Jonathan Hale, Bela Lugosi, Donald MacBride, John F. Hamilton, Thomas W. Ross, Elliott Sullivan, Stanley Blystone, Ralph Dunn ..
Directed by: Jack Hively
Release date: 1940-01-26
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : On the Spot

On the Spot

5.7/10 IMDB

Frankie Kelly is the soda jerk and embryo scientist in Midvales only drugstore. Two murders and an attempted killing suddenly swing Midvale into national prominence. Frankie and his pal, Jefferson, become involved when a wounded gangster starts to tell them where $300,000 in stolen loot is hidden, but he is murdered before he can give them all of the information. The search is on.

Starring: Frankie Darro, Mary Kornman, Mantan Moreland, John St. Polis, Robert Warwick, Maxine Leslie, Lillian Elliott, LeRoy Mason, Gene O'Donnell, Russell Hopton ..
Directed by: Howard Bretherton
Release date: 1940-06-11
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Mrs Pym of Scotland Yard

Mrs Pym of Scotland Yard

5.3/10 IMDB

An eccentric woman detective investigates the murders of several people who visited the same medium.

Starring: Mary Clare, Nigel Patrick, Irene Handl, Edward Lexy, Janet Johnson, Anthony Ireland, Robert English, Arthur Ridley, Vernon Kelso, Lionel Dymoke ..
Directed by: Fred Elles
Release date: 1940-04-13
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Busman's Honeymoon

Busman's Honeymoon

6.2/10 IMDB

When Lord Peter Wimsey marries Harriet Vane, a crime author, they both promise to give up crime for good. As a wedding present, Peter purchases the old house where Harriet grew up, but when they try to move in the previous owner is nowhere to be found, until they start to clean the house and find his body in the cellar...

Starring: Robert Montgomery, Constance Cummings, Leslie Banks, Seymour Hicks, Robert Newton, Googie Withers, Frank Pettingell, Joan Kemp-Welch, Aubrey Mallalieu, James Carney ..
Directed by: Arthur B. Woods
Release date: 1940-07-22
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Crook's Tour

Crook's Tour

5.7/10 IMDB

Charters and Caldicott are touring the Middle East. After visiting Saudi Arabia they find themselves in Bagdad where they are mistaken by a group of German spies for the messengers who are to carry a song record by beautiful singer La Palermo which contains secret instructions of the German Intelligence. Realizing their error, the German spies follow Charters and Caldicott to Istanbul and Budapest, trying to eliminate them and retrieve the record.

Starring: Basil Radford, Naunton Wayne, Greta Gynt, Abraham Sofaer, Charles Oliver, Gordon McLeod, Bernard Rebel, Cyril Gardiner, Morris Harvey, Noel Hood ..
Directed by: John Baxter
Release date: 1940-09-03
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Calling Philo Vance

Calling Philo Vance

5.8/10 IMDB

Philo is in Vienna working for the US Government to see if Archer Coe is selling aircraft designs to foreign powers. He grabs the plans with Archer's signature, but is captured by police before he can escape. Deported he comes back to America and plans to confront Archer, but Archer is found dead in his locked bedroom with a gun in his hand. While it looks like a suicide, Vance knows better and the coroner finds that Archer has been shot, hit with a blunt instrument and stabbed - making suicide unlikely. But Vance is on the case and is looking to see if government secrets have been sold and who has murdered Coe. This is a remake of "The Kennel Murder Case" using aircraft designs and espionage instead of Chinese porcelain and dog shows.

Starring: James Stephenson, Margot Stevenson, Edward Brophy, Sheila Bromley, Henry O'Neill, Ralph Forbes, Terry, Donald Douglas, Martin Kosleck, Jimmy Conlin ..
Directed by: William Clemens
Release date: 1940-02-03
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : The Door with Seven Locks

The Door with Seven Locks

5.5/10 IMDB

A wealthy lord dies and is entombed with a valuable deposit of jewels. Seven keys are required to unlock the tomb and get hold of the treasure. A mad doctor uses an iron maiden to systematically eliminate the heirs to the fortune.

Starring: Leslie Banks, Lilli Palmer, Cathleen Nesbitt, Gina Malo, David Horne, Romilly Lunge, Richard Bird, J.H. Roberts, Aubrey Mallalieu, Harry Hutchinson ..
Directed by: Norman Lee
Release date: 1940-10-12
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Up in the Air

Up in the Air

5.7/10 IMDB

A none-too-popular (nor good) radio singer, Rita Wilson is murdered while singing on the air in a radio studio. Radio page boy, Frankie Ryan, and his janitor pal, Jeff, solve the mystery for the none-too-sharp police.

Starring: Frankie Darro, Marjorie Reynolds, Mantan Moreland, Gordon Jones, Lorna Gray, Tris Coffin, Clyde Dilson, Dick Elliott, John Holland, Carleton Young ..
Directed by: Howard Bretherton
Release date: 1940-09-09
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Half a Sinner

Half a Sinner

6.3/10 IMDB

Although young and beautiful, schoolteacher Anne Gladden fears a dull future. She finally decides to take a walk on the wild side, splurging on some fashionable new clothes and setting off to find adventure. Her new confidence inspires her to flirt with complete strangers. When a gangster pays unwanted attention to her, she ditches him and flees in his car, unaware that there's a corpse in the trunk. Determined to recover his stolen vehicle and its incriminating cargo the thug begins a desperate search. The oblivious Anne, comes to the aid of a handsome young man stranded alongside the road. Romance blooms, but after the shocking discovery of a body in the trunk, the duo decide they have to return the car. The bickering lovebirds head back to the city, trailed by both the angry gangster and the cops, who suspect the young couple of murder.

Starring: Heather Angel, John 'Dusty' King, Constance Collier, Tom Dugan, Robert Elliott, Clem Bevans, Henry Brandon, Emma Dunn, Walter Catlett, William B. Davidson ..
Directed by: Al Christie
Release date: 1940-04-05
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Boys of the City

Boys of the City

5.6/10 IMDB

Street kids get sent to the country, where they get mixed up in murder and a haunted house.

Starring: Bobby Jordan, Leo Gorcey, Hal E. Chester, Frankie Burke, Vince Barnett, Inna Gest, Dave O'Brien, Sunshine Sammy Morrison, Minerva Urecal, Dennis Moore ..
Directed by: Joseph H. Lewis
Release date: 1940-07-15
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Who Killed Aunt Maggie?

Who Killed Aunt Maggie?

7.0/10 IMDB

When a much-despised matriarch is murdered, or apparently murdered, all of her relatives and "friends" fall under suspicion. Sheriff Gregory is the official investigator, but most of the clue gathering is done by amateur sleuths Kirk Pierce and Sally Ambler.

Starring: John Hubbard, Wendy Barrie, Edgar Kennedy, Elizabeth Patterson, Onslow Stevens, Joyce Compton, Walter Abel, Mona Barrie, Willie Best, Daisy Lee Mothershed ..
Directed by: Arthur Lubin
Release date: 1940-11-01
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Pier 13

Pier 13

5.9/10 IMDB

A policeman makes the startling discovery that his girlfriend is involved in a waterfront smuggling racket.

Starring: Lynn Bari, Lloyd Nolan, Joan Valerie, Douglas Fowley, Chick Chandler, Oscar O'Shea, Adrian Morris, Louis Jean Heydt, Frank Orth, Charles D. Brown ..
Directed by: Eugene Forde
Release date: 1940-08-08
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Haunted House

Haunted House

5.3/10 IMDB

Teenagers try to clear a friend accused of murder.

Starring: Jackie Moran, Marcia Mae Jones, George Cleveland, Christian Rub, Henry Hall, John St. Polis, Clarence Wilson, Mary Carr, Jessie Arnold, Hooper Atchley ..
Directed by: Robert F. McGowan
Release date: 1940-07-21
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Chasing Trouble

Chasing Trouble

5.1/10 IMDB

A delivery boy for a flower shop, who thinks of himself as an amateur detective, finds out that his boss is mixed up with a foreign espionage ring.

Starring: Frankie Darro, Marjorie Reynolds, Mantan Moreland, Milburn Stone, I. Stanford Jolley, George Cleveland, Lillian Elliott, Alex Callam, Tris Coffin, Joe Devlin ..
Directed by: Howard Bretherton
Release date: 1940-01-30
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Double Alibi

Double Alibi

6.2/10 IMDB

A man's ex-wife is found murdered, and he finds himself to be the prime suspect.

Starring: Wayne Morris, Margaret Lindsay, William Gargan, Roscoe Karns, Robert Emmett Keane, James Burke, William Pawley, Frank Mitchell, Eddy Chandler, Cliff Clark ..
Directed by: Phil Rosen
Release date: 1940-03-01
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Yukon Flight

Yukon Flight

5.0/10 IMDB

When the plane owned by the "Yukon and Columbia Mail Service" crashes, RCMP Sergeant Renfrew (James Newill) and Constable Kelly (Dave O'Brien) suspect murder. Their suspicions are confirmed when Renfrew finds the control stick has been jammed, forcing the plane to fly in one direction until the gas ran out. Mine owner Louise Howard (Louise Stanley) reports that her superintendent is missing. The Mounties find him murdered and that too has been made to look like an accident. A new mail service pilot, Bill Shipley (Warren Hull), arrives. He had gone to training school with Renfrew but had been cashiered for misconduct. The Mounties discover that Raymond (Karl Hackett), who had been working for Louise, really owns the flying line managed by Yuke Cardoe (William Pawley.) They find proof that all the gold from the mine isn't being turned over to Louise, and suspect that Raymond and Yuke are stealing the gold and shipping it to Seattle by plane.

Starring: James Newill, Louise Stanley, Warren Hull, William Pawley, Dave O'Brien, George Humbert, Karl Hackett, Jack Rube Clifford, Roy Barcroft, Bob Terry ..
Directed by: Ralph Staub
Release date: 1940-01-02
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Earthbound


5.5/10 IMDB

A murdered man helps his widow bring his killer to justice.

Starring: Warner Baxter, Andrea Leeds, Lynn Bari, Elizabeth Patterson, Charley Grapewin, Henry Wilcoxon, Russell Hicks, Ian Wolfe, Christian Rub, Pedro de Cordoba ..
Directed by: Irving Pichel
Release date: 1940-06-06
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Love, Honor and Oh-Baby!

Love, Honor and Oh-Baby!

6.3/10 IMDB

In despair after breaking up with his girlfriend, a man hires a thug he has never seen to kill him. However, he changes his mind when he falls in love with another woman--but he can't stop the man trying to kill him because he doesn't know who he is.

Starring: Donald Woods, Kathryn Adams, Wallace Ford, Mona Barrie, Warren Hymer, Marc Lawrence, Hobart Cavanaugh, Irving Bacon, Eddy Waller, Frank Puglia ..
Directed by: Charles Lamont
Release date: 1940-06-07
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Enemy Agent

Enemy Agent

6.1/10 IMDB

A man is framed for being a spy. After he is released, he sets out to find who the real spies are.

Starring: Richard Cromwell, Helen Vinson, Robert Armstrong, Marjorie Reynolds, Vinton Hayworth, Russell Hicks, Philip Dorn, Jack La Rue, Bradley Page, Abner Biberman ..
Directed by: Lew Landers
Release date: 1940-04-18
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Honeymoon Deferred

Honeymoon Deferred

5.9/10 IMDB

Edmund Lowe plays an insurance investigator who interrupts his honeymoon to look into the case of a murder, which could also be a suicide, in which case his company won't have to pay the victim's contract. His wife, played by Margaret Lindsay, insists on following him around, not only to help him solve the case, but to make sure he doesn't get too friendly with any members of the opposite sex, either.

Starring: Edmund Lowe, Margaret Lindsay, Elisabeth Risdon, Chick Chandler, Joyce Compton, Cliff Clark, Anne Gwynne, Julie Stevens, Jerry Marlowe, Joe Sawyer ..
Directed by: Lew Landers
Release date: 1940-02-16
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Dark Streets of Cairo

Dark Streets of Cairo

5.6/10 IMDB

A rapid series of murders occurs when a professor disrupts a tranquil Egyptian tomb by removing some precious jewels.

Starring: Ralph Byrd, Sigrid Gurie, George Zucco, Eddie Quillan, Yolande Donlan, Sig Arno, Rod La Rocque, Katherine DeMille, Lloyd Corrigan, Frank Lackteen ..
Directed by: László Kardos
Release date: 1940-12-01
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Opened by Mistake

Opened by Mistake

5.6/10 IMDB

A wise-guy reporter and a tippling sportswriter acquire an unclaimed trunk with a corpse inside.

Starring: Charles Ruggles, Janice Logan, Robert Paige, William Frawley, Florence Shirley, Lawrence Grossmith, Rafael Corio, Esther Dale, James Burke, Jack Norton ..
Directed by: George Archainbaud
Release date: 1940-05-10
Best Mystery Movies of 1940 : Hot Steel

Hot Steel

4.6/10 IMDB

Matt Morrison gets his old college chum Frank Stewart a job at the steel foundry where he works. Trouble quickly ensues.

Starring: Richard Arlen, Andy Devine, Peggy Moran, Anne Nagel, Donald Briggs, Joe Besser, Wade Boteler, Billy Wayne, James Flavin, Robert Emmett O'Connor ..
Directed by: Christy Cabanne
Release date: 1940-05-24

Also check Best mystery movies of 1941.

Check out our top containing the Best Mystery Movies of 1940 - This top was obtained with our unique algorithm ordered by our unique ranking system.