Best Science Fiction Movies of 1940

1.

Dr. Cyclops

3.4
6.4/10 IMDB

Four explorers are summoned to Peru by the brilliant physicist Dr Thorkel. They discover a rich source of radium and a half-mad Thorkel who shrinks them down to one-fifth their normal size when they threaten to stop his unorthodox experimentation.

Starring: Albert Dekker, Thomas Coley, Janice Logan, Charles Halton, Victor Kilian, Frank Yaconelli, Paul Fix, Frank Reicher, Jane Webb, Billy Wilkerson ..
Directed by: Ernest B. Schoedsack
Release date: 1940-04-09
2.

The Invisible Man Returns

3.4
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
3.

Black Friday

3.3
6.3/10 IMDB

University professor George Kingsley is struck by gangsters while crossing the street, leaving him with brain damage and one of the gangsters, Cannon, paralyzed. Kingsley's friend Dr. Sovac attends to both men, and when Cannon offers him a reward for aiding his recovery, Kovac transplants part of Cannon's brain into the dying Kingsley's skull, creating a dual personality.

Starring: Stanley Ridges, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Anne Nagel, Anne Gwynne, Virginia Brissac, Edmund MacDonald, Paul Fix, Murray Alper, Jack Mulhall ..
Directed by: Arthur Lubin
Release date: 1940-02-29
4.

The Invisible Woman

3.3
6.0/10 IMDB

Kitty Carroll, an attractive store model, volunteers to become a test subject for a machine that will make her invisible so that she can use her invisibility to exact revenge on her ex-boss.

Starring: Virginia Bruce, John Barrymore, Charles Ruggles, Oskar Homolka, Edward Brophy, Donald MacBride, Margaret Hamilton, Shemp Howard, Anne Nagel, Kathryn Adams ..
Directed by: A. Edward Sutherland
Release date: 1940-12-28
5.

Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe

3.3
6.7/10 IMDB

A mysterious plague, the Purple Death, ravages the earth. Dr. Zarkov, investigating in his spaceship, finds a ship from planet Mongo seeding the atmosphere with dust. Sure enough, Ming the Merciless is up to his old tricks. So it's back to Mongo for Flash, Dale, and Zarkov, this time with ready-made allies waiting: Prince Barin of Arboria and Queen Fria of the frozen northern land of Frigia; where, it so happens, is found polarite, antidote to the plague. But Ming will use all his forces to keep our heroes from thwarting his plans of conquest.

Starring: Buster Crabbe, Carol Hughes, Frank Shannon, Charles Middleton, Donald Curtis, Lee Powell, Shirley Deane, Roland Drew, Don Rowan, Victor Zimmerman ..
Directed by: Ford Beebe, Ray Taylor
Release date: 1940-04-09
Best Science Fiction Movies of 1940 : Before I Hang
6.

Before I Hang

3.3
6.1/10 IMDB

A physician on death row for a mercy killing is allowed to experiment on a serum using a criminals' blood, but secretly tests it on himself. He gets a pardon, but finds out he's become a Jekyll-&-Hyde.

Starring: Boris Karloff, Evelyn Keyes, Bruce Bennett, Don Beddoe, Edward Van Sloan, Ben Taggart, Pedro de Cordoba, Wright Kramer, Bertram Marburgh, Robert Fiske ..
Directed by: Nick Grinde
Release date: 1940-09-17
7.

One Million B.C.

3.0
5.7/10 IMDB

One Million B.C. is a 1940 American fantasy film produced by Hal Roach Studios and released by United Artists. It is also known by the titles Cave Man, Man and His Mate, and Tumak. The film stars Victor Mature as protagonist Tumak, a young cave man who strives to unite the uncivilized Rock Tribe and the peaceful Shell Tribe, Carole Landis as Loana, daughter of the Shell Tribe chief and Tumak's love interest, and Lon Chaney, Jr. as Tumak's stern father and leader of the Rock Tribe.

Starring: Victor Mature, Carole Landis, Lon Chaney Jr., John Hubbard, Mamo Clark, Inez Palange, Edgar Edwards, Nigel De Brulier, Conrad Nagel, Jacqueline Dalya ..
Directed by: Hal Roach, Hal Roach, Jr.
Release date: 1940-04-05
8.

The Devil Bat

2.9
5.4/10 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
Best Science Fiction Movies of 1940 : The Man with Nine Lives
9.

The Man with Nine Lives

2.8
6.5/10 IMDB

Dr. Leon Kravaal develops a potential cure for cancer, which involves freezing the patient. But an experiment goes awry when authorities believe Kravaal has killed a patient. Kravaal freezes the officials, along with himself. Years later, they are discovered and revived in hopes that Kravaal can indeed complete his cure. But human greed and weakness compound to disrupt the project.

Starring: Boris Karloff, Roger Pryor, Jo Ann Sayers, Stanley Brown, John Dilson, Hal Taliaferro, Byron Foulger, Charles Trowbridge, Ernie Adams, Minta Durfee ..
Directed by: Nick Grinde
Release date: 1940-04-18
Best Science Fiction Movies of 1940 : Drums of Fu Manchu
10.

Drums of Fu Manchu

2.7
6.9/10 IMDB

The nefarious Dr. Fu Manchu searches for the keys to the tomb of Genghis Khan, in order to fulfill a prophecy that will enable him to conquer the world. His nemesis, Dr. Nayland Smith, and his associates fight to keep the evil doctor from getting his hands on the keys. In 1943, the serial that was edited together into a feature movie also called Drums of Fu Manchu.

Starring: Henry Brandon, William Royle, Robert Kellard, Luana Walters, Olaf Hytten, Tom Chatterton, Gloria Franklin, John Merton, George Cleveland, John Dilson ..
Directed by: John English, William Witney
Release date: 1940-03-15
Best Science Fiction Movies of 1940 : The Green Hornet
11.

The Green Hornet

2.7
6.5/10 IMDB

A newspaper publisher and his Korean servant fight crime as vigilantes who pose as a notorious masked gangster and his aide.

Starring: Gordon Jones, Wade Boteler, Keye Luke, Anne Nagel, Phillip Trent, Cy Kendall, Stanley Andrews, Selmer Jackson, Joseph Crehan, Walter McGrail ..
Directed by: Ford Beebe, Ray Taylor
Release date: 1940-01-08
12.

The Ape

2.6
4.6/10 IMDB

Dr. Bernard Adrian is a kindly scientist who seeks to cure a young woman's polio. He needs human spinal fluid to complete the formula for his experimental serum. Meanwhile, a vicious circus ape has broken out of its cage, and is terrorizing the townspeople. Can there be a connection?

Starring: Boris Karloff, Maris Wrixon, Gene O'Donnell, Dorothy Vaughan, Henry Hall, Selmer Jackson, Gertrude Hoffmann, Jessie Arnold, Billy Bletcher, Harry C. Bradley ..
Directed by: William Nigh
Release date: 1940-09-30
Best Science Fiction Movies of 1940 : Mysterious Doctor Satan
13.

Mysterious Doctor Satan

2.5
7.3/10 IMDB

A mad scientist named Dr. Satan plots to steal key pieces of technology to enable him to build an army of robots based on his prototype to conquer America. The only one standing in his way is Bob Wayne, who fights Satan as the enigmatic Copperhead. Mysterious Doctor Satan is a 1940 film serial named after its chief villain. Doctor Satan's main opponent is the masked mystery man, "The Copperhead", whose secret identity is Bob Wayne, a man searching for justice and revenge on Satan for the death of his step-father. The serial charts the conflict between the two as Bob Wayne pursues Doctor Satan, while the latter completes his plans for world domination.

Starring: Eduardo Ciannelli, Robert Wilcox, William Newell, C. Montague Shaw, Ella Neal, Dorothy Herbert, Charles Trowbridge, Jack Mulhall, Edwin Stanley, Walter McGrail ..
Directed by: John English, William Witney
Release date: 1940-12-13
Best Science Fiction Movies of 1940 : Men with Steel Faces
14.

Men with Steel Faces

2.1
4.4/10 IMDB

Re-edited feature version of serial The Phantom Empire (1935). Singer Gene Autry discovers a race of advanced humans living beneath the earth.

Starring: Gene Autry, Frankie Darro, Smiley Burnette, Betsy King Ross, Dorothy Christy, Wheeler Oakman, Charles K. French, Warner Richmond, J. Frank Glendon, Edward Peil Sr. ..
Directed by: B. Reeves Eason, Otto Brower
Release date: 1940-05-02
15.

Son of Ingagi

0.0
4.2/10 IMDB

A newlywed couple is visited by a strange old woman who harbors a secret about the young girl's father.

Starring: Zack Williams, Laura Bowman, Alfred Grant, Daisy Bufford, Arthur Ray, Spencer Williams, Earle Morris, Jesse Graves, The Four Toppers, Maggie Hathaway ..
Directed by: Richard C. Kahn
Release date: 1940-12-01

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