Best Thriller Movies of 1940
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.
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.
Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum
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
They Drive by Night
Joe and Paul Fabrini are Wildcat, or independent, truck drivers who have their own small one-truck business. The Fabrini boys constantly battle distributors, rivals and loan collectors, while trying to make a success of their transport company.
Night Train to Munich
Czechoslovakia, March 1939, on the eve of World War II. As the German invaders occupy Prague, inventor Axel Bomasch manages to flee and reach England; but those who need to put his knowledge at the service of the Nazi war machine, in order to carry out their evil plans of destruction, will stop at nothing to capture him.
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.
An American goes to Germany to find his mother and discovers her in a concentration camp. With the help of an American-born widowed countess he seeks to engineer her escape.
Charlie Chan in Panama
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.
Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise
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.
The House of the Seven Gables
In 1828, the bankrupt Pyncheon family fight over Seven Gables, the ancestral mansion. To obtain the house, Jaffrey Pyncheon obtains his brother Clifford's false conviction for murder. Hepzibah, Clifford's sweet fiancée, patiently waits twenty years for his release, whereupon Clifford and his former cellmate, abolitionist Matthew, have a certain scheme in mind.
When a neutral Danish merchant ship is forced to put into port after trying to evade British wartime contraband control, its captain becomes involved in a beautiful British Naval Intelligent agent's efforts to capture a group of German spies operating from a London cinema.
When retired racket boss John Sarto tries to reclaim his place and former friends try to kill him, he finds solace in a monastery and reinvents himself as a pious monk.
Stranger on the Third Floor
Newspaper reporter Michael Ward plunges into a nightmare of guilt, fearing that his "evidence" has sentenced the wrong man to death.
Murder Over New York
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.
The Invisible Man Returns
The owner of a coal mining operation, falsely imprisoned for fratricide, takes a drug to make him invisible, despite its side effect: gradual madness.
The Fatal Hour
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.
Doomed to Die
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.
A bookmaker with a fancy for detective work attempts to prevent the execution of a potentially innocent man.
The Lady in Question
When a jury member takes in the defendant he couldn't convict, she has a bad influence on his son.
Girl in the News
An elderly lady manages to sneak some pills away from her nurse and dies of an overdose. The nurse is tried for murder and acquitted. Some time later the nurse, under a new name and identity, cares for a patient who also dies of an overdose. When her real identity comes out, suspicions arouses.
A Window in London
A man witnesses a murder that isn't a murder, only to get involved with the magician and his wife who created the illusion. The insanely jealous magician husband eventually kills his wife, making for complications in life of unhappily married man who is now involved more than he ever thought he would be.
The Lone Wolf Strikes
Delia Jordan's father is murdered and some very valuable jewelry stolen. She hires The Lone Wolf.
East Side Kids
After living all his chilhood in the street, a young boy notices rapidly that crime doesn't pay and that´s why he decides to become a policeman. One day, one of his best friends go in prison for a murder he didn't commit. Immediately the policeman tries his best to release him and prove his innocence.
The Case of the Frightened Lady
A classic British thriller set in a sinister old house, based on a story by Edgar Wallace.
The Mad Doctor
A reporter sleuths the mystery behind an oft-married Viennese doctor whose wives met mysterious fates.
Phantom of Chinatown
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.
The Door with Seven Locks
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.
Boys of the City
Street kids get sent to the country, where they get mixed up in murder and a haunted house.
Murder in the Air
Enemy agents are everywhere and they are sabotaging all important war deliveries. The body of a hobo found in a train wreck had a money belt with $50,000 and a tattoo of a circle and arrow. This is a tattoo for saboteurs for hire and Brass must impersonate the dead man to find out what his orders are. As Steve Coe, he meets with the band of enemy agents in California and everything goes well until the wife of the dead 'Hobo' shows up. Luckily, Gabby is able to save Brass and Brass learns what is his assignment. He is to board the USN airship 'Mason', which is testing the super secret Inertia Projector, and destroy the airship.
Law and Disorder
On the eve of WWII a young defence lawyer, assisted by his wife, invaigles his way into a gang of foreign saboteurs. Comedy thriller, ably executed by a satisfactory cast.
Terry and the Pirates
Dr. Herbert Lee, an archaeologist seeking to decipher ancient Mara inscriptions, is aided by his son Terry, Terry's pal Pat Ryan, and Normandie Drake. Jungle pirate and warlord Fang (Dick Curtis) plots to kill The Dragon Lady, Queen of the Temple of Mara, and seize the treasures of her ancestors. Both Fang and The Dragon Lady have sworn death for any foreign intruders.
Danger On Wheels
During a test, a race car using an experimental oil fueled engine blows up, killing the driver. Lucky Taylor, a stunt driver, is initially blamed for the accident, but is later cleared. He thinks the engine design has a real chance to win races, but the racing association has banned it since the accident. He devises a scheme to have a car equipped with the engine entered into a race, without race officials-- or the engine designer's sassy daughter -- finding out about it.
Dead End Kids vs. Spies, Inc.
The Dead End Kids smash a spy ring in this feature-length version of the Universal serial Junior G-Men. Billy, the leader of the Dead End Kids, learns that his scientist father has been captured by the "Order of the Flaming Torch." This group of fifth columnists plans to use America's biggest brains to destroy the country from within. When the saboteurs outwit the gang's street smarts, the kids have no choice but to ask the FBI for help. The feds send in their own teenage contingent -- The Junior G-Men! Now the two groups must form an uneasy alliance, before the Order of the Flaming Torch can turn the U.S.A. into Amerika, the Evil Empire!