Best Thriller Movies of 1942


Cat People

7.2/10 IMDB

Serbian fashion designer Irena Dubrovna and American marine engineer Oliver Reed meet in Central Park, fall in love, and marry after a brief courtship; but Irena won't consummate the union for fear that she will turn into a panther compelled to kill her lover, pursuant to a belief harbored by her home village.

Starring: Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Tom Conway, Jane Randolph, Jack Holt, Theresa Harris, Alan Napier, Elizabeth Russell, Mary Halsey, Henrietta Burnside ..
Directed by: Jacques Tourneur
Release date: 1942-12-05


7.1/10 IMDB

Aircraft factory worker Barry Kane flees across the United States after he is wrongly accused of starting the fire that killed his best friend.

Starring: Priscilla Lane, Robert Cummings, Otto Kruger, Alan Baxter, Clem Bevans, Norman Lloyd, Alma Kruger, Vaughan Glaser, Dorothy Peterson, Ian Wolfe ..
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Release date: 1942-04-24

This Gun for Hire

7.4/10 IMDB

Sadistic killer-for-hire Philip Raven becomes enraged when his latest job is paid off in marked bills. Vowing to track down his double-crossing boss, nightclub executive Gates, Raven sits beside Gates' lovely new employee, Ellen, on a train out of town. Although Ellen is engaged to marry the police lieutenant who's hunting down Raven, she decides to try and set the misguided hit man straight as he hides from the cops and plots his revenge.

Starring: Veronica Lake, Robert Preston, Laird Cregar, Alan Ladd, Tully Marshall, Marc Lawrence, Olin Howland, Roger Imhof, Pamela Blake, Frank Ferguson ..
Directed by: Frank Tuttle
Release date: 1942-04-24

Went the Day Well?

7.5/10 IMDB

The quiet village of Bramley End is taken over by German troops posing as Royal Engineers. Their task is to disrupt England's radar network in preparation for a full scale German invasion. Once the villagers discover the true identity of the troops, they do whatever they can to thwart the Nazis plans.

Starring: Leslie Banks, Mervyn Johns, Marie Lohr, Basil Sydney, Edward Rigby, C. V. France, Valerie Taylor, Norman Pierce, Frank Lawton, Muriel George ..
Directed by: Alberto Cavalcanti
Release date: 1942-12-07

The Talk of the Town

7.5/10 IMDB

When the Holmes Woolen Mill burns down, political activist Leopold Dilg is jailed for arson and accidental murder. Escaping, Leopold hides out in the home of his childhood sweetheart Nora Shelley... which she has just rented to unsuspecting law professor Michael Lightcap.

Starring: Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Ronald Colman, Edgar Buchanan, Glenda Farrell, Charles Dingle, Emma Dunn, Rex Ingram, Leonid Kinskey, Tom Tyler ..
Directed by: George Stevens
Release date: 1942-08-20

All Through the Night

7.1/10 IMDB

Broadway gamblers stumble across a plan by Nazi saboteurs to blow up an American battleship.

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Conrad Veidt, Kaaren Verne, Jane Darwell, Frank McHugh, Peter Lorre, Judith Anderson, William Demarest, Jackie Gleason, Phil Silvers ..
Directed by: Vincent Sherman
Release date: 1942-01-10
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : Castle in the Desert

Castle in the Desert

7.0/10 IMDB

Charlie Chan, with son Jimmy on a week's pass from the Army, takes up a request for help at a castle-home, miles from anywhere in the American desert south-west and inhabited by an eccentric, reclusive historian and his wife, a descendant of Lucrezia Borgia. Once there, he finds the request's legitimacy denied by all who are present, but still necessary as one houseguest has already been murdered, the other guests are at each other's throat, and the Borgia-related chatelain is suspected...

Starring: Sidney Toler, Arleen Whelan, Richard Derr, Douglass Dumbrille, Henry Daniell, Edmund MacDonald, Victor Sen Yung, Lenita Lane, Ethel Griffies, Milton Parsons ..
Directed by: Harry Lachman
Release date: 1942-02-02

The Glass Key

7.0/10 IMDB

A crooked politician finds himself being accused of murder by a gangster from whom he refused help during a re-election campaign.

Starring: Brian Donlevy, Veronica Lake, Alan Ladd, Bonita Granville, Richard Denning, Joseph Calleia, William Bendix, Frances Gifford, Donald MacBride, Margaret Hayes ..
Directed by: Stuart Heisler
Release date: 1942-09-08


6.8/10 IMDB

After a drunken night out, a longshoreman thinks he may have killed a man.

Starring: Jean Gabin, Ida Lupino, Thomas Mitchell, Claude Rains, Jerome Cowan, Helene Reynolds, Ralph Byrd, William Halligan, Victor Sen Yung, Chester Gan ..
Directed by: Archie Mayo, Fritz Lang
Release date: 1942-05-29

Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror

6.4/10 IMDB

England, at the start of World War Two. Mysterious wireless broadcasts, apparently from Nazi Germany are heard over the BBC. They warn of acts of terror in England, just before they take place. Baffled, the Defence Committee call in Holmes ...

Starring: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Evelyn Ankers, Reginald Denny, Thomas Gomez, Henry Daniell, Montagu Love, Olaf Hytten, Leyland Hodgson, Mary Gordon ..
Directed by: John Rawlins
Release date: 1942-09-18

Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon

6.5/10 IMDB

In the midst of World War II, Sherlock Holmes rescues the Swiss inventor of a new bomb-sight from the Gestapo and brings him to England, where he shortly falls into the clutches of Professor Moriarty.

Starring: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Lionel Atwill, Kaaren Verne, William Post Jr., Dennis Hoey, Mary Gordon, Holmes Herbert, Harry Cording, Harold De Becker ..
Directed by: Roy William Neill
Release date: 1942-12-25

Night Monster

6.2/10 IMDB

Kurt Ingston, a rich recluse, invites the doctors who left him a hopeless cripple to his desolate mansion in the swamps as one by one they meet horrible deaths.

Starring: Ralph Morgan, Don Porter, Irene Hervey, Fay Helm, Nils Asther, Doris Lloyd, Leif Erickson, Robert Homans, Lionel Atwill, Frank Reicher ..
Directed by: Ford Beebe
Release date: 1942-10-20

Fingers at the Window

6.3/10 IMDB

In Chicago, an unemployed actor aims to solve the mystery concerning a string of ax murders, apparently committed by a lunatic.

Starring: Lew Ayres, Laraine Day, Basil Rathbone, Walter Kingsford, Miles Mander, Charles D. Brown, Cliff Clark, James Flavin, Russell Gleason, William Tannen ..
Directed by: Charles Lederer
Release date: 1942-04-22

The Mummy's Tomb

5.5/10 IMDB

A high priest of Karnak travels to America with the living mummy Kharis (Lon Chaney Jr.) to kill all those who had desecrated the tomb of the Egyptian princess Ananka thirty years earlier.

Starring: Lon Chaney Jr., Turhan Bey, John Hubbard, Elyse Knox, Dick Foran, Wallace Ford, Virginia Brissac, Cliff Clark, Mary Gordon, George Zucco ..
Directed by: Harold Young
Release date: 1942-10-23
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : Nazi Agent

Nazi Agent

6.8/10 IMDB

Humble stamp dealer Otto Becker has little to do with international politics, so when he receives a surprise visit from his estranged twin brother and Nazi spy, Baron Hugo von Detner, his world is thrown into turmoil. Threatening Becker with deportation, Hugo forces him to use his shop as a front for espionage.

Starring: Conrad Veidt, Ann Ayars, Frank Reicher, Dorothy Tree, Ivan F. Simpson, William Tannen, Martin Kosleck, Marc Lawrence, Sidney Blackmer, Moroni Olsen ..
Directed by: Jules Dassin
Release date: 1942-03-01
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : Fly-By-Night


6.5/10 IMDB

Young intern Jeff Burton, impulsively offers a lift to an odd-looking gentlemen. It soon turns out that Jeff's passenger is an inventor has just escaped from a shady sanitarium, where he has been held prisoner by Nazi spies.

Starring: Richard Carlson, Nancy Kelly, Albert Bassermann, Miles Mander, Edward Gargan, Adrian Morris, Martin Kosleck, Walter Kingsford, Walter Kingsford, Cy Kendall ..
Directed by: Robert Siodmak
Release date: 1942-01-19
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : Calling Dr. Gillespie

Calling Dr. Gillespie

6.2/10 IMDB

Dr. Kildare's friend Dr. Gillespie is called in to investigate when a young man suffering from mental problems disappears on a killing spree.

Starring: Lionel Barrymore, Philip Dorn, Donna Reed, Phil Brown, Nat Pendleton, Alma Kruger, Mary Nash, Walter Kingsford, Nell Craig, Ruth Tobey ..
Directed by: Harold S. Bucquet
Release date: 1942-08-01
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : The Next of Kin

The Next of Kin

6.8/10 IMDB

Wartime propaganda piece giving the warning "Be like Dad, Keep Mum". A gossipy housewife is overheard talking about what her son is doing by a Nazi spy.

Starring: Mervyn Johns, Nova Pilbeam, Reginald Tate, John Chandos, Stephen Murray, Jack Hawkins, Geoffrey Hibbert, Philip Friend, Phyllis Stanley, Mary Clare ..
Directed by: Thorold Dickinson
Release date: 1942-06-15
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : The Night Has Eyes

The Night Has Eyes

6.2/10 IMDB

Two teachers, man-hungry Doris and restrained Marian, visit the Yorkshire moors a year after friend Evelyn disappeared there. On a stormy night, they take refuge in the isolated cottage of Stephen, one-time pianist shell-shocked in the Spanish Civil War. Doris flees as soon as the flood subsides; but Marian's suspicions about Evelyn's fate, in conflict with her growing love for Stephen, prompt her to stay on among the misty bogs.

Starring: James Mason, Wilfrid Lawson, Mary Clare, Joyce Howard, Tucker McGuire, John Fernald, Dorothy Black, Amy Dalby, Jack Vyvyan ..
Directed by: Leslie Arliss
Release date: 1942-06-01
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : Berlin Correspondent

Berlin Correspondent

6.2/10 IMDB

Dana Andrews plays Bill Roberts, an American radio commentator station in Berlin in the months before Pearl Harbor. Having witnessed Nazi brutalities first hand, Roberts hopes to alert his listeners of impending dangers, and does so by sending out coded messages during his broadcasts. The Gestapo begins to suspect something and assigns glamorous secret agent Karen Hauen (Virginia Gilmore) to spy on Roberts. When she discovers that her own father (Erwin Kaiser) is supplying Roberts with vital secrets, she turns her back on the Nazis and joins our hero in his efforts.

Starring: Virginia Gilmore, Dana Andrews, Mona Maris, Martin Kosleck, Sig Ruman, Kurt Katch, Erwin Kalser, Torben Meyer, William Edmunds, Hans Schumm ..
Directed by: Eugene Forde
Release date: 1942-08-17

The Lady from Lisbon

5.9/10 IMDB

When she learns that the Nazis have confiscated Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece Mona Lisa, art-loving South American wanna-be spy Tamara (Jane Carr) journeys to Lisbon to snoop for the Germans in return for the iconic painting. But bumbling Nazi agents, Allied counterspies and multiple copies of the artwork soon confound her attempts at espionage.

Starring: Francis L. Sullivan, Jane Carr, Martita Hunt, Ian Fleming, Charles Victor, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Anthony Holles, George Street, Gerhard Kempinski, Leo de Pokorny ..
Directed by: Leslie S. Hiscott
Release date: 1942-09-01
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : The Great Impersonation

The Great Impersonation

6.2/10 IMDB

An Englishman kills a German look-alike and poses as a Nazi spy in London.

Starring: Ralph Bellamy, Evelyn Ankers, Aubrey Mather, Edward Norris, Kaaren Verne, Henry Daniell, Ludwig Stössel, Mary Forbes, Rex Evans, Charles Coleman ..
Directed by: John Rawlins
Release date: 1942-12-18
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : Street of Chance

Street of Chance

6.3/10 IMDB

In this Cornell Woolrich thriller, a man's memory is recovered after being injured by falling construction material. Discovering a year-long lapse, he returns to his old life and discovers a lot of mysterious happenings.

Starring: Burgess Meredith, Claire Trevor, Louise Platt, Sheldon Leonard, Frieda Inescort, Jerome Cowan, Adeline De Walt Reynolds, Arthur Loft, Clancy Cooper, Paul Phillips ..
Directed by: Jack Hively
Release date: 1942-10-03
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : You Can't Escape Forever

You Can't Escape Forever

6.0/10 IMDB

A demoted reporter (George Brent) and his girlfriend (Brenda Marshall) seek to expose a crime kingpin.

Starring: George Brent, Brenda Marshall, Gene Lockhart, Roscoe Karns, Eduardo Ciannelli, Paul Harvey, Edith Barrett, Jack Carr, Erville Alderson, Ernie Alexander ..
Directed by: Jo Graham
Release date: 1942-10-10
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : The Payoff

The Payoff

5.6/10 IMDB

The city's District Attorney is murdered, and a newspaper reporter investigates. He starts finding out that everything wasn't quite as cut and dried as it appeared to be.

Starring: Lee Tracy, Tom Brown, Tina Thayer, Evelyn Brent, Jack La Rue ..
Directed by: Arthur Dreifuss
Release date: 1942-11-24
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : Secret Agent of Japan

Secret Agent of Japan

6.8/10 IMDB

World War II espionage drama, starring Preston Foster and Lynn Bari.

Starring: Preston Foster, Lynn Bari, Noel Madison, Victor Sen Yung, Janis Carter, Steven Geray, Addison Richards, Ian Wolfe, Kurt Katch, Selmer Jackson ..
Directed by: Irving Pichel
Release date: 1942-04-03
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : The Panther's Claw

The Panther's Claw

5.8/10 IMDB

The police arrest a man climbing over the wall of a cemetery after midnight. He claims that he is being blackmailed and is following instructions he received by mail to leave $1000 on a certain grave. It turns out that he's not the only one who got a blackmail letter from the same person--calling himself "The Black Panther"--and it also turns out that all the recipients are connected to an opera company.

Starring: Sidney Blackmer, Rick Vallin, Byron Foulger, Herbert Rawlinson, Lynn Starr, Barry Bernard, Trude Rosen, Thornton Edwards, John Ince, Martin Ashe ..
Directed by: William Beaudine
Release date: 1942-03-03
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : Joe Smith, American

Joe Smith, American

6.2/10 IMDB

Joe Smith is an ordinary American family man who works in an aircraft factory. Shortly after being a promoted to a much higher position, Joe is kidnapped by enemy agents who are determined to get military secrets out of him by any means possible. Will Joe keep quiet or betray his country...

Starring: Robert Young, Marsha Hunt, Harvey Stephens, Darryl Hickman, Jonathan Hale, Noel Madison, Don Costello, Joseph Anthony, William Forrest, Russell Hicks ..
Directed by: Richard Thorpe
Release date: 1942-02-01
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : Seven Miles from Alcatraz

Seven Miles from Alcatraz

5.6/10 IMDB

After Pearl Harbor, convicts at Alcatraz prison live in fear of bomb attacks, driving Champ Larkin and his pal Jimbo to a desperate escape attempt which lands them on a tiny lighthouse island, where they take over. The five inhabitants are stymied in their efforts to summon aid. But the island also figures in the schemes of a big Nazi spy ring; which will win out, the gangsters' greed or their patriotism?

Starring: James Craig, Bonita Granville, Frank Jenks, Cliff Edwards, George Cleveland, Erford Gage, Tala Birell, John Banner, Otto Reichow ..
Directed by: Edward Dmytryk
Release date: 1942-11-18
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : I Live on Danger

I Live on Danger

6.0/10 IMDB

A cocky radio reporter sets out to prove an ex-convict is innocent in the murder of a mob boss.

Starring: Chester Morris, Jean Parker, Ralph Sanford, Douglas Fowley, Edward Norris, Roger Pryor, Elisabeth Risdon, Dick Purcell, Billy Nelson, Edwin Maxwell ..
Directed by: Sam White
Release date: 1942-06-16

Dr. Renault's Secret

6.1/10 IMDB

A remake of the 1927 horror film "The Wizard". Dr. Larry Forbes arrives in a remote French village to visit his fiancée who lives with her scientist father Dr. Renault and his Ape-like manservant Noel. Several Murders coincide with Dr. Forbes arrival, with clues pointing in multiple directions.

Starring: George Zucco, J. Carrol Naish, Shepperd Strudwick, Lynne Roberts, Arthur Shields, Mike Mazurki, Jack Norton, Charles La Torre, Bert Roach, Eugene Borden ..
Directed by: Harry Lachman
Release date: 1942-10-19
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : Stand By All Networks

Stand By All Networks

5.5/10 IMDB

An intrepid radio reporter sets out to track down and expose Nazi agents.

Starring: Florence Rice, John Beal, Mary Treen, Margaret Hayes, Alan Baxter, Tim Ryan, Pierre Watkin, Kenneth MacDonald ..
Directed by: Lew Landers
Release date: 1942-10-29
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : Man With Two Lives

Man With Two Lives

5.2/10 IMDB

A man is brought back from death at the same time a vicious criminal dies in the electric chair. However, the man's soul is now taken over by the electrocuted gangster, who embarks on a vengeful crime wave.

Starring: Edward Norris, Marlo Dwyer, Anthony Warde, Eleanor Lawson, Frederick Burton, Addison Richards, Edward Keane, Hugh Sothern, Tom Seidel, Elliott Sullivan ..
Directed by: Phil Rosen
Release date: 1942-02-26
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : The Mad Doctor of Market Street

The Mad Doctor of Market Street

5.2/10 IMDB

A fugitive doctor (Lionel Atwill) tries to raise the dead for South Sea Islanders.

Starring: Lionel Atwill, Una Merkel, Nat Pendleton, Anne Nagel, Hardie Albright, Richard Davies, John Eldredge, Mala, Noble Johnson, Rosina Galli ..
Directed by: Joseph H. Lewis
Release date: 1942-02-27
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : The Boss of Big Town

The Boss of Big Town

5.1/10 IMDB

Quality was seldom a consideration in the low-budget films of PRC Studios; still, the company was a welcome harbor for character actors who aspired to occasional leading roles. In Boss of Big Town, veteran supporting player John Litel is top-billed as crusading city market official Michael Lynn. When a criminal gang muscles in on the local food distribution markets, Lynn vows to throw the rascals out. First, however, he pretends to join the villains as a paid government stooge, the better to find out the identity of the "Mister Big" behind the distribution racket. The exposure of the "mystery villain" will come as a shock to fans of the 1927 Cecil B. DeMille epic The King of Kings--but not to dyed-in-the-wool movie buffs.

Starring: John Litel, H.B. Warner, John Miljan, Jean Brooks, Florence Rice ..
Directed by: Arthur Dreifuss
Release date: 1942-12-07
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : A Tragedy at Midnight

A Tragedy at Midnight

6.2/10 IMDB

The host of a whodunit radio show finds himself involved in his own mystery when he awakens to find a woman with a knife in her back in his bedroom.

Starring: John Howard, Margaret Lindsay, Roscoe Karns, Keye Luke, Miles Mander, Mona Barrie, Hobart Cavanaugh, Chester Clute, Paul Harvey, William Newell ..
Directed by: Joseph Santley
Release date: 1942-02-02
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : The Living Ghost

The Living Ghost

5.3/10 IMDB

A detective investigating kidnapping case discovers the victim, who may be a zombie.

Starring: James Dunn, Joan Woodbury, Paul McVey, Vera Gordon, Norman Willis, J. Farrell MacDonald, Minerva Urecal, George Eldredge, Jan Wiley, Edna Johnson ..
Directed by: William Beaudine
Release date: 1942-08-11
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : Hitler- Dead or Alive

Hitler- Dead or Alive

4.8/10 IMDB

A team of ex-con bounty hunters go to Germany in search of Hitler. If they can find him, a million dollar reward is to be paid to them.

Starring: Ward Bond, Dorothy Tree, Warren Hymer, Paul Fix, Bobby Watson, Russell Hicks, Bruce Edwards, Felix Basch, Frederick Giermann, Kenneth Harlan ..
Directed by: Nick Grinde
Release date: 1942-11-12

Foreign Agent

4.6/10 IMDB

Hollywood starlet foils an Axis plot to sabotage the L.A. infrastructure.

Starring: John Shelton, Gale Storm, Hans Schumm, David Clarke, George Travell, Ivan Lebedeff, William Halligan, Patsy Moran, Lyle Latell, Paul Bryar ..
Directed by: William Beaudine
Release date: 1942-10-09
Best Thriller Movies of 1942 : Men of San Quentin

Men of San Quentin

4.8/10 IMDB

A corrupt official at San Quentin tries to frame an innocent guard for several murders within the prison.

Starring: J. Anthony Hughes, Eleanor Stewart, Dick Curtis, Charles Middleton, Jeffrey Sayre ..
Directed by: William Beaudine
Release date: 1942-05-15

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