Best War Movies of 1940


The Great Dictator

8.4/10 IMDB

Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner, Henry Daniell, Billy Gilbert, Paul Weigel, Paulette Goddard, Grace Hayle, Maurice Moscovitch, Emma Dunn ..
Directed by: Charlie Chaplin
Release date: 1940-10-15

Waterloo Bridge

7.7/10 IMDB

On the eve of World War II, a British officer revisits Waterloo Bridge and recalls the young man he was at the beginning of World War I and the young ballerina he met just before he left for the front. Myra stayed with him past curfew and is thrown out of the corps de ballet. She survives on the streets of London, falling even lower after she hears her true love has been killed in action. But he wasn't killed. Those terrible years were nothing more than a bad dream is Myra's hope after Roy finds her and takes her to his family's country estate.

Starring: Vivien Leigh, Robert Taylor, Lucile Watson, Virginia Field, Maria Ouspenskaya, C. Aubrey Smith, Janet Shaw, Janet Waldo, Steffi Duna, Virginia Carroll ..
Directed by: Mervyn LeRoy
Release date: 1940-05-17

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
Best War Movies of 1940 : Night Train to Munich

Night Train to Munich

7.2/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Margaret Lockwood, Rex Harrison, Paul Henreid, Basil Radford, Naunton Wayne, James Harcourt, Felix Aylmer, Wyndham Goldie, Roland Culver, Eliot Makeham ..
Directed by: Carol Reed
Release date: 1940-08-31
Best War Movies of 1940 : Contraband


6.9/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Conrad Veidt, Valerie Hobson, Hay Petrie, Joss Ambler, Raymond Lovell, Esmond Knight, Charles Victor, Phoebe Kershaw, Harold Warrender, John Longden ..
Directed by: Michael Powell
Release date: 1940-05-11
Best War Movies of 1940 : The Long Voyage Home

The Long Voyage Home

6.9/10 IMDB

The crew of the merchant ship Glencairn hope to survive a transatlantic crossing during World War II. Adapted from four Eugene O'Neill one-act plays.

Starring: John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, Ian Hunter, Barry Fitzgerald, Wilfrid Lawson, John Qualen, Mildred Natwick, Ward Bond, Arthur Shields, Joe Sawyer ..
Directed by: John Ford
Release date: 1940-11-16

Northwest Passage

7.0/10 IMDB

Based on the Kenneth Roberts novel of the same name, this film tells the story of two friends who join Rogers' Rangers, as the legendary elite force engages the enemy during the French and Indian War. The film focuses on their famous raid at Fort St. Francis and their marches before and after the battle.

Starring: Spencer Tracy, Robert Young, Walter Brennan, Ruth Hussey, Nat Pendleton, Louis Hector, Robert Barrat, Lumsden Hare, Donald MacBride, Isabel Jewell ..
Directed by: King Vidor
Release date: 1940-02-23

The Fighting 69th

6.6/10 IMDB

Although loudmouthed braggart Jerry Plunkett alienates his comrades and officers, Father Duffy, the regimental chaplain, has faith that he'll prove himself in the end.

Starring: James Cagney, Pat O’Brien, George Brent, Jeffrey Lynn, Alan Hale, Frank McHugh, Dennis Morgan, Dick Foran, William Lundigan, Guinn "Big Boy" Williams ..
Directed by: William Keighley
Release date: 1940-01-27
Best War Movies of 1940 : The Howards of Virginia

The Howards of Virginia

6.0/10 IMDB

Beautiful young Virginian Jane steps down from her proper aristocratic upbringing when she marries down-to-earth surveyor Matt Howard. Matt joins the Colonial forces in their fight for freedom against England. Matt will meet Jane's father in the battlefield.

Starring: Cary Grant, Martha Scott, Cedric Hardwicke, Alan Marshal, Richard Carlson, Paul Kelly, Irving Bacon, Elisabeth Risdon, Anne Revere, Tom Drake ..
Directed by: Frank Lloyd
Release date: 1940-09-19
Best War Movies of 1940 : Four Sons

Four Sons

6.4/10 IMDB

Four Sons is a 1940 film directed by Archie Mayo. It stars Don Ameche and Eugenie Leontovich. It is a remake of the 1928 film of the same name.

Starring: Don Ameche, Eugenie Leontovich, Mary Beth Hughes, Alan Curtis, George Ernest, Robert Lowery, Lionel Royce, Sig Ruman, Ludwig Stössel, Christian Rub ..
Directed by: Archie Mayo
Release date: 1940-06-14

Sailors Three

5.3/10 IMDB

Three sailors get drunk while on shore leave and end up on the wrong ship. When they realise their mistake they scramble off it and onto their warship, HMS Ferocious. However, they soon realise that the vessel they have boarded is not the Ferocious but a German battleship.

Starring: Claude Hulbert, Michael Wilding, Carla Lehmann, Tommy Trinder, Jeanne De Casalis, Henry Hewitt, John Laurie, James Hayter, Brian Fitzpatrick, Harold Warrender ..
Directed by: Walter Forde
Release date: 1940-12-14
Best War Movies of 1940 : Junior G-Men

Junior G-Men

6.4/10 IMDB

A gang of urban street kids and a club of suburban would-be federal agents, at first rivals, join forces to rescue the father of one of the kids, the inventor of a super-explosive and its remote detonator, from the clutches of a band of foreign subversives call the "Flaming Torch Gang". A 12-episode movie serial with the chapters: •1. Enemies Within •2. The Blast of Doom •3. Human Dynamite •4. Blazing Danger •5. Trapped By Traitors •6. Traitors' Treachery •7. Flaming Death •8. Hurled Through Space •9. The Plunge of Peril •10.The Toll of Treason •11.Descending Doom •12.The Power of Patriotism

Starring: Billy Halop, Huntz Hall, Kenneth Howell, Phillip Terry, Cy Kendall, Gabriel Dell, Bernard Punsly, Ken Lundy, Ben Taggart, Russell Hicks ..
Directed by: Ford Beebe, John Rawlins
Release date: 1940-11-01
Best War Movies of 1940 : Let George Do It!

Let George Do It!

6.4/10 IMDB

Shortly after the start of World War II, a ukelele player (George) takes the wrong boat and finds himself in (still uninvaded) Norway. He is mistaken for a fellow British intelligence agent by a woman (Mary), and becomes involved in trying to defeat Nazi agents.

Starring: George Formby, Phyllis Calvert, Bernard Lee, Ronald Shiner, Garry Marsh, Romney Brent, Coral Browne, Helena Pickard, Percy Walsh, Diana Beaumont ..
Directed by: Marcel Varnel
Release date: 1940-07-12
Best War Movies of 1940 : Meet the Fleet

Meet the Fleet

6.1/10 IMDB

The story of three recruits undergoing Navy bootcamp training.

Starring: Robert Armstrong, William T. Orr, George Reeves, Mary Cheffey, Herbert Anderson, J.W. Weyl ..
Directed by: B. Reeves Eason
Release date: 1940-12-21

Flight Command

6.3/10 IMDB

A rookie flyer, Ens. Alan Drake, joins the famous Hellcats Squadron right out of flight school in Pensacola. He doesn't make a great first impression when he is forced to ditch his airplane and parachute to safety when he arrives at the base but is unable to land due to heavy fog. On his first day on the job, his poor shooting skills results in the Hellcats losing an air combat competition. His fellow pilots accept him anyways but they think he's crossed the line when they erroneously conclude that while their CO Billy Gray is away, Drake has an affair with his wife Lorna. Drake is now an outcast and is prepared to resign from the Navy but his extreme heroism in saving Billy Gray's life turns things around.

Starring: Robert Taylor, Ruth Hussey, Walter Pidgeon, Paul Kelly, Shepperd Strudwick, Red Skelton, Nat Pendleton, Dick Purcell, William Tannen, William Stelling ..
Directed by: Frank Borzage
Release date: 1940-12-27

Forty Thousand Horsemen

6.0/10 IMDB

Charles Chauvel's 1940 cinematic tribute to the mounted troops of the Australian Light Horse regiments is a rousing call to arms, giving life to the heroic tales of mateship during the Great War.

Starring: Grant Taylor, Betty Bryant, Chips Rafferty, Pat Twohill, Joe Valli, Harvey Adams, Eric Reiman, Albert C. Winn, Kenneth Brampton, John Fleeting ..
Directed by: Charles Chauvel
Release date: 1940-12-26


6.0/10 IMDB

A tale of life on board a Royal Navy cruiser assigned to protect the vital convoys between America and England during WWII.

Starring: Clive Brook, John Clements, Edward Chapman, Judy Campbell, Penelope Dudley-Ward, Edward Rigby, Allan Jeayes, Michael Wilding, Harold Warrender, David Hutcheson ..
Directed by: Pen Tennyson
Release date: 1940-09-28

Neutral Port

5.3/10 IMDB

A British merchant ship is torpedoed by a German U-Boat and takes shelter in a neutral port. The Captain then strikes back at the German enemy.

Starring: Will Fyffe, Leslie Banks, Yvonne Arnaud, Phyllis Calvert, Hugh McDermott, John Salew, Cameron Hall, Frederick Valk, Anthony Holles, Sigurd Lohde ..
Directed by: Marcel Varnel
Release date: 1940-12-06
Best War Movies of 1940 : Men Against the Sky

Men Against the Sky

5.8/10 IMDB

A draftswoman, the sister of an aging, alcoholic pilot, secretly uses her brother's ideas to solve design problems for an experimental military plane in an attempt to save the company and salvage her brother's reputation.

Starring: Richard Dix, Kent Taylor, Edmund Lowe, Wendy Barrie, Granville Bates, Grant Withers, Donald Briggs, Charles Quigley, Selmer Jackson, Lee Bonnell ..
Directed by: Leslie Goodwins
Release date: 1940-09-06

The Man from Dakota

5.6/10 IMDB

A frontier scout, a Boston officer and a Russian girl escape with a map past Confederates.

Starring: Wallace Beery, John Howard, Dolores del Río, Donald Meek, Robert Barrat, Addison Richards, Frederick Burton, William Haade, John Wray ..
Directed by: Leslie Fenton
Release date: 1940-02-16
Best War Movies of 1940 : Rewi's Last Stand

Rewi's Last Stand

5.6/10 IMDB

Star-crossed lovers, Robert and Ariana, are caught up in the New Zealand wars of the 1860s. Ariana is claimed by the Maniapoto people as one of their own and, despite Robert's chivalrous defence, is taken by them and must help them prepare for war. Robert likewise must do his patriotic duty and enlists to fight on the other side. He volunteers to ride despatch, thinking it may give him an opportunity to see Ariana again, which it does, but their joy is short-lived; Maniapoto women fight beside their men, and furthermore she is a Rangitira (noble) and will not let her people down. The climax is the siege of Oraku Pa where 300 Maori hold off 2000 troops for three days. The Maniapoto are defeated, but Ariana, although wounded, survives to be reunited with Robert.

Starring: Leo Pilcher, Ramai Te Miha, Henare Toka, Stanley Knight, John Gordon, A.J.C. Fisher, Peter Hutt, Colonel J.D. Swan, Bernard Britain, Raureti Te Huia ..
Directed by: Rudall Hayward
Release date: 1940-03-31
Best War Movies of 1940 : Ski Patrol

Ski Patrol

4.3/10 IMDB

In 1939, a group of Finnish soldiers defend the border from Russian invaders.

Starring: Luli Deste, Philip Dorn, Stanley Fields, Samuel S. Hinds, Edward Norris, John Qualen, John Arledge, Henry Brandon, Hardie Albright, John Ellis ..
Directed by: Lew Landers
Release date: 1940-05-09
Best War Movies of 1940 : An Englishman's Home

An Englishman's Home

7.0/10 IMDB

A German spy is dispatched to Britain to search out targets for a planned invasion.

Starring: Edmund Gwenn, Mary Maguire, Paul Henreid, Geoffrey Toone, Richard Ainley, Desmond Tester, Carl Jaffe, Meinhart Maur, Mavis Villiers, Mark Lester ..
Directed by: Albert de Courville
Release date: 1940-01-27

The Front Line

6.7/10 IMDB

The world's press gather at Dover, England awaiting a threatened German attack.

Directed by: Harry Watt
Release date: 1940-01-01
Best War Movies of 1940 : Mystery Sea Raider

Mystery Sea Raider

6.8/10 IMDB

June McCarthy has unwittingly aided an undercover Nazi naval officer with acquiring a "mother ship" for German submarines in the Atlantic.

Starring: Carole Landis, Henry Wilcoxon, Onslow Stevens, Kathleen Howard, Wally Rairden, Sven Hugo Borg, Henry Victor, Roland Varno, Louis Adlon, Willy Kaufman ..
Directed by: Edward Dmytryk
Release date: 1940-10-26
Best War Movies of 1940 : Women in War

Women in War

6.2/10 IMDB

A "good-time girl", raised by her somewhat lax divorced father, finds herself involved in an accidental death, and the only way she's able to get out of it is to volunteer--albeit reluctantly--to be a nurse in the war effort. She travels to England and is assigned to a hospital under a very strict matron. What the girl doesn't know is that the matron is the mother she has never seen.

Starring: Elsie Janis, Wendy Barrie, Patric Knowles, Mae Clarke, Dennie Moore, Dorothy Peterson, Billy Gilbert, Lawrence Grant, Peter Cushing ..
Directed by: John H. Auer
Release date: 1940-06-05
Best War Movies of 1940 : All Hands

All Hands

6.0/10 IMDB

From a series of propaganda films made to raise awareness of the risks of idle gossip providing vital information to enemy spies and collaborators. This Ealing Studios production features well-known 1940s actor John Mills, playing a sailor whose girlfriend thoughtlessly blunders away vital wartime secrets. The consequences prove disastrous when his boat next leaves to cross the English Channel.

Starring: John Mills, Leueen MacGrath, Eliot Makeham, Gertrude Musgrove, Carl Jaffe, Ralph Roberts, Annie Esmond, John Wengraf ..
Directed by: John Paddy Carstairs
Release date: 1940-05-31

For Freedom

5.7/10 IMDB

Made in 1940, this stirringly patriotic film cleverly combined new scenes with genuine newsreel footage. A newsreel journalist is on hand when the Giant German battleship Graf Spee flees into Montevideo Harbour after a punishing encounter with the British warships Exeter and Ajax. As events unfold in a very unexpected way, he is there with his camera to capture the dramatic end to the encounter.

Starring: Will Fyffe, Anthony Hulme, E. V. H. Emmett, Guy Middleton, Albert Lieven, Hugh McDermott, Arthur Goullet, Engineer Angel, Arthur Denton, Patrick Dove ..
Directed by: Maurice Elvey, Castleton Knight
Release date: 1940-05-04
Best War Movies of 1940 : Pony Express Days

Pony Express Days

5.8/10 IMDB

In this short, a youthful Buffalo Bill Cody joins the newly-formed Pony Express as a station hand and replaces the regular rider when he is shot.

Starring: George Reeves, David Bruce, Frank Wilcox, J. Farrell MacDonald, Joe King, Addison Richards ..
Directed by: B. Reeves Eason
Release date: 1940-07-13
Best War Movies of 1940 : Now You're Talking

Now You're Talking

5.7/10 IMDB

Commissioned by the Ministry of Information and specifically target working class audiences; ‘Now you’re talking’ follows a plant worker, who lets slip vital information about some overnight research on a captured enemy aircraft. This inevitably leads to this most important of secrets falling into the lap of the enemy.

Starring: Sebastian Shaw, Dorothy Hyson, Edward Chapman, Judy Campbell, George Merritt, Lloyd Pearson, Alec Clunes, George Relph, Johnnie Schofield, Gordon James ..
Directed by: John Paddy Carstairs
Release date: 1940-03-01

After Mein Kampf

5.5/10 IMDB

Allied propaganda in the form of cartoons and newsreels shows the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

Starring: Robert Beatty, Derek Blomfield, Herbert Lom, Olaf Olsen, Henry Oscar, Peter Ustinov ..
Directed by: Norman Lee
Release date: 1940-09-13

Young Veteran

0.0/10 IMDB

The first months of WWII as experienced by the new young recruits - the 'young Berts' - of the British Army.

Starring: Michael Foot ..
Directed by: Alberto Cavalcanti
Release date: 1940-12-01
Best War Movies of 1940 : London Can Take It!

London Can Take It!

7.0/10 IMDB

A tribute to the courage and resiliency of Britons during the darkest days of the London Blitz.

Starring: Quentin Reynolds ..
Directed by: Humphrey Jennings, Harry Watt
Release date: 1940-10-01
Best War Movies of 1940 : Young America Flies

Young America Flies

0.0/10 IMDB

World War II propaganda film from Warner Brothers.

Starring: Jean Parker, Donald Woods, William Lundigan, Henry O'Neill, William T. Orr, Herbert Anderson, Fred Harvey, Susan Peters, Frank Wilcox ..
Directed by: B. Reeves Eason
Release date: 1940-07-13

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