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10 Great Movie Classics of the 1940's

Updated on June 25, 2008

Rebecca ~ 1940

The Philadelphia Story ~ 1940

Citizen Kane ~ 1941

The Maltese Falcon ~ 1941

Casablanca ~ 1942

Meet Me in St. Louis ~ 1944

Double Indemnity ~ 1944

Mildred Pierce ~ 1945

The Lost Weekend ~ 1945

White Heat ~ 1949


10 Great Movie Classics of the 1940's

  1. Rebecca ~ 1940 Alfred Hitchcock's first Academy Award was won for best picture was for a little film simply titled "Rebecca". A generous budget allowed Hitchcock to extravagantly design the Manderley mansion on a grand scale in order to add a cinematic richness. The ghost of a much beloved deceased wife and the attempt to romance the naïve innocent new bride transforms this haunting film to epic status. Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine were also both nominated for Oscars.

  2. The Philadelphia Story ~ 1940 Adapted from the Broadway stage to the silver screen, Katherine Hepburn transcends beauty and showcases 1940's style feminine virtue. Cary Grant and James Stewart lend their talents to powerful on screen performances. This brilliant film was later reincarnated into a 1956 film titled "High Society".

  3. Citizen Kane ~ 1941 Citizen Kane was critically acclaimed and widely recognized as one of the greatest films ever made. Amazingly, this was Orson Welles debut film at the very young age of 24. Welle's himself plays the lead role of a poor young man who suddenly strikes it rich from a gold mine he inherits from his mother. Welles scored a triple nomination as lead actor, director, and for best picture.

  4. The Maltese Falcon ~ 1941 Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor star in this Oscar-nominated film for best picture. Private Eye Sam Spade (Bogart) is slick as much as he stylish. He is on a calculated mission to bring in his partner's killer. Mary Astor plays a sophisticated and impeccably dressed mystery woman who knows much more then she's willing to share. A magnificent tale that takes more twists and tuns then a raging roller coaster ride.

  5. Casablanca ~ 1942 A fan favorite and an Academy Award winner. One dare not even claim themselves an avid movie goer unless they've seen this film. Grand, iconic and often noted as one of the greatest films of the Golden Age. "Of all the gin joints...." Ingrid Bergman is gorgeous and brings you back to an almost forgotten kind of glamour. "Play it again, Sam."

  6. Meet Me in St. Louis ~ 1944 Starring Margaret O'Brien and Judy Garland, Meet Me in St. Louis is a true classic that is a melodrama that manages to leave it's mark from deep within your soul. Art, music, and dance paint a picture of happiness, sadness and disappointment. An unforgettable family tale of woe and triumph.

  7. Double Indemnity ~ 1944 Billy Wilder directs this Oscar-nominated film noir. Fred McMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson give standout performances in this crime drama full of intrigue, murder and treachery. Oh, and love can be found intertwined beautifully for all the romantic at heart.

  8. Mildred Pierce ~ 1945 Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden and Ann Blyth star in this Oscar-nominated chilling tale of a fatal obsession. Intensely gripping, intelligent and the sort of masterpiece not to be watched alone. Ann Blythe, who is only 17 at the time of filming, is scene-stealing and eerily seductive.

  9. The Lost Weekend ~ 1945 The Lost Weekend grabbed Oscar nods for best picture (Charles Brackett), director (Billy Wilder) and best lead actor (Ray Milland). A painful look inside the life of an alcoholic's demise in all it's gore. The lead character "Don Birnam" is a struggling writer who tragically spirals out of the control. Stripped and raw, realism that at times makes you grimace with sympathetic anguish.

  10. White Heat ~ 1949 White Heat won an Oscar nomination for best screenplay. Starring James Cagney, Virginia Mayo and Edmond O'Brien, is a story of a train-robbery gone awry. Jam-packed with action in such a compact way, it'll take you a moment to catch your breath. Cagney is white-hot and assuredly reminds us of his majestic presence. "Look Ma, top of the world!"


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    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 

      5 years ago from The High Seas

      EXCELLENT list. I pity anyone that has not seen these movies because they are all great (well maybe not Citizen Kane but that's a personal opinion).


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