IMDb's 1940s Top 50

IMDb's 1940s Top 50's icon

An official iCheckMovies list.

Favorited 134 times, disliked 4 times, added to 161 watchlists.

The early years of the 40s decade were not promising for the American film industry, however, Hollywood film production rebounded and reached its profitable peak of efficiency during the years 1943 to 1946. Advances in film technology (sound recording, lighting, special effects, cinematography and use of color) meant that films were more watchable and 'modern'. The films themselves took on a more realistic rather than escapist tone, as they had done during the Depression years of the 30s. The 40s also were the decade that saw the birth of a new genre in film noir ("black film") pared with the revival of gangster films.

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  1. 1 -

    It's a Wonderful Life

    1946, in 29 top lists Check
  2. 2 -

    Casablanca

    1942, in 36 top lists Check
  3. 3 -

    The Great Dictator

    1940, in 24 top lists Check
  4. 4 -

    Les enfants du paradis

    1945 — a.k.a. Children of Paradise, in 20 top lists Check
  5. 5 -

    Citizen Kane

    1941, in 36 top lists Check
  6. 6 -

    Double Indemnity

    1944, in 33 top lists Check
  7. 7 -

    Ladri di biciclette

    1948 — a.k.a. Bicycle Thieves, in 35 top lists Check
  8. 8 -

    Banshun

    1949 — a.k.a. Late Spring, in 13 top lists Check
  9. 9 -

    The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

    1948, in 24 top lists Check
  10. 10 -

    To Be or Not to Be

    1942, in 22 top lists Check
  11. 11 +4

    A Matter of Life and Death

    1946, in 23 top lists Check
  12. 12 +1

    Rebecca

    1940, in 22 top lists Check
  13. 13 -1

    The Third Man

    1949, in 33 top lists Check
  14. 14 -

    The Red Shoes

    1948, in 25 top lists Check
  15. 15 -4

    The Heiress

    1949, in 10 top lists Check
  16. 16 +2

    The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

    1943, in 17 top lists Check
  17. 17 -1

    White Heat

    1949, in 15 top lists Check
  18. 18 -1

    The Shop Around the Corner

    1940, in 13 top lists Check
  19. 19 -

    Vredens dag

    1943 — a.k.a. Day of Wrath, in 12 top lists Check
  20. 20 +2

    The Maltese Falcon

    1941, in 25 top lists Check
  21. 21 -1

    Rope

    1948, in 9 top lists Check
  22. 22 -1

    Arsenic and Old Lace

    1944, in 8 top lists Check
  23. 23 +1

    The Grapes of Wrath

    1940, in 22 top lists Check
  24. 24 -1

    The Best Years of Our Lives

    1946, in 25 top lists Check
  25. 25 +5

    Kind Hearts and Coronets

    1949, in 19 top lists Check
  26. 26 +1

    Out of the Past

    1947, in 15 top lists Check
  27. 27 -1

    Laura

    1944, in 19 top lists Check
  28. 28 -3

    Mildred Pierce

    1945, in 15 top lists Check
  29. 29 -1

    Brief Encounter

    1945, in 21 top lists Check
  30. 30 +2

    The Ox-Bow Incident

    1942, in 13 top lists Check
  31. 31 -

    Roma città aperta

    1945 — a.k.a. Rome, Open City, in 22 top lists Check
  32. 32 +1

    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

    1945, in 5 top lists Check
  33. 33 +1

    The Little Foxes

    1941, in 6 top lists Check
  34. 34 -5

    Random Harvest

    1942, in 7 top lists Check
  35. 35 -

    Letter from an Unknown Woman

    1948, in 14 top lists Check
  36. 36 -

    Sciuscià

    1946 — a.k.a. Shoeshine, in 10 top lists Check
  37. 37 -

    The Philadelphia Story

    1940, in 19 top lists Check
  38. 38 -

    Notorious

    1946, in 22 top lists Check
  39. 39 -

    The Big Sleep

    1946, in 20 top lists Check
  40. 40 +1

    His Girl Friday

    1940, in 19 top lists Check
  41. 41 +1

    The Lost Weekend

    1945, in 16 top lists Check
  42. 42 +1

    Miracle on 34th Street

    1947, in 6 top lists Check
  43. 43 -3

    The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

    1947, in 8 top lists Check
  44. 44 +1

    La belle et la bête

    1946 — a.k.a. Beauty and the Beast, in 24 top lists Check
  45. 45 -1

    Now, Voyager

    1942, in 12 top lists Check
  46. 46 -

    Sullivan's Travels

    1941, in 23 top lists Check
  47. 47 -

    Nora inu

    1949 — a.k.a. Stray Dog, in 9 top lists Check
  48. 48 -

    Monsieur Verdoux

    1947, in 11 top lists Check
  49. 49 -

    Germania anno zero

    1948 — a.k.a. Germany Year Zero, in 11 top lists Check
  50. 50 new

    I Remember Mama

    1948, in 2 top lists Check
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Last updated on Jul 2, 2020; source