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Top 50 Movies of the 1940s

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Published on Jun 2, 2012

Political events in Europe - the slow triumph of fascism, which eventually led to World War II - were also focusing the minds of American filmmakers on the possibilities of the cinematic medium, and its inherent dangers. In the 40s, then, Hollywood was in a state of creative tension, suspended between propaganda and political education, between realism and escapism. In many films, the war and the Depression seem to have written an almost subliminal subtext. Sometimes, indeed, the angst became explicit, as in the pessimistic thrillers that still epitomize the Hollywood of the 40s. We are referring, of course, to what we now know as film noir.

50. Bathing Beauty - George Sidney
49. Munchhausen - Josef Von Baky
48. Green For Danger - Sidney Gilliat
47. Woman Of The Year - George Stevens
46. Cover Girl - Charles Vidor
45. The Outlaw - Howard Hughes
44. Arsenic And Old Lace - Frank Capra
43. Bambi - David Hand
42. The Lady From Shanghai - Orson Welles
41. Gilda - Charles Vidor
40. I Walked With A Zombie - Jacques Tourneur
39. The Spiral Staircase - Robert Siodmak
38. For Whom The Bell Tolls - Sam Wood
37. Gaslight - George Cukor
36. Cat People - Jacques Tourneur
35. Adam's Rib - George Cukor
34. Letter From An Unknown Woman - Max Ophuls
33. The Shop Around The Corner - Ernst Lubitsch
32. White Heat - Raoul Walsh
31. The Philadelphia Story - George Cukor
30. The Bank Dick - Edward F. Cline
29. Laura - Otto Preminger
28. Spring In A Small Town - Fei Mu
27. My Darling Clementine - John Ford
26. How Green Was My Valley - John Ford
25. The Lady Eve - Preston Sturges
24. Rebecca - Alfred Hitchcock
23. The Thief Of Bagdad - Michael Powell
22. On The Town - Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen
21. The Great Dictator - Charlie Chaplin
20. His Girl Friday - Howard Hawks
19. Henry V - Laurence Olivier
18. The Red Shoes - Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
17. Now, Voyager - Irving Rapper
16. Double Indemnity - Billy Wilder
15. Pinocchio - Ben Sharpsteen
14. Sullivan's Travels - Preston Sturges
13. Beauty And The Beast - Jean Cocteau
12. The Big Sleep - Howard Hawks
11. Notorious - Alfred Hitchcock
10. Brief Encounter - David Lean
09. The Third Man - Carol Reed
08. Out Of The Past - Jacques Tourneur
07. Children Of Paradise - Marcel Carne
06. Ivan The Terrible - Sergei Eisenstein
05. Casablanca - Michael Curtiz
04. Citizen Kane - Orson Welles
03. Great Expectations - David Lean
02. Meet Me In St. Louis - Vincente Minnelli
01. Bicycle Thieves - Vittorio De Sica

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