FAVORITE 1940'S FILMS
Happy Friday, we are on the third installment of the Favorite Films Fridya series. We are in the decade of the 1940's. The 40's just like the 30's has a lot of fantastic films to choose from. It was again a struggle to limit the list down to 15 instead of 100.
As I have been thinking about which films to put in my lists, I have realized that I watch so many movies. The classics are still my ultimate favorites. You can't beat them. The cinematography is new for their time. The films may be in black and white with quality; unlike HD, but the art behind it is superb. Films today are what they are because of the classics.
Today's list will be filled with a good variety of genres, and a great lineup of A-list actors and actresses from the time.
1.) The Philadelphia Story (1940) When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself.
Director: George Cukor. Writers: Donald Ogden Stewart (screenplay), Philip Barry (based on the play by). Stars: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart. IMDb
It's impossible to watch movies with these stars in it, and not like it. They are sensational actors. The Philadelphia Story is one film you have to add to your must-watch list especially if you like romantic comedies. You'll be laughing and rooting for love.
2.) His Girl Friday (1940) A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying.
Director: Howard Hawks. Writers: Charles Lederer (screenplay), Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur (from the play "The Front Page"). Stars: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy. IMDb
A lovely fast-paced drama. Rosalind Russell portrayed the character of Hildy Johnson excellently with natural wit and a spunky personality. I recently rewatched this movie on Amazon Prime Video. I was so excited to watch it since I'm working on this film series.
3.) The Grapes of Wrath (1940) A poor Midwest family is forced off their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.
Director: John Ford. Writers: Nunnally Johnson (screenplay), John Steinbeck (based on the novel by). Stars: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine. IMDb
If you've read The Grapes of Wrath and liked it, then you are going to like this movie. It stays true to the book with accuracy. I love watching movies that are based on the book and give you the true essence of the book. If you've not read the book, read it then watch this movie.
4.) Pinocchio (1940) A living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.
Directors: Norman Ferguson, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson Jack Kinney Hamilton Luske Bill Roberts Ben Sharpsteen. Writers: Carlo Collodi (from the story by) (as Collodi), Ted Sears (story adaptation) Stars: Dickie Jones, Christian Rub, Mel Blanc. IMDb
I enjoy watching Pinocchio and seeing the storyline play out. It doesn't matter how many times I watch it, and the artwork always astonishes me every time. My favorite character is Jiminy Cricket the conscience of Pinocchio. We all need a Jiminy Cricket, especially those who seriously lack a conscience.
5.) Citizen Kane (1941) Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.
Director: Orson Welles. Writers: Herman J. Mankiewicz (original screenplay), Orson Welles (original screenplay) Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore. IMDb
Citizen Kane is a mystery drama worth watching. It keeps you guessing what's happening. Every time I watch this movie I always feel like it is the first time I am watching it. I wonder if Amazon Video has it hmm. I will be looking for it and hopefully watching it soon. The cast gives a all-around strong performance. Who is Mr. Kane?
6.) In the Navy (1941) It's military mayhem on the high seas when the two comics join the Navy and get involved with a popular singer who enlists because he wants to be free of the swooning, screaming women that continually follow him about. Unfortunately for the crooner, he is chased by a determined female reporter. Songs include: "Starlight, Starbright," "Hula Ba Lua," "Gimme Some Skin," and "We're in the Navy." RottenTomatoes
Comedians Abbott and Costello are great in this high seas comedy. If you are having a bad day, I suggest putting on this movie and allowing yourself to enjoy the humor and laugh along.
7.) Casablanca (1942) A cynical nightclub owner protects an old flame and her husband from Nazis in Morocco.
Director: Michael Curtiz. Writers: Julius J. Epstein (screenplay), Philip G. Epstein (screenplay) Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, and Loius Armstrong IMDb
The star-studded cast does not disappoint in Casablanca. I first watched this film in my seventh-grade classroom. I think I was the only student who didn't complain and groan. After watching it in class, I begged my older sister to take me to the store so I could purchase the movie. For the first two weeks, I think I watched it every evening.
8.) Going My Way (1944) Father Charles O'Malley, a young priest at a financially failing Church in a tough neighborhood, gains support and inspires his superior.
Director: Leo McCarey. Writers: Frank Butler (screenplay), Frank Cavett (screenplay) Stars: Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, Frank McHugh. IMDb
Going My Way is a wonderful movie. If you like musicals and heartfelt stories, then you will also like this film. TCM (Turner Classic Movies) introduced me to this movie like many other movies when I was a preteen. The music will make you want to sing along. It is a movie that keeps you connected to the characters and the story playing in front of you.
9.) Anchors Aweigh (1945) Two sailors, one naive, the other experienced in the ways of the world, on liberty in Los Angeles, is the setting for this movie musical.
Director: George Sidney. Writers: Isobel Lennart (screenplay), Natalie Marcin (suggested by a story by). Stars: Frank Sinatra, Kathryn Grayson, Gene Kelly. IMDb
Every film that Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly made does not disappoint, and Anchors Aweigh is another prime example of their talent and on-screen chemistry. I used to watch this film all the time, and it makes me sad to think that I have not seen it in so long. Yet, another movie I have to search for and watch.
10.) Ziegfeld Follies (1945) The late, great impresario Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. looks down from heaven and ordains a new revenue in his grand style.
Directors: Lemuel Ayers, Roy Del Ruth, Robert Lewis, Vincente Minnelli, George Sidney, Merrill Pye, and Charles Walters. Writers: David Freeman, Hugh Martin, and Ralph Bane.
Stars: Fred Astaire, William Ford, Judy Garland, and Lucille Ball. IMDb
It is lovely to see such great actors in a wonderful film such as this one. You get to hear Judy's lovely raspy voice and see Fred Astaire's graceful dancing. I love to watch this movie any time I can.
11.) It's a Wonderful Life (1946) An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.
Director: Frank Capra. Writers: Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, and Frank Capra (screenplay). Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, and Lionel Barrymore. IMDb
Oh, It's a Wonderful Life is an all-time classic that I must watch every Christmas season, and even when it is not Christmas season. I like to pop the DVD in whenever I'm feeling the need to watch a feel-good film. It indeed is a feel good film with good values and morals behind the storyline.
12.) Notorious (1946) A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi Friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?
Director: Alfred Hitchcock. Writer: Ben Hecht. Stars: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, and Claude Rains. IMDb
Alfred Hitchcock does not disappoint in Notorious. It is a thriller that keeps you wondering and guessing about what's going to happen. The cast did a marvelous job in portraying the realness and also creepiness of the characters they were portraying. Ingrid Bergman was great in this role; she was such a great actress. Whenever I watch her in this movie, I immediately want to see more of her movies and end up binges on films she is in.
13.) Miracle on 34th Street (1947) When a nice old man claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decided to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.
Director: Geroge Seaton. Writers: George Seaton (written for the screen by), Valentine Davies (story). Stars: Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, and John Payne. IMDb
Miracle on 34th Street is another heartwarming Christmas film. It doesn't matter how many times I watch this movie, it always feels like the first time. I get so caught up in the story. When the Christmas season is here, this movie comes out of my movie collection and heads into my DVD player so I can continually watch it.
14.) Rope (1948) Two young men strangle their "inferior" classmate, hide his body in their apartment, and invite his friends and family to a dinner party as a means to challenge the "perfection" of their crime.
Director: Alfred Hitchcock. Writers: Hume Cronyn (adapted by), Patrick Hamilton (from the play by), and Arthur Laurents (screenplay by). Stars: James Stewart, John Dall, and Farley Granger. IMDb
Creepy, Creepy, Creepy... Alfred Hitchcock was an extraordinary director who captured this story so well. It kept me on my tows and in awe. If you like mystery movies, you'll definitely like this one.
15.) On the Town (1949) Three Sailors of shore leave in New York City look for fun and romance before their twenty -four hours are up.
Directors: Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly. Writer: Adolph Green (screenplay), Betty Comden (screenplay), and Jerome Robbins (idea). Stars: Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett, Ann Miller, Jules Munshin, and Vera-Ellen. IMDb
Number 15 is another Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly film, but I could not help adding this one. Anchors Aweigh and On the Town are both similar films but very different. They both have their own special storyline to them. I can watch them back to back, over and over again.
Those are just 15 of my favorite films from the 1940's. Like I said in the beginning I wish I could add each and every film that I love from this time but that list would be way too long. I hope you are having a blessed Friday.
What are your favorite films from the 1940's?