Greatest Films of the 1940s
Greatest Films of the 1940s

Greatest Films of the 1940s
1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1944 | 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949


Title Screen Film Genre(s), Title, Year, (Country), Length, Director, Description

Anchors Aweigh (1945), 143 minutes, D: George Sidney

And Then There Were None (1945) (aka Ten Little Niggers, UK), 97 minutes, D: Rene Clair

The Battle of San Pietro (1945) (aka San Pietro), 32 minutes, D: John Huston (uncredited)

The Bells of St. Mary's (1945), 126 minutes, D: Leo McCarey

The Children of Paradise (1945, Fr.) (aka Les Enfants Du Paradis), 190 minutes, D: Marcel Carne.

Detour (1945), 67 minutes, D: Edgar G. Ulmer

I Know Where I'm Going! (1945, UK), 91 minutes, D: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

Leave Her to Heaven (1945), 111 minutes, D: John M. Stahl

The Lost Weekend (1945), 101 minutes, D: Billy Wilder
Based on Charles Jackson's 1944 novel by co-screenwriters Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder and filmed in NYC. A classic, melodramatic, realistically-grim and uncompromising "social-problem" film of the 1940s, about the controversial subject of alcoholism, told partially in flashback. Rather than join his brother Wick (Philip Terry) on a weekend outing to the country, talented New York aspiring novel writer Don Birnam (Ray Milland) - a chronic alcoholic with writer's block - spends a 'lost weekend' on a wild, self-destructive drinking binge. Eluding his persistently supportive girlfriend Helen St. James (Jane Wyman), he desperately trudges down Third Avenue on Yom Kippur attempting to find an open pawnshop to hock his own typewriter for another drink. In Bellevue Hospital's alcohol detoxification ward, he awakens to shrieking inmates suffering the DT's, and in his apartment experiences hallucinations of a mouse attacked by a bat. He narrowly avoids committing suicide in the 'optimistic' ending. A Best Picture-winning film.

Mildred Pierce (1945), 109 minutes, D: Michael Curtiz
One of the best melodramatic, 'women's pictures' and film noir classics of the 1940s - and Joan Crawford's comeback film. Adapted from James M. Cain's novel. Begins with the murder of Monte Beragon (Zachary Scott) in a beach house. Suspect Mildred Pierce (Joan Crawford) is interrogated by police for the killing of her second husband. In flashback, housewife Mildred is divorced from her husband Bert (Bruce Bennett). The hardworking, dowdy woman obsessively dotes on her two daughters, especially rotten, spoiled elder daughter Veda (Ann Blyth), so she is forced to become a waitress. Through determination and will-power, she opens up a small restaurant, develops it into a successful chain, receives assistance from realtor/rebuffed beau Wally Fay (Jack Carson), and marries socially-prominent playboy Monte Beragon. The petulant, selfishly-ungrateful Veda romances her own step-father behind the restaurateur's long-suffering back. The murder mystery concludes with a resolution to the question - who murdered Monte?

Open City (1945, It.) (aka Roma, Citta Aperta), 100 minutes, D: Roberto Rossellini

The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), 110 minutes, D: Albert Lewin

Scarlet Street (1945), 103 minutes, D: Fritz Lang

The Seventh Veil (1945, UK), 95 minutes, D: Compton Bennett

The Southerner (1945), 91 minutes, D: Jean Renoir

Spellbound (1945), 111 minutes, D: Alfred Hitchcock

The Spiral Staircase (1945), 83 minutes, D: Robert Siodmak

They Were Expendable (1945), 135 minutes, D: John Ford

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), 128 minutes, D: Elia Kazan

A Walk in the Sun (1945), 117 minutes, D: Lewis Milestone

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