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

The Bishop's Wife (1947), 105 minutes, D: Henry Koster

Black Narcissus (1947, UK), 100 minutes, D: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger

Body and Soul (1947), 104 minutes, D: Robert Rossen

Crossfire (1947), 86 minutes, D: Edward Dmytryk

Dark Passage (1947), 106 minutes, D: Delmer Daves

A Double Life (1947), 103 minutes, D: George Cukor

The Farmer's Daughter (1947), 96 minutes, D: H.C. Potter

Gentleman's Agreement (1947), 118 minutes, D: Elia Kazan

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), 104 minutes, D: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Miracle on 34th Street (1947), 96 minutes, D: George Seaton
A popular, perennial favorite Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday film adapted from Valentine Davies' original story. A sentimental and appealing Frank Capra-esque morality fantasy tale (similar to Meet John Doe (1941)) about the struggle between faith and doubting cynicism, as well as between the holiday spirit of generosity and materialistic commercialism. When a Macy's New York City Thanksgiving Day parade Santa Claus is discovered to be intoxicated by a white-whiskered, kindly old man calling himself Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn), Kringle is hired by special-events parade organizer and single mother Doris Walker (Maureen O'Hara) to be their new Saint Nick. The emergency in-house replacement - the new, grandfatherly jolly fellow from the North Pole, proves to be a smash hit, but some doubts are raised when he sends customers to other rival department stores, such as Gimbels, when Macy's doesn't have the correct merchandise. Kringle, who insists he is the real Santa Claus, is examined by the store psychologist and determined to be insane, and further investigation reveals the old man to be a delusional, but harmless resident of a nursing home in Great Neck, LI. Psychiatrists from Bellevue Hospital threaten to have him put away in a mental institution, but Kringle's twinkly-eyed earnestness and wholesomeness remove the doubts of even the skeptical Doris and her equally cynical, wide-eyed, precocious second-grade daughter Susan (Natalie Wood). The film climaxes with the famous court hearing on Kringle's insanity between Macy's (legally represented by Doris' handsome bachelor lawyer Fred Gaily (John Payne)) and Gimbels. The legal case ends with the presentation of sacks of forwarded letters sent to the Post Office addressed to Santa Claus, proving that the U.S. Government believes that Kris is Santa. Perhaps the most touching moment, however, is Kringle reassuringly singing a song to a frightened, refugee Dutch girl in her native language.

Monsieur Verdoux (1947), 124 minutes, D: Charles Chaplin

Odd Man Out (1947, UK), 116 minutes, D: Carol Reed

Out of the Past (1947) (aka Build My Gallows High), 97 minutes, D: Jacques Tourneur
A beguiling, complex film noir from the post WWII period. This classic is laced with doom-laden flashbacks from the shady past, about a laconic private detective who is caught in a deathly web - the picture was AKA Build My Gallows High, and based on Geoffrey Homes' novel. Jeff (Robert Mitchum), who has moved to the country to find solitude, is hired for one last assignment and brought out of retirement by gangster Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas). On the way to the job, he describes his past to his fiancee Ann (Virginia Huston), and his journey to Acapulco where he first came under the lethal, erotic spell of femme fatale Kathie (Jane Greer) in an ill-fated affair. When the present action resumes, Jeff is doomed and seduced once again by the same charming, but wicked woman he had once loved and lost - a return to the past and involvement in a complex web of intrigue, passion, betrayal, double and triple-crosses and death.

Pursued (1947), 101 minutes, D: Raoul Walsh

Secret Beyond the Door... (1947), 99 minutes, D: Fritz Lang

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), 110 minutes, D. Norman McLeod

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