A Decade of Films: Top 15 of the 1940s

My 15 favorite films released from 1940 through 1949.

  • The Best Years of Our Lives


  • Casablanca


  • Spellbound


  • His Girl Friday


  • The Third Man


  • Kind Hearts and Coronets


  • It's a Wonderful Life


  • Beauty and the Beast


  • Double Indemnity


  • Bicycle Thieves


  • Phantom of the Opera


  • Dumbo


  • The Keys of the Kingdom


  • Twelve O'Clock High


  • House of Frankenstein



  • You've gotta check out Double Indemnity, The Maltese Falcon, Murder, My Sweet, and The Big Sleep.

    I also had no idea Dumbo is that old.

  • Thanks for the recommendations! I have seen "Double Indemnity;" it's probably due for a rewatch.

    Yeah, "Dumbo" came out in 1941. I read a review somewhere that called the animation "dated." I just shook my head at the obviousness of the comment, but it still plays very fresh to me.

  • I assumed it came out in the seventies or some such. I just looked at the trailer there and the animation doesn't seem too dated to me. Certainly not seventy years old.

  • Double Indemnity is as close to perfect as movies get. Change one thing about it and it instantly becomes inferior. It literally got everything right. Took me a few watches to fully appreciate it, though.

    Also...not a Citizen Kane fan?

  • I respect "Citizen Kane." I admire "Citizen Kane." I undestand "Citizen Kane's" contribution to cinema. I just don't love "Citizen Kane."

    And I really need to get on that "Double Indemnity" rewatch!

  • I think in this day and age as a first time viewer of Citizen Kane it's hard to love it, given its massive reputation.

  • Agree with the comments above about Citizen Kane. Seen it, respect it, just not a massive fan. Also agree about the need to check out the Maltese Falcon: its probably my #1 movie from the decade. Granted, there are a ton of top-tier titles I haven't seen, including about half this list.

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