PUNQ’s – Top-300 – 1940

by Holypunq | created - 13 Oct 2016 | updated - 13 Oct 2016 | Public

Welcome to 1940! THE WAR IS ON!!! That's the big difference between 1939 and 1940. Now there is no vague hints who the enemies are. No tip-toeing around the political climate. It's full-on propaganda!!! Most films had references to the enemy, fitting or not to the movie, it was forced in. A gloomier Hollywood starting slowly to detached itself from the jolly pace of the 1930s cinema. Non-English cinema suffered greatly from the war. Perhaps the strongest foreign scene was Germany's own agenda driven machine delivering some strong and repulsive outings unique to it's time. A fascinating year.

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1. The Great Dictator (1940)

Passed | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, War

Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner

Votes: 194,373 | Gross: $0.29M

2. Pinocchio (1940)

G | 88 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

99 Metascore

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 | Stars: Dickie Jones, Christian Rub, Mel Blanc, Don Brodie

Votes: 125,824 | Gross: $84.25M

3. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Not Rated | 112 min | Comedy, Romance

96 Metascore

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 | Stars: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey

Votes: 61,287

4. His Girl Friday (1940)

Passed | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy, Gene Lockhart

Votes: 51,488 | Gross: $0.30M

5. Fantasia (1940)

G | 125 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

96 Metascore

A collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music.

Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Ford Beebe Jr., Norman Ferguson, David Hand, Jim Handley, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Corey Burton

Votes: 85,863 | Gross: $76.41M

6. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Passed | 129 min | Drama, History

96 Metascore

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 | Stars: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine, Charley Grapewin

Votes: 84,004 | Gross: $0.06M

7. The Thief of Bagdad (1940)

Not Rated | 106 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

After being tricked and cast out of Bagdad by the evil Jaffar, King Ahmad joins forces with a thief named Abu to reclaim his throne, the city, and the Princess he loves.

Directors: Ludwig Berger, Michael Powell, Tim Whelan, Alexander Korda, Zoltan Korda, William Cameron Menzies | Stars: Conrad Veidt, Sabu, June Duprez, John Justin

Votes: 11,485 | Gross: $0.27M

8. Rebecca (1940)

Approved | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

86 Metascore

A self-conscious woman juggles adjusting to her new role as an aristocrat's wife and avoiding being intimidated by his first wife's spectral presence.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson

Votes: 117,642 | Gross: $4.36M

9. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

Not Rated | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

96 Metascore

Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand each other, without realizing that they are falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan, Joseph Schildkraut

Votes: 26,344 | Gross: $0.20M

10. The Mark of Zorro (1940)

Approved | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

A young Spanish aristocrat must masquerade as a fop in order to maintain his secret identity of Zorro as he restores justice to early California.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian | Stars: Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Basil Rathbone, Gale Sondergaard

Votes: 9,002 | Gross: $4.36M

11. Foreign Correspondent (1940)

Passed | 120 min | Action, Romance, Thriller

On the eve of World War II, a young American reporter tries to expose enemy agents in London.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall, George Sanders

Votes: 17,576 | Gross: $3.48M

12. Gaslight (1940)

Not Rated | 84 min | Thriller

Twenty years after the murder of Alice Barlow, her house is finally occupied again. However, the husband from the couple who have moved in has a secret which he will do anything to keep hidden.

Director: Thorold Dickinson | Stars: Anton Walbrook, Diana Wynyard, Frank Pettingell, Cathleen Cordell

Votes: 3,650

13. Puss Gets the Boot (1940)

Approved | 9 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

Tom (Jasper) gets told that if he breaks one more thing he is getting thrown out, so Jerry tries his best to make Jasper "Get the Boot".

Directors: Joseph Barbera, William Hanna | Star: Lillian Randolph

Votes: 1,760

14. The Westerner (1940)

Approved | 100 min | Drama, Romance, Western

78 Metascore

Judge Roy Bean, a self-appointed hanging judge in Vinegarroon, Texas, befriends saddle tramp Cole Harden, who opposes Bean's policy against homesteaders.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Doris Davenport, Fred Stone

Votes: 4,840

15. The Sea Hawk (1940)

Approved | 127 min | Action, Adventure, History

Geoffrey Thorpe, a buccaneer, is hired by Queen Elizabeth I to nag the Spanish Armada. The Armada is waiting for the attack on England and Thorpe surprises them with attacks on their galleons where he shows his skills on the sword.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains, Donald Crisp

Votes: 8,827

16. Night Train to Munich (1940)

Not Rated | 90 min | Thriller, War

After Germany invades Czechoslovakia, the German and the British intelligence services try to capture Czech scientist Dr. Axel Bomasch (James Harcourt), inventor of a new type of armor-plating.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Rex Harrison, Paul Henreid, Basil Radford

Votes: 4,347

17. Waterloo Bridge (1940)

Passed | 108 min | Drama, Romance, War

During World War I, believing her fiance to be dead, a young ballerina loses her job and is forced to turn to prostitution.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Vivien Leigh, Robert Taylor, Lucile Watson, Virginia Field

Votes: 8,629

18. City for Conquest (1940)

Passed | 104 min | Drama, Music, Sport

Danny is a content truck driver, but his girl Peggy shows potential as a dancer and hopes he too can show ambition. Danny acquiesces and pursues boxing to please her, but the two begin to spend more time working than time together.

Directors: Anatole Litvak, Jean Negulesco | Stars: James Cagney, Ann Sheridan, Arthur Kennedy, Donald Crisp

Votes: 2,031

19. The Letter (1940)

Not Rated | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

The wife of a rubber plantation administrator shoots a man to death and claims it was self-defense, but a letter in her own hand may prove her undoing.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson, Frieda Inescort

Votes: 11,231

20. Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)

Approved | 64 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

An aspiring reporter is the key witness at the murder trial of a young man accused of cutting a café owner's throat and is soon accused of a similar crime himself.

Director: Boris Ingster | Stars: Peter Lorre, John McGuire, Margaret Tallichet, Charles Waldron

Votes: 3,440

21. Remember the Night (1940)

Passed | 94 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A shoplifter and her prosecutor fall in love, creating tensions for his career and family.

Director: Mitchell Leisen | Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson

Votes: 4,343 | Gross: $0.17M

22. You Ought to Be in Pictures (1940)

Approved | 10 min | Animation, Family, Comedy

Daffy Duck convinces Porky Pig to quit the cartoon biz and try his luck in the features. Porky's adventures begin when he tries to enter the studio.

Director: Friz Freleng | Stars: Mel Blanc, Leon Schlesinger, Henry Binder, Gerry Chiniquy

Votes: 1,406

23. The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

Passed | 81 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

The owner of a coal mining operation, falsely imprisoned for fratricide, takes a drug to make him invisible, despite its side effect: gradual madness.

Director: Joe May | Stars: Cedric Hardwicke, Vincent Price, Nan Grey, John Sutton

Votes: 3,398

24. Virginia City (1940)

Passed | 121 min | Action, Drama, History

Union officer Kerry Bradford escapes from Confederate Prison and is set to Virginia City in Nevada. Once there he finds that the former commander of his prison Vance Irby is planning to send $5 million in gold to save the Confederacy.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Errol Flynn, Miriam Hopkins, Randolph Scott, Humphrey Bogart

Votes: 2,132

25. The Mortal Storm (1940)

Passed | 100 min | Drama

The Roth family leads a quiet life in a small village in the German Alps during the early 1930s. When the Nazis come to power, the family is divided and Martin Brietner, a family friend is caught up in the turmoil.

Director: Frank Borzage | Stars: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Robert Young, Frank Morgan

Votes: 4,296

26. A Wild Hare (1940)

Approved | 8 min | Animation, Family, Short

Elmer is a dimwitted hunter who's "wooking for wabbits." Bugs proceeds to confuse, bamboozle, and otherwise humiliate the poor simp.

Director: Tex Avery | Stars: Mel Blanc, Arthur Q. Bryan

Votes: 1,323

27. Strange Cargo (1940)

Passed | 113 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

Convicts escaping from Devil's Island come under the influence of a strange Christ-like figure.

Director: Frank Borzage | Stars: Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Ian Hunter, Peter Lorre

Votes: 2,092

28. The Ghost Breakers (1940)

Passed | 85 min | Comedy, Horror, Mystery

A radio broadcaster, his quaking manservant and an heiress investigate the mystery of a haunted castle in Cuba.

Director: George Marshall | Stars: Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, Richard Carlson, Paul Lukas

Votes: 2,900

29. The Stationmaster (1940)

92 min | Drama

When two russian captains of cavalry came to a German post station one of them recalls what happened long time ago. He begins to tell the story: Ten years ago a comrade of them made a ... See full summary »

Director: Gustav Ucicky | Stars: Heinrich George, Hilde Krahl, Siegfried Breuer, Hans Holt

Votes: 149

30. Where's That Fire? (1939)

73 min | Comedy

A hapless fire crew are given the ultimatum: put out a fire successfully or else be sacked. They fail miserably, and their ancient fire engine is stolen by criminals attempting to steal the... See full summary »

Director: Marcel Varnel | Stars: Will Hay, Moore Marriott, Graham Moffatt, Peter Gawthorne

Votes: 320

31. Pride and Prejudice (1940)

Approved | 118 min | Drama, Romance

84 Metascore

Mr. and Mrs. Bennet have five unmarried daughters, and Mrs. Bennet is especially eager to find suitable husbands for them. When the rich single gentlemen Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy come to ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Z. Leonard | Stars: Greer Garson, Laurence Olivier, Mary Boland, Edna May Oliver

Votes: 7,116

32. The Bank Dick (1940)

Not Rated | 72 min | Comedy

Henpecked Egbert Sousé has comic adventures as a substitute film director and unlikely bank guard.

Director: Edward F. Cline | Stars: W.C. Fields, Cora Witherspoon, Una Merkel, Evelyn Del Rio

Votes: 6,520

33. Goofy's Glider (1940)

8 min | Comedy, Family, Animation

Goofy's new sport: flying his glider (without much success).

Director: Jack Kinney | Stars: John McLeish, Danny Webb

Votes: 516

34. Escape (1940)

Passed | 104 min | Drama

1938: A young man arrives in Hitler's Germany, frantically seeking information about his German mother, and finds she is pending execution at a concentration camp.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Taylor, Conrad Veidt, Alla Nazimova

Votes: 824

35. A Chump at Oxford (1939)

Approved | 62 min | Comedy

As a reward for capturing a bank robber, Stan and Ollie get scholarship to Oxford, but are met with resentment by other students.

Director: Alfred J. Goulding | Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Forrester Harvey, Wilfred Lucas

Votes: 3,386

36. Kitty Foyle (1940)

Approved | 108 min | Drama, Romance

A hard-working, white-collar girl from a middle-class family meets and falls in love with a young socialite, but she soon clashes with his family.

Director: Sam Wood | Stars: Ginger Rogers, Dennis Morgan, James Craig, Eduardo Ciannelli

Votes: 3,034

37. Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940)

Passed | 102 min | Musical

Johnny Brett and King Shaw are an unsuccessful dance team in New York. A producer discovers Brett as the new partner for Clare Bennett, but Brett, who thinks he is one of the people they lent money to gives him the name of his partner.

Director: Norman Taurog | Stars: Fred Astaire, Eleanor Powell, George Murphy, Frank Morgan

Votes: 2,043

38. Donald's Dog Laundry (1940)

Approved | 8 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

Donald attempts to entice Pluto to try his automated dog washer, but is unexpectedly caught himself and is scrubbed, and hung on the line to dry.

Director: Jack King | Stars: Lee Millar, Clarence Nash

Votes: 734

39. My Little Chickadee (1940)

Passed | 83 min | Comedy, Western

After a scandal runs a gold-digger out of town, she meets a con artist and becomes embroiled in a string of petty deceits.

Director: Edward F. Cline | Stars: Mae West, W.C. Fields, Joseph Calleia, Dick Foran

Votes: 2,479

40. Christmas in July (1940)

Passed | 67 min | Comedy, Romance

When the co-workers of an ambitious clerk trick him into thinking he has won $25,000 in a slogan contest, he begins to use the money to fulfill his dreams. What will happen when the ruse is discovered?

Director: Preston Sturges | Stars: Dick Powell, Ellen Drew, Raymond Walburn, Alexander Carr

Votes: 3,133

41. The Great Profile (1940)

Approved | 82 min | Comedy

Barrymore lampoons himself. A famous actor, given to drink, nearly destroys the show, but his leading lady returns to save it. Meanwhile a young girl tries to reform him.

Director: Walter Lang | Stars: John Barrymore, Mary Beth Hughes, Gregory Ratoff, John Payne

Votes: 198

42. The Pirate's Dream (1940)

75 min | Comedy

In Santa Cruz, in the second half of the eighteenth century. The Governor of the island, to ingratiate himself with the Viceroy, contrives to make assaulting the island from a mock pirate ... See full summary »

Director: Mario Mattoli | Stars: Erminio Macario, Juan de Landa, Enzo Biliotti, Dora Bini

Votes: 18

43. Of Fox and Hounds (1940)

Approved | 9 min | Family, Animation, Short

Willoughby, a big dumb hound, is repeatedly tricked by George, the fox, into jumping off cliffs, among other things.

Director: Tex Avery | Stars: Tex Avery, Mel Blanc

Votes: 166

44. Brother Orchid (1940)

Approved | 88 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

When retired racket boss John Sarto tries to reclaim his place and former friends try to kill him, he finds solace in a monastery and reinvents himself as a pious monk.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sothern, Donald Crisp

Votes: 2,345

45. Northwest Passage (1940)

Passed | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, History

7.1