Highest-Rated Movies about '1940s', Sort by Popularity


The Bicycle Thief (1948), Detour (1945), Home of the Brave (1949), Stairway to Heaven (1946), The Cranes Are Flying (1957), The Spirit of the Beehive (1973), State of the Union (2019), Ashes and Diamonds (1958) ... Let's take a look at the ranked list of the best 1940s movies.


The Bicycle Thief (1948)

A poor man (Lamberto Maggiorani) and his son (Enzo Staiola) search postwar Rome for the stolen bicycle he needs to work as a bill poster.

peasant, son, wife, thief, psychic, bleak, endearing

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Detour (1945)

A down-and-out piano player becomes involved with a mysterious woman and two murders as he hitchhikes west.

pianist, singer, driver, femme fatale, girlfriend, brooding, dark

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Home of the Brave (1949)

A World War II psychiatrist (Jeff Corey) treats a black soldier paralyzed from the hips down from years of mental anguish and prejudice.

psychiatrist, soldier, veteran, emotional, intense, south pacific, doctor's office

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Stairway to Heaven (1946)

A British airman escapes death by mistake and resists the messenger who keeps summoning him to the beyond.

pilot, conductor, radio operator, doctor, judge, angel, airy

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The Cranes Are Flying (1957)

A Moscow girl (Tatyana Samoylova) loves a World War II soldier (Aleksey Batalov) but marries a pianist.

woman, soldier, cousin, father, brooding, melodramatic, touching

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The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

In an allegory of life after Gen. Franco's victory in the Spanish Civil War, life in a remote village in the 1940s is calm and uneventful. Two little girls see a "Frankenstein" movie, and one of them starts wandering the countryside in search of this kind creature.

young girl, sister, entomologist, dreamy, eerie, village, spain

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State of the Union (2019)

A recently estranged couple meet in a pub before their weekly marital therapy sessions.

tycoon, publisher, political consultant, wife, politician, reporter, witty

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Ashes and Diamonds (1958)

A Communist commandant finds himself surrounded by the Polish resistance during the closing days of World War II.

assassin, soldier, commanding officer, barmaid, son, hotel desk clerk, dark

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Stray Dog (1949)

Two detectives (ToshirĂ´ Mifune, Takashi Shimura) track one's stolen revolver into the underworld of late-1940s Tokyo.

police officer, criminal, stripper, mentor, brooding, dark, tokyo

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Hail the Conquering Hero (1944)

Preston Sturges' satire about a sickly soldier discharged from duty and mistaken for a war hero when he returns home.

good guy, soldier, mother, girlfriend, mayor, playful, charming

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Drunken Angel (1948)

Akira Kurosawa's postwar allegory focusing on an alcoholic doctor's determination to cure a gangster of tuberculosis.

doctor, gangster, criminal, victim, neighbor, gritty, tokyo

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Went the Day Well? (1942)

Residents of an English village unwittingly welcome Nazi soldiers who intend to take over their town.

villager, german, german officer, german soldier, thrilling, tense, suspenseful

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RKO 281 (1999)

Orson Welles (Liev Schreiber), all charisma and stubborn vision, is signed to direct films for RKO Pictures with a startling amount of creative freedom. Welles decides to make production number 281 a disguised biopic of media tycoon William Randolph Hearst (James Cromwell), a film which would come to be known as "Citizen Kane." But Welles doesn't understand just how much clout Hearst yields. When he gets word of the unflattering production, Hearst does everything in his power to stop it.

filmmaker, screenwriter, columnist, director, publisher, fiery, thrilling

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Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949)

Two dancing baseball players (Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra) run into trouble with their team's new female owner (Esther Williams) and a gambler who doesn't want them to win the pennant.

baseball team owner, baseball player, entertainer, gambler, teammate, girlfriend, cheery

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A Canterbury Tale (1944)

A U.S. soldier (John Sweet), a British sergeant and a London girl (Sheila Sim) see minor miracles and catch a prude (Eric Portman).

soldier, sergeant, shopkeeper, criminal, lighthearted, suspenseful, amusing

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Water (2005)

Just as Mahatma Gandhi's tenets begin to sweep through India, an 8-year-old (Sarala) must go to live in an ashram with other Hindu widows.

widow, husband, outcast, friend, young girl, emotional, profound

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The Burmese Harp (1956)

Kon Ichikawa's anti-war parable about a Japanese soldier burying his fallen comrades at the end of World War II.

japanese soldier, british soldier, monk, brutal, gripping, gutsy, solemn

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The Senator Was Indiscreet (1947)

An absurd U.S. senator (William Powell) runs for president, armed with a press agent (Peter Lind Hayes) and a diary of back-room deals.

senator, reporter, pr person, cheeky, hilarious, outlandish, united states

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Act of Violence (1949)

A crippled World War II veteran (Robert Ryan) stalks a contractor (Van Heflin) whose prison-camp betrayal caused a massacre.

veteran, prisoner of war, wife, girlfriend, prostitute, hit man, gritty

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The Raven (1943)

Remy Germain (Pierre Fresnay) is a doctor in a French town who becomes the focus of a vicious smear campaign, as letters accusing him of having an affair and performing unlawful abortions are mailed to village leaders. The mysterious writer, who signs each letter as "Le Corbeau" (The Raven) soon targets the whole town, exposing everyone's dark secrets. This allegorical film was highly controversial at the time of its release, and was banned in France after the Liberation.

doctor, psychiatrist, nurse, patient, wife, bleak, brutal

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Divided We Fall (2000)

This dramatic story of a hero against his will is set in a small Czech town occupied by German forces during the last years of the Second World War. Josef and Marie are a childless couple who yearn for a baby; unfortunately, he is sterile. One day they meet David, a young Jewish man and former neighbor recently escaped from a concentration camp, to whom they give refuge in their home.

husband, wife, son, friend, nazi collaborator, jew, tender

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Schindler's List (1993)

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.

worker, nazi, businessperson, brooding, emotional, auschwitz, factory

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The Ogre (1996)

A simple Parisian's (John Malkovich) love of children involves him in a Nazi scheme to kidnap boys and train them as SS troops during World War II.

frenchman, recruiter, powerful, disheartening, bavaria, training camp, third reich

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The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947)

After being fired from his office job, Harold Diddlebock (Harold Lloyd) gets drunk, goes on a wild binge, and buys a near-bankrupt circus.

football player, boss, secretary, hustler, bartender, worker, outlandish

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Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

The Wolf Man tries to warn a dimwitted porter (Lou Costello) that Dracula (Bela Lugosi) wants his brain for a monster's body.

director, railway inspector, clerk, insurance investigator, passenger, campy, madcap

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The Tuskegee Airmen (1995)

Grueling training and racist officers challenge black recruits in the Army Air Corps during World War II.

pilot, lieutenant, senator, major, eleanor roosevelt, confident, engaging

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Islands in the Stream (1977)

A Hemingwayesque artist (George C. Scott) plays and drinks in the 1940s Bahamas, visited by his first wife (Claire Bloom) and three sons.

man, friend, son, wife, refugee, dreamy, emotional

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It's Always Fair Weather (1955)

A talk-show staffer (Cyd Charisse) puts a fight manager (Gene Kelly), adman (Dan Dailey) and cook on TV 10 years after they parted as GIs.

veteran, friend, gangster, tv personality, charming, amusing, new york city

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The Woman in the Window (1944)

A sober professor (Edward G. Robinson) meets a model (Joan Bennett) and gets mixed up in murder when his family goes away.

professor, artist's model, boyfriend, district attorney, bodyguard, dark, suspenseful

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The Cuckoo (2002)

At the close of Axis-aligned Finland's involvement in World War II, pacifist Finnish soldier Veikko (Ville Haapasalo) is trussed to a wilderness rock formation as punishment for desertion. Nearby, Soviet Capt. Ivan (Viktor Bychkov), en route to his trial for treason, survives the bombing of his transport. Anni (Anni-Kristiina Juuso), a local Sami woman, comes to the aid of both men, and an unlikely relationship is forged as three lonely souls attempt to survive the long winter.

soldier, pacifist, traitor, captain, woman, charming, emotional

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