Favourite 1940s movies

My top 5 : The ghost and Mrs Muir,Pride and prejudice, Rebecca, The red shoes and The more the Merrier.

Rebecca” directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1940 and starring Joan Fontaine, George Sanders and Judith Anderson. A self-conscious bride (Joan Fontaine) is tormented by the memory of her husband’s dead first wife.” Judith Anderson is terrifying as the governess Mrs. Danvers. Very devoted to the first Maxim de Winter’s wife (Rebecca), she is very hostile toward the new wife (played by Joan Fontaine).

Ball of fire directed by Howard Hawks in 1941, starring Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper. A group of professors (Gary Cooper…) working on an encyclopedia meet a dancer (Barbara Stanwyck).

The more the Merrier” was directed by George Stevens in 1943 ; starring Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea and Charles Coburn. “Due to a housing shortage in Washington, D.C., during World War II, Connie Milligan (Jean Arthur) agrees to rent part of her apartment to wealthy retiree Benjamin Dingle (Charles Coburn) and soldier Joe Carter (Joel McCrea).” It is a very funny movie with a lovely Jean Arthur.

Double indemnity” directed by Billy Wilder in 1944 and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray. “An insurance representative (Fred MacMurray) lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator’s suspicions.” Barbara Stanwyck is poisonous and unforegettable. I love the opening scene in which the “hero” (Fred MacMurray) confesses his crime on the phone. He prononces the famous sentence “I killed him for the money and for a woman. And i didn’t get the money and i didn’t get the woman”. It is a strong and surprising scene.

Laura” directed in 1944 by Otto Preminger and starring Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews. “A police detective (Dana Andrews) falls in love with the woman (Gene Tierney) whose murder he is investigating.” Gene Tierney is breathtaking beautiful and mysterious.
Gilda” directed by Charles Vidorin in 1946 and starring Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford. “A small-time gambler (Glenn Ford) hired to work in a Buenos Aires casino learns that his ex-lover (Rita Hayworth) is married to his employer”. Rita Hayworth is wonderful and unforgettable as Gilda. The famous scene in which she sings “Put the blame on me” wearing a satin strapless black gown is myhique.
The big sleep” directed by Howard Hawks in 1946 and starring by Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. “Private detective Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) is hired by a rich family to find out and stop the youngest daughter, Carmen, from being blackmailed about her gambling debts.” The couple Bogart-Bacall is mythique and unforgettable. Lauren Bacall had an unbelievable class and was charismatic as well as Humphrey Bogart. I like particulary a scene in which Lauren Bacall sings.The Lady from Shanghai” directed by Orson Welles in 1947 and starring himself, Everett Sloane (Elsa Bannister’s husband) and Rita Hayworth. “Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister (Rita Hayworth), seaman Michael O’Hara (Orson Welles) joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot.” Rita Hayworth is an outstanding Femme fatale : she is glamorous, mysterious and troubling. And she is blonde in this movie! Orson Welles wanted Rita Hayworth to cut her hair and becomes blond for the movie. It was a scandal! Rita Hayworth was the most famous ginger red of Hollywood. The scene with funhouse mirrors is one of the best film scene ever. It is splendid, powerful and disturbing. This final scene is brilliant and remarkable.
The third man” directed by Carol Reed in 1949 and starring Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten. Pulp novelist Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime (Orson Welles). The light and photo are magnificent.
“Shop around the corner”was directed by Ernst Lubitsch in 1940 and starring James Stewart and Maragaret Sullavan. “Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand one another, without realizing that they’re falling in love through the post as each other’s anonymous pen pal.”“His girl friday”was directed by Howard Hawks in 1940 and starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russel. “A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying”.
“The philadelphia story”
was directed by George Cukor in 1940 and starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn.
“When a rich woman’s ex-husband (Cary Grant) and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she (Katharine Hepburn) begins to learn the truth about herself.”“The devil and Miss Jones”was directed by Sam Wood in 1941 and starring Jean Arthur and Charles Coburn. “A tycoon (Charles Coburn) goes undercover to ferret out agitators at a department store, but gets involved in their lives instead. ” Jean Arthur is adorable as a shoes seller with a huge heart who helps Charles Coburn (believing he is a new salesman).“Heaven can wait” was directed by Ernst Lubitsch in 1943 and starring Gene Tierney and Don Ameche. “An old roué (Don Ameche) arrives in Hades to review his life with Satan, who will rule on his eligibility to enter the Underworld.”“Cluny Brown” was directed by Ernst Lubitsch in 1946 and starring Jenifer Jones and Charles Boyer. “Amateur plumber Cluny Brown (Jenifer Jones) gets sent off by her uncle to work as a servant at an English country estate. While there, she becomes friendly with Adam Belinski (Charles Boyer), a charming Czech refugee.”The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxerwas directed by Irving Reis in 1947 and starring Cary Grant, Shirley Temple and Myrna Loy. “A high school girl (Shirley Temple) living with her sister (Myrna Loy) falls for a playboy artist (Cary Grant) with screwball results.”
Sources : Imbd and Pinterest

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