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Decade: 1940s
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Behind Green Lights 1946

64
Talky
USA

This B crime drama takes place during a single night in a midwestern city. Police lieutenant investigates the murder of a local detective after the victim is found in an abandoned car.

Detour 1945

67
Talky
USA

In flashback, New York nightclub pianist Al Roberts hitchhikes to Hollywood to join his girl Sue. On a rainy night, the sleazy gambler he's riding with mysteriously dies; afraid of the police, Roberts takes the man's identity. But thanks to a blackmailing dame, Roberts' every move plunges him deeper into trouble...

Fear in the Night 1947

72
Talky
USA

An intriguing low-budget film noir about a nightmare that turns out, or becomes true. A man dreams he committed murder with an unknown woman in a strange, mirrored room. Probably only a dream... but he finds real bruises and physical objects from his so called dream. The movie is based on the story "And So to Death" by Cornell Woolrich.

He Walked by Night 1948

79
Talky
USA

He Walked By Night is a turning point in the film-noir detective movie genre, offering a more realistic look at police procedures. Shot in an innovative semidocumentary style by the acclaimed cinematographer John Alton. The film follows police on the hunt for an extremely clever criminal who kills a cup and commits a series of robberies. The realistic technique used in this movie influenced Jack Webb's 1940s radio show Dragnet.

I'm from Arkansas 1944

70
Talky
USA

I'm from Arkansas is an extremely entertaining movie, filled with great old-time country music. The small, sleepy town of Pitchfork, Arkansas makes national headlines when Esmeralda the sow gives birth to 18 piglets. Soon Pitchfork is flooded with visitors.

Parole, Inc. 1948

Talky
USA

Parole Inc. is a B film noir produced by the Eagle-Lion studios. A group of gangsters tries to manipulate the parole system, and a government secret agent goes undercover to infiltrate the gang.

Shed No Tears 1948

70
Talky
USA

June Vincent as Edna, a devious femme fatale who convinces her husband to fake his own death in order to get $50,000 from his insurance company and live a life of luxury. Unfortunately for her husband, her real plan is to live a life of luxury with her lover. A classic B noir with great acting and a well-written story.

Shock 1946

70
Talky
USA

Vincent Price in an excellent performance, one of the first major parts in his career, as psychiatrist Dr. Cross. Dr. Cross murders his wife and hopes to keep it a secret. However, the murder was observed by Janet Stewart, his next-door neighbor. Janet falls into a state of shock and "treated" by Dr. Cross himself. Will she wake up from the coma and recognize the killer?

The Amazing Mr. X 1948

78
Talky
USA

Also known as The Spiritualist, this great thriller B-movie tells the story of a grieving widow that starts hearing her husband's voice calling her through the wind. The stunning cinematography by John Alton makes the gothic, dark atmosphere in this movie unforgettable.

The Charlie Chaplin Festival 1941

96
Silent
USA

A collection of four of the best Chaplin's shorts - The Adventurer, The Cure, Easy Street and The Immigrant. All from 1917, directed and written by Chaplin himself.

Waterfront 1944

68
Talky
USA

A Nazi spy working as an optometrist in San Francisco waterfront district discovers that his code book, containing names of his fellow Nazi agents, has been stolen. Now he will do everything to get it back.

Africa Screams 1949

79
Talky
USA

Abbott & Costello search for diamonds in Africa, along the way meeting a visually-impaired gunner, a hungry lion, and a tribe of cannibals...

At Land 1944

15
Silent
USA

Silently, a woman wakes on a beach as the tides go in reverse. Her dreamscape unfolds as she tries to locate a chess piece traveling from the beach to a party to a country road and then back.

Blood on the Sun 1945

98
Talky
USA

An American journalist in 1930s Japan decides to expose the government's scheme for world domination.

Dick Tracy 1945

61
Talky
USA

The first in Dick Tracy's film series, based on the comic strip created by Chester Gould. Dick Tracy must identify Splitface, a serial killer viciously slashing his victims to pieces. The victims come from completely different social and economic background, and Dick has to find the common thread between the murders before it will be too late.

Dick Tracy meets Gruesome 1947

65
Talky
USA

The last movie in Dick Tracy's film series, based on the comic strip character created by Chester Gould. It is another great 1940s crime B-film, while not extraordinary, still more remarkable than other low budget B-film noirs of its time. In this movie, probably the best of the four, Dick Tracy has to confront a villain using a nerve gas to rob banks. Boris Karloff is extremely creepy and charismatic as the main villain.

Dick Tracy vs. Cueball 1946

62
Talky
USA

The second in Dick Tracy's film series, based on the comic strip created by Chester Gould. Another dark, moody film noir and a classic example of a Hollywood B film. In this movie, Dick Tracy has to confront Cueball, another psychopath murderer. When Cueball captures Tracy's girlfriend, things get more and more dangerous.

Dick Tracy's Dilemma 1947

60
Talky
USA

Based on the 1930s comic strip character of Dick Tracy created by Chester Gould, this movie is the third in the film series. One of the most stylish films in the series, blends a noirish atmosphere with the classic detective story. Dick Tracy (Ralph Byrd in a great performance) investigates fur coats theft, also connected to several brutal murders.

Dressed to Kill 1946

76
Talky
USA

Also known as Prelude to Murder, Dressed to Kill is another classic Sherlock Holmes movie, the last (but not least) of fourteen films starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. Holmes sets out to find out why a trio of murderous villains is desperate to reach three simple, cheap music boxes.

Great Expectations 1946

118
Talky
UK

A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor. Based on Charles Dickens's classic.

His Girl Friday 1940

92
Talky
USA

Walter Burns, the editor of a major Chicago newspaper, is about to lose his ace reporter and former wife, Hildy Johnson, to insurance salesman Bruce Baldwin, but not without a fight! The crafty editor uses every trick in his fedora to get Hildy to write one last big story, about murderer Earl Williams and the inept Sheriff Hartwell. The comedy snowballs as William's friend, Molly Malloy, the crooked Mayor, and Bruce's mother all get tied up in Walter's web.

Impact 1949

101
Talky
USA

An unfaithful wife plots with her lover to kill her husband, but the lover is accidentally killed instead. The husband stays in hiding, and lets his wife be charged with conspiracy.

In Which We Serve 1942

114
Talky
UK

This "story of a ship," the British destroyer HMS Torrin, is told in flashbacks by survivors as they cling to a life raft.

Jungle Book 1942

108
Talky
USA / UK

Teenaged Mowgli, who was raised by wolves, appears in a village in India and is adopted by Messua. Mowgli learns human language and some human ways quickly, though keeping jungle ideas. Influential Merchant Buldeo is bigoted against 'beasts' including Mowgli; not so Buldeo's pretty daughter, whom Mowgli takes on a jungle tour where they find a treasure, setting the evil of human greed in motion.

Life with Father 1947

118
Talky
USA

In late nineteenth century New York a Wall Street broker likes to think his house runs his way, but finds himself constantly bemused at how much of what happens is down to his wife. His children are also stretching their wings, discovering girls and making money out of patent medicine selling. When it comes to light he has never been baptized and everyone starts insisting he must do so, it all starts to get a bit too much.

Meet John Doe 1941

122
Talky
USA

A down-on-his-luck homeless man is hired by a major newspaper to be the voice behind a fictional protest letter about society's ills and in the process a nationwide political movement is begun that culminates with the threat of a leap from the roof of City Hall on a cold Christmas Eve night.

Meshes of the afternoon 1943

14
Silent
USA

A woman returning home falls asleep and has vivid dreams that may or may not be happening in reality. Through repetitive images and complete mismatching of the objective view of time and space, her dark inner desires play out on-screen.

My Japan 1943

16
Talky
USA

An American anti-Japanese propaganda short film produced to spur the sale of American war bonds. The film takes the form of a mock travelogue of Japan, presented by an impersonated Japanese narrator.

Our Town 1940

90
Talky
USA

Change comes slowly to a small New Hampshire town in the early 20th century. People grow up, get married, live, and die. Milk and the newspaper get delivered every morning, and nobody locks their front doors.

Penny Serenade 1941

119
Talky
USA

As Julie prepares to leave her husband Roger, she begins to play through a stack of recordings, each of which reminds her of events in their lives together. One of them is the song that was playing when she and Roger first met in a music store. Other songs remind her of their courtship, their marriage, their desire for a child, and the joys and sorrows that they have shared. A flood of memories comes back to her as she ponders their present problems and how they arose.

Port of New York 1949

82
Talky
USA

A violent little Noir directed by László Benedek, one of the first movies to be shot in a semidocumentary style, on location in New York City. Two narcotics agents go after a vicious gang of drug dealers, headed by Paul Vicola (Yul Brynner in his first film role), a ruthless psychopath who listens to avant-garde music and murders anyone who stands in his way.

Santa Fe Trail 1940

110
Talky
USA

In 1854, Jeb Stuart, George Custer and other graduates from West Point are posted to Kansas to help pacify the territory before railroad construction to Santa Fe can resume.

Scarlet Street 1945

103
Talky
USA

When a man in mid-life crisis befriends a young woman, her venal fiancé persuades her to con him out of some of the fortune she thinks he has.

So's Your Aunt Emma! 1942

62
Talky
USA

Aunt Emma is an old spinster, falsely accused of being the infamous murderer "Ma Parker". The movie is also known as "Meet the Mob".

Spring in a Small Town 1948

98
Talky
China

The film takes place following WWII and with China brought to its knees by the actions of the Japanese, prior to the rise of the Communists led by Chairman Mao. Wei Wei plays a woman who lives a lonely life, shackled by her care for her gentle, but ill husband (Shi Yu)- that is until her first love reappears into her life. This is Fei's penultimate film as director, but is still enjoyed by many today as one of his best works.

The Chase 1946

86
Talky
USA

Chuck Scott (stars Robert Cummings) is enchanted by his bose's wife, a true femme-fatale. His involvement with her soon becomes a real-life nightmare. This dark cult-classic film-noir is based on the novel The Black Path of Fear, written by Cornell Woolrich.

The Last Alarm 1940

61
Talky
USA

The Last Alarm offers a cheesy combination of melodrama, crime and comedy. J. Farrell McDonald plays A veteran fireman who is forced to retire by the Fire Department but still yearns for action. Luckily, he is soon hired by a young insurance investigator to look into series of arsons.

The Man Who Walked Alone 1945

70
Talky
USA

In this great comedy-drama B film, a young war hero returns home following a medical discharge. He manages a lift from a young woman on the run from her own wedding, after stealing her fiance's car.

The Outlaw 1943

116
Talky
USA

Western legends Pat Garrett, Doc Holliday and Billy the Kid are played against each other over the law and the attentions of vivacious country vixen Rio McDonald.

The Private Life of a Cat 1947

22
Silent
USA

Two cats have a litter of 5 kittens and then nurse, teach and play with them.

The Red House 1947

100
Talky
USA

Somehow overlooked today, The Red House is a well written and photographed psychological film. An old farmer and his sister conceal from their adopted teenage daughter a horrifying secret regarding a hidden red farmhouse.

The Scar 1948

83
Talky
USA

John Muller, a brilliant crook just released from prison, finds out that he is pursued by the big-time gambler he once robbed. Muller decides to take a new identity as a psychiatrist. However, soon Muller find himself in a hopeless situation.

The Stranger 1946

95
Talky
USA

Wilson of the War Crimes Commission is seeking Franz Kindler, an infamous Nazi who has erased his identity. Wilson releases Kindler's former comrade Meinike and follows him to Connecticut, where he is killed before he can identify Kindler. Now Wilson's only clue is Kindler's fascination with antique clocks; but, though Kindler seems secure in his new identity, he feels his past closing in.

The Way Ahead 1944

91
Talky
UK

A British Second World War drama that follows a group of civilians who are recruited into the British Army in order to fight in North Africa. In U.S, the movie was released as The Immortal Battalion.

The Woman in Green 1945

60
Talky
USA

Sherlock Holmes investigates when young women around London turn up murdered, each with a finger severed off. Scotland Yard suspects a madman, but Holmes believes the killings to be part of a diabolical plot.

There Was a Father 1942

94
Talky
Japan

Shuhei Horikawa, a poor schoolteacher, struggles to raise his son Ryohei by himself, despite neither money nor prospects.

Till the Clouds Roll By 1946

132
Talky
USA

Light bio-pic of American Broadway pioneer Jerome Kern, featuring renditions of the famous songs from his musical plays by contemporary stage artists, including a condensed production of his most famous: 'Showboat'.

Too Late for Tears 1949

99
Talky
USA

Through a fluke circumstance a ruthless woman stumbles across a suitcase filled with $60,000, and she is determined to hold onto it even it if means murder.

Women of the Night 1948

75
Talky
Japan

Fusako Owada, a young woman in postwar Japan, is the mistress of a notorious drug dealer. Fusako's tenuous grasp on meaningful life is shaken when she learns that her lover is having an affair with her sister.