The MoFo Top 100 of the 1940's

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I always love those countdowns, it gives me a motivation to really get deep into a decade.

Here are the films of the 40's I haven't seen from the 40's that are available at my library that looks interesting to me (I'd like some comments to see which one I should prioritize):

The Letter (1940) William Wyler
The Mark of Zorro (1940) Rouben Mamoulian
Waterloo Bridge (1940) Mervyn Leroy
The Sea Hawk (1940) Michael Curtiz
49th Parallel (1941) Michael Powell
Ball of Fire (1941) Howard Hawks
The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941) William Dieterle
The Talk of the Town (1942) George Stevens
In This our Life (1942) John Huston
The Major and the Minor (1942) Billy Wilder
Sahara (1943) Zoltan Korda
The Keys of the Kingdom (1944) John M Stahl
Dead of Night (1945) Multiple directors
The Picture of Dorian Grey (1945) Albert Lewin (never read the book)
Dark Passage (1946) Delmer Daves
The Bishop's Wife (1947) Henry Koster
Born to Kill (1947) Robert Wise
Brute Force (1947) Jules Dassin
Green for Danger (1947) Sidney Gilliat
Call Northside 777 (1948) Henry Hathaway
Shoeshine (1948) Vittorio de Sica
The Snake Pit (1948) Anatole Litvak
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I always love those countdowns, it gives me a motivation to really get deep into a decade.

Here are the films of the 40's I haven't seen from the 40's that are available at my library that looks interesting to me (I'd like some comments to see which one I should prioritize):

The Letter (1940) William Wyler
The Mark of Zorro (1940) Rouben Mamoulian
Waterloo Bridge (1940) Mervyn Leroy
The Sea Hawk (1940) Michael Curtiz
49th Parallel (1941) Michael Powell
Ball of Fire (1941) Howard Hawks
The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941) William Dieterle
The Talk of the Town (1942) George Stevens
In This our Life (1942) John Huston
The Major and the Minor (1942) Billy Wilder
Sahara (1943) Zoltan Korda
The Keys of the Kingdom (1944) John M Stahl
Dead of Night (1945) Multiple directors
The Picture of Dorian Grey (1945) Albert Lewin (never read the book)
Dark Passage (1946) Delmer Daves
The Bishop's Wife (1947) Henry Koster
Born to Kill (1947) Robert Wise
Brute Force (1947) Jules Dassin
Green for Danger (1947) Sidney Gilliat
Call Northside 777 (1948) Henry Hathaway
Shoeshine (1948) Vittorio de Sica
The Snake Pit (1948) Anatole Litvak
Devil and Daniel Webster is a personal favorite, a wholly unique film experience. Brute Force might manage to crack your top 25 it's good enough.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Those are all essential, not "deep" into the '40s, but my faves are:

The Devil and Daniel Webster
The Mark of Zorro
Dead of Night
Dark Passage
49th Parallel
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I've been watching 1940's movies about the war, that's WWII for you youngsters

One of the best is:

Twelve O'Clock High (1949)

It's more about the inner-personal struggles of a flight commander (Gregory Peck) as he faces the decision to send young men off on bombing missions over Germany, knowing many of them won't come back. It's a damn good psychological movie about mental anguish.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Twelve O'Clock High IS an excellent movie and a serious contender for my 40's List.

Mark of Zorro has always been THE Zorro movie for me.
Waterloo Bridge was nominated by CR in the first 40's HoF. Sad, but VERY good.
The Letter is a DEFINITE for anyone who enjoys Bette Davis
The Bishop's Wife is a light hearted rom/com which I rather like.
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Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
I have only 26 flicks from the 40's on my Letterboxd watchlist (probably more on another watchlist). I probably won't watch even half of them on time.
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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
that's my worry too. Though I do know the large collection I do have will be hard enough to cut down.
And the way I see it, there are always a number of movies that show up that I discover through the list. So it kinda works out.
But yeah, so many movies to see and THEN cut down to 25!!



Save the Texas Prairie Chicken
The Letter (1940) William Wyler
Waterloo Bridge (1940) Mervyn Leroy
Ball of Fire (1941) Howard Hawks
The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941) William Dieterle
The Talk of the Town (1942) George Stevens
The Snake Pit (1948) Anatole Litvak
I would say to give any of those a try.

The Bishop's Wife (1947) Henry Koster
This is a fairly "light" picture, but I don't mind it at all.

The Picture of Dorian Grey (1945) Albert Lewin
I've kind of been pushing for people to watch this one. I really like it. It is coming on TV here in a couple of days, and I want to make sure to watch it because I haven't seen it in so long, but it, nevertheless, was always one of my main contenders for my list.

The Major and the Minor (1942) Billy Wilder
It isn't bad. I don't think it would be one to necessarily make your list, but I think it is an OK movie to just watch sometime.

I love this movie!!!
And I have nothing more than to say that about the film.




Other than the ever important The Pride of the Yankees that I want folks to watch, there is another film that I hope people see before the countdown. This is one that I haven't seen mentioned much - if at all (I believe I listed it a couple of posts back). Now Voyager with Bette Davis and Paul Henreid. I watched it again about 2 weeks ago, I think. I just really, really like that one. I hope others will see it before the countdown and maybe they will like it enough to consider it for their lists, too.
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Save the Texas Prairie Chicken
I have only 26 flicks from the 40's on my Letterboxd watchlist (probably more on another watchlist). I probably won't watch even half of them on time.
Well, if you only see watch half of them, and you think there are enough that you like, you can always submit a partial list.


that's my worry too. Though I do know the large collection I do have will be hard enough to cut down.
And the way I see it, there are always a number of movies that show up that I discover through the list. So it kinda works out.
But yeah, so many movies to see and THEN cut down to 25!!
You see, my problem that I have had with these lists is that there is always one that I realized I'd forgotten (because it shows up in the countdown), and then I regret not having that one on the list instead. It is very frustrating.



I always love those countdowns, it gives me a motivation to really get deep into a decade.

Here are the films of the 40's I haven't seen from the 40's that are available at my library that looks interesting to me (I'd like some comments to see which one I should prioritize):
PG, of the movies you posted I seen these and I put what I think is the film you should watch first in bold.

Waterloo Bridge
(1940) Mervyn Leroy...God I love this movie! It's bittersweet...and it's in my Top 10 Favorites. Please watch that one!

The Snake Pit
(1948) Anatole Litvak...I've been meaning to nominate this for an Hof.

The Letter (1940) William Wyler...solid film!

I've seen the rest of these and there all well worth watching,
In no particular order:
Ball of Fire (1941) Howard Hawks
The Talk of the Town (1942) George Stevens
In This our Life (1942) John Huston
The Major and the Minor (1942) Billy Wilder
Sahara (1943) Zoltan Korda
Dark Passage (1946) Delmer Daves
The Sea Hawk (1940) Michael Curtiz
The Bishop's Wife (1947) Henry Koster
Call Northside 777 (1948) Henry Hathaway



Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
Well, if you only see watch half of them, and you think there are enough that you like, you can always submit a partial list.
I've seen enough 40's masterpieces to submit a full list right now, but I will still wait. Even though I doubt any new film will make its way into it.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
You see, my problem that I have had with these lists is that there is always one that I realized I'd forgotten (because it shows up in the countdown), and then I regret not having that one on the list instead. It is very frustrating.
I think I've gotten to the point where there's gonna be SOMETHING I missed that REALLY should have been and try to accept it as an actuality. It's STILLl aggravating lol but I try.



I've been blowing hot and cold on this one for a while now and think I've finally decided to sit this one out and just watch what transpires - I'm not gonna rely on decades old memories in some cases so I'd need to rewatch far too many to send in a list I was genuinely happy with and unlike the 50s and sci-fi I just don't have the enthusiasm for watching little else but 40s for a while.



I've been blowing hot and cold on this one for a while now and think I've finally decided to sit this one out and just watch what transpires - I'm not gonna rely on decades old memories in some cases so I'd need to rewatch far too many to send in a list I was genuinely happy with and unlike the 50s and sci-fi I just don't have the enthusiasm for watching little else but 40s for a while.
That's too bad. Do you think there's enough you like and remember to send a partial list?



That's too bad. Do you think there's enough you like and remember to send a partial list?
I'm not a fan of partial lists and I'm not gonna do the films a disservice by 'guessing' at the order for a full one. Sadly I've just been struggling to find the right humour to knuckle down for this one ... I'll still enjoy watching the countdown unfold though



I'm not a fan of partial lists and I'm not gonna do the films a disservice by 'guessing' at the order for a full one. Sadly I've just been struggling to find the right humour to knuckle down for this one ... I'll still enjoy watching the countdown unfold though
Still too bad but understandable.



I should get a preliminary list going. Still definitely some stuff I need to see.



Save the Texas Prairie Chicken
I'm not a fan of partial lists and I'm not gonna do the films a disservice by 'guessing' at the order for a full one. Sadly I've just been struggling to find the right humour to knuckle down for this one ... I'll still enjoy watching the countdown unfold though
Well, that is a disappointment (I was going to suggest a partial list, as well), but what can be done about it when your mind is made up?


I have watched a few films now, but not necessarily FOR the countdown. I pretty much know what are the strongest contenders, and I know which ones will most likely make the list. It is the order that I really need to decide upon (although my top 3 would've always been my top 3 - no need to worry about those).

The reason I have been re-watching movies is mainly because this countdown has just put me in the mood for them. Some of the re-watches have been based on the lists that I have received, actually. I have watched some "new" ones as well. These lists have either reminded me of something that I haven't seen in a long time, or they have made me think that I have never seen the film before and I need to watch it to see why it is so well-liked.

And then there are the ones that I already know I really like that I have been re-watching just to re-watch them (today it will be The Picture of Dorian Gray - I have nothing else to do this afternoon and I might as well watch that again).

So I haven't re-watched anything for the sole purpose of what I should put on the countdown. But there happen to be some of the "new" films that have made it onto my contender list.