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The 15 most beautiful films from the 40s




Roberto Rosselini, Michael Curtiz, Alfred Hitchcock. They are not only directors, but also greats of the film industry of the 1940s. The decade was marked by the Second World War. However, this has not stopped the film industry from producing films that are known to this day. In addition to some war films such as “Rome, Open City”, there are also funny films from the decade. The film rating site IMDb considers these five films to be the best from the 40s:

  • Isn’t life beautiful? (1947)
  • Casablanca (1942)
  • The Great Dictator (1940)
  • Citizen Kane (1941)
  • Bicycle Thieves (1948)

But not only the absolute classic “Casablanca” comes from the 40s, also Walt Disney film productions, such as the well-known “Bambi” film comes from the time. Just like many other exciting films that you didn’t think were that old. We will show you a selection below.

→ Mary Poppins, Psycho, Lolita and Co.: These are the most popular movies from the 60s

Bambi (1942)

One of the most famous cartoons dates back to the 40s.  The Walt Disney production is all about the life of the Bambi. The young deer lives with his friends in a forest threatened by hunters. During his childhood, Bambi loses his mother because of this. Years after death, the threat is back and Bambi and his friends have to flee from the hunters.

Once Upon a Time (1946)

The French fairy tale film “Once upon a time” tells the story of the fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast”. The plot remains the same: the daughter of a merchant goes in exchange for her father to the dreaded beast, which lives in the woods in a hidden castle. But instead of killing the merchant’s daughter, the beast lets the girl live with her and asks her every night if she should marry him. But the girl refuses every night. The fairy tale was filmed several times in the course of time. Most recently in 2017 with Emma Watson as Belle.

The Red Shoes (1948)

Victoria is a ballerina and meets ballet manager Lermontov at her aunt’s party. After an audition, Lermontov lets the young dancer into an ensemble. Also new to the team is music student Julian Craster. After the actual main dancer gets married and gets out, Victoria gets her chance and is supposed to dance the title role of the new piece “The Red Shoes”, in which a girl can not stop dancing and finally dies. But Victoria falls in love with Julian during rehearsals. However, Lermontov forbids any romantic relationship between the two.

Rebecca (1940)

Maxim de Winter lost his wife Rebecca a year ago. In Monte Carlo he meets a young partner with who he falls in love with and finally marries. However, the second Mrs. de Winter does not feel comfortable on her husband’s estate, because the housekeeper makes it unmistakably clear to her that no one can replace Rebecca. Over time, the new Mrs. de Winter finds out who Rebecca really was. A masterpiece by Alfred Hitchcock starring Humphrey Bogart.

Die Nacht vor der Hochzeit (1940)

The day before Tracy and George’s wedding, two reporters are infiltrated into the celebrations to cover the wedding. Tracy finds out that her ex-husband is responsible for the reporters. But he has a good explanation for his actions. Tracy converses drunk with one of the two reporters, who happens to have feelings for her. A funny comedy in which the wedding celebrations do not go as planned.




Die Feuerzangenbowle (1944)

In the comedy, four older gentlemen tell each other funny stories from their school days over a Feuerzangenbowle. However, Johannes Pfeiffer is jealous of the stories of his friends, because he himself always had only one tutor. Encouraged by the others, he disguises himself as a high school student and attends a boys’ high school. There he finally experiences what it’s like to play pranks and follow normal lessons. Among other things, he also meets the daughter of the school principal, with whom he falls in love. The film was a success in the 40s and was finally re-filmed in the 70s. However, the original is still traditionally watched every autumn and winter.

Die Spur des Falken (1941)

In the detective classic from the 40s, the two partners Sam Spade and Miles Archer have to deal with a new case. One Woman is looking for her sister, who disappeared to San Francisco with a man named Floyd Thursby. The skeptical Spade should be right with his uneasy feeling, because shortly afterwards his partner is found dead. Everything seems to be much more complicated. In addition, there is also a second body, which is Floyd Thursby. Spade now wants to find out what really happened.

Cocktail for a Corpse (1948)

Brandon Shaw and Phillip Morgan perceive the perfect murder as a kind of challenge. She was inspired by her teacher Rupert Candall, who believes in the theory of the superman. After Brandon and Phillip have successfully murdered an old school friend, they invite some guests to celebrate the murder. Among the guests are only people who had a connection to the deceased. The absence of the murdered is noticeable among the guests.

The Third Man (1949)

The American author Holly Martins flies to Vienna to his friend Harry Lime, who has offered him a job. On his arrival, however, he learns that Harry has died. At the funeral, he finds out that Harry was involved in illegal activities, but the author may not believe that. So Holly Martins does her own research into why his friend died.

Rome, Open City (1945)

The Second World War is not over yet. Rome is still under German command, but the resistance is getting stronger. The fear in the city is great. But despite all the things that are happening around her, Pina is looking forward to her wedding to Francesco. However, both the priest and Francesco are resistance fighters. Since Francesco is threatened, they seek help from Manfredi, who is also an influential resistance fighter. However, the SS is on the trail of the three.

Old cinema projector

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Arjun Sethi
Passionate guitarist, gamer and writer. Lives for the perfect review, and scrapes texts until they are razor-sharp.
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