I got the idea for this post from a pin I saw the other day on Pinterest for 15 films that are turning 30 in 2015. After reading that post, I thought I’d do a classic film version of my own.
I just randomly chose 75 years as the time period and when I looked backed at the films that were released in 1940, I realized it was a very good year for movies, which included several of my personal favorites.
Speaking of Pinterest, if you ever pin to or visit that site I’d love for you to come follow me there. Also let me know if you have an account and I will follow your boards as well. I don’t pin often, but I do stop by on occasion when I find a cool or inspiring picture to share.
Below are 25 movies that will be turning 75 years old in 2015. I put an * next to those that I have seen before, two if the film is a favorite of mine. As you can see, I still have quite a few good movies left to watch for the first time. (hiding my head in shame that I’ve yet to see The Grapes of Wrath)
- All This and Heaven Too** – starring Bette Davis, Charles Boyer and Barbara O’Neill – Based on the true story of the Duc de Choiseul-Praslin, a French politician who was accused of murdering his wife Fanny in 1848.
- Boom Town* – starring Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert and Hedy Lamarr – The last of three movies that Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable made together. The others were San Francisco (1936) and Test Pilot (1938).
- Broadway Melody of 1940* – starring Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell – The final film in the series, following The Broadway Melody (1929), Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935) and Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937).
- Dark Command – Starring Claire Trevor, John Wayne, Roy Rogers and Walter Pidgeon – The only movie in which John Wayne and Roy Rogers appeared together.
- Down Argentine Way – starring Don Ameche, Bette Grable and Carmen Miranda – The first American film for Carmen Miranda after appearing in six Brazilian movies and Bette Grable’s first leading role for Twentieth Century Fox.
- Fantasia – starring Leopold Stokowski as the conductor, Deems Taylor as the Master of Ceremonies and Mickey Mouse – The longest Disney animated feature at 124 minutes in length.
- Foreign Correspondent** – Starring Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall and George Sanders – Alfred Hitchcock’s second American film. He originally wanted Gary Cooper to star in the lead role but Cooper turned it down.
- The Grapes of Wrath – Starring Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell – Based on the book by John Steinbeck, Steinbeck was said to have enjoyed the movie and was particularly enamored with Henry Fonda’s performance.
- The Great Dictator – Starring Charles Chaplin and Paulette Goddard – Chaplin’s first all-talking, all-sound film and his biggest box office hit.
- The Great McGinty – Starring Brian Donleavy, Muriel Angelus and Akim Tamiroff – Preston Sturges’ first film as a director, it was also written by him. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
- His Girl Friday** – Starring Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell and Ralph Bellamy – Based on the play The Front Page, several actresses were considered for the leading role before it was given to Rosalind Russell including Katharine Hepburn, Jean Arthur, Ginger Rogers and Irene Dunne .
- Kitty Foyle* – Starring Ginger Rogers and Dennis Morgan – The biggest hit of 1940 for RKO Pictures, it made a profit of $869,000.
- The Letter* – Starring Bette Davis and Herbert Marshall – A movie previously filmed in 1929. Herbert Marshall played the wife’s lover in that version and the husband of Bette Davis’ character in the 1940 film.
- The Mark of Zorro – Starring Tyrone Power and Linda Darnell – A remake of the 1920 silent film starring Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. and Noah Beery.
- The Mortal Storm* – Starring Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Robert Young and Frank Morgan – One of two movies on this list that was banned by Adolph Hitler, the other being The Great Dictator.
- My Favorite Wife** – Starring Irene Dunne, Cary Grant and Randolph Scott – The second of three movies that Grant and Dunne starred in together, the other two being The Awful Truth (1937) and Penny Serenade (1941).
- Our Town* – Starring William Holden, Martha Scott, Fay Bainter and Beulah Bondi – Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play by Thornton Wilder. One big difference between the two is that the movie used scenery while the play did not.
- The Philadelphia Story** – Starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart – Based on the Broadway play by Philip Barry, it was the fourth and last movie that Grant and Hepburn starred in together.
- Pinocchio – Starring Dickie Jones as the voice of Pinocchio and Cliff Edwards as the voice of Jiminy Cricket – Featured the song “When You Wish Upon a Star” which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and is one of my top five favorite Oscar winning songs.
- Pride and Prejudice* – Starring Greer Garson, Maureen O’Sullivan, Ann Rutherford, Marsha Hunt and Laurence Olivier – Production was originally scheduled to start in 1936 with Clark Gable and Norma Shearer but it was put on hold after the death of Shearer’s husband Irving Thalberg.
- Rebecca** – Starring Joan Fontaine, Laurence Olivier, George Sanders and Judith Anderson – Based on Daphne du Maurier’s novel of the same name, it was Alfred Hitchcock’s first film made in America. It won the Academy Award for Best Picture, called Outstanding Production at the time.
- Remember the Night** – Starring Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray and Beulah Bondi – Written by Preston Sturges, it was the last movie he wrote that he did not also direct. From then on, he directed all his scripts starting with The Great McGinty.
- Road to Singapore – Starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour – The first of seven “Road” movies the three of them appeared in together.
- The Shop Around the Corner** – Starring James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan and Frank Morgan – Based on the Hungarian play Parfumerie, it was remade in 1949 as the musical In the Good Old Summertime starring Judy Garland and Van Johnson.
- Waterloo Bridge* – Starring Vivien Leigh and Robert Taylor – A remake of the 1931 film of the same name, it was reportedly a personal favorite of both Leigh and Taylor.
What are some of your favorite movies from 1940?
P.S. Don’t forget to come find me on Pinterest and let me know where I can find you.