Obscure-ish Movies of the 1940s

I love a lot of ordained 1940s classics. I could watch Kane, Cat People, It’s a Wonderful Life, and company on a loop. But I also love digging into the less-explored strata of film history. Well, today gave me a perfect opportunity to indulge my nerdy archivist side! Catherine, proprietor of the blog Cinema Enthusiast, is both absurdly well-viewed and hungry for more recommendations from the ’40s. So with a couple hours’ work, I put together a 50-movie list.

A few notes: 1) This list is very noir-heavy. Because hey, it was the 1940s. Noir seeped into everything. 2) I tried to limit my inclusion of Hitchcock, Lewton, Sturges, and Powell/Pressburger, since they easily could’ve taken up half the list between them. 3) Coming up with this list reminded me how much farther I have left to delve and how many truly obscure movies I have yet to see. It’s a lifelong quest, and a fun one at that!



  • The Flame of New Orleans
  • Hellzapoppin’
  • Man Hunt
  • Never Give a Sucker an Even Break
  • The Strawberry Blonde


  • Across the Pacific
  • Kings Row
  • The Man Who Came to Dinner
  • Moontide
  • This Gun for Hire


  • Le Corbeau
  • The Ghost Ship
  • Meshes of the Afternoon
  • This Land Is Mine
  • The More the Merrier



  • And Then There Were None
  • Dead of Night
  • I Know Where I’m Going!
  • The Seventh Veil
  • The Spiral Staircase


  • The Beast with Five Fingers
  • Duel in the Sun
  • Green for Danger
  • The Killers
  • No Regrets for Our Youth


  • Body and Soul
  • Lured
  • Magic Town
  • Nightmare Alley
  • Pursued


  • Act of Violence
  • Force of Evil
  • Macbeth
  • Portrait of Jennie
  • Sorry, Wrong Number



Filed under Cinema

4 responses to “Obscure-ish Movies of the 1940s

  1. What about “The Devil WIth Hitler”?

  2. simonripley

    Le Corbeau is obscure?
    Not, this is good. I get bragging rights!

    • OK, you saw through me: I hedged with “obscure-ish” because some of these aren’t actually that obscure. But Le Corbeau is like Clouzot’s 3rd or 4th best-known movie, so I stand by that one.

  3. Pingback: List of 1940′s Films to See « Cinema Enthusiast

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