Bonus Content: 1940's Movies

Top 10 Movies of the 1940's

This section provides additional information on another are of focus within pop culture during the 1940's.

This is a top 10 list of the most successful and influential movies of the decade. As you will see not all movies are ranked solely on their box office success as some less successful films had a greater impact on society and culture during the 1940's.

Throughout this section, you will find the movie titles, a trailer or clip from each film, a film overview, the film's box office earnings, the production company, release date and the director to help identify influential producers and directors throughout the decades.

There are no assigned tasks associated with this section.

#1 - Bambi (1942)

Release Date: August 21, 1942 Production Company: Walt Disney Productions

Director(s): David Hand

Earnings: $268,000,000

Overview: In this Disney classic a young deer named Bambi joins his new friends, a rabbit named Thumper and a skunk named Flower, in exploring his forest home. As a boy, he learns from his doting mother and his father, The Great Prince of the Forest, that there are dangers in the open meadows where hunters can spot the animals, and he meets a beautiful young doe named Faline. As Bambi grows up, he learns that there is tragedy as well as beauty and joy in his forest world and on the path to adulthood.

#2 - Pinocchio (1940)

Release Date: February 23, 1940 Production Company: Walt Disney Productions

Director(s): Norman Ferguson, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson

Earnings: $164,000,000

Overview: When the woodworker Geppetto (Christian Rub) sees a falling star, he wishes that the puppet he just finished, Pinocchio (Dickie Jones), could become a real boy. In the night, the Blue Fairy (Evelyn Venable) grants Geppetto's wish and asks Jiminy Cricket (Cliff Edwards) to serve as the wooden boy's conscience. But the naïve and trusting Pinocchio falls into the clutches of the wicked Honest John (Walter Catlett), who leads him astray to the sinful Pleasure Island.

#3 - Fantasia (1940)

Release Date: November 13, 1940 Production Company: Walt Disney Productions

Director(s): James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Ford Beebe Jr.

Earnings: $83,320,832

Overview: Released in 1940, represented Disney's boldest experiment to date. Bringing to life his vision of blending animated imagery with classical music. What had begun as a vehicle to enhance Mickey Mouse's career blossomed into a full-blown feature that remains unique in the history of animation.

#4 - Song of the South (1946)

Release Date: November 12, 1946 Production Company: Walt Disney Productions

Director(s): Wilfred Jackson

Earnings: $65,000,000

Overview: Based on the Uncle Remus stories about the ingenious bunny Brer Rabbit using live action and animation. Following the separation of his parents, a young boy goes to live in the American South. There he meets Uncle Remus, who gives the boy valuable insights into his problems via the stories he tells about Brer Rabbit.

#5 - Mom and Dad (1945)

Release Date: January 3, 1945 Production Company: Kroger Babb

Director(s): William Beaudine

Earnings: $60,000,000 - $100,000,000

Overview: When a high school girl gets pregnant and the boyfriend dies, the sex-ed teacher shows her a film about childbirth and the dangers of venereal disease.

#6 - Samson and Delilah (1949)

Release Date: December 21, 1949 Production Company: Paramount Pictures

Director(s): Cecil B. DeMille

Earnings: $28,824,741

Overview: Samson (Victor Mature), the hero of the Israelites, wins the hand of a Philistine woman, Semadar (Angela Lansbury), in a contest of strength. When she is killed during a conflict on her wedding night, however, Samson becomes a hunted man whom the Philistines, including Semadar's sister, Delilah (Hedy Lamarr), want to punish. This becomes complicated, however, when Samson suddenly acquires God-given superpowers, and Delilah's true feelings for Samson surface.

#7 - The Best Year of Our Lives (1946)

Release Date: November 21, 1946 Production Company: Samuel Goldwyn Productions, Inc.

Director(s): William Wyler

Earnings: $23,700,000

Overview: Fred, Al and Homer are three World War II veterans facing difficulties as they re-enter civilian life. Fred (Dana Andrews) is a war hero who, unable to compete with more highly skilled workers, has to return to his low-wage soda jerk job. Bank executive Al (Fredric March) gets into trouble for offering favorable loans to veterans. After losing both hands in the war, Homer (Harold Russell) returns to his loving fiancée, but must struggle to adjust.

#8 - The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)

Release Date: December 6, 1945 Production Company: Rainbow Productions

Director(s): Leo McCarey

Earnings: $21,300,000

Overview: Father O'Malley (Bing Crosby) is transferred to the Roman Catholic inner-city school St. Mary's, where he quickly falls into conflict with its headmistress, Sister Mary (Ingrid Bergman). Their primary disagreement has to do with the deteriorating school itself. Father O'Malley feels it should be abandoned and the children sent to other schools. Sister Mary and the other nuns, however, believe there is still hope, possibly in the form of charity from a wealthy business owner (Henry Travers).

#9 - This Is the Army (1943)

Release Date: July 29, 1943 Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

Director(s): Michael Curtiz

Earnings: $19,500,000

Overview: As the United States enters World War I in 1917, newly married actor Jerry Jones (George Murphy) puts on an all-infantry musical to raise his fellow soldiers' morale. At the dawn of World War II, as his own son, Johnny (Ronald Reagan), ponders whether to marry his sweetheart, Eileen (Joan Leslie), Jerry and his old Army buddies -- including Eileen's father, Eddie Dibble (Charles Butterworth) -- decide to put on a new show for the boys marching off to battle just as they did years ago.

#10 - Duel in the Sun (1946)

Release Date: May 8, 1947 Production Company: Vangaurd Films Production

Director(s): King Vidor, William Dieterle

Earnings: $20,400,000

Overview: Tragedy seems to follow Pearl Chavez (Jennifer Jones) everywhere she goes. After a domestic dispute results in the death of both of her parents, Pearl moves in with her aunt, Laura Belle (Lillian Gish), on an expansive farm. When Pearl notices Laura Belle's son, the fiery Lewt, life on the ranch erupts into chaos. The two have a brief courtship, but Lewt abruptly ends the relationship. When Pearl tries to move on, Lewt's jealousy leads to a climactic gun battle between the former lovers.