1940’s

[6.0] In this courtroom drama ripped from the headlines, Arthur Kennedy plays a nervous out-of-towner who is identified by witnesses as the killer of a beloved local priest. When the whole town unties in his condemnation, it’s up to Dana Andrews, as the district attorney, to prove Kennedy’s innocence at the peril of his political career. For an Elia Kazan (East of Eden, Splendor in …

[6.5] Maestro Billy Wilder directs Ray Milland as a drunk writer circling the drain in the multi-Oscar-winning The Lost Weekend. Milland’s character is supposed to begin recovery on a long holiday weekend with his brother (Phillip Terry) and gal pal (Jane Wyman), but after he steals money to spend at his favorite bar, he gets drunk and misses their departure time. Things get progressively worse …

[9.0] Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall made their first pairing in this adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s novel about an American boatman (Bogart) who reluctantly sticks his neck out for the French Resistance in World War II Martinique. Along the way he falls in love with a sultry young singer (Bacall) and risks more lives than his own when he agrees to give a pair of …

[6.0] You only get to see his face in the film’s final moments, but Vincent Price otherwise stars as this sequel’s titular character. The film has loose narrative ties to James Whale’s 1933 classic, and is as much a remake as a sequel in its execution. Both films center around a man whose taken an invisibility potion that gradually drives him insane. Whale’s take is …

[6.5] Writer/director Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir) won his first two Academy Awards for writing and directing this drama about three wives who reflect on their marriages when they learn a fourth woman has just left town with one of their husbands. Mankiewicz can always be relied upon for great dialogue and pitch-perfect casting. All six principles (the fourth …

[7.5] Bette Davis stars as Charlotte Vale, a nervous young woman whose emotionally abusive mother (Gladys Cooper) causes her to submit herself to a sanitarium. Under the care of her doctor (Claude Rains), Charlotte begins to gain the confidence to stand up for herself and appreciate her self worth. On an ocean-liner cruise she meets a man named Jerry (Casablanca‘s Paul Henreid) and falls in …

[7.0] Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon reteam in Mervyn LeRoy’s biopic of Madame Curie. Garson plays the title character, Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the first person to ever win two of them. This film version of her life story splits its focus between her private life with husband Pierre Curie (Pidgeon) and their joint discovery of radium. Madame …

[6.0] Fay Bainter (The Children’s Hour) stars in this ‘war at home’ drama about a wealthy widow who ignores the effects of WWII even as her son (Mrs. Miniver‘s Richard Ney) is drafted into service. Her stubborn refusal to deal with reality causes a rift between her suitor (Edward Arnold), her daughter (Jean Rogers), and her dim-witted socialite friend (Spring Byington). As you might expect, …

[7.5] Lucille Ball stars in this high-spirited comedy about a love triangle between her character, a happy-go-lucky sailor (George Murphy), and a buttoned-down business executive (Edmond O’Brien). Ball’s engaged to Murphy, and O’Brien is engaged to someone else as well, but as Ball and Murphy welcome O’Brien into their social circle, he and Ball begin to fall for one another. This is a very sweet …

[6.0] Barbara Stanwyck stars in this comedy about a night of multiple murders at a burlesque opera house. Between the dancers sharing a small dressing space, a few shady boyfriends and stage hands, a snooty visiting Russian princess, and an owner whose keeping secrets of his own, everyone’s a suspect. And even though women are being strangled by their own g-strings (you better believe it!), …

1 2 3 9