Movies Set In The 1940s

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Movies Set In The 1940s

Ever viewed these Movies Set In The 1940s? We know you'll find some new films. We wrote about 25 of the best ones.

The Godfather (1972)

The Godfather
★★★★
★★★★
3.7 out of 4 stars

From Francis Ford Coppola, starring Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton
Rated R

The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy. Based on Mario Puzo's best-selling novel of the same name, it stars Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as the leaders of a powerful Italian-American crime family. The story, spanning 1945 to 1955, chronicles the family under the patriarch Vito Corleone (Brando), focusing on the transformation of his son Michael (Pacino) from reluctant family outsider to ruthless mafia boss. The Godfather is widely regarded as one of the greatest films in world cinema, and is a highly influential work in the gangster film genre. It won three Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor (Brando) and Best Adapted Screenplay (for Puzo and Coppola). The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 1990. It was followed by two sequels: The Godfather Part II (1974) and The Godfather Part III (1990).

The Godfather Part II (1974)

The Godfather Part II
★★★★
★★★★
3.6 out of 4 stars

From Francis Ford Coppola, starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton
Rated R

The Godfather Part II is a 1974 American epic crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It is both a sequel and a prequel to The Godfather, continuing the story of the Corleone family. The film begins with a young Vito Corleone growing up in Sicily and in 1910s New York. It then flashes forward to the lives of his son Michael and his family in the late 1950s. The Godfather Part II chronicles the rise of Michael to the head of the Corleone family, as well as his attempt to expand the family business into Las Vegas, Hollywood, and Cuba. Meanwhile, it also shows the story of his father, Vito, and the beginnings of his rise to power as he builds his crime empire. The film also features the complicated, and sometimes violent, relationships between the characters, as well as their loyalty and betrayal of each other. The Godfather Part II is a powerful and lasting film that solidified the Corleone family's place in American culture.

Young Frankenstein (1974)

Young Frankenstein
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Mel Brooks, starring Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle
Rated PG

Young Frankenstein is a 1974 American comedy film directed by Mel Brooks and starring Gene Wilder as the title character, a descendant of the infamous Victor Frankenstein. The supporting cast includes Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Madeline Kahn, and Gene Hackman. The movie tells the story of Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, an American neurosurgeon who inherits the castle of his grandfather, the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Dr. Frankenstein begins experimenting with the reanimation of dead tissue and eventually creates a living, breathing creature from the reanimated body of a recently deceased criminal. When the creature learns of his impending destruction, he escapes from the castle and wreaks havoc on the nearby town. Dr. Frankenstein must then capture his creation and restore order. Along the way, he and his assistant Igor, played by Marty Feldman, encounter a number of humorous and madcap adventures.

Annie Hall (1977)

Annie Hall
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Woody Allen, starring Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane
Rated PG

Annie Hall is a romantic comedy-drama film directed by Woody Allen and released in 1977. The story follows the on-again off-again relationship between neurotic comedian Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) and the titular Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) as they struggle to overcome the trials and tribulations of modern relationship. With self deprecating humor, Alvy narrates his own experiences with Annie, providing insight into their blossoming romance, comedic misadventures, and the eventual demise of their relationship. In addition to Allen and Keaton, the film also stars Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, Paul Simon, and Christopher Walken. The film was both a critical and commercial success, winning four Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Actress.

Mirror (1975)

Mirror
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Andrei Tarkovsky, starring Margarita Terekhova, Filipp Yankovskiy, Ignat Daniltsev, Oleg Yankovskiy
Rated Not Rated

Mirror is a 1975 film by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky. The film follows the life of a man, Alexei, and his family, as he reflects on his childhood and his relationship with his mother. The film is structured as a series of dream-like scenes and flashbacks, exploring themes of memory and identity. It also touches on political and social issues in the Soviet Union, such as the war in Afghanistan, as well as the broader themes of human existence and mortality. The film has been praised for its use of innovative cinematography and its philosophical musings on life and death.

Patton (1970)

Patton
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Franklin J. Schaffner, starring George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young, Michael Strong
Rated GP

Patton is a 1970 biographical war film about U.S. General George S. Patton during World War II. Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and starring George C. Scott, the film tells the story of Patton's unique tactics and leadership during the North African and European campaigns of World War II. It follows Patton's rise to become one of the most successful American generals in history and highlights his personal and professional struggles. The film also examines the tensions between Patton and his superiors and peers. The film culminates in a dramatic, emotionally charged monologue by Patton just prior to the Battle of the Bulge.

The Conformist (1970)

The Conformist
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Bernardo Bertolucci, starring Jean-Louis Trintignant, Stefania Sandrelli, Gastone Moschin, Enzo Tarascio
Rated R

The Conformist is a 1970 Italian film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. It follows Marcello Clerici, a young Italian man in the 1930s who is desperate to conform to the ideals of his fascist government. At the same time, he is wracked with guilt and confusion over his own conflicted sexuality. Marcello is sent on a mission to assassinate his former professor, a political dissident living in Paris, but finds himself unable to go through with it. In the end, Marcello is forced to confront his own inner demons, as he comes to terms with his identity and his place in a society that demands conformity.

All That Jazz (1979)

All That Jazz
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Bob Fosse, starring Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Ann Reinking, Leland Palmer
Rated R

All That Jazz is a 1979 musical drama directed by Bob Fosse, starring Roy Scheider as Joe Gideon, a highly successful, but self-destructive Broadway producer-director-choreographer. After being diagnosed with a heart condition, Gideon begins to reflect on his life and career while struggling to mount a new production. As Gideon reflects on his chaotic past, he is haunted by visions of his deceased confidants and colleagues. The film explores themes of success, mortality, artistry, and the destructive power of obsession. The film was a critical and commercial success, and won four Academy Awards, including Best Director for Fosse.

The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

The Spirit of the Beehive
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Víctor Erice, starring Fernando Fernán Gómez, Teresa Gimpera, Ana Torrent, Isabel Tellería
Rated Not Rated

The Spirit of the Beehive is set in a small village in Spain in 1940, just after the Spanish Civil War. The film follows Ana, a young girl who is deeply moved by a screening of James Whale’s 1931 version of Frankenstein, which she sees with her sister, Isabel. After the screening, Ana begins to search for the monster, believing it to be real. As her search intensifies, her family, who are struggling to cope with the aftermath of the war, start to become concerned for her wellbeing. As Ana struggles to make sense of the world, she finds solace in the beauty of nature, and in the spirit of the beehive, which she discovers in a nearby abandoned house. This film poetically explores the themes of innocence, loss, and the search for the truth.

That's Entertainment! (1974)

That's Entertainment!
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Jack Haley Jr., starring Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Bing Crosby, Peter Lawford
Rated G

That's Entertainment! is a 1974 American compilation film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to celebrate the studio's 50th anniversary. Hosted and narrated by Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, the film is a retrospective of some of the best-loved musical numbers from the studio's films, including performances by Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Judy Garland, Lena Horne, Esther Williams, Howard Keel, Frank Sinatra, and many more. The film spans the years from the silent era to the early 1970s and is filled with classic musical numbers and behind-the-scenes footage. The film was a box office success and was later followed by two sequels, That's Entertainment, Part II (1976) and That's Dancing! (1985).

1900 (1976)

1900
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Bernardo Bertolucci, starring Robert De Niro, Gérard Depardieu, Dominique Sanda, Francesca Bertini
Rated Unrated

1900 is a 1976 Italian epic drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, starring Robert De Niro, Gérard Depardieu, Dominique Sanda, Donald Sutherland, and Burt Lancaster. Set in a rural Italian community at the turn of the 20th century, the film follows two men, Alfredo Berlinghieri (De Niro) and Olmo Dalcò (Depardieu), from their birth in the year 1900 and their parallel lives in the decades that follow. As the men’s lives intertwine and diverge, the film explores themes of class struggle, politics, and religion in a sprawling drama that encompasses both their individual and collective fates. The film earned praise for its cinematography and for its performances by De Niro and Depardieu. It was nominated for two Academy Awards.

Kelly's Heroes (1970)

Kelly's Heroes
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Brian G. Hutton, starring Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Carroll O'Connor
Rated GP

Kelly's Heroes is a 1970 war comedy starring Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland, and Telly Savalas. The film follows a group of American soldiers in World War II who go behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied France in search of a stash of gold bullion. Led by the cynical Kelly (Eastwood), the group consists of the eccentric Big Joe (Sutherland), the battle-weary Oddball (Savalas), and their rag-tag platoon of misfits. Along the way they must evade the German army, negotiate with a local French resistance group, and outsmart a German tank division. The film is filled with humorous characters, clever dialogue, and plenty of action. In the end, the group succeeds in their mission and returns with the gold.

Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

Tora! Tora! Tora!
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, Toshio Masuda, Akira Kurosawa, starring Martin Balsam, Sô Yamamura, Jason Robards, Joseph Cotten
Rated G

Tora! Tora! Tora! is an epic war movie which tells the story of the events leading up to the surprise attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The film follows both sides of the conflict, the United States and the Japanese, and tells the story of the events leading up to the attack. The film shows how both sides misread the intentions of the other, leading to the catastrophic attack. The film is a powerful and detailed account of the diplomatic and military events leading up to the attack, and the attack itself.

The Tin Drum (1979)

The Tin Drum
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Volker Schlöndorff, starring David Bennent, Mario Adorf, Angela Winkler, Katharina Thalbach
Rated R

The Tin Drum is a German drama film directed by Volker Schlöndorff in 1979. Based on the novel of the same name by Günter Grass, the film tells the story of Oskar Matzerath, a boy in Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland) who decides to stop growing at age three in protest of the events of World War II and the Nazi Party. The film follows Oskar and his family during the turbulent period leading up to and during World War II, as well as his post-war life. It depicts Oskar's coming of age and his attempts to cope with his decision to remain a child forever. During the course of the film, Oskar encounters a variety of characters, from his family and friends, to the members of the Nazi Party and the German resistance. The film was a critical and commercial success, winning the Palme d'Or at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival, as well as the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1980. It remains one of the most celebrated films in German cinema.

Superman (1978)

Superman
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Richard Donner, starring Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman, Marlon Brando
Rated PG

The Black Stallion (1979)

The Black Stallion
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Carroll Ballard, starring Kelly Reno, Mickey Rooney, Teri Garr, Clarence Muse
Rated G

A Bridge Too Far (1977)

A Bridge Too Far
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Richard Attenborough, starring Sean Connery, Ryan O'Neal, Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier
Rated PG

Cross of Iron (1977)

Cross of Iron
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Sam Peckinpah, starring James Coburn, Maximilian Schell, James Mason, David Warner
Rated R

Summer of '42 (1971)

Summer of '42
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Robert Mulligan, starring Jennifer O'Neill, Gary Grimes, Jerry Houser, Oliver Conant
Rated PG

Catch-22 (1970)

Catch-22
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From Mike Nichols, starring Alan Arkin, Martin Balsam, Richard Benjamin, Art Garfunkel
Rated R

Overlord (1975)

Overlord
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From Stuart Cooper, starring Brian Stirner, Davyd Harries, Nicholas Ball, Julie Neesam
Rated Not Rated

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

Bedknobs and Broomsticks
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Robert Stevenson, Ward Kimball, starring Angela Lansbury, David Tomlinson, Roddy McDowall, Sam Jaffe
Rated G

The Way We Were (1973)

The Way We Were
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From Sydney Pollack, starring Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, Bradford Dillman, Lois Chiles
Rated PG

Farewell, My Lovely (1975)

Farewell, My Lovely
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From Dick Richards, starring Robert Mitchum, Charlotte Rampling, John Ireland, Sylvia Miles
Rated R

Carnal Knowledge (1971)

Carnal Knowledge
★★★★
★★★★
2.8 out of 4 stars

From Mike Nichols, starring Jack Nicholson, Candice Bergen, Art Garfunkel, Ann-Margret
Rated R

 



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