Following on from our discussions about favourite films of the 1930s, we decided to progress onto the 1940s. Again, each of us has three choices:
Great Expectations (1946)
Impressive adaptation of Dickens' sensational novel, with a brilliant central performance by John Mills. David Lean's direction is sleek and atmospheric.
It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
A perennial Christmas favourite which, even over sixty years later, still pulls at the heartstrings. Stewart is brilliant and if you don't come away from this film feeling better about the world, your heart is made of stone.
Shot in long continuous takes in one set, the technical tricks played in this film equal the verbal pyrotechnics- Grainger and Dall excel as the murderous students with Stewart as a wonderful counterfoil.
Double Indemnity (1944)
Barbara Stanwyck sizzles as the femme fatale in Wilder's superlative film noir, ably supported by MacMurray and Robinson. The script, from a James M. Cain novel, was co-written by Raymond Chandler.
Another Hitchcock choice; set in a confined space, a great set of wonderful actors working with a thought-provoking script; plus this has one of the most genius Hitchcock cameos ever.
Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949)
A brilliantly black Ealing comedy featuring standout performances by Dennis Price and Alec Guinness. Plus you get to see Guinness in drag (as the formidable Lady Agatha D'Ascoyne) - what more could you ask for?
So those are our choices. What about yours? Would you have picked Mildred Pierce or Casablanca? The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre or Key Largo? Maybe Olivier's Hamlet or Henry The Fifth? Or how about Whisky Galore, Brief Encounter or the darling of film critics the world over: Citizen Kane? Let us know your favourite movies of the 1940s in the comments below.