The Ultimate Film Archive is a hand-picked chronology of films from each decade (starting with the 1940s), all of which I highly recommend you seeking out. Not an exhaustive list but it’s a start as further films are added.

Have I missed any out? Any further suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Either leave a comment or email me at

The Maltese Falcon (1941

The Maltese Falcon (1941


1940 The Grapes Of Wrath (USA, John Ford)
1940 Fantasia (USA, Walt Disney Productions)
1940 The Great Dictator (USA, Charlie Chaplin)
1940 Rebecca (USA, Alfred Hitchcock)
1940 The Fighting 69th (USA, William Keighley)
1940 His Girl Friday (USA, Howard Hawks)
1940 The Philadelphia Story (USA, George Cukor)
1940 Pinocchio (USA, Hamilton Luske, Ben Sharpsteen)
1940 The Mortal Storm (USA, Frank Borzage)
1940 The Bank Dick (USA, Edward F. Cline)
1940 Foreign Correspondent (USA, Alfred Hitchcock)
1940 The Great McGinty (USA, Preston Sturges)
1940 The Sea Hawk (USA, Michael Curtiz)
1940 The Shop Around the Corner (USA, Ernst Lubitsch)

1941 Citizen Kane (USA, Orson Welles)
1941 Sullivan’s Travels (USA, Preston Sturges)
1941 The Maltese Falcon (USA, John Huston)
1941 The Lady Eve (USA, Preston Sturges)
1941 Dumbo (USA, Ben Sharpsteen)
1941 High Sierra (USA, Raoul Walsh)
1941 How Green Was My Valley (USA, John Ford)
1941 The Little Foxes (USA, William Wyler)
1941 Sergeant York (USA, William Wyler)
1941 Meet John Doe (USA, Frank Capra)

1942 The Magnificent Ambersons (USA, Orson Welles)
1942 Went The Day Well? (USA, Alberto Cavalcanti)
1942 The Palm Beach Story (USA, Preston Sturges)
1942 To Be Or Not To Be (USA, Ernst Lubitsch)
1942 Casablanca (USA, Michael Curtiz)
1942 Now, Voyager (USA, Irving Rapper)
1942 Mrs. Miniver (USA, William Wyler)
1942 Bambi
1942 Cat People (USA, Jacques Tourneur)

1943 The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (USA, Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger)
1943 I Walked With A Zombie (USA, Jacques Tourneur)
1943 The Ox-Bow Incident (USA, William A. Wellman)
1943 Shadow Of A Doubt (USA, Alfred Hitchcock)
1943 Heaven Can Wait (USA, Ernst Lubitsch)
1943 Stormy Weather (USA, Andrew L. Stone)

1944 Meet Me In St. Louis (USA, Vincent Minnelli)
1944 Laura (USA, Otto Preminger)
1944 Double Indemnity (USA, Billy Wilder)
1944 To Have And Have Not (USA, Howard Hawks)
1944 Gaslight (USA, George Cukor)

1945 Les Enfants Du Paradise (USA, Marcel Carné)
1945 Brief Encounter (USA, David Lean)
1945 Roma Città Apreta (Rome, Open City) (USA, Roberto Rossellini)
1945 I Know Where I’m Going (USA, Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger)
1945 Les Dames Du Bois De Boulogne (USA, Robert Bresson)
1945 Mildred Pierce (USA, Michael Curtiz)
1945 Detour (USA, Edgar G. Ulmer)
1945 Spellbound (USA, Alfred Hitchcock)
1945 Anchors Aweigh (USA, George Sidney)
1945 The Lost Weekend (USA, Billy Wilder)

1946 La Belle Et La Bête (USA, Jean Cocteau)
1946 The Big Sleep (USA, Howard Hawks)
1946 My Darling Clementine (USA, John Ford)
1946 The Best Years Of Our Lives (USA, William Wyler)
1946 A Matter Of Life And Death (USA, Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger)
1946 Leave Her To Heaven (USA, John M. Stahl)
1946 Great Expectations (USA, David Lean)
1946 The Stranger (USA, Orson Welles)
1946 The Killers (USA, Robert Siodmak)
1946 It’s A Wonderful Life (USA, Frank Capra)
1946 Gilda (USA, Charles Vidor)
1946 Notorious (USA, Alfred Hitchcock)

1947 Black Narcissus (USA, Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger)
1947 Red River (USA, Howard Hawks)
1947 Monsieur Verdoux (USA, Charles Chaplin)
1947 Out Of The Past (USA, Jacques Tourneur)
1947 Dark Passage (USA, Delmer Daves)

1948 Letter From An Unknown Woman (USA, Max Ophuls)
1948 Fort Apache (USA, John Ford)
1948 The Red Shoes (USA, Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger)
1948 The Bicycle Thief (Ladri Di Biciclette, Italy, Vittorio De Sica)
1948 Rope (USA, Alfred Hitchcock)
1948 The Lady From Shanghai (USA, Orson Welles)
1948 The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (USA, John Huston)
1948 Easter Parade (USA, Charles Walters)
1948 Key Largo (USA, John Huston)
1948 The Naked City (USA, Jules Dassin)

1949 White Heat (USA, Raoul Walsh)
1949 Gun Crazy (USA, Joseph H. Lewis)
1949 Kind Hearts And Coronets (USA, Robert Hamer)
1949 The Third Man (USA, Carol Reed)
1949 Adam’s Rib (USA, George Cukor)
1949 The Reckless Moment (USA, Max Ophüls)
1949 On The Town (USA, Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly)
1949 Orphée (France, Jean Cocteau)
1949 The Window (USA, Ted Tetzlaff)
1949 The Stratton Story (USA, Sam Wood)