The 1940s – DVDs

Here you’ll find a selection of Feature Films and Documentaries. Some of them were filmed during the Forties but the majority are either set then or about that time period. We’ve tried to include something for everyone.

Click on the titles to be taken to the Library’s Online Catalog.

Adam’s Rib – Domestic and professional tensions mount when a husband and wife work as opposing lawyers in a case involving a woman who shot her husband. (1949, 101min, NR)

Angela’s Ashes – Life in impoverished Depression-era Ireland holds little promise for young Frank McCourt, the oldest son in a tightly-knit family. Living by his wits, cheered by his irrepressible spirit, and sustained by his mother’s fierce love, Frank embarks on an inspiring journey to overcome the poverty of his childhood and reach the land of his dreams: America. (2000, 145min, R)

A Beautiful Mind – Tells the tale of the brilliant Mathematician John Nash, on the brink of international acclaim when he becomes entangled in a mysterious conspiracy. (2001, 136min, PG-13)

Big Fish – William Bloom, is a young man who never really knew his now dying father, Edward – outside of the tall tales his dad told him about growing up. During Edward’s last days William and his wife Josephine hold a bedside vigil next to the old man as he recollects elaborate memories of his youth. Still doubting the legends and folklore, William makes a journey to meet a mysterious woman from whom Edward had bought property. (2003, 125min, PG-13)

Casablanca – Set in unoccupied Africa during the early days of World War II: An American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications. (1942, 102min, PG)

Easter Parade – Astaire is trying to forget ex-dance partner Miller while rising to stardom with Garland. (1948, 103min, NR)

The Edge of Love – The unconventional love story of poet Dylan Thomas and the two women who inspire him. (2008, 111min, R)

The End of the Affair – In England during World War II, an American writer and the bored wife of a British civil servant fall in love. Then she mysteriously ends the affair. (1999, 101min, R)

The Eye of the Needle – A ruthless German spy, trying to get out of Britain with vital information about D-Day, must spend time with a young woman and her crippled husband. (1981, 112min)

Flags of Our Fathers – The epic story of the five Marines and one Navy corpsman that were forever immortalized as a symbol of WWII by raising the American flag at the battle of Iwo Jima. When Joe Rosenthal’s photograph of the event becomes a symbol of hope for the families at home, the three surviving men are pulled from combat and sent on a tour across America to raise desperately-needed bond money. It is a trip that brings out the truths of both that symbolic act, and of their lives during war. (2006, 132min, R)

Fountainhead – When an uncompromising architect who refuses to change his designs discovers the plans for one of his buildings has been changed, he decides to take matters into his own hands by blowing up the structure. (1949, 112, NR)

Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life – Follows the life of French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg. (2010, 122min, NR)

Gaslight – A susceptible young woman marries a suave, romantic man never suspecting that he is a murderous scoundrel, obsessed with finding the jewels hidden in their London home. She becomes the helpless victim as slowly, insidiously, he drives her to the brink of insanity. (1940&1944, 113min, NR)

The Good German – While in post-war Berlin covering the Potsdam Conference, American military journalist, Jake Geismar, is drawn into a murder investigation which involves his former mistress and his driver. (2006, 108min, R)

The Great Raid – Based on the true story of American Rangers who rescue the survivors of the Bataan Death March from the Cabanatuan Prison Camp during WWII. (2005, 133min, R)

In Darkness – Leopold Socha is a sewer worker and petty thief in Lvov, a Nazi occupied city in Poland. One day he encounters a group of Jews trying to escape the liquidation of the ghetto. He hides them for money in the labyrinth of the town’s sewers beneath the bustling activity of the city above. (2012, 145min, R)

IP Man – Set in Fo Shan, China, during the second Sino-Japanese War, this film brings to life the brutality of a Japanese occupation in which once-proud men were reduced to fighting to the death over bags of rice. Under these dire circumstances, Ip Man, a courageous and humble fighter who is revered all over China, refuses to teach martial arts skills to the invading Japanese soldiers and is forced to fight for the honor of his country in a series of battles that culminate in a kill-or-be-killed showdown with Japan’s greatest fighter. (2008, 107min, R)

It’s a Wonderful Life – An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. (1946, 130min, NR)

Julie and Julia – Julie Powell is a frustrated insurance worker who wants to be a writer. Trying to find a challenge in her life, she decides to cook her way through Julia Child’s ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ in one year, and to blog about it. As Julie begins to find her groove as a cook, and her voice as a writer, the project takes on a life of its own. (2009, 123min, PG-13)

A League of Their Own – When the male professional baseball players are called away to war in 1943, Jimmy Dugan takes on the task of coaching a team in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. (1992, 127min, PG)

Letters from Iwo Jima – Sixty-one years ago, the United States and Japanese armies met on Iwo Jima. Decades later, hundreds of letters are unearthed from that stark island’s soil. The letters give faces and voices to the men who fought there, as well as the extraordinary general who led them. (2007, 140min, R)

Mister Roberts – As the USS Reluctant carries cargo across the Pacific during World War II, Lieutenant Doug Roberts dreams of joining in the war effort but must contend instead with the ship’s unsympathetic captain. (1955, 122min, NR)

Mrs. Miniver – The story of a middle-class British family and their struggle to survive during WWII. (1942, 133min, NR)

The Others – A devoutly religious mother of two ailing children has moved with her family to a mansion on the English coast. Her two children both suffer from a rare photosensitivity disease that renders them extremely vulnerable to sunlight, prompting the rule of having only one door open in the house at a time. When one of the children claims to see ghosts, Grace at first believes her newly arrived family of eccentric servants to be responsible, but chilling events and visions soon lead her to believe that something supernatural is indeed going on. (2001, 104min, PG-13)

Pan’s Labyrinth – When young Ofelia and her mother go to live with her new stepfather on a rural military outpost, she finds herself in a world of unimaginable cruelty. Soon Ofelia finds the creatures of her imagination in which she used to escape have become a reality and she must battle them to save both her mother and herself. In the terrifying battle that ensues, Ofelia soon learns that innocence has a power that evil cannot imagine. (2007, 119min, R)

Patton – A dramatization of the experiences of General George S. Patton during World War II. (1970, 171min, PG)

The Philadelphia Story – A sophisticated romantic comedy about a rich, spoiled socialite who learns some things about who she is and what she really wants on the eve of her second marriage. (1940, 112min, NR)

Racing with the Moon – Sweet, nostalgic film about two buddies awaiting induction into the Marines in 1942. (1984, 108min, PG)

Raging Bull – A biographical film about psychologically destructive, violent middleweight champion Jake La Motta. (1980, 129min, R)

The Remains of the Day – The story of blind devotion and repressed love between a fanatically proper butler and a high-spirited, strong-minded young housekeeper employed by a British lord who is unwittingly a Nazi dupe. (1993, 134min, PG)

Revolutionary Road – Frank and April Wheeler live a life that appears to be perfect. They live in the Connecticut suburbs with two young children. Frank commutes to New York City where he works in an office job that he hates. One he places little effort at, but he has yet to figure out what his passion in life is. April is a housewife who forgoes her dream of being an actress. They are not happy. (2008, 118min, R)

Schindler’s List – The story of a Catholic war profiteer, Oskar Schindler, who risked his life and went bankrupt in order to save more than 1,000 Jews from certain death in concentration camps. He employed Jews in his crockery factory manufacturing goods for the German army. At the same time he tries to stay solvent with the help of a Jewish accountant and negotiates business with a vicious Nazi commandant who enjoys shooting Jews as target practice from the balcony of his villa that overlooks the prison camp he commands. (1993, 196min, R)

The Shawshank Redemption – City banker Andy Dufresne arrived at Shawshank Prison in 1947. Convicted of two brutal murders, he received a double life sentence. Within the confines of the prison, Andy forms an unlikely friendship with the prison “fixer” Red. He also becomes popular with the warden and the prison’s guards, as Andy is able to use his banking experience to help the corrupt officials amass personal fortunes. (1994, 142min, R)

The Trip to Bountiful – In an attempt to recapture the happiness she knew in the past, an elderly woman journeys back to the small town where she raised her children. (1985, 108min, PG)

Twelve o’Clock High – The commander of the Eighth Air Force bomber unit in England during World War II begins to crack under the strain. (1949, 132min, NR)

Valkyrie – Based on the true story of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg and his assassination plot targeting Adolf Hitler. (2008, 120min, PG-13)

A Walk in the Clouds – After returning from World War II, a young G.I. finds he has little in common with the wife he left behind. Disillusioned, he heads north to work as a travelling salesman where he meets the daughter of a wealthy vineyard owner. (1995, 102min, PG-13)