The 10 Best 1940s Christmas Movies & Why You Should Watch Them

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The 1940s had a lot to offer in terms of holiday movies, and what better way to get into the holiday mood than by watching some of the best Christmas movies from that time period? Here are the top 10 best 1940s Christmas movies that are sure to bring a smile to your face and warm your heart this holiday season.

1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)


What it’s about: It’s a Wonderful Life is probably one the most iconic holiday movies ever. It follows the story of George Bailey, a kind-hearted man who is on the brink of suicide on Christmas Eve. However, George is visited by his guardian angel, who intervenes and shows him how all the actions he did throughout his life had a huge impact on the people around him.

Why you should watch it: There are several reasons why you should watch It’s a Wonderful Life: It has a timeless and uplifting message about the importance of family, friends, and community, it features strong performances by James Stewart as George Bailey and Donna Reed as his wife, Mary, and it has become a holiday tradition for many families, and watching it has become a beloved holiday activity.

2. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)


What it’s about: Miracle on 34th Street is another classic. This Christmas movie tells the story of Kris Kringle, a Santa who works in a department store. But, Kris is special as he claims to be the real Santa Claus. When his claims are challenged, Kris must go to court to prove his identity and bring joy and belief back to the holiday season.

Why you should watch it: You should watch this movie as it is a classic holiday film that has been enjoyed by generations of audiences. It is a heartwarming story that centers around the belief in the power of imagination and the magic of Christmas.

3. Holiday Inn (1942)


What it’s about: Holiday Inn is a classic holiday film that follows Jim Hardy, a singer who leaves show business to run an inn. When Jim’s former partner shows up and tries to steal his girl, he must try to win her back and save the inn.

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Why you should watch it: This movie should be on your watchlist because it is set around the holidays and features a number of festive scenes and celebrations, making it a perfect choice for the holiday season

4. The Bishop’s Wife (1947)


What it’s about: This charming holiday film follows the story of an angel named Dudley who is sent to earth to help a bishop raise money for a new cathedral. Along the way, Dudley helps the bishop rediscover the true meaning of Christmas and falls for the bishop’s wife.

Why you should watch it: The Bishop’s Wife is a charming and timeless movie that is sure to bring a smile to your face and a warm feeling to your heart. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend giving it a watch.

5. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)


What it’s about: Meet Me in St. Louis is another holiday movie that follows the story of the Smith family as they prepare for the 1904 World’s Fair. Through thick and thin, the Smith family learns what the holiday season is all about.

Why you should watch it: You should watch this movie as it is full of memorable characters, catchy songs, and heartwarming moments that will leave you feeling uplifted and happy.

6. The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945)


What it’s about: This heartwarming holiday film follows the story of Father O’Malley, a young priest who is assigned to a struggling inner-city school. Along the way, he teams up with the school’s no-nonsense principal, Sister Mary Benedict, to save the school from closure.

Why you should watch it: One reason to watch The Bells of St. Mary’s is for its strong performances by Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman. Crosby received an Academy Award nomination for his role as Father Chuck O’Malley, and Bergman received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Sister Mary Benedict.

7. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)


What it’s about: The Shop Around the Corner follows the story of two employees at a gift shop that gradually fell in love despite their regular disagreements. As they were sending each other anonymous letters as part of a secret Santa exchange, their bond unknowingly grew stronger and stronger.

Why you should watch it: The Shop Around the Corner is a charming and delightful film that is sure to put a smile on your face and leave you feeling uplifted. It’s a must-see for any fan of romantic comedies or classic cinema.

8. The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)


What it’s about: This comedy follows a pompous and egotistical radio personality who is invited to have dinner with a family over the holidays. Due to the accident he suffers, he is forced to stay with the family. Along the way, a lot of hilarious and chaotic things happen.

Why you should watch it: The Man Who Came to Dinner is a classic that is still enjoyed by many people today. It’s a great way to experience a piece of cinematic history, and a perfect match to be put on a holiday movies list.

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9. The Christmas Carol (1949)

What it’s about: This is another classic adaptation of the Charles Dickens tale of the same name, following the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his journey to redemption through the guidance of three ghosts.

Why you should watch it: This heartwarming and timeless tale is a must-watch for any holiday movie fan, and just like any other version of this tale, the impact on the audience is ensured.

10. Christmas in Connecticut (1945)


What it’s about: This holiday comedy follows the story of a successful food writer who has been pretending to be a domestic goddess in her articles. When she is invited to host a holiday dinner for a war hero, she must scramble to put on a convincing act and find a way to cook a gourmet meal.

Why you should watch it: You should watch this movie as the story is light and humorous, with plenty of misunderstandings and antics to keep you entertained. It’s also a heartwarming tale of family, love, and redemption, with a happy ending that will leave you feeling warm and festive.

In conclusion, the 1940s were a great decade for holiday movies, with a wide range of classic films that are still beloved today. From heartwarming tales of redemption and the true meaning of Christmas to lighthearted comedies and heartwarming romantic stories, there is something for everyone in this selection. So whether you’re looking for a classic tale to watch by yourself, with the whole family, or a heartwarming romance to enjoy with a significant other, these 1940s holiday movies are sure to get you in the holiday spirit.

  • Josip Sovar

    Josip Sovar is a part-time writer based in Krizevci, Croatia. He is a law student at Faculty of Law at University of Zagreb. Josip’s expertise includes Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, MCU, and more or less any other superhero-related TV show or movie. He’s also prone to learning...