BECK index
Movie Mirrors Index

More Movies from 1943

Movie Mirrors

by Sanderson Beck

Best Movies of 1943

Movie Mirrors Introduction

Abbreviations
 Title

Min.

c S M H P V En Ed
 Above Suspicion 91   b  5  6  5  7  6  5  4
 Behind the Rising Sun 88   b  6  5  5  4  5  4  5
 Bells Go Down, The 89   b      5      5  5
 Best Foot Forward 94   c  6  6  4  6  5  5  4
 Bombardier 99   b  6  6  4  6  5  5  4
 Coney Island 96   c  6  6  5      5  4
 Constant Nymph, The 112   b  5  6  5      5  5
 Crash Dive 105   c  5  5  5  5  5  5  4
 Crime Doctor 66   b  6  5  5      5  5
 Cry 'Havoc' 98   b  5  6  4   5  5  5
 Demi-Paradise, The (Adventure for Two) 112   b  6  6  5    6  5  5
 Desperadoes, The 87   b  6  6  4   5  5  4
 Destination Tokyo 135   b  4  6  5  7  4  5  4
 Destroyer 99   b    5  4    6  5  5
 Du Barry Was a Lady 101   c  5  6  4  3  5  5  4
 Fallen Sparrow, The 94   b  6  5  5  5  5  5  4
 First Comes Courage 88   b    5  4      5  5
 Flesh and Fantasy 93   b  7  6  5      5  5
 Flight for Freedom 101   b  5  4  4      5  5
 Gang's All Here, The 103   c  7  5  6  6 4  5  4
 Ghost Ship, The 70   b  6  6  4   5  5  5
 Girl Crazy 99   b  7  7  5  5  6  5  4
 Government Girl 93   b    5  4      5  4
 Hello Frisco, Hello 98   c  5  4  5  4  5  5  4
 Holy Matrimony 87   b  7  6  5      5  5
 Iron Major, The 86   b  6  5  4  4  5  5  5
 Jack London 91   b  6  3  4  3  3  5  5
 Lady of Burlesque 91   b  6  6  5  5  5  5  4
 Lady Takes a Chance, A 86   b  6  6  4  5  6  5  4
 Lost Angel 91   b  6  5  5      5  5
 Meanest Man in the World, The 57   b  5  6  4  6    5  4
 Millions Like Us 103   b  6  6  6      5  5
 Muchhausen 111   c  7    6      5  5
 Northern Pursuit 94   b  5  5  5  5  5  5  4
 Outlaw, The 116   b  3  6  5  3  4  5  4
 Princess O'Rourke 95   b  7  5  4   5  5  4
 Salute to the Marines 102   c  5  5  4      5  4
 Sherlock Holmes Faces Death 68   b  6  6  6  5  6  5  5
 Sherlock Holmes in Washington 71   b  6  5  5  4  5  5  5
 Slightly Dangerous 94   b  5  4  4   4  5  4
 Stormy Weather 77   b  6  6  7  7  5  5  4
 Stranger in Town, A 67   b  5  6  4      5  4
 Sweet Rosie O'Grady 75   c  6  5  5    5  5  4
 Swing Shift Maisie 87   b  5  5  4      5  4
 Tender Comrade 101   b  5 5  4  5 4  5  5
 Thank Your Lucky Stars 127   b  6  6  7  6  6  5  4
 They Came to Blow Up America 73   b  5  4        5  5
 They Got Me Covered 93   b  5  4  5  4  4  5  4
 This Is the Army 125   c  6  6  6  5  5  5  4
 Thousands Cheer 126   c  6  5  5  5  5  5  4
 Three Hearts for Julia 90   b  4  4  4      5  4
 Titanic (German) 85   b    5  5      5  5
 What a Woman! 94   b  5  5  4      5  5
 Young Ideas 77   b  4  3  4      5  4

Abbreviations
b = black and white
c = color
S = Scheuer's rating
M = Maltin's rating
H = Halliwell's rating
P = Martin & Porter's rating
V = Videohound's rating
En = Beck's entertainment value
Ed = Beck's educational value

 

Above Suspicion

(1943 b 91') En: 5 Ed: 4

On their honeymoon in 1939 Richard (Fred MacMurray) and Frances (Joan Crawford) are asked to spy in Germany. They are helped by one count (Conrad Veidt) and overcome another (Basil Rathbone) in rescuing a doctor (Reginald Owen).

This spy thriller reflects how the European war interrupted the lives of Americans with the necessity to overcome German aggression that used science to kill.

Behind the Rising Sun

(1943 b 88') En: 4 Ed: 5

Based on a novel by James R. Young, in 1936 Americans in Tokyo are friends with a Japanese family, a Russian, and a German. Other prominent liberals have been murdered, but Reo Seki (J. Carrol Naish) supports the Emperor. His son Taro Seki (Tom Neal) returns from Cornell University and becomes an engineer for O'Hara (Don Douglas) and then in the army. Boxer Lefty (Robert Ryan) knocks out a Japanese karate fighter, presaging the American victory. Taro Seki plans to marry O'Hara's secretary Tama (Margo) but dies as a pilot in the war. Reo Seki realizes the dishonor of his country and prepares to commit hara-kiri.

This American propaganda film portrays war-time Japan as a cruel feudal society trying to dominate Asia but doomed to self-destruction.

The Bells Go Down

(1943 b 89’) En: 5 Ed: 5

In 1939 Tommy Turk (Tommy Trinder), Bob (Philip Friend), and Sam (Mervyn Johns) go to work for the Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS) in London, supervised by Ted Robbins (James Mason) and Officer McFarlane (Findlay Currie). One year later during the blitz they have to put out extensive fires in London.

         This realistic drama portrays working-class men sacrificing themselves during the terrible bombing the Nazis inflicted on London in the fall of 1940.

Best Foot Forward

(1943 c 94') En: 5 Ed: 4

Adapted from John Cecil Holm's play, Lucille Ball plays herself in this musical about a movie star who goes to a prom with prep-school cadet (Tommy Dix) to gain publicity designed by Jack O'Riley (William Gaxton) for her sagging career. Harry James provides good music. Ball has her dress torn off for souvenirs but manages to get her date re-united with his girl-friend (Virginia Weidler) and graduated so he can go to West Point.

Comedy is based on the ludicrous situation of high-school kids dancing with a Hollywood star, but the underlying theme is the desperate measures taken by celebrities to push forward their careers.

Bombardier

(1943 b 99') En: 5 Ed: 4

Major Chick Davis (Pat O'Brien) surpasses the dive bombing of Captain Buck Oliver (Randolph Scott) with precision bombing from high altitude and establishes a training school for bombardiers. Chick's secretary (Anne Shirley) is wooed by both, but her brother Tom (Eddie Albert) has difficulties in the training. After Pearl Harbor, they go into combat and bomb Japan.

This war propaganda reflects the current training of thousands of men to bomb the USA's enemies in World War II. Even a recruit whose letters from his mother warn him he is learning how to mass murder is persuaded by quotes from the Bible that their cause is righteous.

Coney Island

(1943 c 96') En: 5 Ed: 4

Eddie Johnson (George Montgomery) finds Joe Rocco (Cesar Romero), who cheated him out of his partnership. Eddie competes with Joe and then joins him while gaining the attention of his attractive singer Kate Farley (Betty Grable), whom he helps develop a better style.

Set in the Gay 1890s, this musical comedy provided light entertainment for soldiers eager to see Betty Grable's legs.

The Constant Nymph

(1943 b 112’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on Margaret Kennedy’s novel and play, eccentric composer Lewis Dodd (Charles Boyer) marries beautiful and wealthy Florence Creigton (Alexis Smith), but her younger cousin Tess Sanger (Joan Fontaine) is secretly in love with him while he dotes on the youngster.

         This romantic drama explores the world of music and romantic emotions that gradually rise to the surface in the composer as he realizes that he and the youngster have so much more in common than he and his arrogant wife.

Crash Dive

(1943 c 105') En: 5 Ed: 4

Lt. Ward Stewart (Tyrone Power) falls in love with Jean (Anne Baxter), who resists because she is planning to marry his submarine commander Dewey Connors (Dana Andrews). Black sailor Oliver (Ben Carter) helps aging McDonnell (James Gleason) because of his bad heart. Their sub penetrates a German naval base and destroys it.

Conflicted romance provides the drama for this war propaganda heroics which kill numerous enemies while only losing one man.

Crime Doctor

(1943 b 66’) En: 5 Ed: 5

An unconscious man (Baxter Ward) is thrown from a moving car and suffers from amnesia. Dr. Carey (Ray Collins) helps him, and as Robert Ordway he studies and becomes a psychiatrist. A gang of criminals knows him, and Emilio (John Litel) is trying to get him to tell him where $200,000 is. Dr. Ordway is so good at working with prison inmates that he becomes head of the parole board. He falls in love with Grace (Margaret Lindsay) but does not remember whether he was married.

         This first drama in a series shows how this man is rehabilitated with kind help from a doctor, and then he too becomes skilled at helping criminals reform.

Cry 'Havoc'

(1943 b 98') En: 5 Ed: 5

Adapted from Allan Kenward's play, in desperate circumstances at Bataan army nurses Lt. Smith (Margaret Sullavan) and Captain Marsh (Fay Bainter) are joined by nine volunteers that include feisty Pat (Ann Sothern).

This realistic drama depicts the wretched situation of suffering losses in a war from the viewpoint of nurses caring for the wounded and sick with inadequate supplies.

The Desperadoes

(1943 c 87') En: 5 Ed: 4

Cheyenne (Glenn Ford) is a wanted man but arrives in Utah late for a bank robbery planned by Uncle Willie McLeod (Edgar Buchanan) and banker Clanton (Porter Hall) of money paid by the US Army for horses in 1863. Calling himself Bill Smith, Cheyenne falls in love with Allison McLeod (Evelyn Keyes), who has been courted by Cheyenne's friend Steve (Randolph Scott), now sheriff. Cheyenne returns a favor to his friend Nitro (Guinn Williams), who gets him involved escaping from another bank robbery.

This archetypal western aims at entertainment as it plays violent scenes for comedy but is somewhat redeemed by Cheyenne's efforts to avoid crime in order to settle down and marry Allison and by his loyal friendships with Nitro, Steve, and his childhood friend Countess (Claire Trevor).

The Demi-Paradise (Adventure for Two)

(1943 b 112’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Russian Ivan Kouznetzoff (Laurence Olivier) has invented a new propeller and goes to England in 1939. After Germany invades Russia in 1941, England and the Soviet Union become allies. Ivan’s propeller is eventually perfected for an ice-breaking ship the English are building for the Soviet war effort. Meanwhile Ivan learns to love the peculiar English people and especially Ann Tisdall (Penelope Ward).

         This war drama is a propaganda film to overcome English prejudices against the Russian Communists because of their alliance against the fascists in World War II.

Destination Tokyo

(1943 b 135') En: 5 Ed: 4

Captain Cassidy (Cary Grant) commands the submarine crew that includes womanizer Wolf (John Garfield) and cook (Alan Hale). After picking up a specialist in the Aleutian Islands, they go to Tokyo Bay in order to gain intelligence for an air attack.

This war propaganda was so effective that it was used as a training film by the US Navy.

Destroyer

(1943 b 99’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Steve Boleslavski (Edward G. Robinson) and his friend Kansus (Edgar Buchanan) are building a new destroyer named after John Paul Jones. Veterans of World War I, they join the Navy, and Boleslavsky persuades Lt. Commander Clark (Regis Toomey) to make him an officer replacing Mickey Donohue (Glenn Ford) who becomes interested in Boleslavski’s daughter Mary (Marguerite Chapman). Boleslavsky and Mickey clash, and Boleslavsky is demoted; but he stays on the unpopular ship even when she fails tests and is ordered to deliver mail.

         This patriotic war drama depicts life in the US Navy on a destroyer by contrasting the values of a veteran with young recruits who are more up to date.

Du Barry Was a Lady

(1943 c 101') En: 5 Ed: 4

In this musical comedy May Daly (Lucille Ball) does not want to marry dancer Alec (Gene Kelly) because he has no money. Hat-checker Louis (Red Skelton), wins the sweepstakes and persuades her to marry him as a business proposition; but he is drugged and thinks he is Louis XV and May is Du Barry. Alec and Rami (Zero Mostel) try to lead a revolution. When Louis comes to, May decides to marry Alec, as the rest of Louis' money is taken by the IRS.

The Broadway play by Herbert Fields and Buddy G. DeSylva was cleaned up for the Hollywood movie, leaving it a rather tamed farce.

The Fallen Sparrow

(1943 b 94') En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on a novel by Dorothy B. Hughes, John McKittrick (John Garfield) suffered imprisonment while fighting in the Spanish Civil War. After his boyhood friend is killed, he refuses to let Nazis get their banner back. While romancing Toni (Maureen O'Hara) he tracks down the murderers who are led by Dr. Skaas (Walter Slezak).

This anti-Nazi film shows some of desperation with which their victims continued to fight back.

First Comes Courage

(1943 b 87’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Adapted from Elliott Arnold’s novel and directed by Dorothy Arzner, Norwegian Nicole Larsen (Merle Oberon) pretends to love Nazi Major Paul Dichter (Carl Esmond) in order to pass information through her eye doctor Aanrud (Fritz Leiber) to British intelligence. When Paul becomes suspicious, the British send her friend Captain Alan Lowell (Brian Aherne) to kill the Major during a commando raid.

         This drama was designed to promote the British war effort and portrays the courage of the Norwegian resistance to the Nazi occupation.

Flesh and Fantasy

(1943 b 93') En: 5 Ed: 5

Doakes (Robert Benchley) tells a friend of a dream and a fortune teller and is told three stories. In the first plain Henrietta (Betty Field) discovers her inner beauty during Mardi Gras with Michael (Robert Cummings). In the second palm reader Podgers (Thomas Mitchell) predicts that Marshall Tyler (Edward G. Robinson) will kill someone; Lady Pamela (May Whitty) dies naturally, but Tyler goes on to kill. In the third story Paul Gaspar (Charles Boyer) dreams that Joan (Barbara Stanwyck) witnesses his fall from a high wire, and they fall in love.

These three stories play mind games with the characters and the audience, indicating that supernatural effects seem to depend on how the people believe in the possibilities.

Flight for Freedom

(1943 b 101') En: 5 Ed: 5

Aircraft engineer Paul (Herbert Marshall) trains Tonie (Rosalind Russell) to be a great and famous flyer. She falls in love with the flyer Randy Britton (Fred MacMurray). While he pursues his career, she agrees to marry Paul. She wants to fly around the world alone, but the US Navy asks her to help them spy on Japanese naval bases.

Obvious comparisons to the life and mysterious death of Amelia Earhart do not prevent this from being shaped into war propaganda. Nonetheless the story depicts an outstanding woman and two men with contrasting personalities.

The Gang's All Here

(1943 c 103') En: 5 Ed: 4

In this musical comedy with Benny Goodman that was directed by Busby Berkeley a soldier (James Ellison) falls in love with a singer (Alice Faye) before he ships out. When he returns, the singer learns that the soldier has a childhood sweetheart. Carmen Miranda, Eugene Pallette, Charlotte Greenwood, and Edward Everett Horton provide comic relief.

Patriotism is promoted by staging a show at a party to honor a war hero and sell war bonds.

The Ghost Ship

(1943 b 70') En: 5 Ed: 5

Sea captain Will Stone (Richard Dix) has peculiar ideas about his authority. After he causes the death of a sailor, his new third officer Tom Merriam (Russell Wade) accuses him of murder; but his charge is dismissed. Merriam is shunned by the crew until the radioman (Edmund Glover) disappears.

This psychological study of an authoritarian personality explores how easily tyranny can emerge on an isolated ship.

Girl Crazy

(1943 b 99') En: 5 Ed: 4

Gershwin songs highlight this musical comedy in which a young playboy (Mickey Rooney) is sent to an isolated western college of mining with no females except the mail carrier (Judy Garland).

This remake of the Bolton-McGowan play, also done in the 1932 Girl Crazy, depends on its two stars, who have grown up but still act like kids.

Government Girl

(1943 b 93') En: 5 Ed: 4

Ed Browne (Sonny Tufts) comes to crowded Washington to organize production of bombers and is assisted by his zany secretary Smokey (Olivia de Havilland), who has to deal with her roommate bride (Anne Shirley) and her husband (James Dunn) who cannot find an apartment, an ambitious politician (Jess Barker) who thinks he owns her, and an unrequited journalist (Paul Stewart.

This satire of War Department bureaucracy and politics provided comic relief to a nation mobilized for war.

Hello Frisco, Hello

(1943 c 98’) En: 5 Ed: 4

In San Francisco about 1900 ambitious Johnny Cornell (John Payne) produces shows on the Barbary Coast with singer Trudy Evans (Alice Faye) and the couple Dan Daley (Jack Oakie) and Beulah Clancy (June Havoc). Trudy sings the Oscar-winning “You’ll Never Know,” but Johnny is lured by the opera-producer Bernice Croft (Lynn Bari) from wealthy Knob Hill.

         This musical entertains with good songs and dancing in a wild period of San Francisco history that contrasts social classes and the entertainment they enjoy.

Holy Matrimony

(1943 b 87’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Adapted from Arnold Bennett’s novel, after the death of his valet Henry Leek (Eric Blore), the reclusive artist Priam Farll (Monte Wooley), returns to England, takes the valet’s name, and marries Alice Chalice (Gracie Fields). He continues to paint, and a controversy develops over his identity and the authenticity of the paintings sold as Farll’s.

            This comedy portrays a happy artist who finds a friendly and helpful woman and does not want to be bothered by dealers and their money. The burial of the valet’s remains in Westminster Abbey satirizes the reverence paid to the physical remains of famous people.

The Iron Major

(1943 b 86') En: 5 Ed: 5

Frank Cavanaugh (Pat O'Brien) falls in love with Florence (Ruth Warrick) and becomes an outstanding football coach. He volunteers to fight in World War I and is wounded in battle. After his death his sons and a daughter join the armed forces during World War II.

This biographical drama suggests that the rigorous discipline, physical training, and dedication for football are similar to what is needed to win a war. Cavanaugh is portrayed as being devoted to his family and his country.

Jack London

(1943 b 91') En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on the biography by his wife Charmian (Susan Hayward), this story of the writer Jack London (Michael O'Shea) depicts his young adventures and climaxes with his coverage of Japan's war with Russia.

London's socialist ideas are only hinted at when he predicts the 20th century will be one of greed and violence, and the last part of the film is turned into a propagandistic warning against Japanese imperialism.

Lady of Burlesque

(1943 b 91') En: 5 Ed: 4

This murder mystery about burlesque performers is based on a novel attributed to the stripper Gypsy Rose Lee. Dixie Daisy (Barbara Stanwyck) is the star attraction and is suspected when two of her competitors are murdered. Wooed by a comic (Michael O'Shea), he and Dixie help the inspector (Charles Dingle) solve the case.

This drama depicts the backstage friendships and conflicts of a burlesque troupe along with some of the entertainment on the stage.

A Lady Takes a Chance

(1943 b 86') En: 5 Ed: 4

Molly (Jean Arthur) leaves three beaux in New York and takes a bus tour to the west, where she meets the rodeo cowboy Duke (John Wayne), who says he won't be hooked. After some humorous trials they win each other over.

Duke represents the western spirit of independence who avoids domestication until he finds the irresistible attraction.

Lost Angel

(1943 b 91') En: 5 Ed: 5

An orphan named Alpha (Margaret O'Brien) is raised by experts and by the age of six is precocious, knowing Chinese, history, etc. Reporter Mike Regan (James Craig) is reprimanded by his girl-friend Katie (Marsha Hunt) for being irresponsible but changes when he is assigned to do a story on Alpha, who runs away to learn about the magic of love from him.

This uplifting story suggests how special care and loving attention can have extraordinary results.

The Meanest Man in the World

(1943 b 57') En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on George M. Cohan's play, a lawyer (Jack Benny) and his servant (Eddie Anderson) get an accident case from the father of the lawyer's fiancée (Priscilla Lane) but lose it to help a poor family. They move to New York city and struggle in debt until he gets a reputation as a mean lawyer.

This comedy satirizes lawyers.

Millions Like Us

(1943 b 1103’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Written and directed by Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder, during World War II young Celia Crowson (Patricia Roc) goes to work in a weapons factory. She meets and falls in love with Fred Blake (Gordon Jackson) who is in the Royal Air Force. The pampered Jennifer Knowles (Anne Crawford) clashes with the foreman Charlie Forbes (Eric Portman).

         This realistic drama depicts the industrialization of massive war in which millions of people have their lives regimented by the war effort.

Munchhausen

(1943 c 111’) En: 5 Ed: 5

At a costume ball Baron Munchhausen (Hans Albers) tells his story from the 18th century to the present including his love affair with Czarina Katharina II (Brigitte Horney) of Russia, his duel with Prince Potemkin (Andrews Engelmann), the magic of Graf Cagliostro (Ferdinand Marian), his capture by a Turkish sultan, his trip to the moon, and his last love Sophie von Riedesel (Marina von Ditmar).

         This fantasy was produced in Nazi Germany to show they could make an epic film in color and reflects grandiose notions and flights of magic based on wishful thinking.

Northern Pursuit

(1943 b 93') En: 5 Ed: 4

A Canadian Mounty (Errol Flynn) captures a German officer (Helmut Dantine) in the snowy north and uses his German heritage to infiltrate the spies without telling and while even putting at risk his fiancée (Julie Bishop).

This drama reflects the war-time sentiments against the German enemies but at the same time implies that German-Americans will be more likely to be loyal to their adopted country than Japanese.

The Outlaw

(1943 b 116') En: 5 Ed: 4

Howard Hughes produced and directed this fictional story of Sheriff Pat Garrett (Thomas Mitchell) trying to arrest Billy the Kid (Jack Buetel) and Doc Holliday (Walter Huston) who compete for a good horse and the half-breed Rio (Jane Russell).

Notorious for casting Russell because of her ample breasts, this film tried to defy Hays Code censorship for several years, indicating how severe the restrictions were on anything sexual while callous gun-slinging did not matter.

Princess O'Rourke

(1943 b 95') En: 5 Ed: 4

A princess (Olivia de Havilland) living in a New York hotel with her uncle (Charles Coburn) falls in love with an airplane pilot (Robert Cummings), who asks her to marry before he goes into the Air Force with his co-pilot (Jack Carson), whose wife Jean (Jane Wyman) helps the princess.

This patriotic comedy reinforces democracy when the pilot refuses to renounce his citizenship in order to wed royalty.

Salute to the Marines

(1943 c 102') En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on the novel by Robert Andrews, Sgt. Maj. William Bailey (Wallace Beery) rejects the pacifism of his wife (Fay Bainter) and trains the people in the Philippines to resist the Japanese invasion.

This war propaganda glorifies the US Marines and dramatizes the American resolve to fight back against Japanese aggression in Asia.

Sherlock Holmes Faces Death

(1943 b 68’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) goes to an old estate where Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) is taking care of recovering soldiers. Murders have occurred there involving the brothers Philip Musgrave (Gavin Muir) and Geoffrey Musgrave (Frederic Warlock).

         This murder mystery set during World War II concludes with wise comments by Holmes about how the time has come when humans must learn to take care of each other so that no one goes hungry or suffers from the cold.

Sherlock Holmes in Washington

(1943 b 71’) En: 5 Ed: 5

During World War II spies attempt to steal documents from an English agent traveling to Washington by using kidnapping and murder. Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) is assigned to the case and is accompanied by Dr. Watson. They are assisted by detective Lt. Grogan (Edmund MacDonald) and locate Nancy Partridge (Marjorie Lord). The clever Holmes outwits the leading spy Heinrich Hinckel (George Zucco).

         In this mystery Holmes and Watson are brought into contemporary society challenged by horrific enemies who stop at no atrocity to try to get what they want.

Slightly Dangerous

(1943 b 94') En: 5 Ed: 4

A bored employee (Lana Turner) decides to change her name, disappears, feigns amnesia in order to be supported by a newspaper editor (Eugene Pallette), successfully pretends to be the lost daughter of a wealthy man (Walter Brennan), and then falls in love with the boss (Robert Young) who got fired because of her antics.

This comedy plays upon absurd situations but shows that none of that really matters when people begin to care about each other.

Stormy Weather

(1943 b 77') En: 5 Ed: 4

A dancer (Bill Robinson) tells children how he met a singer (Lena Horne), and they pursue careers in show business, working with Gabe (Dooley Wilson), Fats Waller, and Cab Calloway.

This all-black musical provides outstanding entertainment without much story interrupting the show.

A Stranger in Town

(1943 b 69') En: 5 Ed: 5

A supreme court judge (Frank Morgan) goes on vacation and, finding a town corrupt, helps a lawyer (Richard Carlson), who is campaigning for mayor, overcome the judge (Porter Hall) and the mayor (Robert Barrat) with the help of his own secretary (Jean Rogers).

This drama shows how a corrupt political machine that oppresses people can be overcome by using the law to hold people to account.

Sweet Rosie O'Grady

(1943 c 75') En: 5 Ed: 4

In the 1880s entertainer Rosie (Betty Grable) is hoping to marry a Duke (Reginald Gardiner), but Police Gazette reporter Sam McGee (Robert Young) has exposed her previous career in burlesque. She tries to get even by telling the press that Sam is courting her for her money. Sam's editor (Adolphe Menjou) fires him and tries to steal her love letters.

This musical comedy shows a battle of the sexes played out in the scandal sheets and on the stage.

Swing Shift Maisie

(1943 b 87') En: 5 Ed: 4

Maisie (Ann Sothern) meets a test pilot (James Craig) and gets a job in an aircraft factory; but the roommate (Jean Rogers) she helps betrays Maisie by turning her in for suspected sabotage.

This comedy reflects war-time on the home front but has a dark side in the manipulative woman who goes too far in trying to get her man.

Tender Comrade

(1943 b 101') En: 5 Ed: 5

This patriotic drama about the home front was written by Dalton Trumbo and directed Edward Dmytryk, who were both later blacklisted. Jo Jones (Ginger Rogers) is married to Chris Jones (Robert Ryan), who goes off to war. Jo goes in with three other women workers at an aircraft factory to rent a house. Jo and Doris (Kim Hunter) get along and oppose hoarding, but Barbara (Ruth Hussey) is independent and clashes with them.

This drama explores the difficulties of women during war rationing and shows the conflicts people have learning how to live together.

Thank Your Lucky Stars

(1943 b 127') En: 5 Ed: 4

A choreographer (Edward Everett Horton) and a conductor (S. Z. Sakall) are organizing a cavalcade of stars for the allied cause, but Eddie Cantor tries to takes charge. Pat (Joan Leslie) helps a singer (Dennis Morgan) get in the show with the help of a Cantor look-alike who drives a tour bus. Bette Davis sings "They're Either Too Young or Too Old."

This show provided entertainment in support of the war effort.

They Came to Blow Up America

(1943 b 73’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based loosely on the actual Operation Pastorius case in 1942 of eight Germans who were trained in sabotage techniques in Germany and came to the United States to carry them out, in this fictionalized version Carl Steelman (George Sanders) pretends to be Ernst Reiter in order to infiltrate the gang for the FBI and its Chief Craig (Ward Bond), but Carl does not even tell his parents in the US he is not a double agent. Carl manages to get Reiter’s wife (Anna Sten) suspected of being crazy so that she could not expose him.     

This World War II spy drama reflects the current war effort and the natural hatred of the Nazis in America. In the actual Pastorius case George John Dasch was not pardoned as J. Edgar Hoover had promised and was kept in prison until 1948 and then deported to Germany.

They Got Me Covered

(1943 b 93') En: 5 Ed: 4

An incompetent reporter (Bob Hope) is fired for missing the German invasion of Russia and asks his friend (Dorothy Lamour) to help him find a Washington spy story that leads to comic adventures.

Witticisms and farcical situations try to relieve the tension that has Washington having blackouts and fearing sabotage.

This Is the Army

(1943 c 125’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on two plays with music by Irving Berlin, American soldiers in the two world wars are drafted but are allowed to put on a show to raise money. Dancer Jerry Jones (George Murphy) directs the first show in which Maxie Twardofsky (George Tobias) and bugler Eddie Dibble (Charles Butterworth) participate. Twenty-five years later Jerry puts on another show with his son Johnny (Ronald Reagan) and his old Sergeant McGee (Alan Hale).

         This patriotic show entertains with Berlin’s songs, dancing, and comedy. Both times the men and women hope they are fighting the last war.

Thousands Cheer

(1943 c 126') En: 5 Ed: 4

A singer (Kathryn Jones) has to overcome parents who are separated when she falls in love with a private (Gene Kelly), who is also a trapeze aerialist, while she helps put on an MGM show for the troops.

The theme of this musical emphasizes the importance of learning cooperation and discipline for the sake of life-saving teamwork.

Three Hearts for Julia

(1943 b 90') En: 5 Ed: 4

A reporter (Melvyn Douglas) comes back from two years abroad to learn his wife (Ann Sothern) is a concert violinist, wants a divorce, and has two boyfriends she is considering marrying; her husband tries to win her back and gets help from her conductor (Felix Bressart).

Fine music accompanies this unusual romantic comedy that comes to a patriotic conclusion.

Titanic

(German 1943 b 85’) En: 5 Ed: 5

The top executive of the company, Sir Bruce Ismay (E. F. Fürbinger) is competing financially with the wealthy John Jacob Astor (Karl Schonbock) by trying to make the maiden voyage break the record, but in doing so the Titanic has a fatal accident. Other people try to get Ismay to slow down the ship in the dangerous ice field but fail to persuade him.

         In this historical drama made in Nazi Germany the director Herbert Selpin was imprisoned and found hanged in his cell. The propagandistic purpose was to show how the English capitalists were so greedy that they caused a major catastrophe. However, the theme of excessive arrogance also reflects so badly on the Nazis themselves that they only released the film in occupied Paris.

What a Woman!

(1943 b 94’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Magazine editor Henry Pepper (Brian Aherne) is assigned to write a profile on author’s agent Carol Ainsley (Rosalind Ainsley) and hounds her persistently. She discovers her latest best-selling author Mike Cobb (Willard Parker), a reclusive college professor, is the best man to star in the movie. He falls in love with her and wants to marry her at the home of her father Senator Ainsley (Edward Fielding).

         This screwball comedy is witty and fast-moving as Carol comes to realize that Pepper is much more interesting and like her than the tall and handsome professor.

Young Ideas

(1943 b 77') En: 5 Ed: 4

When a writer (Mary Astor) marries a chemistry professor (Herbert Marshall), her agent (Allyn Joslyn), her son (Elliott Reid), and her daughter (Susan Peters) plot to break up the marriage to get her back to writing in New York; but the daughter falls in love with a young playwright (Richard Carlson).

This farce shows young people with precocious manipulating that is eventually overcome by love.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

Best Movies of 1943

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1930
1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959

Sanderson Beck’s List of the Greatest Movies of All Time
Sanderson Beck’s List of the Greatest Movies in Alphabetical Order

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index