BECK index
Movie Mirrors Index

More Movies from 1942

Movie Mirrors

by Sanderson Beck

Best Movies of 1942

Movie Mirrors Introduction



c S M H P V En Ed
 Affairs of Martha, The 67   b  5    4      5  4
 Alias Boston Blackie 67   b      4      5  4
 Army Surgeon 63   b  4          5  4
 Cairo 101   b  4  4  5  6  4  5  4
 Calling Dr. Gillespie 84   b  4  5  5   5  5  4
 Castle in the Desert 63   b  4  6  5  5  5  5  4
 China Girl 95   b    4  4    3  5  5
 Commandos Strike at Dawn, The 100   b  6  5  5  4  5  5  5
 Courtship of Andy Hardy, The 95   b  5  4  4   5  5  5
 Crossroads 83   b  4  6  5   4  5  4
 Day Will Dawn, The (The Avengers) 99   b  6  6  5    6  5  4
 Eyes In the Night 80   b  5  5  5   3  5  4
 Falcon Takes Over, The 63   b  6  6  5  5  4  5  4
 Fingers at the Window 81   b  6  5  4      5  4
 Fleet's In, The 93   b    6  6      5  4
 47 Ronin, The, Part 2 (Japanese) 111   b  5  7      6  4  5
 Gay Sisters, The 110   b  4  4  5      5  5
 Ghost of Frankenstein 68   b  5  5  4  6  5  5  4
 Grand Central Murder 74   b  6  5  4   3  5  4
 Great Man's Lady, The 90   b  5  5  5    5  5  4
 Hard Way, The 109   b  5  6  5  7 5  5  5
 Her Cardboard Lover 93   b  3  3  5   4  5  4
 I Married an Angel 84   b  4  4  4  3  3  5  5
 Lady Is Willing, The 91   b  6  6  4  6  5  5  5
 Maisie Gets Her Man 86   b  5  5  4   5  5  4
 Mokey 88   b  5  4     3  5  4
 Moon and Sixpence, The 89   b  7  6  7  6  6  5  5
 My Favorite Blonde 78   b  6  6  7  7  6  5  4
 My Sister Eileen 97   b  7  5  5    5  5  5
 Navy Comes Through, The 82   b  6  5  4    4  5  4
 Nazi Agent 83   b  5  4  5      5  4
 Night to Remember, A 92   b  7  7  5  7  6  5  4
 Panama Hattie 80   b  5  5  4  3  4  5  4
 Pardon My Sarong 83   b  6  6    5  5  5  4
 Reunion in France 99   b  5  4  4  3  4  5  4
 Ride 'Em Cowboy 85   b  6  5  4  5  5  5  4
 Rings on Her Fingers 86   b  5  5  5    5  5  5
 Rio Rita 91   b  6  5  4  5  5  5  4
 Roxie Hart 75   b  6  5  6  9  5  5  4
 Secret Mission 93   b  5  5  4    5  5  5
 Seven Days' Leave 87   b  5  5  4  3  4  5  4
 Seven Sweethearts 98   b  5  5  4   5  5  4
 Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror 65   b  6  5  4  5  5  5  5
 Ship Ahoy 95   b  5  5  4  5  5  5  4
 Song of the Islands 75   c  3  6  5  3  5  5  4
 Springtime in the Rockies 91   c  5  6  4  5  5  5  4
 Stand By For Action 110   b  5 5  4      5  4
 Syncopation 88   b  4  4  5    4  5  5
 They All Kissed the Bride 87   b  5  5  4    5  5  5
 This Above All 110   b  6    5   4  5  5
 Valley of the Sun 78   b  6  6  4  5  6  5  4
 War Against Mrs. Hadley, The 86   b  4  4  5      5  4
 Went the Day Well? 92   b    7  6      5  5
 Wings and the Woman 95   b    6  5      5  5
 Yank at Eton, A 89   b  4  4  4      5  4

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


The Affairs of Martha

(1942 b 66') En: 5 Ed: 4

Maid Martha (Marsha Hunt) has written a book and was secretly married to a returning anthropologist (Richard Carlson), who brings home a fiancé (Frances Drake) to his father (Melville Cooper), mother (Spring Byington), and sister (Virginia Wiedler); but Martha fends off her publisher (Allyn Joslyn) and a suitor (Barry Nelson).

This comedy satirizes reactions to a maid writing a book as people fear their private lives will be exposed.

Alias Boston Blackie

(1942 b 67’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Boston Blackie (Chester Morris) and his valet The Runt (George E. Stone) visit a prison with a show for the inmates. In the show is Eve Sanders (Adele Mara), and her brother Joe Trilby (Larry Parks) escapes from prison to find the man who framed him. Blackie gets caught up in the escape and has to avoid arrest by the Inspector Faraday (Richard Lane) and his detective Mathews (Walter Slande) while he helps solve the case.

         This detective story has many twists and turns with clever devices. Having a criminal record himself, Blackie understands the situations better and outfoxes the police while doing their work.

Army Surgeon

(1942 b 63') En: 5 Ed: 4

A nurse (Jane Wyatt) going to the war recalls her experience in the first world war with a doctor (James Ellison) and a flyer (Kent Taylor), who had romanced her in school.

Dedication to the war effort transcends the rivalry for a pretty doctor acting as a nurse at the front.


(1942 b 101') En: 5 Ed: 4

An American reporter (Robert Young) mistakenly suspects a movie star (Jeannette MacDonald) is a spy in this satire of Nazi saboteur movies.

Hollywood comments on itself rather ineptly, but the singing of Ethel Waters is a highlight.

Calling Dr. Gillespie

(1942 b 84') En: 5 Ed: 4

Insane Roy Todwell (Phil Brown) is in love with Marcia (Donna Reed); but when she delays marriage, he turns homicidal and wants to kill Dr. Gillespie (Lionel Barrymore); but a young psychiatrist (Philip Dorn) and Joe (Nat Pendleton) prevent it after other creepy murders.

This thriller lacks the human warmth of Dr. Kildare, because Lew Ayres was blacklisted for being conscientiously opposed to war.

Castle in the Desert

(1942 b 62') En: 5 Ed: 4

Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler) is summoned by Lucrezia Manderley (Lenita Lane) to the Mojave Desert, where wealthy Paul Manderley (Douglass Dumbrille) studies the Borgias. With a little help from his son (Victor Sen Yung) Chan solves a murder case involving poison.

Chan's son is on leave from the U. S. Army, showing the distinction made between Japanese and Chinese during the war.

China Girl

(1942 b 95’) En: 5 Ed: 5

In November 1941 Fifi (Lynn Bari) and Captain Bull Weed (Victor McLaglen) help photographer Johnny Williams (George Montgomery) escape from the murderous Japanese military. Johnny wants to make money photographing the Burma Road, and he falls in love with Haoli Young (Gene Tierney) and is helped by the boy Chandu (Bobby Blake).

         This war drama depicts Japanese aggression in Southeast Asia and some American flyers who fought for the Chinese. The photographer declines to fight and pursues his own interests, but all are dominated by the war.

The Commandos Strike at Dawn

(1942 b 100’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Irwin Shaw adapted a story by C. S. Forester about a Norwegian village that is occupied by the Nazis. Widower Eric Toresen (Paul Muni) has a daughter and meets Judith (Anna Lee), daughter of English Admiral Bowen (Cedric Hardwicke). The German Captain (Alexander Knox) orders the killing of Norwegians who break the rules, and Eric murders a colonel. He hides and leads an escape on a boat to England, whence they plan a commando raid to take out an airfield.

         This World War II drama depicts the Norwegian resistance to the German occupation and how they were helped by their English allies. Many Norwegians disobeyed the Nazis nonviolently, but this story focuses on an assassination and an armed raid.

The Courtship of Andy Hardy

(1942 b 95') En: 5 Ed: 5

Judge James Hardy (Lewis Stone) asks Andy (Mickey Rooney) to take out the shy daughter Melodie (Donna Reed) of divorced parents, a duty made to order for the maturing young man. Andy precociously takes on a parental attitude toward his older sister Marian (Cecelia Parker) when she wants to wear a nightgown as a dress.

Mr. and Mrs. Hardy (Fay Holden) find that their liberal attitudes of letting their children make their own decisions give them valuable lessons as they learn from their own mistakes.


(1942 b 83') En: 5 Ed: 4

Similar to the 1938 French film Carrefour, a diplomat (William Powell), newly married to Lucien (Hedy Lamarr) is blackmailed by Henri (Basil Rathbone) and Michelle (Claire Trevor) based on crimes he may have committed before his amnesia.

The contrived scheme fails as the criminals are caught in their own trap. It is difficult to persuade a person of integrity that he committed major crimes that he no longer remembers.

The Day Will Dawn

(1942 b 99’) En: 5 Ed: 4

As World War II begins, Frank Lockwood (Ralph Richardson) sends reporter Colin Metcalfe (Hugh Williams) to cover Norway. Metcalfe is aided by Captain Alstad (Finlay Currie) and beautiful Karin (Deborah Kerr). He sees a German submarine, goes back to London, and returns to Norway. Karin helps him guide the British Navy in its attacks on the German submarine base.

         This romantic war drama depicts the English helping their Norwegian allies against the occupying Nazis.

The Dolly Sisters

(1945 c 114’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Directed by Irving Cummings, twin Hungarian sisters Jenny Dolly (Betty Grable) and Rosie Dolly (June Haver) arrive in America in 1904 as children and become a song and dance team. They meet composer and singer Harry Fox (John Payne) who falls in love with Jenny and marries her; but they are separated by his participation in the Great War. Department store owner Irving Netcher (Frank Latimore) woos Rosie, and they eventually marry too.

            This musical biopic is packed with singing and dancing to entertain during the melodramatic relationships of the tumultuous lives of the talented sisters and Harry.

Eyes In the Night

(1942 b 80') En: 5 Ed: 4

Blind detective Duncan MacLain (Edward Arnold) and his dog Friday help Norma Lawry (Ann Harding) who is concerned about her step-daughter Barbara (Donna Reed), discovering and solving a murder and a Nazi spy ring.

The evils of the Nazis are foiled by a man using his intelligence and senses other than sight, showing that the good will triumph even when it seems to be at a disadvantage.

The Falcon Takes Over

(1942 b 63') En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on Raymond Chandler's novel Farewell My Lovely, a private detective (George Sanders) using wit and flirtation solves a murder with his frightened friend Goldy (Allen Jenkins) and a young reporter (Lynn Bari) for police inspector O'Hara (James Gleason).

This mystery is amusing if not realistic.

Fingers at the Window

(1942 b 81') En: 5 Ed: 4

An actor (Lew Ayres) helps to prevent a woman (Laraine Day) from being murdered by an ax murderer and then helps the police to catch the man (Basil Rathbone) hypnotizing the men to do the murders.

This sinister drama reflects the current world war in which millions of people were deluded into murdering each other. Ironically actor Lew Ayres was one of the few who refused to participate in such madness.

The Fleet’s In

(1942 b 93’) En: 5 Ed: 4

After a movie star kisses sailor Casey Kirby (William Holden) for publicity, sailors bet on whether he can kiss the Countess of Swingland (Dorothy Lamour) in public during the four-day leave. Casey’s bunk-mate Barney Water (Eddie Bracken) stands to lose his friend’s watch if he doesn’t and urges him on while being chased by Bessie Day (Betty Hutton).

         In this comedy Casey is actually shy and intellectual and discovers that the Countess likes him because he is not a wolf; but they have to overcome the preconceptions that he is and that she is cold as ice.

The 47 Ronin, Part 2

(Japanese 1942 b 111') En: 4 Ed: 5

Based on events in 1702, the late Asano's chamberlain Oishi (Chojuro Kawarasaki) leads the revenge against Kira and the self-disciplined seppuku by which they punish themselves. Omino (Mieko Takamine) dresses as a man to join her betrothed Isogai (Kunitaro Kawarazaki) and joins in the ritual suicide.

This drama relects the samurai code of obedient military duty and the fatalistic movement toward mass suicide that had a much wider scope in the World War.

The Gay Sisters

(1942 b 110') En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on Stephen Longstreet's novel, Fiona (Barbara Stanwyck) and her two sisters Evelyn (Geraldine Fitzgerald) and Susanna (Nancy Coleman) try to hang on to their land in a large estate; but wealthy Barclay (George Brent) wants the property for development, and Evelyn tries to lure Gig Young away from Susanna.

Barclay's ambition reflects the building of Rockefeller Center while Fiona is unable to resist the family destiny she tried to hide.

Ghost of Frankenstein

(1942 b 68') En: 5 Ed: 4

Ygor (Bela Lugosi) takes the revived monster (Lon Chaney Jr.) to Dr. Ludwig Frankenstein (Cedric Hardwicke); but he kills people and terrorizes Elsa Frankenstein (Evelyn Ankers), and once again Frankenstein gives him the wrong brain.

A crowd still fears the monster of science gone wrong; but mob violence only brings him back to life.

Grand Central Murder

(1942 b 74') En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on Sue MacVeigh's novel, a police detective (Sam Levene) questions a group of suspects, including a private detective (Van Heflin), who solves the case as various witnesses describe what happened to the murder victim Mida (Patricia Dane).

This escape entertainment keeps the audience guessing with numerous characters with possible motives for murder.

The Great Man's Lady

(1942 b 90') En: 5 Ed: 4

Aged Hannah (Barbara Stanwyck) recalls how she ran off with Ethan Hoyt (Joel McCrea) in 1848 and met gambler Steely Edwards (Brian Donlevy), who helped her after Ethan left. Hannah tells a biographer (K. T. Stephens) how she helped Ethan become a great senator after he married again.

This sentimental drama reflects how women usually outlive the men they helped to prosper.

The Hard Way

(1942 b 109') En: 5 Ed: 5

Ruthless Helen (Ida Lupino) promotes the show business career of her younger sister Katherine (Joan Leslie), driving Katherine's husband Albert (Jack Carson) out of her life and then becoming jealous of Albert's former partner Paul (Dennis Morgan) when he plans to marry Katherine.

This melodrama portrays how an ambitious woman can cause quarrels that break up relationships.

Her Cardboard Lover

(1942 b 93') En: 5 Ed: 4

Based on Jacques Deval's play, Consuelo (Norma Shearer) hires smitten Terry (Robert Taylor) to act as her lover in order to keep herself away from her fiancé Tony (George Sanders).

This romantic comedy satirizes a woman who has difficulty controlling and being aware of her own subconscious desires. Norma Shearer apparently may have subconsciously wanted to end her movie career, because after rejecting the roles of Scarlet O'Hara and Mrs. Miniver, she chose this script, which did poorly at the box office and was her last film role.

I Married an Angel

(1942 b 84’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Adapted from a Rogers and Hart musical play, the banker Count Palaffi (Nelson Eddy) during a masquerade party dreams his quiet secretary Anna (Jeanette MacDonald), whom he has ignored, is an angel that he marries. In the dream she is Brigitta and learns to be more human and socially acceptable as his wife.

         This musical portrays the ambivalence men and women feel about spiritual purity and the hypocrisy of social elites who wear furs of animals and tell complimentary lies about each other. The womanizing man and the virginal woman change in the process of marrying.

The Lady Is Willing

(1942 b 91’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Theatrical star Liza Madden (Marlene Dietrich) finds a baby she wants to adopt, and so she marries the pediatrician Corey McBain (Fred MacMurray), who wants to study rabbits. They become friends though she is jealous of his ex-wife. Buddy (Aline McMahon) and Kenneth (Stanley Ridges) help the emotional Liza manage her life.

         This comedy portrays a woman who is guided only by her heart meeting a physician intent on his research. Propinquity gives them the opportunity to fall in love with each other.

Maisie Gets Her Man

(1942 b 86') En: 5 Ed: 4

Maisie (Ann Sothern) breaks up with her knife-throwing partner, works with building manager Pappy Goodring (Allen Jenkins), and joins young comic Hap Hixby (Red Skelton), who gets stage-fright before getting help from her in finding his stage presence.

Helpful Maisie once again keeps her spirits up despite her troubles.


(1942 b 88') En: 5 Ed: 4

Little Mokey (Robert Blake) learns that his father (Dan Dailey) has married Anthea (Donna Reed). Mokey often gets into trouble, but he comes to love his new mother.

This story shows the child's view of learning about a stepmother.

The Moon and Sixpence

(1942 b 89’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on Somerset Maugham’s novel, the writer Geoffrey Wolfe (Herbert Marshall) narrates the story of the selfish and contemptuous stockbrocker Charles Strickland (George Sanders) who leaves his wife and children to become an artist in Paris where he is assisted by the kind artist Dirk Stroeve (Steve Geray) who persuades his wife Blanche (Doris Dudley) to nurse the Strickland. After living with her, Strickland goes to Tahiti to paint. Tiare Johnson (Florence Bates) cooks for Strickland, and he marries beautiful Ata (Elena Verdugo).

            This story has been compared to the life of Paul Gauguin, but it is Maugham’s study of a man who only cares for his art of creating beauty while he treats people with contempt in contrast to the caring Dirk and the novelist who wants to understand people.

My Favorite Blonde

(1942 b 78') En: 5 Ed: 4

A British spy (Madeleine Carroll) hides a metal scorpion on the coat of Vaudevillian Larry Haines (Bob Hope) to get it to Los Angeles without Nazi spies capturing it as they evade the law for the murders their adversaries commit.

This comedy satirizes spy thrillers but provides only escape entertainment besides Hope.

My Sister Eileen

(1942 b 97’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov adapted their play based on New Yorker articles by Ruth McKenney about sisters Ruth (Rosalind Russell) and attractive Eileen Sherwood (Janet Blair) who go to New York City to try to find work as a writer and an actor and stay in a small Greenwich Village basement apartment rented by Appopolous (George Tobias). Editor Robert Baker (Brian Aherne) tries to help Ruth get her work published.

         This comedy depicts the craziness of the crowded village where writers and artists compete to eke out a living.

The Navy Comes Through

(1942 b 82') En: 5 Ed: 4

Lt. Tom Sands (George Murphy) resigns from the Navy after gun-turret accident kills men and re-enlists, serving under Chief Michael Mallory (Pat O'Brien), whose sister Myra (Jane Wyatt) is in love with Tom. They fight Nazi ships on a merchant marine vessel.

This drama celebrates the role of the U. S. Navy in defending shipping from attacks by German Navy ships.

Nazi Agent

(1942 b 83') En: 5 Ed: 4

German twin brothers (Conrad Veidt) in America disagree on politics. The bookseller Otto prefers America and kills his Nazi brother Hugo but takes his identity in order to expose the ring of spies.

This well made spy thriller has the audience hoping that the good brother will not be caught by the evil spies as he risks his life to foil their efforts to sabotage the American war effort.

A Night to Remember

(1942 b 92’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Mystery writer Jeff Troy (Brian Aherne) and his new wife Nancy (Loretta Young) move into the basement of an old speakeasy and try to help Inspector Hankins (Sidney Toler) find out who murdered the man found in their garden.

         This mystery is a comedy in which the scared couple play at being detectives.

Panama Hattie

(1942 b 80') En: 5 Ed: 4

In this Cole Porter musical based on a DeSylva-Fields play, sailors Red (Skelton), Rags (Ragland), and Rowdy (Ben Blue) try to help their friend Hattie (Ann Sothern), who has romantic troubles with Dick (Dan Dailey) and Leila Tree (Marsha Hunt), and they catch spies.

Good songs and comic buffoonery entertain amid a social-class conflict that concludes with a patriotic finale.

Pardon My Sarong

(1942 b 83') En: 5 Ed: 4

Bus-drivers Algernon (Bud Abbott) and Wellington (Lou Costello) take a bus from Chicago to Los Angeles while evading Detective Kendall (William Demarest) with various devices. They are rescued from underwater by a small yacht and captured crew Joan (Virginia Bruce), ending up on an island with many pretty women and evil Dr. Varnoff (Lionel Atwill).

This silliness and music offer escape entertainment.

Reunion in France

(1942 b 99') En: 5 Ed: 4

Michelle (Joan Crawford) and Robert Cortot (Philip Dorn) are in love when France is occupied by Nazis; he seems to be cooperating with them while she helps the American flyer Pat Talbot (John Wayne) escape back to the RAF with unexpected assistance from Schultz (Reginald Owen) as Gestapo head (John Carradine) tries to stop them.

This propaganda drama portrays the valiant French underground struggling against the oppressive Nazis.

Ride 'Em Cowboy

(1942 b 85') En: 5 Ed: 4

Duke (Bud Abbott) and Willoughby (Lou Costello) escape to the West, where they have fun learning about cows and Indians, while singer Bronco Bob (Dick Foran) tries to get the girl Anne (Anne Gwynne).

Their mayhem and fine music by Ella Fitzgerald and others provide entertainment.

Rings on Her Fingers

(1942 b 86’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Directed by Rouben Mamoulian, accountant John Wheeler (Henry Fonda) is smitten by beautiful Linda Worthington (Gene Tierney) who has joined the con artists Warren (Laird Cregar) and Mrs. Worthington (Spring Byington) who is pretending to be her mother. John and Linda fall in love and plan to marry, but she has difficulty extricating herself from her greedy associates.

         This romantic comedy is a crime story that uses some rather unrealistic manipulation in a gambling casino. Yet the aspirations of the unsuspecting accountant are noble and win her over to his honest and economical way of living.

Rio Rita

(1942 b 92') En: 5 Ed: 4

Doc (Bud Abbott) and Wishy (Lou Costello) find themselves in Texas, where singing Rita (Kathryn Grayson) and haughty Lucette (Patricia Dane) compete for the love of singer Ricardo Mantera (John Carroll). Nazi spies led by Maurice (Tom Conway) satirize the usual propaganda plot.

Comic routines and singing lift this absurdity into the entertainment zone.

Roxie Hart

(1942 b 75’) En: 5 Ed: 4

Nunnally Johnson adapted the play  Chicago by Maurine Watkins with direction by William Wellman. The reporter Homer Howard (George Montgomery) in a bar tells bartender O’Malley (William Frawley) the story of dancer Roxie Hart (Ginger Rogers) who 15 years earlier was tried for murder instead of her husband Amos Hart (George Chandler) because Chicago juries do not convict beautiful women so that she and her defense attorney Billy Flynn (Adolphe Menjou) can get lots of free publicity.

            This farce is played for laughs and satirizes how newspaper reporting can influence the criminal justice system as even the judge gets in the photos taken of the witnesses and lawyers during the trial.

Secret Mission

(1942 b 92’) En: 5 Ed: 5

During World War II Major Peter Garnett (Hugh Williams), Captain Red Gowan (Roland Culver),  and Private Nobby Clark (Michael Wilding) go with Raoul de Carnot (James Mason) to spy on the Germans in occupied France. Raoul’s sister Michelle (Carla Lehmann) is reluctant to help them; but Peter and Red pretend to be bringing champagne to German headquarters to get information.

         This war drama depicts how the French resistance worked against the Nazis and helped the English in a dangerous and oppressive situation.

Seven Days' Leave

(1942 b 87') En: 5 Ed: 4

Soldier Johnny Grey (Victor Mature) learns he has inherited $100,000, but the catch is he has to marry engaged Terry (Lucille Ball); so he tries to woo her.

Like a soldier's leave, this film is an entertaining diversion from the patriotic war. Lucy's comedic skill and some songs help salvage a silly plot.

Seven Sweethearts

(1942 b 98') En: 5 Ed: 4

Reporter Henry Taggart (Van Heflin) visits the hotel of Van Maaster (S. Z. Sakall) and meets his seven daughters, who try to marry him off to the oldest, Regina (Marsha Hunt), a would-be actress so they can marry; but Henry falls in love with the youngest, Billie (Kathryn Grayson).

This amusing look at a Dutch family offered welcome relief to those tired of the current movies denigrating the Germans.

Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror

(1942 b 65’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Sir Evan Barham (Reginald Denny), an old school-friend of Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce), calls in Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) to help his Inner Council solve the war crimes of Nazi terror attacks in England that are announced on radio. Holmes gets help from Kitty (Evelyn Ankers) and her underworld friends to expose the Nazi spies led by R. F. Meade (Thomas Gomez).

         In this mystery Sherlock Holmes enters the contemporary world to help the English fight the Nazi war machine that is terrorizing England before a planned invasion.

Ship Ahoy

(1942 b 95') En: 5 Ed: 4

A tap dancer (Eleanor Powell) is asked to transport a magnetic mine but does not realize they are enemy agents. The idea is based on a story by Merton Kibbie (Red Skelton), who falls in love with her and foils the plot.

The music of Tommy Dorsey's band highlights this satire of the usual 1942 spy plot.

Song of the Islands

(1942 c 75') En: 5 Ed: 4

Jefferson Harper (Victor Mature) is sent by his father on cattle business to a tropical island, where instead he falls in love with Eileen O'Brien (Betty Grable), daughter of O'Brien (Thomas Mitchell), whom he is supposed to win over.

This paradise with music provides fantasy entertainment in vivid contrast to what Japanese and American soldiers are doing at the time in similar surroundings.

Springtime in the Rockies

(1942 c 91') En: 5 Ed: 4

Vicky Lane (Betty Grable) breaks up with womanizing Dan Christy (John Payne) to team up with dancer Victor Prince (Cesar Romero); but Dan goes after her in Canada, because he needs her in his new show.

This musical comedy offers easy entertainment about the loves and jealousies of those involved in show business.

Stand By For Action

(1942 b 110') En: 5 Ed: 4

An admiral (Charles Laughton) assigns two officers (Brian Donlevy and Robert Taylor) to an old destroyer, and they re-enlist World War I veteran (Walter Brennan).

This navy film makes war entertaining by rescuing women and babies before sinking a Japanese battleship with just a destroyer.


(1942 b 88’) En: 5 Ed: 5

George Latimer (Adolphe Menjou) in New Orleans raises his daughter Kit (Bonita Granville) to play jazz piano. She meets trumpeter Johnny Schumacher (Jackie Cooper), and in Chicago they fall in love and marry. He has a jazz band but has trouble making a living before achieving success with the new American music.

         This musical drama is filled with jazz music as it develops over thirty years while portraying the struggle of musicians who love to play their own creative music.

They All Kissed the Bride

(1942 b 87’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Wealthy Margaret Drew (Joan Crawford) is the tough boss of a trucking company. The truck-driver Johnny Johnson (Allen Jenkins) gets in trouble for picking up Mike Holmes (Melvyn Douglas) who kisses the bride at the wedding of Margaret’s sister and then falls in love with and woos Margaret. Her lawyer Marsh (Roland Young) and her eccentric mother (Billie Burke) are amazed at how she changes.

         In this screwball comedy an unusual man uses odd methods to break through the cold and business-like executive in order to help her experience romance as a woman, thus contrasting the calculating business world from the tender feelings of romantic love and friendship.

This Above All

(1942 b 110’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on Eric Knight’s novel and directed by Anatole Litvak, Prudence Cathaway (Joan Fontaine) is from an upper-class family, but she volunteers for the war in the ranks. On a blind date to help a comrade she meets Clive Briggs (Tyrone Power), and they fall in love. After a while she learns that he was a soldier, and while she is on leave with him she meets his soldier buddy Monty (Thomas Mitchell) who urges Clive to return before he is charged with desertion.

            This patriotic war drama portrays a working-class man who detests the war and the way the upper classes are running it, but the well-born woman persuades him that this war against Nazi Germany must be won to save England.

Valley of the Sun

(1942 b 78') En: 5 Ed: 4

Busted Indian scout Johnny Ware (James Craig) on the lam tries to keep corrupt Indian agent Jim Sawyer (Dean Jagger) from marrying pretty Christine (Lucille Ball) and gets help from Lord Warrick (Cedric Hardwicke) and Willie (Peter Whitney).

This comedy-western aims to entertain and manages to amuse.

The War Against Mrs. Hadley

(1942 b 86') En: 5 Ed: 4

The wealthy widow Stella Hadley (Fay Bainter) transforms her character after her son Theodore (Richard Ney) becomes a war hero, and her daughter Patricia (Jean Rogers) marries soldier Michael (Van Johnson). Stella's friend Elliott (Edward Arnold) works for the War Department.

This maudlin and patriotic drama shows how people become more dedicated and helpful during the crisis of war.

Went the Day Well?

(1942 b 92’) En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on a story by Graham Greene, early in World War II Germans pretend to be English soldiers and arrive in an English village. The Germans are led by Kommandant Olter (Basil Sydney), and he is aided by the English spy Oliver Wilsford (Leslie Banks). Nora (Valerie Taylor) discovers Olter has German chocolate, but Oliver gives her an explanation to delay the discovery of the Germans for a while. Eventually the English find out they are Germans and fight against them.

            This fictional drama was propaganda intended to warn the English of possible German spies and fifth columnists in England.


Wings and the Woman

(1942 b 95’) En: 5 Ed: 5

English Amy Johnson (Anna Neagle) is a non-conformist in school and becomes a pilot, setting records by flying to Australia and the Cape. She meets the flyer Jim Mollison (Robert Newton), and they get married and fly together to America. After a divorce they both become pilots in World War II.

         This biopic accurately tells the story of two pioneering aviators. Amy was one of the first to prove that a woman could be an excellent pilot.

A Yank at Eton

(1942 b 89') En: 5 Ed: 4

American Timothy Dennis (Mickey Rooney) wants to go to Notre Dame to play football; but his mother (Marta Linden) makes him go to Eton, because she married Englishman Roger Carlton (Ian Hunter). Timothy meets Peter Carlton (Freddie Bartholomew) and learns to adjust to the traditional environment.

This comedy reflects the strong alliance the United States has with England, though Timothy starts out resenting its authoritarian hierarchy.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

Best Movies of 1942

1913-1926 1927-1929
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

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