Best Picture Nominees: 1942

War rages on two fronts, while the Nazis meet at the Wannsee Conference to discuss the "final solution to the Jewish question" and 120,000 Japanese are rounded up in the U.S. Behind the scenes, The Manhattan Project begins...

For more information about 1942, see The Learning Network's Fact Monster.

Casablanca (Michael Curtiz)
Won Best Picture
IMDb Highest Rated
Solonor's Pick
In contention for the title "Best Movie Ever" is this one. The classic romantic melodrama, played out in Morrocco during World War II (while the real war was being fought) stars Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine, who owns a nightclub in Casablanca and discovers his old flame Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) is in town with her husband, Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid). Laszlo is a resistance leader with Germans on his tail. Ilsa knows Rick can help them get out of the country, but will he? Wonderful performances from Claude Rains, as the police chief, Sydney Greenstreet, as Rick's main competitor in town, Peter Lorre, as Ugarte, and Dooley Wilson, as Sam.

Mrs. Miniver (William Wyler)
Nominated Best Picture
This movie follows the lives of British villagers who face trials and dangers during World War II. In the town of Belham outside of London, the middle-class Miniver family, headed by Clem (Walter Pidgeon) and Kay Miniver (Greer Garson) face the onset of the war, including rationings, bombings, a downed, wounded and threatening German pilot, air raids, and the trauma of their sons fighting in the effort. Includes dramatic footage of the Dunkirk evacuation.

The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles)
Nominated Best Picture
The young, handsome, but somewhat wild Eugene Morgan (Joseph Cotten) wants to marry Isabel Amberson (Dolores Costello), daughter of a rich upper-class family, but she instead marries dull and steady Wilbur Minafer (Don Dillaway). Their only child, George (Bobby Cooper / Tim Holt), grows up a spoiled brat. Years later, Eugene comes back, now a mature widower and a successful automobile maker. After Wilbur dies, Eugene again asks Isabel to marry him, and she is receptive. But George resents the attentions paid to his mother, and he and his whacko aunt Fanny (Agnes Moorehead) manage to sabotage the romance.

Random Harvest (Mervyn LeRoy)
Nominated Best Picture
A veteran of World War I (Ronald Colman) marries and settles happily into a tidy, humble life until an accident brings back memories of a former life of wealth and privilege while blocking all recollection of his existence since the war. Thus one man disappears, and another man long missing turns up and claims his vast inheritance. What does his devoted wife, whom he no longer recognizes, do?

Kings Row (Sam Wood)
Nominated Best Picture
Based on the novel by Henry Bellamann, this is the story of Kings Row--a quiet Midwest town where Parris (Robert Cummings), Cassandra (Betty Field), Drake (Ronald Reagan) and Randy (Ann Sheridan) have what looks like an idyllic childhood. But the town's dark secrets are spoken of in whispers. The Hays Code of 1934 required that much of the questionable content of the novel be modified--eliminating or seriously muting subjects such as illicit premarital sex, homosexuality, a sadistic and vengeful surgeon, and father-daughter incest leading to a murder-suicide.

Yankee Doodle Dandy (Michael Curtiz)
Nominated Best Picture
A musical tribute to composer/singer/dancer George M. Cohan (James Cagney). It traces Cohan, who produced, directed, wrote and starred in his own musical shows, from his early days as a child star in his family's vaudeville show to the time of his comeback--when he received a medal from the president for his special contributions to the U.S. It features all of Cohan's famous songs: "Yankee Doodle Dandy," "Over There," "You're A Grand Old Flag," "Give My Regards to Broadway," and more.


The Talk of the Town (George Stevens)
Nominated Best Picture
When the Holmes Woolen Mill burns down, political activist Leopold Dilg (Cary Grant) is jailed for arson and murder. Escaping, Leopold hides out in the home of his childhood sweetheart, Nora Shelley (Jean Arthur)...which she has just rented to Michael Lightcap (Ronald Colman)--a conservative, strict law-and-order judge, who is being considered for the Supreme Court. As Lightcap's unwelcome guests, Nora and Leopold drag the professor, willy-nilly, from pure legal theory to impure legal practice. Blends comedy, thriller, philosophy, mystery and romance.

The Pied Piper (Irving Pichel)
Nominated Best Picture
An Englishman, Mr. Howard (Monty Woolley) is on a fishing holiday in eastern France when the Germans invade in 1940. While trying to get home, he is persuaded to take along the two Cavanaugh children (Roddy McDowall and Peggy Ann Garner). As his journey progresses, his "family" keeps growing--taking on more children at every turn--while trying to stay out of sight of the Nazis.

In Which We Serve (Noel Coward and David Lean)
Nominated Best Picture
The story of British warship HMS Torrin is told in flashback by survivors as they cling to a life raft. Stars Noel Coward, John Mills and Bernard Miles.

The Pride of the Yankees (Sam Wood)
Nominated Best Picture
The life of Yankee basesball great, Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper), who played in 2130 consecutive games before falling at age 37 to ALS--a deadly nerve disease which now bears his name. Gehrig is followed from his childhood in New York until his famous "Luckiest Man" speech at his farewell day in 1939.


Wake Island (John Farrow)
Nominated Best Picture
In November, 1941, Major Caton (Brian Donlevy) takes command of the small Marine garrison on Wake Island. His tendency toward spit and polish upsets the men's tropical lifestyle. Pearl Harbor changes everything. Soon the island is attacked, and the Marines pull together day by day, but how long can they hold out? Stars Robert Preston, Macdonald Carey and Albert Dekker.

To Be or Not To Be (Ernst Lubitsch)
In occupied Poland during World War II, a troupe of ham stage actors, led by Joseph Tura Jack Benny) and his wife Maria (Carole Lombard), match wits with the Nazis. A spy has information which would be very damaging to the Polish resistance, and they must prevent it's being delivered to the Germans.

Sullivan's Travels (Preston Sturges)
John Sullivan (Joel McCrea) is a successful, spoiled, and naive director of fluff films who decides he wants to make a film about the troubles of the downtrodden poor. Much to the chagrin of his producers, he sets off in tramp's clothing with a single dime in his pocket to experience poverty first-hand and gets a shocking taste of reality. Co-stars Veronica Lake as "The Girl".

Bambi (Perce Pearce)
Disney classic story of Bambi, a young deer hailed as the 'Prince of the Forest' at his birth. As Bambi grows, he makes friends with the other animals of the forest, learns the skills needed to survive, and even finds love. One day, however, the hunters come, and Bambi must learn to be as brave as his father if he is to lead the other deer to safety. With the voices of Stan Alexander, Peter Behn and Sterling Holloway.

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Best Picture: 1942
What is the Best Picture of 1942?

Mrs. Miniver
The Magnificent Ambersons
Random Harvest
Kings Row
Yankee Doodle Dandy
The Talk of the Town
The Pied Piper
In Which We Serve
The Pride of the Yankees
Wake Island
To Be or Not To Be
Sullivan's Travels

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Navigate to Other Years

1941 <- Main Menu -> 1943

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