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DISCLAIMER: All film criticism is extremely subjective and there is no such thing as the definitive list of the Greatest (English-language) Films. Great Films can't be measured scientifically because greatness is extremely subjective. Just because we like a film doesn't mean that you will like it as well. Please feel free to leave us a comment with the films that you think are the greatest which we have not included on our list.

Not only was 1945 a big year for movies but it was also a big year for actors making their film debuts and the death of some truly great talent. Here is a snap shot of the American film industry.


Making Their Film Debuts:

  • Pamela Britton – Anchors Aweigh;
  • Vittorio Gassman – Inconto con Laura;
  • DeForest Kelley – Time to Kill;
  • Silvana Mangano – The Last Judgment;
  • Dean Stockwell  – Anchors Aweigh;
  • Betty White – Time to Kill


Top-grossing Films

1.The Bells of St. Mary’sRKO$8,500,000
2.SpellboundUnited Artists$7,775,000
3.Leave Her to Heaven20th Century-Fox$6,505,000
4.Mildred PierceWarner Brothers$5,638,000
5.Anchors AweighMGM$4,779,000
6.Week-End at the WaldorfMGM$4,366,000
7.Saratoga TrunkWarner Bros.$4,250,000
8.Thrill of a RomanceMGM 
9.The Valley of DecisionMGM$4,103,000
10.Wonder ManRKO 
11.The Lost WeekendParamount 
12.The Dolly Sisters20th Century-Fox 
13.The Spanish MainRKO 
14.A Tree Grows in Brooklyn20th Century-Fox 
15.Duffy’s TavernParamount 
16.Love LettersParamount$3,211,000
17.Diamond Horseshoe20th Century-Fox 
18.State Fair20th Century-Fox 


Academy Award Winners

Best Picture: The Lost Weekend – Paramount

Best Director: Billy WilderThe Lost Weekend

Best Actor: Ray Milland The Lost Weekend

Best Actress: Joan CrawfordMildred Pierce

Best Supporting Actor: James Dunn – A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

Best Supporting Actress: Anne RevereNational Velvet


Among Those Who Died In 1945:

  • Heinrich Schroth, 73, German actor, Dr. Hart’s Diary, Melody of a Great City, Die Entlassung, Rembrandt;
  • Reginald Barker, 58, American director, Civilization, The Bargain, The Coward, The Moonstone;
  • Lucille La Verne, 72, American actress, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Abraham Lincoln, Orphans of the Storm, A Tale of Two Cities;
  • Mark Sandrich, 44, American director, The Gay Divorcee, Follow the Fleet, Holiday Inn;
  • Gloria Dickson, 27, American actress, Lady of Burlesque, They Won’t Forget;
  • Malcolm McGregor, 52, American silent screen star, Lady of the Night, The Circle, The Whispering Shadow, The Ladybird;
  • Anna Dodge, 77, American actress, The Extra Girl, Ride for Your Life;  
  • Alla Nazimova, 66, Ukrainian-born stage and film actress, Blood and Sand, Salomé, Since You Went Away, Madame Peacock;
  • Jerome Kern, 60, American composer, Show Boat, Swing Time;  Jaro Fürth, 74, Austrian actor, Diary of a Lost Girl, Joyless Street;
  • Robert Benchley, 56, American writer and actor, Foreign Correspondent, You’ll Never Get Rich, Road to Utopia

The Greatest Films of 1945




Poster for the movie "Anchors Aweigh"

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Anchors Aweigh

D: George Sidney

MGM’s Technicolored, Best Picture-nominated lightweight fluffy musical in the post-war years, which headlined a young and thin Frank Sinatra who crooned Julie Styne-Sammy Cahn tunes, and energetic Best Actor-nominated Gene Kelly (his sole Oscar nomination in his career) in a star-making role. It was the stars’ first of three film pairings – and similar to Kelly’s and Sinatra’s later On the Town (1949).

The lively musical, with an Oscar-winning Best Musical Score, features two sailors on a 4-day shore leave from their ship Knoxville in San Diego, and their trip to Los Angeles (Hollywood), looking for love connections: experienced “Pomeranian sailor” and lothario Joseph Brady (Gene Ke