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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 1946 a big year for movies but it was also a big year for actors making their film debuts and the birth of future actors and directors and the deaths of some truly great talent. Here is a snap shot of the American film industry.


Making Their Film Debuts:

Kirk DouglasThe Strange Love of Martha Ivers
Claude Jarman, JrThe Yearling
Burt LancasterThe Killers
John Lund – To Each His Own
Dean Martin – Film Vodvil: Art Mooney and Orchestra
Yves Montand – Star Without Light


Top-grossing Films

1.Song of the South*Disney$29,229,000
2.The Best Years of Our LivesRKO$11,300,000
Duel in the SunSelznick
3.The Postman Always Rings TwiceMGM$7,600,000
4.Blue SkiesParamount$5,700,000
5.The YearlingMGM$5,568,000
6.The Razor’s EdgeFox$5,000,000
8.Till the Clouds Roll ByMGM$4,762,000
9.Road to UtopiaParamount$4,500,000

(*) After theatrical re-issue(s)


Academy Award Winners

Best Picture: The Best Years of Our Lives – Goldwyn, RKO Radio

Best Director: William Wyler – The Best Years of Our Lives

Best Actor: Fredric MarchThe Best Years of Our Lives

Best Actress: Olivia de Havilland – To Each His Own

Best Supporting Actor: Harold Russell – The Best Years of Our Lives

Best Supporting Actress: Anne BaxterThe Razor’s Edge


Top Ten Money Making Stars

1.Bing Crosby
2.Ingrid Bergman
3.Van Johnson
4.Gary Cooper
5.Bob Hope
6.Humphrey Bogart
7.Greer Garson
8.Margaret O’Brien
9.Betty Grable
10.Roy Rogers


Among Those Who Died In 1946:

  • Slim Summerville, 53, American actor and comedian, All Quiet on the Western Front, Captain January, Niagara Falls, Charlie Chan in Reno;
  • Otto Brower, 55, American director, Paramount on Parade, The Phantom Empire;
  • George Arliss, 77, British actor, Disraeli, The House of Rothschild, Alexander Hamilton;  
  • Justus D. Barnes, 84, American actor, The Great Train Robbery,
  • Noah Beery, Sr., 64, American actor, She Done Him Wrong, The Trail Beyond, The Mark of Zorro, Mystery Liner;
  • William S. Hart, 81, American actor, The Narrow Trail, The Silent Man, The Money Corral, The Return of Draw Egan;
  • Mary Alden, 63, American actress, The Birth of a Nation, The Plastic Age, Brown of Harvard, Strange Interlude;
  • H. G. Wells, 79, British science fiction writer, The First Men in the Moon, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, The Island of Dr. Moreau;
  • Rags Ragland, 40, American actor, Du Barry Was a Lady, Whistling in the Dark;
  • Jeanie MacPherson, 59, American actress and screenwriter, Dynamite, Manslaughter, The Godless Girl, The Captive;
  • Florence Turner, 61, American actress, The Chinese Parrot;
  • Donald Meek, 68, American actor, Stagecoach, You Can’t Take It with You, Captain Blood, State Fair;
  • W. C. Fields, 66, American comedian and actor, The Bank Dick, It’s a Gift, Never Give a Sucker an Even Break, My Little Chickadee

The Greatest Films of 1946



Poster for the movie "The Best Years of Our Lives"

© 1946 Samuel Goldwyn Company − All right reserved.

The Best Years of Our Lives

D: William Wyler

A landmark drama, and Best Picture-winning film – both powerful and provocative with many touching moments in the lives of combat survivors now returned to their former lives, with both hopefulness and poignancy. With great acting, story-telling, direction by Wyler, and pacing, as it told about three WWII veterans attempting readjustment to peacetime life and discovering that they had fallen behind. Perhaps the most memorable film about the af