Top 10 Best Donna Reed Movies

It’s easy to know where to begin when ranking the top 10 best Donna Reed movies of all time — but it’s not as easy to know where to end, as Reed starred in such amazing films throughout her decades-long career.

For decades, Reed proved that she could successfully act in any genre, time and time again. While many modern-day audiences may know her better through her TV roles, Reed’s filmography definitely shouldn’t be slept on.

Below, you’ll find the top 10 best Donna Reed movies of all time! If you’re new to Reed, you’ll definitely want to use this list as a handy guide to better know her filmography!

The Top 10 Best Donna Reed Movies, Ranked

10. Eyes in the Night (1942)

  • Genre: Mystery / Crime
  • Starring: Edward Arnold, Ann Harding, Donna Reed, Stephen McNally
  • Directed by: Fred Zinnemann

Though Reed only has a supporting role in this mystery movie, Eyes in the Night is such an interesting film that we had to include it here. Plus, Reed acts opposite such a stellar cast!

In Eyes in the Night, a blind detective (Arnold) and his faithful canine companion team up to solve a murder mystery when his old friend (Harding) requires his health regarding her rebellious stepdaughter (Reed). Along the way, he uncovers dark secrets — and faces unexpected dangers!

9. Green Dolphin Street (1947)

  • Genre: Adventure / Romance / Drama
  • Starring: Van Heflin, Lana Turner, Donna Reed, Richard Hart
  • Directed by: Victor Saville

Green Dolphin Street is definitely one of the best Donna Reed movies of all time! Set in 19th-century New Zealand, two sisters (Reed and Turner) navigate their way through love, betrayal, and redemption as they fall in love with the same man (Hart).

Related — The Top 10 Best Lana Turner Movies of All Time

8. Trouble Along the Way (1953)

  • Genre: Romance / Comedy / Drama
  • Starring: John Wayne, Donna Reed, Charles Coburn, Tom Tully
  • Directed by: Michael Curtiz

John Wayne and Donna Reed? Yes, please! Trouble Along the Way follows a former famous football coach (Wayne) who tries to save a failing college team while navigating a tricky romance with a social service worker (Reed) and a battle for custody of his daughter. An entertaining sports drama!

Related — The Top 10 Best John Wayne Movies of All Time

7. Ransom! (1956)

  • Genre: Film Noir / Crime / Drama
  • Starring: Glenn Ford, Donna Reed, Leslie Nielsen, Juano Hernandez
  • Directed by: Alex Segal

This list would not be complete without the thrilling Ransom! This film noir unfolds when a wealthy couple’s (Ford and Reed) son is kidnapped and held for ransom. This pushes the father to risk everything in a heart-pounding race to save his child and outsmart the criminals!

Related — The Top 10 Best Glenn Ford Movies of All Time

6. Scandal Sheet (1952)

  • Genre: Film Noir / Crime / Drama
  • Starring: John Derek, Donna Reed, Broderick Crawford, Rosemary DeCamp
  • Directed by: Phil Karlson

Scandal Sheet is also one of the best Donna Reed movies of all time! After all, it really doesn’t get better than Reed in film noirs, does it?

In this gripping film noir, a ruthless newspaper editor (Crawford) finds himself tangled in a web of murder and deception when a journalist’s (Derek) pursuit of a story threatens to expose a dark secret from his own past. Reed plays his feature writer at the paper!

5. Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)

  • Genre: Crime / Comedy / Drama
  • Starring: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Barry Nelson, Donna Reed
  • Directed by: W.S. Van Dyke

The Thin Man series will never get old. In Shadow of the Thin Man, we get to see Nick and Nora interact with none other than Donna Reed in one of her earliest feature roles!

In Shadow of the Thin Man, Nick and Nora Charles (Powell and Loy) return to solve another murder mystery. This time, they’re out to solve the murder of a race jockey!

Related — Myrna Loy and William Powell Movie Collaborations, Ranked

4. They Were Expendable (1945)

  • Genre: War / Drama
  • Starring: Robert Montgomery, John Wayne, Donna Reed, Jack Holt
  • Directed by: John Ford

They Were Expendable is also one of the best Donna Reed movies of all time! This World War II film follows a courageous group of American Navy officers who face the harsh realities of war as they valiantly defend their country against overwhelming odds in the Pacific — all while trying to prove the battleworthiness of the PT boats.

Reed plays an Army nurse that Wayne’s character falls for — and it’s riveting to watch it all unfold!

3. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

  • Genre: Horror / Fantasy / Drama
  • Starring: George Sanders, Hurd Hatfield, Donna Reed, Angela Lansbury
  • Directed by: Albert Lewin

Oh, we cannot forget the wonderful, horrific The Picture of Dorian Gray! In this classic adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s novel, a handsome young man named Dorian Gray (Hatfield) discovers the power of a supernatural painting that ages while he remains forever youthful. This leads him down a treacherous path of vanity and corruption.

Reed, meanwhile, plays the character of Gladys Hallward!

2. From Here to Eternity (1953)

  • Genre: War / Romance / Drama
  • Starring: Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed
  • Directed by: Fred Zinnemann

If we’re talking about the absolute best Donna Reed movies, we obviously have to mention From Here to Eternity, one of Reed’s most iconic, popular, and memorable films. Reed’s performance in this war drama was so amazing she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work here!

Passion, betrayal, and resilience intertwine in this classic wartime drama as soldiers stationed in Hawaii find their lives forever altered by love, honor, and the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor. It’s a must-watch.

Related — The Top 10 Best Montgomery Clift Movies of All Time

1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

  • Genre: Fantasy / Drama
  • Starring: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell
  • Directed by: Frank Capra

It’s a Wonderful Life is the very best Donna Reed movie! In this heartwarming holiday classic, a compassionate man named George Bailey (Stewart) discovers the true value of his existence with the help of a whimsical guardian angel — an angel who happens to save him when he’s about to commit suicide!

Reed plays George’s wife, Mary Hatch! Prepare for laughter, tears, and a reminder that every life has significance!

Related — The Top 10 Best Lionel Barrymore Movies of All Time

What’s Your Favorite Donna Reed Movie?

Now, let’s hear from you. What’s your favorite Donna Reed film? Do you agree with this list? Would you change up the rankings a bit? Do you feel that we missed a few great films that should’ve been listed here? Hit the comments below with all your thoughts and opinions! We’d love to hear what you think!

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