Best Robert Montgomery Movies

If you’re a fan of classic cinema, you won’t want to miss out on the top 10 Robert Montgomery films. Montgomery was a versatile actor who made his mark in Hollywood during the 1930s and 1940s.

In this post, we’ll be ranking his best films, starting with the psychological thriller “Night Must Fall” (1937), in which Montgomery delivers a standout performance as a manipulative young man suspected of murder. We’ll also take a look at his role in the fantasy comedy “Here Comes Mr. Jordan” (1941) and the crime drama “The Big House” (1930), among others. Whether you’re a longtime fan or new to Montgomery’s work, this list is sure to provide you with some great recommendations for your next movie night. So sit back, relax, and let’s explore the 10 Best Robert Montgomery films together.

The Top 10 Best Robert Montgomery Movies of All Time

1. Night Must Fall (1937)

Gripping Psychological Thriller

  • Genre: Crime Drama
  • Starring: Robert Montgomery
  • Directed By: Thorold Dickinson

“Night Must Fall” (1937) takes the top spot on our list of the top 10 Robert Montgomery films, and for good reason. This gripping psychological thriller showcases Montgomery’s incredible talent and delivers a captivating story that has stood the test of time.

In the film, Montgomery portrays Danny, a charming and manipulative young man who becomes a suspect in a murder case. His performance is nothing short of extraordinary as he effortlessly embodies the complex layers of Danny’s character. From his disarming charm to the underlying darkness that lurks within him, Montgomery captivates the audience with his portrayal.

Directed by Richard Thorpe, “Night Must Fall” masterfully builds suspense and tension throughout. The cat-and-mouse game between Danny and the authorities keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, eagerly anticipating each plot twist and turn. The film’s atmospheric cinematography and haunting soundtrack further enhance the overall sense of unease and mystery.

If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers or simply appreciate exceptional performances, “Night Must Fall” is a must-watch. Montgomery’s portrayal of Danny is a tour de force that will leave you captivated and enthralled from start to finish.

2. Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)

Heartwarming Fantasy Comedy

  • Genre: Fantasy, Comedy
  • Starring: Robert Montgomery, Evelyn Keyes, Claude Rains
  • Directed By: Alexander Hall

In “Here Comes Mr. Jordan,” Robert Montgomery shines in a heartwarming and whimsical tale of life after death. The film follows the journey of Joe Pendleton, a talented boxer whose life is tragically cut short in a plane crash. However, destiny has other plans for Joe as he finds himself in the afterlife, guided by the charming and mischievous Mr. Jordan (played by Claude Rains).

But the story doesn’t end there. With a twist of fate, Joe is given a second chance at life, but in a different body – that of a corrupt millionaire. As he adjusts to his new identity, Joe must navigate the challenges of being a wealthy businessman while staying true to his own principles and finding love with the enchanting Bette Logan (portrayed by Evelyn Keyes).

Directed by Alexander Hall, the film beautifully blends fantasy, comedy, and romance, creating a magical atmosphere that enchants the audience from start to finish. With its clever and witty screenplay, “Here Comes Mr. Jordan” not only entertains but also explores deeper themes of redemption, love, and the power of second chances.

This classic Robert Montgomery film is a testament to the enduring appeal of fantasy comedies, offering a heartwarming and uplifting experience for audiences of all ages. Whether you’re a fan of Montgomery’s work or simply enjoy a feel-good movie, “Here Comes Mr. Jordan” is a must-watch that will leave you with a smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart.

3. The Big House  (1930)

Gritty Crime Drama

  • Genre: Drama
  • Starring: Chester Morris, Lewis Stone
  • Directed By: George W. Hill

In the realm of crime dramas, “The Big House” stands as a timeless classic, showcasing Robert Montgomery’s versatility and talent. Directed by George W. Hill, this gripping film takes viewers on an immersive journey behind the prison walls, delving into the harsh realities of life incarcerated.

Montgomery’s portrayal of Morgan, a character navigating the complexities of prison life, is nothing short of remarkable. With a nuanced performance, he brings depth and authenticity to the role, capturing the struggle, resilience, and conflicts experienced by those locked away.

“The Big House” is not just a showcase of Montgomery’s acting prowess but also an exploration of the human condition within the confines of a penitentiary. The gritty portrayal of prison life, the power dynamics between inmates and guards, and the tension-filled moments of escape attempts create a sense of realism that resonates with audiences.

Supported by a talented cast including Wallace Beery and Chester Morris, Montgomery shines as he navigates the morally ambiguous world of the penal system. The film’s suspenseful plot twists and intense sequences keep viewers on the edge of their seats, engrossed in the unfolding drama.

With its raw and unflinching portrayal of the dark underbelly of society, “The Big House” solidifies its place in Robert Montgomery’s filmography as a must-watch crime drama. It serves as a testament to his ability to bring complex characters to life and captivate audiences with his captivating performances.

4. Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)

Charming Romantic Comedy

  • Genre: Comedy, Romance
  • Starring: Carole Lombard, Robert Montgomery
  • Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

“Mr. and Mrs. Smith” (1941) is a charming romantic comedy that showcases the undeniable chemistry between Robert Montgomery and Carole Lombard. Directed by the legendary Alfred Hitchcock, this film tells the story of a couple who discovers that their marriage is not legally binding.

Montgomery delivers a captivating performance as David Smith, a man caught in a web of marital confusion. His comedic timing and charismatic presence on screen make him the perfect match for Lombard’s vivacious and witty character, Ann Smith. Together, they create a delightful on-screen couple that keeps audiences engaged and entertained throughout the film.

Hitchcock’s masterful direction adds an extra layer of intrigue and humor to the storyline. Known for his ability to blend suspense and romance, Hitchcock infuses “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” with his signature style, creating a unique blend of lighthearted comedy and underlying tension.

The film’s witty dialogue, clever plot twists, and delightful performances make it a timeless classic in the romantic comedy genre. Montgomery and Lombard’s playful banter and undeniable chemistry bring their characters to life and leave a lasting impression on viewers.

5. Private Lives (1931)

Comedy Drama Based on Noël Coward’s Play

  • Genre: Romantic Comedy
  • Starring: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery
  • Directed By: Sidney Franklin

“Private Lives” is a captivating comedy-drama that brings Noël Coward’s renowned play to life on the silver screen. Starring the talented Robert Montgomery, alongside Norma Shearer and Reginald Denny, this film showcases Montgomery’s exceptional range as he delves into both comedic and dramatic moments with finesse.

The story revolves around the complex relationships between divorced couples, exploring the intricate dynamics that arise when former lovers cross paths once again. Montgomery’s portrayal of the lead character is both charming and nuanced, capturing the essence of the original play’s wit and sophistication.

Directed by Sidney Franklin, “Private Lives” brings Coward’s sharp and intelligent dialogue to the forefront, creating a captivating cinematic experience. The film’s script is filled with witty banter, sparkling repartee, and clever observations on love, marriage, and human nature.

Montgomery’s chemistry with his co-stars, particularly Norma Shearer, adds an extra layer of depth to the film. Their performances create a magnetic on-screen presence that keeps audiences engaged and invested in the characters’ tumultuous journey.

6. Ride the Pink Horse (1947)

Noir Thriller & Montgomery’s Directorial Debut

  • Genre: Film Noir
  • Starring: Robert Montgomery
  • Directed By: Robert Montgomery

In “Ride the Pink Horse,” Robert Montgomery not only showcases his acting prowess but also makes his directorial debut in this gripping noir thriller. The film, set in a small town during a fiesta, follows Gagin, played by Montgomery himself, as he seeks revenge against a corrupt mobster named Frank Hugo.

Montgomery’s direction adds a unique touch to the film, creating a tense and atmospheric atmosphere that perfectly complements the gritty narrative. The black and white cinematography further enhances the dark and mysterious tone of the story.

As Gagin delves deeper into the seedy underbelly of the town, encountering a variety of intriguing characters, the tension steadily builds. Montgomery’s portrayal of Gagin is nuanced and captivating, capturing the character’s determination and inner turmoil.

“Ride the Pink Horse” offers a compelling blend of crime, suspense, and moral ambiguity, characteristic of the noir genre. The film keeps viewers on the edge of their seats with its twists and turns, keeping them guessing until the very end.

Montgomery’s directorial debut proves his talent extends beyond acting, as he demonstrates a keen eye for storytelling and a mastery of the noir aesthetic. “Ride the Pink Horse” stands as a testament to both his versatility as an actor and his skill as a director.

7. Lady in the Lake (1947)

An Innovative Film-Noir Experience

  • Genre: Film Noir
  • Starring: Robert Montgomery
  • Directed By: Robert Montgomery

“Lady in the Lake” (1947) is an innovative film-noir experience that ranks among Robert Montgomery’s most unique and captivating films. In this cinematic gem, Montgomery not only stars but also takes on the role of director, pushing the boundaries of storytelling and immersing viewers in a truly immersive experience.

Based on the novel by Raymond Chandler, “Lady in the Lake” presents a gripping mystery that unfolds from the perspective of the protagonist, Philip Marlowe, played by Montgomery himself. The film utilizes a groundbreaking technique known as subjective camera, where the camera acts as the eyes of the main character, allowing the audience to see the story through his viewpoint. This fresh and daring approach puts the viewers in the shoes of Marlowe, making them active participants in the unraveling of the plot.

The film follows Marlowe as he investigates the disappearance of a publisher’s wife, delving into a web of lies, deception, and murder. Montgomery’s portrayal of Marlowe is captivating, showcasing his versatility and command of the character. His performance exudes the perfect balance of toughness, wit, and vulnerability, drawing audiences into the complex world of this hardboiled detective.

“Lady in the Lake” not only impresses with its innovative storytelling technique but also boasts a compelling narrative filled with twists and turns. The film’s noir atmosphere is enhanced by stylish cinematography and sharp dialogue, capturing the essence of the genre. Montgomery’s directorial choices, including bold camera movements and creative shot compositions, further elevate the suspense and intrigue of the film.

8. They Were Expendable (1945)

A War Drama and Tribute to Navy PT Boats

  • Genre: War Drama
  • Starring: Robert Montgomery, John Wayne
  • Directed By: John Ford

Directed by John Ford, “They Were Expendable” (1945) stands as a powerful war drama and a heartfelt tribute to the brave men serving on Navy PT boats during World War II. Starring Robert Montgomery alongside John Wayne, this film showcases Montgomery’s versatility as an actor and his ability to portray complex characters.

Set in the Pacific theater of the war, “They Were Expendable” follows the experiences of Lieutenant John Brickley (Montgomery) and Lieutenant “Rusty” Ryan (Wayne) as they lead a squadron of PT boats against the Japanese forces. The film takes viewers on a gripping journey, showcasing the courage, sacrifice, and sheer determination exhibited by the PT boat crews in the face of overwhelming odds.

Montgomery delivers a compelling performance as Lieutenant Brickley, capturing the resilience and unwavering commitment of a leader in times of crisis. His on-screen chemistry with John Wayne adds depth and authenticity to their characters’ camaraderie, highlighting the bond formed by those who serve together in the military.

9. Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)

A Heartwarming Fantasy Comedy

  • Genre: Comedy, Fantasy
  • Starring: Robert Montgomery
  • Directed By: Alexander Hall

In this timeless film, Montgomery takes on the role of Joe Pendleton, a boxer with dreams of becoming a champion. However, fate takes an unexpected turn when Joe meets an untimely demise. But the story doesn’t end there.

As Joe finds himself in the afterlife, he is given a chance to return to Earth, but not in his own body. Instead, he inhabits the body of a corrupt millionaire, creating a hilarious and charming tale of mistaken identities and second chances. Montgomery’s performance is nothing short of brilliant as he effortlessly embodies the essence of Joe, infusing the character with both humor and heart.

Directed by Alexander Hall, “Here Comes Mr. Jordan” captivates audiences with its clever script and delightful storytelling. The chemistry between Montgomery and his co-stars, including Evelyn Keyes and Claude Rains, adds an extra layer of charm to the film, making it an absolute joy to watch.

10. Last of Mrs. Cheyney  (1937)

A Sophisticated Comedy of Manners

  • Genre: Comedy Drama
  • Starring: Robert Montgomery, Joan Crawford, William Powell
  • Directed By: Richard Boleslawski

In this delightful comedy of manners, Robert Montgomery shines as the charismatic jewel thief, Charles, who finds himself entangled in a web of high society intrigue. Adapted from the successful play, “The Last of Mrs. Cheyney” showcases Montgomery’s impeccable comedic timing and charm.

The film centers around Mrs. Cheyney (Joan Crawford), a sophisticated socialite who infiltrates the upper-class circles of London, posing as a wealthy widow. Montgomery’s character, Charles, becomes smitten with Mrs. Cheyney, despite suspecting her true motives. As the plot unfolds, the audience is treated to a series of witty exchanges, clever disguises, and unexpected twists.

Montgomery’s performance in “The Last of Mrs. Cheyney” is a testament to his versatility as an actor. He effortlessly transitions between suave and charismatic to vulnerable and conflicted, captivating viewers with his magnetic presence on screen. His chemistry with Joan Crawford adds an additional layer of charm and sophistication to the film, making their scenes together truly enjoyable to watch.

Director Richard Boleslawski expertly captures the elegance and opulence of the upper-class society, creating a visually stunning backdrop for the unfolding story. The costumes, set designs, and cinematography all contribute to the film’s overall aesthetic appeal, transporting the audience to a world of luxury and intrigue.

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