Lizabeth Scott: Essential 1940s Movies

Lizabeth Scott was one of the most influential Hollywood stars of her time. She rose to fame in the 1940s and 1950s, appearing in dozens of films including The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Dead Reckoning, and Easy Living. With her sultry yet commanding presence, Scott captivated audiences with her unconventional beauty and signature style.

Throughout her career, Scott remained fiercely independent and unapologetic. At a time when many actresses conformed to traditional gender roles, she refused to be typecast and took on more daring roles that defied expectations. Off-screen, she made a point of avoiding publicity, opting instead for a private lifestyle, which only added to her allure.

The 1940s were a defining period for the illustrious Lizabeth Scott, as she starred in some of the most gripping and acclaimed films from this era. Her performances in these films are widely considered to be some of her best work, likely due to her entrancing presence and raw talent. With only 22 acting credits to her name, her achievements throughout this decade were made all the more remarkable and are especially notable within the noir genre.

As such, we have compiled a list of the six best 1940s Lizabeth Scott movies that everyone should watch. These films demonstrate Scott’s prowess as an actor and cover a range of genres, from classic film noir to romantic drama. We hope our selection serves as a handy guide for those looking to appreciate the sublime works of this star from Old Hollywood.

The 6 Best 1940s Lizabeth Scott Movies, Ranked

6. Desert Fury (1947)

  • Genre: Film Noir / Crime / Drama
  • Starring: John Hodiak, Lizabeth Scott, Burt Lancaster, Wendell Corey
  • Directed by: Lewis Allen

Up first, we’ve got 1947’s Desert Fury. While not the absolute best film Scott starred in during the 1940s, it’s still quite enjoyable to watch — especially thanks to the all-star cast! Desert Fury follows an Old West gambler (Hodiak) who falls in love with the proper daughter (Scott) of a gambling house madam. People and situations, of course, threaten to keep them apart!

5. I Walk Alone (1947)

  • Genre: Film Noir / Crime / Drama
  • Starring: Burt Lancaster, Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas, Wendell Corey
  • Directed by: Byron Haskin

I Walk Alone is also one of the best 1940s Lizabeth Scott movies! In this film noir, Lancaster plays a bootlegger who gets out of prison and expects a share of the profit from his ex-partner in crime (Douglas), who now owns a posh nightclub. His former partner doesn’t want this to happen — and uses his ex (Scott) to mess with the guy.

4. Pitfall (1948)

  • Genre: Film Noir / Thriller / Crime
  • Starring: Dick Powell, Lizabeth Scott, Jane Wyatt, Raymond Burr
  • Directed by: André De Toth

Pitfall is SO GOOD. In this film noir, Powell plays an insurance man who has an affair with a criminal’s girlfriend (Scott) — even though he himself is married (to Jane Wyatt). As it’s a film noir, things escalate out of his control as his guilt eats at him. Definitely one of the best 1940s Lizabeth Scott movies!

3. Too Late for Tears (1949)

  • Genre: Film Noir / Crime / Drama
  • Starring: Lizabeth Scott, Don DeFore, Dan Duryea, Arthur Kennedy
  • Directed by: Byron Haskin

Scott is absolutely amazing in Too Late for Tears. In this film noir, she plays a married woman who changes for the worst when she discovers a bag full of money that doesn’t belong to her. She’s determined to keep all of the money, even if it means she faces murderous consequences.

2. Dead Reckoning (1947)

  • Genre: Film Noir / Crime / Drama
  • Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Lizabeth Scott, Morris Carnovsky, Charles Cane
  • Directed by: John Cromwell

Dead Reckoning follows a tough veteran (Bogart) who learns his war buddy has disappeared — and then been murdered — after he learns that he’s going to be awarded for his service, and investigates his friend’s murder case. Along the way, he meets a deadly femme fatale (Scott) and learns just what happened to his friend. One of the best 1940s Lizabeth Scott movies!

Related — The Top 10 Best Humphrey Bogart Movies of All Time

1. The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)

  • Genre: Film Noir / Romance / Drama
  • Starring: Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas
  • Directed by: Lewis Milestone

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers is the best 1940s Lizabeth Scott movie, though she does have a supporting role here! This film noir follows an heiress (Stanwyck) whose old childhood friend (Heflin) returns to town, creating drama between her and her husband (Douglas) when past memories of her aunt’s murder resurface. A marvelous movie with a marvelous cast!

What’s Your Favorite 1940s Lizabeth Scott Movie?

Comment below your own personal favorite 1940s Lizabeth Scott movie! Do you agree with this list? Would you change it up a bit? Hit the comments below with all your thoughts and ideas! We’d love to hear what you think!

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