Got a party to go to with a 1940s theme? Check out Couch Potato’s pictorial round-up of films that collectively define this decade by showcasing the fashions, styles, cinematic trends and general look of their time.

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There are three things that characterise movies from the 1940s:

1: World War Two – patriotism and propaganda. Think forces sweetheart Betty Grable and men in uniform.

2. Escapism (from World War Two and its aftermath) in the form of nostalgia or glorious technicolor musicals. Think Judy Garland in Meet Me in St Louis or living mermaid Esther Williams

Film Noir – gritty realism and the influence of European cinema. Think The Big Sleep, black & white, smoke and shadows and slinky femmes fatales like Rita Hayworth as Gilda.

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By the way, this post is the first of an occasional series that will showcase the styles, fashions and cinematic trends of different decades. So do come back soon.