If 1939 was one of the greatest years of American cinema in the 20th Century (and it was), 1940 was a relatively tepid one. It’s as if 1939 had vacuumed up most of the raw psychic material of the late ’30s, leaving very little for 1940 to play with. These ads are from a N.Y. Times page in mid December 1940. Many are worthy, but none really light my fire. My favorite ’40 flick, Alfred Hitchcock‘s Rebecca, had opened the previous April and was naturally spent by year’s end.