Best Action Movies of 1949
Twelve O'Clock High
In this story of the early days of daylight bombing raids over Germany, General Frank Savage must take command of a "hard luck" bomber group. Much of the story deals with his struggle to whip his group into a disciplined fighting unit in spite of heavy losses, and withering attacks by German fighters over their targets.
The film concentrates on the camaraderie and the divisions between the troops as they ready for the big offensive. Told in a taut narrative, the men of the 101st, led by Van Johnson, wait out the winter in the Ardennes forest to confront the German army in what would be the last major offensive of World War II. The men are demoralized and trapped, with no hope of support from the Allies.
Sands of Iwo Jima
The relationship between Sergeant Stryker and a group of rebellious recruits is made difficult by the Sergeant's tough training tactics. At Tarawa, the leathernecks have a chance to see Stryker in action, and begin to appreciate him.
Mighty Joe Young
After being taken from his home in Africa, Gorilla "Joe" is an instant hit in a Hollywood nightclub. This fun and wonderfully entertaining slant on "King Kong" is much better than Kong's 1934 sequel, "Son of Kong". This all ages adventure has superb special effects from Willis O'Brien and his protege, Ray Harryhausen.
Rope of Sand
Story of a South African diamond mine watched over by a sadistic policeman tasked with looking out for smugglers.
Batman and Robin
This 15-chapter serial pits Batman and Robin against The Wizard, who uses a device that allows him to control machinery to hold the city hostage.
King of the Rocket Men
Prof. Millard pretends to be dead and helps Jeff King ferret out Vulcan, the evil traitor at the science academy. Donning his Rocket Man costume King goes from one hair raising rescue to the next in order to keep the newly invented Decimator out of the clutches of Vulcan and his minions.
We Were Strangers
China Valdes joins the Cuban underground after her brother is killed by the chief of the secret police, Ariete. She meets and falls in love with American expatriate Tony Fenner. Tony develops a plan to tunnel under the city's cemetery to a plot owned by a high official, assassinate him, and blow up the whole Cuban hierarchy at the ensuing state funeral. Together with a band of dedicated revolutionaries, they begin digging.
The Fighting O'Flynn
A swashbuckling Irishman opposes French agents during the Napoleonic wars.
The Sun Comes Up
Set in the rural south of the United States, a bereaved war widow learns to to put aside her bitterness and grief as she grows to love a young orphan boy and his dog.