Best Action Movies of 1949
Twelve O'Clock High
In 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.
Mighty Joe Young
A young woman, Jill Young, grew up on her father's ranch in Africa, raising a large gorilla named Joe from an infant. Years later, she brings him to Hollywood to become a star.
Famed aviator Bruce Gentry is working with scientist Andrew Benson, setting out to uncover the origin of a deadly secret weapon---an electronically controlled flying disc which can be directed at moving or stationary targets. The disc was master-minded by an enemy agent known only as "The Recorder" because...he speaks entirely via recordings. Aided by rancher Frank Farrell and his sister Juanita "Nita" Hodges, Gentry consistently foils "The Recorders" schemes, which are carried out by "The Recorder's" henchmen, Krendon, Allen and Chandler, including an attack on the Panama Canal.
Lust for Gold
A man determined to track down the fabled Arizona gold mine known as The Lost Dutchman has an affair with a married treasure hunter, whose pursuit of the mine has lead her to double-cross her husband.
Rope of Sand
Story of a South African diamond mine watched over by a sadistic policeman tasked with looking out for smugglers.
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 Red Pony
Peter Miles stars as Tom Tiflin, the little boy at the heart of this John Steinbeck story set in Salinas Valley. With his incompatible parents -- the city-loving Fred and country-happy Alice -- constantly bickering, Tom looks to cowboy Billy Buck for companionship and paternal love.
Sword in the Desert
First American film about the conflict between Jewish nationalists and the British in the creation of the state of Israel.
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.
Mary Ryan, Detective
A female police detective (Marsha Hunt) enters jail to gain the confidence of a shoplifter and learn the identity of the leader of a stolen goods racket.
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.
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 put aside her bitterness and grief as she grows to love a young orphan boy and his dog.
Paula Consodine comes to Los Angeles in search of her missing sister. Newspaperman Mark Sitko, investigating on Paula's behalf, discovers that the sister is dead, a supposed suicide. The whole thing seems a bit fishy to Sitko, and indeed it is: the girl's death was engineered by a black-market adoption racket, headed by one DeCola.
The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend
Saloon-bar singer Freddie gets very angry whenever boyfriend Blackie seems to be playing around. She always packs a six-shooter, so this is bad news for anything that happens to be in the way. As this is usually the local judge's rear-end, Freddie and friend Conchita are soon hiding out teaching school in the middle of nowhere.
Alias the Champ
Slammin’ Sammy Menacker is killed in the ring, and Gorgeous George (in his only film appearance) is arrested for murder. Out to clear his name is his manager Lorraine and cop Ron Peterson, who was already on the scene to investigate the Mob’s influence on pro wrestling.
Treasure of Monte Cristo
A San Francisco lawyer (Steve Brodie) uses a woman (Adele Jergens) to lure a merchant seaman (Glenn Langan) worth a legendary fortune.
The Gal Who Took the West
In order to gain passage to the West, a woman poses as an opera singer, and causes a feud between two cousins.
The Golden Stallion
Diamonds are being smuggled across the border from Mexico in a specially made shoe of a palomino mare. One of the smugglers is killed when the mare runs off. The sheriff blames Trigger for the death. To keep his horse from being destroyed, Roy confesses and goes to jail. The smugglers buy Trigger and put him to work smuggling diamonds. The mare, who had earlier heard a trist with Trigger, foals Trigger, Jr. who Roy, finally out of jail, uses to help capture the smugglers.
Rancher Clay and his brother, Steve, head out across the Sonora mountain pass, followed by Lednov, an ex-con seeking revenge on Clay for putting him behind bars. Clay and Steve unexpectedly cross paths with a group of dance hall girls -- including Mary, Marcia and Helen -- whose stagecoach has broken down, and help them get to the nearest ranch, where Lednov unfortunately catches up to Clay.
Fighting Man of the Plains
Former bandit Jim Dancer becomes marshal of a Kansas town and cleans up the criminal element - with the help of his old pal, Jesse James.
Tarzan's Magic Fountain
An expedition tries to enlist Tarzan's help in finding the secret Blue Valley, which legend says is the location of a miraculous fountain of youth.
Long before he became producer/director of The Tonight Show, Fred DeCordova helmed the Universal meller Illegal Entry. Howard Duff, who later worked with DeCordova on the TV series Mr. Adams and Eve, stars as Bert Powers, an undercover agent for the U.S. Department of Immigration. While attempting to bring a vicious gang of alien smugglers to justice, Powers falls in love with Anna Duvak (Marta Toren), a gang member who is Not What She Seems.
Christopher Columbus overcomes intrigue at the Spanish court and convinces Queen Isabella that his plan to reach the East by sailing west is practical.
An arson investigator goes undercover to break up a ring that sets fires in order to collect the insurance.
The Big Wheel
The ambitious son of an accomplished race driver struggles to outrun his father's legacy and achieve his own successes.
A meddlesome reporter sporting a young bride takes on a gang of modern day cattle rustlers. Donald "Red" Barry plays Dan Reilly, a newspaper reporter just returned to LA with his wife, photographer Margie (Marjorie Steele). Margie insists on taking pictures of everywhere they go, and so as she's walking into a butcher shop she poses for Dan - while at the same time three thugs make their way quickly out after beating up the proprietors. Soon Margie and Dan are involved in investigating an illegal meat operation that rustles cattle and forces butchers to buy it - or else. Dan gets beaten up a couple of times, but is undaunted in pursuing the great story - and hey, he's only got 64 minutes to do so, he'd best get cracking!
Challenge to Lassie
When Lassie's master dies, an old friend tries to convince a judge that the dog's life should be spared.
Enter the Lone Ranger
The sole surviving Texas Ranger of a murderous ambush - John Reid, becomes the great masked hero. He fights for justice with his companion, Tonto.
The Lost Tribe
Jungle Jim fights a lion and sharks trying to save an African village from those who would despoil it.
Riders of the Whistling Pines
While trailing Forest Ranger Charles Carter, who is suspected of permitting lumber man Henry Mitchell to cut restricted timber, Gene fires at a dangerous mountain lion and apparently kills Carter. Actually, Bill Wright, Mitchell's associate, killed Carter because the ranger had discovered tussock moth infestation in the forest, and if the infestation was not reported, the trees would die and have to be cut, thereby profiting Mitchell and Wright. In order to compensate the best he can, Gene sells his sportsman's camp and gives the money to Carter's daughter Helen . En route to Texas, Gene discovers the infestation and is assigned by the Forest Department to supervise the program of spraying the area with DDT from the air. After the first day of spraying, the DDT is blamed by furious stock men for the many animals found dead of poisoning.
The Kid from Cleveland
A sports reporter tries to reform a troubled youngster. Drama.
Outpost in Morocco
Captain Gerard, greatest lover in the Foreign Legion, is assigned to escort an emir's daughter to her father's mountain citadel and find out what he can about the emir's activities. Gerard enjoys his work with lovely Cara, but arrives to find rebellion brewing.
State Department: File 649
Kenneth Seeley, member of the U. S. State Department's Foreign Service Bureau, and Marge Weldon, a morale worker with the bureau, are assigned to an area in Mongolia dominated by an outlaw warlord. The latter captures the village where they reside and when escape is clearly impossible, Seeley blows up the outlaw's headquarters, losing his own life in doing so.
Across The Rio Grande
Outlaws attempting to kidnap Steve Blaine from a stagecoach are ran off by the sharpshooting of his sister, Sally and rescuers Jimmy Wakely and Cannonball Taylor. Steve is investigating his father's sudden death after charges of theft from the Sloan/Carson mine. Sloan is killed after Wakely learns that ore is being smuggled across the Mexican border into the mine, and then sold at the higher U.S. prices
The Mysterious Desperado
A cowboy is accused of his father's murder.
Based on the novel by James Oliver Curwood about Kazan, the wolfdog.
Rocky Lane, out to find the murderer of his brother, runs into a battle between two stage lines for a mail contract.
The bad guys dynamite a fish hatchery. They're trying to put the hatchery out of business so they can get possession of oil underneath the lake. Roy is a game warden investigating the dynamiting.
The Phantom Creeps
Not a feature, but an edited version of the 1939 serial "The Phantom Creeps" which was released to TV in 1949.
Prince of the Plains
Banker Ned Owens refuses to call in the many unpaid loans made to the local ranchers as he knows they are being terrorized by a gang of crooks and unable to pay. But the secret leader of the gang is James Taylor large stockholder of the bank.....
Rose of the Yukon
Major Geoffrey Barnett, U. S. Army Intelligence Service, is sent to Alaska, to apprehend a deserter, Tom Clark, who was presumed to be dead as a member of a small force wiped out on Attu in World War II. With the aid of Rose Flambeau, he finds evidence that the now-prosperous Clark killed his own comrades to prevent their reporting of a deposit of uranium, which he is now mining with the intention of selling to a foreign power.
Spotted after he microfilms secret U.S. Navy documents, foreign agent Rattick is killed when he tries to make a getaway. Naval Intelligence officer Captain Wright and Operative Dale are assigned to investigate and determine who is behind the spy syndicate for which Rattick worked. They bring in the services of Agent Tom Norman, who bears a strong resemblance to Rattick.
Wong Fei-Hung Burn the Tyrant's Lair
Shot at the same time as the inaugural chapter, The Story of Wong Fei-hung, Part Two is a continuation of the story. Solving the cliffhanger at the end of Part One and carrying on with a series of fights against a lineup of martial artists recruited by Master Wong's nemesis, Part Two culminates in a showdown with Grey Hair Fu, played by the great character actor Sek Kin, who is to appear as the archvillain in most of the following chapters, each time in a different guise.
Mobster Thomas Nagle and his gang take over a ship to use running guns and counterfeit money into Lisbon.
Thomas Dekker is a diamond cutter attempting to reclaim his right to a portion of a rubber empire in the early part of the twentieth century. Tom travels to Brazil to uncover the fate of his father and along the way meets Teresa, a local girl who offers to be his guide in the jungle. Eventually, they encounter three armed men who take them to Lobato, a bandit who knew his father. Once convinced that Tom is his friend's son, Lobato tells him a lengthy story which culminates with his meeting Tom's father, who rescued him from drowning. With the help of "flashbacks" from an obscure South American feature, Tom learns what really became of his father.
Joe Palooka in the Counterpunch
Joe heads for South America to fight the Latin champ. Shipboard, he helps federal agents fight counterfeiters. He also spars with love interest Anne Howe.
Ghost of Zorro
Although ostensibly the grand-son of the legendary hero, Clayton Moore's Ken Mason is little more than a cowboy in a black mask in this 12 chapter Republic serial. Mason, the head of the telegraph line work crew, assumes his ancestor's trade-mark mask (but not whip) in order to prevent a local czar (Roy Barcroft) from sabotaging the burgeoning telegraph line. Pamela Blake, a brunette starlet formerly known as Adele Pearce, played Mason's imperiled girlfriend, and the serial also benefitted from the usual competent work of Republic's great stunt-performers, including Dale van Sickel, Tom Steele, Eddie Parker, and Joe Yrigoyen.
A plumber with a girlfriend turns pro wrestler for a crooked promoter.