Best Adventure Movies of 1939
The Wizard of Oz
Young Dorothy finds herself in a magical world where she makes friends with a lion, a scarecrow and a tin man as they make their way along the yellow brick road to talk with the Wizard and ask for the things they miss most in their lives. The Wicked Witch of the West is the only thing that could stop them.
A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo, and learn something about each other in the process.
Only Angels Have Wings
Geoff Carter is the head of a crumbling air freight service in desperate need of a replacement pilot. He is forced to hire a descredited aviator who arrives with his wife, Carter's ex-lover. Meanwhile, traveler Bonnie Lee tries to get close to the emotionally closed-off Carter.
British army sergeants Ballantine, Cutter and MacChesney serve in India during the 1880s, along with their native water-bearer, Gunga Din. While completing a dangerous telegraph-repair mission, they unearth evidence of the suppressed Thuggee cult. When Gunga Din tells the sergeants about a secret temple made of gold, the fortune-hunting Cutter is captured by the Thuggees, and it's up to his friends to rescue him.
In coastal Cornwall, England, during the early 19th Century, a young woman who's come there to visit her aunt, discovers that she's married an inkeeper who's a member of a gang of criminals who arrange shipwrecking and murder for profit.
Academy Award winners Gary Cooper and Ray Milland star along with Robert Preston in the epic adventure Beau Geste. When three brothers join the Foreign Legion to escape a troubled past, they find themselves trapped under the command of a sadistic sergeant deep in the scorching Sahara. Now the brothers must fight for their lives as they plot mutiny against tyranny and defend a desert fortress against a brutal enemy. Nominated for 2 Academy Awards, Beau Geste has been universally acclaimed by generations of critics and audiences alike as a true motion picture classic.
The Four Feathers
A disgraced officer risks his life to help his childhood friends in battle.
The Man in the Iron Mask
Tyrannical King Louis XIV learns that he has an identical twin brother, Philippe, who was raised from birth by his late father's trusted friend D'Artagnan and his faithful musketeers, Porthos, Athos and Aramis. After Philippe falls for the king's betrothed, Spanish Princess Maria Theresa, Louis imprisons him, forcing his brother to don an iron mask that will slowly suffocate him -- and it's up to D'Artagnan to rescue him.
Five Came Back
Twelve people are aboard Coast Air Line's flagship the Silver Queen enroute to South America when the airplane encounters a storm and is blown off course. Crashing into jungles known to be inhabited by head hunters, pilots Bill and Joe race against time to fix the engines and attempt a take off. The situation brings out the best and worst in the stranded dozen as they create a makeshift runway and prepare to escape before the natives attack. But damage to the plane and low fuel reserves means that only 5 people can be carried to safety.
Stanley and Livingstone
When American newspaperman and adventurer Henry M. Stanley comes back from the western Indian wars, his editor James Gordon Bennett sends him to Africa to find Dr. David Livingstone, the missing Scottish missionary. Stanley finds Livingstone ("Dr. Livingstone, I presume.") blissfully doling out medicine and religion to the happy natives. His story is at first disbelieved.
The Rains Came
Indian aristocrat Rama Safti returns from medical training in the U.S. to give his life to the poor folk of Ranchipur. Lady Edwina and her drunken artist ex-lover Tom Ransome get in the way, but everyone shapes up when faced by earthquake, flooding, and plague.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Huckleberry Finn, a rambunctious boy adventurer chafing under the bonds of civilization, escapes his humdrum world and his selfish, plotting father by sailing a raft down the Mississippi River.
Gulliver washes ashore on Lilliput and attempts to prevent war between that tiny kingdom and its equally-miniscule rival, Blefiscu, as well as smooth the way for the romance between the Princess and Prince of the opposing lands. In this he is alternately aided and hampered by the Lilliputian town crier and general fussbudget, Gabby. A life-threatening situation develops when the bumbling trio of Blefiscu spies, Sneak, Snoop, and Snitch, manage to steal Gulliver's pistol.
Tarzan Finds a Son!
A young couple die in a plane crash in the jungle. Their son is found by Tarzan and Jane who name him Boy and raise him as their own. Five years later a search party comes to find the young heir to millions of dollars. Jane agrees, against Tarzan's will, to lead them to civilization.
An American pilot with a top-secret invention is kidnapped by foreign agents.
South western Pennsylvania area of colonial America, 1760s. Colonial distaste and disapproval of the British government is starting to surface. Many local colonists have been killed by American Indians who are armed with rifles supplied by white traders.
Blondie Takes a Vacation
Blondie and Dagwood are in charge of operations at a mountain motel. The elderly owners of the establishment are in danger of losing their life savings. Among other things, arson threatens.
Spies of the Air
Set just before the outbreak of WWII, this is the story of a test pilot who works for the (unnamed) enemy. Made in 1939, by the time it was released in 1940, war had been declared.
Women in the Wind
A famous aviator helps an amateur enter a cross-country air race for women.
The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt
Spies force former jewel thief Michael Lanyard (Warren William) to steal defense secrets in Washington.
Man about town and First Class cricketer A.J. Raffles keeps himself solvent with daring robberies. Meeting Gwen from his schooldays and falling in love all over again, he spends the weekend with her parents, Lord and Lady Melrose. A necklace presents an irresistible temptation, but also in attendance is Scotland Yard's finest, finally on the trail.
Torchy Runs for Mayor
Torchy conducts a one woman campaign against a corrupt mayor and crime boss, and when the reform candidate is murdered, she takes up the banner.
The Three Musketeers
A parodic remake of the story of the young Gascon D'Artagnan, who arrives in Paris, his heart set on joining the king's Musketeers. He is taken under the wings of three of the most respected and feared Musketeers, Porthos, Aramis, and Athos. Together they fight to save France and the honor of a lady from the machinations of the powerful Cardinal Richelieu.
Secret Service of the Air
Brass Bancroft and his sidekick Gabby Watters are recruited onto the secret service and go undercover to crack a ruthless gang that smuggles illegal aliens.
The Rookie Cop
A rookie cop tries to prove his friend is innocent of a robbery, despite the police commissioner's objection to his use of a trained German Shepherd dog named Ace.
An Irish convict sentenced to hard labor in Australia escapes into the outback, and organizes a band of fellow escapees to fight a corrupt landlord.
Smashing the Money Ring
T-Man Brass Bancroft goes undercover in a prison which has a secret counterfeit operation set up in the print shop.
The Witness Vanishes
In this mystery, a newspaper executive and three of his colleagues conspire to have the owner of the highly-respected London Sun committed to an insane asylum. The hapless publisher manages to escape. Soon after, the four collaborators begin dying one-by-one. Oddly their obituaries appear in a rival publication before they are actually killed.
American Steve Kendall, a freighter's radio officer, discovers seaman Carlson sending an unauthorized message ashore as the ship approaches his war-poised homeland. Carlson is shot in cold blood when he jumps ship and Kendall, implicated in the espionage, swims ashore to avoid arrest. A woman he meets at the dock hides him in her apartment, where he learns Carlson was her brother, and they both work in a sabotage ring. Nedra is a singer at Tio's Cafe, and she approaches Tio for help when both the saboteurs and the secret police try to capture Steve.
A spunky young bellhop investigates the murder of a hotel guest.
Twelve Crowded Hours
An ace reporter with a girlfriend nails a numbers racketeer for murders.
An outbreak of cholera threatens a luxury liner in this surprisingly low-budget melodrama from RKO. En route from Shanghai to San Francisco, chief engineer Crusher McKay (Victor McLaglen) and shipboard doctor Tony Craig (Chester Morris) become rivals for the attention of nurse Ann Grayson (Wendy Barrie). A Chinese stowaway, meanwhile, infects the stokehold with cholera and it is left to Crusher to keep the engines at full throttle until reaching harbor. But morale sinks to an all-time low when Crusher himself is stricken and the overworked men threaten with mutiny. Tony attempts to keep the stokers in check but the situation is growing more dangerous by the minute when a heroic Crusher rises from his sickbed. Leaving their previous petty squabbles behind, Tony and Crusher manage to guide the ship safely to harbor, where the doc and Ann rekindle their romance.
Ann Fenwick is a witness to a bank robbery in the U.S. and the bandits, led by Trigger (Warner Richmond) and Leon (Ted Adams) capture her and when she disappears, a warrant is issued for her arrest as a material witness. The bank robbers flee across the border into Canda where they steal a trailer in which they lock Ann and the loot. The hitch breaks and the trailer plunges into a lake. Sergeant Renfrew (James Newill) and Constable Kelly (Dave O'Brien), of the Canadian Mounties,rescue Ann and she tells them she is a hitch-hiking tourist and gives a false name. Renfrew sends Kelly for aid, Ann escapes and Kelly returns with the news that she is wanted. The leader of the gang, Cardigan (Milburn Stone), sends the gang back for Ann and the loot, which Ann has hidden in a trappers cabin, just before Trigger recaptures her. Renfrew goes to her rescue, but is also captured. But reliable Constable Kelly is somewhere in the woods.
The Man from Montreal
The Man From Montreal is a lively entry in Universal's Richard Arlen-Andy Devine action series. The stars are cast respectively as fur trapper Clark Manning and constable Bones Blair, who carry on a friendly rivalry in the Canadian Northwest. Our heroes team up in the final reels to put the kibosh on a fur-smuggling racket, permitting Universal to plunge deeply into its stock-footage files. The leading ladies this time out are Anne Gwynne and Kay Sutton, their billing status indicating which one of the two ladies will land Clark Manning in the last scene. Incredibly, the Arlen-Devine series lasted for 14 films, none of them classics but all of them worthwhile Saturday-matinee fare.
Burn 'Em Up O'Connor
An auto mechanic suspects sabotage in a recent series of fatal racecar accidents.
Code of the Secret Service
Secret Service agents try to solve the theft of treasury banknote plates.
Crooks plot to steal a payroll being shipped by air.
A spoiled New York playboy learns the values of life when he's sent by his father to work in a rural mining community in Canada.
Legion of Lost Flyers
A group of pilots, because of unsavory or unearned reputations, establish an outpost squadron of their own, led by "Loop" Gillian, running charter-flights and hauling supplies in the frozen wastelands of Alaska. The operation does not go without misadventures, foul-ups, and a bit of treachery tossed in.
In China, a singer and a journalist meet while traveling on a train attacked by bandits.
Disguising himself as a milquetoast Easterner who writes Western novels, Hoppy enrolls in a dude ranch in order to unmask the murderer of the owner's husband.
Mutiny on the Blackhawk
Story deals with slave-running between Hawaii and California in 1840, featuring a wild mutiny aboard a slave ship on the high seas, the bartering of natives for slavery in a tropical paradise, and battle scenes between enraged California settlers and the Mexican Army.
Law of the Pampas
Hoppy and Lucky are headed to South America to deliver a heard of cattle. Bay guy Ralph Merritt gets in their way. For a while.
When American newsreel cameraman stationed in Paris is sent to cover an Arab rebellion he finds a financier presumed dead but actually fomenting desert warfare.
The Taming of the West
Bill Elliott stops the evil cattle rustlers, who use up sheriffs like disposable razor blades. Instead of the customary gun battles, Elliott was known for his fisticuffs action and so he uses his knuckles to clean out the bad guys and win the heart of Iris Meredith, who had been the main lady for Charles Starrett in his westerns.
Romance of the Redwoods
June Martin is a dishwasher in a California logging camp boarding house. Steve Blake fights Jed Malone for her and loses, thus casting suspicion on himself when Malone dies under cloudy circumstances.
After a stamp-collecting Navy chief petty officer is jailed following FBI and Naval Justice investigation, his fiancee meets one of his fellow officers, becomes romantically interested in him, and joins him in trying to get an envelope, believed to contain rare stamps, to its intended recipient, only to end up in a web of intrigue involving foreign-accented men who are unusually interested in that simple envelope.
The second of a series of four features Monogram made based on the comic strip by Hal Forrest (Universal also used the strip characters in two serials), finds a movie company shooting a war picture at Three Points airport, with Tailspin Tommy Tompkins as a stunt pilot in the film. Tommy is incensed by the complete disregard for human life shown by the film's director, Sheehan, and quits. Sheehan gets a replacement pilot named Earl Martin, who is known as a reckless pilot who will try an aerial stunt for a thrill. He hand Tommy get into a fight when Martin takes Betty Lou Barnes for a ride in a plane that is practically falling apart.
The Jones Family in Hollywood
Father goes to an American Legion convention in Hollywood and the family goes along, visiting a studio a causing havoc on the set.
Scouts to the Rescue
Filmed in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Sonora, California, this Universal serial is Universal's 40th sound-era serial. Eagle Scout Bruce Scott, leader of Martinsville Troop Number One, and his pack sets off in search of lost treasure and finds adventure