Best Crime Movies of 1949
A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and then leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist. After the heist, events take a crazy turn.
Burt Lancaster plays Steve Thompson, a man who seals his dark fate when he returns to Los Angeles to find his ex-wife Anna Dundee (Yvonne DeCarlo) eager to rekindle their love against all better judgement. She encourages their affair but then quickly marries mobster Slim Dundee (Dan Duryea). To deflect suspicion of the affair, Steve Thompson leads Dundee into a daylight armored-truck robbery.
Intruder in the Dust
Rural Mississippi in the 1940s: Lucas Beauchamp, a local black man with a reputation of not kowtowing to whites, is found standing over the body of a dead white man, holding a pistol that has recently been fired. Quickly arrested for murder and jailed, Beauchamp insists he's innocent and asks the town's most prominent lawyer, Gavin Stevens, to defend him, but Stevens refuses. When a local boy whom Beauchamp has helped in the past and who believes him to be innocent hears talk of a mob taking Beauchamp out of jail and lynching him, he pleads with Stevens to defend Beauchamp at trial and prove his innocence.
Expecting the usual loss, a boxing manager takes bribes from a betting gangster without telling his fighter.
In 1831, Irishman Charles Adare travels to Australia to start a new life with the help of his cousin who has just been appointed governor. When he arrives he meets powerful landowner and ex-convict, Sam Flusky, who wants to do a business deal with him. Whilst attending a dinner party at Flusky's house, Charles meets Flusky's wife Henrietta who he had known as a child back in Ireland. Henrietta is an alcoholic and seems to be on the verge of madness.
Nick Garcos comes back from his tour of duty in World War II planning to settle down with his girlfriend, Polly Faber. He learns, however, that his father was recently beaten and burglarized by mob-connected trucker Mike Figlia, and Nick resolves to get even. He partners with prostitute Rica, and together they go after Mike, all the while getting pulled further into the local crime underworld.
An imaginative boy who frequently makes things up witnesses a murder, but can't get his parents or the police to believe him. The only people taking him seriously are the killers - who live upstairs, know that he saw what they did, and are out to permanently silence him.
House of Strangers
Gino Monetti is a ruthless Italian-American banker who is engaged in a number of criminal activities. Three of his four grown sons refuse to help their father stay out of prison after he's arrested for his questionable business practices. Three of the sons take over the business but kick their father out. Max, a lawyer, is the only son that stays loyal to his father.
A British psychiatrist devises a devilish revenge plot against his wife's lover.
Too Late for Tears
One night on a lonely highway, a speeding car tosses a satchel of money, meant for somebody else, into Jane and Alan Palmer's back seat. Alan wants to turn it over to the police, but Jane persuades him to hang onto it 'for a while'. Soon, the Palmers are traced by one Danny Fuller, a sleazy character who claims the money is his.
In Colorado territory, outlaw Wes McQueen escapes jail to pull a railroad robbery but, upon meeting pretty settler Julie Ann, he wonders about going straight. Western remake of High Sierra with Joel McCrea taking over the Humphrey Bogart role.
Warren Quimby manages a drugstore while trying to keep his volatile wife, Claire, happy. However, when Claire leaves him for a liquor store salesman, Warren can no longer bear it. He decides to assume a new identity in order to murder his wife's lover without leaving a trace. Along the way, his plans are complicated by an attractive neighbor, as well as a shocking discovery that opens up a new world of doubts and accusations.
Based on a true story. The name of the real ship, that sunk Feb 5 1941 - during WWII - was S/S Politician. Having left Liverpool two days earlier, heading for Jamaica, it sank outside Eriskay, The Outer Hebrides, Scotland, in bad weather, containing 250,000 bottles of whisky. The locals gathered as many bottles as they could, before the proper authorities arrived, and even today, bottles are found in the sand or in the sea every other year.
Force of Evil
Lawyer Joe Morse wants to consolidate all the small-time numbers racket operators into one big powerful operation. But his elder brother Leo is one of these small-time operators who wants to stay that way, preferring not to deal with the gangsters who dominate the big-time.
The Reckless Moment
A mother attempts to protect her murderous daughter.
The story concerns two agents, one Mexican (PJF) and one American, who are tasked to stop the smuggling of Mexican migrant workers across the border to California. The two agents go undercover, one as a poor migrant.
East Side, West Side
A vain businessman puts strains on his happy marriage to a rich, beautiful socialite by allowing himself to be seduced by a former girlfriend.
He Walked by Night
This film-noir piece, told in semi-documentary style, follows police on the hunt for a resourceful criminal who shoots and kills a cop.
The Big Steal
Army Lieutenant Halliday, accused of stealing the Army payroll, pursues the real thief on a frantic chase through Mexico aided by the thief's ex-girlfriend and is in turn being chased by his accuser, Capt. Blake.
The File on Thelma Jordon
Cleve Marshall is an assistant district attorney who falls for the shadowy Thelma Jordon. With her sordid past -- and her relationship with thief Tony Laredo kept secret from the married attorney, Jordon seduces the easily swayed Marshall, and uses him to cover up her misdeeds. When Jordon becomes the prime suspect for the murder of her wealthy aunt, she turns to Marshall, who goes to great lengths to clear her name.
United States Federal agent Rigby travels to the Central American island Carlotta to investigate a stolen aircraft engines smuggling racket.
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.
Scene of the Crime
A cop investigates the shooting of another policeman... that may have been involved in crooked activities.
Jenny Marsh is a hard-luck dame who's just finished five years in the slammer for killing a man. Jenny's not exactly the murdering type -- she did the deed while defending her jailbird lover, Harry, which is probably one reason she's attracted the attention of her parole officer, Griff Marat. In fact, Griff is so taken with Jenny that he gets her a job caring for his ailing mother, but although Jenny tries to fly right, she's not yet over Harry.
The Undercover Man
Frank Warren is a treasury agent assigned to put an end to the activities of a powerful mob crime boss. Frank works undercover, posing as a criminal to seek information, but is frustrated when all he finds are terrified witnesses and corrupt police officers.
Knock on Any Door
An attorney defends a hoodlum of murder, using the oppressiveness of the slums to appeal to the court.
An escaped con kidnaps the people he thinks put him behind bars.
Follow Me Quietly
1949 thriller about the hunt for a serial killer known as "the Judge" who kills his victims on rainy nights.
U.S. Treasury Department agents go after a ring of counterfeiters.
All the passengers on an airplane headed for San Francisco are drugged, and when they wake up, it is discovered that a quarter-million dollars is missing. Charlie Chan--and, of course, his #1 son--must discover the identity of the person who doped the passengers and stole the money.
Joe Barrett returns to Tokyo after World War II where he once owned a bar, Tokyo Joe's, and deserted his wife Trina. They have a seven-year-old daughter. Kimura forces Joe into piloting war criminals by revealing that during the war Trina made treasonous propaganda broadcasts.
A guard (William Bendix) befriends a wayward youth (Allen Martin Jr.) sent to the Indiana Boys School.
The Spider and the Fly
"The Spider and the Fly is set in Paris during the cloud-cuckoo days before WW I. The storyline intertwines the destinies of three people. Guy Rolfe plays Phillipe de Ledocq, a resourceful safecracker who always manages to elude arrest. Eric Portman is cast as police-chief Maubert, who will not rest until Ledocq is behind bars. And Nadia Gray is Madeleine, the woman beloved by both Ledocq and Maubert. Just as Maubert has managed to capture his man, Ledocq is released at the behest of the government, who wants him to steal secrets from the German embassy revealing the whereabouts of the Kaiser's secret agents. And just how does Madeleine figure into all of this? Spider and the Fly is a diverting precursor to the 1960s TV series It Takes a Thief." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
The Crooked Way
A war veteran suffering from amnesia, returns to Los Angeles from a San Francisco veterans hospital hoping to learn who he is and discovers his criminal past.
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.
Boys in Brown
Jackie lives in poverty with his widowed mother. In a bid to escape poverty he gets involved in a robbery that sees him sentenced to three years in Borstal where he meets a tough crowd, tougher than anything on the outside.
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.
Treasury Department officials recruit a florist (Raft) to lead them to a wanted criminal (Macready); but once he gets too close, he finds he's the hunted.
A prim psychology professor fights to hide a murder she committed in self-defense.
Johnny Stool Pigeon
A federal agent infiltrates a crime syndicate.
On Chicago's South Side reporter Ed Ames finds the body of a dead girl. Her address book leads to a host of names of men frightened by her death but claiming never to have known her. Ames comes to know quite a lot, dangerously so.
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.
Undertow stars Scott Brady as a gambler just out of wartime military service. No longer interested in wagers and speculations, Brady wants only to open up a mountain vacation lodge. Before this can take place, Brady is framed for murder, and forced to hide out in the home of Peggy Dow. With the help of Dow and a policeman friend, Brady searches for the real murderer. Watch carefully in Undertow and you'll spot new Universal contractee "Roc" Hudson as a plainclothes detective.
El pecado de Laura
Young woman breaks her engagement to be married when an opportunity for stardom comes her way.
The Case of Charles Peace
Charles Peace leads a double life, by day he's a respected local businessman, but by night he's a professional thief who stops at nothing, not even murder, to get what he wants.
The House Across the Street
Dave Joslin, the managing editor of a big-city newspaper, is demoted and moved to the Miss Lonely Hearts column-writing department by the newspaper's publisher, J. B. Grennell, because Joslin refuses to desist in printing stories linking a gangster, Matthew Keever, to a murder. But Joslin, aided by Kit Williams, a newspaper woman with whom he is in love, investigate the murder case on their own time.
The Lost Tribe
Jungle Jim fights a lion and sharks trying to save an African village from those who would despoil it.
The Adventures of P.C. 49: Investigating the Case of the Guardian Angel
A police constable goes undercover to infiltrate a gang of violent thieves.
Nick Cherney, in prison for embezzling from Torno Freight Co., sees a chance to get back at Johnny Torno through his young priest brother Jess. He pays fellow prisoner Rocky, who gets out a week before Nick, to murder Jess... who, dying, tells revenge-minded Johnny that he'd written a clue "in the Bible." Frustrated, Johnny obsessively searches for the missing Gideon Bible from Jess's hotel room.