Best Horror Movies of 1949
The Reformation of St Jules
Author Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951) casually narrates his uncanny 1937 tale. 'Audible skywriting' and its unintended consequences are the unlikely subject, effectively undercut by a surprise ending. The camera angles are eccentric, but it's a rare opportunity to see Blackwood onscreen.
Lock Your Door
In a relaxed and conversational style, famed writer of uncanny and fantastical fiction Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951) retells his story of the old lady and the pockmarked railway porter. The author's delivery is thoughtful, as if he is recounting the incident for the first time, and was filmed in 1949 for a series of short films sharing the title A Strange Experience. The story itself was unpublished in his lifetime.
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
The Wind in the Willows: Concise version of Kenneth Grahame's story of the same name. J. Thaddeus Toad, owner of Toad Hall, is prone to fads, such as the newfangled motor car. This desire for the very latest lands him in much trouble with the wrong crowd, and it is up to his friends, Mole, Rat and Badger to save him from himself. - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: Retelling of Washington Irving's story set in a tiny New England town. Ichabod Crane, the new schoolmaster, falls for the town beauty, Katrina Van Tassel, and the town Bully Brom Bones decides that he is a little too successful and needs "convincing" that Katrina is not for him.
Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff
Lost Caverns Hotel bellhop Freddie Phillips is suspected of murder. Swami Talpur tries to hypnotize Freddie into confessing, but Freddie is too stupid for the plot to work. Inspector Wellman uses Freddie to get the killer (and it isn't the Swami).
The Queen of Spades
An elderly countess strikes a bargain with the devil and exchanges her soul for the ability to always win at cards. An army officer, who is also a fanatic about cards, murders her for the secret, then finds himself haunted by the woman's spirit.