Best Movies of 1949

1.

The Third Man

5.9

Set in postwar Vienna, Austria, "The Third Man" stars Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins, a writer of pulp Westerns, who arrives penniless as a guest of his childhood chum Harry Lime, only to find him dead. Martins develops a conspiracy theory after learning of a "third man" present at the time of Harry's death, running into interference from British officer Maj. Calloway and falling head-over-heels for Harry's grief-stricken lover, Anna.

Starring: Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard, Bernard Lee
Directed by: Carol Reed
Release date: 1949-08-31
2.

White Heat

5.7

A psychopathic criminal (Cagney) 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.

Starring: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien, Margaret Wycherly, Steve Cochran
Directed by: Raoul Walsh
Release date: 1949-09-02
3.

Kind Hearts and Coronets

5.7

When his mother eloped with an Italian opera singer, Louis Mazzini was cut off from her aristocratic family. After the family refuses to let her be buried in the family mausoleum, Louis avenges his mother's death by attempting to murder every family member who stands between himself and the family fortune. But when he finds himself torn between his longtime love and the widow of one of his victims, his plans go awry.

Starring: Dennis Price, Valerie Hobson, Joan Greenwood, Alec Guinness, Audrey Fildes
Directed by: Robert Hamer
Release date: 1949-01-01
4.

Adam's Rib

5.3

When a woman attempts to kill her uncaring husband, prosecutor Adam Bonner gets the case. Unfortunately for him his wife Amanda (who happens to be a lawyer too) decides to defend the woman in court. Amanda uses everything she can to win the case and Adam gets mad about it. As a result, their perfect marriage is disturbed by everyday quarrels.

Starring: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Holliday, Tom Ewell, David Wayne
Directed by: George Cukor
Release date: 1949-11-18
5.

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

5.3

After Custer and the 7th Cavalry are wiped out by Indians, everyone expects the worst. Capt. Nathan Brittles is ordered out on patrol but he's also required to take along Abby Allshard, wife of the Fort's commanding officer, and her niece, the pretty Olivia Dandridge, who are being evacuated for their own safety. Brittles is only a few days away from retirement and Olivia has caught the eye of two of the young officers in the Company, Lt. Flint Cohill and 2nd Lt. Ross Pennell. She's taken to wearing a yellow ribbon in her hair, a sign that she has a beau in the Cavalry, but refuses to say for whom she is wearing it.

Starring: John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar, Ben Johnson, Harry Carey, Jr.
Directed by: John Ford
Release date: 1949-10-22
6.

The Heiress

5.0

Dull and plain Catherine lives with her emotionally distant father, Dr. Sloper, in 1840s New York. Her days are empty -- filled with little more than needlepoint. Enter handsome Morris Townsend, a dashing social climber with his eye on the spinster's heart and substantial inheritance.

Starring: Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift, Ralph Richardson, Miriam Hopkins, Vanessa Brown
Directed by: William Wyler
Release date: 1949-10-06
7.

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

5.0

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.

Starring: Bing Crosby, Basil Rathbone, Eric Blore, J. Pat O'Malley, John McLeish
Directed by: James Algar, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney
Release date: 1949-10-05
8.

Twelve O'Clock High

4.8

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. --KC Hunt

Starring: Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill, Millard Mitchell, Dean Jagger
Directed by: Henry King
Release date: 1949-12-21
9.

On the Town

4.7

Three sailors - Gabey, Chip and Ozzie - let loose on a 24-hour pass in New York and the Big Apple will never be the same! Gabey falls head over heels for "Miss Turnstiles of the Month" (he thinks she's a high society deb when she's really a 'cooch dancer at Coney Island); innocent Chip gets highjacked (literally) by a lady cab driver; and Ozzie becomes the object of interest of a gorgeous anthropologist who thinks he's the perfect example of a "prehistoric man". Wonderful music and terrific shots of New York at its best.

Starring: Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Jules Munshin, Vera-Ellen, Betty Garrett
Directed by: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Release date: 1949-12-08
10.

All the King's Men

4.6

All The King's Men is the story of the rise of politician Willie Stark from a rural county seat to the governor's mansion.

Starring: Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, Joanne Dru, John Derek, Mercedes McCambridge
Directed by: Robert Rossen
Release date: 1949-11-08
11.

Intruder in the Dust

4.1

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.

Starring: David Brian, Claude Jarman Jr., Juano Hernández, Porter Hall, Elizabeth Patterson
Directed by: Clarence Brown
Release date: 1949-11-22
12.

The Road Runner Show

4.1
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The desert in the U.S. southwest is the natural habitat of the Road Runner, a high-octane, cartoon bird who runs so fast on the desert's roadways that he leaves a trail of flame or causes pavement to ripple, distort, or roll up like a carpet. This speedy bird is unrelentingly chased by a hungry coyote named Wile E., who, though believing himself to be a genius, repeatedly fails to catch the Road Runner with his endless supply of ACME Corporation gadgets, weapons, and other paraphernalia. Episodes of this television series contain three theatrical cartoons, one with the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, one with Tweety Bird and Sylvester Cat, and one with other characters from Warner Brothers' cartoon classics.
Starring: Paul Julian, June Foray
Directed by: Mel Blanc
Release date: 1949-02-01
13.

High Diving Hare

4.0
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: High Diving Hare is a 1948-produced Warner Brothers Looney Tunes theatrical cartoon short starring Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam. Released to theaters on April 30, 1949, the short is an expansion of a gag from Stage Door Cartoon, which was also directed by Friz Freleng.
Starring: Mel Blanc
Directed by: Friz Freleng
Release date: 1949-04-30
14.

Thieves' Highway

3.9

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.

Starring: Richard Conte, Valentina Cortese, Lee J. Cobb, Barbara Lawrence, Jack Oakie
Directed by: Jules Dassin
Release date: 1949-10-10
15.

The Set-Up

3.9
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Stoker Thompson is a 35-year-old has-been boxer. His once-promising fighting career has come crashing to the end. Tiny, Stoker's manager, is sure he will continue to lose fights, so he takes money for a "dive" from a mobster, but is so sure that Thompson will lose that he doesn't tell the boxer about the set-up. At the beginning of the last round of the vicious boxing match he learns of the fix.
Starring: Robert Ryan, Audrey Totter, George Tobias, Alan Baxter, Wallace Ford
Directed by: Robert Wise
Release date: 1949-04-02
16.

The Passionate Friends

3.9

A woman is torn between the love of her life, who is married to someone else, and her older husband.

Starring: Ann Todd, Claude Rains, Trevor Howard, Betty Ann Davies, Isabel Dean
Directed by: David Lean
Release date: 1949-01-26
17.

Heavenly Puss

3.9
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During yet another pursuit of Jerry, Tom ends up being killed when an upright piano slides down the stairs and slams into him. He meets a feline St. Peter at the gate of the Heavenly Express, but is initially turned away due to his constant torture. However, he will be allowed onto the train if he can have Jerry sign a letter of forgiveness within one hour. If not, it's Hell for Tom. Will he go up or down?
Starring: Billy Bletcher
Directed by: Joseph Barbera, William Hanna
Release date: 1949-07-09
18.

Little Women

3.9

Louisa May Alcott's autobiographical account of her life with her three sisters in Concord Mass in the 1860s. With their father fighting in the civil war, the sisters: Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth are at home with their mother - a very outspoken women for her time. The story is of how the sisters grow up, find love and find their place in the world.

Starring: June Allyson, Peter Lawford, Margaret O'Brien, Elizabeth Taylor, Janet Leigh
Directed by: Mervyn LeRoy
Release date: 1949-04-01
19.

Rabbit Hood

3.9
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While unwittingly trespassing in the royal gardens in search of carrots, Bugs runs afoul of the Sheriff of Nottingham, who tries to apprehend him for poaching. The royal grounds are, in fact, amply posted with "No Poaching" signs (one reads "Not even an egg"), but Bugs either didn't see or ignored them. Of course, Bugs sets out to endlessly turn the tables on the hapless sheriff, at one point talking him into building a six-room Tudor home in the middle of the King's gardens. The dueling pair are periodically interrupted by a fat, dopey Little John who proclaims, each time he appears, "Don't you worry never fear, Robin Hood will soon be here". In the end, the merriest of merry men does appear and it's...it's...oh, see it yourself. Bugs goes in disguise as the King, who then knights the Sheriff ("Arise, Sir Loin of Beef...").
Starring: Mel Blanc, Errol Flynn
Directed by: Chuck Jones
Release date: 1949-12-24
20.

Criss Cross

3.9

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.

Starring: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea, Stephen McNally, Esy Morales
Directed by: Robert Siodmak
Release date: 1949-01-12

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