Best Thriller Movies of 1949
The Third Man
In postwar Vienna, Austria, Holly Martins, a writer of pulp Westerns, arrives penniless as a guest of his childhood chum Harry Lime, only to learn he has died. 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 Major Calloway, and falling head-over-heels for Harry's grief-stricken lover, Anna.
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.
Expecting the usual loss, a boxing manager takes bribes from a betting gangster without telling his fighter.
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.
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.
Beyond the Forest
Rosa, the self-serving wife of a small-town doctor, gets a better offer when a wealthy big-city man insists she get a divorce and marry him instead. Soon she demonstrates she is capable of rather deplorable acts -- including murder.
A British psychiatrist devises a devilish revenge plot against his wife's lover.
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.
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.
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.
The Reckless Moment
A mother attempts to protect her murderous daughter.
The Small Back Room
At the height of World War II, the Germans begin dropping a new type of booby-trapped bomb on England. Sammy Rice, a highly-skilled but haunted bomb-disposal officer, must overcome his personal demons to defeat this new threat.
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.
It was Leonora Eames' childhood dream come true. She had married Smith Ohlrig, a man worth millions. But her innocent dream became a nightmare once she realizes the truth about her husband - he is power mad and insane! Since he will not grant her a divorce, she leaves her life of luxury on Long Island and goes to work as a receptionist in an impoverished doctor's office in NYC's lower east side. After Smith deceives her into a temporary reconciliation, Leonora becomes pregnant. By the time she realizes she is expecting, she and one of the doctors, Larry Quinada (James Mason), have fallen in love. But she is again lured backed to her wealthy husband to give her child financial security. Her sadistic husband is hell-bent on keeping her and her child prisoner. What will happen to Leonora?
After surviving a murder attempt, an auto magnate goes into hiding so his wife can pay for the crime.
United States Federal agent Rigby travels to the Central American island Carlotta to investigate a stolen aircraft engines smuggling racket.
Rope of Sand
Story of a South African diamond mine watched over by a sadistic policeman tasked with looking out for smugglers.
A hypnotist uses his powers for revenge against King Louis XV's court.
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.
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.
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.
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
Set on Blackpool’s Golden Mile, Jim (Douglass Montgomery), a once promising scientist, sets up in business as a patent medicine man selling hair tonic at the fair with his ex-army colleague Dan (Ronald Shiner). Following a fight with local hoods over pitch spaces, Jim falls for Jane (Hazel Court), the girl on a nearby candy floss stall. The two begin dating but Jim fails to mention he is already married.
Man on the Run
An Army deserter, still a fugitive in Post-War Britain, wanders into a pawn-shop robbery and finds himself wanted for murder. He meets a war widow who helps him elude the police while he looks for the real criminals.
The Interrupted Journey
When John North, a budding author, pulls the communication cord of a late night train that is taking him away on a weekend with his publishers wife, he sets in motion a series of events that lead to a train crash, a murder and a police man hunt, but all is not what it seems.
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.
A prim psychology professor fights to hide a murder she committed in self-defense.
An escaped con kidnaps the people he thinks put him behind bars.
Johnny Stool Pigeon
A federal agent infiltrates a crime syndicate.
A loosely structured comedy allowing for a series of vignettes based around an ancient coaching inn. The story was adapted from the 1929 novel by Scottish writer Erik Linklater.
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.
Bookkeeper Sam Wilson learns from his boss, Malcolm Jarvis, that he is losing his job because the company is closing down. Jarvis then makes a strange proposition, saying he intends to commit suicide but wants Sam to make it look like a murder, in order for his wife and son to inherit Jarvis's life insurance. Sam declines, but when he goes to see Jarvis and finds his dead body, he reluctantly goes along with the scheme.
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.
Messing with a mobster's girlfriend gets a lawyer framed for murder.
Take One False Step
Catherine Sykes disappears after a midnight drive with Professor Andrew Gentling . When she's presumed murdered, his friend Martha convinces him that he's a prime suspect and should investigate before he's arrested.
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.
Philip Ford's crime thriller stars Lloyd Bridges as a city attorney who comes to the dawning realization that a jewelry heist may be behind the discovery of a dead body in the park -- and that the culprit may be one of the town's leading citizens (Ray Collins). Unfortunately, his investigation is hampered by his girlfriend and ex-secretary (Lorna Gray), who could very well be in cahoots with the bad guys.
The Man on the Eiffel Tower
A down-and-out student is hired to kill a wealthy woman. When someone else is suspected of the crime, the student taunts police until they realize that they may have to wrong man.
New York Assistant District Attorney Howard Malloy is working hard on investigation about a series of murders related to an extremist group.
Celia: The Sinister Affair of Poor Aunt Nora
A private detective (Bruce Lester) and an aspiring actress (Hy Hazell) join forces to thwart a man's scheme to murder his wealthy--and much older--wife. British thriller, directed by Francis Searle.
A California railroad agent (William Eythe) hunts two brothers for murder and robbing a payroll express.
The Man from Yesterday
A psychic goes to the home of a woman who wants him to contact her dead fiancée, even though she has already remarried. Later, she ends up murdered! Soon the psychic points the finger at her jealous husband.
A disfigured woman is helped by a talented composer to recover her face with plastic surgery. Then he discovers that she's a beautiful woman and a talented singer.