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.
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.
Act of Violence
A former prisoner of war, Frank Enley is hailed as a hero in his California town. However, Frank actually aided his Nazi captors, and he closely guards this secret. Frank's shameful past comes back to visit him when fellow survivor Joe Parkson emerges, intent on making the turncoat pay for his betrayal. As Joe closes in on Frank, the traitor goes into hiding, abandoning his wife, Edith, who has no clue about her husband's wartime transgressions.
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.
In London, psychiatrist Clive Riordan suspects that his cool and polished wife, Storm, is having yet another affair. Abandoning his weekly card game, Clive returns home to find Storm with her latest lover, American Bill Kronin. To Storm's horror, Clive overpowers Bill and takes him away at gunpoint, then hides him in a secret location and taunts Storm with Bruce's condition. Scotland Yard gets involved when Storm contacts them about her missing dog.
The Reckless Moment
A mother attempts to protect her murderous daughter.
Beyond the Forest
The wife (Bette Davis) of a Wisconsin doctor (Joseph Cotten) kills a witness to her affair with an influential man (David Brian) from Chicago.
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 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.