Best War Movies of 1949
Twelve O'Clock High
In 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.
The film concentrates on the camaraderie and the divisions between the troops as they ready for the big offensive. Told in a taut narrative, the men of the 101st, led by Van Johnson, wait out the winter in the Ardennes forest to confront the German army in what would be the last major offensive of World War II. The men are demoralized and trapped, with no hope of support from the Allies.
The Hasty Heart
It's 1945, Burma, the day the war is over! For many this means they've survived and will be going home. But not for everyone. A Scottish soldier, Corporal Lachlan "Lachie" MacLachlan is the victim of a wound to the lower back on this day. He's moved to a M.A.S.H. unit and undergoes surgery. As time goes by he begins to recover and watches, in dismay as soldiers pack up and head for home. The doctors have told him he needs to remain "for observation".
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.
I Was a Male War Bride
Captain Henri Rochard is a French officer assigned to work with Lieut. Catherine Gates. Through a wacky series of misadventures, they fall in love and marry. When the war ends, Capt. Rochard tries to return to America with the other female war brides. Zany gender-confusing antics follow.
Sword in the Desert
First American film about the conflict between Jewish nationalists and the British in the creation of the state of Israel.
After learning the finer points of carrier aviation in the 1920s, career officer Jonathan Scott and his pals spend the next two decades promoting the superiority of naval air power. But military and political "red tape" continually frustrate their efforts, prompting Scott to even consider leaving the Navy for a more lucrative civilian job. Then the world enters a second World War and Scott finally gets the opportunity to prove to Washington the valuable role aircraft carriers could play in winning the conflict. But what will it cost him and his comrades personally?
Home of the Brave
A sensitive, educated black man's World War II-time problems. This is essentially the duplicate of his peace-time problems which are pointed up in a flashback of his life, and primarily of his war-time adventures with four white soldiers on a dangerous reconnaissance mission on a Japanese-held island.
A British coastal command pilot is charged with neglect when it is thought that he has sunk a British submarine rather than a German U-boat. Unable to live with his actions, he volunteers for a deadly mission. His girlfriend meanwhile tries to prove that he is innocent.
The Lost People
Set in a German theatre after the Second World War, two British soldiers are holding a disparate and hostile band of refugees in this theatre, prior to returning them to their homelands. The soldiers have difficulty dealing with the rivalries between Serb and Croat, resistance fighter and collaborator, Pole and Russian, etc. The threat of plague briefly unites them, but eventually even this wears off and the refugees unite in their hostility to the British.