Year by year: 1949

by cafg-0 | created - 13 Nov 2016 | updated - 6 months ago | Public

The best 40 films of 1949

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1. The Heiress (1949)

Not Rated | 115 min | Drama, Romance

A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift, Ralph Richardson, Miriam Hopkins

Votes: 12,281

2. Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama

In post-war Italy, a working-class man's bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it.

Director: Vittorio De Sica | Stars: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell, Elena Altieri

Votes: 132,826 | Gross: $0.33M

3. A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Romance

A letter is addressed to three wives from their "best friend" Addie Ross, announcing that she is running away with one of their husbands...but she does not say which one.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern, Kirk Douglas

Votes: 7,821

4. Paisan (1946)

Not Rated | 120 min | Drama, War

The language barrier has tragic consequences in a series of unrelated stories set during the Italian Campaign of WWII.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Carmela Sazio, Gar Moore, William Tubbs, Robert Van Loon

Votes: 6,570

5. Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Not Rated | 106 min | Comedy, Crime

A distant poor relative of the Duke of D'Ascoyne plots to inherit the title by murdering the eight other heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession.

Director: Robert Hamer | Stars: Dennis Price, Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson, Joan Greenwood

Votes: 32,633

6. All the King's Men (1949)

Approved | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir

The rise and fall of a corrupt politician, who makes his friends richer and retains power by dint of a populist appeal.

Director: Robert Rossen | Stars: Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, Joanne Dru, John Derek

Votes: 12,275

7. The Fallen Idol (1948)

Approved | 95 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

88 Metascore

A butler working in a foreign embassy in London falls under suspicion when his wife accidentally falls to her death, the only witness being an impressionable young boy.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Ralph Richardson, Michèle Morgan, Sonia Dresdel, Bobby Henrey

Votes: 7,215 | Gross: $0.34M

8. White Heat (1949)

Not Rated | 114 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien, Margaret Wycherly

Votes: 26,236

9. Late Spring (1949)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama

Noriko is twenty-seven years old and still living with her widowed father. Everybody tries to talk her into marrying, but Noriko wants to stay at home caring for her father.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chishû Ryû, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka, Haruko Sugimura

Votes: 12,664

10. On the Town (1949)

Passed | 98 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

71 Metascore

Three sailors on a day of shore leave in New York City look for fun and romance before their twenty-four hours are up.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly | Stars: Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett, Ann Miller

Votes: 14,966

11. The Fountainhead (1949)

Approved | 114 min | Drama, Romance

An uncompromising, visionary architect struggles to maintain his integrity and individualism despite personal, professional and economic pressures to conform to popular standards.

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal, Raymond Massey, Kent Smith

Votes: 8,716

12. Stray Dog (1949)

Not Rated | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

During a sweltering summer, a rookie homicide detective tries to track down his stolen Colt pistol.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Awaji, Eiko Miyoshi

Votes: 13,671

13. Intruder in the Dust (1949)

Approved | 87 min | Crime, Drama

In 1940s Mississippi, two teenage boys and an elderly woman combine forces to prevent a miscarriage of justice and clear a black man of a murder charge.

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: David Brian, Claude Jarman Jr., Juano Hernandez, Porter Hall

Votes: 1,792

14. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)

Passed | 104 min | Western

Captain Nathan Brittles, on the eve of retirement, takes out a last patrol to stop an impending massive Indian attack. Encumbered by women who must be evacuated, Brittles finds his mission imperiled.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar, Ben Johnson

Votes: 14,675

15. House of Strangers (1949)

Approved | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

After years in prison, Max promises revenge on his brothers for their betrayal. His lover Irene and memories of his past yield him a broader perspective.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Susan Hayward, Richard Conte, Luther Adler

Votes: 2,635

16. Champion (1949)

Approved | 99 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Sport

Boxer Midge Kelly rises to fame...mainly by stepping on other people.

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Arthur Kennedy, Marilyn Maxwell, Paul Stewart

Votes: 3,330

17. The Quiet Duel (1949)

95 min | Drama

A surgeon gets syphilis from a patient when he cuts himself during an operation. The doctor's life is destroyed, but unlike the patient, he doesn't destroy others along with him.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Miki Sanjô, Kenjirô Uemura

Votes: 2,625

18. The Set-Up (1949)

Approved | 73 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Sport

Because aging boxer Bill Thompson always lost his past fights, his corrupt manager, without telling Thompson, takes bribes from a betting gangster, to ensure Thompson's pre-arranged dive-loss in the next match.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Robert Ryan, Audrey Totter, George Tobias, Alan Baxter

Votes: 7,108

19. Caught (1949)

Approved | 88 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

An L.A. department store ambitious young model gets her wish of marrying a millionaire but she eventually discovers that rich life isn't always a happy one.

Director: Max Ophüls | Stars: James Mason, Barbara Bel Geddes, Robert Ryan, Frank Ferguson

Votes: 2,980

20. Madame Bovary (1949)

Passed | 114 min | Drama, Romance

A provincial doctor's wife's romantic illusions about life and social status lead her to betray her naive husband, take on lovers and run up ruinous debts.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Jennifer Jones, James Mason, Van Heflin, Louis Jourdan

Votes: 2,210

21. The Reckless Moment (1949)

Not Rated | 82 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

After discovering the dead body of her teenage daughter's lover, a housewife takes desperate measures to protect her family from scandal.

Director: Max Ophüls | Stars: James Mason, Joan Bennett, Geraldine Brooks, Henry O'Neill

Votes: 3,787

22. The Window (1949)

Approved | 73 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller

To avoid the heat of a sweltering summer night a 9-year-old Manhattan boy decides to sleep on the fire escape and witnesses a murder, but no one will believe him.

Director: Ted Tetzlaff | Stars: Bobby Driscoll, Barbara Hale, Arthur Kennedy, Paul Stewart

Votes: 3,171

23. Edward, My Son (1949)

Not Rated | 112 min | Drama, Romance

Londoners Arnold and Evelyn Boult had high hopes for the life of their son, Edward. His relatively short life ended up being one of privilege but irresponsibility. His life ended at age 23 ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Deborah Kerr, Ian Hunter, James Donald

Votes: 1,073

24. Twelve O'Clock High (1949)

Not Rated | 132 min | Drama, War

A hard-as-nails general takes over a bomber unit suffering from low morale and whips them into fighting shape.

Director: Henry King | Stars: Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill, Millard Mitchell

Votes: 11,627

25. Passport to Pimlico (1949)

Approved | 84 min | Comedy

Residents of a part of London declare independence when they discover an old treaty. This leads to the need for a "Passport to Pimlico".

Director: Henry Cornelius | Stars: Stanley Holloway, Betty Warren, Barbara Murray, Paul Dupuis

Votes: 3,724

26. Too Late for Tears (1949)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Through a fluke circumstance a ruthless woman stumbles across a suitcase filled with $60,000, and she is determined to hold onto it even if it means murder.

Director: Byron Haskin | Stars: Lizabeth Scott, Don DeFore, Dan Duryea, Arthur Kennedy

Votes: 3,248

27. Yellow Sky (1948)

Approved | 98 min | Crime, Western

A pistol-packing tomboy and her grandfather discover a band of bank robbing bandits taking refuge in the neighboring ghost town.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Gregory Peck, Anne Baxter, Richard Widmark, Robert Arthur

Votes: 4,007

28. Beyond the Forest (1949)

Approved | 97 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

Resentful of her small-town life, a married woman schemes to run off with a rich businessman.

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Bette Davis, Joseph Cotten, David Brian, Ruth Roman

Votes: 2,023

29. Battleground (1949)

Approved | 118 min | Action, Drama, History

True tale about a squad of the 101st Airborne Division coping with being trapped by the Germans in the besieged city of Bastogne, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge in December of 1944.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Van Johnson, John Hodiak, Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy

Votes: 6,207 | Gross: $10.29M

30. Knock on Any Door (1949)

Approved | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

An attorney defends a hoodlum of murder, using the oppressiveness of the slums to appeal to the court.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, John Derek, George Macready, Allene Roberts

Votes: 2,789

31. It Happens Every Spring (1949)

Approved | 87 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi, Sport

A scientist discovers a formula that makes a baseball which is repelled by wood. He promptly sets out to exploit his discovery.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: Ray Milland, Jean Peters, Paul Douglas, Ed Begley

Votes: 1,476

32. The Passionate Friends (1949)

Approved | 95 min | Drama

The Passionate Friends were in love when young, but separated, and she married an older man. Then Mary Justin (Ann Todd) meets Steven Stratton (Trevor Howard) again and they have one last ... See full summary »

Director: David Lean | Stars: Ann Todd, Trevor Howard, Claude Rains, Betty Ann Davies

Votes: 1,995

33. Pinky (1949)

Approved | 102 min | Drama

A light-skinned black woman falls in love with a white doctor, though he is unaware of her true race.

Directors: Elia Kazan, John Ford | Stars: Jeanne Crain, Ethel Barrymore, Ethel Waters, William Lundigan

Votes: 2,469 | Gross: $4.20M

34. Hour of Glory (1949)

Not Rated | 106 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

As the Germans drop explosive booby-traps on Britain in 1943, the embittered expert who'll have to disarm them fights a private battle with alcohol.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: David Farrar, Jack Hawkins, Kathleen Byron, Leslie Banks

Votes: 1,828

35. Lost Boundaries (1949)

Not Rated | 99 min | Drama

This story is a true account of the lives of Scott and Marsha Carter. Having graduated from medical school, Scott Carter, a fair-skinned African American, marries Marsha Mitchell and moves ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred L. Werker | Stars: Beatrice Pearson, Mel Ferrer, Susan Douglas Rubes, Robert A. Dunn

Votes: 353

36. Prince of Foxes (1949)

Approved | 107 min | Adventure, Drama, History

An unscrupulous agent for the Borgias suffers a change of heart when asked to betray a noble count and his much younger, very beautiful wife.

Director: Henry King | Stars: Tyrone Power, Orson Welles, Wanda Hendrix, Marina Berti

Votes: 1,405 | Gross: $2.55M

37. Little Women (1949)

Approved | 122 min | Drama, Family, Romance

61 Metascore

A group of sisters experience life's difficulties and its pleasures while growing up in nineteenth-century America.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: June Allyson, Peter Lawford, Margaret O'Brien, Elizabeth Taylor

Votes: 5,837

38. Come to the Stable (1949)

Approved | 94 min | Comedy, Drama

Two nuns arrive unannounced in the small New England town of Bethlehem, where they recruit various townspeople to help them build a children's hospital.

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: Loretta Young, Celeste Holm, Hugh Marlowe, Elsa Lanchester

Votes: 996

39. The Great Madcap (1949)

92 min | Comedy

Buñuel's first "comeback" film since "L'Age d'Or" in 1930 (he made only a few musicals in the interim), "El Gran Calavera" concerns a family's attempts to change the patriarch's somewhat ... See full summary »

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Fernando Soler, Rosario Granados, Andrés Soler, Rubén Rojo

Votes: 1,027

40. Jolson Sings Again (1949)

96 min | Biography, Music

In this sequel to The Jolson Story, we pick up the singer's career just as he has returned to the stage after a premature retirement. But his wife has left him and the appeal of the ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Levin | Stars: Larry Parks, Barbara Hale, William Demarest, Ludwig Donath

Votes: 552



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