30 Favorite Films of 1949

by Blue_Leaf | created - 20 May 2015 | updated - 14 Mar 2018 | Public
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1. Act of Violence (1949)

Passed | 82 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller

An embittered, vengeful POW stalks his former commanding officer who betrayed his men's planned escape attempt from a Nazi prison camp.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Van Heflin, Robert Ryan, Janet Leigh, Mary Astor

Votes: 4,090

2. Adam's Rib (1949)

Not Rated | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Domestic and professional tensions mount when a husband and wife work as opposing lawyers in a case involving a woman who shot her husband.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Holliday, Tom Ewell

Votes: 18,162

Top 1000

3. 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: 12,185

4. 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: 6,175 | Gross: $10.29M

5. Criss Cross (1949)

Not Rated | 84 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

An armored truck driver and his lovely ex-wife conspire with a gang to have his own truck robbed on the route.

Director: Robert Siodmak | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea, Stephen McNally

Votes: 6,451

6. 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: 8,679

7. 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: 12,184

Top 1000

8. 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: 1,791

9. I Shot Jesse James (1949)

81 min | Drama, History, Romance

Bob Ford murders his best friend Jesse James in order to obtain a pardon that will free him to marry his girlfriend but is plagued by guilt and self-disgust.

Director: Samuel Fuller | Stars: Preston Foster, Barbara Britton, John Ireland, Reed Hadley

Votes: 1,781

10. 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: 1,783

11. 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: 32,408

Top 1000

12. 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: 12,481

Top 1000

13. 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: 7,769

14. 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: 2,203

15. 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: 1,983

16. 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: 2,454 | Gross: $4.20M

17. The Rocking Horse Winner (1949)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, Fantasy

A young boy receives a rocking horse for Christmas and soon learns that he is able to pick the winning horse at the races.

Director: Anthony Pelissier | Stars: Valerie Hobson, John Howard Davies, Ronald Squire, John Mills

Votes: 967

18. Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)

Approved | 100 min | Action, Drama, Romance

A dramatization of the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima.

Director: Allan Dwan | Stars: John Wayne, John Agar, Adele Mara, Forrest Tucker

Votes: 8,808

19. The Secret Garden (1949)

Approved | 92 min | Drama, Family

A girl is sent to live with her uncle on his estate when her parents die. There she discovers much intrigue, family history and secrets and personal baggage. In particular, a screaming child and...a secret garden.

Director: Fred M. Wilcox | Stars: Margaret O'Brien, Herbert Marshall, Dean Stockwell, Gladys Cooper

Votes: 2,394

20. 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: 7,031

21. 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: 14,540

22. Le Silence de la Mer (1949)

Not Rated | 87 min | Drama, Romance, War

1941 in a small town in Nazi occupied France. Against the will of its elderly male and his adult niece residents, the Nazis commandeer a house for one of their officers, Lt. Werner von ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville | Stars: Howard Vernon, Nicole Stéphane, Jean-Marie Robain, Ami Aaröe

Votes: 3,537

Top 1000

23. The Stratton Story (1949)

Passed | 106 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

Star major league pitcher Monty Stratton loses a leg in a hunting accident, but becomes determined to leave the game on his own terms.

Director: Sam Wood | Stars: James Stewart, June Allyson, Frank Morgan, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 2,463

24. 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: 13,543

25. Thieves' Highway (1949)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller

A war-veteran-turned-truck driver attempts to avenge the crippling and robbing of his father at the hands of an amoral produce scofflaw.

Director: Jules Dassin | Stars: Richard Conte, Valentina Cortese, Lee J. Cobb, Barbara Lawrence

Votes: 4,852

26. The Third Man (1949)

Not Rated | 93 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard

Votes: 148,122 | Gross: $0.45M

Top 1000

27. 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: 11,579

28. Whisky Galore (1949)

Approved | 80 min | Comedy, Crime

Scottish islanders try to plunder 50,000 cases of whisky from a stranded ship.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick | Stars: Basil Radford, Joan Greenwood, Catherine Lacey, Bruce Seton

Votes: 4,574

29. 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. Shortly after the plan takes place, events take a crazy turn.

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

Votes: 25,392

Top 1000

30. 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: 3,139



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