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DISCLAIMER: All film criticism is extremely subjective and there is no such thing as the definitive list of the Greatest (English-language) Films. Great Films can't be measured scientifically because greatness is extremely subjective. Just because we like a film doesn't mean that you will like it as well. Please feel free to leave us a comment with the films that you think are the greatest which we have not included on our list.

Not only was 1948 a big year for movies but it was also a big year for actors making their film debuts and the deaths of some truly great talent. Here is a snap shot of the American film industry.


Making Their Film Debuts:

  •     Pat Buttram – The Strawberry Roan

  •     Beau Bridges – No Minor Vices

  •     Montgomery CliftRed River

  •     Doris Day – Romance on the High Seas

  •     Laurence Harvey – House of Darkness

  •     Rock Hudson – Fighter Squadron

  •     Christopher Lee – Corridor of Mirrors

  •     Irene Papas – Fallen Angels

  •    Debbie Reynolds – June Bride


Top-grossing Films

1.The Red ShoesEagle-Lion$5,000,000
2.The Three MusketeersMGM$4,507,000
3.Red RiverUnited Artists$4,500,000
4.The Treasure of the Sierra MadreWarner Bros.$4,307,000
5.When My Baby Smiles at Me20th Century Fox$4,200,000
6.Easter ParadeMGM$4,100,000
7.Johnny Belinda
The Snake Pit
Warner Bros.
20th Century Fox
8.Joan of ArcRKO$4,000,000
9.Adventures of Don JuanWarner Bros.$3,700,000
11.The Loves of CarmenColumbia$3,395,000
12.Key LargoWarner Bros.$3,289,000
13.That Lady in Ermine20th Century Fox$3,250,000
14.The Emperor WaltzParamount$3,209,000
15.The SearchMGM$3,191,000
16.Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream HouseRKO$3,140,000
17.HamletRank Film$3,075,000
18.State of the UnionMGM$2,745,000
19.A Foreign AffairParamount$2,450,000
20.Sorry, Wrong NumberParamount$2,200,000

(*) After theatrical re-issue(s)


Academy Award Winners

Best Picture: Hamlet – Two Cities Films – the first British film to win the American Academy Award for Best Picture

Best Director: John Huston – The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Best Actor: Laurence OlivierHamlet

Best Actress: Jane WymanJohnny Belinda

Best Supporting Actor: Walter HustonThe Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Best Supporting Actress: Claire TrevorKey Largo


Top Ten Money Making Stars

1.Bing Crosby
2.Betty Grable
3. (tie)Bud Abbott
Lou Costello
4.Gary Cooper
5.Bob Hope
6.Humphrey Bogart
7.Clark Gable
8.Cary Grant
9.Spencer Tracy
10.Ingrid Bergman


Among Those Who Died In 1948:

The Greatest Films of 1948



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An Act of Murder

D: Michael Gordon

The film’s screenplay was adapted from Ernst Lothar’s novel “The Mills of God” – it is a poignant, melodrama about a controversial topic. Strict and unyielding small-town Pennsylvania Judge Calvin Cooke (Fredric March) is known as “Old Man Maximum” for his reputation of following “the letter of the law” and delivering harsh sentences. He is devoted to wife Catherine (or “Cathy”) (Florence Eldridge) and their volatile law student daughter Ellie Cooke (Geraldine Brooks). However, he does not approve of the relationship Ellie is having with young defense attorney David Douglas (Edmond O’Brien), who interprets the law more liberally. Cooke’s wife has increasing symptoms of blurred vision and frequent severe headaches. The family physician Doctor Walter Morrison (Stanley Ridges) diagnoses a fatal brain tumor. He keep the news secret from Cathy but not from Calvin. During a weekend outing with Calvin, Cathy discovers her prescription for toxic Demarine pain pills and the doctor’s description of her illness hidden in her husband’s suitcase, but did not reveal what she has found. During the trip home by car, after stopping at a roadside gas station garage and cafe, Cathy collapses. The Cooke’s car crashes through an embankment on a mountainous road – and Cathy is killed, while Calvin was injured. Afterwards, he implores the DA to indict him for murdering his wife – he claims he intentionally drove off the road during the raging storm to cause the crash – and set up the mercy killing (or euthanasia) to relieve her suffering. Acting as his own lawyer, Calvin pleads guilty of murder before Judge Ogden (John McIntire), who appoints, under Cooke’s protest, David Douglas as Cooke’s lawyer at the sentencing hearing. Douglas orders an autopsy – the results revealed that Cathy died of a pain-killer drug overdose before the crash. Witnesses corroborate her story that she filled the prescription at the hotel with a pharmacist, and took the pills at the cafe before the crash. The judge dismisses the charges, ruling that Cooke is legally innocent, but his moral intentions are guilty. He is saved by the unforgiving legal code that declared she was already dead. Cooke had a change of heart about his judicial attitudes, promising to be more lenient, compassionate, and respectful of moral circumstances and per