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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 1949 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:

  • Julie AndrewsThe Singing Princess
  • Yul BrynnerPort of New York
  • Richard BurtonWomen of Dolwyn
  • Tony CurtisCity Across the River
  • Jerry LewisMy Friend Irma
  • Liza MinnelliIn the Good Old Summertime
  • Jeanne MoreauLast Love
  • Philippe NoiretGigi
  • Max von SydowOnly a Mother


Top-grossing Films

1.Samson and DelilahParamount$28,800,000
3.Jolson Sings Again
Sands of Iwo Jima
5.I Was a Male War Bride20th Century Fox$4,100,000
6.Twelve O’Clock High20th Century Fox$4,025,000
7.A Letter to Three Wives20th Century Fox$3,800,000
8.The HeiressParamount$3,700,000
9.Pinky20th Century Fox$3,600,000
10.All the King’s MenColumbia$3,500,000
11.Little WomenMGM$3,500,000
12.Look for the Silver Lining20th Century Fox$3,250,000


Academy Award Winners

Best Picture: All the King’s Men – Rossen, Columbia

Best Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz – A Letter to Three Wives

Best Actor: Broderick Crawford – All the King’s Men

Best Actress: Olivia de HavillandThe Heiress

Best Supporting Actor: Dean Jagger – Twelve O’Clock High

Best Supporting Actress: Mercedes McCambridge – All the King’s Men


Top Ten Money Making Stars

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


Among Those Who Died In 1949:

The Greatest Films of 1949




Poster for the movie "The Accused"

© 1949 Paramount Pictures − All right reserved.

The Accused

D: William Dieterle

A film noir based upon June Truesdell’s 1947 novel, “Be Still, My Love.” The dramatic psychological crime thriller opens with psychology professor Dr. Wilma Tuttle (Loretta Young), a prim and proper teacher at a small Southern California college, at a Pacific Coast Highway beach in Malibu one evening. After hitching a ride home with a trucker Jack Hunter (Mickey Knox), Wilma sleeps restlessly and in the morning, she recalls – in flashback – what had occurred the previous day. She had been fending off the flirtatious romantic advances of one of her students, handsome Bill Perry (Douglas Dick), a “bad boy” who comes from a dysfunctional family. As they parked next to an isolated beach cliff, he changed into a bathing suit and then became sexually aroused (he called her a “little firecracker”) – and attempted to rape her. She resisted, picked up a tire iron, and unintentionally beat him to death. To cover up the crime, she tossed his body over the cliff into the ocean, making it appear that Bill was diving into the water from cliff’s edge. The overwhelmingly-distraught Wilma is anxious and guilt-ridden about the murder. She learns from Bill’s guardian, lawyer Warren Ford (Robert Cummings), that Susan Duval (Suzanne Dalbert), a foreign exchange student in the same class who had unrequited love for Bill, claims (falsely) that he had impregnated her, in order to get his attention. When Bill’s body is found, skilled investigating detective Lt. Ted Dorgan (Wendell Corey) concludes that it was murder, and Susan becomes the prime suspect. To allay suspicion, Wilma begins to date Warren (and soon, they become engaged), and she is fortunate that the trucker couldn’t identify her. Forensics lab technician Dr. Romley (Sam Jaffe) concludes accurately that the killer had struck Bill on the head with a lethal blow, and then faked Bill’s drowning. Wilma is having frequent anxiety attacks and outbursts. Detective Dorgan suspects that Wilma is the murderer – he knows she had copied a letter to Bill (that she had put on her door, but the janitor had thrown away) about cancelling a date to see him, in order to help establish her innocence. He also knows that Bill’s last words were that he was going to meet with a “cyclothymiac cutie” – a phrase taken from one of Wilma’s exam questions on personality about a chronic mood disorder. Wilma knows that Bill had described her as a repressed, prudish female in the exam, and she fears that she will be connected to Bill’s death. With a subpoena to appear in court, Wilma confesses to the killing after re-enacting the murder scene. She is arrested, and Warren elects to defend her – arguing that the crime was committed in self-defense. In his closing argument, he convincingly argues that fearful Wilma’s only crime was the cover-up. Detective Dorgan realizes that the circumstances of the case, defended by the love-struck lawyer, would fully exonerate her.


Poster for the movie "Adam's Rib"