Best Picture Nominees: 1949

For more information about 1949, see The Learning Network's Fact Monster.

All the King's Men (Robert Rossen)
Won Best Picture
This is the story of the rise of politician Willie Stark (Broderick Crawford) from a rural county seat to the spotlight. Along the way, he loses his initial innocence and becomes just as corrupt as those he assaulted.

The Heiress (William Wyler)
Nominated Best Picture
Based on the Henry James novel, Washington Square, Olivia de Havilland portrays 'The Heiress', Catherine Sloper--a shy and backwards young woman who lives with her father, Dr. Austin Sloper (Ralph Richardson), in 1890's New York. By all accounts, Catherine's mother was a beautiful and graceful creature with the charm of a queen. Catherine never met her mother, since she died while in childbirth, but her father often reminds her of all the things her mother was and that she is not. Catherine inherited a great deal of money after her mother passed and will inherit twice as much at the passing of her father. So, when a poor but handsome and well-bred man, Morris Townsend (Montgomery Clift), comes to town and begins to court Catherine, her father becomes suspicious that he must be after her money. When she refuses to give up her new beau, her father threatens to disinherit her.

A Letter to Three Wives (Joseph L. Mankiewicz)
Nominated Best Picture
Lora May Hollingsway (Linda Darnell), who grew up next to the wrong side of the tracks, married her boss who thinks she is just a gold digger. Rita Phipps (Ann Sothern) makes as much money writing radio scripts at night as her school teacher husband does. Deborah Bishop (Jeanne Crain) looked great in a Navy uniform in WWII but fears she'll never be dressed just right for the Country Club set. These three wives are boarding a boat filled with children going on a picnic when a messenger on a bicycle hands them a letter addressed to all three from Addie (voice of Celeste Holm), who has just left town with one of their husbands. They won't know which one until that night.

Twelve O'Clock High (Henry King)
Nominated Best Picture
This tells the story of an American Bomber Group, low on morale and performance after heavy losses over the skies of Germany. General Frank Savage (Gregory Peck), a desk bound staff chief, is sent to the group after the commander is relieved of duty. At first encountering resistance, Savage shows the pilots how to take pride in their unit and serve above and beyond the standards of the Army Air Corps.

Battleground (William A. Wellman)
Nominated Best Picture
December, 1944. The Nazis, in the face of the onrushing Allies, turned and pushed into the Ardennes Forest in Belgium and Luxembourg for what would be their last major offensive of World War II. During the Battle of the Bulge, they surrounded the town of Bastogne, Belgium, trapping the US Army 101st Airborne Division in the town. To make matters worse for the 101st, thick clouds covered the area for most of the battle. This prevented the Allies from providing air cover and air-dropped supplies to their troops on the ground. This film focuses on one squad of the 101st as they wait for the clouds to break. Meanwhile, they must survive German spies in US Army uniforms, German artillery, winter weather, dwindling supplies, and the fear of being trapped by a hostile force. Stars Van Johnson, John Hodiak and Ricardo Montalban.

The Third Man (Carol Reed)
IMDb Highest Rated
Solonor's Pick
An out of work pulp fiction novelist, Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten), arrives in a post war Vienna, divided into sectors by the victorious allies, where a shortage of supplies has lead to a flourishing black market. He arrives at the invitation of an ex-school friend, Harry Lime (Orson Welles), who has offered him a job. But he discovers that Lime has died in a peculiar traffic accident. From talking to Lime's friends and associates, Martins soon notices that some of the stories are inconsistent and determines to discover what really happened to Harry Lime.

The Bicycle Thief (Vittorio De Sica)
From the Italian novel by Luigi Bartolini, this is the story of an Italian worker (Lamberto Maggiorani) during the Great Depression who finds a chance to work at a job putting up posters. On his first day, his bike is stolen and his chance to bring his family out of poverty is in jeopardy. He takes his son and some friends through the city in search of the bicycle that means economic survival to him.

White Heat (Raoul Walsh)
Cody Jarrett (James Cagney) is the sadistic leader of a ruthless gang of thieves. Afflicted by terrible headaches and fiercely devoted to his 'Ma' (Margaret Wycherly), Cody is a volatile, violent, and eccentric leader. Cody's top henchman wants to lead the gang and attempts to have an 'accident' happen to Cody, while he is running the gang from in jail. But Cody is saved by an undercover cop, who befriends him and infiltrates the gang. Finally, the stage is set for Cody's ultimate betrayal and downfall during a big heist at a chemical plant.


Kind Hearts and Coronets (Robert Hamer)
Louis Mazzini's mother (Audrey Fildes) belongs to the aristocratic family D'Ascoyne, but she ran away with an opera singer. Therefore, she and Louis (Dennis Price) were rejected by the D'Ascoynes. Once adult, Louis decides to avenges his mother and himself by becoming the next Duke of the family. Murdering every potential successor is clearly the safest way to achieve his goal...Stars Alec Guinness in multiple roles.

Adam's Rib (George Cukor)
When a woman attempts to kill her uncaring husband, prosecutor Adam Bonner (Spencer Tracy) gets the case. Unfortunately for him, his lawyer wife, Amanda (Katharine Hepburn), decides to defend the woman. Amanda uses everything she can to win the case and Adam gets mad about it. As a result, their perfect marriage is disturbed by everyday quarrels.

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Best Picture: 1949
What is the Best Picture of 1949?

All the King's Men
The Heiress
A Letter to Three Wives
Twelve O'Clock High
The Third Man
The Bicycle Thief
White Heat
Kind Hearts and Coronets
Adam's Rib

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1948 <- Main Menu -> 1950

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