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The Best Movies of 1949

Updated June 19, 2020 5.6k votes 177 voters 7.4k views205 items

List of the best movies of 1949, with movie trailers when available. Bob Hope was the highest paid actor in 1949, earning more money than actors like John Wayne and Bing Crosby. These top movies of 1949 are listed by popularity, so the movies with the most votes are at the top. This list consists of all different movie genres, but each film was released in 1949. You can filter this list of films that came out in 1949 for various bits of information, such as who directed the movie and what genre it is. Think the best 1949 movie isn't as high as it should be? Vote up your favorite so it will rise to the top.

List features movies like The Third Man, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and more!

This list answers the questions, "What are the best movies from 1949?" and "What are the most popular movies of 1949?"

1949 was a great year for movies, since a lot of classic films were released in 1949. This is a crowd sourced list that has been voted on by many people, so these top films of 1949 aren't just one persons opinion.
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  • The Fighting Kentuckian1
    48
    10

    The Fighting Kentuckian

    John Wayne, Oliver Hardy

    Released1949

    Directed byGeorge Waggner

    The Fighting Kentuckian is an American comedy action film starring John Wayne and Oliver... more on Wikipedia
  • Sands of Iwo Jima2
    60
    24

    Sands of Iwo Jima

    John Wayne, Forrest Tucker

    Released1949

    Directed byAllan Dwan

    Sands of Iwo Jima is a 1949 film starring John Wayne that follows a group of United States... more on Wikipedia
  • She Wore a Yellow Ribbon3
    63
    28

    She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

    John Wayne, Ben Johnson

    Released1949

    Directed byJohn Ford

    She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is a 1949 Technicolor Western film directed by John Ford and starring... more on Wikipedia

    More She Wore a Yellow Ribbon 

    #27 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made#41 of 81 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time

  • I Shot Jesse James4
    41
    13

    I Shot Jesse James

    John Ireland, Preston Foster

    Released1949

    Directed bySamuel Fuller

    I Shot Jesse James is a 1949 American film directed by Samuel Fuller about the murder of Jesse... more on Wikipedia
  • Twelve O'Clock High5
    57
    30

    Twelve O'Clock High

    Gregory Peck, Dean Jagger

    Released1949

    Directed byHenry King

    Twelve O'Clock High is a 1949 American film about aircrews in the United States Army's Eighth... more on Wikipedia
  • The Doolins of Oklahoma6
    31
    7

    Released1949

    Directed byGordon Douglas

    The Doolins of Oklahoma is a film directed by Gordon Douglas released on May 27, 1949.
  • Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff7

    Released1949

    Directed byCharles Barton

    Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff is a 1949 comedy horror film starring... more on Wikipedia
  • Africa Screams8
    37
    13

    Africa Screams

    Lou Costello, Shemp Howard

    Released1949

    Directed byCharles Barton

    Africa Screams is a 1949 American adventure comedy film starring Abbott and Costello and... more on Wikipedia

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    #38 of 51 Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain#49 of 61 The Best Comedies of the 1940s

  • Samson and Delilah9
    40
    18

    Samson and Delilah

    Angela Lansbury, Hedy Lamarr

    Released1949

    Directed byCecil B. DeMille

    Samson and Delilah is a 1949 American romantic religious epic film produced and directed by... more on Wikipedia
  • Mighty Joe Young10
    34
    14

    Mighty Joe Young

    Ben Johnson, Terry Moore

    Released1949

    Directed byErnest B. Schoedsack

    Mighty Joe Young is a 1949 American black-and-white fantasy film from RKO Radio Pictures made... more on Wikipedia
  • The Hasty Heart11
    31
    14

    The Hasty Heart

    Ronald Reagan, Richard Todd

    Released1949

    Directed byVincent Sherman

    The Hasty Heart is a 1949 Anglo-American co-production directed by Vincent Sherman and... more on Wikipedia
  • The Forbidden Street12
    23
    10

    The Forbidden Street

    Maureen O'Hara, Dana Andrews

    Released1949

    Directed byJean Negulesco

    The Forbidden Street is a 1949 British melodrama film directed by Jean Negulesco and starring... more on Wikipedia
  • The Third Man13
    47
    39

    The Third Man

    Orson Welles, Trevor Howard

    Released1949

    Directed byCarol Reed

    The Third Man is a 1949 British film noir, directed by Carol Reed and starring Joseph Cotten,... more on Wikipedia

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    #154 of 242 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time#1304 of 1,540 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • Dancing in the Dark14
    21
    10

    Dancing in the Dark

    William Powell, Adolphe Menjou

    Released1949

    Directed byIrving Reis

    Dancing In the Dark is a 1949 Technicolor musical comedy film directed by Irving Reis,... more on Wikipedia
  • The Blue Lagoon15
    31
    24

    The Blue Lagoon

    Jean Simmons, Cyril Cusack

    Released1949

    Directed byFrank Launder

    The Blue Lagoon is a 1949 British romance and adventure film produced and directed by Frank... more on Wikipedia
  • The Heiress16
    38
    33

    The Heiress

    Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift

    Released1949

    Directed byWilliam Wyler

    The Heiress is a 1949 American drama film directed by William Wyler and starring Olivia de... more on Wikipedia

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    #29 of 70 The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1940s#123 of 127 The Best Oscar-Winning Scores

  • Chicago Deadline17
    20
    12

    Chicago Deadline

    Donna Reed, Alan Ladd

    Released1949

    Directed byLewis Allen

    Chicago Deadline is a 1949 film directed by Lewis Allen.
  • Father was a Fullback18
    18
    9

    Father was a Fullback

    Natalie Wood, Maureen O'Hara

    Released1949

    Directed byJohn M. Stahl

    Father was a Fullback is a 1949 black-and-white Twentieth Century Fox film based on a comedy... more on Wikipedia
  • The Story of Seabiscuit19
    19
    12

    The Story of Seabiscuit

    Shirley Temple, Barry Fitzgerald

    Released1949

    Directed byDavid Butler

    The Story of Seabiscuit is a 1949 American drama film directed by David Butler and starring... more on Wikipedia
  • Adam's Rib20
    27
    24

    Adam's Rib

    Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy

    Released1949

    Directed byGeorge Cukor

    Adam's Rib is a 1949 American romantic comedy film directed by George Cukor. Domestic and... more on Wikipedia

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    #431 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time#193 of 925 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

  • Strange Bargain21
    21
    16

    Strange Bargain

    Harry Morgan, Henry O'Neill

    Released1949

    Directed byWill Price

    Strange Bargain is a 1949 crime drama film-noir film based on the story by J.H. Wallis,... more on Wikipedia
  • The Undercover Man22
    23
    19

    The Undercover Man

    Glenn Ford, James Whitmore

    Released2005

    Directed byJoseph H. Lewis, Gail Rorant, Kenya Cagle, Sherman Jones

    The Undercover Man is a 2005 action drama film written by Kenya Cagle and Sheila G. Wheeler... more on Wikipedia
  • White Heat23
    39
    40

    White Heat

    James Cagney, Edmond O'Brien

    Released1949

    Directed byRaoul Walsh

    White Heat is a 1949 film noir starring James Cagney, Virginia Mayo and Edmond O'Brien and... more on Wikipedia

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    #43 of 123 The Best Mafia Films Of All Time#95 of 224 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

  • Battleground24
    16
    10

    Battleground

    Ricardo Montalbán, James Arness

    Released1949

    Directed byWilliam A. Wellman

    Battleground is a 1949 American war film that follows a company in the 327th Glider Infantry... more on Wikipedia

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    #919 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#118 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked

  • Gun Crazy25
    42
    45

    Gun Crazy

    Russ Tamblyn, Peggy Cummins

    Released1950

    Directed byJoseph H. Lewis

    Gun Crazy is a 1950 film noir feature film directed by Joseph H. Lewis, and produced by Frank... more on Wikipedia