Friday, August 9, 2019


This is my choice (choices) for Best Picture for the year 1949.  My criteria is that I can only use films that are on the 1001 list. To make it a little easier on myself, I am using the rules of the first Academy Award and name a winner for Best Picture (won by Wings for 1927-1928) and Best and Unique and Artistic Picture (won by Sunrise from 1927-1928). 

A little slim pickings for one of the top spots this year, though The Third Man was clearly going to get one of them.

And the nominees on the entries from every edition of 1001 Movie You Must See Before You Die are...
The Heiress
Kind Hearts and Coronets
Gun Crazy
Adam's Rib
Whiskey Galore
White Heat
The Reckless Moment
On the Town

And the winner for the Best Picture of 1949 is…Kind Hearts and Coronets

Kind Hearts and Coronets

These days, Kind Hearts and Coronets may be better known as the inspiration for the Broadway Tony winner Gentleman's Guide to Murder. The original is a very witty black comedy featuring a deadly but erudite leading man bent on revenge, two lovely ladies vying for his attention and Alec Guiness as several members of the Ascoyne family that seem to be prone to fatal mishaps.

Kind Hearts and Coronets

And the Award for Unique and Artistic Picture of 1949 is...The Third Man

The Third Man

Director Carol Reed and writer Graham Greene's The Third Man, is a film noir set in post WWII Vienna, where the black market is running amuck. I do wonder how a largely English film made the AMERICAN Film Institute top 100 list, whether deserving or not? David O'Selznick was one of the producers, and it does have American stars Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles, so I guess that was enough. Regardless, this film should be seen no matter what list it pops up on. The score features nothing but a zither, which I thought was great. Opinions on the zither differ.

Favorite The Third Man quote:
Harry Lime: "In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."
or Holly Martins: "Hey, satchelfoot! Who's your boss?"

I don’t know why I like this second quote so much. It’s what Cotton says right before he finds out Harry Lime is still alive. If I am calling out to someone and don’t know who it is, I like to yell out, “Hey Satchelfoot, who’s your boss?” Don’t you? No? Well, lets move on then.

The Third Man


  1. I love Whiskey Galore and more so than Kind Hearts and Coronets. A surprise pick but on your list I had my eyes firmly pointed at that movie.