Saturday, March 14, 2009


Four hundred and 42 movies were released in 1949. Many were westerns and drama/mysteries. Amazingly, Great Gatsby was not near the top, nor was Little Women or The Secret Garden, a personal favorite. Ma and Pa Kettle made movies in this year, as did Randolph Scott. “What ever happened to Randolph Scott riding these trails alone?” See synopsis for Little Women, Great Gatsby, and A Secret Garden at the end of the 1949 blog.

*All the King's Men, Broderick Crawford, best actor,
Mercedes McCambridge wins supporting role. All The King's Men is the story of the rise of politician Willie Stark from a rural county seat to the spotlight. Along the way, he loses his initial innocence, and becomes just as corrupt as those who he assaulted before for this characteristic. Also included is the romance between one of his "right hand women" and the up-and-coming journalist who brings Stark to prominence. Remade in 2006 starring Sean Penn.

Battleground, We follow a band of American soldiers as they engage the Germans in a snowy, foggy winter near Bastogne in World War II. They're low on fuel, rations, and ammunition; the Germans are constantly encouraging their surrender via radio and leaflets, and most importantly, the pervasive thick fog makes movement and identification difficult and prevents their relief by Allied air support. This film focuses much more on the psychology and morale of the soldiers than on action footage and heroics. Film stars Van Johnson.

The Heiress, Olivia de Havilland is best actress. In 1840's New York Catherine lives with her father, Dr. Sloper. Her mother died some years before, and Dr. Sloper still idolizes her, and never misses an opportunity to compare her daughter to her -- a comparison the daughter can never win. When Morris Townsend, a handsome but penniless young man, comes along, and woos and wins his daughter's heart, Dr. Sloper is sure that he is after her considerable inheritance, and opposes their marriage. Dr. Sloper takes his daughter to Europe in hopes she will forget Morris, but she does not. Considered an R rated movie by modern standards.

A Letter to Three Wives, Lora May Hollingsway, who grew up next to the wrong side of the tracks, married her boss who thinks she is just a gold digger. Rita Phipps makes as much money writing radio scripts at night as her school teacher husband does. Deborah Bishop 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 who has just left town with one of their husbands. They won't know which one until that night.

Twelve O'clock High, Gregory Peck nominated, Dean Jagger; wins supporting male,In this story of the early days of daylight bombing raids over Germany, General Frank Savage must take command of a "hard luck" bomber group. Much of the story deals with his struggle to whip his group into a disciplined fighting unit in spite of heavy losses, and withering attacks by German fighters over their targets. Actual combat footage is used in this tense war drama.

Sands of Iwo Jima, John Wayne nominated. Marine sergeant John Stryker seems a martinet and a bully as he trains young Marines for combat in the Pacific war. In the end, as survival in the bloody battle of Iwo Jima depends on the lessons Stryker has drilled into them, his troops discover why he was so hard on them.

Come to the Stable, Loretta Young, Celeste Holm, Elsa Lanchester all nominated. Two nuns from a French convent arrive in a small New England town with a plan to build a children's hospital. They enlist the help of several colorful characters in achieving their dream including a struggling artist, a popular composer, and a renowned racketeer. Tagline states laughs to make your heart ring out with joy.

Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway, a young Midwesterner now living on Long Island, finds himself fascinated by the mysterious past and lavish lifestyle of his neighbor, the nouveau riche Jay Gatsby. He is drawn into Gatsby's circle, becoming a witness to obsession and tragedy. This production stars Alan Ladd, the remake in 1974 starred Mia Farrow and Robert Redford.

Little Women, Little Women is a "coming of age" drama tracing the lives of four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. During the American Civil War... Louisa May Alcott's autobiographical account of her life with her three sisters in Concord Mass in the 1860s

The movie was released in 1933, Starring Katherine Hepburn as Jo, Jean Parker as Beth, Francis Dee as Meg, and Joan Bennett as Amy

1949 stars of Little Women are: June Allyson as Jo, Margaret O’Brien, as Meg, Janet
Leigh as Meg, and Elizabeth Taylor as Amy.

1994 version stars, Winona Ryder as Jo, Claire Danes as Beth, Trini Alvardo as Meg, and Samantha Mathis as Amy.

The Secret Garden, A young British girl born and reared in India loses her neglectful parents in an earthquake, (in the 1993 movie--from cholera in the 1949 movie). She is returned to England to live at her uncle's castle. Her uncle is very distant due to the loss of his wife ten years before. Neglected once again, she begins exploring the estate and discovers a garden that has been locked and neglected. Aided by one of the servants' boys, she begins restoring the garden, and eventually discovers some other secrets of the manor. 1993 version stars Kate Maberly as Mary Lennox. Role of Mary is played by Margaret O’Brien in 1949 film.

How many times have you seen Little Women and, did you read the book as a child?


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