Celebrating the History of Motion Pictures from 1890 to 1960

1949 Timelines: 1940 to 1949

Harry Warner declares that Warner Bros. will introduce television production at its Burbank studios as soon as the FCC approves the studio’s purchase of the Thackery television stations in Los Angeles. The government, however, puts a moratorium on the licensing of TV stations that is not lifted until 1952, and Thackery TV pulls out of the deal.


Paramount signs the antitrust agreement aimed at separating production and distribution. The company agrees to hand over its cinema network of 1,450 theaters to a new company that will reduce the number of theaters to 600 by 1952.


Congressman J. Parnell Thomas, the former chairman of the House Un–American Activities Committee and a leader in the fight against Communist influence and lax morals, is sentenced to 10 months imprisonment for embezzlement.


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gives a special award to the Eastman Kodak Company for the “development and introduction of an improved safety base motion picture film.”


The popular star, Ingrid Bergman, causes a tremendous scandal when it is confirmed that the married actress is having an affair with the Italian director, Roberto Rossellini.


During the past four years the number of traditional movie theaters in the U.S. declined by 15%, while during the same period the number of drive–in movie theaters increased from 300 to over 2,000.


Significant Films:

Paramount releases “The Heiress”. Directed by William Wyler, and starring Olivia de Havilland and Ralph Richardson, the film wins three Academy Awards including the “Best Actress” Oscar for Olivia de Havilland.

MGM releases “On the Town”. Directed by, and starring Gene Kelly, this exuberant musical also stars Frank Sinatra, Jules Munshin, Vera–Ellen and Ann Miller.

20th Century–Fox releases “Twelve O’Clock High”. Starring Gregory Peck and Hugh Marlowe, this film becomes one of the year’s biggest box–office hits.

Paramount releases Cecil B. de Mille’s “Samson and Delilah”. This lavish Technicolor spectacle becomes the biggest box–office hit of the decade, and starts the trend for biblical epics that continues through the 1950s.

Columbia releases “All the King’s Men”. Starring Broderick Crawford, Mercedes McCambridge and John Ireland, the movie is nominated for seven Academy Awards and wins three, including the Oscar for “Best Motion Picture”.

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