The 50's: My Top-30 Favorite Films

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1.
All About Eve (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
An ingenue insinuates herself into the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends. (138 mins.)
 
2.
A Place in the Sun (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A poor boy gets a job working for his rich uncle and ends up falling in love with two women. (122 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
 
3.
Stalag 17 (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
When two escaping American World War II prisoners are killed, the German POW camp barracks black marketeer, J.J. Sefton, is suspected of being an informer. (120 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
4.
From Here to Eternity (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In Hawaii in 1941, a private is cruelly punished for not boxing on his unit's team, while his captain's wife and second-in-command are falling in love. (118 mins.)
Director: Fred Zinnemann
 
5.
North by Northwest (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive. (136 mins.)
 
6.
On the Waterfront (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses. (108 mins.)
Director: Elia Kazan
 
7.
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it. (161 mins.)
Director: David Lean
 
8.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son. (108 mins.)
Director: Richard Brooks
 
9.
High Noon (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Marshal Will Kane, personally compelled to face his returning deadly enemy Frank Miller, finds that his fellow townspeople refuse to help him. (85 mins.)
Director: Fred Zinnemann
 
10.
Seven Samurai (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves. (207 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
11.
Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
In a murder trial, the defendant says he suffered temporary insanity after the victim raped his wife. What is the truth, and will he win his case? (160 mins.)
Director: Otto Preminger
 
12.
Dial M for Murder (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An ex-tennis pro carries out a plot to murder his wife. When things go wrong, he improvises a brilliant plan B. (105 mins.)
 
13.
The Searchers (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An American Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from the Comanches. (119 mins.)
Director: John Ford
 
14.
East of Eden (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A wilful young man contends against his brother for the attention of their religious father while reconnecting with his estranged mother and falling for his brother's girlfriend. (118 mins.)
Director: Elia Kazan
 
15.
Ben-Hur (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge. (212 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
 
16.
Quo Vadis (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A fierce Roman commander becomes infatuated with a beautiful Christian hostage and begins questioning the tyrannical leadership of the despot Emperor Nero. (171 mins.)
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
 
17.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
When two male musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in. (121 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
18.
Vertigo (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her. (128 mins.)
 
19.
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A screenwriter is hired to rework a faded silent film star's script only to find himself developing a dangerous relationship. (110 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
20.
The African Queen (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In Africa during World War I, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship. (105 mins.)
Director: John Huston
 
21.
Harvey (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Due to his insistence that he has an invisible six foot-tall rabbit for a best friend, a whimsical middle-aged man is thought by his family to be insane - but he may be wiser than anyone knows. (104 mins.)
Director: Henry Koster
 
22.
The Quiet Man (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A retired American boxer returns to the village of his birth in Ireland, where he finds love. (129 mins.)
Director: John Ford
 
23.
The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The dramatic lives of trapeze artists, a clown, and an elephant trainer are told against a background of circus spectacle. (152 mins.)
 
24.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An alien lands and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets. (92 mins.)
Director: Robert Wise
 
25.
Roman Holiday (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A bored and sheltered princess escapes her guardians and falls in love with an American newsman in Rome. (118 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
 
26.
Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A one-handed stranger comes to a tiny town possessing a terrible past they want to keep secret, by violent means if necessary. (81 mins.)
Director: John Sturges
 
27.
Rear Window (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder. (112 mins.)
 
28.
The King and I (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A widow accepts a job as a live-in governess to the King of Siam's children. (133 mins.)
Director: Walter Lang
 
29.
12 Angry Men (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence. (96 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lumet
 
30.
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Powerful but unethical Broadway columnist J.J. Hunsecker coerces unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco into breaking up his sister's romance with a jazz musician. (96 mins.)