My 50 Favorite Films Of The 1950s

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1.
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
 
2.
Baby Doll (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A steamy tale of two Southern rivals and a sensuous nineteen-year-old virgin. (114 mins.)
Director: Elia Kazan
 
3.
The Baron of Arizona (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Master swindler James Reavis painstakingly spends years forging documents and land grants that will make his wife and him undisputed owners of the entire state of Arizona. (97 mins.)
Director: Samuel Fuller
 
4.
Bob le Flambeur (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Bob, an old gangster and gambler is almost broke, so he decides in spite of the warnings of a friend... (98 mins.)
Director: Melville
 
5.
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
 
6.
Compulsion (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Two wealthy law-school students go on trial for murder in this version of the Leopold-Loeb case. (103 mins.)
 
7.
The Defiant Ones (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Two escaped convicts chained together, white and black, must learn to get along in order to elude capture. (96 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kramer
 
8.
Diabolique (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The wife of a cruel headmaster and his mistress conspire to kill him, but after the murder is committed, his body disappears, and strange events begin to plague the two women. (116 mins.)
Director: H.G. Clouzot
 
9.
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.)
 
10.
Don't Bother to Knock (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
After being dumped by his girlfriend, an airline pilot pursues a babysitter in his hotel and gradually realizes she's dangerous. (76 mins.)
Director: Roy Baker
 
11.
Elevator to the Gallows (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A self-assured business man murders his employer, the husband of his mistress, which unintentionally provokes an ill-fated chain of events. (91 mins.)
Director: Louis Malle
 
12.
The 400 Blows (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Moving story of a young boy who, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime. (99 mins.)
 
13.
Funny Face (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An impromptu fashion shoot at a book store brings about a new fashion model discovery in the shop clerk. (103 mins.)
Director: Stanley Donen
 
14.
Harvey (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 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
 
15.
I Want to Live! (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A prostitute, sentenced to death for murder, pleads her innocence. (120 mins.)
Director: Robert Wise
 
16.
I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Deprived of a normal childhood by her ambitious mother, Katie, Lillian Roth becomes a star of Broadway and Hollywood before she is twenty... (117 mins.)
Director: Daniel Mann
 
17.
In a Lonely Place (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A potentially violent screenwriter is a murder suspect until his lovely neighbor clears him. But she begins to have doubts... (94 mins.)
Director: Nicholas Ray
 
18.
Johnny Guitar (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A strong willed female saloon owner is wrongly suspected of murder and bank robbery by a lynch mob, when she helps a wounded gang member. (110 mins.)
Director: Nicholas Ray
 
19.
The Killing (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Crooks plan and execute a daring race-track robbery. (85 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
 
20.
Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A doomed female hitchhiker pulls Mike Hammer into a deadly whirlpool of intrigue, revolving around a mysterious "great whatsit." (106 mins.)
Director: Robert Aldrich
 
21.
The Law (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Illicit passions pervade an Italian town, where men gather nightly for the cynical "game of the law." (126 mins.)
Director: Jules Dassin
 
22.
Leda (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A wealthy wine grower has trouble with his wife, his children, his best friend, and his mistress across the way, who is murdered. (110 mins.)
Director: Claude Chabrol
 
23.
Limelight (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A fading comedian and a suicidally despondent ballet dancer must look to each other to find meaning and hope in their lives. (137 mins.)
Director: Charles Chaplin
 
24.
The Magician (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
When 'Vogler's Magnetic Health Theater' comes to town, there's bound to be a spectacle. Reading reports... (100 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
 
25.
Magnificent Obsession (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
When churlish, spoiled rich man Bob Merrick foolishly wrecks his speed boat, the rescue team resuscitates... (108 mins.)
Director: Douglas Sirk
 
26.
The Moon Is Blue (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Two aging playboys are both after the same attractive young woman, but she fends them off by claiming that she plans to remain a virgin until her wedding night. Both men determine to find a way around her objections. (99 mins.)
Director: Otto Preminger
 
27.
Night and the City (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A small-time grifter and nightclub tout takes advantage of some fortuitous circumstances and tries to become a big-time player as a wrestling promoter. (101 mins.)
Director: Jules Dassin
 
28.
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery. (92 mins.)
 
29.
Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Dave Burke hires two very different debt-burdened men for a bank robbery. Suspicion and prejudice threaten to end their partnership. (96 mins.)
Director: Robert Wise
 
30.
Panic in the Streets (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A doctor and a policeman in New Orleans have only 48 hours to locate a killer infected with pneumonic plague. (96 mins.)
Director: Elia Kazan
 
31.
Paths of Glory (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
After refusing to attack an enemy position, a general accuses the soldiers of cowardice and their commanding officer must defend them. (88 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
 
32.
Pickup on South Street (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A pickpocket unwittingly lifts a message destined for enemy agents and becomes a target for a Communist spy ring. (80 mins.)
Director: Samuel Fuller
 
33.
The Prowler (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
When Susan Gilvray reports a prowler outside her house police officer Webb Garwood investigates and sparks fly. If only her husband wasn't in the way. (92 mins.)
Director: Joseph Losey
 
34.
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.)
 
35.
The River (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Three adolescent girls growing up in Bengal, India, learn their lessons in life after falling for an older American soldier. (99 mins.)
Director: Jean Renoir
 
36.
The Seventh Seal (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague. (96 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
 
37.
Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Boxer Rocky Graziano's biopic, based on his autobiography, from childhood to his World Middleweight Championship title win at age 28 in 1947. (113 mins.)
Director: Robert Wise
 
38.
Strangers on a Train (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A psychotic socialite confronts a pro tennis star with a theory on how two complete strangers can get away with murder - a theory that he plans to implement. (101 mins.)
 
39.
Suddenly (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
In the city of Suddenly, three gangsters trap the Benson family in their own house, on the top of a hill nearby the railroad station, with the intention of killing the president of the USA. (75 mins.)
Director: Lewis Allen
 
40.
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity. (110 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
41.
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.)
 
42.
The Thief (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A chance accident causes a nuclear physicist selling top secret material to the Russians to fall under FBI scrutiny and go on the run. (85 mins.)
Director: Russell Rouse
 
43.
Touch of Evil (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town. (95 mins.)
Director: Orson Welles
 
44.
Touchez Pas au Grisbi (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An aging, world-weary gangster is double-crossed and forced out of retirement when his best friend is kidnapped and their stash of eight stolen gold bars demanded as ransom. (94 mins.)
Director: Jacques Becker
 
45.
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
 
46.
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.)
 
47.
The Wages of Fear (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
In a decrepit South American village, men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe. (131 mins.)
 
48.
Wild Strawberries (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence. (91 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
 
49.
Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A veteran British barrister must defend his client in a murder trial that has surprise after surprise. (116 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
50.
The Wrong Man (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
True story of an innocent man mistaken for a criminal. (105 mins.)