Top Ranked Films of the 50s (All Polls)by LawrenceJoseSinclair | created - 30 Jun 2011 | updated - 30 Jun 2011 | Public
I took all the film polls I could find, and threw them all into a spreadsheet, and ranked the results. I posted the Top Ranked 1000 Films first, then an alphabetical list of all 2260 titles that made polls. I'm now posting sub-lists like this one, the tops of the 50s decade. The complete and original lists can be found at [link]http://worldsbestfilms.blogspot.com[/link] .. Our motto: "Your results may vary"
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1. Seven Samurai (1954)
Not Rated | 207 min | Adventure, Drama
A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.
Votes: 258,041 | Gross: $0.27M
The archetypal action film, my favorite Japanese film, and now #2 all-time on the polls after Godfather.
2. The Night of the Hunter (1955)
Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
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.
Sadly, actor Charles Laughton's only film as director due to the lukewarm reception; of course, now it's an acknowledged suspense classic, with Robert Mitchum as the preacher from the dark side.
3. Vertigo (1958)
PG | 128 min | Mystery, Romance, Thriller
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.
Votes: 288,088 | Gross: $3.20M
My favorite Hitchcock film and my favorite James Stewart performance both.
4. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir
A screenwriter is hired to rework a faded silent film star's script, only to find himself developing a dangerous relationship.
A great Billy Wilder film noir classic that begins with William Holden's main character narrating while his body floats in a pool.
5. North by Northwest (1959)
Not Rated | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery
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.
Votes: 247,166 | Gross: $13.28M
If you can get past some ludicrous plot actions (a plane attacking Grant manages to hit the only vehicle on the road for miles) this is good mindless chase film fun.
6. Rashômon (1950)
Not Rated | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view.
Kurosawa's classic has a crime recounted by various witnesses whose versions are slanted by their own psyches.
7. The Seventh Seal (1957)
Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy
A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.
Bergman's metaphorical treatise on death has Max von Sydow playing a chess match with Death while he and his family try to escape the Plague.
8. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
G | 103 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound.
Votes: 176,020 | Gross: $8.82M
You can't find a more enjoyable musical than this comedy, which feaures a side-splitting performance from wisecracking Jean Hagen and great dancing from Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor (who would turn the wrong way in rehearsals to get Gene's goat!)
9. The 400 Blows (1959)
Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama
Moving story of a young boy who, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.
Francois Truffaut's first film (at 25) is a largely improvised autobiographical tale of his own mostly delinquent youth, spent skipping school to attend early cinema shows.
10. Touch of Evil (1958)
PG-13 | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town.
Votes: 81,884 | Gross: $2.24M
Orson Welles' foray into film noir is a dark treatise on police corruption and bigotry in a Texas border town.
11. All About Eve (1950)
Not Rated | 138 min | Drama
An ingenue insinuates herself into the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends.
Votes: 95,436 | Gross: $0.01M
This classic best picture winner features great acting and should be ranked far higher, top 3 of the decade for me.
12. On the Waterfront (1954)
Not Rated | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.
Votes: 115,109 | Gross: $9.60M
Elia Kazan's best picture winner of corruption at the shipping docks finally won an overdue Oscar for young Marlon Brando.
13. Pather Panchali (1955)
Not Rated | 125 min | Drama
Impoverished priest Harihar Ray, dreaming of a better life for himself and his family, leaves his rural Bengal village in search of work.
Votes: 16,821 | Gross: $0.54M
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to see any of the Apu Trilogy of director Satyajit Ray since Netflix doesn't have them available. unreal.. highest ranked Indian film in all the polls.
14. Rear Window (1954)
PG | 112 min | Mystery, Thriller
A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.
Votes: 361,010 | Gross: $36.76M
15. The Searchers (1956)
Passed | 119 min | Adventure, Drama, Western
An American Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from the Comanches.
This classic John Ford western with an obsessed racist John Wayne gets better over time.
16. Some Like It Hot (1959)
Not Rated | 121 min | Comedy, Romance
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.
Votes: 199,153 | Gross: $25.00M
Classic comedy farce from Billy Wilder has Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in drag to escape mobsters.
17. Tokyo Story (1953)
Not Rated | 136 min | Drama
An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them.
Ozu is an acquired taste, expect slow films from him that are well-contructed visually.
18. Umberto D. (1952)
Not Rated | 89 min | Drama
An elderly man and his dog struggle to survive on his government pension in Rome.
Votes: 18,662 | Gross: $0.07M
Incredibly poignant film from Vittorio De Sica about an elderly man who can't survive on his palty pension, only his dog Flike keeps him going; dedicated to De Sica's father.
19. Ugetsu (1953)
Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy, War
A tale of ambition, family, love, and war set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century.
Votes: 16,427 | Gross: $0.01M
Haunting Japanese love story is unlike any other, it's a real work of art.
20. Paths of Glory (1957)
Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, War
After refusing to attack an enemy position, a general accuses the soldiers of cowardice and their commanding officer must defend them.
Stanley Kubrick's anti-war film about men in WW1 court-martialed after a retreat could be Kirk Douglas' finest role.
22. Wild Strawberries (1957)
Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, Romance
After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.
A professor on his way to a retirement ceremony in his honor reflects on his life in one of Bergman's most positive films.
23. High Noon (1952)
PG | 85 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
A town Marshal, despite the disagreements of his newlywed bride and the townspeople around him, must face a gang of deadly killers alone at high noon when the gang leader, an outlaw he sent up years ago, arrives on the noon train.
Votes: 85,922 | Gross: $9.45M
Even though it seems cliche ridden from our era, this is still a well-shot and relentless western about an impending gunfight with Gary Cooper facing some bad dudes coming to get him.
25. 12 Angry Men (1957)
Approved | 96 min | Crime, Drama
A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence.
Riveting courtroom drama from the late Sydney Lumet centering on the jury's deliberations as all think a man guilty of murder except for holdout Henry Fonda.
26. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
PG | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, War
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.
Votes: 169,123 | Gross: $44.91M
David Lean excels at the gigantic epic adventures like this, Lawrence of Arabia, and Doctor Zhivago. This was also a best picture winner like Lawrence.
27. The Earrings of Madame De... (1953)
Not Rated | 105 min | Drama, Romance
The diamond earrings of a French aristocrat, a wedding gift from her husband, cause a series of conflicts as they change hands repeatedly.
Max Ophuls creates almost baroque romances, usually of the opulent and extravagent French upper class. This is perhaps the best of them along with La Plaisir.
28. Ordet (1955)
Not Rated | 126 min | Drama, Fantasy
Follows the lives of the Borgen family, as they deal with inner conflict, as well as religious conflict with each other, and the rest of the town.
30. Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Film-Noir
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.
Terrific drama is one of Burt Lancaster's finest performances. "I'd sure hate to take a bite out of you, you're a cookie filled with arsenic."
31. Strangers on a Train (1951)
PG | 101 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller
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.
Votes: 107,692 | Gross: $7.63M
One of Hitchcock's best, as two strangers meet on a train and concoct a double murder plot.
32. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
PG | 122 min | Drama
Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her.
Votes: 85,868 | Gross: $8.00M
A terrific cast (3 of 4 won Oscars) in Eliz Kazan's version of Tennessee Williams' best known play. "Stella!"
33. Breathless (1960)
Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama
A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
Votes: 59,231 | Gross: $0.34M
A refreshingly loose and amoral crime story is one of Godard's most watchable films.
34. The Wages of Fear (1953)
Not Rated | 131 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller
In a decrepit South American village, four men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe.
Clouzot's suspense classic of men in Brazil carrying nitroglycerin in trucks over dangerous mountain roads; look for his beautiful wife Vera as a barmaid that gets everyone's eyes.
36. The Nights of Cabiria (1957)
Not Rated | 110 min | Drama
A waifish prostitute wanders the streets of Rome looking for true love but finds only heartbreak.
Votes: 31,713 | Gross: $0.75M
The story of an aging prostitute, wonderfully played by Fellini's wife Guilietta Masina.
37. A Man Escaped (1956)
Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Thriller, War
A captured French Resistance fighter during WWII engineers a daunting escape from prison.
Based on a true WW2 incident, this is a tense and riveting suspense film.
38. Ashes and Diamonds (1958)
Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Romance, War
During the German occupation noble, bourgeois and worker's partisan groups lived in peace with another. On the first day of freedom they start to fight each other. In these fights is weaved a most tender love story.
39. Diabolique (1955)
Not Rated | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Horror
The wife and mistress of a cruel headmaster conspire to kill him; after the murder is committed, his corpse disappears, and strange events begin to plague the two women.
A wife and a mistress conspire to kill the husband, but things don't go according to plan; avoid the tepid remake and stick with this original.
40. Ben-Hur (1959)
G | 212 min | Adventure, Drama, History
When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.
Votes: 183,572 | Gross: $74.70M
This overlong best picture winner still has the chariot race, one of the most exciting sequences in cinema history.
41. Les yeux sans visage (1960)
Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Horror
A surgeon causes an accident which leaves his daughter disfigured, and goes to extremes to give her a new face.
Votes: 19,929 | Gross: $0.05M
The polls have this as a 1959 release.. I may have to move it.
42. Sansho the Bailiff (1954)
Not Rated | 124 min | Drama
In medieval Japan, a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him, but are separated, and the children grow up amid suffering and oppression.
44. Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)
Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance
A French actress filming an anti-war film in Hiroshima has an affair with a married Japanese architect as they share their differing perspectives on war.
Votes: 22,498 | Gross: $0.09M
45. Mon Oncle (1958)
Not Rated | 117 min | Comedy
Monsieur Hulot visits the technology-driven world of his sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, but he can't quite fit into the surroundings.
46. Written on the Wind (1956)
Not Rated | 99 min | Drama
Alcoholic playboy Kyle Hadley marries the woman secretly loved by his poor but hard-working best friend, who in turn is pursued by Kyle's nymphomaniac sister.
48. Apur Sansar (1959)
Not Rated | 105 min | Drama
This final installment in Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy follows Apu's life as an orphaned adult aspiring to be a writer.
Votes: 8,641 | Gross: $0.02M
Another of Ray's hard to find Apu trilogy from India.
49. Diary of a Country Priest (1951)
Approved | 95 min | Drama
A young priest taking over the parish at Ambricourt tries to fulfill his duties even as he fights a mysterious stomach ailment.
Now that sounds exciting.. "today I gave last rites to the fat widow Mathilda, god bless her.."
50. Roman Holiday (1953)
Not Rated | 118 min | Comedy, Romance
A bored and sheltered princess escapes her guardians and falls in love with an American newsman in Rome.
Contrary to this image, it's a black and white film, a light romance with Audrey Hepburn pursuing a man her father's age.