My Favorite Films 1950-1959

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1.
The Searchers (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from an Indian tribe. (119 mins.)
Director: John Ford
“ John Wayne as a racist who hunts his niece kidnapped by
Comanche….to kill her. Beautifully shot, exciting and interesting. Some of the comic relief is a little cheesy, and it may not be as subversive and progressive as we want it to be – the captive is redeemed, after all - but this is just about perfect. ” - rfischer9100
 
2.
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
“ A sublime action film. Efficiently establishes characters and then throws them into a supremely exciting, high stakes scenario. It's also a war movie that gives a fair share of its focus to civilians. ” - rfischer9100
 
3.
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.)
“ I could nitpick some problems here: the villains' plan is preposterous and shouldn't have worked, and Hitchcock's Freudianism is a perennial problem. But, hey, it's f'ing Vertigo. This film is majestic. It tackles the biggest themes of sex, death, and identity, does them all in a wonderful mystery-thriller mode, and looks gorgeous doing it. It's one of the great city movies - portraying the best filmic San Francisco imaginable. And then there's Midge, that puzzling, fascinating side character... ” - rfischer9100
 
4.
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound. (103 mins.)
“ Just completely transporting; a really pure Hollywood experience. ” - rfischer9100
 
5.
Ashes and Diamonds (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
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. (103 mins.)
Director: Andrzej Wajda
“ There's a proto-New Wave lyricism to the love story, which manages to believably convey a very short-lived relationship. But then moral and political complexity are layered in. And it's filmed (and lit!) beautifully. ” - rfischer9100
 
6.
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.)
“ Magnificent, haunting imagery and great performances make this a masterpiece.

I couldn't sleep after watching this film - more that my mind was racing than fear, though there is certainly a creepiness to the film that stuck with me - not many films do that to me. ” - rfischer9100
 
7.
The Earrings of Madame de... (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In the Paris of the late 19th century, Louise, wife of a general, sells the earrings her husband gave... (105 mins.)
Director: Max Ophüls
“ European cinema sometimes has a tendency to blend the worst aspects of cynicism and romanticism by demanding an ideal world then reveling in the disappointment of human failings.

Ophuls, on the other hand, blends the best aspects of romanticism and cynicism. People are liars, cheats, reckless, jealous, materialistic, and shallow, and yet they are also capable of the deepest, most passionate, and most profound of feelings. The earrings go through this journey of the best and worst of human behavior and emotions, and Ophuls conveys the tale beautifully. ” - rfischer9100
 
8.
Seven Men from Now (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A former sheriff blames himself for his wife's death during a Wells Fargo robbery and vows to track down and kill the seven men responsible. (78 mins.)
Director: Budd Boetticher
“ Randolph Scott hunting down seven men who
killed his wife – great acting (Lee Marvin steals the show as an honorable uber bad guy), great story and script, well shot. Love it. Some bs about masculinity
(what do you expect from a western?) and a too-happy ending are the only flaws. ” - rfischer9100
 
9.
Pather Panchali (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Impoverished priest Harihar Ray, dreaming of a better life for himself and his family, leaves his rural Bengal village in search of work. (125 mins.)
Director: Satyajit Ray
“ Ray creates a very immersive world and engages all of the audience's senses.

A couple of things surprised me: A). It's not really Apu's movie, his mother and especially his sister are much more at the center, and B). the acting was amazing! ” - rfischer9100
 
10.
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
“ This movie is insane in the greatest of ways. It has such a strange, post-modern take on the violence of noirs, and the escalation is brilliant.

The only thing standing between this movie and perfection are some performances that don't live up to the genius of the rest of the movie. (There's also the fact that the plot doesn't make any sense, but I think that's part of the genius). ” - rfischer9100
 
11.
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.)
“ When I first saw this as a teenager, I appreciated the fantastic filmmaking, but it didn't really resonate with me - I guess my childhood was a little too nice and a little too bougie - I hadn't seen my innocence slowly beaten away.

Weirdly, seeing this as a parent is what made it infinitely more affecting on this viewing. Imagining my children losing their innocence (seeing children behind bars is like a punch in the gut) is a lot more powerful than my own gradual, easy transition to adulthood. ” - rfischer9100
 
12.
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
“ Delightfully dark, both in lighting and subject matter, with some great camera moves, especially in that opening shot.

Dietrich's presence is such a perfect touch.

Heston as a Mexican is a bit of a problem... ” - rfischer9100
 
13.
Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
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. (90 mins.)
Director: Alain Resnais
“ A simple story of a brief affair between a French woman and a Japanese man that is made more lovely and more lively with fantastic, poetic editing. I'm not sure the rather melodramatic back story of Emmanuelle Riva's character worked for me, but there are wonderful layers and parallels between these characters' pasts, and well, there's the fact that we don't get many details of his past, and then there's the role of place as his and her homes are constantly evoked and even juxtaposed. ...Forget what I said at the beginning about this being simple. ” - rfischer9100
 
14.
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
“ Wilder brings the noir visual flair that he used so well in Double Indemnity to a tale of Hollywood's past. Swanson is fantastic in a role that can't be overacted, and von Stroheim von Stroheims. I feel like there's maybe a little slack in the middle, and I haven't quite pinned down my thinking on how the gender issues play out, but this movie is really great regardless. ” - rfischer9100
 
15.
Rashomon (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view. (88 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
“ Part of what makes this movie so interesting (and what's often left out of the parodies and pastiches) is that the storytellers usually don't change events to serve their own self-interest, but rather to meet certain narrative expectations. It's not just about perspective; it's also about how fictions shape and are shaped by worldviews and desires.

Non-controversial statements: Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune are really good at what they do. ” - rfischer9100
 
16.
High Noon (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A marshall, personally compelled to face a returning deadly enemy, finds that his own town refuses to help him. (85 mins.)
Director: Fred Zinnemann
“ This classic about bravery/metaphor for standing up to the
blacklist is a visually exciting black and white film. Cooper is great and Grace Kelly sure is pretty. The nearly dialogue-free final act is especially arresting. I’m a little ambivalent about the ending. ” - rfischer9100
 
17.
The Big Heat (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Tough cop Dave Bannion takes on a politically powerful crime syndicate. (90 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
“ Anticipates the violent revenge flicks of the '70s and '80s, but Lang already has a better sense of what makes this type of film so viscerally satisfying than most of those later filmmakers. ” - rfischer9100
 
18.
The World of Apu (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
This final installment in Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy, follows Apu's life as an orphaned adult aspiring to be a writer as he lives through poverty, and the unforeseen turn of events. (105 mins.)
Director: Satyajit Ray
“ Offers a very powerful romance and serves as a great capstone to the whole trilogy. Apu's wanderings in the second half are almost too melodramatic, but the rest of the movie is quite powerful and Ray's an amazing visual stylist. ” - rfischer9100
 
19.
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.)
“ The thing I love about Hitchcock is that he has the filmmaker's imagination to come up with the great visual and story gimmick - the courtyard, in this case - but you know he's not going to just rest on the gimmick. The technique is also going to be immaculate, the character drama will resonate, and, of course, the suspense will have you on the edge of your seat. ” - rfischer9100
 
20.
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
“ I love how this film plays with genre. At times a noir, a romance, a melodrama, and even a message picture, it is, in the end, a character portrait of a very damaged man and the woman who loves him yet would be wise to leave him. Bogart gives the performance of his career, and Grahame is great as well. There's also a bit of Hollywood satire and post-war trauma for historical interest. ” - rfischer9100
 
21.
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
“ One of the most brutal films I've seen (and certainly pre-60s). Only the slimmest, saddest little glimmer of humanism in the final scene shines through the brutality of the war and the small-minded cruelty of the generals. Kubrick's exciting camerawork enlivens what could be a misery-fest. ” - rfischer9100
 
22.
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
“ Great script. Great Fonda performance. Tense one-room drama that manages to not feel stagey. ” - rfischer9100
 
23.
Throne of Blood (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A war-hardened general, egged on by his ambitious wife, works to fulfill a prophecy that he would become lord of Spider's Web Castle. (110 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
“ My general take is that Shakespeare's words are a lot more powerful than his stories, and adaptations that paraphrase him are a waste of time. Of course, that makes quite the hurdle for foreign language adaptations, but Kurosawa pretty much proves me wrong here anyway. All of the dark emotional content of the play comes through. Mifune plays a big role in this; he's amazing, as always.

I assume Kurosawa saw Welles' version - he uses some similar visuals, but also tops them (thanks to some cool samurai gear, and probably a healthier budget). ” - rfischer9100
 
24.
An American in Paris (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Three friends struggle to find work in Paris. Things become more complicated when two of them fall in love with the same woman. (113 mins.)
“ A great film even if it didn't quite live up to my expectations. I was a little annoyed by the gender politics - compare the plot to Design for Living, where you also have a woman helping a starving American artist in Paris, and you'll see how much more progressive that film is, despite being made two decades earlier.

Still, the color, music, and dancing are fantastic, and I love how the plot just melts away for that amazing final ballet sequence. ” - rfischer9100
 
25.
3:10 to Yuma (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Broke small-time rancher Dan Evans is hired by the stagecoach line to put big-time captured outlaw leader Ben Wade on the 3:10 train to Yuma but Wade's gang tries to free him. (92 mins.)
Director: Delmer Daves
“ Tense, fun and full of High Noon-like suspense. Not a lot of action, but great acting and characters (Glenn Ford’s Ben Wade is fantastic). Another marvelous-looking black and white film. ” - rfischer9100
 
26.
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies. (111 mins.)
Director: Nicholas Ray
“ As the youth in revolt message film that this is ostensibly supposed to be, it's pretty dated, and some of the Freudian material about the parents is almost embarrassing. But, this film thoroughly transcends its genre and message. Ray managed to make a film that captured the experience of youth and muddled the ideas about the standard culprits of the time: some young people sometimes act wildly and irresponsibly because they're young, and the central trio wonderfully represent the liminal space between childhood and adulthood. The scenes in the mansion especially convey the emotional swings and exploration of this period of life. There's a subtle, dreamlike cast to the material.

Dean is a big part of what makes this film great; and Ray's visual talents and a perfect technicolor palette are key as well. ” - rfischer9100
 
27.
Ugetsu (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A tale of ambition, family, love, and war set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century. (96 mins.)
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
“ These feudal fairy tales don't have quite the emotional punch of, say, Life of Oharu, but the stories are still well done. The real attraction here is the way Mizoguchi uses space - the depth of field and the way the camera explores it. ” - rfischer9100
 
28.
Ivan the Terrible, Part II (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
As Ivan the Terrible attempts to consolidate his power by establishing a personal army, his political rivals, the Russian boyars, plot to assassinate their Tsar. (88 mins.)
“ As gorgeous as Part I (reviewed in my '40s list) but with a more focused plot, a crazier Ivan, musical numbers, and color scenes! In other words, better than Part I. Made in '45. ” - rfischer9100
 
29.
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.)
“ This is one of those films that I thought I knew without seeing it, but it actually surprised me quite a bit. Rather than a complex murder plot, it's a fairly straightforward story of a psychopath trying to draw someone into his plot then stalking him. Robert Walker, as said psychopath, is excellent, and the set-pieces are very strong, including a thrilling climax. ” - rfischer9100
 
30.
Forty Guns (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Showdown in Arizona between the Bonnell brothers, U.S.Marshals, and Jessica Drummond, the iron-fist rancher who controls the territory. (79 mins.)
Director: Samuel Fuller
“ A powerful female ranch baron (Barbara Stanwyck) meets a
tired gunfighter and it’s clear from the start that they’re either going to make out or try to kill each other or both. Some great black and white shots and some genuinely dark moments. Very entertaining and fast-paced…could have been a little longer actually to better establish characters and setting. ” - rfischer9100
 
31.
Forbidden Planet (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A starship crew goes to investigate the silence of a planet's colony only to find two survivors and a deadly secret that one of them has. (98 mins.)
“ Clearly a huge influence on Star Trek, and it has all the qualities of that show at its best in this scenario based on The Tempest. The production values are excellent (great color), and this is probably the best-looking science fiction film before 2001. ” - rfischer9100
 
32.
The Naked Spur (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A bounty hunter trying to bring a murderer to justice is forced to accept the help of two less-than-trustworthy strangers. (91 mins.)
Director: Anthony Mann
“ Treasure of Sierra Madre crime/psycho-drama with a
bounty instead of gold. Very well directed and gorgeous colors; awful, unjustified Indian slaughter goes more or less without comment, and there's a horribly weak and annoying female character. ” - rfischer9100
 
33.
Johnny Guitar (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
After helping a wounded gang member, a strong-willed female saloon owner is wrongly suspected of murder and bank robbery by a lynch mob. (110 mins.)
Director: Nicholas Ray
“ A film about gender, or at least about women obsessed with men
(or are they just obsessed with sex….as are the men); very well done though and a lot going on beneath the surface – and that surface is wonderfully artificial as Ray plays foregrounds the Hollywoodness of the production. ” - rfischer9100
 
34.
Rio Bravo (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of the local bad guy. (141 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
“ The anti-High Noon where manly John Wayne is willing to go
it alone. Extremely light – the stakes never seem high, but there’s a lot of charisma on the screen - I’d say Hawks really enhances that as well. Ricky Nelson sings too much. ” - rfischer9100
 
35.
The Thing from Another World (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a blood-thirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost. (87 mins.)
Director: Christian Nyby
“ Howard Hawks love of professionalism and his interest in strong female characters elevate this creature feature about scientists fighting a monster in an arctic sea-base. There's a good science mystery at the start, and then some nice thrills as the monster starts his siege. The monster does look kind of cheesy, and the fight with it does wear thin after a while. ” - rfischer9100
 
36.
The Life of Oharu (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Follows a woman's fight and survival amid the vicissitudes of life and the cruelty of the society. (148 mins.)
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
“ I've complained in other Mizoguchi films of the unremitting bleakness - this film is the bleakest yet, but it doesn't have the same cynical despair somehow. It's just has so much compassion for its protagonist - and is so beautifully filmed and paced. Oharu could be more of a presence, I guess, though her little moments of emotion are all the more powerful for their rarity. ” - rfischer9100
 
37.
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. (120 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ There's a fair amount of slack in the first half, and you could consider it a problem that Monroe completely steals the film, not only from the ostensible stars but from the premise - who cares about Lemmon in Curtis in drag when Monroe is so beautiful, vulnerable, and funny all at once? But, hey, Monroe is damn good, and Wilder and co. were smart enough to find lots of humor beyond just the drag stuff. ” - rfischer9100
 
38.
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
“ A film that really earns its bleakness by a) sincerely asking the hardest, darkest questions there are, b) choosing the darkest period in western history as its setting, and c) being beautiful.

But boy is it bleak. ” - rfischer9100
 
39.
On Dangerous Ground (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Rough city cop Jim Wilson is disciplined by his captain and is sent upstate, to a snowy mountain town, to help the local sheriff solve a murder case. (82 mins.)
Director: Nicholas Ray
“ An exciting noir where Robert Ryan gets to go very dark for the first half, and Nicholas Ray uses the kinds of kinetic shots and cuts that I didn't expect to see for decades.

Things get a bit sentimental when Mary shows up (though Lupino is solid), but it doesn't quite drag the film down. ” - rfischer9100
 
40.
Black Orpheus (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, set during the time of the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro. (100 mins.)
Director: Marcel Camus
“ Film or awesome party? I wasn't sure, but I liked it. The music and colors are great. ” - rfischer9100
 
41.
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
“ Courtroom dramas aren't my favorite genre, but this slickly written, directed, and acted entry is about as good as it gets. ” - rfischer9100
 
42.
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.)
“ This film absolutely revels in cynicism - I think people might mistake this kind of darkness for realism or edification, but I think the real point is to take a kind of pleasure the machinations of the arch villains. ” - rfischer9100
 
43.
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
“ Lean knows how to make an epic. The visuals are dramatic, and though this probably runs a little long, the extra time is well-used to give the characters and setting time to breathe - and it makes everything feel bigger and more important (compare to contemporary time-wasters like The Ten Commandments, Giant, and especially Around the World in 80 Days. Guinness is fantastic.

This time watching it though, I was struck by how this film is more of a humblebrag than an actual satire: "Ah yes, the British are so civilized and efficient that the only thing that can stop us is our own love of civilized efficiency!" ” - rfischer9100
 
44.
Devil's Doorway (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
After the Civil War, a highly decorated Shoshone Indian veteran plans to raise cattle in Wyoming but white farmers plan to grab fertile tribal lands by pitting the whites against the Indians. (84 mins.)
Director: Anthony Mann
“ Shoshone Union vet tries to ranch in Wyoming with
help of a lady lawyer, but racism leads to a fight instead. Much more complex than Broken Arrow with “civilized” Indians, corruption of the Homestead Act, and lots of violence. Also, just a way better film all around, what with Anthony Mann’s vision. However, still some really bad redface, including Robert Taylor as the lead in an otherwise decent performance. ” - rfischer9100
 
45.
Ikiru (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer. (143 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
“ It's a little disenchanting that so much of this "learning to love life when it's almost too late" story revolves around work, and at times, it feels like Akira Kurosawa is just working out his feelings about an annoying experience at the DMV. But, most of the film is powerful and transcendent with Shimura's performance as the centerpiece. And those last few shots are really fantastic.

I first watched this as a teenager (thanks to Roger Ebert). I got a lot more out of it this time, in my mid-30s. I imagine I'll like it even more next time... ” - rfischer9100
 
46.
Horror of Dracula (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Jonathan Harker begets the ire of Count Dracula after he accepts a job at the vampire's castle under false pretenses. (82 mins.)
Director: Terence Fisher
“ It probably doesn't measure up to the expressionistic versions of Nosferatu and the Lugosi Dracula, but this is probably my favorite color version of the story. It's a straightforward retelling that establishes the gothic mood quite nicely with Cushing and Lee giving very fun performances. ” - rfischer9100
 
47.
Rififi (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Four men plan a technically perfect crime, but the human element intervenes... (118 mins.)
Director: Jules Dassin
“ French noir has this extra level of stylization that I find really interesting. Here you have the musical number "Rififi" (which is great) basically announcing that stylization. The interesting thing is that Dassin made some relatively grounded American noirs.

The heist scene is quite long and pretty uneventful, so it's quite the feat to make it as suspenseful as Dassin does. ” - rfischer9100
 
48.
Marty (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A middle-aged butcher and a school teacher who have given up on the idea of love meet at a dance and fall for each other. (90 mins.)
Director: Delbert Mann
“ A very sweet movie that works even if it overplays the unattractiveness of the central lovers. I'd watch a whole movie about Aunt Catherine - "one-a step-a from the street!" ” - rfischer9100
 
49.
All That Heaven Allows (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An upper-class widow falls in love with a much younger, down-to-earth nurseryman, much to the disapproval of her children and criticism of her country club peers. (89 mins.)
Director: Douglas Sirk
“ The story of a very narrow-minded town keeping a somewhat narrow-minded woman from her happiness can be annoying and a bit inane, but that is kind of the point. More importantly, the colors and compositions are unbelievable. Every time we get a shot with that big window I was transported to another world. ” - rfischer9100
 
50.
The Crucified Lovers (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Ishun is a wealthy, but unsympathetic, master printer who has wrongly accused his wife and best employee of being lovers. To escape punishment, the accused run away together, but Ishun is certain to be ruined if word gets out. (102 mins.)
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
“ This Mohei fellow seems like a real good guy. I hope things work out for hi-...oh no, this is a Mizoguchi movie! Look out, Mohei!

Better than Sansho the Bailiff in my opinion. Yes, Mizoguchi is still hitting the same notes about society's hypocrisies and life's general suckitude, but at least we get some romance this time (and this film has more of Mizoguchi's beautiful use of space, which Ugetsu really showed off but which was not as present in Sansho). ” - rfischer9100
 
51.
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
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. (122 mins.)
Director: Elia Kazan
“ This adaptation of a legendary play that mostly takes place in one apartment and the street outside should feel stagey, but Kazan does a great job of using his camera to give a real sense of the apartment's space, much as he did in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. That said, this film's greatness is all about Leigh and Brando giving epic performances - both are great, but Brando just completely makes Stanley his own. ” - rfischer9100
 
52.
Ace in the Hole (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to re-jump start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus. (111 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ I'd heard it was dark, but it was even darker than I expected. Douglas is great. ” - rfischer9100
 
53.
The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An unscrupulous movie producer uses an actress, a director and a writer to achieve success. (118 mins.)
“ Plenty of beautiful; could use more bad. ” - rfischer9100
 
54.
Forbidden Games (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A young French girl orphaned in a Nazi air attack is befriended by the son of a poor farmer, and together they try to come to terms with the realities of death. (86 mins.)
Director: René Clément
“ Most of the stuff with the Dolle family is condescending and ridiculous, but the child actors are so incredibly good that they sell this heartbreaking portrait of innocence and tragedy in wartime anyway. ” - rfischer9100
 
55.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Showgirls Lorelei Lee and Dorothy Shaw travel to Paris, pursued by a private detective hired by the suspicious father of Lorelei's fiancé, as well as a rich, enamored old man and many other doting admirers. (91 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
“ Very entertaining and weirdly feminist. Russell and Monroe work together as well as any of the male comedy duos of the day (I'd take them over Hope and Crosby any day of the week). ” - rfischer9100
 
56.
Tokyo Story (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them. (136 mins.)
Director: Yasujirô Ozu
“ Quite good, but I prefer Late Spring. ” - rfischer9100
 
57.
The Nights of Cabiria (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A waifish prostitute wanders the streets of Rome looking for true love but finds only heartbreak. (110 mins.)
“ The Masina-Chaplin comparison was pretty clear after La Strada, but seeing Masina bring the same energy to a completely different character here makes the comparison even stronger. I like the nuanced ways in which the religious themes are brought in (much preferred to Rosselini's heavy-handed use of similar material). ” - rfischer9100
 
58.
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, four men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe. (131 mins.)
“ Mario and Luigi have to do some dangerous, blue collar work, but rather than King Koopa, they must contend with an uncaring American employer and a cruel universe.

I think you could cut the first forty-five minutes and have a better film, but that last 2/3rds is pretty thrilling. ” - rfischer9100
 
59.
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
“ Stylish as hell with a great bebop soundtrack, pools of light and shadow, and that wonderful fakey-real feel of French noir. I also enjoyed the meandering nature of the plot for a while, though it grated a little once it became clear that it wasn't meandering at all but was instead headed for a highly-contrived twist. ” - rfischer9100
 
60.
Floating Weeds (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The head of a Japanese theatre troupe returns to a small coastal town where he left a son who thinks he is his uncle, and tries to make up for the lost time, but his current mistress grows jealous. (119 mins.)
Director: Yasujirô Ozu
“ Shouting? Name-calling? Tears? This is an Ozu film? By far the most dramatic work of his I've seen...and while I don't think it's as strong as some of his more subdued work, it is nice as a change of pace. Even nicer is the gorgeous colors and cicada-filled sound-design that bring the setting to life. ” - rfischer9100
 
61.
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
“ Jean Renoir filming India in color. Does anything else matter? ” - rfischer9100
 
62.
Le Plaisir (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Three stories about the pleasure. The first one is about a man hiding his age behind a mask to keep going to balls and fancying women... (97 mins.)
Director: Max Ophüls
“ Ophuls' floating camera and gentle, sensual touches makes this a great experience. The third story is the weakest of the three, and it leaves things on a bit of a sour note (at least, relative to the two great stories before). ” - rfischer9100
 
63.
Night and Fog (1956 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside. (32 mins.)
Director: Alain Resnais
“ I don't think it is possible to encapsulate the horrors of the Holocaust, and certainly not in half-an-hour. Resnais understands that and manages to offer up a poignant hint at the monstrous whole. The focus is on the dehumanization and industrialization of the whole system. He portrays this quite powerfully, though the shortness of the summation does take away a sense of individuality of the victims - the film fails to restore the humanity that the system had taken, though perhaps it was doomed to fail in this respect no matter what. ” - rfischer9100
 
64.
Vera Cruz (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
During the Mexican Rebellion of 1866, an unsavory group of American adventurers are hired by the forces of Emporer Maximilian to escort a countess to Vera Cruz. (94 mins.)
Director: Robert Aldrich
“ Burt Lancaster and Gary Cooper play a pair of amoral
gunfighters in Mexico during the French occupation; really fun moral ambiguity and nicely filmed in Mexico. Lots of double crosses and action. A clear influence on films from The Wild Bunch to Star Wars (Han Solo seems to have some roots in Lancaster's character). ” - rfischer9100
 
65.
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
After being snubbed by the royal family, a malevolent fairy places a curse on a princess which only a prince can break, along with the help of three good fairies. (75 mins.)
Director: Clyde Geronimi
“ Even by the standards of an early Disney film, Aurora lacks character and agency. And, there's the usual thin plot, heavily padded. But, this is the most visually inventive of these films in the decades between the early 40s and the 90s with a lot of creativity focusing on the villain. The climax is really dramatic and exciting. ” - rfischer9100
 
66.
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
“ As a heist film, it's nothing special. In fact, the plan is laughably complicated. Also, Sterling Hayden does nothing for me in this kind of lead role (which he got a lot of - he's a character actor that people tried to mold into a poor-man's Robert Mitchum).

But, Kubrick's fingerprints are all over the film's visual style, which is exciting and different in ways that the story and character are not. Add a little darkness and extra violence and you get something highly watchable. ” - rfischer9100
 
67.
Le Notti Bianche (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A humble clerk courts a woman who night after night awaits for the return of her lover. (107 mins.)
“ So, Dostoyevsky invented the manic pixie dream girl?

This is beautiful film with gorgeous sets and a moving story, even if the characters can feel a little flighty. Feels like it could be a parody of Ophuls or a tribute. The dancing scene is great. ” - rfischer9100
 
68.
The Tall Men (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Two brothers, Ben and Clint, join a cattle drive from Texas to Montana. While heading for Texas they save Nella from the Indians... (122 mins.)
Director: Raoul Walsh
“ Ex-Confeds try to rob a Montana big shot but are convinced
to lead a cattle drive from Texas with him instead. Lots of this movie is angry-flirting between Clark Gable and Jane Russell (Russell’s character is a strange bumpkin). Really well-done all around though. Great use of color and scope, good adventure set-pieces, fun character and dialogue. Red Cloud makes an appearance but he’s is defeated by stampeding cattle through an ambush (?) and he has no lines. No Indians do. ” - rfischer9100
 
69.
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
“ An odd mixture of southern gothic with moments of sex comedy romp that can suddenly veer into horror at times. The mix can border on the grotesque, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that a lot of people react that way, but I think it works, if just barely, thanks to the work of Malden, Wallach, and Baker. ” - rfischer9100
 
70.
Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Musashi Miyamoto returns to Kyoto after years of absence. After a series of fights against the Yoshioka School, he challenges its master to a duel. (104 mins.)
Director: Hiroshi Inagaki
“ The strongest film of the trilogy - the background has been established by the first film, and the third film loses a lot of the threads of the plot, but here the love triangle (pentagon?), martial rivalries, and Miyamoto's philosophical development are all juggled quite skillfully, though the juggling does make the middle feel a little slack. As in the first film, the color and production design are beautiful. ” - rfischer9100
 
71.
Death of a Cyclist (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A couple having an affair strike a bicyclist with their car and do not offer aid out of fear of their relationship being exposed. (88 mins.)
Director: J.A. Bardem
“ Lots of really fascinating cuts, some surprising turns, and a subtle critique of Franco's Spain enliven this film that owes a lot to film noir. There are times when it seems to lean almost too heavily on noir - including an ending that's going for poetic justice but feels more like a Code-enforced tying up of loose ends. ” - rfischer9100
 
72.
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
“ Bergman's returns to weird mystical/historical existential crisis mode after the Seventh Seal. This film doesn't have the flair or despair of that one, but it hits a lot of the same beats with a little more humor and a greater focus on the absurd.

It gradually strips away its own mysticism and makes you long for the lies. ” - rfischer9100
 
73.
Deadly Is the Female (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A well meaning crack shot husband is pressured by his beautiful marksman wife to go on an interstate robbery spree, where he finds out just how depraved and deadly she really is. (86 mins.)
Director: Joseph H. Lewis
“ I don't think that the film quite gets at America's obsession with guns and violence the way it seems to intend to in the opening sequence; sex derails the film just as it derails the characters. The central relationship is very interesting though, and director Lewis makes a lot of exciting choices. A very notable noir. ” - rfischer9100
 
74.
The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel. (112 mins.)
Director: John Huston
“ More character driven than most noirs. The lack of stars (Monroe isn't one yet) in the cast suggests the cheaper noir films, but this is, of course, an A-production with John Huston at the helm - makes for an interesting tension.

This reminded me of early '30s gangster films in that there's a fair amount of anti-crime moralizing undermined by a focus on and humanization of the criminals. ” - rfischer9100
 
75.
The Flowers of St. Francis (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The film dramatizes about a dozen vignettes from the life of St. Francis and his early followers - starting... (85 mins.)
“ Simple and humorous recounting of some of the acts of St. Francis and his followers. Relies a little too much on "simpleton" monks rather than just the purity of their faith to get its point across (and mostly to go for laughs), but some of the bits really work. The story of the tyrant is a highlight with a lot of manic energy and some crazy art direction (especially on the armor). ” - rfischer9100
 
76.
Westward the Women (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A trail guide escorts a group of women from Chicago to California to marry men that have recently began settling there. (118 mins.)
“ 140 women go to CA in 1851 to get husbands. The women, for the most part, get to be tough and brave without too much condescension. Japanese cook is asexual comic relief, but still comes off pretty well. Very dark – many characters die; there is rape, murder, children die, etc. Well shot in beautiful black and white. ” - rfischer9100
 
77.
From Here to Eternity (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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
“ Zinneman shows how much character depth some sex can add to a story.

The film's focus on the brutal institutionalization of the army is pretty subversive for the time, but, of course, all of the characters have to throw away everything to run back to it in the end, which was a little disappointing. ” - rfischer9100
 
78.
Winchester '73 (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The journey of a prized rifle from one ill-fated owner to another parallels a cowboy's search for a murderous fugitive. (92 mins.)
Director: Anthony Mann
“ Anthony Mann’s sense of style lifts this western with a
lot of traditional elements (including marauding Indians and a woman who needs the protection of a good man). Stewart is great as is the script and B&W cinematography – plot follows gun for a while – a good idea that is abandoned, making the middle third of the film seem rather like a random tangent. ” - rfischer9100
 
79.
Senso (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A troubled and neurotic Italian Countess betrays her entire country for a self-destructive love affair with an Austrian Lieutenant. (123 mins.)
“ An uninteresting and unsympathetic Venetian countess falls in love with an even less sympathetic (and only slightly more interesting) Austrian soldier during the wars of Italian unification. The lush visuals had to carry a rather heavy load for me because I was so uninterested in the romance...but the visuals were more than up to the task - this is a gorgeous movie with wonderful colors, exquisite locations, and perfectly framed shots. The war in the background (with a couple of battle scenes) adds some grandeur as well. ” - rfischer9100
 
80.
Kanal (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In 1944, during the Warsaw uprising against the Nazis, Polish Lieutenant Zadra and his resistance fighters use Warsaw's sewer system to escape the German encirclement. (91 mins.)
Director: Andrzej Wajda
“ Somehow manages to bring a cool romanticism to a hopeless and bleak war tragedy. ” - rfischer9100
 
81.
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
“ Well, Brando has one of his meatiest roles at the height of his power, and Kazan is working in his milieu, so this is destined to be a thoroughly solid movie. That said, it's a little more cliched than I'd like, especially the love story.

Also, the thought that Kazan sees any parallel between his cooperation with HUAC and Terry's actions is really obnoxious. ” - rfischer9100
 
82.
Equinox Flower (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A businessman clashes with his elder daughter over her choice of a husband. (118 mins.)
Director: Yasujirô Ozu
“ Early in this film, I thought, "well, it's the same old Ozu formula - family love with a tinge of disappointment. Maybe you only need to watch two or three of these." An hour later, I was completely engrossed. There's so much depth in the subtleties of each Ozu. Here, the great moment is when a bunch of fathers go from complaining about their daughters getting married to reciting mournful warrior poetry. ” - rfischer9100
 
83.
Sansho the Bailiff (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
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. (124 mins.)
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
“ I might have liked this better if I hadn't seen so many other Mizoguchi misery-fests first, but I nonetheless enjoyed it a lot, and that's saying something. Mizoguchi is a master, even if his films all seem to sound the same note. ” - rfischer9100
 
84.
Shane (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A weary gunfighter attempts to settle down with a homestead family, but a smoldering settler/rancher conflict forces him to act. (118 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
“ The story of a rootless killer finding a home with struggling
homesteaders has great potential, and Stevens creates some iconic moments, especially at the end. The “aw shucks” vibe (and the creepy kid actor who most embodies it) is kind of a turn off though, and this film actually ruined westerns for me as a kid (though I like it better now). Can drag at times too. ” - rfischer9100
 
85.
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
“ A rather dumb plot where we learn that fashion is more genuine that philosophy and leftist politics, AND an uncomfortable age difference between the romantic leads are somehow overcome by the wonderful charms of Hepburn, Astaire, and Donen, who's working in beautiful color and VistaVision. ” - rfischer9100
 
86.
The Band Wagon (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A pretentiously artistic director is hired for a new Broadway musical and changes it beyond recognition. (112 mins.)
“ A light, enjoyable old-fashioned musical that's all about the joy of light, old-fashioned musicals. After feeling that Astaire was kind of looking his age in Easter Parade, I thought he looked reinvigorated here. ” - rfischer9100
 
87.
Ballad of a Soldier (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Young Russian soldier Alyosha earns a medal, but asks to visit his mother instead. His journey recounts various kinds of love during wartime. (88 mins.)
“ Reminded me of 1930s Hollywood, which is definitely not a bad thing, just unexpected in a Soviet film - sentimental in all the right ways ” - rfischer9100
 
88.
La Strada (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A care-free girl is sold to a traveling entertainer, consequently enduring physical and emotional pain along the way. (108 mins.)
“ Fellini creates a sad and beautiful little world and Giulietta Masina breathes life into it. ” - rfischer9100
 
89.
Julius Caesar (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The growing ambition of Julius Caesar is a source of major concern to his close friend Brutus. Cassius persuades him to participate in his plot to assassinate Caesar but they have both sorely underestimated Mark Antony. (120 mins.)
“ Doesn't have the visual inventiveness of Olivier's and Welles' recent Shakespeare productions, but it does have a great cast (Gielgud! James Mason! Brando!) and high production values. And it's a badass play. ” - rfischer9100
 
90.
Aparajito (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Following his father's death, a boy leaves home to study in Calcutta, while his mother must face a life alone. (110 mins.)
Director: Satyajit Ray
“ While still full of incredible images and moments, I didn't enjoy this film nearly as much as Pather Panchali. The central themes about a boy growing up and moving into a different world are conveyed very powerfully, but they're a bit more familiar than the previous film's world. Again, Karuna Bannerjee is fantastic as the mother. ” - rfischer9100
 
91.
La Ronde (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An all-knowing interlocutor guides us through a series of affairs in Vienna, 1900. A soldier meets an eager young lady of the evening... (97 mins.)
Director: Max Ophüls
“ A playful film with a fun structure where vignettes are handed off between lovers. The film is charming in many ways, but I'm sure a big part of the appeal was its naughtiness...which hasn't aged well (and, actually, it's still not as naughty as a pre-code Lubitsch). ” - rfischer9100
 
92.
Casque d'Or (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In an open-air dance hall, the members of Leca's gang are relaxing with their ladies. One of them, Marie... (96 mins.)
Director: Jacques Becker
“ Becker manages to mix moods very well here - it's a noir, a romantic melodrama, at one point it even feels like a western, but he can also create a nice pastoral scene for some love-making (including a wonderful cut from Marie looking down on sleeping Manda on the grass to Manda looking down on sleeping Marie in bed). ” - rfischer9100
 
93.
I Vitelloni (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A character study of five young men at crucial turning points in their lives in a small town in Italy. (107 mins.)
“ Some great, surprising shots towards the end elevate this above the funny-but-heavy-handed social commentary about '50s Italian men failing to mature (it's like proto-Apatow). ” - rfischer9100
 
94.
Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A childless middle-aged couple faces a marital crisis of sorts. (115 mins.)
Director: Yasujirô Ozu
“ High drama (for Ozu)! The conflicts are a bit more explicit, though there are still many nuances and subtleties in this tale of a foundering marriage. At the same time, the outcome never really seemed in doubt to me, and that perhaps undercuts the tension a little bit, even as it shows how Ozu plays the couples' love for each other in the subtlest of ways. All the usual Ozu touches are there, so the film is almost an 8/10 by default. ” - rfischer9100
 
95.
No Name on the Bullet (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
When hired killer John Gant rides into Lordsburg, the town's folk become paranoid as each leading citizen has enemies capable of using the services of a professional killer for personal revenge. (77 mins.)
Director: Jack Arnold
“ A great dark premise of man who kills by intimidation and thus can never be prosecuted; community falls apart; movie can’t figure out what it thinks about this Johnny Gant, and suffers a little as a result ” - rfischer9100
 
96.
The Hidden Fortress (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Lured by gold, two greedy peasants escort a man and woman across enemy lines. However, they do not realize that their companions are actually a princess and her general. (139 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
“ Starts very slowly, and even when it gets started, it takes its damn time. There is some wonderfully atmospheric stuff in the last third though, especially the Fire Festival sequence and the attempt to cross the border shortly after that - there's twenty minutes that can stand up next to anything Kurosawa ever did. ” - rfischer9100
 
97.
A Man Escaped (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Captured French Resistance fighter Lieutenant Fontaine awaits a certain death sentence for espionage in a stark Nazi prison... (99 mins.)
Director: Robert Bresson
“ I'm not the biggest fan of Bresson's way of making films, but this setting - a Nazi detention center in occupied France - suits his emotionless actors and spare atmosphere better than his other films. This could actually work pretty straight as an escape film.

I'm not sure if it was Bresson's intention, but this struck me as a fascinating study of procrastination. ” - rfischer9100
 
98.
Cairo Station (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Kinawi, a physically challenged peddler who makes his living selling newspapers in the central Cairo train station... (77 mins.)
Director: Youssef Chahine
“ A well-made, sordid noir that's quite remarkable for coming out of 1950s Egypt. The setting is the most original thing about the scenario, but Chahine's direction would make this stand-out regardless of its origin. ” - rfischer9100
 
99.
El (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A husband's suave exterior unravels after his marriage, and he unleashes his paranoid and volatile temper on his wife, which escalate to more dangerous and unpredictable tantrums. (92 mins.)
Director: Luis Buñuel
“ A very interesting study of a man who manages to be both magnetic and completely consumed with insecurities, violent urges, and, above all, a jealous paranoia. There's a nice Bunuel delusion near the end, and the whole thing is quite interesting, even if Gloria's decisions to stay with her murderous husband become unintentionally farcical. ” - rfischer9100
 
100.
A Night to Remember (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An account of the ill-fated maiden voyage of RMS Titanic in 1912. (123 mins.)
Director: Roy Baker
“ A deftly executed disaster film that weaves together lots of fine, poignant stories in the midst of the famous tragedy. The model work can be laughable by today's standards, but taken in context, I thought it was pretty spectacular most of the time. ” - rfischer9100