Best of the 1950s

View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
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.)
 
2.
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.)
 
3.
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.)
 
4.
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
 
5.
Sansho the Bailiff (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
In mediaeval Japan a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him... (124 mins.)
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
 
6.
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
 
7.
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
 
8.
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
 
9.
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.)
 
10.
Pickpocket (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Michel is released from jail after serving a sentence for thievery. His mother dies and he resorts to pickpocketing as a means of survival. (75 mins.)
Director: Robert Bresson
 
11.
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
 
12.
Umberto D. (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A elderly man and his dog struggle to survive on his government pension in Rome. (89 mins.)
 
13.
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
 
14.
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
 
15.
Ugetsu (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A fantastic tale of war, love, family and ambition set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century. (96 mins.)
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
 
16.
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
 
17.
Diary of a Country Priest (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A young priest taking over the parish at Ambricourt tries to fulfill his duties even as he fights a mysterious stomach ailment. (115 mins.)
Director: Robert Bresson
 
18.
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
 
19.
A Man Escaped (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Captured French Resistance fighter Andre Devigny awaits a certain death sentence for espionage in a stark Nazi prison... (99 mins.)
Director: Robert Bresson
 
20.
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.)
 
21.
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.)
 
22.
The Earrings of Madame de... (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 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
 
23.
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
 
24.
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.)
 
25.
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.)
 
26.
The Naked Spur (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 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
 
27.
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.)
 
28.
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
 
29.
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
 
30.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A small-town doctor learns that the population of his community is being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates. (80 mins.)
Director: Don Siegel
 
31.
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
 
32.
Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Monsieur Hulot comes to a beachside hotel for a vacation, where he accidentally (but good-naturedly) causes havoc. (114 mins.)
Director: Jacques Tati
 
33.
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
 
34.
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
 
35.
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
 
36.
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
 
37.
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.)
 
38.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
When two 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
 
39.
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
 
40.
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
 
41.
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
 
42.
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.)
 
43.
The African Queen (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In Africa during WWI, 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
 
44.
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
 
45.
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.)
 
46.
Man of the West (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A reformed outlaw becomes stranded after an aborted train robbery with two other passengers and is forced to rejoin his old outlaw band. (100 mins.)
Director: Anthony Mann
 
47.
The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A meek bank clerk who oversees the shipment of bullion joins with an eccentric neighbor to steal gold bars and smuggle them out of the country as miniature Eiffel Towers. (78 mins.)
 
48.
The Gunfighter (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Notorious gunfighter Jimmy Ringo rides into town to find his true love, who doesn't want to see him. He hasn't come looking for trouble, but trouble finds him around every corner. (85 mins.)
Director: Henry King
 
49.
Richard III (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Shakespeare's powerful tale of the wicked deformed king and his conquests, both on the battlefield and in the boudoir. (161 mins.)
 
50.
D.O.A. (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Frank Bigelow, told he's been poisoned and has only a few days to live, tries to find out who killed him and why. (83 mins.)
Director: Rudolph Maté
 
51.
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.)
 
52.
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
 
53.
Day of the Outlaw (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Blaise Starrett is a rancher at odds with homesteaders when outlaws hold up the small town. The outlaws are held in check only by their notorious leader, but he is diagnosed with a fatal wound and the town is a powder keg waiting to blow. (92 mins.)
Director: Andre De Toth
 
54.
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 disapproving father of Lorelei's fiancé to keep an eye on her, as well as a rich, enamored old man and many other doting admirers. (91 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
55.
People of No Importance (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
(101 mins.)
Director: Henri Verneuil
 
56.
Caged (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A naive nineteen year old widow becomes coarsened and cynical when she is sent to a woman's prison and is exposed to hardened criminals and sadistic guards. (96 mins.)
Director: John Cromwell
 
57.
A Star Is Born (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A film star helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career on a downward spiral. (154 mins.)
Director: George Cukor
 
58.
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.)
 
59.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In 1850 Oregon, when a backwoodsman brings a wife home to his farm, his six brothers decide that they want to get married too. (102 mins.)
Director: Stanley Donen
 
60.
...And God Created Woman (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
In sunny St. Tropez, a young sexpot loves one brother but marries the other. (95 mins.)
Director: R. Vadim
 
61.
Hobson's Choice (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Henry Hobson is a successful bootmaker and tyrannical widower of three daughters. The girls each want to leave their father by getting married, but Henry refuses as marriage traditions require him to pay out settlements. (107 mins.)
Director: David Lean
 
62.
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.)
 
63.
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
 
64.
Cinderella (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
When Cinderella's cruel stepmother prevents her from attending the Royal Ball, she gets some unexpected help from the lovable mice Gus and Jaq, and from her Fairy Godmother. (74 mins.)
 
65.
It's Always Fair Weather (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Three soldiers meet 10 years after their last meeting in New York, and find out that they have little in common now. (101 mins.)
 
66.
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
 
67.
The Tall Target (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A New York City detective, traveling by train between New York and Baltimore, tries to foil an on-board plot to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln before he reaches Baltimore to give a major pre-Inauguration speech in 1861. (78 mins.)
Director: Anthony Mann
 
68.
Gigi (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Weary of the conventions of Parisian society, a rich playboy and a youthful courtesan-in-training enjoy a platonic friendship, but it may not stay platonic for long. (115 mins.)
 
69.
The Big Country (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A New Englander arrives in the Old West, where he becomes embroiled in a feud between two families over a valuable patch of land. (165 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
 
70.
Angel Face (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Ambulance driver Frank Jessup is ensnared in the schemes of the sensuous but dangerous Diane Tremayne. (91 mins.)
Director: Otto Preminger
 
71.
Wagon Master (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Two young drifters guide a Mormon wagon train to the San Juan Valley and encounter cutthroats, Indians, geography, and moral challenges on the journey. (86 mins.)
Director: John Ford