Dusting Off '50s Celluloid

by rubyfruit76 | created - 03 May 2018 | updated - 02 Aug 2018 | Public

These are movies recommended by poll board users. Which of these relatively little-known but highly recommended films, all released during the 1950s, would you most like to see (again or for the first time)? (Where there are comments next to a movie, they were provided by the Poll Board member who nominated the film.)

After voting, discuss here.

Vote in "Dusting Off '40s Celluloid" here. Vote in "Dusting Off Celluloid (Before 1940)" here.

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1. Blackboard Jungle (1955)

Approved | 101 min | Crime, Drama

67 Metascore

A new English teacher at a violent, unruly inner-city school is determined to do his job, despite resistance from both students and faculty.

Director: Richard Brooks | Stars: Glenn Ford, Anne Francis, Louis Calhern, Margaret Hayes

Votes: 8,119

Recommended by Jeorj Euler Nominated for four Oscars; IMDb rating: 7.4 as of July, 2018

2. Black Orpheus (1959)

PG | 100 min | Drama, Fantasy, Music

81 Metascore

A retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, set during the time of the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro.

Director: Marcel Camus | Stars: Breno Mello, Marpessa Dawn, Lourdes de Oliveira, Léa Garcia

Votes: 9,844

Recommended by rubyfruit76: A celebration of sound and image, the color is rich and sensual, and the music is hypnotic. The rythmic romp set in Rio de Janiero is a surprising re-tellng of the Greek myth, and if mythology has never been your thing, it likely won't matter to you for a minute of this cinematic whirl. Metacritic score: 81; IMDb rating: 7.5 as of July, 2018

3. Devil's Doorway (1950)

Approved | 84 min | Romance, Western

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.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: Robert Taylor, Louis Calhern, Paula Raymond, Marshall Thompson

Votes: 1,396

Recommended by Sweetie5: A medal of honor recipient arrives home after serving in the civil war, but isn't given the reception he deserves because he's an American Indian. An honest man who's made a good life for himself, and they want to ruin that (not your stereotypical American Indian character in those years). Really loved Robert Taylor's performance; brought me to tears. IMDb rating: 7.3 as of July, 2018

4. Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

Not Rated | 91 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

94 Metascore

A self-assured businessman murders his employer, the husband of his mistress, which unintentionally provokes an ill-fated chain of events.

Director: Louis Malle | Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Maurice Ronet, Georges Poujouly, Yori Bertin

Votes: 21,765 | Gross: $0.11M

Recommended by rubyfruit76 This visually fascinating movie feels very much like film noir even though it isn't always characterized as such. This dark thriller begins with a common enough scenario, two lovers plotting the murder of the woman's older husband who is also the man's boss, but it unravels into a film more brilliant than the sum of its plot parts. Metacritic score: 94; IMDb rating: 8.0 as of July, 2018

5. A Face in the Crowd (1957)

Approved | 126 min | Drama, Music

72 Metascore

A female radio reporter turns a folk-singing drifter into a powerful media star.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, Anthony Franciosa, Walter Matthau

Votes: 13,750

Recommended by Timothy Gray: Before becoming famous as the kind, fatherly Sheriff Andy Taylor, Andy Griffith plays a wandering guitar player who becomes drunk on power after becoming an overnight media sensation. Besides the novelty aspect of seeing him in such a drastically different role than we're generally used to, the media-related themes of power-hungriness and artificiality are compelling and strangely prescient. IMDb rating: 8.2 as of July, 2018

6. Law and Order (1953)

Passed | 80 min | Action, Adventure, Western

Frame Johnson already cleaned up Tombstone and hopes to settle down near Cottonwood. But a marshal's work is never done...

Director: Nathan Juran | Stars: Ronald Reagan, Dorothy Malone, Preston Foster, Alex Nicol

Votes: 650

Recommended by The Movie Smith: [This is] the title for which [Ronald Reagan] later acquired his nickname as the Law and Order President. The film stars Reagan as an Arizona lawman that retires but is forced back into line of duty when his new home town is just as corrupt as the first. IMDb rating: 5.9 as of July, 2018

7. The Lemon Drop Kid (1951)

Approved | 91 min | Comedy, Crime, Music

A New York City swindler has until Christmas to come up with the $10,000 he owes a gangster, prompting him to go into scamming overdrive.

Directors: Sidney Lanfield, Frank Tashlin | Stars: Bob Hope, Marilyn Maxwell, Lloyd Nolan, Jane Darwell

Votes: 1,652

Recommended by The Movie Smith: [This is] what I consider the only good Bob Hope film. Hope plays a swindler trying to pay off a debt by conning New York's underworld by paying up for a home for old homeless ladies. Full of laughs and memorable jokes as well as the premiere of "Silver Bells." IMDb rating: 7.2 as of July, 2018

8. Marty (1955)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

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.

Director: Delbert Mann | Stars: Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair, Esther Minciotti, Augusta Ciolli

Votes: 21,241

Recommended by Hoekkie Nominated for eight Oscars and one four, including Best Picture; IMDb rating: 7.7 as of July, 2018

9. Mister Roberts (1955)

Not Rated | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, War

72 Metascore

In the waning days of World War II, the United States Navy cargo ship Reluctant and her crew are stationed in the "backwater" areas of the Pacific Ocean. Trouble ensues when the crew members are granted liberty.

Directors: John Ford, Mervyn LeRoy, Joshua Logan | Stars: Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell, Jack Lemmon

Votes: 15,183 | Gross: $21.20M

Recommended by Pencho15: A fantastic comedy with a superb performance by Jack Lemmon, and with many Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. It is one of the jewels I discovered [from an] Oscar elimination game. IMDb rating: 7.8 as of July, 2018; One Oscar win

10. Night and the City (1950)

Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

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.

Director: Jules Dassin | Stars: Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Googie Withers, Hugh Marlowe

Votes: 11,900 | Gross: $3.60M

Recommended by Timothy Gray: An underrated noir about a small-time grifter who can't seem to catch a break. IMDb rating: 8.0 as of July, 2018

11. Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)

Not Rated | 109 min | Comedy, Romance

In Sweden at the turn of the century, members of the upper class and their servants find themselves in a romantic tangle that they try to work out amidst jealousy and heartbreak.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Ulla Jacobsson, Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson, Margit Carlqvist

Votes: 12,236

Recommended by albstein: This story of endless witty games of love could almost have been written by Oscar Wilde, but in fact it's by none other than Ingmar Bergman. IMDb rating: 7.9 as of July, 2018

12. The Three Faces of Eve (1957)

Approved | 91 min | Drama, Mystery

A doctor treats a woman suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder.

Director: Nunnally Johnson | Stars: Joanne Woodward, David Wayne, Lee J. Cobb, Edwin Jerome

Votes: 7,171

Recommended by Silitonga: 'Nothing more brilliant as Joanne Woodward delivering a black, white, and grey personality from a single act. IMDb rating: 7.2 as of July, 2018

13. Three Little Words (1950)

Passed | 102 min | Biography, Comedy, Musical

The story of the successful Tin Pan Alley songwriting team of Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby is told loosely and lightheartedly.

Director: Richard Thorpe | Stars: Fred Astaire, Vera-Ellen, Red Skelton, Arlene Dahl

Votes: 1,584 | Gross: $2.80M

Recommended by dan_dassow: The story of the successful Tin Pan Alley songwriting team of Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby is told loosely and lightheartedly. IMDb rating: 7.0 as of July, 2018

14. Umberto D. (1952)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama

92 Metascore

An elderly man and his dog struggle to survive on his government pension in Rome.

Director: Vittorio De Sica | Stars: Carlo Battisti, Maria Pia Casilio, Lina Gennari, Ileana Simova

Votes: 22,675 | Gross: $0.07M

Recommended by pbn: Aside from depicting poverty in postwar Italy, it also has one of the best dogs in European cinema. Metacritic score: 92; IMDb rating: 8.2 as of July, 2018

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