Films set in the 1950s

by kanagnosti | created - 17 Apr 2016 | updated - 3 months ago | Public
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1. Pleasantville (1998)

PG-13 | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

71 Metascore

Two 1990s teenage siblings find themselves in a 1950s sitcom, where their influence begins to profoundly change that complacent world.

Director: Gary Ross | Stars: Tobey Maguire, Jeff Daniels, Joan Allen, Reese Witherspoon

Votes: 114,376 | Gross: $40.57M

2. Capote (2005)

R | 114 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

88 Metascore

In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.

Director: Bennett Miller | Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Clifton Collins Jr., Catherine Keener, Allie Mickelson

Votes: 116,836 | Gross: $28.75M

3. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

R | 139 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

76 Metascore

In late 1950s New York, Tom Ripley, a young underachiever, is sent to Italy to retrieve Dickie Greenleaf, a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy. But when the errand fails, Ripley takes extreme measures.

Director: Anthony Minghella | Stars: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett

Votes: 161,106 | Gross: $81.30M

4. Mona Lisa Smile (2003)

PG-13 | 117 min | Drama

45 Metascore

A free-thinking art professor teaches conservative 1950s Wellesley girls to question their traditional social roles.

Director: Mike Newell | Stars: Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal

Votes: 72,012 | Gross: $63.86M

5. Grease (1978)

PG-13 | 110 min | Musical, Romance

70 Metascore

Good girl Sandy and greaser Danny fell in love over the summer. When they unexpectedly discover they're now in the same high school, will they be able to rekindle their romance?

Director: Randal Kleiser | Stars: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway

Votes: 209,798 | Gross: $188.76M

6. Carol (2015)

R | 118 min | Drama, Romance

95 Metascore

An aspiring photographer develops an intimate relationship with an older woman in 1950s New York.

Director: Todd Haynes | Stars: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Kyle Chandler

Votes: 100,243 | Gross: $12.71M

7. Revolutionary Road (2008)

R | 119 min | Drama, Romance

69 Metascore

A young couple living in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s struggle to come to terms with their personal problems while trying to raise their two children.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Christopher Fitzgerald, Jonathan Roumie

Votes: 177,894 | Gross: $22.91M

8. Far from Heaven (2002)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama

84 Metascore

In 1950s Connecticut, a housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world.

Director: Todd Haynes | Stars: Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert, Patricia Clarkson

Votes: 41,315 | Gross: $15.85M

9. Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)

PG | 93 min | Biography, Drama, History

80 Metascore

Broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow looks to bring down Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Director: George Clooney | Stars: David Strathairn, George Clooney, Patricia Clarkson, Jeff Daniels

Votes: 89,861 | Gross: $31.50M

10. Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004)

PG-13 | 86 min | Drama, Music, Romance

39 Metascore

High school senior Katey moves to Havana in November 1958, when her dad gets a promotion at Ford. She meets a local waiter, who introduces her to sensual Cuban music/dance. They enter a big dance contest for the prize when he gets fired.

Director: Guy Ferland | Stars: Diego Luna, Romola Garai, Sela Ward, John Slattery

Votes: 25,110 | Gross: $14.16M

11. L.A. Confidential (1997)

R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

90 Metascore

As corruption grows in 1950s Los Angeles, three policemen -- one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy -- investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.

Director: Curtis Hanson | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger

Votes: 491,919 | Gross: $64.62M

12. Cry-Baby (1990)

PG-13 | 85 min | Comedy, Musical

In 1950s Baltimore, a bad boy with a heart of gold wins the love of a good girl, whose boyfriend sets out for revenge.

Director: John Waters | Stars: Johnny Depp, Ricki Lake, Amy Locane, Susan Tyrrell

Votes: 50,608 | Gross: $8.27M

13. Back to the Future (1985)

PG | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

87 Metascore

Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover

Votes: 931,276 | Gross: $210.61M

14. Stand by Me (1986)

R | 89 min | Adventure, Drama

75 Metascore

After the death of a friend, a writer recounts a boyhood journey to find the body of a missing boy.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell

Votes: 332,614 | Gross: $52.29M

15. Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)

PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

74 Metascore

Peggy Sue faints at a high school reunion. When she wakes up, she finds herself in her own past, just before she finished school.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Kathleen Turner, Nicolas Cage, Barry Miller, Catherine Hicks

Votes: 30,288 | Gross: $41.38M

16. La Bamba (1987)

PG-13 | 108 min | Biography, Drama, Music

65 Metascore

Biographical story of the rise from nowhere of early rock and roll singer Ritchie Valens who died at age 17 in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper.

Director: Luis Valdez | Stars: Lou Diamond Phillips, Esai Morales, Rosanna DeSoto, Elizabeth Peña

Votes: 25,042 | Gross: $54.22M

17. In Cold Blood (1967)

R | 134 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

89 Metascore

After a botched robbery results in the brutal murder of a rural family, two drifters elude police, in the end coming to terms with their own mortality and the repercussions of their vile atrocity.

Director: Richard Brooks | Stars: Robert Blake, Scott Wilson, John Forsythe, Paul Stewart

Votes: 22,050

18. Chocolat (2000)

PG-13 | 121 min | Drama, Romance

64 Metascore

A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community.

Director: Lasse Hallström | Stars: Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina, Carrie-Anne Moss

Votes: 168,075 | Gross: $71.51M

19. Young Adam (2003)

NC-17 | 98 min | Crime, Drama

67 Metascore

A young drifter working on a river barge disrupts his employers' lives while hiding the fact that he knows more about a dead woman found in the river than he admits.

Director: David Mackenzie | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton, Peter Mullan, Emily Mortimer

Votes: 12,626 | Gross: $0.77M

20. My Week with Marilyn (2011)

R | 99 min | Biography, Drama

65 Metascore

Colin Clark, an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier, documents the tense interaction between Olivier and Marilyn Monroe during the production of The Prince and the Showgirl (1957).

Director: Simon Curtis | Stars: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Julia Ormond

Votes: 79,175 | Gross: $14.60M

21. On the Road (2012)

R | 124 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

56 Metascore

Young writer Sal Paradise has his life shaken by the arrival of free-spirited Dean Moriarty and his girl, Marylou. As they travel across the country, they encounter a mix of people who each impact their journey indelibly.

Director: Walter Salles | Stars: Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Amy Adams

Votes: 37,828 | Gross: $0.72M

22. Julie & Julia (2009)

PG-13 | 118 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

66 Metascore

Julia Child's story of her start in the cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell's 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child's first book.

Director: Nora Ephron | Stars: Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Chris Messina, Stanley Tucci

Votes: 96,111 | Gross: $94.13M

23. 8 Women (2002)

R | 111 min | Comedy, Crime, Musical

64 Metascore

One murdered man, eight women, each seeming to be eager than the others to know the truth. Gimme, gimme, gimme some clues to make up my mind. And eventually enter the truth. Oh, thou cruel woman!

Director: François Ozon | Stars: Fanny Ardant, Emmanuelle Béart, Danielle Darrieux, Catherine Deneuve

Votes: 27,012 | Gross: $3.08M

24. Great Balls of Fire! (1989)

PG-13 | 108 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The life and career of wildly controversial rock 'n' roll star Jerry Lee Lewis.

Director: Jim McBride | Stars: Dennis Quaid, Winona Ryder, John Doe, Stephen Tobolowsky

Votes: 14,389 | Gross: $13.74M

25. Cinema Paradiso (1988)

R | 155 min | Drama

80 Metascore

A filmmaker recalls his childhood when falling in love with the pictures at the cinema of his home village and forms a deep friendship with the cinema's projectionist.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore | Stars: Philippe Noiret, Enzo Cannavale, Antonella Attili, Isa Danieli

Votes: 200,307 | Gross: $11.99M

26. Lolita (1962)

Not Rated | 153 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A middle-aged college professor becomes infatuated with a fourteen-year-old nymphet.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon, Gary Cockrell

Votes: 82,565 | Gross: $9.25M

27. Dance with a Stranger (1985)

R | 96 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

A stormy relationship, complicated by the strictures of 1950s social class and gender roles, ends in death. Based on the life of Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged in Britain.

Director: Mike Newell | Stars: Miranda Richardson, Rupert Everett, Ian Holm, Matthew Carroll

Votes: 2,219 | Gross: $2.17M

28. The Dressmaker (I) (2015)

R | 119 min | Comedy, Drama

47 Metascore

A glamorous woman returns to her small town in rural Australia. With her sewing machine and haute couture style, she transforms the women and exacts sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.

Director: Jocelyn Moorhouse | Stars: Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving

Votes: 46,656 | Gross: $2.02M

29. Populaire (2012)

R | 111 min | Comedy, Romance, Sport

58 Metascore

1958. Rose is a terrible secretary but a demon typist. Her handsome boss resolves to turn her into the fastest girl in the world.

Director: Régis Roinsard | Stars: Romain Duris, Féodor Atkine, Déborah François, Bérénice Bejo

Votes: 10,728 | Gross: $0.18M

30. Suburbicon (2017)

R | 105 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

42 Metascore

As a 1950s suburban community self-destructs, a home invasion has sinister consequences for one seemingly normal family.

Director: George Clooney | Stars: Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac, Noah Jupe

Votes: 31,096 | Gross: $5.78M

31. Wonder Wheel (2017)

PG-13 | 101 min | Drama

45 Metascore

On Coney Island in the 1950s, a lifeguard tells the story of a middle-aged carousel operator, his beleaguered wife, and the visitor who turns their lives upside-down.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Justin Timberlake, Juno Temple, Robert C. Kirk, Kate Winslet

Votes: 19,590 | Gross: $1.40M

32. Green Book (2018)

PG-13 | 130 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

69 Metascore

A working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South.

Director: Peter Farrelly | Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini, Sebastian Maniscalco

Votes: 194,648 | Gross: $85.08M



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