Underrated 50s

by hollywoodpsychic | created - 10 May 2014 | updated - 27 Jun 2018 | Public

An evolving list of 50s films that I feel all deserve more love. Some of these movies make the list for having low average user ratings. Others are here for having very few user ratings. All of these are movies I like. (Though some are certainly better than others!) Here, then, is my list of the best unappreciated, misunderstood and/or unknown 50s films that I particularly enjoyed, films that surely deserve higher ratings and/or a bigger audience.

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1. The Fireball (1950)

Approved | 84 min | Drama

Johnny runs away from Father O'Hara's orphanage and becomes a roller skating star with the help of Mary Reeves. He becomes involved with women, including Polly, who only love him because he... See full summary »

Director: Tay Garnett | Stars: Mickey Rooney, Pat O'Brien, Beverly Tyler, James Brown

Votes: 230

2. Highway 301 (1950)

Passed | 83 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Led by a psychotic killer, a vicious gang of armed robbers terrorizes Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina, robbing banks and payrolls and murdering anyone who might identify them

Director: Andrew L. Stone | Stars: Steve Cochran, Virginia Grey, Gaby André, Edmon Ryan

Votes: 420

3. The Kid from Texas (1950)

Approved | 78 min | Western

In New Mexico, Billy the Kid is involved in the Lincoln County War, kills many rivals and eventually becomes a wanted fugitive.

Director: Kurt Neumann | Stars: Audie Murphy, Gale Storm, Albert Dekker, Shepperd Strudwick

Votes: 469

4. The Nevadan (1950)

Approved | 81 min | Western

A mysterious stranger crosses paths with an outlaw bank robber and a greedy rancher.

Director: Gordon Douglas | Stars: Randolph Scott, Dorothy Malone, Forrest Tucker, Frank Faylen

Votes: 654

5. Five (1951)

Approved | 93 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

The world is destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. Only five Americans survive, including a pregnant woman, a neo-Nazi, a black man and a bank clerk.

Director: Arch Oboler | Stars: William Phipps, Susan Douglas Rubes, James Anderson, Charles Lampkin

Votes: 1,063

6. Under the Gun (1951)

Approved | 83 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

When a cunning, unscrupulous mobster is sentenced to a Florida prison farm, he launches a deadly escape plan.

Director: Ted Tetzlaff | Stars: Richard Conte, Audrey Totter, John McIntire, Sam Jaffe

Votes: 103

7. The Duel at Silver Creek (1952)

Approved | 77 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Marshal Tyrone and the Silver Kid form an uneasy alliance against a gang of claim jumpers.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Audie Murphy, Faith Domergue, Stephen McNally, Susan Cabot

Votes: 1,177

8. Kid Monk Baroni (1952)

Passed | 79 min | Action, Drama, Sport

"Kid" Monk Baroni, the leader of a street gang, becomes a professional boxer to escape his life in Little Italy, New York.

Director: Harold D. Schuster | Stars: Richard Rober, Bruce Cabot, Allene Roberts, Mona Knox

Votes: 109

9. Park Row (1952)

Approved | 83 min | Drama, Thriller

The Globe is a small, but visionary newspaper started by Phineas Mitchell, an editor recently fired by The Star. The two newspapers become enemies, and the Star's ruthless heiress Charity Hackett decides to eliminate the competition.

Director: Samuel Fuller | Stars: Gene Evans, Mary Welch, Bela Kovacs, Herbert Heyes

Votes: 1,291

10. Something to Live For (1952)

Approved | 89 min | Drama

An actress becomes an alcoholic after being jilted. She is aided by an Alcoholics Anonymous member with whom she has an affair; however, he is married.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Joan Fontaine, Ray Milland, Teresa Wright, Richard Derr

Votes: 231

11. The Steel Trap (1952)

Not Rated | 85 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A Los Angeles bank assistant-manager devises a plan to steal money from the bank's vault and to flee to Brazil with his unsuspecting wife.

Director: Andrew L. Stone | Stars: Joseph Cotten, Teresa Wright, Jonathan Hale, Walter Sande

Votes: 856

12. A Blueprint for Murder (1953)

Approved | 77 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Whitney Cameron suspects his sister-in-law has poisoned his brother and niece, but without proof how does he prevent the murder of his nephew?

Director: Andrew L. Stone | Stars: Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters, Gary Merrill, Catherine McLeod

Votes: 1,213

13. House of Blackmail (1953)

72 min | Drama, Mystery

A blackmailer is murdered, and the police find that there is a long list of suspects who wanted to see him dead.

Director: Maurice Elvey | Stars: Mary Germaine, William Sylvester, Alexander Gauge, John Arnatt

Votes: 128

14. Personal Affair (1953)

Approved | 82 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

In a 1950s British village, a teenager, who is in love with her Latin language teacher, disappears, prompting the police to investigate the teacher, amidst public rumors of rape and murder.

Director: Anthony Pelissier | Stars: Gene Tierney, Leo Genn, Glynis Johns, Walter Fitzgerald

Votes: 333

15. Destry (1954)

Approved | 95 min | Action, Adventure, Music

In his desire to control a frontier town, ruthless town boss Decker appoints the town drunk as sheriff who, in return, hires gunfighter Destry as his deputy.

Director: George Marshall | Stars: Audie Murphy, Mari Blanchard, Lyle Bettger, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 1,044

16. Naked Alibi (1954)

Approved | 86 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A chief of police detectives fired for brutality, tries to get evidence on a man suspected of killing 3 of his officers.

Director: Jerry Hopper | Stars: Sterling Hayden, Gloria Grahame, Gene Barry, Marcia Henderson

Votes: 652

17. The Beast with a Million Eyes (1955)

Passed | 75 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A dysfunctional family operating an isolated date farm in the California desert is threatened by the arrival of an extra-terrestrial.

Directors: David Kramarsky, Roger Corman, Lou Place | Stars: Paul Birch, Lorna Thayer, Dona Cole, Dick Sargent

Votes: 1,188

18. Violent Saturday (1955)

Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Three men case a small town very carefully, with plans to rob the bank on the upcoming Saturday, which turns violent and deadly.

Director: Richard Fleischer | Stars: Victor Mature, Richard Egan, Stephen McNally, Virginia Leith

Votes: 1,859

19. The Black Sleep (1956)

Not Rated | 82 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

Sir Joel Cadman, a mad scientist, kidnaps his victims and cuts open their brains in an effort to discover a means to cure his wife's brain tumor.

Director: Reginald Le Borg | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Akim Tamiroff, Lon Chaney Jr., John Carradine

Votes: 1,274

20. Tension at Table Rock (1956)

Passed | 93 min | Western

A reluctant gunslinger tires of having to defend himself at every cow town he visits, so he adopts an alias and continues his wandering. At an outpost run by a father and young son, he gets... See full summary »

Director: Charles Marquis Warren | Stars: Richard Egan, Dorothy Malone, Cameron Mitchell, Billy Chapin

Votes: 468

21. Blood of Dracula (1957)

Approved | 69 min | Horror

Under hypnosis, a young woman turns into a vampire.

Director: Herbert L. Strock | Stars: Sandra Harrison, Louise Lewis, Gail Ganley, Jerry Blaine

Votes: 767

22. La cravate (1957)

20 min | Short

A short mime adaptation of a Thomas Mann story about a Parisian urchin who makes her living selling human heads.

Directors: Saul Gilbert, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Ruth Michelly | Stars: Denise Brossot, Rolande Polya, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Saul Gilbert

Votes: 1,613

23. The Mysterians (1957)

TV-Y7 | 85 min | Action, Family, Sci-Fi

Shortly after a giant robot destroys a village, aliens from outer space arrive offering friendship. Will stupid Earth creatures tie these two events together?

Director: Ishirô Honda | Stars: Kenji Sahara, Yumi Shirakawa, Momoko Kôchi, Akihiko Hirata

Votes: 1,230 | Gross: $0.98M

24. Sorority Girl (1957)

61 min | Drama

A poor-little-rich-girl feels alienated by her mother and enacts a string of revenges on her fellow pupils at a girls' boarding school. However, she is outcast when one of her stunts nearly drives a girl to suicide.

Director: Roger Corman | Stars: Susan Cabot, Dick Miller, Barboura Morris, June Kenney

Votes: 215

25. The Vampire (1957)

Approved | 75 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A kind, small-town doctor mistakenly injests pills made from vampire bat blood and they turn him into a dangerous fanged creature

Director: Paul Landres | Stars: John Beal, Coleen Gray, Kenneth Tobey, Lydia Reed

Votes: 853

26. Corridors of Blood (1958)

Not Rated | 86 min | Crime, Horror, Thriller

Dr. Thomas Bolton fights for the use of anesthetic in surgery and uses himself as a guinea pig, but soon finds himself addicted.

Director: Robert Day | Stars: Boris Karloff, Betta St. John, Christopher Lee, Finlay Currie

Votes: 1,545

27. Giant from the Unknown (1958)

Approved | 77 min | Drama, Horror

A very large, degenerate, Spanish conqueror is freed from suspended animation by lightning and goes on a killing spree in a small town.

Director: Richard E. Cunha | Stars: Ed Kemmer, Sally Fraser, Bob Steele, Morris Ankrum

Votes: 519

28. The Haunted Strangler (1958)

Not Rated | 78 min | Crime, Mystery, Horror

A researcher investigating a notorious serial killer who was hanged 20 years earlier seemingly becomes possessed by the long dead strangler.

Director: Robert Day | Stars: Boris Karloff, Anthony Dawson, Jean Kent, Elizabeth Allan

Votes: 1,079

29. The Gun Runners (1958)

Approved | 83 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

The Cuban misadventures of a Florida smuggler, at the time of the Cuban Revolution.

Director: Don Siegel | Stars: Audie Murphy, Eddie Albert, Patricia Owens, Everett Sloane

Votes: 485

30. How to Make a Monster (1958)

Unrated | 73 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

When a master monster make-up artist is sacked by the new bosses of American International studios, he uses his creations to exact revenge.

Director: Herbert L. Strock | Stars: Robert H. Harris, Paul Brinegar, Gary Conway, Gary Clarke

Votes: 702

31. Masters of the Congo Jungle (1958)

Approved | 88 min | Documentary

Documentary showing the struggles of the inhabitants--both human and animal--of what was then called the Belgian Congo.

Directors: Henry Brandt, Heinz Sielmann | Stars: Jean Desailly, Georges Aminel, Bert Brauns, Jørn Jeppesen

Votes: 43

32. City of Fear (1959)

Approved | 81 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A vicious killer escapes from San Quentin with a cannister of what he believes to be heroin but is actually a radioactive substance that threatens all Los Angeles.

Director: Irving Lerner | Stars: Vince Edwards, Lyle Talbot, John Archer, Steven Ritch

Votes: 751

33. The Crimson Kimono (1959)

Approved | 82 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Two detectives seek a stripper's killer in the Japanese quarter of Los Angeles, but a love triangle threatens their friendship.

Director: Samuel Fuller | Stars: Victoria Shaw, Glenn Corbett, James Shigeta, Anna Lee

Votes: 1,753

34. Eyes in Outer Space (1959)

Approved | 25 min | Documentary, Animation, Short

Walt Disney, with the cooperation of the U.S. Department of Defense, uses music and animation to speculate on the use of space satellite technology (with a coordinated defense network) as a means to modify weather.

Director: Ward Kimball | Stars: Paul Frees, Jack Smith

Votes: 33

35. First Man Into Space (1959)

Approved | 77 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

The first pilot to leave Earth's atmosphere lands, then vanishes; but something with a craving for blood prowls the countryside...

Director: Robert Day | Stars: Marshall Thompson, Marla Landi, Bill Edwards, Robert Ayres

Votes: 1,051

36. The Giant Gila Monster (1959)

Not Rated | 74 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A giant lizard terrorizes a rural Texas community and a heroic teenager attempts to destroy the creature.

Director: Ray Kellogg | Stars: Don Sullivan, Fred Graham, Lisa Simone, Shug Fisher

Votes: 3,226

37. Girls Town (1959)

90 min | Drama

Silver is a troubled teenage girl sent to a Catholic reform school, where she has trouble fitting in.

Director: Charles F. Haas | Stars: Mamie Van Doren, Mel Tormé, Ray Anthony, Margaret Hayes

Votes: 719

38. The Head (1959)

97 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A scientist invents a serum that keeps a dog's head alive after its body dies. When the scientist dies of a heart attack, his crazed assistant cuts off his head and, using the serum, keeps ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Trivas | Stars: Horst Frank, Karin Kernke, Helmut Schmid, Paul Dahlke

Votes: 522

39. The Killer Shrews (1959)

Not Rated | 69 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

On an isolated island, a small group of people are terrorized by giant voracious shrews in the midst of a hurricane.

Director: Ray Kellogg | Stars: James Best, Ingrid Goude, Ken Curtis, Gordon McLendon

Votes: 4,096 | Gross: $1.00M

40. The Wasp Woman (1959)

Not Rated | 63 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A scientist develops a youth formula for a cosmetics queen from jelly taken from queen wasps, failing to anticipate the typical horrible side effects.

Directors: Roger Corman, Jack Hill | Stars: Susan Cabot, Anthony Eisley, Barboura Morris, William Roerick

Votes: 3,475



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