Have you heard these Best Movies Of The 50s And 60s? We know for sure you'll find some new films. Here are 25 of the best ones.
From Sidney Lumet, starring Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam, John Fiedler
12 Angry Men is a classic courtroom drama starring Henry Fonda as a dissenting juror in the trial of an 18-year-old accused of murdering his father. Fonda's character is the only one to initially express any doubt about the accused's guilt, and he sets out to convince the other eleven jurors that the evidence is not enough to convict the young man. The film follows the jurors' deliberations, from the initial vote of 11-1 in favor of conviction to the increasingly impassioned arguments for and against the accused's guilt. As the evidence and arguments are weighed and discussed, the jurors' preconceptions and prejudices are also revealed, leading to a dramatic climax in which the true motives of some of the jurors are revealed. In the end, the jury is able to reach a unanimous verdict, but not before the 12 men have learned a great deal about the power of reason and conviction in the face of adversity.
From Sergio Leone, starring Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards
Once Upon a Time in the West is a classic Western film directed by Sergio Leone. The movie follows the story of Jill McBain, a young widow who arrives in the small town of Flagstone to find a home she inherited from her recently deceased husband. However, she arrives to find that the land is being sought after by the notorious outlaw Frank, and his gang of henchman. With the help of an enigmatic harmonica-playing drifter and a bounty hunter, Jill must find a way to protect her land from Frank’s iron-fisted rule. Along the way, she will uncover a number of secrets, including the truth behind her husband’s death. Filled with breathtaking cinematography and intense action, Once Upon a Time in the West is an iconic example of the Western genre.
Gene Kelly, starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen
Singin' in the Rain is a 1952 musical comedy film starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, and Debbie Reynolds. Set in 1927, the movie follows the story of silent film star Don Lockwood (Kelly) and his relationship with childhood friend Kathy Selden (Reynolds) as they navigate a dramatic transition from silent films to "talkies," or films with synchronized sound. As the world of show business is rocked by the sudden popularity of this new technology, Don and Kathy must work together to make their latest movie a success against all odds. Along the way, they find love, face adversity, and sing and dance in some of the most iconic scenes in film history. Singin' in the Rain is a classic movie musical that has won numerous awards and remains a beloved classic to this day.
From Billy Wilder, starring Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston
The Apartment is a 1960 classic romantic comedy-drama directed by Billy Wilder. The film follows C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon), an ambitious corporate clerk who allows his superiors to use his apartment for their extramarital affairs in exchange for promotions. Things take an unexpected turn when Baxter falls in love with Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine), the mistress of his boss, Mr. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray). As Baxter's moral dilemma intensifies, he must decide whether to continue with his manipulative scheme or stand up for true love. The film is a poignant exploration of the human condition and the choices we make in pursuit of success.
From Alfred Hitchcock, starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jessie Royce Landis
North by Northwest is an action-packed thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1959. The film follows the story of an innocent man named Roger O. Thornhill, who is mistaken for a government agent and is pursued by a group of spies across the United States. After narrowly escaping their attempts to kill him, he discovers a mysterious conspiracy involving the government, corporate spies and a secret organization. With the help of an intelligent and beautiful woman, he works to uncover the truth behind this sinister plot. As he navigates a web of intrigue, danger and suspense, he must rely on his wits in order to survive. In the end, Thornhill triumphs over his adversaries and saves the day.
From John Huston, starring Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt, Bruce Bennett
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is a classic film directed by John Huston and released in 1948. The movie tells the story of three American men, Fred Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart), Curtin (Tim Holt), and Howard (Walter Huston) who set out to mine gold in the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico. Along the way, they face danger and treachery from both the Mexican locals and their own group, all while trying to find the gold and keep it away from everyone else. In the end, greed and paranoia take over, leading to tragedy for all. The film is a poignant exploration of human nature and the corrupting power of greed.
From John Sturges, starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson
The Great Escape is a classic World War II adventure movie, based on the true story of a daring mass escape from a German POW camp. In 1944, Allied prisoners of war are stuck at Stalag Luft III, a high-security camp near the East Prussian border. Led by the resourceful Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett (Richard Attenborough), the prisoners plan an elaborate escape, involving digging three tunnels to the woods outside the camp. Despite brutal interrogations and the presence of a brutal camp commandant, the prisoners go ahead with the plan, with each man playing a crucial role. In the end, many of them make it out, but their freedom is short-lived. The movie features thrilling moments, nail-biting suspense, and a star-studded cast, including Steve McQueen, James Garner, Charles Bronson, and James Coburn.
From John Ford, starring James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles, Lee Marvin
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance tells the story of a small-town lawyer, Ransom Stoddard, who becomes embroiled in a dispute between a local rancher and a notorious outlaw, Liberty Valance. After a series of events, Ransom finds himself forced to shoot Liberty Valance and subsequently become a hero. With his newfound fame, Ransom is elected to the state senate and returns to his small town, only to be confronted by the truth of what actually happened that night. In the end, he must choose between the truth and the legend he created. The film stars John Wayne, James Stewart, Lee Marvin, and Vera Miles.
From Carol Reed, starring Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard
The Third Man is a 1949 film noir directed by Carol Reed and starring Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard, and Bernard Lee. Set in post-war Vienna, the film follows Holly Martins, an American writer of pulp westerns, who arrives as a guest of his old friend Harry Lime, only to find out that Lime has recently died in a questionable accident. Martins then meets with Lime’s acquaintances in an attempt to investigate what he suspects is a murder. He eventually gets drawn into a web of love, deceit, and betrayal, which ultimately leads to a thrilling climax. The film is renowned for its atmospheric cinematography, musical score, and iconic zither soundtrack.
From Ingmar Bergman, starring Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Margaretha Krook, Gunnar Björnstrand
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Persona is a dark psychological drama directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann. The story follows a nurse, Alma (Andersson), who is assigned to care for a mute patient, Elisabet (Ullmann), an actress who has mysteriously fallen silent. Through the course of the film, the two women develop an intense, almost symbiotic relationship. As their connection deepens, Alma begins to question her own identity as Elisabet's secrets and psychological state become increasingly disturbing. The film is a meditation on the nature of identity, communication and the power of artistic expression.
From David Lean, starring Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway, Joyce Carey
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Brief Encounter is a 1945 British romantic drama directed by David Lean. The film follows Laura, a married woman in a small town, and Alec, a doctor, who meet in a railway station café and soon fall in love. Despite their mutual attraction, they both recognize the impossibility of their situation and agree to end their brief encounter. As the film progresses, their brief meetings become more and more intense, until finally, just as they are about to consummate their relationship, they realize the futility of it all and decide to part ways. Although they each remain married to their respective spouses, they are forever changed by the experience. The film is a timeless classic, exploring themes of love, morality, and the consequences of forbidden love.
From Mike Nichols, starring Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross, William Daniels
The Graduate is a 1967 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Mike Nichols and written by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham, based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Charles Webb. The film tells the story of 21-year-old Benjamin Braddock, a recent college graduate with no well-defined aim in life, who is seduced by an older woman, Mrs. Robinson, and then falls in love with her daughter Elaine. Benjamin, a naïve and innocent young man, returns home to California after graduating college and is taken in by the family of his father's law partner. After a party, Mrs. Robinson, the wife of his father's business partner, seduces him in an effort to sabotage her daughter Elaine's romance with him. They continue the affair until Benjamin falls in love with Elaine and Mrs. Robinson breaks it off. Benjamin then follows Elaine to Berkeley, where she is about to be married. He crashes the wedding, professing his love for her, and the two leave together. In the end, the two are united and the film ends with the classic image of them sitting in a bus, heading off into the unknown.
From Federico Fellini, starring Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimée, Yvonne Furneaux
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La Dolce Vita is a 1960 Italian film directed by Federico Fellini and stars Marcello Mastroianni as Marcello Rubini, a disillusioned journalist on a mission to find the 'sweet life' among the wealthy and elite in Rome. As he moves from one lavish party to the next, he is torn between two women, Maddalena (Anouk Aimée) and Sylvia (Anita Ekberg). Despite the intoxicating lifestyle, Marcello is unfulfilled, eventually leading him to a spiritual epiphany at the end of the film. Along the way, he encounters diverse characters, ranging from a pimp to a millionaire to a saintly monk, in a stunning exploration of the complexities of modern life. La Dolce Vita raises profound questions about the meaning of life, love, and loss, while also capturing the beauty, romance, and chaos of Rome.
From Ingmar Bergman, starring Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand, Max von Sydow, Lars Passgård
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Through a Glass Darkly is a 1961 Swedish drama film directed by Ingmar Bergman. The film follows a family vacationing on a remote island, during which the youngest daughter, Karin (Harriet Andersson), begins to unravel due to her mental illness. Her father, David (Gunnar Björnstrand) is a professional writer and intellectual, and her brother, Minus (Lars Passgård), is an aspiring writer. Together, the family must come to terms with Karin's diagnosis and her deteriorating condition, as well as their own emotional struggles and past traumas. The film is a thoughtful exploration of how faith and family can both help and hinder in times of crisis.
From Orson Welles, starring Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh, Joseph Calleia
Touch of Evil is a 1958 film noir directed by Orson Welles and starring Charlton Heston and Janet Leigh. The story follows a newlywed couple, Mike and Susan Vargas (Heston and Leigh), who become entangled in a complex web of murder, corruption and police brutality after the bride witnesses a car bombing in a Mexican border town. Mike is a Mexican narcotics officer and Susan is the daughter of a wealthy American industrialist. The local police, led by the sadistic Captain Hank Quinlan (Welles), are unconcerned with solving the case and instead focus on pinning the crime on a convenient suspect. With growing pressure from his superiors, Mike teams up with an eccentric private eye, Uncle Joe Grandi (Joseph Calleia), to uncover a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top. The film is considered to be a classic of the film noir genre and has been praised for its innovative cinematography and inventive direction.
From Charles Laughton, starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason
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The Night of the Hunter is a 1955 American thriller directed by Charles Laughton and starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, and Lillian Gish. Set in West Virginia in the 1930s, the film follows a sinister preacher, Harry Powell (Mitchum), who travels to the small town of Moundsville in search of a hidden fortune. Powell convinces Willa Harper (Winters), a transient young widow, to marry him, and in doing so, he learns the whereabouts of the stolen money. He then sets out to track down her two young children, John (Billy Chapin) and Pearl (Sally Jane Bruce), who are determined to protect the money from their new stepfather. The children flee from Powell's grasp, and a thrilling chase ensues. In the end, the children's innocence and courage triumph over Powell's evil and selfishness.
From Fred Zinnemann, starring Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges
High Noon is a 1952 western film directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Gary Cooper. The film follows the story of Will Kane (Cooper), a marshal in the small town of Hadleyville. Kane is determined to uphold the law against a gang of outlaws led by Frank Miller, despite the townspeople's refusal to help him. Kane's task is made even more difficult by the fact that his new bride, Amy (Grace Kelly), has decided to leave him due to his decision to stay and fight. As the clock ticks closer to noon and Miller's return, Kane is left to face Miller alone, relying on his courage and skill to defend Hadleyville. High Noon was a critical and commercial success, and is seen as a classic of the Western genre.
From Otto Preminger, starring James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Arthur O'Connell
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Anatomy of a Murder is a 1959 American courtroom drama film directed by Otto Preminger. The film stars James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, and George C. Scott. It follows the murder trial of a Michigan tavern owner who is accused of killing a man who allegedly raped his wife. Stewart plays a down-on-his-luck lawyer whom the family hires to defend the accused. The film was adapted from a novel by Robert Traver and is considered a classic of the courtroom drama genre. It covers the events leading up to the trial, the numerous courtroom scenes, and the aftermath of the verdict. The film was praised for its naturalistic atmosphere, realistic dialogue, and superior acting performances. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Drama.
From Franklin J. Schaffner, starring Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans
Planet of the Apes is a 1968 science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. The plot follows an astronaut crew, led by George Taylor (Charlton Heston), who find themselves stranded on a strange planet where intelligent, talking apes rule and humans are slaves. After a series of adventures, the astronauts manage to overthrow the apes and restore the planet to its former glory. Along the way they discover the true nature of the planet and the secret of their own origin. The film is noted for its impressive special effects and its scathing commentary on racism and prejudice.
From William Wyler, starring Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert, Hartley Power
Roman Holiday is a 1953 romantic comedy directed by William Wyler and starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. The story follows a bored and restless European princess, Ann (Hepburn), who decides to take a day off from her royal duties and explore Rome on her own. She meets an American journalist, Joe Bradley (Peck), who promises not to reveal her identity in exchange for an exclusive story. The two embark on a whimsical day of sightseeing in Rome and slowly fall for each other along the way. Their romance is complicated by their different social statuses, and ultimately Ann decides to go back to her royal life, leaving Joe behind. Despite the bittersweet conclusion, Roman Holiday remains one of the most beloved romantic comedies of all time.
From Stanley Donen, starring Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, James Coburn
Charade is a classic romantic comedy thriller directed by Stanley Donen, starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. The film follows the story of a young widow, played by Hepburn, who is pursued by a number of mysterious men after the death of her husband. As she attempts to unravel her husband's secrets and protect her own life, she finds herself falling for the charming Grant. With elements of suspense, humor, and romance, Charade is a timeless classic that stands the test of time.
From Louis Malle, starring Jeanne Moreau, Maurice Ronet, Georges Poujouly, Yori Bertin
Rated Not Rated
Elevator to the Gallows, directed by Louis Malle, is a psychological crime thriller set in Paris. The story follows two lovers, Julien Tavernier (Maurice Ronet) and Florence Carala (Jeanne Moreau), as they attempt to execute a daring heist. Julien is a former Resistance fighter and an ex-military man who has been hired by an industrialist to steal incriminating documents from his office. However, things take a dark turn when Julien accidentally kills the industrialist while trying to steal the documents. With the body in the elevator, Julien and Florence hatch a plan to cover up the crime. As the couple's plan begins to unravel, Julien and Florence realize that they have become trapped in an inescapable situation with a web of lies, deception, and suspicion. As they attempt to evade the police, the audience is taken on a suspenseful and thrilling journey.
From Norman Jewison, starring Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Lee Grant
In the Heat of the Night is a 1967 crime drama directed by Norman Jewison and based on the 1965 novel by John Ball. The film stars Sidney Poitier as Virgil Tibbs, a Philadelphia police detective who is visiting a small Southern town to assist with a murder investigation. In the town he is met with hostility and prejudice due to his race, as well as suspicion of his motives and expertise. Tibbs must navigate the town's racial divide and difficult personalities in order to solve the case. With the help of the town's police chief, Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger), Tibbs eventually solves the crime and brings the murderer to justice. The film explores issues of racism and prejudice, and was the first to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
From Sergio Leone, starring Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volontè, Marianne Koch, Wolfgang Lukschy
A Fistful of Dollars is a classic spaghetti western directed by Sergio Leone. It stars Clint Eastwood as "The Man with No Name", an enigmatic stranger who rides into a small Mexican border town. The town is controlled by two rival gangs, the Rojos and the Baxters, who are in a constant struggle for power. The Man with No Name quickly discovers that he can use his cunning and wits to outsmart both gangs and gain a hefty sum of money from them. He manipulates the gangs into fighting each other by taking sides, but his real intention is to play them against each other and take all their money. In the end, the Man with No Name is successful in his plan and walks away with a fistful of dollars.
From Sam Peckinpah, starring William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O'Brien
The Wild Bunch is a 1969 American revisionist Western film directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O’Brien, Ben Johnson, Warren Oates, Jaime Sánchez, Strother Martin, and Emilio Fernández. The film follows a gang of aging outlaws as they look for one last big score as the traditional American West is disappearing around them. The film has become renowned for its intense and realistic depictions of violence and its strong commentary on the effects of industrialization on traditional American values. It was acclaimed by critics upon its release and continues to be considered one of the greatest Western films ever made.