Popular Movies In The 50s

Updated
Popular Movies In The 50s

Dozens of creators have explored Popular Movies In The 50s. Here are 25 of the top ones.

Rear Window (1954)

Rear Window
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Alfred Hitchcock, starring James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter
Rated PG

Rear Window is a 1954 thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring James Stewart, Grace Kelly, and Raymond Burr. Stewart plays a wheelchair-bound photographer, Jefferies, who suspects his neighbor (Burr) of murdering his wife. As Jefferies watches through the rear window of his apartment, he gathers evidence and eventually confronts his neighbor. The film is notable for its voyeuristic themes and use of cinematic devices to create suspense. The film received four Academy Award nominations and was added to the National Film Registry in 1997.

Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Sunset Blvd.
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Billy Wilder, starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson
Rated Passed

Sunset Boulevard is a 1950 American film noir directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, and produced and co-written by Charles Brackett. It features Gloria Swanson, William Holden, Erich von Stroheim, and Nancy Olson, and is a story of a forgotten silent film star stuck in the past and dreaming of a comeback. Joe Gillis (Holden), a down-on-his-luck screenwriter, is taken in by faded silent film star Norma Desmond (Swanson). Desmond lives in a fantasy world, believing that she will one day make a comeback and become a star again. Through Gillis, she meets young screenwriter Betty Schaefer (Olson), who helps her with her script. As the two become closer, Gillis discovers that Desmond is slowly losing her mind and descending into madness. The film culminates with a dramatic climax in which Gillis is killed by Desmond and her butler Max (von Stroheim). Sunset Boulevard won three Academy Awards, including Best Writing, Story and Screenplay.

Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

Witness for the Prosecution
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Billy Wilder, starring Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton, Elsa Lanchester
Rated Approved

Witness for the Prosecution is a 1957 courtroom drama directed by Billy Wilder and based on the play of the same name by Agatha Christie. It stars Tyrone Power as Leonard Vole, an ex-soldier accused of murdering a wealthy widow, Emily French (played by the legendary Marlene Dietrich). As the trial unfolds, Leonard's attorney, Sir Wilfrid (Charles Laughton), and his partner, Miss Plimsoll (Elsa Lanchester), must build a case to prove his innocence. The film follows their investigation as they uncover a complex web of intrigue and deceit that puts Leonard's life in jeopardy. The twists and turns of the story will keep the audience guessing until the very end.

Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Singin' in the Rain
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly, starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen
Rated G

Singin' in the Rain is a classic musical comedy film about a famous silent movie star, Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly), and a young actress, Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds), as they struggle to transition from silent films to sound films in the late 1920s. Against the backdrop of Hollywood's golden age, they must contend with the transition, as well as Don's romantic interest in Kathy and the jealous actions of Don's former co-star, Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen). With the help of Don's witty sidekick, Cosmo Brown (Donald O'Connor), and a few memorable musical numbers, Don and Kathy manage to make the transition and create a successful talkie. Along the way, the movie celebrates the joys of singing and dancing in the rain.

Dial M for Murder (1954)

Dial M for Murder
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Alfred Hitchcock, starring Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings, John Williams
Rated PG

Dial M for Murder is a 1954 Alfred Hitchcock thriller film based on the play by Frederick Knott. The film stars Ray Milland as Tony Wendice, a former tennis player who is trying to get his wife Margot (Grace Kelly) to sign over a large portion of her money by arranging for her to be murdered. Tony hires a former acquaintance, C. A. Swann (Robert Cummings), to do the job, but when the plan goes awry and Margot instead kills Swann in self-defence, Tony is forced to come up with a new, more elaborate plan to frame her for the murder. With the help of a shady acquaintance, Tony manages to cover up his tracks and arrange for Margot to be convicted of the killing, only to have his plans unravel as the police come closer to the truth. In the thrilling conclusion, Tony's underhanded actions are unveiled and justice is served.

The Wages of Fear (1953)

The Wages of Fear
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Henri-Georges Clouzot, starring Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Peter van Eyck, Folco Lulli
Rated Not Rated

The Wages of Fear is a French-Italian psychological thriller directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot. Set in a fictional South American country, it follows the story of four European men who are hired to drive two trucks loaded with highly explosive nitroglycerin across dangerous terrain to extinguish a raging oil fire. Along the way, the men must contend with intense heat, human danger, and the ever-present threat of their volatile cargo. As their journey progresses and the stakes increase, the characters are pushed to their psychological and physical limits, revealing their hidden capacity for fear, courage, and loyalty. In the end, only two of the four men survive to see the successful completion of their mission. The Wages of Fear is a tense and gripping exploration of human nature, exposing the desperation and courage of men in extreme circumstances.

All About Eve (1950)

All About Eve
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Joseph L. Mankiewicz, starring Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm
Rated Passed

All About Eve is a 1950 American drama film written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, and starring Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm, and Marilyn Monroe. An ingenue insinuates herself into the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends. The film follows the story of Eve Harrington, a young and ambitious woman who is determined to make it in the theater world. She befriends Margo Channing, an aging Broadway star, and begins to insinuate herself into the lives of everyone in Margo's circle. Margo's friends and colleagues become suspicious of Eve and her motives, but Margo still takes her under her wing. As the story progresses, Eve's true intentions come to light and Margo has to make a difficult decision. All About Eve is a classic film that explores the dark side of ambition and stardom in a witty and entertaining way. Its all-star cast, clever dialogue, and sharp direction make it a timeless classic.

Rashomon (1950)

Rashomon
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Akira Kurosawa, starring Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura
Rated Not Rated

Rashomon is a 1950 Japanese period drama directed by Akira Kurosawa. The film tells the story of a rape and subsequent murder from the differing perspectives of four witnesses – a woodcutter, a priest, a bandit and his wife. Through this structure, Kurosawa offers a complex exploration of truth and morality, as the accounts of each witness clash. The film's iconic cinematography, rich symbolism and moral ambiguity have made it one of the most celebrated films of all time and an influence on filmmakers worldwide.

On the Waterfront (1954)

On the Waterfront
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Elia Kazan, starring Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger
Rated Approved

"On the Waterfront" is a 1954 American crime drama directed by Elia Kazan and stars Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy, a dockworker who finds himself caught between the mob and a crusading priest (Karl Malden). Terry witnesses a murder committed by mob bosses, and finds himself the target of their harassment and threats. With the help of the priest, he must make a difficult decision between his own safety and doing what is right. He ultimately decides to testify against the mob, setting off a chain of events that will change the lives of all involved. The film is a powerful meditation on loyalty and corruption, as well as an exploration of the human condition.

Ace in the Hole (1951)

Ace in the Hole
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Billy Wilder, starring Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur, Porter Hall
Rated Approved

Ace in the Hole is a 1951 American drama directed by Billy Wilder, starring Kirk Douglas as Chuck Tatum, a cynical, self-centered former New York journalist who, after being fired from his job, takes up a position at a small-town newspaper in Albuquerque, New Mexico. When he discovers that a man named Leo Minosa is trapped in a cave, Tatum sees an opportunity to use the incident to get himself back into the big time by orchestrating a high-profile media circus around the rescue. He manipulates local authorities and the press alike, turning a human-interest story into an ongoing sensation that could make him famous. As the drama unfolds, however, Tatum's ethical standards are put to the test, as he begins to realize that his selfishness and ambition are endangering the life of the man he was trying to help.

Diabolique (1955)

Diabolique
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Henri-Georges Clouzot, starring Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse, Charles Vanel
Rated Not Rated

Diabolique is a 1955 French psychological thriller directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot and starring Simone Signoret, Vera Clouzot, and Paul Meurisse. The film follows two women, the wife of a cruel headmaster and his mistress, who hatch a plan to murder him. When the body mysteriously disappears, they panic and try to hide the truth before strange events start happening at the school. As the suspense mounts, the two women begin to suspect that the headmaster may still be alive, and may be seeking revenge from beyond the grave.

Rififi (1955)

Rififi
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Jules Dassin, starring Jean Servais, Carl Möhner, Robert Manuel, Janine Darcey
Rated Not Rated

Rififi is a 1955 French crime film directed by Jules Dassin. The film follows a group of four ex-cons who plan and execute a daring, almost impossible heist of a jewelery store on the Rue de Rivoli. The heist is depicted in a famous, nearly silent sequence lasting about 30 minutes. The film also follows the gang's efforts to evade the police as they try to divide the loot among themselves. It is an iconic film-noir classic that is often considered one of the greatest heist films of all time.

La strada (1954)

La strada
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Federico Fellini, starring Anthony Quinn, Giulietta Masina, Richard Basehart, Aldo Silvani
Rated Not Rated

La Strada is a classic Italian neorealist film directed by Federico Fellini in 1954. It tells the story of a naive young girl named Gelsomina, who is sold to a cruel strongman named Zampano by her poor mother. Gelsomina follows Zampano on his travels across Italy, but is constantly mistreated by him. Along the way, she meets a jester named Il Matto, who brings her joy and teaches her important lessons about life. As they travel, Gelsomina learns the true meaning of love, loyalty, and friendship, while Zampano must face the consequences of his own cruelty. La Strada is widely considered to be one of Fellini's greatest films and won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1955.

Limelight (1952)

Limelight
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Charles Chaplin, starring Charles Chaplin, Claire Bloom, Nigel Bruce, Buster Keaton
Rated G

Limelight is a 1952 comedy-drama film written, directed by, and starring Charles Chaplin. It is set in 1914 London and tells the story of a washed-up comedian, Calvero (Chaplin), who saves a dancer, Terry (Claire Bloom), from suicide. The two form a bond and through Calvero’s mentorship, Terry finds the courage to pursue her dream of becoming a successful dancer. As Calvero’s health begins to fail, he and Terry develop an even stronger bond and together they find the will to keep going and achieve their dreams. Along the way, we also experience a lot of humor as Calvero’s comical antics bring laughter to the film. Limelight is a heart-warming story of redemption and friendship, with a few laughs along the way. It is a classic Chaplin work and an important part of film history.

The Killing (1956)

The Killing
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Stanley Kubrick, starring Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, Jay C. Flippen
Rated Approved

The Killing is a classic heist noir film directed by Stanley Kubrick, released in 1956. The film follows a group of small-time criminals who plan and execute a daring racetrack robbery. Led by Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden), the group includes a corrupt cop, a sharpshooter, a wrestler, and a getaway driver. Despite their best efforts, the heist goes wrong and the criminals begin to turn on each other as they desperately try to cover their tracks and get away with the loot. In the end, they all face their own consequences as the police close in. With its intricate and suspenseful plot, The Killing shows Kubrick at his finest and stands as a classic of the noir genre.

High Noon (1952)

High Noon
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Fred Zinnemann, starring Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges
Rated PG

High Noon is a classic western directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. Set in a small western town, the film centers around Marshal Will Kane (Cooper), who is set to retire and marry his fiancée Amy (Kelly). However, his plans are thrown into disarray when an outlaw (Frank Miller) returns to town to seek revenge against him. Will is deserted by the townspeople, who are unwilling to help him confront the outlaw. Unwilling to run away and abandon the town, Will stays and prepares to face the outlaw and his gang at high noon. The film follows Will's moral struggle as he faces his enemies alone, and ultimately makes the decision to stand and fight against overwhelming odds. The film won four Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Cooper.

Strangers on a Train (1951)

Strangers on a Train
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Alfred Hitchcock, starring Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman, Leo G. Carroll
Rated PG

Strangers on a Train tells the story of two strangers, Guy Haines and Bruno Anthony, who meet on a train ride. Guy is an amateur tennis star whose wife is divorcing him, and Bruno is a dangerous psychopath with a twisted sense of morality. Bruno proposes a "crisscross" scheme in which Guy would murder Bruno's father and Bruno would murder Guy's wife. After Guy rejects the plan, Bruno forces him to go along with it. Guy's attempts to outwit Bruno lead to a thrilling suspenseful climax as the police close in.

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

A Streetcar Named Desire
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Elia Kazan, starring Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden
Rated PG

A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1951 American drama movie directed by Elia Kazan. It is based on the 1947 Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name by Tennessee Williams. The movie follows the story of a troubled Southern belle named Blanche DuBois, who is forced to move in with her sister Stella and brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Blanche's fragile mental state is quickly put to the test by Stanley's loutish behavior, and the two clash repeatedly in the cramped apartment. The movie stars Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, Kim Hunter, and Karl Malden, and won four Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Leigh and Best Actor for Brando. The movie is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, and is a classic example of the "method acting" technique employed by Brando and Leigh.

The Big Heat (1953)

The Big Heat
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Fritz Lang, starring Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando, Alexander Scourby
Rated Passed

The Big Heat is a 1953 American film noir crime drama directed by Fritz Lang and starring Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame and Lee Marvin. The film tells the story of a police detective out for revenge after his wife is murdered by the mob. The detective goes undercover, infiltrating the mob and taking out various criminal elements while attempting to bring down the head of the criminal organization. Along the way, he uncovers a web of corruption that reaches all the way to the police department. The film also stars Jocelyn Brando as the detective's wife and Alexander Scourby as the mob boss. With its gritty atmosphere and intense performances, The Big Heat is considered to be one of the greatest examples of film noir.

The Court Jester (1955)

The Court Jester
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Melvin Frank, Norman Panama, starring Danny Kaye, Glynis Johns, Basil Rathbone, Angela Lansbury
Rated Approved

The Court Jester is a classic 1955 Technicolor musical-comedy film starring Danny Kaye, Glynis Johns, Basil Rathbone and Angela Lansbury. The story follows Hubert Hawkins, a hapless carnival performer who is mistaken for a court jester and is thrust into a plot to overthrow an evil king. Along the way, he must prove that he is a master of disguise, joust, and outsmart the king’s minions. With the help of his trusty sidekick Griselda, Hubert must use all of his wit and charm to save the kingdom. Featuring a mix of humor, romance, and action, The Court Jester is a timeless adventure featuring memorable songs and performances.

The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

The Asphalt Jungle
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From John Huston, starring Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen, James Whitmore
Rated Passed

The Asphalt Jungle is a 1950 crime drama directed by John Huston and starring Sterling Hayden, Sam Jaffe, Louis Calhern, and Marilyn Monroe. The film follows a gang of hardened criminals who plan a daring jewel heist. Led by the experienced Doc Erwin Riedenschneider and the up-and-coming criminal Dix Handley, the group puts the plan in motion and successfully pulls off the robbery. But when the job is done and the loot is split, the criminals find themselves on the run from the police and each other. As the law closes in, the heist team are forced to confront the consequences of their crime and the crumbling of their dreams.

The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

The Bad and the Beautiful
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Vincente Minnelli, starring Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell
Rated Passed

The Bad and the Beautiful is a 1952 American drama film directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon, and Dick Powell. The film tells the story of a Hollywood film producer Jonathan Shields (Douglas) who manipulates and uses the people around him to get what he wants. His relationships with an ambitious actress (Turner), a cynical director (Powell), and a fading leading lady (Gloria Grahame) are all explored as he attempts to make a new film. The film was a critical and commercial success, and was nominated for six Academy Awards, winning five. It is a classic exploration of the Hollywood industry's inner workings, and its portrayal of a ruthless producer has been seen as a precursor to later films such as The Player.

5 Fingers (1952)

5 Fingers
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Joseph L. Mankiewicz, starring James Mason, Danielle Darrieux, Michael Rennie, Walter Hampden
Rated Approved

5 Fingers is a 1952 spy film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and starring James Mason as Ulysses Diello, a valet to the British ambassador in Turkey who is also a secret agent for Germany. Diello is caught between the interests of the British and the Germans, and finds himself in an intense game of espionage and political intrigue. As he travels from Istanbul to London, Diello must ultimately decide which side he is truly loyal to. The film features a twist ending that is often cited as being ahead of its time. With its intricate plotting and memorable performances, 5 Fingers is a classic of the espionage genre.

A Place in the Sun (1951)

A Place in the Sun
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From George Stevens, starring Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters, Anne Revere
Rated Passed

A Place in the Sun is a 1951 American drama film directed by George Stevens, based on the novel An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser. It stars Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, and Shelley Winters and tells the story of a poor young man who falls in love with a rich girl from a wealthy family. The young man must then choose between the love of his life and the social standing and financial security that come with marrying into the wealthy family. As obstacles mount and the choices become more difficult, the young man struggles to find his place in the world.

The Caine Mutiny (1954)

The Caine Mutiny
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Edward Dmytryk, starring Humphrey Bogart, José Ferrer, Van Johnson, Fred MacMurray
Rated Not Rated

The Caine Mutiny is a 1954 classic war drama directed by Edward Dmytryk. Set during World War II, the film tells the story of a US Navy destroyer, the USS Caine, and its crew who are forced to confront their unstable captain, Philip Queeg (Humphrey Bogart). When the crew discovers that Queeg’s mental instability is putting their lives at risk, they stage a mutiny against him. The film follows the crew’s attempt to survive the war and their trial for the mutiny, while examining the physical and moral implications of their actions. With a stellar cast and an Oscar-winning screenplay, The Caine Mutiny is considered a classic of the genre.

 



Related Articles

Visitors also search for: Hereditary Scary Scene Best Lovecraftian Movies Movies About Germany Movies About Martial Law Airplane Movies List Mafia Movies Based On True Stories Body Swap Movies