Best of the 1950’s

The 1950’s was a fantastic decade for film all around, but especially for those that the Academy nominated as the best of each year.  There were a handful of outright duds.  I mean, the first few films on the Worst Films list below are about as bad as they get.  William Holden, as far as I’m concerned, won the decade when it comes to acting.  Brando had the recognition, but in all honesty, he wasn’t at his best in some of those films.  And when Brando is off, he’s way off.  Holden wasn’t without his duds, but his resume is stellar to say the least.  Many directors were at the top of their game in this decade like, Hitchcock, Kazan, Zinneman, etc, but in my opinion, Billy Wilder is the director that stands out as the best of the 50’s.  Elizabeth Taylor can’t not stand out, even in a group of women with an arsenal of strong performances.  War films are aplenty in this decade.  It seems that with five to ten years paste WWII, films were being made not only about the fighting itself, but the aftermath and the impact the war had on different societies.  Westerns, of course, were big during this time, but there was also a strong showing of Biblical films as well.  All in all, it was a pleasing experience searching for and sitting through these movies from the 1950’s.

Top 10 Movies of the 1950’s
Rear Window

1   Rear Window
2   12 Angry Men
3   The Searchers
4   Seven Samurai
5   Paths of Glory
6   Sweet Smell of Success
7   The Diary of Anne Frank
8   Cat On a Hot Tin Roof
9   The Bridge on the River Kwai
10 The Third Man
11 Vertigo

Top 10 Best Picture Nominees
12 angry men 3

1   12 Angry Men
2   The Diary of Anne Frank
3   Cat On a Hot Tin Roof
4   The Bridge on the River Kwai
5   High Noon
6   Ben-Hur
7   Witness for the Prosecution
8   On the Waterfront
9   A Place in the Sun
10 All About Eve

10 Worst Best Picture Nominees
sayonara worst

1       Sayonara
2      Picnic
3      Three Coins in the Fountain
4      Love is a Man-Splendored Thing
5       The Rose Tattoo
6      Peyton Place
7      Julius Caesar
8      Around the World in 80 Days
9      Moulin Rouge
10    Friendly Persuasion

Top Films Not Nominated for Best Picture
rear window2

1       Rear Window
2      The Searchers
3      Seven Samurai
4      Paths of Glory
5      Sweet Smell of Success
6      The Third Man
7     Vertigo
8      Singin’ in the Rain
9      Strangers on a Train
10    Rashomon
11    Some Like it Hot
12    A Face in the Crowd
13    Some Like it Hot
14    A Christmas Carol (1951)
15   The Killing
16   Rebel Without A Cause
17   Night of the Hunter
18   Dial M for Murder
19   The African Queen
20  North by Northwest

Best Years

1 1959
2 1950
3 1958
4 1951
5 1953
6 1952
7 1957
8 1954
9 1956
10 1955

Director: Billy Wilder
billy wilder

John Ford
Elia Kazaan
Alfred Hitchcock
George Stevens
Fred Zinneman

Actor: William Holden
William Holden

Marlon Brando
Montgomery Clift
Tony Curtis
James Dean
Karl Malden

Actress: Elizabeth Taylor
elizabeth taylor

Grace Kelly
Audrey Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Deborah Kerr
Ingrid Bergman

Adapted Screenplay: 12 Angry Men
12 angry men 2

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
A Streetcar Named Desire
Rear Window
Ben-Hur

Original Screenplay: Sunset Boulevard
sunset boulevard

High Noon
On the Waterfront
The Defiant Ones
Roman Holiday

Score: Vertigo
vertigo4

The Quiet Man
Singin’ in the Rain
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Anatomy of a Murder


Cinematography: The Searchers
The Searchers2

The Searchers
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Sunset Boulevard
Giant
12 Angry Men
Ben-Hur

Film Editing: High Noon
High Noon Shootout

The Bridge on the River Kwai
Singin’ in the Rain
12 Angry Men
The Diary of Anne Frank
Ben-Hur

Sound: The Bridge on the River Kwai
kwai explosion

High Noon
Singin’ in the Rain
Ben-Hur
Rear Window

Art Direction: An American in Paris
an american in paris2

The King and I
Sunset Boulevard
The Ten Commandments
Ben-Hur

Costume Design: The King and I
the king and i costume

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Around the World in 80 Days
An American in Paris
The Ten Commandments

Visual Effects: Ben-Hur
Ben-Hur Chariot Race 2

The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Ten Commandments
Around the World in 80 Days

Best Shots (no order)
1) Sunset Boulevard – I’m ready for my closeup
ready for my closeup
2) High Noon – The shootout
High Noon Shootout
3) Singin’ in the Rain – singin’ in the rain
Singin in the rain
4) From Here to Eternity – bomb raid
from-here-to-eternity-pearl-harbor-attack
5) The Searchers – doorway silhouette
The Searchers Ending
6) The Bridge on the River Kwai – the ending
kwai ending
7) Vertigo – doppleganger?
Vertigo new woman2
8) Ben-Hur – chariot race
Ben-Hur Chariot Race
9) North by Northwest – plane chase
North by Northwest Plane
10) On the Waterfront – I coulda been somebody
on the waterfront1

Matt S.
1) The Bridge on the River Kwai
2) Singin’ in the Rain
3) A Streetcar Named Desire
4) All About Eve
5) Throne of Blood

Benjamin F.
1) All About Eve
2) Lady & the Tramp
3) Paths of Glory
4) Rear Window
5) 12 Angry Men

Graham F.
1) The 400 Blows
2) The Bridge on the River Kwai
3) Rear Window
4) Funny Face
5) Peter Pan

Ben S.
1) Seven Samurai
2) Rear Window
3) Touch of Evil
4) The Searchers
5) Paths of Glory

OVERALL DECADE SCORE – 78%

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