Best Films of the 50s

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Best Films of the 50s

Postby wpqx » Wed Jun 21, 2006 4:11 pm

Sorry to jump so far back in time, but I'm honestly a little sick of talking about films from the 90s. I don't recall ever having much discussion on films from the 50s, so I figured we could start here. There is no format for this like the other's, but as for myself I'm listing 5 or near 5 star films from each year of the decade. If the day comes when I finalize a top ten or top 15 list for each year, then I'll probably edit it, but for now, just listing each film that would be worthy of such a list. Rather than use my ridiculous methods of tracking down US release dates, again it's all international release dates as supplied by (which recently changed their format much to my disappointment).

Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa / Japan)
Adam's Rib (George Cukor / US)
La Ronde (Max Ophuls / France)
Los Olvidados (Luis Bunuel / Mexico)
Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder / US)
Orpheus (Jean Cocteau / France)
In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray / US)
All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz / US)
Father of the Bride (Vincente Minelli / US)
Night and the City (Jules Dassin / UK)
The Asphalt Jungle (John Huston / US)
Born Yesterday (George Cukor / US)
Harvey (Henry Koster / US)
Where the Sidewalk Ends (Otto Preminger / US)
Cinderella (Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske / US)
Diary of a Country Priest (Robert Bresson / France)

Ace in the Hole (Billy Wilder / US)
Early Summer (Yasujiro Ozu / Japan)
Strangers on a Train (Alfred Hitchcock / US)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (Robert Wise / US)
A Place in the Sun (George Stevens / US)
A Christmas Carol (Brian Desmond Hurst / UK)
Detective Story (William Wyler / US)
A Streetcar Named Desire (Elia Kazan / US)
An American in Paris (Vincente Minelli / US)
Miracle in Milan (Vittorio De Seca / Italy)

Singin' in the Rain (Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly / US)
High Noon (Fred Zinnemann / US)
Othello (Orson Welles / France, Italy, Morocco)
Ikiru (Akira Kurosawa / Japan)
The Bad and the Beautiful (Vincente Minelli / US)
Umberto D (Vittorio De Seca / Italy)
The Narrow Margin (Richard Fliescher / US)

Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu / Japan)
From Here to Eternity (Fred Zinnemann / US)
The Big Heat (Fritz Lang / US)
Voyage in Italy (Roberto Rosellini / Italy)
Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi / Japan)
Pickup on South Street (Samuel Fuller / US)
The Bandwagon (Vincente Minnelli / US)
Glen or Glenda? (Edward D. Wood Jr. / US)

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Stanley Donen / US)
On the Waterfront (Elia Kazan / US)
The Crucified Lovers (Kenji Mizoguchi / Japan)
Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa / Japan)
A Generation (Andrzej Wajda / Poland)
Sansho the Bailiff (Kenji Mizoguchi / Japan)
Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray / India)
Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock / US)
A Star is Born (George Cukor / US)
La Strada (Federico Fellini / Italy)
Sabrina (Billy Wilder / US)
Creature From the Black Lagoon (Jack Arnold / US)

Ordet (Carl Theodor Dreyer / Denmark)
Lola Montes (Max Ophuls / France)
Marty (Delbert Mann / US)
Diabolique (Henri Georges Clouzot / France)
Night and Fog (Alain Resnais / France)
Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray / US)
East of Eden (Elia Kazan / US)
Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich / US)
Smiles of a Summer Night (Ingmar Bergman / Sweden)
The Man With the Golden Arm (Otto Preminger / US)
Rififi (Jules Dassin / France)
Summertime (David Lean / US, UK)
Mr. Roberts (John Ford, Mervyn Leroy / US)
Richard III (Laurence Olivier / UK)
The Lady and the Tramp (Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske / US)
The Man From Laramie (Anthony Mann / US)

Bigger than Life (Nicholas Ray / US)
The Ten Commandments (Cecile B. DeMille / US)
The Searchers (John Ford / US)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Don Spiegel / US)
A Man Escaped (Robert Bresson / France)
The Killing (Stanley Kubrick / US)
Forbidden Planet (Fred Wilcox / US)
Bus Stop (Joshua Logan / US)

Funny Face (Stanley Donen / US)
Kanal (Andrzej Wajda / Poland)
Bridge on the River Kwai (David Lean / US, UK)
The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman / Sweden)
12 Angry Men (Sydney Lumet / US)
Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman / Sweden)
Paths of Glory (Stanley Kubrick / US)
The Cranes are Flying (Mikhail Kalatozov / USSR)
Throne of Blood (Akira Kurosawa / Japan)
Nights of Cabiria (Federico Fellini / Italy)
Witness for the Prosecution (Billy Wilder / US)
Aparajito (Satyajit Ray / India)
Les Girls (George Cukor / US)
The Lower Depths (Akira Kurosawa / Japan)
Peyton Place (Mark Robson / US)
Heaven Knows Mr. Allison (John Huston / US)
Tokyo Twilight (Yasujiro Ozu / Japan)
Il Grido (Michelangelo Antonioni / Italy)

Ashes and Diamonds (Andrzej Wajda / Poland)
The Magician (Ingmar Bergman / Sweden)
Touch of Evil (Orson Welles / US)
Mon Oncle (Jacques Tati / France, Italy)
Some Came Running (Vincente Minelli / US)
Man of the West (Anthony Mann / US)
South Pacific (Joshua Logan / US)
Look Back in Anger (Tony Richardson / UK)
Eroica (Andrzej Munk / Poland)

Ben-Hur (William Wyler / US)
The 400 Blows (Francois Truffaut / France)
Some Like it Hot (Billy Wilder / US)
General Della Rovere (Roberto Rossellini / France, Italy)
Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks / US)
Good Morning (Yasujiro Ozu / Japan)
Pickpocket (Robert Bresson / France)
North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock / US)
The World of Apu (Satyajit Ray / India)
Anatomy of a Murder (Otto Preminger / US)
Big Deal on Madonna Street (Mario Monicelli / Italy)
Shadows (John Cassevettes / US)

*Edited for Glen or Glenda?

Re: Best Films of the 50s

Postby A » Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:51 pm

The 50s are a decade from which I haven't seen too many films (the only one I know even less from are the 40s), and that's a reason why I chose the 90s for my previous post. ">

Some personal favs on your list, and many I haven't seen. ">
But also some that I would have considered when I was younger, but which "disappointed" at the most recent re-watches (On the Waterfront, The Seven Samurai, Rear Window,...). By that I mean they just weren't as great as I remembered (I haven't lost my appreciation of them though, and who knows, maybe they'll be included after another rewatch "> ).
I hope this won't happen with many of the one's I'll list below, and as time goes by only more will be added. ">

Rashômon (Akira Kurosawa / Japan)
Sunset Blvd. (Billy Wilder / USA)

Bakushû Early Summer (Yasujiro Ozu / Japan)
Susana (Luis Bunuel / Mexico)

Le plaisir House of Pleasure (Max Ophüls / France)
Limelight (Charles Chaplin / USA)
Saikaku ichidai onna The Life of Oharu (Kenji Mizoguchi / Japan)
Umberto D. (Vittorio De Sica / Italy)

Pünktchen und Anton Punktchen and Anton (Thomas Engel / West Germany, Austria)

Magnificent Obsession (Douglas Sirk / USA)

Dolina Miru Seargent Jim (France Stiglic / Yugoslavia)
Ordet The Word (Carl Theodor Dreyer / Denmark)
Pather Panchali Song of the Road (Satyajit Ray / India)
Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray / USA)
The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton / USA)
Ukigumo Floating Clouds (Mikio Naruse / Japan)

Soshun Early Spring (Yasujiro Ozu / Japan)

Aparajito The Unvanquished (Satyajit Ray / India)
Kumonosu jô Throne of Blood (Akira Kurosawa / Japan)
Letjat zhuravli The Cranes are flying (Mikheil Kalatozishvili / Soviet Union)
Paths of Glory (Stanley Kubrick / USA)
The Incredible Shrinking Man (Jack Arnold / USA)
Yorokobi mo kanashimi mo ikutoshitsuki Years of Joy and Sorrow (Keisuke Kinoshita / Japan)

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Richard Brooks / USA)
Dokufu Takahashi oden A wicked Woman (Nobuo Nakagawa / Japan)
Popiól i diament Ashes and Diamonds (Andrzej Wajda / Poland)
The Fly (Kurt Neumann / USA)
Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock / USA)

Anatomy of a Murder (Otto Preminger / USA)
Ballada o soldate Ballad of a Soldier (Grigori Chukhraj / Soviet Union)
Ben-Hur (Wiliam Wyler / USA)
Les quatre cents coups The 400 Blows (Francois Truffaut / France)
North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock / USA)
Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks / USA)

by country

USA: 14
Japan: 8
France: 2
India: 2
Soviet Union: 2
Denmark: 1
Italy: 1
Mexico: 1
Poland: 1
West Germany: 1
Yugoslavia: 1


Total: 34

*added Luis Bunuel's Susana (1951). A film for the ages.

Re: Best Films of the 50s

Postby A » Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:52 pm

films I need to see again for re-evaluation and a possible entry into the above list:

The Asphalt Jungle (John Huston / USA / 1950)
Orphe (Jean Cocteau / France / 1950)

Angel Face (Otto Preminger / USA / 1952)
High Noon (Fred Zinnemann / USA / 1952)

La signora senza camelie The Lady without Camelias (Michelangelo Antonioni / Italy / 1953)
Le salaire de la peur The Wages of Fear (Henri-Georges Clouzot / France / 1953)
Tokyo monogatari Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu / Japan / 1953)

Touchez pas au grisbi Hands Off the Loot (Jacques Becker / France / 1954)

East of Eden (Elia Kazan / USA / 1955)
Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich / USA / 1955)
Mr. Arkadin (Orson Welles / Spain, France, Switzerland / 1955)

Un condamn mort s'est chapp ou Le vent souffle o il veut A Man escaped (Robert Bresson / France / 1956)

The Bridge on the River Kwai (David Lean / UK, USA / 1957)

Window Water Baby Moving (Stan Brakhage / USA / 1958)

Re: Best Films of the 50s

Postby Johndav » Sun Jun 25, 2006 9:02 am

1950 Orphe (Cocteau)*
Sunset Boulevard (Wilder)
Diary of a Country Priest (Bresson)
Rashomon (Kurosawa)

1951 Early Summer (Ozu)
Miss Oyu (Mizoguchi)
The Lady from Musashino (Mizoguchi)
The Lavender Hill Mob (Crichton)
The River (Renoir)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (Wise)
A Place in the Sun (Stevens)

1952 Singin in the Rain (Donen, Kelly)*
The Life of Oharu (Mizoguchi)*
Casque d'Or (Becker)
The Quiet Man (Ford)
Baiju Bawra (Bhatt)
Le Plaisir (Ophuls)
El (Bunuel)
Othello (Welles)

1953 Tokyo Story (Ozu)*
The Band Wagon (Minnelli)*
Ugetsu Monogatari (Mizoguchi)*
Madame de (Ophuls)
Voyage to Italy (Rossellini)
Roman Holiday (Wyler)
The Big Heat (Lang)
Duck Amuck (Jones)

1954 Sansho the Bailiff (Mizoguchi)*
Seven Samurai (Kurosawa)*
Senso (Visconti)
Johnny Guitar (N.Ray)
Rear Window (Hitchcock)
Chikamatsu Monogatari (Mizoguchi)
The Far Country (A.Mann)
Twenty Four Eyes (Kinoshita)

1955 Pather Panchali (S.Ray)*
Tales of the Taira Clan (Mizoguchi)*
Night of the Hunter (Laughton)*
Ordet (Dreyer)
Kiss me Deadly (Aldrich)
Lola Montes (Ophuls)
East of Eden (Kazan)
Yang Kwei Fei (Mizoguchi)
Smiles of a Summer Night (Bergman)

1956 The Searchers (Ford)*
A Man Escaped (Bresson)
Aparajito (S.Ray)
Early Spring (Ozu)
The Court Jester (Panama, Frank)
Street of Shame (Mizoguchi)
The Killing (Kubrick)
The Burmese Harp (Ichikawa)
Giant (Stevens)

1957 Funny Face (Donen)
Twelve Angry Men (Lumet)
Paths of Glory (Kubrick)
Throne of Blood (Kurosawa)
The Seventh Seal (Bergman)
Tokyo Twilight (Ozu)

1958 Vertigo (Hitchcock)*
Hidden Fortress (Kurosawa)
Touch of Evil (Welles)
The Music Room (S.Ray)
The Magician (Bergman)
Nazarin (Bunuel)

1959 North by Northwest (Hitchcock)*
Some Like it Hot (Wilder)*
Hiroshima mon Amour (Resnais)
The World of Apu (S.Ray)
Ballad of a Soldier (Chukhrai)
Paper Flowers (Dutt)
Les 400 Coups (Truffaut)

Re: Best Films of the 50s

Postby A » Wed Jul 05, 2006 2:04 pm

Thought to add some comments on my list, since the others all posted so many films.
I have seen some 300 films from the 50s, but if you look at my list , it's very limited. I'm not trying to be a snob, but sadly I didn't see many masterpieces in that period..
There are very good films I enjoyed much and though I value their importance they just didn't make it.

Some examples would be:
Orphe (Cocteau)
Un chant d'amour (Genet)
An American in Paris (Minelli)
A Streetcar named Desire (Kazan)
Singin in the Rain (Donen, Kelly)
From Here to Eternity (Fred Zinnemann)
Roman Holiday (Wyler)
Seven Samurai (Kurosawa)
Rear Window (Hitchcock)
Ordet (Dreyer)
Killer's Kiss (Kubrick)
To catch a thief (Hitchcock)
The Searchers (Ford)
Forbidden Planet (Fred Wilcox)
The Killing (Kubrick)
King Creole (Curtiz)
Hiroshima mon Amour (Resnais)
Ghost Story of Yotsuja (Nakagawa)
The Bridge (Bernhard Wicki)
Floating Weeds (Ozu)

I didn't list them as possible additions, because my memory of them is still very intact. Of course they could still make it on the list with another viewing, but they will have more chances in the farther future, when my taste in films will have changed a bit more.

Re: Best Films of the 50s

Postby wpqx » Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:49 pm

Two films from your list that won't make it on are Story of a Prostitute and Tokyo Drifter, because they both came out in the 60s. I did enjoy Tokyo Drifter and it served as a rather positive introduction to Suzuki's work for me. Story of a Prostitute on the other hand I just found to be more of the same in terms of Suzuki, and coming after Gates of Flesh, it was inevitably disappointing.

Re: Best Films of the 50s

Postby A » Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:16 pm

Thanks for the reminder!
Somehow Suzuki always keeps slipping into the 50s with me...

Story of a prostitue is actually my 2nd favorite film by Suzuki, and for me a clear development from Tokyo Drifter or Gates of Flesh (which I find more similar) towards his best I've seen, Branded to Kill.

Re: Best Films of the 50s

Postby wpqx » Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:20 pm

I still think Gates of Flesh is his best (but that's for the inevitable 60s thread). Luckily however I have 4 more Suzuki films still in plastic waiting for me to watch them, including Underworld Beauty which actually is from the 50s (1958 to be exact).

Re: Best Films of the 50s

Postby A » Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:09 pm

Funny, as I think I like "Gates of Flesh" the least from the handful I've seen. Artwork and music are impressive, though. Ah, no that was "Youth of the beast" (great title by the way) which had nevertheless two or three terriffic moments...
Where did you get these other Suzuki films (is he getting better known in the US). So far I thought the french had most of his stuff.

Re: Best Films of the 50s

Postby wpqx » Wed Jul 12, 2006 5:27 pm

Home Vision has released several of his films (including Underworld Beauty, Kanto Wanderer, and A Tattooed Life), and Criterion (which is the same basic company as Home Vision) released six so far. Kino Video recently put out three of his later films as a trilogy. I'm not quite sure why the upsurge in his films here in the US, but it is making things a lot easier considering I think only 2 of his films were ever released on VHS.


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