Best Movies Of The 1950s
Film Genres

The Best Movies Of The 1950s You Cannot Miss

If the movies of the 1940s mainly focused on the war theme, the 1950s witnessed a considerable change in film genres. In other words, Hollywood film producers made a great effort to diversify movie themes during the 1950s.

You can explore a wide range of unique characters, plots, and content when watching the movies of the 1950s.

The article today will show you the best movies of this decade that certainly bring you the most enjoyable experiences.

Vertigo (1958)


Vertigo” (1958), which was directed by the director Alfred Hitchcock, is one of the classic movies of all time.

The main character in the film is John “Scottie” Ferguson (James Stewart), a police officer suffering from fear of heights after his colleague’ death.

He decides to quit his job. But his old friend named Gavin Elster (Tom Helmore) has him watch his wife named Madeleine (Kim Novak).

After keeping watch on her, Scottie discovers that she seems to be possessed by the ghost and often takes unusual actions and attempts suicide. But then, Scottie loves her passionately. However, he could not prevent her from climbing a bell tower and committing suicide.

The movie features quick and sudden camera shots and angles, together with a lot of abstract images.

“Vertigo” has an impressive opening scene. The audience was shocked to witness a chase of a criminal, a police officer, and Scottie Ferguson on the roofs of the tall buildings in San Francisco.

In particular, to describe the fear of the height of Scottie Ferguson, the director often sets the camera angle from above to create special effects.

The creative filmmaking style of Alfred Hitchcock in “Vertigo”, 1958, makes this movie become classic and live forever. The British Film Institute (BFI) voted “Vertigo” the best movie of all time.

Some Like It Hot (1959)

Some Like It Hot

Why is “Some Like it hot” directed by Billy Wilder ranked among the greatest comedies of all time by the American Film Institute?

The film was set in Chicago in 1929. The two main characters, named Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon), are poor artists who make a living by performing in bars.

Due to the police chase, they must go to Miami, where their boss Poliakoff (Billy Gray) here only wants to find female musicians. To work here, the two guys decide to disguise themselves as girls, which drives them half laughing, half-crying situations then.

Jerry and Joe are very successful at playing comedy. From their bearing to high-pitched voices makes the audience laugh.

Until now, “Some like it hot” still has been a rich source of inspiration for many other comedies that follow the model of building up men disguised as women.

The movie has a classic line at the end of the movie, “Well, nobody’s perfect,” which is said by the billionaire Osgood Fielding, who falls in love with Jerry in disguise and insists on getting married to him.

Jerry, of course, cannot agree. But despite all Jerry’s reasons, Mr. Osgood maintains his intentions. Finally, Jerry was forced to scream, “I’m a man”. Surprisingly, Mr. Osgood just calmly said, “Well, no one is perfect” in Jerry’s helplessness before the movie ends. This line earns a laugh from the audience because of its charm and humor.

Shane (1953)


As mentioned above, the movie world from 1950 to 1959 covers a host of themes. With the main topic of Western cowboys, “Shane”, which was produced in 1953, became a highlight during this period.

The movie tells the story of Shane, who is trying to hide his mysterious past as an excellent gunman. He accidentally comes to an isolated valley in the state of Utah and befriends a local farmer named Joe Starrett, who tells Shane about the underground war that is about to break out here.

The person who causes these troubles is the cattle baron named Rufus Ryker. He used a series of vicious tricks to force the local people to leave the valley.

After a wide range of negotiations, Starrett and Shane failed to stop Ryker from killing people and stealing the lands. For this reason, Shane returned to his role as a gunfighter to defeat Ryker and his henchmen.

After an intense gun battle, Shane shoots both Ryker and Wilson dead, but he also suffers from serious injuries. Later, he decided to leave the valley, although Joey, who is Starrett’s son, convinced him to stay here.

The film, directed by George Stevens, has achieved significant commercial success. It is highly appreciated due to its good acting, touching script, and striking cinematography.

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

The Bridge on the River Kwai

The Bridge on the River Kwai” which took the main topic of World War II, was publicly released in 1957 and won an Oscar that same year.

The film depicts the scene that Allied prisoners were forced to build the Burmese railway by the Imperial Japanese Army in 1942 and 1943.

During World War II, British prisoners under Colonel Nicholson were ordered to build a bridge over the River Kwai to connect the Thai-Burmese railway. For the British pride, Colonel Nicholson decided to build a solid bridge. Meanwhile, the Allied army sent a team of rangers to destroy this bridge.

The film was directed by David Lean and starred Alec Guinness, Sessue Hayakawa, Jack Hawkins, and William Holden.

In 1997, due to the great significance of the film, “The Bridge on the River Kwai” was selected for preservation at the US National Film Archive of the Library of Congress.

For the final word

If you want to get more understanding of the world’s cinema during the 1950s, it is advisable not to miss the above-mentioned movies.

Compared to modern films, their cinematography is not stunning. But you can find numerous interesting things coming from messages, topics, and plots.

Thanks for taking the time on our article. If you have any questions or contributions, please leave your comments below.

I’m Manuel Veach, the author at in movie reviews and movie news section. I mainly focus on old film footage synthesizing and evaluating them so their values don't fade away. Then maybe I will make a separate section for modern cinema.

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