My Top Tens: 1950s

My top ten films for each year of the 1950s. These are always up for revision as I watch more films, revisit ones I’ve seen before, and think about them over time. The films as listed in the “Best of Year” section are held fast at the end of the year (and include a listing of all films I saw that year as well as films released that year).

Oh, and I don’t really believe in top “ten” lists, despite using the common nomenclature for the title of this page. This is going to be the top several films of each year, down to whatever point I think the films stop being worthy of inclusion. Might be eight one year, might be twenty-three another.

1959

  1. The 400 Blows
  2. North by Northwest
  3. Some Like It Hot
  4. Anatomy of a Murder
  5. Rio Bravo
  6. Pickpocket
  7. Ben-Hur
  8. Sleeping Beauty
  9. Good Morning
  10. Shadows
  11. House on Haunted Hill

TOP FIVE YET TO SEE
Floating Weeds
Black Orpheus
The World of Apu
Le trou
The Mummy

1958

  1. Vertigo
  2. Touch of Evil
  3. Elevator to the Gallows
  4. Big Deal on Madonna Street
  5. Mon Oncle
  6. Gigi
  7. The Fly
  8. Some Came Running
  9. The 7th Voyage of Sinbad
  10. Horror of Dracula

TOP FIVE YET TO SEE
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
The Defiant Ones
The Blob
Ashes and Diamonds
The Music Room

1957

  1. Nights of Cabiria
  2. What’s Opera, Doc?
  3. 12 Angry Men
  4. Witness for the Prosecution
  5. The Cranes are Flying
  6. Gunfight at the OK Corral
  7. Wild Strawberries
  8. Sweet Smell of Success
  9. The Seventh Seal
  10. The Incredible Shrinking Man
  11. A Face in the Crowd
  12. Old Yeller

TOP FIVE YET TO SEE
Throne of Blood
Desk Set
Forty Guns
The Tarnished Angels
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter

1956

  1. The Searchers
  2. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  3. Written on the Wind
  4. The Killing
  5. …And God Created Woman
  6. A Man Escaped
  7. Bigger Than Life
  8. The Ten Commandments
  9. The King and I
  10. While the City Sleeps
  11. Carousel
  12. Bob le flambeur

TOP FIVE YET TO SEE
The Burmese Harp
Aparajito
The Red Balloon
Kanal
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

1955

  1. Night of the Hunter
  2. Oklahoma!
  3. Lady and the Tramp
  4. The Court Jester
  5. Smiles of a Summer Night
  6. One Froggy Evening
  7. Diabolique
  8. The Ladykillers
  9. Kiss Me Deadly
  10. The Man from Laramie
  11. The Big Combo
  12. Rebel Without a Cause
  13. The Man With the Golden Arm
  14. Rififi
  15. The Trouble With Harry
  16. The Big Knife
  17. Love Me or Leave Me

TOP FIVE YET TO SEE
Bad Day at Black Rock
Night and Fog
All That Heaven Allows
Killer’s Kiss
Pather Panchali

1954

  1. Rear Window
  2. La Strada
  3. Sansho the Bailiff
  4. A Star is Born
  5. Johnny Guitar
  6. The Seven Samurai
  7. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
  8. The Caine Mutiny
  9. Them!
  10. On the Waterfront
  11. Dial M for Murder

TOP FIVE YET TO SEE
Senso
Magnificent Obsession
Journey to Italy
Suddenly
Samurai 1: Musashi Miyamoto

1953

  1. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  2. Duck Amuck
  3. The Band Wagon
  4. The Big Heat
  5. The Earrings of Madame De…
  6. Kiss Me Kate
  7. Roman Holiday
  8. Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2th Century
  9. From Here to Eternity
  10. The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T
  11. The Naked Spur
  12. Pickup on South Street

TOP FIVE YET TO SEE
Stalag 17
Tokyo Story
Ugetsu
I Confess
The Bigamist

1952

  1. Singin’ in the Rain
  2. Rabbit Seasoning
  3. Feed the Kitty
  4. The Quiet Man
  5. Son of Paleface
  6. The Narrow Margin
  7. Umberto D
  8. The Bad and the Beautiful
  9. High Noon
  10. Ikiru
  11. Forbidden Games

TOP FIVE YET TO SEE
Limelight
Clash by Night
The Life of Oharu
Othello
The Lusty Men

1951

  1. Strangers on a Train
  2. A Streetcar Named Desire
  3. An American in Paris
  4. Ace in the Hole
  5. The Day the Earth Stood Still
  6. Detective Story

TOP FIVE YET TO SEE
A Place in the Sun
The Man in the White Suit
The Steel Helmet
The River
Le plaisir

1950

  1. In a Lonely Place
  2. All About Eve
  3. Sunset Blvd
  4. Winchester ’73
  5. Rashomon
  6. Orpheus
  7. Caged
  8. Cinderella
  9. Gun Crazy
  10. La ronde
  11. No Way Out

TOP FIVE YET TO SEE
The Furies
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Les enfants terribles
Wagon Master
Los Olvidados