My Top Tens: 1950s

My top ten films for each year of the 2010s. These are always up for revision as I watch more films, revisit ones I’ve seen before, and think about them over time. I don’t really believe in top “ten” lists, despite using the common nomenclature for the title of this page, nor do I hold fast to the order, though it’s generally from films I liked better to films I liked less well. This is going to be my top several films of each year, down to whatever point I feel is right. Might be eight one year, might be twenty-three another.

1959

  • The 400 Blows
  • North by Northwest
  • Some Like It Hot
  • Anatomy of a Murder
  • Rio Bravo
  • Pickpocket
  • Ben-Hur
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Good Morning
  • Shadows
  • House on Haunted Hill

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

1958

  • Vertigo
  • Touch of Evil
  • Elevator to the Gallows
  • Big Deal on Madonna Street
  • Mon Oncle
  • Gigi
  • The Fly
  • Some Came Running
  • The 7th Voyage of Sinbad
  • 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

  • Nights of Cabiria
  • What’s Opera, Doc?
  • 12 Angry Men
  • Witness for the Prosecution
  • The Cranes are Flying
  • Gunfight at the OK Corral
  • Wild Strawberries
  • Sweet Smell of Success
  • The Seventh Seal
  • The Incredible Shrinking Man
  • A Face in the Crowd
  • Old Yeller

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

1956

  • The Searchers
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  • Written on the Wind
  • The Killing
  • …And God Created Woman
  • A Man Escaped
  • Bigger Than Life
  • The Ten Commandments
  • The King and I
  • While the City Sleeps
  • Carousel
  • Bob le flambeur

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

1955

  • Night of the Hunter
  • Oklahoma!
  • Lady and the Tramp
  • The Court Jester
  • Smiles of a Summer Night
  • One Froggy Evening
  • Diabolique
  • The Ladykillers
  • Kiss Me Deadly
  • The Man from Laramie
  • The Big Combo
  • Rebel Without a Cause
  • The Man With the Golden Arm
  • Rififi
  • The Trouble With Harry
  • The Big Knife
  • 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

  • Rear Window
  • La Strada
  • Sansho the Bailiff
  • A Star is Born
  • Johnny Guitar
  • The Seven Samurai
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
  • The Caine Mutiny
  • Them!
  • On the Waterfront
  • Dial M for Murder

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

1953

  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  • Duck Amuck
  • The Band Wagon
  • The Big Heat
  • The Earrings of Madame De…
  • Kiss Me Kate
  • Roman Holiday
  • Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2th Century
  • From Here to Eternity
  • The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T
  • The Naked Spur
  • Jeopardy
  • Pickup on South Street
  • Stalag 17

TOP FIVE YET TO SEE
Tokyo Story
Ugetsu
I Confess
The Hitch-Hiker
The Bigamist

1952

  • Singin’ in the Rain
  • Rabbit Seasoning
  • Feed the Kitty
  • The Quiet Man
  • Son of Paleface
  • The Narrow Margin
  • Umberto D
  • The Bad and the Beautiful
  • High Noon
  • Ikiru
  • Forbidden Games

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

1951

  • Strangers on a Train
  • A Streetcar Named Desire
  • An American in Paris
  • Ace in the Hole
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • 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

  • In a Lonely Place
  • All About Eve
  • Sunset Blvd
  • Winchester ’73
  • Rashomon
  • Orpheus
  • Caged
  • Cinderella
  • Gun Crazy
  • La ronde
  • No Way Out

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