Top 10 Movies of the 1950's
This section provides additional information on another are of focus within pop culture during the 1950's.
#1 - The Ten Commandments (1956)
Release Date: October 5, 1956 Production Company: Cecil B DeMille Production
Director(s): Cecil B. DeMille
Overview: Enjoying a life of ease in the court of Egypt's pharaoh, Moses (Charlton Heston) discovers his Hebrew heritage and, later, God's expectations of him. He dedicates himself to liberating his people from captivity and -- with the aid of plagues and divine intervention -- manages to lead them out of Egypt and across the Red Sea. A greater challenge comes in the form of the golden calf idol, however, and it takes an unforgettable visitation by God on Mount Sinai for Moses' mission to prevail.
#2 - Lady and the Tramp (1955)
Release Date: June 22, 1955 Production Company: Walt Disney Productions
Director(s): Wilfred Jackson, Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske
Overview: This Disney animated classic follows a pampered cocker spaniel named Lady (Barbara Luddy) whose comfortable life slips away once her owners have a baby. When, after some tense circumstances, Lady finds herself on the loose and out on the street, she is befriended and protected by the tough stray mutt Tramp (Larry Roberts). A romance begins to blossom between the two dogs, but their many differences, along with more drama at Lady's household, threaten to keep them apart.
#3 - Peter Pan (1953)
Release Date: February 5, 1953 Production Company: Walt Disney Productions
Director(s): Hamilton Luske, Wilfred Jackson, Clyde Geronimi
Overview: In this Disney animated film, Wendy (Kathryn Beaumont) and her two brothers are amazed when a magical boy named Peter Pan (Bobby Driscoll) flies into their bedroom, supposedly in pursuit of his rebellious shadow. He and his fairy friend, Tinkerbell, come from a far-off place called Neverland, where children stay perpetually young. Enchanted, the kids follow him back. But when Pan's nemesis, the pirate Captain Hook (Hans Conried), causes trouble, the kids begin to miss their old life.
#4 - Cinderella (1950)
Release Date: March 4, 1950 Production Company: Walt Disney Productions
Director(s): Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Ben Sharpsteen
Overview: With a wicked stepmother (Eleanor Audley) and two jealous stepsisters (Rhoda Williams, Lucille Bliss) who keep her enslaved and in rags, Cinderella (Ilene Woods) stands no chance of attending the royal ball. When her fairy godmother (Verna Felton) appears and magically transforms her reality into a dream come true, Cinderella enchants the handsome Prince Charming at the ball, but must face the wrath of her enraged stepmother and sisters when the spell wears off at midnight.
#5 - Ben-Hur (1959)
Release Date: November 18, 1959 Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Director(s): William Wyler
Overview: Epic drama about an aristocratic Jew living in Judaea who incurs the wrath of a childhood friend, now a Roman tribune. Although forced into slavery on a galley and compelled to witness the cruel persecution of his family, he survives, harboring dreams of vengeance. A battle at sea and a chariot race are among the memorable sequences. The film used 300 sets at Rome's Cinecitta Studios and won a record 11 Oscars.
#6 - Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Release Date: January 29, 1959 Production Company: Walt Disney Productions
Director(s): Clyde Geronimi, Wolfgang Reitherman, Les Clark, Eric Larson
Overview: Filled with jealousy, the evil witch Maleficent (Eleanor Audley) curses Princess Aurora (Mary Costa) to die on her 16th birthday. Thanks to Aurora's guardian fairies (Verna Felton, Barbara Jo Allen, Barbara Luddy), she only falls into a deep sleep that can be ended with a kiss from her betrothed, Prince Phillip (Bill Shirley). To prevent Phillip from rescuing Aurora, Maleficent kidnaps and imprisons him. The good fairies are the last hope to free Phillip so that he can awaken Aurora.
#7 - The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
Release Date: December 14, 1957 Production Company: Horizon Pictures
Director(s): David Lean
Overview: British POWs are ordered by their Japanese captors to construct a bridge of strategic importance and are happy to sabotage and delay the progress until their commanding officers orders them to continue the work unhindered to its completion, but are his actions tantamount to collaborating with the enemy?
#8 - Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
Release Date: October 17, 1956 Production Company: Michael Todd Company
Director(s): Michael Anderson
Overview: Victorian-era Englishman Phileas Fogg (David Niven) proclaims before his fellow members of a London gentleman's club that he can circumnavigate the globe in a mere 80 days, further boasting that he will bet the princely sum of 20,000 pounds on the success of his endeavor. With his stalwart manservant Passepartout (Cantinflas) alongside, he goes forth on his adventure, pursued by a dogged Police Inspector (Robert Newton) who suspects Fogg of chicanery.
#9 - This is Cinerama (1952)
Release Date: September 30, 1952 Production Company: Cinerama Productions
Director(s): Mike Todd Jr., Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack
Overview: Designed to introduce the Cinerama widescreen format, this film documents exciting events and beautiful scenery from around the world in the aforementioned format. Included is a thrilling rollercoaster ride from the now-defunct Rockaways' Playland in Queens, scenes from the opera "Aida," an up-close view of the Niagara Falls, a ride down the canals of Venice and a bullfight. The film also features narration from newscaster Lowell Thomas and an Academy Award--nominated score.
#10 - The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
Release Date: January 10, 1952 Production Company: Paramount Pictures
Director(s): Cecil B. DeMille
Overview: "The Greatest Show on Earth" is a dazzling spectacle of life behind the scenes with Ringling Bros.-Barnum and Bailey Circus, the best three-ring circus in the land. Celebrates the extravagant three-ring circus and depicts the passionate scenes of love and jealousy behind the greatest show on Earth.