IMDb's 1950s Top 50

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In the period following WWII when most of the films were idealized with conventional portrayals of men and women, young people wanted new and exciting symbols of rebellion. Hollywood responded to audience demands through the rise of the anti-hero and anti-heroines, with Marlon Brando, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe being the main stars. Studios tried to counter the rise of television through all sorts of (mostly failed) inventions like 3-D, Smell-O-Vision, and cinerama. Risks were taken with lavish, overstated, spectacular epics and musicals.

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  1. 1 -

    12 Angry Men

    1957, in 28 top lists Check
  2. 32 -

    Ace in the Hole

    1951, in 19 top lists Check
  3. 27 -2

    All About Eve

    1950, in 24 top lists Check
  4. 22 -

    Aparajito

    1956 — a.k.a. The Unvanquished, in 13 top lists Check
  5. 6 -2

    Apur Sansar

    1959 — a.k.a. The World of Apu, in 19 top lists Check
  6. 36 -

    Bakushû

    1951 — a.k.a. Early Summer, in 7 top lists Check
  7. 38 -3

    Ballada o soldate

    1959 — a.k.a. Ballad of a Soldier, in 14 top lists Check
  8. 43 -3

    Ben-Hur

    1959, in 23 top lists Check
  9. 41 -

    The Bridge on the River Kwai

    1957, in 28 top lists Check
  10. 39 -

    The Browning Version

    1951, in 3 top lists Check
  11. 21 -2

    Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent...

    1956 — a.k.a. A Man Escaped, in 17 top lists Check
  12. 26 -

    Det sjunde inseglet

    1957 — a.k.a. The Seventh Seal, in 24 top lists Check
  13. 29 -2

    Dial M for Murder

    1954, in 8 top lists Check
  14. 33 -

    Du rififi chez les hommes

    1955 — a.k.a. Rififi, in 18 top lists Check
  15. 24 +6

    A Face in the Crowd

    1957, in 13 top lists Check
  16. 23 -

    La grande guerra

    1959 — a.k.a. The Great War, in 6 top lists Check
  17. 16 -

    Ikiru

    1952, in 22 top lists Check
  18. 48 +2

    Kakushi-toride no san-akunin

    1958 — a.k.a. The Hidden Fortress, in 7 top lists Check
  19. 47 -

    Kumonosu-jô

    1957 — a.k.a. Throne of Blood, in 18 top lists Check
  20. 19 -1

    Letyat zhuravli

    1957 — a.k.a. The Cranes Are Flying, in 16 top lists Check
  21. 49 -1

    Limelight

    1952, in 13 top lists Check
  22. 18 +3

    Los olvidados

    1950 — a.k.a. The Young and the Damned, in 23 top lists Check
  23. 4 +1

    Ningen no jôken

    1959 — a.k.a. The Human Condition I: No Greater Love, in 9 top lists Check
  24. 7 -1

    Ningen no jôken

    1959 — a.k.a. The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity, in 7 top lists Check
  25. 14 +1

    North by Northwest

    1959, in 26 top lists Check
  26. 50 -1

    Le notti di Cabiria

    1957 — a.k.a. Nights of Cabiria, in 19 top lists Check
  27. 42 -

    On the Waterfront

    1954, in 28 top lists Check
  28. 20 -

    Ordet

    1955 — a.k.a. The Word, in 20 top lists Check
  29. 3 -

    Pather Panchali

    1955, in 21 top lists Check
  30. 10 -

    Paths of Glory

    1957, in 25 top lists Check
  31. 5 +2

    Pyaasa

    1957, in 8 top lists Check
  32. 45 -2

    Les quatre cents coups

    1959 — a.k.a. The 400 Blows, in 25 top lists Check
  33. 28 -

    Rashômon

    1950 — a.k.a. Rashomon, in 32 top lists Check
  34. 8 -

    Rear Window

    1954, in 29 top lists Check
  35. 37 -

    Saikaku ichidai onna

    1952 — a.k.a. The Life of Oharu, in 11 top lists Check
  36. 46 -2

    Le salaire de la peur

    1953 — a.k.a. The Wages of Fear, in 24 top lists Check
  37. 12 -

    Sanshô dayû

    1954 — a.k.a. Sansho the Bailiff, in 19 top lists Check
  38. 44 +1

    Scrooge

    1951 — a.k.a. A Christmas Carol, in 3 top lists Check
  39. 2 -

    Shichinin no samurai

    1954 — a.k.a. Seven Samurai, in 32 top lists Check
  40. 15 -1

    Singin' in the Rain

    1952, in 33 top lists Check
  41. 30 -1

    Smultronstället

    1957 — a.k.a. Wild Strawberries, in 22 top lists Check
  42. 25 -1

    Some Like It Hot

    1959, in 33 top lists Check
  43. 9 -

    Sunset Blvd.

    1950 — a.k.a. Sunset Boulevard, in 32 top lists Check
  44. 40 +6

    Sweet Smell of Success

    1957, in 20 top lists Check
  45. 35 +3

    Tôkyô boshoku

    1957 — a.k.a. Tokyo Twilight, in 4 top lists Check
  46. 31 -

    Tôkyô monogatari

    1953 — a.k.a. Tokyo Story, in 25 top lists Check
  47. 17 -

    Ugetsu monogatari

    1953 — a.k.a. Ugetsu, in 23 top lists Check
  48. 34 -

    Umberto D.

    1952, in 14 top lists Check
  49. 13 -

    Vertigo

    1958, in 42 top lists Check
  50. 11 -

    Witness for the Prosecution

    1957, in 10 top lists Check
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Last updated on Nov 14, 2019; source