Happy National Classic Movie Day to all! Today, for the occasion, Rick from Classic Film & TV Café is hosting the 5 Favorite Films of the 50s Blogathon. I don’t think I need to explain further what it’s all about! The 50s being one of my top favorite decades in cinema history, I was non-hesitant to take part in the event. Everybody choose the way they want to present their top, of course.
I know this was a difficult challenge for many but for me, it wasn’t so much as I’ve made a top 40 of my most favourite films not a long time ago and that included AT LEAST 5 films of the 50s. However, presenting only five is the real challenge as we would love the world to know about all the films we love, no?
Keep in mind that this list is subjective and present my own personal favourites. Anyway, if people would present entirely objective lists, I think they’ll all look pretty similar and there wouldn’t be any fun in that.
Without further ado, here are my top 5 favourite films of the 50s!
5- High Noon (Fred Zinnemann, 1952)
High Noon is one of those films that made me discover classics in general, but also Grace Kelly and Gary Cooper who happen to be among my top favourite actors. It’s without a doubt my favourite western because it’s so unique in its genre. If you like this film as much as I do, I would also recommend you to see The Plunderers (Joseph Pevney, 1960) with Jeff Chandler, Dolores Hart, and John Saxon. It’s a very underrated western and somehow I can see similarities between it and High Noon.
4- Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, 1952)
Because I am SO original (not) I’ve decided to include Singin’ in the Rain in my top. Seriously, among all the articles written for this blogathon that I’ve read so far, I think pretty much everybody included that iconic musical. But what do you expect? There’s so much to love about this film! The story, the music, the costumes, the actor and its delightful humour (thank you, Jean Hagen and Donald O’Connor). I believe Singin’ in the Rain is one of those films made for people who usually aren’t too much into musicals, mainly for the fact that there aren’t too many songs and when there’s one, it’s hard not to like it.
3- Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950)
Like Leticia from Crítica Retrô, I also believe this is the best film that has ever been made (sorry Citizen Kane). Yes, everything about it is perfect. It’s a simply mesmerizing noir. I love it so much that I can recite by heart Joe Gillis’s introducing narration (from ” Yes, this is Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California” to “Well, in the end, he got himself a pool, only the price turned out to be a little high…”). Sunset Boulevard is also one of the elements that made me interested in screenwriting (despite Joe’s fatal faith).
2- Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955)
There was a time, I never thought Kiss Me Deadly would rank so high in a top list. I first saw this film in my seminar on American Cinema of the 50s and I remember liking it but it didn’t immediately become one of my top favourites (it’s now my 4th most favourite film of all times and my favourite film noir). Anyway, the term after, I had a class on Film Noir and our teacher showed us the beginning and the end of the film (which is very unfortunate for those who hadn’t seen it before) and watching those clips really made me want to see it again, which is what I did. Oh my! I was completely hooked by it! I’ve watched my Criterion DVD too often since I bought it. What I love about Kiss Me Deadly isn’t only its impeccable film noir cinematography but also the fact that it’s a very unusual film. Without spoiling you, it starts as something and then becomes something completely unexpected. The film might have one of the most jaw-dropping endings ever filmed and the beginning is just as iconic.
1- Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959)
Well, Some Like It Hot is my most favourite film ever so it would obviously be #1 on this list! I won’t go into too many details as you can read my full review here but, basically what makes this film so great is its screenplay and its actors. Billy Wilder’s comedy is one of those films that, before I even watched it a first time, I had the feeling it would become a favourite. Weird, no?
Honorable mention: The Man Who Knew Too Much (Alfred Hitchcock, 1956)
Honestly, a Virginie’s list without an Hitchcock film is a bit weird since he’s my favourite movie director and he surely made some of his best films during that decade. I chose The Man Who Knew Too Much since it’s my favourite Hitchcock film of the 50s and it has all the ingredients to be a perfect Hitchcockian film. Ohhh! And Doris Day. Still can’t believe she has left us. 😦
Thanks so much Rick for hosting this! I love reading the participants entries and discover everyone’s favourites! I invite you to check them here!