Category Archives: Best of

The best movies of 1957

The ones you’ve already seen

12 Angry Men

The Bridge on the River Kwai

Paths of Glory

Hammer time

The Curse of Frankenstein

The Abominable Snowman


3:10 to Yuma

The Tin Star

Men in War

My Gun is Quick

The Lonely Man


Throne of Blood

Quatermass 2

A Face in the Crowd

Nachts wenn der Teufel kam

The Snow Queen


Ni liv

Ill Met by Moonlight

Saint Joan

The Sweet Smell of Success

The Good Soldier Svejk

Mito Komon

Don Quixote


The Cranes are Flying


Different Fortunes

Next up: 1958, on account of it being the year that followed 1957, with some 643 movies and clips in the queue.

The best movies of 1956

My favorite movies of 1956 were made in the Soviet Union. This came as a surprise to me. For some reason, I associated the USSR with cold, empty art movies, but these aren’t. They’re like Hollywood movies from an alternate universe, just as ambitious, but more sentimental. I hope this Khrushchev guy stays around for a while:

Ilya Muromets

Spring on Zarechnaya Street

Karnavalnaya Noch

The Forty-First

Also, average westerns got noticably better that year:

The Burning Hills

The Searchers

Three Violent People

Sci-fi began to find its bearings:

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

X: The Unknown

Forbidden Planet

Earth vs the Flying Saucers

James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and Marlon Brando played some very odd roles:


Teahouse of the August Moon

Bus Stop

Powell & Pressburger returned to form:

The Battle of the River Plate

The Germans told us that we shouldn’t blindly trust authority:

The Captain from Köpenick

Spencer Tracy was one of the few classic stars still worth watching:

The Mountain

Hollywood took revenge on the communist hunters:

Storm Center

And we got the first(?) child psychopath:

The Bad Seed

Next up: 1957, with about 700 movies. Fortunately I have a fast-forward button.

1950s movies marathon – Best of 1955

The best movies of 1955, or at least those that had an opening that was interesting enough for me not to immediately hit the fast-forward button. I’ve collected the best scene from each movie, plus some amusingly bad ones, in this playlist.

The ones I’d heard about

The Trouble With Harry

Bad Day at Black Rock

The Ladykillers

The Seven Year Itch

Blackboard Jungle

The Quatermass Xperiment

Mad, murderous preachers

Night of the Hunter

Priests, maddened and nearly murdered

The Prisoner

Mann, with and without Stewart

The Last Frontier

The Man From Laramie

Start of a promising career

East of Eden

Rebel Without a Cause

Go, go, Rasputin!

Romeo and Juliet

Movies! with! exclamation! point! titles!

It Came From Beneath the Sea

Commies and Nazis

Himmel Ohne Sterne

Night and Fog

Nice Britain

A Kid for Two Farthings

Cockleshell Heroes

As Long As They’re Happy

Not so nice Britain

Richard III

Goodbye Hayes


Madness and/or sanity

I Live in Fear



Next up: 1956, featuring a queue of ca 500 movies + various clips from the Internet Archive.

The best movies of 1954

The 1950s movies marathon crawls on, one fast-forward button press at a time. 1954 went slower than usual, but not because of the movies. Here are my favorites.

For the visuals

Track of the Cat

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Heroic priests

On the Waterfront

Father Brown

Doomed love


Garden of Evil


Creature From the Black Lagoon

Nazi’s, anti-Nazis, ex-Nazi’s and post-Nazi’s


Nineteen Eighty-Four


Night People

I can’t pretend to hate Hitchcock any more

Rear Window

Dial M for Murder

Prototypes for later classics

Secret of the Incas


Japan discovers its sense of fun

Seven Samurai


Next up: 1955, a year that surprised everyone by coming right after 1954.

1950s movies marathon – Best of 1953

Compared to 1952, 1953 was an excellent year for movies. Some of them were even in widescreen and stereo, technologies one starts to miss after watching little but old movies for a couple of years.

Revenge of the nerds

The War of the Worlds

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms

House of Wax 


Dangerous youths

The Wild One  

I Vinti

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr T 

Summer with Monika 

Dangerous adults

Pickup on South Street 

The Wages of Fear 

The Naked Spur 

Mr. Hulot’s Holiday

Ladies and “ladies”

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Calamity Jane 

Glen or Glenda

Top of the world, ma

The Conquest of Everest

Julius Caesar 

.. and best of the best, also uncategorizable: 

Stalag 17

Next up: 1954, with 414 movies begging for attention, which may make you wonder how much time I actually spend on this marathon.  Surprisingly little, but it helps not to have a TV.

1950s movies marathon – Best of 1952

1952 was either one of the worst years in movie history, or I’ve been unusually hard to satisfy lately. Or perhaps it’s that it offered little new, and this marathon is above all about newness.  I’ll watch anything as long as it’s interesting, and what makes it interesting is that I don’t quite know where to place it.  Almost everything from 1952 fits neatly into existing categories, adding nothing of their own, and what’s left is this meagre picking:

The White Reindeer

Eight Iron Men

Bend of the River

The Thief

Singin’ in the Rain

Viva Zapata!

The Importance of Being Earnest

Children of Hiroshima

Next up: 1953, with 370+ movies lying ready to face the fast-forward button. (Wait, 370?!  Yes.  And rising steadily, year by year.)

1950s movies marathon – Best of 1951

From someone who has mostly watched movies from the 1920′s, 30′s and 40′s for the last two years, it may come as a surprise to hear that I don’t particularly like old movies.  I just don’t like them less than new movies, and when you’re trying to uncover All the Good Movies Ever Made, you have to start somewhere.  But even the best of the good Golden Age Hollywood movies can be a bit unimaginative and soft around the edges.

That’s why I love the two new kinds of movies of the early 50′s: Intelligent, even angry, “message” movies, and science fiction movies.  I’ve mostly heard bad things about 1950′s science fiction, but the only thing that is cheesy about the 1951 sci-fi movies are the effects.  Otherwise they’re everything I missed in the 40′s.

So here they are, the best (or at least pretty good) movies of 1951:

Best of the best

Ace in the  Hole


Hey everyone let’s invent the science fiction movie!


The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Man in the White Suit

The Thing From Another World

When Worlds Collide

Aspiring towards theater

Fourteen Hours

The Scarf

Aspiring towards cinema

Ace in the  Hole

The Tall Target

Aspiring towards opera

The Tales of Hoffmann

Italian movies that don’t suck

Four Ways Out / La Citta si diffende

Satirical Japanese color movies

Carmen Comes Home

The ‘other’ bin

Desert Fox

The Lavender Hill Mob

Kranes konditori

People Will Talk

Mr Belvedere Rings the Bell

The Whip Hand

The Kaiser’s Lackey / Der Untertan

1950s movies marathon – Best of 1950

With a project like this movie marathon, motivation varies from week to week.  It’s hard to find the balance between giving 300 movies each a chance to prove itself, and also having fun.  But – when you end up with movies like the ones below, motivation is not a problem.

Birth cries of a new Hollywood

Sunset Boulevard

All About Eve

The Men

Actually funny comedies

At War With the Army

Actually interesting westerns

Winchester ’73

Devil’s Doorway

Broken Arrow

Victorian adventures

Treasure Island

King Solomon’s Mines

Fly me to the Moon

Destination Moon

Still a bit of life in death and violence

The Asphalt Jungle

Gun Crazy

House by the River

Movies about giant talking rabbits


Truth – huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing


Just watch the clip, and either it clicks or it doesn’t

Gone to Earth

40′s movies marathon – the most memorable movies of the decade

Before we leave the 1940’s for good, here are not the best movies of the decade, but the ones that stick most in my mind, for some reason:

Jud Süß (1940), for making me feel what it’s like to hate the Jews

Santa Fe Trail (1940), for its shocking defense of slavery

Fantasia (1940), for making me cry

The Lady Eve (1941), Sullivan’s Travels (1941), Hail the Conquering Hero (1944), The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944), Unfaithfully Yours (1948), really anything by Preston Sturges

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), for that motorcycle scene at the beginning, also A Matter of Life and Death (1946), Black Narcissus (1947), The Red Shoes (1948), really anything by Powell & Pressburger

Day of Wrath (1943), for being the most metal movie of the decade

Mission to Moscow (1943), for showing that there really were some genuine Communists in Hollywood

Victory Through Air Power (1943), for Walt Disney’s insane ambition of changing the course of the war

Henry V (1944), for delivering the St. Crispin’s Day speech at the exact right moment in history

Dead of Night (1945), for being the only genuinely scary movie of the entire decade

The Story of G.I. Joe (1945), and A Walk in the Sun (1945), for setting the standard in war movie realism

Good News (1947), for that musical number that just makes me really happy

Railroaded! (1947), T-Men (1947), Raw Deal (1948), really anything by Anthony Mann

Rope (1948), for being maybe my favorite movie of all time

The Fall of Berlin (1949), for taking the Jerry Bruckheimer approach to Stalin worship

Passport to Pimlico (1949) and The Fountainhead (1949), for being unfashionably libertarian, then and now.

40′s movies marathon – best of 1949

What an awful year in movies that was, especially for Hollywood, but the ‘49 movies that are good, are real good, and unique in a way earlier movies weren’t.  The end of the “golden age” was the end of one size fits all movies, and the beginning of “let’s try anything that could possibly draw some viewers away from television”.

Working class heroes

Thieves’ Highway

Give Us This Day

Libertarian rabblerousers

The Fountainhead

Passport to Pimlico

Old violence with a new edge

White Heat

Reign of Terror

Lust for Gold


Neo-realists can make okay movies too

Gategutter / Boys From the Streets

War, death and other humorous subjects

I Was a Male War Bride

The Barkleys of Broadway

Kind Hearts and Coronets

The Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend

Mr Belvedere Goes to College

Stalin extravaganza

The Fall of Berlin

Quiet intensity

Stray Dog

A Letter to Three Wives

The Small Back Room

The Third Man

The Quiet Duel