1950s Hollywood birthed stars like Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe and we all know how incredible and iconic those two ladies are in their own rights. Along with beautiful and brilliant actors, the films that came with them were pretty damn good too.
1. Roman Holiday (1953)
Audrey Hepburn’s first role in a major American movie, and boy did she do good. Audrey plays the bored and sheltered Princess Ann who decides she wants more. Princess Ann escapes her guardians. In Rome she meets and falls in love with an American newsman played by Gregory Peck.
The role of Princess Ann brought Audrey her one and only Academy Award for Best Actress. In 1993 she did win another Oscar for her humanitarian work, but this was presented posthumously, her son Sean accepted the award on her behalf
2. Cinderella (1950)
Disney released this animated classic in 1950 about the abused Cinderella who is mistreated by her step-mother and ugly step-sisters. When they attend a ball at the palace that they wouldn’t let Cinderella attend, her fairy godmother arrives to help her.
Many interpretations of Cinderella have been made including Ever After, starring Drew Barrymore and Ella Enchanted with Anne Hathaway. Disney have recently been remaking their classic animations as live-action films, Cinderella included with Lily James as the unfortunate Princess.
3. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
The last film starring James Dean to be released to before his untimely and tragic death only two months later. His film Giant was posthumously released the next year.
Dean plays a troubled bad boy who moves to a new town where he makes friends and enemies. It’s safe to say that James Dean was made for this part. It’s incredibly tragic that he was unable to progress in his career, just think of what he could have done.
On November 23rd 1955, James Dean was in a horrific car crash that killed him instantly. A huge loss to the world.
4. Peter Pan (1953)
Based on J M Barrie’s novel of the same name, this Disney animated classic is one of my favourites. Also the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland Paris is my favourite ride ever, besides the point though.
Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, meet Wendy, Michael and John then takes them to his home, Neverland. Here they meet the rest of the Lost Boys, a helpful Native American girl called Tiger-Lily and the nasty Captain Hook.
The film has been criticised for its racist depiction of Tiger-Lily, which I totally understand.
5. Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Oh look, another Disney animated classic. Alice in Wonderland is one of my favourite books, I’ve read it countless times and will continue to do so forever. Lewis Carroll created such a wonderful story. This animated version is so magical and iconic, I could watch it forever and ever. I recently made my mum watch it and she seemed to enjoy it. The lovely Golden Afternoon song is one of the best Disney songs.
6. Some Like it Hot
Definitely up there as one of Marilyn Monroe’s most famous movies. Some Like it Hot is about two male musicians that witness a mob hit so flee disguised as women.
Marilyn is just as beautiful and glamourous as ever. She really was a beauty, wasn’t she? This is the only Marilyn movie I have in this series, but I recommend you check out her other films, especially Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and The Seven Year Itch.
Marilyn famously had an affair with the US President at the time, JFK. After she died fans started speculating whether he had something to do with it. I have to admit, I do think there is something fishy about her death, the room she was found in seemed way too organised. There are so many podcasts, YouTube videos and documentaries about it. Go and make your own minds up about the situation.
There are so many movies I could have included in this list, but I wanted to hold back and possibly create another list. So if you didn’t see a film here that you think should be, it may be on my next list of 1950s films so keep your eyes peeled and I hope to see you there!
If you like this post then check out the previous post in the series here: Films Throughout The Decades – 1940-1949. I would also really appreciate it if you could help support this page by buying me a coffee here!