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DISCLAIMER: All film criticism is extremely subjective and there is no such thing as the definitive list of the Greatest (English-language) Films. Great Films can't be measured scientifically because greatness is extremely subjective. Just because we like a film doesn't mean that you will like it as well. Please feel free to leave us a comment with the films that you think are the greatest which we have not included on our list.

Not only was 1950 a big year for movies but it was also a big year for actors making their film debuts and the deaths of some truly great talent. Here is a snap shot of the American film industry.

Making Their Film Debuts:

  • Marlon Brando – The Men
  • Tippi Hedren – The Petty Girl
  • Sophia Loren – Totò Tarzan
  • Peter Sellers – The Black Rose
  • Robert Wagner – The Happy Years

 

Top-grossing Films

RankTitleStudioGross
1.King Solomon’s MinesMGM$9,955,000
2.All About EveFox$8,400,000
3.Walt Disney’s CinderellaDisney$8,000,000
4.Annie Get Your GunMGM$7,756,000
5.Father of the BrideMGM$6,084,000
6.Sunset BoulevardParamount$5,000,000
7.Born YesterdayColumbia$4,150,000
8.Wabash AvenueFox$4,054,000
9.At War with the ArmyParamount$3,100,000
10.My Blue HeavenFox$3,000,000

 

Academy Award Winners

Best Picture: All About Eve – 20th Century-Fox

Best Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz – All About Eve

Best Actor: José Ferrer – Cyrano de Bergerac

Best Actress: Judy Holliday – Born Yesterday

Best Supporting Actor: George SandersAll About Eve

Best Supporting Actress: Josephine Hull – Harvey

 

Top Ten Money Making Stars

RankActor/Actress
1.John Wayne
2.Bob Hope
3.Bing Crosby
4.Betty Grable
5.James Stewart
6. (tie)Bud Abbott
Lou Costello
7.Clifton Webb
8.Esther Williams
9.Spencer Tracy
10.Randolph Scott

 

Among Those Who Died In 1950:

  • Emil Jannings, 65, Swiss-born German actor, The Blue Angel, The Last Laugh
  • John M. Stahl, 63, American film director and producer, Leave Her to Heaven, Imitation of Life
  • Corinne Luchaire, 28, French actress, Prison Without Bars, Conflict
  • Marguerite De La Motte, 47, American actress, The Mark of Zorro, The Iron Mask
  • Frank Buck, 66, American actor and animal expert, Bring ‘Em Back Alive, Africa Screams
  • Walter Huston, 67, American Academy Award-winning actor, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Dodsworth
  • Ernst Laemmle, 49, German director and screenwriter, The Phantom of the Opera, The Palm Beach Story
  • Jane Cowl, 66, American actress, No Man of Her Own, Payment on Demand
  • Sara Allgood, 69, Irish actress, How Green Was My Valley, The Lodger
  • Al Jolson, 64, Lithuanian-born American actor, singer, entertainer, The Jazz Singer, Rhapsody in Blue, The Singing Fool
  • Maurice Costello, 73, American actor, Du Barry Was a Lady, Tin Pan Alley
  • James Kevin McGuinness, 56, Irish producer and screenwriter, Madame X, Rio Grande
  • William Garwood, 66, American silent-film actor and director, The Cowboy Millionaire, Proxy Husband

The Greatest Films of 1950

 

***POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT FOR ALL***

 

Poster for the movie "All About Eve"

© 1950 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation − All right reserved.

All About Eve

D: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Much-loved, acerbic drama of theatre life. Wit and sarcasm reign supreme (e.g., “Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night”) and George Sanders is perfect as Addison De Witt – a cynical, egotistical columnist/critic. The literate Best Picture-winning film features Bette Davis as aging, bitchy accomplished star Margo Channing who takes the seemingly-naive and innocent fan Eve (Anne Baxter) under her wing. As the film opens, the rising, unscrupulous star accepts an award for best newcomer on the Broadway scene. Then, in a flashback, we see the shameless starlet insinuating herself into the life of her idol, and scheming to steal her theatrical roles and her lover Bill (Gary Merrill). By ruthlessly exploiting the older woman’s kindness and hospitality, she manages to achieve her present success while almost destroying the veteran star in the process. The ending of the film returns to the awards banquet to find the starlet clinging to her trophy, with another fan in the wings. Also with Marilyn Monroe in a bit part.

Learn more and watch the preview here.

 

Poster for the movie "Asphalt Jungle"

© − All right reserved.

The Asphalt Jungle

D: John Huston

A classic thriller, based on a novel by W. R. Burnett, about a mastermind, aging, ex-convict criminal Doc (Sam Jaffe), who comes out of retirement (prison) for one last jewel robbery with an assemblage of underworld characters – Kentucky horse-farm loving Dix Handley (Sterling Hayden) with tough-girlfriend Doll (Jean Hagen), and sleazy lawyer partner Alonzo Emmerich (Louis Calhern) who plans to fence the jewels to support his expensive habits (e.g., an affair with seductive mistress Marilyn Monroe – in a cameo role). The heist unravels quickly and everything falls apart when an alarm accidentally sounds and the safe-cracker is mortally wounded by a stray bullet. While Emmerich commits suicide, and others are either jailed or wounded, Doc’s creepy voyeurism for a young girl dooms him during his escape. Dix reaches his childhood Kentucky farm but expires in a field surrounded by horses.

Learn more and watch the preview here.

 

Poster for the movie "Born Yesterday"

© 1950 Columbia Pictures Corporation − All right reserved.

Born Yesterday

D: George Cukor

Wealthy, crooked junk dealer Harry Brock arrives in Washington, D.C. with his brassy mistress, former Brooklyn showgirl Billie Dawn, and checks into a lavish hotel suite. Although he himself is crude and pushy, Billie’s unrefined behavior embarrasses Harry during a meeting with Congressman Norval Hedges and his wife, and although he does love her, he considers breaking off their relationship until his lawyer, the alcoholic Jim Devery, reminds him that for tax purposes, he put his business holdings in Billie’s name. Jim suggests that Harry hire someone to smooth Billie’s rough edges and then marry her, because a wife cannot testify against her husband. Harry offers the job to reporter Paul Verrall, who earlier attempted to interview him. Paul readily accepts, both because he is attracted to Billie and because he hopes to discover something about Harry’s operations. Later, Paul delivers some books to Billie, instructing her to circle everything that she does not understand and look up the words in the dictionary. The following day, Paul takes Billie on a tour of the capital. Billie is excited by her lessons in U.S. history, and her simple, honest enthusiasm impresses Paul. Paul’s advice helps Billie to reconcile with her father, who does not approve of her relationship with Harry. Paul’s disdain for Harry causes Billie to raise questions about Harry’s business dealings. One day, after eavesdropping on Harry’s conversation with Jim and Hedges, Billie, who with Paul’s encouragement has started to express herself, asks Hedges why he puts up with Harry’s bullying and points out that Harry was never elected to a position of power. Then, when Jim asks Billie to sign some papers, she refuses to do so without first reading them. This so angers Harry that he hits her, and an hysterical Billie leaves the apartment. She contacts Paul, and the following day, believing Harry to be out, the two of them search Harry’s room for the papers. Harry is home waiting, however, and while Billie distracts him, Paul takes the papers. Later, Harry proposes to Billie, who turns him down, explaining that she is leaving him in search of a different life. When Billie reveals that Paul has taken Harry’s papers and plans to expose his nefarious dealings, Harry offers Paul money to return them. Paul is uninterested, however, and Billie offers to sign back one company a year to Harry as long as he behaves himself. Finally, Billie and Paul, who have each grown more like the other, get married.

Learn more and watch the preview here.

 

Cinderella

D: Disney Studio

In a mythical kingdom, Lord Tremaine remarries so that his beloved young daughter Cinderella can have a mother. Tremaine’s new wife is a seemingly kind widow with two daughters, Anastasia and Drizella, but after his death, Lady Tremaine’s true, greedy nature emerges. Banishing Cinderella to the attic and forcing her to become their servant. Growing up to be a lovely young woman, Cinderella patiently bears the cruelties of her family while continuing to believe in her dreams and comforting herself with the friendship of her dog Bruno, horse Major and the chateau’s mice and birds.

Meanwhile, at the palace, the King is infuriated that his son, Prince Charming, has not yet married. Longing for grandchildren, the King orders the Grand Duke to arrange a ball to celebrate the return of Prince Charming, who is arriving that day after an extended absence. The King hopes that the prince will find a bride if all the maidens in the kingdom are present, and so the Grand Duke begins the preparations. Cinderella is thrilled when an invitation arrives at the chateau, but, knowing that her stepdaughter will outshine Anastasia and Drizella, Lady Tremaine cannily promises that she can attend only if she finishes her work and finds something suitable to wear. Cinderella begins re-fashioning a gown that belonged to her mother, but is interrupted by her stepsisters’ excessive demands. Lady Tremaine and her daughters keep Cinderella so busy that she cannot work on her dress, and when the coach arrives to take them to the ball, she stoically tells them that she will not be attending. When she retreats to her attic, however, Cinderella is astonished to see that the old dress is ready. Cinderella changes and joins her family as they are leaving, but the jealous Drizella and Anastasia recognize their beads and sash and tear Cinderella’s gown to shreds. After the women leave, the broken-hearted Cinderella cries in the garden, but her tears are quieted by the arrival of her Fairy Godmother. Telling the unhappy girl that she is going to the ball, the fairy uses her wand and the magic phrase “bibbidi-bobbidi-boo” to transform a pumpkin into a glorious coach. The mice are then transformed into horses, and Major and Bruno become the coachman and footman. The Fairy Godmother then transforms Cinderella’s rags into an exquisite gown, complete with glass slippers. The fairy instructs Cinderella to leave the ball before midnight, at which time the spell will be broken. At the castle, meanwhile, the King watches in frustration as a bored Prince Charming greets his guests, including Drizella and Anastasia. The prince’s attention is captured by Cinderella, however, and the King arranges for the couple to be alone. Prince Charming and Cinderella fall in love as they waltz, although they do not know each other’s names. Just as the prince is about to kiss his new love, the clock begins to strike twelve and Cinderella flees. Prince Charming and the Grand Duke chase her as she races away but succeed only in finding one of her glass slippers, which fell off during her flight down the grand staircase. Cinderella is in rags again when the final chime is heard, but still has one glass slipper as a souvenir of her magical evening. The next morning, Cinderella overhears Lady Tremaine inform her daughters that no one knows the identity of the girl loved by the prince, and that the King has ordered him to marry whomever the slipper fits. Realizing her sweetheart’s identity, and that he is searching for her, Cinderella goes to get her shoe. Seeing the dreamy look on Cinderella’s face, Lady Tremaine deduces that she is the mystery woman and locks her in the attic. Just then, the Grand Duke arrives and offers the slipper to Drizella and Anastasia. While the two big-footed women attempt to don the dainty shoe, Jaq and Gus-Gus steal the key to Cinderella’s door from Lady Tremaine’s pocket. After dragging the heavy key up the stairs to the attic, Jaq and Gus-Gus succeed in freeing their friend despite interference from Lucifer. Before Cinderella can try on the slipper, however, the vindictive Lady Tremaine trips the lackey carrying the slipper and it shatters. The Grand Duke is devastated until Cinderella happily shows him the slipper’s mate and dons it. Soon after, Cinderella and the prince are married. 

 

D. O. A. 

D: Rudolph Mate

In Los Angeles, Frank Bigelow enters a police station to report that he was poisoned the previous night in San Francisco and will soon die. Upon questioning by the police chief, Frank recounts the events that led him to this fateful moment: Two days earlier in Banning, California, Frank, a notary and tax consultant, bids farewell to his secretary and girlfriend, Paula Gibson, departing for a short vacation to San Francisco. When Frank arrives at his hotel, Paula telephones to tell him that Eugene Philips, of Philips’ Import and Exporting Company, urgently needs to speak with him and refuses to leave a message. That evening Sam Haskell, a guest in the room opposite Frank’s, invites him to a party which eventually ends up at a bar on the Embarcadero. In the bar, Frank leaves his drink momentarily unattended and a shadowy figure replaces it with another without Frank’s knowledge. Frank drinks from the glass, noticing a strange taste, but nothing more. The next morning Frank feels vaguely ill and is eventually disturbed enough to go to a medical center for an examination. After several tests, the doctor informs Frank he has ingested a fatal amount of a toxic poison that will kill him in the next few days. Panicked, Frank goes to another hospital where he receives the same prognosis. Frantic to find out why he has been poisoned, Frank returns to the Embarcadero bar, which is closed, then looks for Haskell, who has already checked out. Later, Paula telephones again and informs him that Philips, the man trying so desperately to contact him, died the day before. Driven by an impulse, Frank goes to Philips’ Los Angeles office, where his secretary, Miss Foster, tells him that Philips committed suicide by jumping from the balcony of his high-rise apartment. The company controller, Halliday, claims no knowledge of why Philips sought to speak to Frank. Frank then goes to see Philips’ widow and brother Stanley, but both are evasive, although Stanley does explain that his brother had sold a rare form of iridium, a luminous toxin, and faced possible imprisonment, which drove him to suicide. Back at the hotel, Paula again telephones Frank to say she has discovered that some months prior, Frank notarized a bill of sale of iridium from a George Reynolds to Philips. Returning to question Mrs. Philips, Frank discovers that both the bill of sale and Reynolds have disappeared. Believing that all evidence of the sale is being systematically eliminated, Frank thinks he has the motive for his poisoning and is determined to find the culprit. Convinced that Philips was also murdered, Frank again questions Miss Foster, who reveals that on the day of his death Philips saw Marla Rakubian, a model and former girlfriend. Frank goes to see Marla and accuses her of being in league with Reynolds, then takes a portrait picture she has of Reynolds. Frank tries to locate Reynolds through the portrait studio, but instead discovers Reynolds’ real name is Raymond Rakubian. When he goes to see Reynolds at the address provided by the photographers, Frank finds an abandoned warehouse and is fired upon. After returning to Philips’ office, Frank is kidnapped by Chester, a henchman of Reynolds’ gangster uncle, Mr. Majak, the illegal purchaser of the iridium. Majak insists that his nephew cannot be connected to the murders as he has been dead for five months. Frank escapes from Majak, and goes back to Philips’ office where Stanley, who has just been poisoned by Halliday, gives him evidence that the controller and Mrs. Philips had been having an affair for over two years. At her apartment, Mrs. Philips admits that her husband had just discovered the affair and fallen from the balcony in a struggle with Halliday. The critical bill of sale proved the original transaction was legal and was not motive for a suicide. Believing Philips had succeeded in contacting Frank, Halliday poisoned him. Frank returns to Philips’ office, finds Halliday and kills him. As he finishes reciting his story at the police station, Frank calls out for Paula before slumping to the floor, dead. 

 

Poster for the movie "Father of the Bride"

© 1950 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) − All right reserved.

Father of the Bride

D: Vincente Minnelli

Following the wedding of his daughter Kay, Stanley T. Banks, a suburban lawyer, recalls the day, three months earlier, when he first learned of Kay’s engagement to Buckley Dunstan: At the family dinner table, Kay’s casual announcement that she is in love with Buckley and has accepted his proposal makes Stanley feel uneasy, but he soon comes to realize that his daughter has grown up and the wedding is inevitable. While Ellie, Kay’s mother, immediately begins making preparations for the wedding, Stanley lies awake at night, fearing the worst for his daughter. Stanley’s misgivings about the marriage eventually make Ellie anxious, and she insists that Kay introduce them to Buckley’s parents. Kay calls the tradition “old-fashioned rigamarole,” but arranges the meeting nevertheless. Before the introduction, Stanley has a private conversation with Buckley, and is pleased to learn that the young man is the head of a small company and that he can provide a comfortable life for Kay. The Bankses’ first meeting with Doris and Herbert, Buckley’s parents, gets off to an awkward start, and worsens when Stanley drinks too much and falls asleep in the wealthy Dunstans’ living room. Following Kay and Buckley’s engagement party, Stanley, who misses the entire party because he is in the kitchen mixing drinks, realizes that his plans for a small wedding have been swept aside and he will be expected to pay for an extravagant wedding “with all the trimmings.” As costs for the June event spiral out of control, Stanley calculates that he can afford to accommodate no more than one hundred and fifty guests. The task of paring down the guest list proves too difficult, however, and Stanley reluctantly consents to a 250-person reception. The plans for a lavish wedding continue until the day that Buckley tells Kay that he wants to take her on a fishing trip in Nova Scotia for their honeymoon. Kay reacts to the announcement with shock and calls off the wedding, but she and Buckley soon reconcile, and the two families begin their wedding rehearsals. On the day of the wedding, chaos reigns at the Banks home as final preparations are made for the reception. The wedding ceremony brings both joy and sorrow to Stanley, as he realizes that his daughter is now a woman and no longer his child. The following day, Ellie and Stanley survey the mess in their home and concur that the entire affair was a great success.

Learn more and watch the preview here.

 

The File on Thelma Jordon

D: Robert Siodmak

The story centered around mysterious, duplicitous and treacherous femme fatale Thelma Jordon (Barbara Stanwyck) – as evidenced by the film’s tagline: “…SHE’LL LIE…KILL OR KISS HER WAY OUT OF ANYTHING!” Thelma captured the emotionally-dependent heart of unhappily-married assistant District Attorney Cleve Marshall (Wendell Cory). Cleve’s wife Pamela (Joan Tetzel) was more loyal to her wealthy father, and she constantly criticized him, pushing him to heavy drinking. Thelma chose Cleve as the duped fall-guy when she came to the office of chief investigator Miles Scott (Paul Kelly) to report robberies at her home. She engaged in an adulterous and illicit (but genuine) love affair with Cleve, telling him: “Maybe I’m just a dame and didn’t know it.” She had even confessed to him, falsely, that she was lovelessly married and recently separated from shady jewel thief Tony Laredo (Richard Rober) – when in fact they had planned the crimes together. The misguided and self-deluding “fall guy” DA threw aside his family, future, and honor and helped to defend Thelma after her wealthy Aunt Vera Edwards (Gertrude Hoffman) was murdered. DA Cleve helped Thelma to reconstruct an ‘untouched’ version of the crime scene, so that neither of them would be suspected of foul play for tampering with evidence. Thelma claimed to Cleve that Tony committed the murder during the robbery of her aunt’s valuable emerald necklace, and made it look like an outside job. In reality, Thelma was the cold-blooded, calculating murderess. There was also suspicion about an unseen accomplice dubbed “Mr. X” (Cleve himself), who had assisted Thelma. Thelma became a prime suspect – she was charged for the murder (her Aunt’s recently-rewritten will in her favor was a major factor). Love-struck DA Cleve took up the prosecution on her behalf, quietly hired defense attorney Kingsley Willis (Stanley Ridges) for Thelma, and manipulated the case to her favor. He circumvented revealed evidence of a dark life of blackmail, gambling, and relationship with her husband-partner-in-crime Tony, and she was found not guilty. After a post-trial rendezvous of Thelma with Tony, the couple planned to flee and live off her Aunt’s inheritance. When Cleve arrived to be with Thelma, she told him that Tony had reappeared from Chicago for her (“I’ve always loved him…You must have known it, except you didn’t want to know”). She admitted that Cleve had been set up to help defend her (“You were the fall guy, Cleve, right from the beginning”), and that she had killed Vera (“I’d like to say I didn’t intend to kill her, but when you have a gun, you always intend if you have to”). After Tony knocked out Cleve from behind, Tony and Thelma fled together to go “as far away as possible.” She struggled with accomplice Tony as he drove, trying to injure him with a burning-hot dashboard cigarette lighter. He died when their car crashed over a cliff and caught fire, while Thelma was hospitalized. During her deathbed scene, she made a full confession to Miles, but refused to identify “Mr. X.” As she expired, she told Cleve: “You don’t suppose they could just let half of me die?” Miles realized that Cleve was the mysterious “Mr. X.”

 

Poster for the movie "Gun Crazy"

© 1950 King Brothers Productions − All right reserved.

Gun Crazy

D: Joseph H. Lewis

A cult, love-on-the-run tale based on MacKinlay Kantor’s story, pre Bonnie and Clyde, about a reckless couple fatally attracted to their firearms – and each other. One of the best B films ever made. After serving in the Army, gun-loving Bert Tare (John Dall) meets trick sharp-shooter femme fatale Annie Laurie Starr (Peggy Cummins), portraying Annie Oakley in a Wild West carnival side-show – they are perfect companions. The two wild, amoral lovers marry – when financially strapped, they turn to a series of exciting cross-country robberies. One unnerving sequence is shot non-stop from a camera planted in the back seat of their getaway car.

Learn more and watch the preview here

 

Poster for the movie "The Gunfighter"

© 1950 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation − All right reserved.

The Gunfighter

D: Henry King

In the 1880s, Jimmie Ringo, a gunfighter reputed to be the fastest in the Southwest, is minding his own business in a saloon when a cocky young man named Eddie, who is showing off in front of his friends, challenges him. Weary of killing, Jimmie tries to avoid the confrontation, but Eddie draws on him and Jimmie is forced to shoot him. Having heard that Eddie had three brothers, Jimmie quickly leaves town. As feared, the brothers trail Jimmie, but he gets the jump on them in the desert, chasing off their horses, then heads for the town of Cayenne. There Jimmie meets Mac, the owner of the Palace Bar, who tips off the local marshal, Mark Strett, that he is in town. Jimmie is delighted to see Mark, an old friend and former outlaw, but is surprised to learn that he is now a lawman. Although Jimmie assures him that he means no trouble, Mark asks him to leave town after he has eaten. Jimmie explains that has come to Cayenne to see his estranged wife, Peggy Walsh, and son Jimmie, Jr., who live nearby. At first, Mark is reluctant to help Jimmie locate Peggy and Jimmie Jr., whose relation to Jimmie is not known to the townspeople. When Jimmie insists on seeing them, however, and tells Mark that the brothers who are after him might cause a lot of bloodshed in the town, Mark agrees to tell Peggy that he is at the saloon. On his way to the school where Peggy teaches, Mark tells his deputy, Charlie, to take Hunt Bromley, Peggy’s would-be suitor, into custody. After Mark returns to the saloon and informs Jimmie that Peggy does not want to see him, Jerry Marlowe, a local resident who thinks that Jimmie killed his son, hears that the gunfighter is in the saloon. An armed Marlowe lies in wait for Jimmie, but before he can shoot, his wife knocks the gun off target and Jimmie retreats back into the saloon. As Jimmie is about to leave, he runs into Molly, another old friend, who is working as a singer there. The recently widowed Molly lets slip that Peggy is the local schoolteacher and tells Jimmie about Bromley’s interest in Peggy. Later, while Molly tries to persuade Peggy to see Jimmie, Bromley learns that Jimmie is in town and, seeing him as a way to quickly acquire a reputation, goes to the saloon. However Jimmie bluffs him and throws him out. The three brothers, meanwhile, finally reach a ranch on foot, and borrow horses and guns from the owner. Back in Cayenne, Peggy locks Jimmie, Jr. in his room to stop him from seeing Jimmie, then is persuaded by Molly to see Jimmie. After Mark stations Charlie in the saloon with a loaded shotgun to scare off potential troublemakers, Jimmie spots Marlowe’s rifle across the street and goes after him. Jimmie captures Marlowe, then after denying that he killed his son, takes him to the marshal’s office. As he locks Marlowe up, a group of righteous women comes in to complain to the marshal about Jimmie’s presence in the town. Mark, who has been escorting Bromley out of town, then walks in and, much to the women’s chagrin, introduces Jimmie. Before Jimmie and Mark return to the saloon, Bromley, who has doubled back into town, overhears Mark arranging to give Jimmie a fresh horse. Sure that Jimmie’s presence at his saloon will mean a boost in business, Mac, meanwhile, offers Jimmie a share of his anticipated revenues, but Jimmie tells him to give the money to the schoolteacher, as he has always had a weakness for teachers. Just as Jimmie is about to go, Molly arrives with Peggy. Jimmie asks Peggy to join him in California or the Northwest, but she fears his reputation will follow him and refuses. When he asks her to reconsider his proposition in a year, however, she agrees. Unaware that the brothers are in town, Jimmie then arranges to see his son before he leaves. Jimmie, Jr. doesn’t know that the famous gunfighter is his father and asks him to identify the toughest man he ever saw. To Jimmie, Jr.’s surprise, Jimmie names the gunless Mark who later assures Jimmie that he will watch out for Peggy and his son until he returns. The brothers, meanwhile, lie in wait for Jimmie but are taken by surprise by Charlie. Bromley then suddenly appears and shoots Jimmie in the back before he has a chance to draw. As he is dying, Jimmie tells Mark that he wants it known that he drew first so that Bromley will learn what life is like as a gunslinger. After Jimmie dies, Mark takes Bromley into a barn, beats him and tells him that thousands of “cheap squirts” like him will now want to kill the man who killed Jimmie Ringo. Later, a church service is held for Jimmie, and Peggy and Jimmie, Jr. attend as Mrs. Jimmie Ringo and son.

Learn more and watch the preview here.

 

Poster for the movie "Harvey"

© 1950 Universal International Pictures (UI) − All right reserved.

Harvey

D: Henry Koster

Mild-mannered Elwood P. Dowd leaves the house for the day with his invisible six-foot-three rabbit friend, Harvey, and is secretly watched by his sister, Veta Louise Simmons, and her daughter Myrtle Mae. As Veta is planning a party that day to launch Myrtle Mae into society, she is determined to keep her peculiar and chronically inebriated brother away from the house and, to that end, telephones her friend, Judge Omar Gaffney. Gaffney immediately dispatches an employee, who slips on a newly washed floor and is knocked unconscious. Meanwhile, Elwood arrives with Harvey at Charlie’s, his favorite bar. Learning of Veta’s party, Elwood returns home, and by genially introducing Harvey to the women attending the party, sends them all scurrying for the door. Myrtle Mae sees her hopes for a husband leaving with them, and in desperation, Veta decides to commit Elwood to a sanitarium. On hearing Veta’s story, Miss Kelly, the nurse, assigns Elwood to a room, but when a confused and upset Veta then tries to explain Elwood’s case to Dr. Lyman Sanderson, he commits her instead. Sanderson then scolds Kelly and sends her to apologize to Elwood, who unsuccessfully attempts to introduce Harvey to the preoccupied staff. As he is leaving the sanitarium, Elwood encounters Mrs. Chumley, the wife of the sanitarium head, and invites her to join him for a drink. When she declines, he asks her to send Harvey to the bar if she sees him inside and identifies his friend as a “pooka.” When Mrs. Chumley later reports this conversation to her husband, the doctors realize their mistake. Consulting her dictionary, Mrs. Chumley learns that a pooka is a fairy spirit that takes the form of a very large animal. In the meantime, an extremely upset Veta returns home. While she recovers upstairs, Marvin Wilson, the sanitarium attendant, comes looking for Elwood. Myrtle Mae is immediately attracted to him, and he returns her interest. Chumley then arrives and dispatches Wilson to the train station. Just as Veta announces that she is going to sue Chumley, Elwood phones from Charlie’s looking for Harvey, and Chumley hurries to the bar. Back at the sanitarium, Wilson encounters the fired Sanderson, and when they realize that Chumley is overdue, Wilson, Sanderson and Kelly all hurry to Charlie’s to look for him. There, Elwood explains that after a few drinks, Harvey and Chumley left for another bar. Wilson goes after him, leaving Kelly and Sanderson with Elwood. Elwood’s gentle flirting with Kelly sparks Sanderson’s interest in the nurse, who has long loved him. Elwood tells them he spends his days drinking with Harvey and talking to people in bars and relates the story of how he met Harvey. Wilson returns without Chumley but with the police, who convey Elwood to the sanitarium. Later, Chumley returns to the sanitarium and asks to speak privately with Elwood. After Chumley acknowledges Harvey’s existence, he tells Elwood about Veta’s plan to commit him. Soon afterward, Gaffney, Myrtle Mae and Veta arrive. Chumley rehires Sanderson, who then offers Elwood a serum that will make him shoulder his responsibilities and eliminate Harvey. Elwood declines, but when Veta explains how hard it has been to live with Harvey, he agrees to take the shot. While Elwood is in the examining room with Sanderson, Veta’s taxi driver comes in to ask for his payment and describes the changes in people who have taken Sanderson’s injection. At the thought that Elwood might stop enjoying life and become crabby, Veta stops Sanderson. Aware that Myrtle Mae is in love with Wilson, Elwood invites him to dinner. He then leaves with Harvey, but when Chumley begs him to leave Harvey behind, Elwood reluctantly agrees. Just as he passes the sanitarium gates, however, Harvey rejoins Elwood. 

Learn more and watch the preview here.

 

Poster for the movie "In a Lonely Place"

© 1950 Columbia Pictures Corporation − All right reserved.

In a Lonely Place

D: Nicholas Ray

A mature, bleak and dramatic 1950 film noir from maverick director Nicholas Ray – from a complex script by Andrew Solt. World-weary, acerbic, self-destructive, hot-tempered, depression-plagued Hollywood screenwriter and laconic anti-hero Dixon Steele (Humphrey Bogart), while planning to adapt a trashy best-selling romance novel, becomes the prime suspect in a murder case of a night-club hat-check girl Mildred Atkinson (Martha Stewart). After he invites her to his apartment to provide a synopsis for the book that he hasn’t read, she is found brutally murdered the next morning. His romantic relationship with a lovely neighbor/would-be starlet Laurel Gray (Gloria Grahame) in the housing complex grows stronger when she confirms his alibi, but ultimately is put to the test as she becomes increasingly suspicious of his disintegrating self.

Learn more and watch the preview here.

 

Poster for the movie "Panic in the Streets"

© 1950 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation − All right reserved.

Panic in the Streets

D: Elia Kazan

After brawling over a card game in the wharf area of New Orleans, a man named Kochak, suffering visibly from a flu-like illness, is killed by gangster Blackie and his two flunkies, Kochak’s cousin Poldi and a man named Fitch. They leave the body on the docks, and later when the dead man, who carries no identification, is brought to the morgue, the coroner grows suspicious about the virus present in his blood and calls his superior, Dr. Clinton Reed, a uniformed doctor working for the U.S. Public Health Service. Reed is enjoying a rare day off with his wife Nancy and their son Tommy, but decides to inspect the body. After careful examination, he determines that Kochak had “pneumonic plague,” the pulmonary version of bubonic plague. Reed springs into action, insisting that everyone who came into contact with the body be inoculated. He also orders that the dead man’s identity be determined, as well as his comings and goings during the previous few days. Reed meets with people from the mayor’s office, the police commissioner and other city officials, but they are skeptical of his claims. Eventually, however, his impassioned pleas convince them that they have forty-eight hours to save New Orleans from the plague. Reed must also convince police captain Warren and the others that the press must not be notified, because report of a plague would spread mass panic. Warren and his men begin to interview Slavic immigrants, as it has been determined that the body may be of Armenian, Czech or mixed blood. Burdened by the knowledge that the massive investigation has little chance of success, Reed accuses Warren of not taking the threat seriously enough. In turn, Warren admits that he thinks Reed is ambitious and trying to use the situation to further his career. Reed, angry, decides to take matters into his own hands and, acting on a hunch that the man may have entered the city’s port illegally, goes to the National Maritime Union hiring hall and passes out copies of the dead man’s picture. Although the workers tell Reed that seamen never talk, he goes to a café next door hoping that someone will meet him with a tip. Eventually a young woman shows up and takes Reed to see her friend Charlie, who reluctantly admits that he worked aboard the ship, the Nile Queen , upon which the already ill man was smuggled. Meanwhile, Fitch, who was questioned by Warren but claimed to know nothing, goes to Blackie and warns him about the investigation. Blackie plans to get out of town, but begins to suspect that his sidekick Poldi received expensive smuggled goods from Kochak, explaining the police’s intense investigation of the man’s murder. Reed and Warren, who is now convinced of Reed’s integrity, go to the Nile Queen and convince the crew to talk by telling them that they will die if the sick man was indeed on their ship. After carrying up a sick cook from the hold, the seamen then permit Reed and Warren to inoculate and question them, revealing in the process that Kochak boarded at Oran and was fond of shish-kebob. With this lead, Reed and Warren canvas the city’s Greek restaurants, and just after they leave one such establishment, Blackie arrives to meet Poldi, who is very ill. A short time later, Reed receives word that a woman, Rita, has died of the fever and realizes that she was the wife of the Greek restaurant proprietor who had earlier lied about having served Kochak. Reed returns to headquarters to discover that a reporter is threatening to break the story that a virus is endangering the city. Reed is impressed when the deeply committed yet unorthodox Warren throws the reporter into jail to keep him quiet. Late in the evening, a beleaguered Reed returns home for a few hours of sleep, and his wife announces that she is pregnant. She then tries to restore her husband’s flagging self-confidence. A few hours later, Reed and Warren learn that the mayor is angry about their treatment of the reporter. The reporter, who has been released, announces that the story will appear in the morning paper in four hours, giving Reed and Warren little time to find their man. Meanwhile, Blackie goes to Poldi’s room and tries to force him to reveal information about some smuggled goods, but the dying Poldi is delirious and only rants nonsensically. Blackie then brings in his own doctor and tells Poldi’s grandmother that they will take care of him. Just then, Reed, having been tipped off by the Greek restaurant owner, arrives, and Blackie and Fitch, who are carrying Poldi down the stairs, pitch the man over the side and flee. Reed chases the two to the docks, where he tries to explain to them about the plague. The men run desperately through depots, docks and a warehouse, and at one point, Warren shoots and injures Blackie, preventing him from shooting Reed. Blackie accidentally shoots Fitch and then tries to struggle onto a ship but, exhausted, falls into the water. His work finally done, Reed heads for home, and on the way, Warren offers to give him some of the smuggled perfume that Poldi had indeed received from Kochak. As the radio announces the resolution of the crisis, a proud Nancy greets her husband.

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Poster for the movie "Rio Grande"

© 1950 Argosy Pictures − All right reserved.

Rio Grande

D: John Ford

Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke is posted on the Texas frontier to defend settlers against depredations of marauding Apaches. Col. Yorke is under considerable stress by a serious shortage of troops of his command. Tension is added when Yorke’s son (whom he hasn’t seen in fifteen years), Trooper Jeff Yorke, is one of 18 recruits sent to the regiment.

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Seven Days to Noon (UK)

D: John Boulting and Roy Boulting

An English scientist runs away from a research center with an atomic bomb. In a letter sent to the British Prime Minister he threatens to blow up the center of London if the Government don’t announce the end of any research in this field within a week. Special agents from Scotland Yard try to stop him, with help from the scientist’s assistant future son-in-law to find and stop the mad man.

 

Poster for the movie "Sunset Boulevard"

© 1950 Paramount Pictures − All right reserved.

Sunset Boulevard

D: Billy Wilder

Wilder’s witty black comedy regarding a famed silent film star who refuses to accept the end of her stardom. Opens with a shocking flashback narrated in voice-over by a dead corpse – a victim floating face-down in a Sunset Boulevard mansion’s swimming pool. Aspiring, debt-ridden screenwriter Joe Gillis (William Holden) hides from creditors while hired to write a script for faded film queen Norma Desmond’s (Gloria Swanson) impending comeback. He takes advantage, encouraging her false hopes and moving in as her gigolo. The once-great star lives in a secluded estate with butler/chauffeur Max (Erich von Stroheim). The ambivalent, ‘kept man’ scriptwriter balances his exploitative dependence upon the film star with romantic attention toward young script-reader Betty Schaefer (Nancy Olson), creating a lethal situation. The perverse, cynical film references Swanson’s actual career, with excerpts from one of her unfinished films (Queen Kelly, directed by von Stroheim) and cameos by other forgotten silent film stars (e.g., Buster Keaton).

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Poster for the movie "Winchester '73"

© 1950 Universal International Pictures (UI) − All right reserved.

Winchester ’73

D: Anthony Mann

Unique black and white “psychological” western film based on a story by Stuart Lake – and the first of eight films pairing James Stewart with director Mann. An obsessed, hard-bitten man Lin McAdam (James Stewart) participates in a Fourth of July shooting contest in Dodge City to win back a prized 1873 Winchester repeating rifle. Although he wins, the rifle is stolen by his surly, runner-up opponent Dutch Henry Brown (Stephen McNally) (and the murderer of his father). The film follows the dogged, revenge-seeking search for the cursed weapon, as the gun passes through the hands of many new “owners” and their stories are depicted.

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