The return of my best movies of each year lists list has returned again!
10. Viva Zapata
A film that is largely memorable for two strong performances by a miscast Marlon Brando, and Anthony Quinn, Viva Zapata is a good, solid film.
9. The Bad And The Beautiful
Kirk Douglas mostly carries this loosely-biographical account of a fictionalized film producer. Interesting, albeit relatively unremarkable.
8. The Quiet Man
A film that mainly makes the list for its beautiful Irish setting. John Ford's use of incredible scenery is on full display here, resulting in a good movie, with great visuals.
7. Umberto D.
Vittoria De Sica has never impressed me as much as he seems to have the rest of the movie world, but that doesn't mean this wasn't an impressive, touching film. Not as great as people often make it out to be, but still quite good.
Perhaps one of the most underrated and forgotten films of the '50s, Carrie features an excellent performance by Laurence Olivier, and a heartbreaking story that's not easily shaken.
Probably the last great Charlie Chaplin film, Limelight is a dark, emotional, and incredibly well-constructed drama, featuring one of the best performances of Chaplin's career.
4. Singin' In The Rain
Often considered one of the greatest musicals ever made, and with good cause. I can't say I love it as much as most, but the numbers and catchy and memorable, and I found myself enjoying it much more than I would ever have expected.
3. Forbidden Games
A drama centered around the effects war has on children, the ways they must cope, and the emotional toll it takes on them. This film is dark, gritty, and depressing, in all the right ways.
2. High Noon
A slow-burning western with one of the most iconic movie heroes of all-time in Gary Cooper, High Noon is the pinnacle of '50s westerns. One could even argue that it is the greatest western of all-time. Thrilling, well-acted, and unforgettable.
Though my favoritism for Kurosawa may play a small part in why this film takes the #1 spot on this list, that doesn't take away from the brilliant pacing, character development, and emotional payoff that this movie has to offer. Possibly Takashi Shimura's finest performance, the transition his character takes is both inspiring and well-executed. This is top-notch film-making.