Movies – 1950s

Big Knife, The (1955)

An intelligent, haunting film full of wonderful performances, particularly from Jack Palance (never better) and Rod Steiger as, respectively, the movie star Charles Castle, coming apart at the seams, and Stanley Hoff, the studio boss who wants to cover up the paranoia at any price. This is one of the more successful films that Hollywood(...)

Big Land, The (1957)

Alan Ladd stars as Kansas soldier-turned-cattle driver Chad Morgan, battling the elements and corrupt cattle buyers to build a railroad spur to the Rio Grande just after the Civil War. Called Stampede in the UK, this was one of Ladd's production ventures, made by his own company Jaguar under a releasing deal at Warner Bros.(...)

Big Sky, The (1952)

In Howard Hawks's The Big Sky, Kirk Douglas and Dewey Martin are fur traders in the 1830s, journeying up the Missouri river into Blackfoot country on a keelboat. The film is based on an excellent novel by A.B. Guthrie Jr who also wrote the script for Shane (1953), and whose novels These Thousand Hills and The Way West were also made into(...)

Bigger Than Life (1956)

The very finest of Nicholas Ray's films is a brilliant expressionist melodrama that used the then-topical controversy over the discovery and deployment of the "wonder drug" cortisone (a type of steroid) to mount a devastating critique on the materialistic, middle-class conformism that defined the American Dream during the post-war era. The brooding James Mason (who(...)

Black Orpheus (1959)

Winner of both the Academy Award for best foreign-language film and the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or, this restaging by Marcel Camus of the myth of Orpheus in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival was championed when it was released as revolutionary for being one of the first international art films to have an entirely black(...)

Blackboard Jungle (1955)

During the 1950s, the United States and its mouthpiece, Hollywood, seemed to see threats around every corner. If it wasn't the Commies, then it was the young who were about to destroy the Land Of The Free. Sometimes, of course, it was the two working in conjunction for, after all, what was Rock & Roll(...)

Blob, The (1958)

The face of drive-in horror turned gooey in 1958's The Blob. Actually, the title creature had no face at all -or arms, legs or any other appendage for that matter. The Blob (pictured below) had only two distinguishing characteristics: its insatiable appetite and its reddish, gelatinous appearance. This faceless terror not only turned into one of(...)

Blood of Dracula (1957)

The ever-popular tale was given a new twist in Blood Of Dracula by being set in a girls' school. Nancy, an aggressive pupil at an all girls school is hypnotised by her sinister chemistry teacher into becoming a vampire. During the night, she morphs into a fanged beast and systematically kills off the girls in the school.(...)

Blue Lamp, The (1950)

When veteran London policeman George Dixon (Jack Warner) is shot trying to arrest a couple of crooks, new recruit Andy Mitchell (Jimmy Hanley) takes up the case with a vengeance. Produced by Michael Balcon and scripted by TEB Clarke - a former policeman who penned Ealing comedies such as Passport to Pimlico (1949) and The Lavender(...)

Blue Murder at St Trinian’s (1957)

With their headmistress under lock and key in one of Her Majesty's Prisons, the St Trinian's girls find themselves under the protection of the Army. However, when the sixth form become hell-bent on winning a trip to Italy through fair means or foul, the Army discovers this is one battle it can't win. Let loose(...)

Bonzo Goes To College (1952)

Sequel to Bedtime For Bonzo (1951).

Born Reckless (1958)

Rider Kelly Cobb (Jeff Richards) travels to county rodeos to win money so he can buy a patch of land to set up home. At one such rodeo, he rescues trick rider Jackie Adams (Mamie Van Doren) from the clutches of an amorous sports writer after she sings her saloon song, and they travel together.(...)

Brain That Wouldn’t Die, The (1959)

After decapitating his fiancée, Jan (Virginia Leith) in a car crash, demented surgeon Bill Cortner (Herb Evers) decides to transplant her still living head onto the body of a facially scarred stripper. But Leith wants to die and telepathically manipulates the giant pinhead mutant locked up in Evers' cupboard to go on the rampage. This(...)

Brave One, The (1956)

Based on a true story, The Brave One chronicled the unusual friendship between a Mexican boy and his adopted bull. It was an interesting spin on the classic "boy and his dog" formula, one that endeared this little film to the hearts of viewers everywhere. During a fierce rainstorm, young ranchero Leonardo saves the life of a(...)

Bride Of The Monster (1955)

Rumours abound about what may go on at a creepy mansion just out of town. The house is owned by Dr. Eric Vornoff who is conducting experiments to turn people into super-beings through the use of atomic power. Reporter Janet Lawton decides to look into what is going there and it's possible connection to men(...)

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