50s movies The Best '50s Cop Movies  

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List Rules Vote up your favorite police films that were released in the 1950s

Many of the best police movies from the 1950s are considered noir films, characterized by their black and white Expressionist style and their “hardboiled” plots. Violence, revenge, gambling, organized crime, and sex all comprise the mystique of the noir film. The greatest ‘50s cop movies are all set against gritty urban backdrops, but the real background was the McCarthy Hearings of the 1950s. Communist fears, endless witch hunts, and an angry and paranoid society all frame these movies as reactions and responses to the politics of the day.  


On this list of top ‘50s cop movies, you will find numerous legendary directors. For instance, Orson Welles directed and co-starred in one of the last true noir films ever made:
Touch of Evil. Notable for its single-shot opening sequence, the film has achieved a high level of prestige. John Ford also appears on this list with the film Gideon’s Day. Even silent film-era luminary Fritz Frelang got in on the trend of the ‘50s cop movie. His relentlessly brutal The Big Heat is regarded as one of the best noir films ever made. 

Do you prefer a good old fashioned police procedural, or perhaps something with a few more twists and turns? Vote up the best cop movies from the 1950s, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment sections! 

1
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The Big Heat is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
The Big Heat Lee Marvin, Glenn Ford, Carolyn Jones

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2
+ - 11 1
Touch of Evil is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
Touch of Evil Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Marlene Dietrich

3
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Where the Sidewalk Ends is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
Where the Sidewalk Ends Gene Tierney, Karl Malden, Dana Andrews

4
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The Big Combo is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
The Big Combo Lee Van Cleef, Brian Donlevy, Earl Holliman - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

5
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Detective Story is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
Detective Story Kirk Douglas, Eleanor Parker, Lee Grant

6
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The Narrow Margin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
The Narrow Margin Charles McGraw, George Chandler, Marie Windsor

7
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The Racket is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
The Racket Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Lizabeth Scott

8
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On Dangerous Ground is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
On Dangerous Ground Robert Ryan, Ida Lupino, Ward Bond

9
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Rogue Cop is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
Rogue Cop Janet Leigh, Anne Francis, Robert Taylor

10
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The Crimson Kimono is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
The Crimson Kimono Anna Lee, Gloria Pall, James Shigeta

11
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City That Never Sleeps is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
City That Never Sleeps Gig Young, Mala Powers, William Talman

12
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Mystery Street is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
Mystery Street Ricardo Montalbán, Elsa Lanchester, Bruce Bennett

13
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The FBI Story is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
The FBI Story James Stewart, Adam West, Vera Miles

14
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The Sniper is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
The Sniper Adolphe Menjou, Richard Kiley, Frank Faylen

15
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The Killer Is Loose is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
The Killer Is Loose Rhonda Fleming, Alan Hale, Jr. - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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16
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Code Two is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
Code Two Chuck Connors, Keenan Wynn, Elaine Stewart

17
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Armored Car Robbery is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
Armored Car Robbery Douglas Fowley, Adele Jergens, Charles McGraw

18
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Dragnet is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
Dragnet Dennis Weaver, Jack Webb, Richard Boone

19
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The Sleeping City is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
The Sleeping City Coleen Gray, Richard Conte, Richard Taber

20
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Nightmare is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
Nightmare Edward G. Robinson, Kevin McCarthy, Rhys Williams

21
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The Blue Lamp is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
The Blue Lamp Dirk Bogarde, Jack Warner, Dora Bryan - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

22
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The Tattooed Stranger is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
The Tattooed Stranger Jack Lord, Jim Boles, Patricia Barry

23
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Murder Is My Beat is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
Murder Is My Beat Barbara Payton, Robert Shayne, Paul Langton

24
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Dial Red O is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
Dial Red O Keith Larsen

25
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Gideon's Day is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
Gideon's Day Jack Hawkins, Cyril Cusack, James Hayter

26
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Northwest Territory is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
Northwest Territory Tris Coffin, John Crawford, Don C. Harvey

27
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The Mob is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
The Mob Charles Bronson, Broderick Crawford, Betty Buehler

28
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The Facts of Murder is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
The Facts of Murder Claudia Cardinale, Pietro Germi, Claudio Gora

29
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711 Ocean Drive is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
711 Ocean Drive Edmond O'Brien, Otto Kruger, Joanne Dru

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30
+ - 1 1
Footsteps in the Night is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
Footsteps in the Night Don Haggerty

31
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Calling Homicide is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies

32
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Yukon Manhunt is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
Yukon Manhunt Martha Hyer, Gail Davis, John Doucette

33
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The Case Against Brooklyn is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
The Case Against Brooklyn Darren McGavin

34
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Cop Hater is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
Cop Hater Jerry Orbach, Robert Loggia, Gerald S. O'Loughlin - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

35
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Man in the Shadow is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
Man in the Shadow Orson Welles, Jeff Chandler, James Gleason

36
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It Happened in Broad Daylight is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
It Happened in Broad Daylight Heinz Rühmann, Gert Fröbe, Michel Simon

37
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Grand National Night is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
Grand National Night Michael Hordern, Moira Lister, Colin Gordon

38
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Sudden Danger is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best '50s Cop Movies
Sudden Danger Beverly Garland, Pierre Watkin, Lyle Talbot