film The Best '50s Thriller Movies  

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

The best '50s thriller movies are an interesting mix of films directed by Alfred Hitchcock, films NOT-directed by Hitchcock, and spy movies. Of course, Hitchcock dominated the genre, especially because he had recently started including technicolor in his films. Besides Hitchcock, many legendary directors made thrillers in the ‘50s, and a number of these films are still watched and discussed today.


What are the greatest ‘50s thriller movies? Once again, Alfred Hitchcock, the British luminary, dominates this list. Classic Hitchcock offerings such as
Vertigo and North by Northwest were two of the top thrillers of the decade, along with lesser known - but still super suspenseful -  titles, such as I Confess.  

Another legendary director, Stanley Kubrick, made some of the top 1950s thrillers. Some of his first features were produced in the ‘50s, like
Killer’s Kiss, which chilled and thrilled audiences with its macabre tone and surprising twists. In addition, many of these films could be classified as capers, noir films, and heist movies. Rififi, a classic French crime thriller, was released in 1955, and features a famously-intricate half hour heist, presented in almost total silence, with little to no dialogue and no music.


On this list, you’ll also find plenty of great sci-fi ‘50s thrillers, including
The Day the Earth Stood Still. Vote up the best '50s thriller movies, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section.

1
+ - 28 3
Rear Window is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Rear Window Grace Kelly, James Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock

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2
+ - 22 2
Dial M for Murder is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Dial M for Murder Grace Kelly, Alfred Hitchcock, Ray Milland

3
+ - 20 2
Vertigo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Vertigo James Stewart, Kim Novak, Alfred Hitchcock

4
+ - 24 7
North by Northwest is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
North by Northwest Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock, Eva Marie Saint

5
+ - 13 3
Strangers on a Train is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Strangers on a Train Alfred Hitchcock, Farley Granger, Leo G. Carroll

6
+ - 15 6
Touch of Evil is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Touch of Evil Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Marlene Dietrich

7
+ - 13 5
The Man Who Knew Too Much is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
The Man Who Knew Too Much James Stewart, Doris Day, Alfred Hitchcock

8
+ - 12 5
The Night of the Hunter is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
The Night of the Hunter Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish

9
+ - 12 5
The Day the Earth Stood Still is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
The Day the Earth Stood Still Patricia Neal, Michael Rennie, Frances Bavier - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

10
+ - 10 4
To Catch a Thief is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
To Catch a Thief Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock

11
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Invasion of the Body Snatchers is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Invasion of the Body Snatchers Dana Wynter, Sam Peckinpah, Carolyn Jones

12
+ - 10 6
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
The Killing Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards

13
+ - 7 3
3:10 to Yuma is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
3:10 to Yuma Glenn Ford, Van Heflin, Richard Jaeckel

14
+ - 5 2
Niagara is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Niagara Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

15
+ - 9 7
Kiss Me Deadly is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Kiss Me Deadly Cloris Leachman, Nat King Cole, Jack Elam

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16
+ - 9 7
H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum

17
+ - 8 6
The Trouble with Harry is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
The Trouble with Harry Shirley MacLaine, Alfred Hitchcock, John Forsythe

18
+ - 8 6
Bad Day at Black Rock is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Bad Day at Black Rock Spencer Tracy, Ernest Borgnine, Lee Marvin

19
+ - 4 2
The Desperate Hours is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
The Desperate Hours Humphrey Bogart, Gig Young, Fredric March

20
+ - 9 8
Throne of Blood is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Throne of Blood Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Isuzu Yamada

21
+ - 6 5
The Big Heat is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
The Big Heat Lee Marvin, Glenn Ford, Carolyn Jones

22
+ - 5 4
Suddenly, Last Summer is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Suddenly, Last Summer Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Montgomery Clift

23
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Rififi is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Rififi Jules Dassin, Robert Hossein, Carl Möhner

24
+ - 5 5
The Naked Spur is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
The Naked Spur James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan

25
+ - 5 5
I Confess is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
I Confess Alfred Hitchcock, Montgomery Clift, Anne Baxter

26
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The Fly is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
The Fly Vincent Price, David Hedison, Herbert Marshall

27
+ - 4 4
House on Haunted Hill is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
House on Haunted Hill Vincent Price, Richard Long, Elisha Cook - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

28
+ - 4 4
The Bad Seed is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
The Bad Seed Shelley Fabares, Patty McCormack, Eileen Heckart

29
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The Asphalt Jungle is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
The Asphalt Jungle Marilyn Monroe, Jack Warden, James Whitmore

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30
+ - 3 4
Stage Fright is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Stage Fright Marlene Dietrich, Alfred Hitchcock, Jane Wyman

31
+ - 2 3
D.O.A. is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
D.O.A. Edmond O'Brien, Beverly Garland, Neville Brand

32
+ - 2 3
Kansas City Confidential is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Kansas City Confidential Lee Van Cleef, Jack Elam, Coleen Gray - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

33
+ - 1 2
Panic in the Streets is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Panic in the Streets Jack Palance, Richard Widmark, Barbara Bel Geddes

34
+ - 5 7
Gun Crazy is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Gun Crazy Russ Tamblyn, Peggy Cummins, Trevor Bardette

35
+ - 4 6
A Man Escaped is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
A Man Escaped François Leterrier, Jacques Ertaud, Maurice Beerblock

36
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It Came from Outer Space is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
It Came from Outer Space Russell Johnson, Richard Carlson, Dave Willock

37
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The Narrow Margin is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
The Narrow Margin Charles McGraw, George Chandler, Marie Windsor

38
+ - 0 2
Where the Sidewalk Ends is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Where the Sidewalk Ends Gene Tierney, Karl Malden, Dana Andrews

39
+ - 0 2
While the City Sleeps is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
While the City Sleeps Vincent Price, George Sanders, Rhonda Fleming

40
+ - 0 2
The Big Combo is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
The Big Combo Lee Van Cleef, Brian Donlevy, Earl Holliman - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

41
+ - 5 8
Godzilla is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies

42
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Elevator to the Gallows is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Elevator to the Gallows Jeanne Moreau, Lino Ventura, Maurice Ronet

43
+ - 3 6
Pickup on South Street is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Pickup on South Street Richard Widmark, Thelma Ritter, Jean Peters

44
+ - 2 5
Beat the Devil is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Beat the Devil Humphrey Bogart, Gina Lollobrigida, Peter Lorre - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

45
+ - 2 5
Mr. Arkadin is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Mr. Arkadin Orson Welles, Michael Redgrave, Akim Tamiroff

46
+ - 1 4
Plan 9 from Outer Space is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Plan 9 from Outer Space Tor Johnson, Bunny Breckinridge, Joanna Lee - Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

47
+ - 0 3
Killer's Kiss is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best '50s Thriller Movies
Killer's Kiss Frank Silvera, Ruth Sobotka, Felice Orlandi