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The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s 

Ranker Film
Updated July 8, 2019 6.1k votes 721 voters 17.8k views 60 items

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

On this list of the best '50s horror movies, you will find countless genre classics that went on to inspire future generations of horror directors and producers. No discussion of ‘50s horror can begin without mentioning Hammer Films, the venerated British production house notorious for its gruesome slashers and iconic monster movies. Hammer Horror became synonymous with the genre, and true horror fans can debate ad nauseum their favorite entries in the Hammer cannon. Hammer films on this list include The Curse of Frankenstein, starring the late great Christopher Lee, and Dracula.


This list of the greatest 1950s horror movies also features highly influential films like
The Creature from the Black Lagoon and Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, which was entered into the National Historic Film Registry for its cultural significance. Invasion of the the Bodysnatchers gave us a new term: “pod people,” a reference to the soulless drones featured in the film.


Vote up the best horror movies from the 1950s, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section! 
list ordered by
1
Invasion of the Body Sna... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Dana Wynter, Sam Peckinpah, Carolyn Jones

Released: 1956

Directed by: Don Siegel

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a 1956 American black-and-white science fiction film produced by Walter Wanger, directed by Don Siegel, and starring Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter. The film ...more

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#622 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #246 of 799 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

2
Creature from the Black ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, Julie Adams

Released: 1954

Directed by: Jack Arnold

Creature from the Black Lagoon is a 1954 monster horror 3-D film in black-and-white, directed by Jack Arnold and starring Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno and Whit ...more

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#137 of 799 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #12 of 47 The Greatest Classic Sci-Fi Movies

3
Them! is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Leonard Nimoy, James Arness, Fess Parker

Released: 1954

Directed by: Gordon Douglas

Them! is a 1954 American black-and-white science fiction film from Warner Bros. Pictures produced by David Weisbart, directed by Gordon Douglas, and starring James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan ...more

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#286 of 799 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #12 of 116 The Scariest Giant Monster Movies #119 of 568 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

4
The Fly is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Vincent Price, David Hedison, Herbert Marshall

Released: 1958

Directed by: Kurt Neumann

The Fly is a 1958 American science fiction-horror film produced and directed by Kurt Neumann. The screenplay was written by James Clavell, from the short story of the same name by George ...more

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#151 of 799 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #15 of 47 The Greatest Classic Sci-Fi Movies #171 of 504 The Scariest Movies Ever Made

5
The Blob is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut, Lee Payton

Released: 1958

Directed by: Irvin Yeaworth

The Blob is an independently made 1958 American horror/science fiction film directed by Irvin Yeaworth. In the style of American International Pictures, Paramount Pictures released the film as a ...more

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#166 of 799 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #11 of 116 The Scariest Giant Monster Movies #139 of 568 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

6
The Thing from Another W... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
James Arness, Paul Frees, George Fenneman

Released: 1951

Directed by: Howard Hawks, Christian Nyby

The Thing from Another World is a 1951 American black-and-white science fiction/horror film produced by Howard Hawks' Winchester Pictures Corporation, released by RKO Pictures, and directed by ...more

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#591 of 799 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #52 of 116 The Scariest Giant Monster Movies #57 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

7
House of Wax is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Vincent Price, Charles Bronson, Carolyn Jones

Released: 1953

Directed by: André de Toth

House of Wax is a 1953 American 3-D horror film about a disfigured sculptor who repopulates his destroyed wax museum by luring people and using their wax-coated corpses as displays. It stars ...more

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#55 of 99 The Greatest Movie Remakes of All Time #12 of 115 The Best Old Horror Movies

8
House on Haunted Hill is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Vincent Price, Richard Long, Elisha Cook

Released: 1959

Directed by: William Castle

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial House on Haunted Hill is a 1959 American horror film. It was directed by William Castle, written by Robb White and stars Vincent Price as eccentric millionaire Frederick Loren. He and his fourth ...more

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#100 of 799 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #6 of 20 20 Of The Most Entertaining Haunted House Movies Ever Made

9
The Time Machine is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
fjgallag added Yvette Mimieux, Rod Taylor, Alan Young

Released: 1960

Directed by: George Pal

The Time Machine – also known promotionally as H.G. Wells' The Time Machine – is a 1960 Metrocolor time travel science fiction film based on the 1895 novel of the same name by H. G. Wells in ...more

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#63 of 160 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies #3 of 47 The Greatest Classic Sci-Fi Movies

10
The Beast from 20,000 Fa... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Lee Van Cleef, Cecil Kellaway, Kenneth Tobey

Released: 1953

Directed by: Eugène Lourié

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms is a 1953 American science fiction monster film from Warner Bros., produced by Jack Dietz and Hal E. Chester, directed by Eugène Lourié, and starring ...more
11
The Mummy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Felix Aylmer

Released: 1959

Directed by: Terence Fisher

The Mummy is a 1959 British horror film, directed by Terence Fisher and starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. It was written by Jimmy Sangster and produced by Michael Carreras and Anthony ...more
12
Godzilla is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Godzilla
13
Horror of Dracula is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Peter Cushing, Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling

Released: 1958

Directed by: Terence Fisher

Dracula is a 1958 British horror film directed by Terence Fisher, based on Bram Stoker's Dracula. In 1885, Jonathan Harker is a vampire hunter who seeks to destroy Count Dracula by infiltrating ...more

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#317 of 772 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #4 of 15 15 Of The Most Memorable Cinematic Takes On Dracula Over The Centuries #19 of 38 The Best Monster Movies of the 1950s

14
The Incredible Shrinking... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
William Schallert, Paul Langton, Billy Curtis

Released: 1957

Directed by: Jack Arnold

The Incredible Shrinking Man is a 1957 science fiction film directed by Jack Arnold and adapted for the screen by Richard Matheson from his novel The Shrinking Man. The film stars Grant Williams ...more

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#10 of 31 Movies That Have Spiders In Them #334 of 565 The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time

15
It Came from Outer Space... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Russell Johnson, Richard Carlson, Dave Willock

Released: 1953

Directed by: Jack Arnold

It Came from Outer Space is a 1953 American black-and-white science fiction film, the first in the 3-D process from Universal-International. It was produced by William Alland, directed by Jack ...more

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#145 of 568 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time #14 of 47 The Greatest Classic Sci-Fi Movies

16
The Hound of the Baskerv... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, John Le Mesurier

Released: 1959

Directed by: Terence Fisher

The Hound of the Baskervilles is a 1959 British gothic horror and mystery film, directed by Terence Fisher and produced by Hammer Film Productions. It is based on the novel of the same name by ...more
17
20 Million Miles to Eart... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Ray Harryhausen, William Hopper, Joan Taylor

Released: 1957

Directed by: Nathan H. Juran

20 Million Miles to Earth is a 1957 American science fiction giant monster film written by Bob Williams and Christopher Knopf from an original treatment by Charlott Knight. The film was produced ...more
18
The Curse of Frankenstei... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Hazel Court

Released: 1957

Directed by: Terence Fisher

The Curse of Frankenstein is a 1957 British horror film by Hammer Film Productions, loosely based on the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. It was Hammer's first colour horror film, and the ...more

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#96 of 178 The Best Monster Movies #26 of 52 The Best Gothic Horror Movies

19
It Came from Beneath the... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Faith Domergue, Kenneth Tobey, Ian Keith

Released: 1955

Directed by: Robert Gordon

It Came from Beneath the Sea is a 1955 American black-and-white science fiction and giant monster film from Columbia Pictures, produced by Sam Katzman and Charles Schneer, directed by Robert ...more
20
Forbidden Planet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
fjgallag added Leslie Nielsen, Anne Francis, Walter Pidgeon

Released: 1956

Directed by: Fred M. Wilcox

Forbidden Planet is a 1956 American science fiction film from MGM, produced by Nicholas Nayfack, directed by Fred M. Wilcox and starring Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Warren ...more

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21
Tarantula is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Clint Eastwood, Mara Corday, Alan Napier

Released: 1955

Directed by: Jack Arnold

Tarantula is a 1955 American science fiction film from Universal-International, produced by William Alland, directed by Jack Arnold, and starring John Agar, Mara Corday and Leo G. Carroll. The ...more

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#243 of 568 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time #160 of 232 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

22
The Tingler is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Vincent Price, Ernest Torrence, Dallas McKennon

Released: 1959

Directed by: William Castle

The Tingler is a 1959 horror-thriller film by American producer/director William Castle. It is the third of five collaborations with writer Robb White and stars Vincent Price, Darryl Hickman, ...more
23
Earth vs. the Flying Sau... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Paul Frees, Hugh Marlowe, Joan Taylor

Released: 1956

Directed by: Fred F. Sears

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers is a 1956 American science fiction film from Columbia Pictures, produced by Charles H. Schneer and Sam Katzman, directed by Fred F. Sears, and starring Hugh Marlowe ...more
24
Invaders from Mars is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Milburn Stone, Hillary Brooke, Leif Erickson

Released: 1953

Directed by: William Cameron Menzies

Invaders from Mars is a 1953 American science fiction film independently produced by Edward L. Alperson Jr., directed by William Cameron Menzies, and developed from a scenario by Richard Blake ...more
25
The Bad Seed is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
Shelley Fabares, Patty McCormack, Eileen Heckart

Released: 1956

Directed by: Mervyn LeRoy

The Bad Seed is a 1956 American horror-thriller film directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starring Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Henry Jones, and Eileen Heckart The film is based upon a play by Maxwell ...more

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