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The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s

Updated July 8, 2019 8.9k votes 801 voters 21.0k views60 items

List RulesVote 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! 
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  • 1
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    298
    50

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers

    Dana Wynter, Sam Peckinpah

    Released1956

    Directed byDon Siegel

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a 1956 American black-and-white science fiction film... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Creature from the Black Lagoon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    299
    61

    Creature from the Black Lagoon

    Richard Carlson, Richard Denning

    Released1954

    Directed byJack Arnold

    Creature from the Black Lagoon is a 1954 monster horror 3-D film in black-and-white, directed... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    Them! is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    267
    56

    Them!

    Leonard Nimoy, James Arness

    Released1954

    Directed byGordon Douglas

    Them! is a 1954 American black-and-white science fiction film from Warner Bros. Pictures... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    The Fly is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    241
    49

    The Fly

    Vincent Price, David Hedison

    Released1958

    Directed byKurt Neumann

    The Fly is a 1958 American science fiction-horror film produced and directed by Kurt Neumann.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    The Thing from Another World is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    243
    59

    The Thing from Another World

    James Arness, Paul Frees

    Released1951

    Directed byHoward Hawks, Christian Nyby

    The Thing from Another World is a 1951 American black-and-white science fiction/horror film... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    The Blob is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    227
    56

    The Blob

    Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut

    Released1958

    Directed byIrvin Yeaworth

    The Blob is an independently made 1958 American horror/science fiction film directed by Irvin... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    House on Haunted Hill is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    234
    61

    House on Haunted Hill

    Vincent Price, Richard Long

    Released1959

    Directed byWilliam Castle

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  • 8
    House of Wax is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    202
    47

    House of Wax

    Vincent Price, Charles Bronson

    Released1953

    Directed byAndré de Toth

    House of Wax is a 1953 American 3-D horror film about a disfigured sculptor who repopulates... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    The Time Machine is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    135
    24

    The Time Machine

    Yvette Mimieux, Rod Taylor

    Released1960

    Directed byGeorge Pal

    The Time Machine – also known promotionally as H.G. Wells' The Time Machine – is a 1960... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    The Mummy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    165
    45

    The Mummy

    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing

    Released1959

    Directed byTerence Fisher

    The Mummy is a 1959 British horror film, directed by Terence Fisher and starring Christopher... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    144
    40

    The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms

    Lee Van Cleef, Cecil Kellaway

    Released1953

    Directed byEugène Lourié

    The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms is a 1953 American science fiction monster film from Warner... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    Godzilla is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    192
    73

    Godzilla

  • 13
    It Came from Outer Space is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    139
    46

    It Came from Outer Space

    Russell Johnson, Richard Carlson

    Released1953

    Directed byJack Arnold

    It Came from Outer Space is a 1953 American black-and-white science fiction film, the first in... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    The Incredible Shrinking Man is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    145
    50

    The Incredible Shrinking Man

    William Schallert, Paul Langton

    Released1957

    Directed byJack Arnold

    The Incredible Shrinking Man is a 1957 science fiction film directed by Jack Arnold and... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Forbidden Planet is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    98
    25

    Forbidden Planet

    Leslie Nielsen, Anne Francis

    Released1956

    Directed byFred M. Wilcox

    Forbidden Planet is a 1956 American science fiction film from MGM, produced by Nicholas... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    The Hound of the Baskervilles is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    123
    43

    The Hound of the Baskervilles

    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing

    Released1959

    Directed byTerence Fisher

    The Hound of the Baskervilles is a 1959 British gothic horror and mystery film, directed by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 17
    The Curse of Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    134
    52

    The Curse of Frankenstein

    Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing

    Released1957

    Directed byTerence Fisher

    The Curse of Frankenstein is a 1957 British horror film by Hammer Film Productions, loosely... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    The Tingler is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    130
    49

    The Tingler

    Vincent Price, Ernest Torrence

    Released1959

    Directed byWilliam Castle

    The Tingler is a 1959 horror-thriller film by American producer/director William Castle. It is... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    Tarantula is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    125
    46

    Tarantula

    Clint Eastwood, Mara Corday

    Released1955

    Directed byJack Arnold

    Tarantula is a 1955 American science fiction film from Universal-International, produced by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    It Came from Beneath the Sea is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    114
    40

    It Came from Beneath the Sea

    Faith Domergue, Kenneth Tobey

    Released1955

    Directed byRobert Gordon

    It Came from Beneath the Sea is a 1955 American black-and-white science fiction and giant... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    20 Million Miles to Earth is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    121
    45

    20 Million Miles to Earth

    Ray Harryhausen, William Hopper

    Released1957

    Directed byNathan H. Juran

    20 Million Miles to Earth is a 1957 American science fiction giant monster film written by Bob... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Earth vs. the Flying Saucers is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    119
    44

    Earth vs. the Flying Saucers

    Paul Frees, Hugh Marlowe

    Released1956

    Directed byFred F. Sears

    Earth vs. the Flying Saucers is a 1956 American science fiction film from Columbia Pictures,... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Invaders from Mars is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    109
    50

    Invaders from Mars

    Milburn Stone, Hillary Brooke

    Released1953

    Directed byWilliam Cameron Menzies

    Invaders from Mars is a 1953 American science fiction film independently produced by Edward L.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 24
    The Bad Seed is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s
    120
    63

    The Bad Seed

    Shelley Fabares, Patty McCormack

    Released1956

    Directed byMervyn LeRoy

    The Bad Seed is a 1956 American horror-thriller film directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starring... more on Wikipedia

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  • 25
    Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. J is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Horror Movies of the 1950s

    Released1953

    Directed byCharles Lamont

    Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a 1953 American comedy horror film... more on Wikipedia

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FilmsFilmEntertainmentHorror1950stop 50Classic Movies50s MoviesHorror Movies and TVGraveyard Shift