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The Best Movies of 1951 

Ranker Film
Updated September 22, 2019 4.2k votes 168 voters 4.1k views 100 items

List of the best movies of 1951, with movie trailers when available. Famous actors and actresses like Jeff Bridges, William Shatner, Audrey Hepburn and James Dean made their big screen debuts in 1951. These top movies of 1951 are listed by popularity, so the movies with the most votes are at the top. This list consists of all different movie genres, but each film was released in 1951. You can filter this list of films that came out in 1951 for various bits of information, such as who directed the movie and what genre it is. Think the best 1951 movie isn't as high as it should be? Vote up your favorite so it will rise to the top.

The list you're viewing contains movies like Alice in Wonderland and The Day the Earth Stood Still.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best movies from 1951?" and "What are the most popular movies of 1951?"

1951 was a great year for movies, since a lot of classic films were released in 1951. This is a crowd sourced list that has been voted on by many people, so these top films of 1951 aren't just one persons opinion.
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1
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John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Milburn Stone

Released: 1951

Directed by: Nicholas Ray

Flying Leathernecks is a 1951 action war film directed by Nicholas Ray, produced by Edmund Grainger, and starring John Wayne and Robert Ryan. The movie details the exploits and personal battles ...more

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2
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Lou Costello, Bud Abbott, William Frawley

Released: 1951

Directed by: Charles Lamont

Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man is a 1951 comedy horror film directed by Charles Lamont and starring the team of Abbott and Costello alongside Nancy Guild. The film depicts the ...more
3
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Patricia Neal, Michael Rennie, Frances Bavier

Released: 1951

Directed by: Robert Wise

The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 1951 American black-and-white science fiction film from 20th Century Fox, produced by Julian Blaustein, directed by Robert Wise, and starring Michael Rennie, ...more

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#45 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #102 of 130 Movies That Should Never Be Remade #271 of 581 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

4
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Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Nina Foch

Released: 1951

Directed by: Vincente Minnelli

An American in Paris is a 1951 American musical film inspired by the 1928 orchestral composition by George Gershwin. Starring Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Georges Guétary, and ...more

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#168 of 377 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #867 of 1,210 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
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Paul Frees, Stuart Whitman, John Hoyt

Released: 1951

Directed by: Rudolph Maté

When Worlds Collide is a 1951 American Technicolor science fiction film from Paramount Pictures, produced by George Pal, directed by Rudolph Maté and starring Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, ...more

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#1,484 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #147 of 568 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
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Katharine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, Robert Morley

Released: 1951

Directed by: John Huston

The African Queen is a 1951 adventure film adapted from the 1935 novel of the same name by C. S. Forester. The film was directed by John Huston and produced by Sam Spiegel and John Woolf. The ...more

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#64 of 212 The Best Adventure Movies #30 of 102 The 100+ Best Movies Streaming On The Criterion Channellisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
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Alfred Hitchcock, Farley Granger, Leo G. Carroll

Released: 1951

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Strangers on a Train is a 1951 American psychological thriller film noir produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and based on the 1950 novel Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. It was ...more

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#150 of 253 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #751 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #57 of 149 The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time

8
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Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Douglas Fowley

Released: 1951

Directed by: William Witney

South of Caliente is a 1951 American film starring Roy Rogers. One highlight of the film is the gypsy dance as done by Lillian Molieri. Her husband Francisco Mayorga worked with Roy in ...more
9
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Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Shemp Howard

Released: 1951

Directed by: Edward Bernds, Walter Lang

Gold Raiders is a 1951 comedy Western film starring George O'Brien and the Three Stooges. The picture was O'Brien's last starring role and the only feature film released during Shemp Howard's ...more
10
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Audie Murphy, James Whitmore, Andy Devine

Released: 1951

Directed by: John Huston

The Red Badge of Courage is a 1951 war film made by MGM. Directed by John Huston, it was produced by Gottfried Reinhardt with Dore Schary as executive producer. The screenplay is by John Huston, ...more

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11
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George Reeves, Jeff Corey, Stanley Andrews

Released: 1951

Directed by: Lee Sholem

Superman and the Mole Men is a 1951 superhero film starring George Reeves as Superman and Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane. The motion picture is the first theatrical feature film based on the DC ...more
12
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Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, Karl Malden

Released: 1951

Directed by: Elia Kazan

A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1951 American drama film adaptation of Tennessee Williams's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 play of the same name. It is the story of a southern lady, Blanche Dubois, ...more

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13
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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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14
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Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Polly Bergen

Released: 1951

Directed by: Hal Walker

That's My Boy is a 1951 film starring the comedy team of Martin and Lewis and marked the first time that Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis actually had "roles" as opposed to previous efforts ...more
15
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Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward, Raymond Massey

Released: 1951

Directed by: Henry King

David and Bathsheba is a 1951 historical Technicolor epic film about King David made by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Henry King, produced by Darryl F. Zanuck, from a screenplay by Philip ...more
16
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Jessica Tandy, Cedric Hardwicke, Leo G. Carroll

Released: 1951

Directed by: Henry Hathaway

The Desert Fox is a 1951 biographical film about Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in the later stages of World War II. It stars James Mason in the title role, was directed by Henry Hathaway, and was ...more

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#59 of 375 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #45 of 222 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time #11 of 82 The Best Movies About Hitler

17
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William Schallert, Robert Clarke, Margaret Field

Released: 1951

Directed by: Edgar G. Ulmer

The Man From Planet X is a 1951 American science fiction film. starring Robert Clarke, Margaret Field and William Schallert. It was directed by Edgar G. Ulmer.
18
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Raymond Massey, Randolph Scott, Adele Jergens

Released: 1951

Directed by: Edwin L. Marin

Sugarfoot is a 1951 western film starring Randolph Scott as Jackson 'Sugarfoot' Redan and featuring Adele Jergens and Raymond Massey. Aside from the title, the movie has nothing to do with the ...more
19
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Roy Rogers, Pierre Watkin, Elisabeth Risdon

Released: 1951

Directed by: William Witney

In Old Amarillo is a 1951 American film starring Roy Rogers.
20
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Cameron Mitchell, Marguerite Chapman, John Litel

Released: 1951

Directed by: Lesley Selander

Flight to Mars is a 1951 American Cinecolor science fiction film, produced by Walter Mirisch for Monogram Pictures, directed by Lesley Selander, and starring Marguerite Chapman, Cameron Mitchell ...more

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#188 of 200 The Best Space Movies #52 of 97 The Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1950s #9 of 21 The Best '50s Space Movies

21
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Richard Basehart, Hildegard Knef, Oskar Werner

Released: 1951

Directed by: Anatole Litvak

Decision Before Dawn is a 1951 American war film directed by Anatole Litvak, starring Richard Basehart, Oskar Werner, and Hans Christian Blech. It tells the story of the American Army using ...more
22
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Ed Wynn, Heather Angel, Sterling Holloway

Released: 1951

Directed by: Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi

Alice in Wonderland is a 1951 American animated musical fantasy comedy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney Productions and based primarily on Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland ...more

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#40 of 601 The Best Animated Films Ever #60 of 377 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #63 of 196 Musical Movies With the Best Songs

23
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Susan Hayward, Tyrone Power

Released: 1951

Directed by: Henry Hathaway

Rawhide is a 1951 Western film made by Twentieth Century-Fox. It was directed by Henry Hathaway and produced by Samuel G. Engel from a screenplay by Dudley Nichols. The music score was by Sol ...more
24
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Burt Lancaster, Hugh O'Brian, John Ireland

Released: 1951

Directed by: Richard Thorpe

Vengeance Valley is a 1951 American Western film starring Burt Lancaster, based on the novel by Luke Short. In 1979, the film entered the public domain due to MGM's failure to renew its ...more

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#57 of 58 Free Movies! The Best Films in the Public Domain #62 of 78 The Best Burt Lancaster Movies

25
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Ava Gardner, Kathryn Grayson, Agnes Moorehead

Released: 1951

Directed by: George Sidney

Show Boat is a 1951 American musical romantic drama film based on the stage musical of the same name by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, and the 1926 novel by Edna Ferber. This 1951 film ...more