oscars The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s  

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The 1950s: in America, the decade is synonymous with rock 'n' roll, bobby socks, and the movies. If that last one didn't come to mind before, it certainly will after you read through this list. These are the very best Oscar nominated and winning movies of the 1950s, as ranked by you. These 1950s movies nominated for Best Picture make up a wide-ranging collection. Some are laugh-out-loud comedies, featuring legends like Gene Kelly and Spencer Tracy. Others are stirring dramas starring the likes of Bette Davis, Vivien Leigh, and Audrey Hepburn. Whichever flick is your favorite, you will likely agree that these Oscar-nominated 1950s movies are some of the best films of all time.

What films will you find on this list of 1950s Best Picture winners and nominees? Gloria Swanson captivated movie-goers with her portrayal of aging movie star Norma Desmond in the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard. The Billy Wilder-directed film was even nominated Best Picture. Roman Holiday is another good Oscar-nominated movie from the 1950s. Best Picture winner All About Eve gave audiences an inside look at the competitive world of contemporary Hollywood. Other great films featured on this list include A Place in the Sun, A Streetcar Named Desire, and The Quiet Man.

Which 1950s Oscar nominee should top the list? That's up to you to decide. Give your favorite films a thumbs up to move them towards the number-one spot.

list ordered by

1
74 20
All About Eve is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
All About Eve Marilyn Monroe, Bette Davis, Anne Baxter

Won Best Picture in 1950.

All About Eve is a 1950 American drama film written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck. It was based on the 1946 short story "The Wisdom of Eve" by ...more

2
76 22
12 Angry Men is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
12 Angry Men Henry Fonda, Jack Klugman, Lee J. Cobb

Nominated in 1957.

12 Angry Men is a 1957 American drama film adapted from a teleplay of the same name by Reginald Rose. Written and co-produced by Rose himself and directed by Sidney Lumet, this trial film tells ...more

3
79 25
Sunset Boulevard is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Sunset Boulevard William Holden, Buster Keaton, Gloria Swanson

Nominated in 1950.

Sunset Boulevard—stylized onscreen as SUNSET BLVD.—is a 1950 American film noir directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, and produced and co-written by Charles Brackett. It was named after the ...more

4
58 15
Roman Holiday is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Roman Holiday Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Eddie Albert

Nominated in 1953.

Roman Holiday is a 1953 American romantic comedy directed and produced by William Wyler. It stars Gregory Peck as a reporter and Audrey Hepburn as a royal princess out to see Rome on her own. ...more

5
66 21
The King and I is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
The King and I

Nominated in 1956.

6
52 12
The Diary of Anne Frank is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
The Diary of Anne Frank Shelley Winters, Ed Wynn, Millie Perkins

Nominated in 1959.

The Diary of Anne Frank is a 1959 film based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same name, which was based on the diary of Anne Frank. It was directed by George Stevens, with a screenplay ...more

7
68 23
A Streetcar Named Desire is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
A Streetcar Named Desire Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, Karl Malden

Nominated in 1951.

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

8
52 14
The Quiet Man is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
The Quiet Man John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Barry Fitzgerald

Nominated in 1952.

The Quiet Man is a 1952 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by John Ford. It stars John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond and Victor McLaglen. The screenplay by Frank ...more

9
58 19
The Ten Commandments is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
The Ten Commandments Charlton Heston, Vincent Price, Yul Brynner

Nominated in 1956.

The Ten Commandments is a 1956 American religious epic film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille, shot in VistaVision, and released by Paramount Pictures. It dramatizes the biblical story ...more

10
58 20
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives

Nominated in 1958.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a 1958 American drama film directed by Richard Brooks. It is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name by Tennessee Williams adapted by Richard Brooks ...more

11
45 15
From Here to Eternity is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
From Here to Eternity Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster, Ernest Borgnine

Won Best Picture in 1953.

From Here to Eternity is a 1953 drama film directed by Fred Zinnemann and based on the novel of the same name by James Jones. The picture deals with the tribulations of three soldiers, played by ...more

12
46 19
Seven Brides for Seven Brother... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Julie Newmar, Jane Powell, Howard Keel

Nominated in 1954.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, is a musical film, photographed in Ansco Color in the CinemaScope format. The film was directed by Stanley Donen, with music by Saul Chaplin and Gene de Paul and ...more

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13
51 23
Ben-Hur is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Ben-Hur Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Hugh Griffith

Won Best Picture in 1959.

Ben-Hur is a 1959 American epic historical drama film, directed by William Wyler, produced by Sam Zimbalist for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Hugh ...more

14
46 20
Shane is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Shane Jack Palance, Jean Arthur, Alan Ladd

Nominated in 1953.

Shane is a 1953 American Technicolor Western film from Paramount. It was produced and directed by George Stevens from a screenplay by A. B. Guthrie, Jr., based on the 1949 novel of the same name ...more

15
38 14
A Place in the Sun is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
A Place in the Sun Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift, Shelley Winters

Nominated in 1951.

A Place in the Sun is a 1951 American drama film loosely based on the 1925 novel An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser and the play, also titled An American Tragedy. It tells the story of a ...more

16
43 18
Giant is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Giant Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean, Dennis Hopper

Nominated in 1956.

Giant is a 1956 American drama film, directed by George Stevens from a screenplay adapted by Fred Guiol and Ivan Moffat from the novel by Edna Ferber. The film stars Elizabeth Taylor, Rock ...more

17
44 19
On the Waterfront is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
On the Waterfront Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint, Rod Steiger

Won Best Picture in 1954.

On the Waterfront is a 1954 American crime drama film about union violence and corruption amongst longshoremen. The film was directed by Elia Kazan and written by Budd Schulberg. It stars Marlon ...more

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18
37 14
Anatomy of a Murder is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Anatomy of a Murder James Stewart, George C. Scott, Lee Remick

Nominated in 1959.

Anatomy of a Murder is a 1959 American courtroom crime drama film. It was directed by Otto Preminger and adapted by Wendell Mayes from the best-selling novel of the same name written by Michigan ...more

19
47 22
The Bridge on the River Kwai is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
The Bridge on the River Kwai Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins

Won Best Picture in 1957.

The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 World War II epic film directed by David Lean, based on the novel Le Pont de la Rivière Kwai by Pierre Boulle. The film is a work of fiction but ...more

20
44 21
High Noon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
High Noon Grace Kelly, Gary Cooper, Lee Van Cleef

Nominated in 1952.

High Noon is a 1952 American Western film directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Gary Cooper. In nearly real time, the film tells the story of a town marshal forced to face a gang of killers by ...more

21
39 17
Father of the Bride is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Father of the Bride Elizabeth Taylor, Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett

Nominated in 1950.

Father of the Bride is a 1950 American comedy film about a man trying to cope with preparations for his daughter's upcoming wedding. The movie stars Spencer Tracy in the titular role, Joan ...more

22
36 15
Auntie Mame is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Auntie Mame Rosalind Russell, Forrest Tucker, Sandra Edwards

Nominated in 1958.

Auntie Mame is a 1958 Technicolor comedy film based on the 1955 novel of the same name by Patrick Dennis and its theatrical adaptation by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee. This film version ...more

The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1940s

23
31 14
Witness for the Prosecution is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Witness for the Prosecution Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton, Tyrone Power

Nominated in 1957.

Witness for the Prosecution is a 1957 American courtroom drama film set in the Old Bailey in London. The film, based on a short story by Agatha Christie, deals with the trial of a man accused of ...more

24
32 15
Peyton Place is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Peyton Place Lana Turner, Arthur Kennedy, Lorne Greene ... Marshall Cole

Nominated in 1957.

Peyton Place is a 1957 American drama film directed by Mark Robson. The screenplay by John Michael Hayes is based on the bestselling 1956 novel of the same name by Grace Metalious. Peyton Place ...more

25
39 21
An American in Paris is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
An American in Paris Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Nina Foch

Won Best Picture in 1951.

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

26
26 13
Mister Roberts is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Mister Roberts Henry Fonda, Jack Lemmon, James Cagney

Nominated in 1955.

Mister Roberts is a 1955 American CinemaScope comedy-drama film directed by John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy, and starring Henry Fonda as Mister Roberts, James Cagney as Captain Morton, William Powell ...more

27
28 16
Gigi is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Gigi Eva Gabor, Leslie Caron, Louis Jourdan

Won Best Picture in 1958.

Gigi is a 1958 American Metrocolor musical romantic comedy film directed by Vincente Minnelli. The screenplay by Alan Jay Lerner is based on the 1944 novella of the same name by Colette. The ...more

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28
28 17
The Caine Mutiny is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
The Caine Mutiny Humphrey Bogart, Lee Marvin, José Ferrer

Nominated in 1954.

The Caine Mutiny is a 1954 American drama film set during World War II, directed by Edward Dmytryk and produced by Stanley Kramer. It stars Humphrey Bogart, José Ferrer, Van Johnson and ...more

29
25 18
The Greatest Show on Earth is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
The Greatest Show on Earth James Stewart, Charlton Heston, Bob Hope

Won Best Picture in 1952.

The Greatest Show on Earth is a 1952 American drama film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille, shot in Technicolor, and released by Paramount Pictures. Set in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum ...more

30
27 20
Around the World in 80 Days is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Around the World in 80 Days Frank Sinatra, Shirley MacLaine, Marlene Dietrich

Won Best Picture in 1956.

Around the World in 80 Days is a 1956 Technicolor epic action adventure comedy film starring David Niven and Cantinflas, produced by the Michael Todd Company and released by United Artists. The ...more

31
19 13
King Solomon's Mines is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
King Solomon's Mines Deborah Kerr, Stewart Granger, Richard Carlson

Nominated in 1950.

King Solomon's Mines is a 1950 adventure film, the second of five film adaptations of the 1885 novel by the same name by Henry Rider Haggard. It stars Deborah Kerr, Stewart Granger and Richard ...more

32
20 14
The Defiant Ones is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
The Defiant Ones Sidney Poitier, Tony Curtis, Lon Chaney

Nominated in 1958.

The Defiant Ones is a 1958 black and white film which tells the story of two escaped prisoners, one white and one black, who are shackled together and who must co-operate in order to survive. It ...more

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33
20 14
The Country Girl is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
The Country Girl Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, William Holden

Nominated in 1954.

The Country Girl is a 1954 American drama film directed by George Seaton and starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, and William Holden. Adapted by George Seaton from Clifford Odets' 1950 play of the ...more

34
25 19
Picnic is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Picnic Kim Novak, William Holden, Rosalind Russell

Nominated in 1955.

Picnic is a 1955 American Technicolor romantic comedy-drama film in Cinemascope, which was adapted for the screen by Daniel Taradash from William Inge's 1953 Pulitzer Prize winning play. Joshua ...more

35
21 16
Three Coins in the Fountain is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Three Coins in the Fountain Louis Jourdan, Clifton Webb, Jean Peters

Nominated in 1954.

Three Coins in the Fountain is a 1954 American romantic comedy film directed by Jean Negulesco and starring Clifton Webb, Dorothy McGuire, Jean Peters, Louis Jourdan, Rossano Brazzi, and Maggie ...more

36
20 15
Friendly Persuasion is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Friendly Persuasion Gary Cooper, Anthony Perkins, Dorothy McGuire

Nominated in 1956.

Friendly Persuasion is a 1956 Civil War film starring Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, Anthony Perkins, Richard Eyer, Robert Middleton and Phyllis Love. The screenplay was adapted by Michael Wilson ...more

37
20 15
Ivanhoe is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Ivanhoe Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders

Nominated in 1952.

Ivanhoe is a 1952 American cinema film in color, directed by Richard Thorpe and produced by Pandro S. Berman for MGM. The cast features Robert Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Fontaine, George ...more

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38
23 18
Love Is a Many-Splendored Thin... is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing William Holden, Jennifer Jones, James Hong

Nominated in 1955.

Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing is a 1955 American drama-romance film. Set in 1949–50 in Hong Kong, it tells the story of a married, but separated, American reporter Mark Elliot, who falls in ...more

39
22 19
The Robe is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
The Robe Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Harry Shearer

Nominated in 1953.

The Robe is a 1953 American Biblical epic film that tells the story of a Roman military tribune who commands the unit that crucifies Jesus. The film was made by 20th Century Fox and is notable ...more

40
19 17
Marty is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Marty Betsy Blair, Joe Mantell, Jerry Paris

Won Best Picture in 1955.

Marty is a 1953 teleplay by Paddy Chayefsky. It was telecast live May 24, 1953, on The Philco Television Playhouse with Rod Steiger in the title role and Nancy Marchand, in her television debut, ...more

41
19 18
Born Yesterday is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Born Yesterday William Holden, Judy Holliday, Broderick Crawford

Nominated in 1950.

Born Yesterday is a 1950 comedy-drama film based on the play of the same name by Garson Kanin and directed by George Cukor. The screenplay was credited to Albert Mannheimer based on the stage ...more

42
16 15
Separate Tables is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Separate Tables Rita Hayworth, David Niven, Burt Lancaster

Nominated in 1958.

Separate Tables is a 1958 film adaptation of Terence Rattigan's play of the same name, directed by Delbert Mann.

43
15 14
Julius Caesar is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Julius Caesar Marlon Brando, Deborah Kerr, John Gielgud

Nominated in 1953.

Julius Caesar is a 1953 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film adaptation of the play by Shakespeare, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who also wrote the uncredited screenplay, and produced by John Houseman. ...more

44
13 14
Room at the Top is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Room at the Top Simone Signoret, Laurence Harvey, Hermione Baddeley

Nominated in 1959.

Room at the Top is a 1959 British film based on the novel of the same name by John Braine. The novel was adapted by Neil Paterson with uncredited work by Mordecai Richler. It was directed by ...more

45
22 24
The Nun's Story is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
The Nun's Story

Nominated in 1959.

46
16 18
Moulin Rouge is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Moulin Rouge Zsa Zsa Gábor, José Ferrer, Peter Cushing

Nominated in 1952.

Moulin Rouge is a 1952 British drama film directed by John Huston, produced by John and James Woolf for their Romulus Films company and released by United Artists. The film is set in Paris in ...more

47
16 21
Sayonara is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Sayonara Marlon Brando, James Garner, Red Buttons

Nominated in 1957.

Sayonara is a 1957 color American film starring Marlon Brando. The picture tells the story of an American Air Force flier who was an ace fighter pilot during the Korean War. Sayonara won four ...more

48
15 21
The Rose Tattoo is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
The Rose Tattoo

Nominated in 1955.

The Rose Tattoo is a Tennessee Williams play. It opened on Broadway in February 1951, and the film adaptation was released in 1955. It tells the story of an Italian-American widow in Louisiana ...more

49
10 17
Decision Before Dawn is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Decision Before Dawn Richard Basehart, Hildegard Knef, Oskar Werner

Nominated in 1951.

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

50
14 22
Quo Vadis is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Quo Vadis Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Deborah Kerr

Nominated in 1951.

Quo Vadis is a 1951 American epic film made by MGM in Technicolor. It was directed by Mervyn LeRoy and produced by Sam Zimbalist, from a screenplay by John Lee Mahin, S. N. Behrman and Sonya ...more