VOTE The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s  

Ranker Film
3.7k votes 336 voters 10.8k views 50 items

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
106 28
12 Angry Men is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

2
98 26
All About Eve is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

3
102 33
Sunset Boulevard is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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
91 28
The King and I is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
The King and I

Nominated in 1956.

5
73 18
The Diary of Anne Frank is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

6
92 31
A Streetcar Named Desire is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

7
83 27
The Ten Commandments is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

8
84 28
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

9
79 25
Roman Holiday is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

10
73 23
The Quiet Man is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

11
78 28
Ben-Hur is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

12
68 24
Shane is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

13
67 24
From Here to Eternity is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

14
67 26
On the Waterfront is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint, Rod Steiger

Won Best Picture in 1954.

On the Waterfront is a 1954 American 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

15
68 27
The Bridge on the River Kwai is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins

Won Best Picture in 1957.

The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 WWII 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 borrows the ...more

16
62 27
High Noon is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

17
51 20
A Place in the Sun is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

18
49 19
Anatomy of a Murder is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
James Stewart, George C. Scott, Lee Remick

Nominated in 1959.

This film is a 1959 American courtroom 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 Supreme Court ...more

19
57 25
Giant is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

20
62 29
Seven Brides for Seven Brother... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

21
47 18
Mister Roberts is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

22
56 28
An American in Paris is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

23
51 26
Father of the Bride is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

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

25
42 20
Witness for the Prosecution is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

26
46 25
Auntie Mame is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

27
39 23
Gigi is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

28
40 24
Peyton Place is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

29
36 22
Marty is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

30
38 25
The Greatest Show on Earth is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

31
33 23
The Defiant Ones is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

32
31 22
Three Coins in the Fountain is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

33
36 27
Picnic is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

34
38 30
Around the World in 80 Days is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

35
29 22
Friendly Persuasion is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

36
29 22
The Country Girl is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

37
28 25
Love Is a Many-Splendored Thin... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

38
32 30
The Robe is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

39
26 24
Ivanhoe is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

40
23 22
Julius Caesar is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

41
23 24
King Solomon's Mines is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

42
22 25
Moulin Rouge is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

43
18 21
Room at the Top is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

44
21 25
Separate Tables is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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.

45
24 29
Born Yesterday is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

46
27 33
The Nun's Story is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
The Nun's Story

Nominated in 1959.

47
22 29
Sayonara is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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
22 31
Quo Vadis is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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

49
18 30
The Rose Tattoo is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s

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

50
11 27
Decision Before Dawn is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1950s
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