Sunday, February 5, 2012

Movies From The Fifties

Mama said when they went to the movies, Daddy would be the one who took me out of the theater if I cried. He knew she loved the movies. I began to wonder which ones I may have seen with Mama and Daddy.

Hubby and I stayed up late watching Mrs. Miniver with Greer Garson last night. How is it I had never seen this excellent film? Greer Garson won an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1943 for her portrayal of Mrs Miniver in war torn England. Mama would have only been nine when this was shown. I doubt she saw it in the theater.

I think I may have missed a lot of classic movies from the '50s. Here is a list of the best picture winners during that era.


Broderick Crawford won Best Actor award for his role in "All The King's Men." Olivia de Havilland won Best Actress in "The Heiress."


Although not a classic beauty, Betty Davis certainly had beautiful eyes. I read that Celeste Holm greeted Davis with a "Good morning" on their first day of filming for  "All About Eve." Betty Davis' reply was, "Oh ****, good manners."


It was expected that "A Streetcar Named Desire" would win for Best Picture. Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh did win for Best Actor and Best Actress in 1952.


Cecil B. DeMille won an Oscar for Best Director in this film. Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, and Charlton Heston were not nominated for awards. Gary Cooper won Best Actor for "High Noon." 


Although the leading roles played by Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr did not merit them an Academy Award for "From Here to Eternity", Frank Sinatra and Donna Reed won Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. William Holden won Best Actor for "Stalag 17" yet he reportedly thought Burt Lancaster should have won "From Here To Eternity." 

Marlon Brando was awarded an Oscar for Best Actor. Grace Kelly won Best Actress in "The Country Girl."


Although Ernest Borgnine won Best Actor in "Marty", James Dean's roles in "East of Eden" and "Rebel Without a Cause" would launch his super star status. Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood received Supporting Actor and Actress nominations and would go on to become 1950s teen idols.


Best Actress award went to Ingrid Bergman in "Anastasia." She is definitely a style icon of the 1950s as well. Yul Brynner won a very well deserved Best Actor award for "The King and I." James Dean was again nominated for an Academy Award for his role in "Giant."


Alec Guinness  won a Best Actor award for "The Bridge on the River Kwai." Joanne Woodward won Best Actress for "The Three Faces of Eve." She reportedly sewed her own gown for the awards ceremony from $100 worth of green satin fabric. She and her equally stylish husband beat the Hollywood odds and remained married until his death.


Vincent Minnelli won an Oscar as Best Director for "GiGi" but no actors or actresses were nominated for their roles in the film. Vincent Minnelli married Judy Garland and is the father of Liza Minnelli. Although Elizabeth Taylor was nominated for Best Actress in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", Susan Hayward won for "I Want to Live."

I do not recall seeing any of these movies as a child. I thought I remembered Jane Russell's performance in "The Outlaw", but since it came out in 1950, I would have had to be scandalized in utero.


  1. The first movie I ever saw was Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, followed by The King and I. I was hooked on musicals after that!

  2. These are from before my time and even though we watch a lot of movies, I have not seen any of them. We have netflix and we get them there. I really like some of the older stuff better than what is out today.

  3. I love many of the old movies but there are a lot I haven't seen. After watching Broken Arrow the other day (about a man who befriended Cochise--I had read the true version in the book I had finished recently) with Jimmy Stewart and Debra Paget and Jeff Chandler it reminded me of Bird of Paradise with Debra Paget and Jeff Chandler (one of mine and Mom's favorites!) but alas they don't have that version at Netflix. (Can we say, "run-on sentence"!)