Saturday, May 21, 2016

Ten Movies on an Island: 1950s Edition

If you thought the 30s and 40s were a time of change in Hollywood, the 1950s was off the charts. With the accessibility of Television, many people were not going out to the movies, but instead, staying home and watching family sitcoms and game shows. When the Supreme Court outlawed block booking (selling groups of five or more films combining A pictures with cheaper B pictures) in 1948, the system began to crumble. Television hastened that end.

In order to lure movie-goers back to the theaters, studios decided it was time to make movies bigger and better. This was the decade of the Epic, the Technicolor Musical, 3-D, CinemaScope, Cinerama, VistaVision. With it came the loosening of the Hays Code, allowing topics back into movies that hadn't been allowed on the screen for two decades. Up popped the Rebel and a host of teen idols.

This list not only has three of my original Five Movies on an Island List, but it is also where my "romantic/girlish pleasure" side comes out. I mean, realistically, how many "Top Ten" lists have Gidget (1959) on them? Not to mention that four of the films have John Wayne in them!

1. Rio Grande (1950) - John Wayne & Maureen O'Hara
2. The Quiet Man (1952) - John Wayne & Maureen O'Hara
3. Roman Holiday (1953) - Audrey Hepburn & Gregory Peck, Eddie Albert
4. White Christmas (1954) - Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye & Vera-Ellen
5. Mister Roberts (1955) - Henry Fonda, Jack Lemmon, William Powell, James Cagney
6. We're No Angels (1955) - Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov, Aldo Ray
7. The Searchers (1956) - John Wayne
8. Tammy and the Bachelor (1957) - Debbie Reynolds & Leslie Neilson
9. Gidget (1959) - Sandra Dee & James Darren, Cliff Robertson
10. Rio Bravo (1959) - John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Walter Brennan

Honorable Mentions: Sunset Boulevard (1950), Strangers on a Train (1951), Son of Paleface (1952), The Robe (1953), Sabrina (1954), Until They Sail (1957), The Defiant Ones (1958), Pillow Talk (1959), Who Was That Lady? (1959).

Tomorrow, my Top Ten films of the 1960s!


  1. How can I argue with John Wayne? Except that I like El Dorado better than Rio Bravo, but its still a John Wayne movie so its OK.

    1. El Dorado is really good too, but I do like me some Ricky Nelson ;) But then again, James Caan...