Oh, gosh, this is more like it. There are so many movies from the 1950s that I love that I had a difficult time deciding on just one. Some contenders: All About Eve, Suddenly Last Summer, The Searchers, Singing in the Rain, Giant, Some Like It Hot, A Place in the Sun, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof—the list climbs into infinity and beyond.
The Fifties are an interesting decade for film, mostly because this was the heyday of the Hollywood star-making machine, when actors and actresses achieved not just fame, but Olympian status as pop cultural icons. With few exceptions, the heyday of the director seemed to be waning, and it wouldn't be until the late 1960s, early 1970s, before filmmakers would fully shake off the yoke of the studio system and emerge as independent artists famous in their own right.
One of those exceptions was Alfred Hitchcock. He made nearly 70 movies in his 40+ year career, and if he had a stride, I'd say he hit it in the 1950s. This is the period in which he honed the conventions of the modern thriller (conventions he single-handedly invented, of course), giving them their highest expression in movies like Vertigo, North By Northwest, Strangers on a Train, and my favorite, Rear Window. This short clip pretty much sums up the plot of the movie, but you have to see the entire thing to get the full-on effect of Hitchcock's genius. It's a movie not only about the frustrations of a housebound man trying to draw attention to a murder, but also about the emotional and psychological confines of interpersonal relationships, with crafty little digs at the institution of marriage.
Once again, Milk River Madman serves as this Wednesday meme's host. Drop by and see who else loves the movies of the Fifties.