The 50s feels like a very insular decade. That is to say, it feels like a decade that is mostly unaffected by the outside world. At least, not the way the 30s and 40s were. The 30s is highly impacted by both the advancement of technology and complete upheaval of the norms of the silent era to sound, as well as the Depression. The 40s was obviously impacted by the war. But the 50s — what is there? Rock ‘n’ roll? TV? There are minor things that will affect certain pockets of the films, but overall, this feels like a decade that’s pure studio filmmaking.
This list was the toughest yet. Not so much in the first ten (though once you get to 8-10, you can easily swap them out for 3-4 other movies, easily). And 11-20 was just brutal. There’s so much stuff I wish I could have also included on this list. But, hey, that’s what happens. You gotta make the tough decisions. It only means there’s a lot of great stuff that’s on the actual lists that you should look at.
For methodology purposes, the way I compile these Top Tens of the Decade lists: I take my top ten for each year of the decade, throw them all together, and simply whittle it down until I find what I feel are my ten favorites from that decade. Not the best, my favorite. That’s really all it is. I feel like if I can figure out what my favorite films of all time are, then I can figure it out by specific decades. (more…)