At a time when people were terrified of UFOs and Communism, the film industry was busy producing movies that ranged from film noir to grandiose musicals. The paranoid public in the 1950s apparently craved family entertainment and dark, brooding pictures in equal doses.
The result is a decade’s worth of truly monumental cinema, from Hitchcock masterpieces (Vertigo, Psycho, Rear Window) to comedy classics (Tati’s Mr. Hulot’s Holiday, Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot), from groundbreaking Nouvelle Vague films (Truffaut’s The 400 Blows) to profound, innovative dramas like Antonioni’s L’avventura, Fellini’s La Strada, John Huston’s Misfits, and Kubrick’s Paths of Glory. Though censorship kept sex safely offscreen, the smoldering James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Marilyn Monroe provided plenty of heat.
This survey of the most important films of the fabulous fifties covers the wholesome, subversive, artistic, thrilling, and mysterious trends in cinema across the globe. This encyclopedia profiles each movie masterpiece through stills, a synopsis, and cast, crew, and technical listings. Whether you’re a rebel without a cause or a gentleman who prefers blondes, this is a must-have for any film fan.