Best Drama Movies of 1953

1.

Roman Holiday

5.8
8.0/10

Overwhelmed by her suffocating schedule, touring European princess Ann takes off for a night while in Rome. When a sedative she took from her doctor kicks in, however, she falls asleep on a park bench and is found by an American reporter, Joe Bradley, who takes her back to his apartment for safety. At work the next morning, Joe finds out Ann's regal identity and bets his editor he can get exclusive interview with her, but romance soon gets in the way.

Starring: Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert, Hartley Power, Harcourt Williams
Directed by: William Wyler
Release date: 1953-08-26
2.

The Big Heat

5.6
8.0/10

Dave Bannion is an upright cop on the trail of a vicious gang he suspects holds power over the police force. Bannion is tipped off after a colleague's suicide and his fellow officers' suspicious silence lead him to believe that they are on the gangsters' payroll. When a bomb meant for him kills his wife instead, Bannion becomes a furious force of vengeance and justice, aided along the way by the gangster's spurned girlfriend Debbie. As Bannion and Debbie fall further and further into the Gangland's insidious and brutal trap, they must use any means necessary (including murder) to get to the truth.

Starring: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando, Alexander Scourby, Lee Marvin
Directed by: Fritz Lang
Release date: 1953-10-14
3.

Shane

5.5
7.6/10

A weary gunfighter attempts to settle down with a homestead family, but a smouldering settler and rancher conflict forces him to act.

Starring: Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin, Brandon De Wilde, Jack Palance
Directed by: George Stevens
Release date: 1953-04-23
4.

From Here to Eternity

5.5
7.7/10

In 1941 Hawaii, a private is cruelly punished for not boxing on his unit's team, while his captain's wife and second in command are falling in love.

Starring: Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed, Frank Sinatra
Directed by: Fred Zinnemann
Release date: 1953-08-28
5.

Pickup on South Street

5.4
7.7/10

In New York City, an insolent pickpocket, Skip McCoy, inadvertently sets off a chain of events when he targets ex-prostitute Candy and steals her wallet. Unaware that she has been making deliveries of highly classified information to the communists, Candy, who has been trailed by FBI agents for months in hopes of nabbing the spy ringleader, is sent by her ex-boyfriend, Joey, to find Skip and retrieve the valuable microfilm he now holds.

Starring: Richard Widmark, Jean Peters, Thelma Ritter, Murvyn Vye, Richard Kiley
Directed by: Samuel Fuller
Release date: 1953-05-27
6.

I Confess

5.2
7.3/10

Unable, due to the seal of the confessional, to be forthcoming with information that would serve to clear himself during a murder investigation, a priest becomes the prime suspect.

Starring: Montgomery Clift, Anne Baxter, Karl Malden, O.E. Hasse, Brian Aherne
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Release date: 1953-02-28
7.

The Wild One

4.9
6.8/10

The Black Rebels Motorcycle Club ride into the small California town of Wrightsville, eager to raise hell. Brooding gang leader Johnny Strabler takes a liking to Kathie, the daughter of the local watering hole as another club rolls into town.

Starring: Marlon Brando, Mary Murphy, Robert Keith, Lee Marvin, Timothy Carey
Directed by: László Benedek
Release date: 1953-12-30
8.

The Cruel Sea

3.9
7.5/10

At the start of World War II, Cmdr. Ericson is assigned to convoy escort HMS Compass Rose with inexperienced officers and men just out of training. The winter seas make life miserable enough, but the men must also harden themselves to rescuing survivors of U-Boat attacks, while seldom able to strike back. Traumatic events afloat and ashore create a warm bond between the skipper and his first officer

Starring: Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden, Denholm Elliott, Stanley Baker, Virginia McKenna
Directed by: Charles Frend
Release date: 1953-02-24
9.

99 River Street

3.8
7.4/10

A former boxer --now taxi driver-- gets mixed up with jewel thieves.

Starring: John Payne, Evelyn Keyes, Brad Dexter, Frank Faylen, Peggie Castle
Directed by: Phil Karlson
Release date: 1953-03-10
10.

Angel Face

3.8
7.3/10

An ambulance driver gets involved with a rich girl that might have a darker side.

Starring: Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons, Mona Freeman, Herbert Marshall, Barbara O'Neil
Directed by: Otto Preminger
Release date: 1953-01-01
11.

Little Fugitive

3.8
7.5/10

Joey Norton, seven years old, lives with his older brother Lennie in a lower middle class neighborhood of Brooklyn. Joey is too small to be taken seriously by Lennie and Lennie's friends. One day, while their mother is away visiting her sick mother, Lennie and his friends play a joke on Joey. They stage an incident so that Joey thinks he has shot and killed his brother. Francois Truffault credits this classic with inspiring the French New Wave.

Starring: Richie Andrusco, Richard Brewster, Winifred Cushing, Jay Williams, Will Lee
Directed by: Ray Ashley, Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin
Release date: 1953-10-06
12.

Titanic

3.8
7.0/10

Unhappily married, Julia Sturges decides to go to America with her two children on the unsinkable Titanic. Her husband, Richard also arranges passage on the luxury liner so as to have custody of their two children. All this fades to insignificance once the ship hits an iceberg.

Starring: Clifton Webb, Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Wagner, Audrey Dalton, Thelma Ritter
Directed by: Jean Negulesco
Release date: 1953-04-11
13.

Julius Caesar

3.8
7.3/10

The assassination of the would be ruler of Rome at the hands of Brutus and company has tragic consequences for the idealist and the republic.

Starring: Marlon Brando, James Mason, John Gielgud, Louis Calhern, Greer Garson
Directed by: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Release date: 1953-06-04
14.

All I Desire

3.8
7.1/10
All I Desire
In 1910, a wayward mother re-visits the family she deserted.
Starring: Barbara Stanwyck, Richard Carlson, Lyle Bettger, Marcia Henderson, Lori Nelson
Directed by: Douglas Sirk
Release date: 1953-06-25
15.

Lili

3.8
7.4/10

Members of a circus troupe "adopt" Lili Daurier when she finds herself stranded in a strange town. The magician who first comes to her rescue already has romantic entanglements and thinks of her as a little girl. Who can she turn to but the puppets, singing to them her troubles, forgetting that there are puppeteers. A crowd gathers around Lili as she sings. The circus has a new act. She now has a job. Will she get her heart's desire?

Starring: Leslie Caron, Mel Ferrer, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Zsa Zsa Gábor, Kurt Kasznar
Directed by: Charles Walters
Release date: 1953-07-10
16.

The Naked Spur

3.8
7.4/10

Howard Kemp has been tracking killer Ben Vandergroat for a long time. In the Colorado Rockies, he teams up with prospector Jesse Tate and former Union soldier Roy Anderson. Thinking Kemp is a sheriff, they agree to help for a small fee. When they catch Vandergroat, he tells them Kemp is pursuing a $5,000 bounty. After demanding equal shares, the uneasy alliance heads for Kansas as Vandergroat tries to turn them against each other.

Starring: James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan, Ralph Meeker, Millard Mitchell
Directed by: Anthony Mann
Release date: 1953-02-06
17.

Call Me Madam

3.7
6.8/10
Call Me Madam
Washington hostess Sally Adams becomes a Truman-era US ambassador to a European grand duchy.
Starring: Ethel Merman, Donald O'Connor, Vera-Ellen, George Sanders, Billy De Wolfe
Directed by: Walter Lang
Release date: 1953-03-25
18.

The Robe

3.7
6.7/10

Marcellus is a tribune in the time of Christ. He is in charge of the group that is assigned to crucify Jesus. Drunk, he wins Jesus' homespun robe after the crucifixion. He is tormented by nightmares and delusions after the event. Hoping to find a way to live with what he has done, and still not believing in Jesus, he returns to Palestine to try and learn what he can of the man he killed.

Starring: Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature, Jay Robinson, Richard Boone
Directed by: Henry Koster
Release date: 1953-09-16
19.

The Blue Gardenia

3.6
7.0/10
The Blue Gardenia
Deeply distraught that her GI ex-boyfriend plans to marry another woman, Norah Larkin agrees to go out on a date with lothario Harry Prebble. Norah's drunken night out with Prebble ends in a hazily remembered confrontation and the next day a startling discovery: Harry has been murdered, and the police have found Norah's personal effects at the scene. Tipped off to the breaking news, reporter Casey Mayo invites Norah to tell her side of the story.
Starring: Anne Baxter, Richard Conte, Ann Sothern, Raymond Burr, Jeff Donnell
Directed by: Fritz Lang
Release date: 1953-03-23
20.

Houdini

3.6
6.8/10

By the early 1900s, the extraordinary Houdini earned an international reputation for his theatrical tricks and daring feats of extrication from shackles, ropes, handcuffs and... Scotland Yard's jails.

Starring: Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, Torin Thatcher, Angela Clarke, Stefan Schnabel
Directed by: George Marshall
Release date: 1953-07-02

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