Best Drama Movies of 1959
In 25 AD,Judah Ben-Hur, a Jew in ancient Judea, opposes the occupying Roman empire. Falsely accused by a Roman childhood friend-turned-overlord of trying to kill the Roman governor, he is put into slavery and his mother and sister are taken away as prisoners. Three years later and freed by a grateful Roman galley commander whom he has rescued from drowning, he becomes an expert charioteer for Rome, all the while plotting to return to Judea, find and rescue his family, and avenge himself on his former friend. All the while, the form and work of Jesus move in the background of his life...
The sheriff of a small town in southwest Texas must keep custody of a murderer whose brother, a powerful rancher, is trying to help him escape. After a friend is killed trying to muster support for him, he and his deputies - a disgraced drunk and a cantankerous old cripple - must find a way to hold out against the rancher's hired guns until the marshal arrives. In the meantime, matters are complicated by the presence of a young gunslinger - and a mysterious beauty who just came in on the last stagecoach.
Anatomy of a Murder
Semi-retired Michigan lawyer Paul Biegler takes the case of Army Lt. Manion, who murdered a local innkeeper after his wife claimed that he raped her. Over the course of an extensive trial, Biegler parries with District Attorney Lodwick and out-of-town prosecutor Claude Dancer to set his client free, but his case rests on the victim's mysterious business partner, who's hiding a dark secret.
Imitation of Life
Lora Meredith, a white widow who dreams of being on Broadway, has a chance encounter with Annie Johnson, a black single mother. Annie becomes the caretaker of Lora's daughter, Susie, while Lora pursues her stage career. Both women deal with the difficulties of motherhood: Lora's thirst for fame threatens her relationship with Susie, while Annie's light-skinned daughter, Sarah Jane, struggles with her African-American identity.
Suddenly, Last Summer
The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth.
The Nun's Story
After leaving a wealthy Belgian family to become a nun, Sister Luke struggles with her devotion to her vows during crisis, disappointment, and World War II.
The Diary of Anne Frank
The true, harrowing story of a young Jewish girl who, with her family and their friends, is forced into hiding in an attic in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam.
On the Beach
In 1964, atomic war wipes out humanity in the northern hemisphere; one American submarine finds temporary safe haven in Australia, where life-as-usual covers growing despair. In denial about the loss of his wife and children in the holocaust, American Captain Towers meets careworn but gorgeous Moira Davidson, who begins to fall for him. The sub returns after reconnaissance a month (or less) before the end; will Towers and Moira find comfort with each other?
Last Train from Gun Hill
A marshal tries to bring the son of an old friend, an autocratic cattle baron, to justice for the rape and murder of his wife.
Where is Everybody?
Mike Ferris finds himself alone in the small Oakwood town and without recollection about his name, where he is or who he is. Mike wanders through the town trying to find a living soul. The tension increases and Mike has a breakdown.
The Young Philadelphians
Up and coming young lawyer Anthony Lawrence faces several ethical and emotional dilemmas as he climbs the Philadelphia social ladder. His personal and professional skills are tested as he tries to balance the needs of his fiance Joan, the expectations of his colleagues and his own obligation to defend his friend Chester on a murder count.
In Tiger Bay, the docklands of Cardiff, rough-and-tumble street urchin Gillie witnesses the brutal killing of a young woman at the hands of visiting Polish sailor Korchinsky. Instead of reporting the crime to the authorities, Gillie merely pockets a prize for herself — Korchinsky's shiny black revolver — and flees the scene. When Detective Graham discovers that Gillie has the murder weapon, the fiery young girl weaves a web of lies to throw him off course.
Room at the Top
An ambitious young accountant schemes to wed a wealthy factory owner's daughter, despite falling in love with a married older woman.
A California commercial pilot sees a telecast in London of an interview with Sir Mark Lodden at his home. The Canadian is convinced that the baronet is a fraud, and he is actually a look-alike actor named Frank Welney.
Two close friends kidnap and murder a young boy and are defended in court by a renowned attorney who makes an impassioned plea against capital punishment.
Middle of the Night
Jerry Kingsley is a wealthy garment manufacturer left lonely in his 60s when his wife dies. Despite the difference in their ages, he strikes up a romance with divorced 24-year-old receptionist Betty. The relationship is dismissed by his daughter, Lillian, discouraged by his sister, Evelyn, and denounced by Betty's mother. But when Jerry begins to mention marriage, even Betty is forced to confront her ambivalence.
Set during the Burma Campaign of World War 2, this is the story of courage and endurance of the soldiers struggling at close quarters against the enemy. The film examines the moral dilemmas ordinary men face during war, when the definitions of acceptable military action and insupportable brutality become blurred and distorted
Odds Against Tomorrow
An old-time crook plans a heist. When one of his two partners is found out to be a black man tensions flare.
The Five Pennies
Dixieland cornetist Red Nichols runs into opposition to his sound, but breaks through to success. He marries a warm, patient woman and even finds time to raise a family. Then tragedy strikes when their daughter contracts polio.
Two Scotland Yard detectives investigate the murder of a young woman of mixed race who had been passing for white. As they interview a spate of suspects -- including the girl's white boyfriend and his disapproving parents -- the investigators wade through a stubbornly entrenched sludge of racism and bigotry.
North West Frontier
In the rebellious northern frontier province of colonial India, British Army Captain Scott, a young prince and the boy's governess escape by an obsolete train as they are relentlessly pursued by Muslim rebels intent on assassinating the prince.
In this unusually accurate biography, small-time hood Al Capone comes to Chicago at the dawn of Prohibition to be the bodyguard of racketeer Johnny Torrio. Capone's rise in Chicago gangdom is followed through murder, extortion, and political fraud. He becomes head of Chicago's biggest "business," but moves inexorably toward his downfall and ignominious end.
Shake Hands with the Devil
In 1921 Dublin, the IRA battles the "Black & Tans," special British forces given to harsh measures. Irish-American medical student Kerry O'Shea hopes to stay aloof, but saving a wounded friend gets him outlawed, and inexorably drawn into the rebel organization...under his former professor Sean Lenihan, who has "shaken hands with the devil" and begun to think of fighting as an end in itself. Complications arise when Kerry falls for a beautiful English hostage, and the British offer a peace treaty that is not enough to satisfy Lenihan.
A Doll's House
A wealthy woman's attempts to help her financially troubled husband go unrewarded.
An Englishman in France unwittingly is placed into the identity, and steps into the vacated life, of a look-alike French nobleman.
The Crimson Kimono
A Los Angeles detective and his Japanese partner woo an artist while solving a stripper's murder.
A Communist officer falls hard for a married woman trying to escape from Hungary.
Look Back in Anger
A disillusioned, angry university graduate comes to terms with his grudge against middle-class life and values.
Porgy and Bess
Set in the early 1900s in the fictional Catfish Row section of Charleston, South Carolina, which serves as home to a black fishing community, the story focuses on the titular characters, crippled beggar Porgy, who travels about in a goat-drawn cart, and the drug-addicted Bess, who lives with stevedore Crown, the local bully.
The Devil's Disciple
In a small New England town during the American War of Independence, Dick Dudgeon, a revolutionary American Puritan, is mistaken for local minister Rev. Anthony Anderson and arrested by the British. Dick discovers himself incapable of accusing another human to suffer and continues to masquerade as the reverend.
Pork Chop Hill
Korean War, April 1953. Lieutenant Clemons, leader of the King company of the United States Infantry, is ordered to recapture Pork Chop Hill, occupied by a powerful Chinese Army force, while, just seventy miles away, at nearby the village of Panmunjom, a tense cease-fire conference is celebrated.
A Summer Place
A self-made businessman rekindles a romance with a former flame while their two teenage children begin a romance of their own with drastic consequences for both couples.
The World, the Flesh and the Devil
Ralph Burton is a miner who is trapped for several days as a result of a cave-in. When he finally manages to dig himself out, he realizes that all of mankind seems to have been destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. He travels to New York City only to find it deserted. Making a life for himself there, he is flabbergasted to eventually find Sarah Crandall, who also managed to survive. Together, they form a close friendship until the arrival of Benson Thacker who has managed to pilot his small boat into the city's harbor. At this point, tensions rise between the three, particularly between Thacker, who is white, and Burton, who is black.
The Best of Everything
An exposé of the lives and loves of Madison Avenue working girls and their higher-ups.
Virgin Soil Upturned
The movie is based on the the same name novel of the Nobel Prize In Literature Winner Mikhail Sholokhov. The action is taken place in 20-30-s years of the XX century in the Russian countryside going through an uneasy process of collectivization.
Kidnapped and cheated out of his inheritance, young David Balfour falls in with a Jacobite adventurer, Alan Breck Stewart. Falsely accused of murder, they must flee across the Highlands, evading the redcoats.
The Wreck of the Mary Deare
A disgraced merchant marine officer elects to stay aboard his sinking cargo ship in order to prove the vessel was deliberately scuttled and, as a result, vindicate his good name.
The FBI Story
A dedicated FBI agent recalls the agency's battles against the Klan, organized crime and Communist spies.
Eager to land a journalistic position, Adam White goes to work as an advice-giving newspaper columnist. His editor, Shrike, takes pleasure in browbeating his alcoholic wife Florence for her past adultery, and assigning his employees journalistic jobs for which they have little aptitude or interest. Shrike goads Adam into meeting one of his correspondents, Fay Doyle, a teary, self-pitying woman who makes a play for him. Adam is torn between his loyalty to the newspaper and his girl Justy.
City of Fear
An escaped convict gets a hold of some radioactive material after his escape. Authorities desperately try to find the man that unknowingly is threating the lives of everyone in the city.
Toward the end of his life F. Scott Fitzgerald is writing for Hollywood studios to be able to afford the cost of an asylum for his wife. He is also struggling against alcoholism. Into his life comes the famous gossip columnist.
The 39 Steps
In London, a diplomat accidentally becomes involved in the death of a British agent who's after a spy ring that covets British military secrets.
Ten Seconds to Hell
Two rivals (Jeff Chandler, Jack Palance) from a German bomb squad are left to deactivate duds in postwar Berlin.
The Gene Krupa Story
The story of legendary jazz drummer, Gene Krupa. Since his youth, all Gene ever wanted to do is play the drums and make music. This is something his parents would not approve of- they want him to be a priest. When Gene's father dies he promises to enter the priesthood. He soon realizes that he doesn't belong there and leaves to join his friend, Eddie's band. Ethel, Eddie's girlfriend, convinces Gene to go to New York and make it big. The 3 of them head to New York. Here Ethel and Gene soon fall in love and Gene makes a name for himself. Gene starts to live in the fast lane, with drugs, alcohol, women and parties. Ethel, unhappy with Gene's lifestyle, leaves him. Gene soon "hits rock bottom" where he has to face reality and choose where to take his life.
Lieutenant Braden discovers that Sally, the woman he's been falling in love with, has actually been checking out his qualifications to be a U.S. Navy frogman. He must put his personal life behind him after being assigned to be smuggled into a Japanese-held island via submarine to photograph radio codes.
Life in Danger
Panic and fear overtake a small British farming community after a homicidal child-killer escapes from a local mental hospital.
Never Steal Anything Small
Director Charles Lederer's 1959 musical stars James Cagney as an unscrupulous longshoreman who'll resort to every dirty trick in the book to win his union's presidency.
Short drama-documentary showing the first day in England of a Hungarian refugee.
Playwright James Lee adapted his off-Broadway play for the screen in this high-strung adaptation, directed by Joseph Anthony. In this simplistic, backroom show-business-success saga, Anthony Franciosa plays Sam, a struggling young actor who will forsake his family and take any type of menial job in order to become a Broadway star. Dean Martin is on hand as Maury, an aspiring director also trying to claw his way up the ladder of success. When Maury gets his big break, Sam wants a part in his show, but when Maury, who is unwilling to cast Sam in the production, turns down Sam's request, Sam seduces and marries Maury's girlfriend (Shirley MacLaine). In spite of everything, Maury wants his girl back, and Sam agrees to a divorce on the stipulation that Maury cast him as the star in his next show. Once again, Maury reneges and, before Sam can exact his revenge, Uncle Sam comes to the rescue and he is drafted into the army.
Never So Few
A U.S. military troop takes command of a band of Burmese guerillas during World War II.