Best Movies of 1951

1.

Alice in Wonderland

6.1

On a golden afternoon, young Alice follows a White Rabbit, who disappears down a nearby rabbit hole. Quickly following him, she tumbles into the burrow - and enters the merry, topsy-turvy world of Wonderland! Memorable songs and whimsical escapades highlight Alice's journey, which culminates in a madcap encounter with the Queen of Hearts - and her army of playing cards!

Starring: Kathryn Beaumont, Verna Felton, Ed Wynn, Richard Haydn, Sterling Holloway
Directed by: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske
Release date: 1951-07-03
2.

Ace in the Hole

5.9

A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to revitalize his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control media circus.

Starring: Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur, Porter Hall, Frank Cady
Directed by: Billy Wilder
Release date: 1951-06-29
3.

Strangers on a Train

5.7

A psychotic socialite confronts a pro tennis star with a theory on how two complete strangers can get away with murder...a theory that he plans to implement.

Starring: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman, Patricia Hitchcock, Kasey Rogers
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Release date: 1951-06-18
4.

A Streetcar Named Desire

5.7

Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her.

Starring: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden, Rudy Bond
Directed by: Elia Kazan
Release date: 1951-09-18
5.

Scrooge

5.6

Ebeneezer Scrooge (Alastair Sim) contentedly meanders through his life as a cruel miser until one fateful Christmas Eve when he is visited by three ghosts. The spirits show him how his behavior over the years has made him a lonely, bitter old man, and how his heart has grown colder. Using events from Scrooge's idealistic past, dreary present and dismal future, the apparitions try their best to melt his steely soul. Tightfisted Ebeneezer Scrooge learns the error of his ways through the intervention of the ghost of his former partner and of the three spirits and, just in time for the holidays, manages to make everyone's lives a little brighter, his included! (The Title has been changed to "A Christmas Carol")

Starring: Alastair Sim, Kathleen Harrison, Mervyn Johns, Hermione Baddeley, Michael Hordern
Directed by: Brian Desmond Hurst
Release date: 1951-11-28
6.

The African Queen

5.6

At the start of the first World War, in the middle of Africa’s nowhere, a gin soaked riverboat captain is persuaded by a strong-willed missionary to go down river and face-off a German warship.

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley, Peter Bull, Theodore Bikel
Directed by: John Huston
Release date: 1951-12-03
7.

The Day the Earth Stood Still

5.5

An alien and a robot land on earth after World War II and tell mankind to be peaceful or face destruction. A classic science fiction film from Robert Wise with an exceptional message.

Starring: Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Billy Gray, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe
Directed by: Robert Wise
Release date: 1951-09-17
8.

A Place in the Sun

5.4

An ambitious young man wins an heiress's heart but has to cope with his former girlfriend's pregnancy.

Starring: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters, Anne Revere, Keefe Brasselle
Directed by: George Stevens
Release date: 1951-06-12
9.

Quo Vadis

5.2

Set against the back drop of Rome in crisis, General Marcus Vinicius returns to the city from the battle fields and falls in love with a Christian woman, Lygia. Caught in the grip of insanity, Nero's atrocities become more extreme and he burns Rome, laying the blame on the Christians. Vinicius races to save Lygia from the wrath of Nero as the empire of Rome collapses around them.

Starring: Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Leo Genn, Peter Ustinov, Patricia Laffan
Directed by: Mervyn LeRoy, Anthony Mann
Release date: 1951-11-08
10.

An American in Paris

5.2

Jerry Mulligan is an exuberant American expatriate in Paris trying to make a reputation as a painter. His friend Adam is a struggling concert pianist who's a long time associate of a famous French singer, Henri Baurel. A lonely society woman, Milo Roberts, takes Jerry under her wing and supports him, but is interested in more than his art.

Starring: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Georges Guétary, Nina Foch
Directed by: Vincente Minnelli
Release date: 1951-08-08
11.

The Thing from Another World

5.0

Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a blood-thirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost.

Starring: Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan, Douglas Spencer, Robert Cornthwaite, James Young
Directed by: Christian Nyby
Release date: 1951-04-29
12.

The Lavender Hill Mob

4.7

A meek bank clerk who oversees the shipments of bullion joins with an eccentric neighbor to steal gold bars and smuggle them out of the country.

Starring: Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway, Sid James, Alfie Bass, Marjorie Fielding
Directed by: Charles Crichton
Release date: 1951-06-28
13.

The Browning Version

4.2
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Andrew Crocker-Harris has been forced from his position as the classics master at an English public school due to poor health. As he winds up his final term, he discovers not only that his wife, Millie, has been unfaithful to him with one of his fellow schoolmasters, but that the school's students and faculty have long disdained him. However, an unexpected act of kindness causes Crocker-Harris to re-evaluate his life's work.
Starring: Michael Redgrave, Jean Kent, Nigel Patrick, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Bill Travers
Directed by: Anthony Asquith
Release date: 1951-04-06
14.

Westward the Women

3.9

In a time when "The West" pretty much ends in Texas and only California is slowly being populated by the white men, there's a severe lack of women among the workers on Roy Whitman's farm in the California Valley. So he goes back east to Chicago to recruit 150 women willing to become wives for his employees. From the candidates he selects 138 who seem able to survive a months long journey across "The Great American Desert" and the Rocky Mountains. Written by Tom Zoerner

Starring: Robert Taylor, Denise Darcel, Hope Emerson, John McIntire, Julie Bishop
Directed by: William A. Wellman
Release date: 1951-12-31
15.

Drip-Along Daffy

3.9
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Daffy Duck plays a western hero, but things don't go as he hoped in a one horse town.
Starring: Mel Blanc, John T. Smith
Directed by: Chuck Jones
Release date: 1951-11-17
16.

The Steel Helmet

3.8
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A ragtag group of American stragglers battles against superior Communist troops in an abandoned Buddhist temple during the Korean War.
Starring: Gene Evans, Robert Hutton, Steve Brodie, James Edwards, Richard Loo
Directed by: Samuel Fuller
Release date: 1951-02-02
17.

The Enforcer

3.8

After years of pursuit, Assistant D.A. Martin Ferguson has a good case against Murder, Inc. boss Albert Mendoza. Mendoza is in jail and his lieutenant Joseph Rico is going to testify. But Rico falls to his death and Ferguson must work through the night going over everything to build the case anew.

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Zero Mostel, Ted de Corsia, Everett Sloane, Roy Roberts
Directed by: Bretaigne Windust, Raoul Walsh
Release date: 1951-02-24
18.

Detective Story

3.8

Tells the story of one day in the lives of the various people who populate a police detective squad. An embittered cop, Det. Jim McLeod (Douglas), leads a precinct of characters in their grim daily battle with the city's lowlife. The characters who pass through the precinct over the course of the day include a young petty embezzler, a pair of burglars, and a naive shoplifter.

Starring: Kirk Douglas, Eleanor Parker, William Bendix, Cathy O'Donnell, George Macready
Directed by: William Wyler
Release date: 1951-11-01
19.

The River

3.8

Director Jean Renoir’s entrancing first color feature—shot entirely on location in India—is a visual tour de force. Based on the novel by Rumer Godden, the film eloquently contrasts the growing pains of three young women with the immutability of the Bengal river around which their daily lives unfold. Enriched by Renoir’s subtle understanding and appreciation for India and its people, The River gracefully explores the fragile connections between transitory emotions and everlasting creation.

Starring: Nora Swinburne, Esmond Knight, Arthur Shields, Suprova Mukerjee, Thomas E. Breen
Directed by: Jean Renoir
Release date: 1951-09-10
20.

The Man in the White Suit

3.8

The unassuming, nebbishy inventor Sidney Stratton creates a miraculous fabric that will never be dirty or worn out. Clearly he can make a fortune selling clothes made of the material, but may cause a crisis in the process. After all, once someone buys one of his suits they won't ever have to fix them or buy another one, and the clothing industry will collapse overnight. Nevertheless, Sidney is determined to put his invention on the market, forcing the clothing factory bigwigs to resort to more desperate measures...

Starring: Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker, Michael Gough, Ernest Thesiger
Directed by: Alexander Mackendrick
Release date: 1951-08-07

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