Best Movies of 1952

1.

Singin' in the Rain

6.7

In 1927 Hollywood, a silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound.

Starring: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen, Millard Mitchell
Directed by: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Release date: 1952-04-10
2.

Limelight

5.8

A fading music hall comedian tries to help a despondent ballet dancer learn to walk and to again feel confident about life.

Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Claire Bloom, Nigel Bruce, Buster Keaton, Sydney Chaplin
Directed by: Charlie Chaplin
Release date: 1952-10-31
3.

High Noon

5.7

High Noon is about Will Kane, the sheriff of a small town in the New Mexico Territory, who learns a notorious outlaw he put in jail has been freed, and will be arriving on the noon train. Knowing the outlaw and his gang are coming to kill him, Kane is determined to stand his ground. He attempts to gather a posse from among the local townspeople.

Starring: Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado
Directed by: Fred Zinnemann
Release date: 1952-03-27
4.

The Quiet Man

5.4

Sean Thornton has returned from America to reclaim his homestead and escape his past. Sean's eye is caught by Mary Kate Danaher, the beautiful spinster and younger sister of ill-tempered "Red" Will Danaher. The riotous relationship that forms between Sean and Mary Kate, punctuated by Will's pugnacious attempts to keep them apart, form the plot, with Sean's past as the dark undercurrent.

Starring: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Victor McLaglen, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond
Directed by: John Ford
Release date: 1952-07-21
5.

The Bad and the Beautiful

4.9

Told in flashback form, the film traces the rise and fall of a tough, ambitious Hollywood producer, Jonathan Shields, as seen through the eyes of various acquaintances, including a writer, James Lee Bartlow; a star, Georgia Lorrison; and a director, Fred Amiel. He is a hard-driving, ambitious man who ruthlessly uses everyone on the way to becoming one of Hollywood's top movie makers.

Starring: Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell, Barry Sullivan
Directed by: Vincente Minnelli
Release date: 1952-12-25
6.

Monkey Business

4.4

Barnaby Fulton is a research chemist working on a fountain of youth pill for a chemical company. One of the labs chimps, Esther, gets loose in the laboratory and, having watched Dr Fulton do something similar, mixes a beaker of chemicals, but then pours the mix into the water cooler. Later, when trying one of his own samples sample, washed down with water from the cooler, Fulton begins to act just like a 20-year-old and believes his potion is working. Soon his wife and boss are also behaving like children.

Starring: Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, Charles Coburn, Marilyn Monroe, Hugh Marlowe
Directed by: Howard Hawks
Release date: 1952-09-02
7.

The Greatest Show on Earth

4.2

To ensure a full profitable season, circus manager Brad Braden engages The Great Sebastian, though this moves his girlfriend Holly from her hard-won center trapeze spot. Holly and Sebastian begin a dangerous one-upmanship duel in the ring, while he pursues her on the ground.

Starring: Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, Charlton Heston, Dorothy Lamour, Gloria Grahame
Directed by: Cecil B. DeMille
Release date: 1952-01-10
8.

Rabbit Seasoning

4.1
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The cartoon finds a row of signs saying it's rabbit season ("If you're looking for fun, you don't need a reason. All you need is a gun, it's Rabbit Season!"). Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck again are arguing over which of them is “in season” (it is really Duck Season, as Daffy says in the beginning), while a befuddled Elmer Fudd tries to figure out which animal is telling the truth. Between using sneaky plays-on-words, and dressing himself in women's clothing (including a Lana Turner-style sweater), Bugs manages to escape unscathed, while Daffy repeatedly has his beak blown off, upside-down, and sideways by Elmer.
Starring: Mel Blanc, Arthur Q. Bryan
Directed by: Chuck Jones
Release date: 1952-09-20
9.

Neighbours

4.1
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This film, shot in pixilation (a kind of stop-motion animation with actors), is about two neighbours who come to barbaric blows over a flower that straddles the property line.
Starring: Grant Munro, Jean Paul Ladouceur
Directed by: Norman McLaren
Release date: 1952-01-01
10.

Scaramouche

4.1

In 18th-century France, a young man masquerades as an actor to avenge his friend's murder.

Starring: Stewart Granger, Eleanor Parker, Janet Leigh, Mel Ferrer, Henry Wilcoxon
Directed by: George Sidney
Release date: 1952-05-08
11.

Come Back, Little Sheba

4.1

An emotionally remote recovering alcoholic and his dowdy, unambitious wife face a personal crisis when they take in an attractive lodger. Doc Delaney (Burt Lancaster) and wife Lola (Shirley Booth) had an indiscreet affair, she became pregnant and, compelled to marry her, he gave up his medical studies, forfeited his future and settled down to a life of quiet desperation with the simple, frumpy Lola, who lost the child but has remained Doc's steadfast if slatternly wife. Now a chiropractor, recovering alcoholic, and active member of his town's AA chapter, Doc's sobriety is severely tested when Marie (Terry Moore), a young college student becomes their boarder, bringing new life and long-dormant hostilities to the surface of Doc and Lola's troubled marriage.

Starring: Shirley Booth, Burt Lancaster, Terry Moore, Richard Jaeckel, Philip Ober
Directed by: Daniel Mann
Release date: 1952-12-24
12.

Water, Water Every Hare

4.0
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Bugs Bunny is too sound a sleeper to notice that a rainstorm has flooded his rabbit hole and sent his mattress floating downstream toward the castle of an evil scientist who needs a brain for his mechanical monster. Bugs tries to escape and save his brain from the clutches of Rudolph, the scientist's giant orange monster.
Starring: Mel Blanc, John T. Smith
Directed by: Chuck Jones
Release date: 1952-04-19
13.

5 Fingers

4.0
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During WWII the valet to the British Ambassador to Ankara sells British secrets to the Germans while trying to romance a refugee Polish countess.
Starring: James Mason, Danielle Darrieux, Michael Rennie, Walter Hampden, Oskar Karlweis
Directed by: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Release date: 1952-02-22
14.

The Importance of Being Earnest

4.0

Algernon Moncrieff is surprised to discover that his affluent friend -- whom he knows as "Ernest" -- is actually named Jack Worthing. Jack fabricated his alter ego in order to escape his country estate where he takes care of his charge, Cecily Cardew. Cecily believes that Ernest is Jack's wayward brother and is keen on his raffish lifestyle. Algernon, seeing an opportunity, assumes Ernest's identity and sneaks off to woo Cecily.

Starring: Michael Redgrave, Michael Denison, Edith Evans, Joan Greenwood, Dorothy Tutin
Directed by: Anthony Asquith
Release date: 1952-06-02
15.

Sudden Fear

4.0

Actor Lester Blaine has all but landed the lead in Myra Hudson's new play when Myra vetoes him because, to her, he doesn't look like a "romantic leading man." On a train from New York to San Francisco, Blaine sets out to prove Myra wrong...by romancing her. Is he sincere, or does he have a dark ulterior motive?

Starring: Joan Crawford, Jack Palance, Gloria Grahame, Bruce Bennett, Virginia Huston
Directed by: David Miller
Release date: 1952-08-01
16.

The Narrow Margin

3.9

A tough cop meets his match when he has to guard a gangster's widow on a tense train ride.

Starring: Charles McGraw, Marie Windsor, Jacqueline White, Gordon Gebert, Queenie Leonard
Directed by: Richard Fleischer
Release date: 1952-05-03
17.

Lambert the Sheepish Lion

3.9
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The stork mistakenly delivers Lambert, a baby lion, to a flock of sheep. The mother won't let the stork take him back, so Lambert is raised as a sheep, but he just doesn't fit in. He grows up cowardly, until the day his mother is chased by a wolf.
Starring: Sterling Holloway, June Foray
Directed by: Jack Hannah
Release date: 1952-02-08
18.

Pluto's Christmas Tree

3.9
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Pluto comes bounding outside to help Mickey get a Christmas tree. Chip 'n Dale see him and make fun of him, but the tree they take refuge in is the one Mickey chops down. They like the decorations, especially the candy canes and Mickey's bowl of mixed nuts. But Pluto spots them and goes after them long before Mickey spots them. Minnie, Donald, and Goofy drop by to sing carols.
Starring: James MacDonald, Dessie Flynn, Clarence Nash, Ruth Clifford, Pinto Colvig
Directed by: Jack Hannah
Release date: 1952-11-21
19.

Othello

3.9

When a secret marriage is planned between Othello, a Moorish general, and Desdemona, the daughter of Senator Brabantio, her old suitor Roderigo takes it hard. He allies himself with Iago, who has his own grudge against Othello, and the two conspire to bring Othello down. When their first plan, to have him accused of witchcraft, fails, they plant evidence intended to make him believe Desdemona is unfaithful.

Starring: Orson Welles, Micheál MacLiammóir, Robert Coote, Suzanne Cloutier, Hilton Edwards
Directed by: Orson Welles
Release date: 1952-01-01
20.

Kansas City Confidential

3.9

A down-on-his-luck ex-GI finds himself framed for an armored car robbery. When he's finally released for lack of evidence--after having been beaten up and tortured by the police--he sets out to discover who set him up, and why. The trail leads him into Mexico and a web of hired killers and corrupt cops.

Starring: John Payne, Coleen Gray, Preston Foster, Neville Brand, Lee Van Cleef
Directed by: Phil Karlson
Release date: 1952-11-11

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