Best Movies of 1953

1.

Peter Pan

5.9

Leaving the safety of their nursery behind, Wendy, Michael and John follow Peter Pan to a magical world where childhood lasts forever. But while in Neverland, the kids must face Captain Hook and foil his attempts to get rid of Peter for good.

Starring: Bobby Driscoll, Kathryn Beaumont, Hans Conried, Bill Thompson, Heather Angel
Directed by: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske
Release date: 1953-02-05
2.

Roman Holiday

5.8

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
3.

Stalag 17

5.6

It's a dreary Christmas 1944 for the American POWs in Stalag 17. For the men in Barracks 4, all sergeants, have to deal with a grave problem - there seems to be a security leak. The Germans always seem to be forewarned about escapes and in the most recent attempt the two men, Manfredi and Johnson, walked straight into a trap and were killed. For some in Barracks 4, especially the loud-mouthed Duke, the leaker is obvious: J.J. Sefton, a wheeler-dealer who doesn't hesitate to trade with the guards and who has acquired goods and privileges that no other prisoner seems to have. Sefton denies giving the Germans any information and makes it quite clear that he has no intention of ever trying to escape. He plans to ride out the war in what little comfort he can arrange, but it doesn't extend to spying for the Germans.

Starring: William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss, Harvey Lembeck
Directed by: Billy Wilder
Release date: 1953-05-29
4.

From Here to Eternity

5.5

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.

Shane

5.5

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
6.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

5.2

Lorelei Lee is a beautiful showgirl engaged to be married to the wealthy Gus Esmond, much to the disapproval of Gus' rich father, Esmond Sr., who thinks that Lorelei is just after his money. When Lorelei goes on a cruise accompanied only by her best friend, Dorothy Shaw, Esmond Sr. hires Ernie Malone, a private detective, to follow her and report any questionable behavior that would disqualify her from the marriage.

Starring: Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid, Tommy Noonan
Directed by: Howard Hawks
Release date: 1953-07-14
7.

The War of the Worlds

5.2

The residents of a small town are excited when a flaming meteor lands in the hills, but their joy is short-lived when they discover it has passengers who are not very friendly.

Starring: Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne, Lewis Martin, Robert Cornthwaite
Directed by: Byron Haskin
Release date: 1953-08-13
8.

I Confess

5.2

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
9.

Niagara

5.1

Rose Loomis and her older, gloomier husband, George, are vacationing at a cabin in Niagara Falls, N.Y. The couple befriend Polly and Ray Cutler, who are honeymooning in the area. Polly begins to suspect that something is amiss between Rose and George, and her suspicions grow when she sees Rose in the arms of another man. While Ray initially thinks Polly is overreacting, things between George and Rose soon take a shockingly dark turn.

Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters, Max Showalter, Denis O'Dea
Directed by: Henry Hathaway
Release date: 1953-01-26
10.

How to Marry a Millionaire

5.0

Three women set out to find eligible millionaires to marry, but find true love in the process.

Starring: Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, David Wayne, Rory Calhoun
Directed by: Jean Negulesco
Release date: 1953-10-29
11.

The Wild One

4.9

A gang of forty motorcyclists, the Black Rebels Motorcycle Club, gate-crash a legitimate motorcycle race. They are eventually thrown out, but one of the gang steals the second prize trophy and gives it to their leader, Johnny.

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

Pickup on South Street

4.7

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
13.

Duck Amuck

4.4
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The short-tempered Daffy Duck must improvise madly as the backgrounds, his costumes, the soundtrack, even his physical form, shifts and changes at the whim of the animator.
Starring: Mel Blanc
Directed by: Chuck Jones
Release date: 1953-02-28
14.

Duck! Rabbit, Duck!

4.1
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The final installment of the "Hunting Trilogy" once again has Elmer out hunting, while Bugs and Daffy try to con him into shooting the other.
Starring: Mel Blanc, Arthur Q. Bryan
Directed by: Chuck Jones
Release date: 1953-10-03
15.

Bully for Bugs

4.0
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Bugs Bunny once again making that "wrong turn at Albuquerque" burrows into a bullring, where a magnificent bull is making short work of a toreador. The bull bucks Bugs out of the arena, prompting the bunny to declare "Of course you realize, this means war!" The deft Bugs' arsenal comes plenty packed, as he uses anvils, well-placed face slaps and the bull's horns as a slingshot. The bull fights back, using his horns as a shotgun barrel. The bull's comeback is short-lived; just after Bugs makes out his will, he lures the bull out of the arena, just in time to set up a rube-like device that leads to the bull's defeat.
Starring: Mel Blanc
Directed by: Chuck Jones
Release date: 1953-08-08
16.

The Cruel Sea

3.9

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
17.

The Tell-Tale Heart

3.9
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One of the most discussed and imaginative cartoons of any era. It tells the famous Edgar Allan Poe story of the deranged boarder who had to kill his landlord, not for greed, but because he possessed an "evil eye." The killer is never seen but his presence is felt by the use light-and-shadow to give the impression of impending disaster.
Starring: James Mason
Directed by: Ted Parmelee
Release date: 1953-12-17
18.

The Band Wagon

3.9

A Broadway artiste turns a faded film star's comeback vehicle into an artsy flop.

Starring: Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Oscar Levant, Nanette Fabray, Jack Buchanan
Directed by: Vincente Minnelli
Release date: 1953-08-07
19.

99 River Street

3.8

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
20.

All I Desire

3.8
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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

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