Best Movies of 1959

1.

Some Like It Hot

6.7

Two musicians witness a mob hit and struggle to find a way out of the city before they are found by the gangsters. Their only opportunity is to join an all-girl band as they leave on a tour. To make their getaway they must first disguise themselves as women, then keep their identities secret and deal with the problems this brings - such as an attractive bandmate and a very determined suitor.

Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, George Raft, Pat O’Brien
Directed by: Billy Wilder
Release date: 1959-03-18
2.

North by Northwest

6.6

Advertising man Roger Thornhill is mistaken for a spy, triggering a deadly cross-country chase.

Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Martin Landau, Leo G. Carroll
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Release date: 1959-07-07
3.

Ben-Hur

6.5

Judah Ben-Hur, a Palestinian Jew, is battling the Roman empire at the time of Christ. His actions send him and his family into slavery, but an inspirational encounter with Jesus changes everything. He finally meets his rival in a justly famous chariot race and rescues his suffering family.

Starring: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet, Stephen Boyd, Hugh Griffith
Directed by: William Wyler
Release date: 1959-12-26
4.

Sleeping Beauty

5.8

A beautiful princess born in a faraway kingdom is destined by a terrible curse to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a deep sleep that can only be awakened by true love's first kiss. Determined to protect her, her parents ask three fairies to raise her in hiding. But the evil Maleficent is just as determined to seal the princess's fate.

Starring: Mary Costa, Bill Shirley, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton, Barbara Luddy
Directed by: Clyde Geronimi, Wolfgang Reitherman, Les Clark, Eric Larson
Release date: 1959-01-28
5.

Rio Bravo

5.7

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.

Starring: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Walter Brennan, Angie Dickinson
Directed by: Howard Hawks
Release date: 1959-03-17
6.

Anatomy of a Murder

5.7

The film pits a humble small-town lawyer against a hard-headed big city prosecutor. Emotions flare as a jealous army lieutenant pleads innocent to murdering the rapist of his seductive, beautiful wife.

Starring: James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Arthur O'Connell, Eve Arden
Directed by: Otto Preminger
Release date: 1959-07-01
7.

Operation Petticoat

5.3

A World War II submarine commander finds himself stuck with a decrepit sub, a con-man executive officer, and a group of army nurses.

Starring: Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, Joan O'Brien, Dina Merrill, Gene Evans
Directed by: Blake Edwards
Release date: 1959-12-05
8.

The Diary of Anne Frank

5.2
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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.
Starring: Millie Perkins, Joseph Schildkraut, Shelley Winters, Richard Beymer, Gusti Huber
Directed by: George Stevens
Release date: 1959-03-18
9.

Journey to the Center of the Earth

5.1

An Edinburgh professor and assorted colleagues follow an explorer's trail down an extinct Icelandic volcano to the earth's center.

Starring: Pat Boone, James Mason, Arlene Dahl, Diane Baker, Thayer David
Directed by: Henry Levin
Release date: 1959-12-14
10.

House on Haunted Hill

4.9

Frederick Loren has invited five strangers to a party of a lifetime. He is offering each of them $10,000 if they can stay the night in a house. But the house is no ordinary house. This house has a reputation for murder. Frederick offers them each a gun for protection. They all arrived in a hearse and will either leave in it $10,000 richer or leave in it dead!

Starring: Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart, Richard Long, Alan Marshal, Carolyn Craig
Directed by: William Castle
Release date: 1959-02-17
11.

Imitation of Life

4.8

Lora Meredith, a white single mother who dreams of being on Broadway, has a chance encounter with Annie Johnson, a black widow. Annie becomes the caretaker of Lora's daughter, Suzie, while Lora pursues her stage career. Both women deal with the difficulties of motherhood: Lora's thirst for fame threatens her relationship with Suzie, while Annie's light-skinned daughter, Sarah Jane, struggles with her African-American identity.

Starring: Lana Turner, John Gavin, Sandra Dee, Susan Kohner, Robert Alda
Directed by: Douglas Sirk
Release date: 1959-04-30
12.

Pillow Talk

4.7

A man and woman share a telephone line and despise each other, but then he has fun by romancing her with his voice disguised.

Starring: Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Tony Randall, Thelma Ritter, Nick Adams
Directed by: Michael Gordon
Release date: 1959-10-07
13.

Suddenly, Last Summer

4.6

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.

Starring: Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Montgomery Clift, Albert Dekker, Mercedes McCambridge
Directed by: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Release date: 1959-12-22
14.

On the Beach

4.4

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?

Starring: Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, Anthony Perkins, Donna Anderson
Directed by: Stanley Kramer
Release date: 1959-12-16
15.

The Hound of the Baskervilles

4.3

When a nobleman is threatened by a family curse on his newly inherited estate, detective Sherlock Holmes is hired to investigate.

Starring: Peter Cushing, André Morell, Christopher Lee, Marla Landi, David Oxley
Directed by: Terence Fisher
Release date: 1959-05-04
16.

The Nun's Story

4.1

Gabrielle Van Der Mal gave up everything to become a nun. But her faith and her vows are forever being tested: first in the missionary Congo hospital where she assists the brilliant and handsome Dr. Fortunati and then at the mother house in France when World War II has broken out and the nuns are forbidden by the order to take sides.

Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Peter Finch, Edith Evans, Peggy Ashcroft, Dean Jagger
Directed by: Fred Zinnemann
Release date: 1959-06-18
17.

Donald in Mathmagic Land

4.0
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Disney used animation here to explain through this wonderful adventure of Donald how mathmatics can be usuful in our real life. Through this journey Donald shows us how mathmatics are not just numbers and charts, but magical living things.
Starring: Clarence Nash, Paul Frees
Directed by: Les Clark, Hamilton Luske, Wolfgang Reitherman, Joshua Meador
Release date: 1959-06-26
18.

Tiger Bay

4.0
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A Polish sailor and a young Welsh tomboy become unlikely allies after she witnesses him commit a crime of passion in the docklands area of Cardiff. With its location shooting and scenes of port city street culture, Tiger Bay presaged the cinema of the British New Wave, while Hayley Mills’ starring performance won the 12 year-old a special prize at the Berlin Film Festival and launched her career.
Starring: John Mills, Horst Buchholz, Hayley Mills, Yvonne Mitchell, Megs Jenkins
Directed by: J. Lee Thompson
Release date: 1959-03-01
19.

Window Water Baby Moving

4.0
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On a winter's day, a woman stretches near a window then sits in a bathtub of water. She's happy. Her lover is nearby; there are close ups of her face, her pregnant belly, and his hands caressing her. She gives birth: we see the crowning of the baby's head, then the birth itself; we watch a pair of hands tie off and cut the umbilical cord. With the help of the attending hands, the mother expels the placenta. The infant, a baby girl, nurses. We return from time to time to the bath scene. By the end, dad's excited; mother and daughter rest.
Starring: Stan Brakhage, Myrrena Brakhage, Jane Brakhage
Directed by: Stan Brakhage
Release date: 1959-01-01
20.

The Young Philadelphians

4.0

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.

Starring: Paul Newman, Barbara Rush, Alexis Smith, Brian Keith, Diane Brewster
Directed by: Vincent Sherman
Release date: 1959-05-30

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