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Originally published in Essential Cinema, copyright 2004 Jonathan Rosenbaum

Here are Rosenbaum's 160 favorite films from the 1950s:

All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz) 
Annie Get Your Gun (George Sidney) 
Cinderella (Wilfred Jackson / Luske / Clyde Geronimi) 
The Father of the Bride (Minnelli) 
The Flame and the Arrow (Jacques Tourneur) 
The Gunfighter (Henry King) 
In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray) 
Los olivdados (Bunuel) 
Orphee (Cocteau) 
Panic in the Streets (Elia Kazan) 
The Sound of Fury /Try and Get Me (Endfield) 
Stars in My Crown (Jacques Tourneur) 
Sunset Boulevard (Wilder) 
Wagonmaster (Ford)

Ace in the Hole / The Big Carnival (Wilder) 
Alice in Wonderland (Geronimi / Luske / Jackson) 
Bellissima (Visconti) 
The Day the Earth Stood Still (Robert Wise) 
Hotel des Invalides (Franju) 
Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (Albert Lewin) 
Singin' in the Rain (Stanley Donen / Gene Kelly) 
The Steel Helmet (Samuel Fuller) 
A Streetcar Named Desire (Kazan) 
The Tall Target (Anthony Mann) 
The Well (Leo Popkin / Russell Rouse) 
The White Sheik (Federico Fellini)

Angel Face (Preminger) 
The Bad and the Beautiful (Minnelli) 
The Big Sky (Hawks) 
Clash by Night (Lang) 
Europa 51 (Rossellini) 
Ikiru (Akira Kurosawa) 
The Life of Oharu (Mizoguchi) 
Limelight (Chaplin) 
The Lusty Men (Nicholas Ray) 
Madame de... (Ophuls) 
Monkey Business (Hawks) 
My Son John (McCarey) 
The Narrow Margin (Richard Fleischer) 
Othello (Welles) 
Park Row (Fuller) 
Son of Paleface (Frank Tashlin) 
Les statues meurent aussi (Alain Resnais) 
Umberto D (De Sica) 
Venom and Eternity (Jean-Isadore Isou)

The Band Wagon (Minnelli) 
The Big Heat (Lang) 
Dangerous When Wet (Charles Walters) 
Duck Amuck (Chuck Jones) 
The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (Roy Rowland) 
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Hawks) 
The Golden Coach (Renoir) 
I Love Melvin (Don Weis) 
Kiss Me Kate (Sidney) 
The Naked Spur (Mann) 
99 River Street (Phil Karlson) 
Pickup on South Street (Fuller) 
The Story of Three Loves (Gottfried Reinhardt / Minnelli) 
The Sun Shines Bright (Ford) 
Tokyo Story (Ozu) 
Ugetsu Monogatari (Mizoguchi)

The Adventures of Hajji Baba (Weis) 
The Barefoot Contessa (Mankiewicz) 
Chikamatsu monogatari (The Crucified Lovers) (Mizoguchi) 
Executive Suite (Wise) 
Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray) 
Mr. Hulot's Holiday (Tati) 
Rear Window (Hitchcock) 
River of No Return (Preminger) 
The Saga of Anatahan (Sternberg) 
Sansho the Bailiff (Mizoguchi) 
Senso (Visconti) 
Silver Lode (Alan Dwan) 
A Star Is Born (Cukor) 
Track of the Cat (William Wellmann) 
The Wages of Fear (Clouzot)

Artists and Models (Tashlin) 
Bad Day at Black Rock (John Sturges) 
The Cobweb (Minnelli) 
East of Eden (Kazan) 
The Eddy Duchin Story (Sidney) 
Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich) 
The Lady Without Camelias (Michelangelo Antonioni) 
Land of the Pharaohs (Hawks) 
Lola Montes (Ophuls) 
The Long Gray Line (Ford) 
The Man with the Golden Arm (Preminger) 
Moonfleet (Lang) 
Mr. Arkadin (Welles) 
The Night of the Hunter (Laughton) 
Nuit et brouillard (Resnais) 
Ordet (Dreyer) 
The Phenix City Story (Karlson) 
Rebel without a Cause (Nicholas Ray) 
Salt of the Earth (Herbert Biberman) 
Sawdust and Tinsel (Ingmar Bergman) 
Shin heike monogatari (New Tales of the Taira Clan) (Mizoguchi) 
The Trouble with Harry (Hitchcock) 
Wichita (Jacques Tourneur)

Aparajito (Satyajit Ray) 
Baby Doll (Kazan) 
Bhowani Junction (Cukor) 
Bigger than Life (Nicholas Ray) 
Elena et les homes (Renoir) 
Forbidden Planet (Fred McLeod Wilcox) 
The Fountain of Youth (Welles) 
The Girl Can't Help It (Tashlin) 
Guys and Dolls (Mankiewicz) 
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Don Siegel) 
The Killing (Stanley Kubrick) 
A Man Escaped (Bresson) 
The Searchers (Ford) 
Toute la memoire du monde (Resnais) 
While the City Sleeps (Lang)

An Affair to Remember (McCarey) 
Bitter Victory (Nicholas Ray) 
La casa del angel (Leopoldo Torre Nilsson) 
Forty Guns (Fuller) 
A King in New York (Chaplin) 
Kiss (Yasuzo Masumura) 
Les maitres fous (Jean Rouch) 
Paths of Glory (Kubrick) 
Run of the Arrow (Fuller) 
Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick) 
Twelve Angry Men (Sidney Lumet) 
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (Tashlin) 
The Wrong Man (Hitchcock)

Ajantrik (Pathetic Fallacy) (Ritwik Ghatak) 
Ashes and Diamonds (Andrej Wajda) 
Le cant du styrene (Resnais) 
The Curse of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur) 
Gigi (Minnelli) 
India (Rossellini) 
Man of the West (Mann) 
Les Mistons (Truffaut) 
Mon oncle (Tati) 
Murder by Contract (Irving Lerner)
Party Girl (Nicholas Ray) 
Rock-a-bye Baby (Tashlin) 
Une simple histoire (Marcel Hanoun) 
The Tarnished Angels (Sirk) 
A Time to Love and a Time To Die (Sirk)
Touch of Evil (Welles) 
Vertigo (Hitchcock) 
Wind Across the Everglades (Nicholas Ray)

Anatomy of a Murder (Preminger) 
L'avventura (Antonioni) 
Breathless (Godard) 
The 400 Blows (Truffaut) 
Good Morning (Ozu) 
Hiroshima Mon Amour (Resnais) 
The Magician (Bergman) 
Nazarin (Bunuel) 
North by Northwest (Hitchcock) 
Peeping Tom (Powell)
Pickpocket (Bresson) 
Purple Noon (Rene Clement) 
Rio Bravo (Hawks) 
La testament d'Orphee (Cocteau) 
The Tiger of Eschnapur and The Indian Tomb (Lang)

So who ruled the '50s? Rosenbaum's auteur scorecard:

Nicholas Ray - 8 Minnelli - 6 Fuller - 5 Hawks - 5 Hitchcock - 5 Kazan - 5 Lang - 5 Mizoguchi - 5 Resnais - 5 Tashlin - 5 Ford - 4 Preminger - 4 Tourneur - 4 Welles - 4 Mankiewicz - 3 Mann - 3 Sidney - 3 Antonioni - 2 Bergman - 2 Bresson - 2 Bunuel - 2 Chaplin -2 Cocteau - 2 Cukor -2 Geronimi / Luske / Jackson - 2 Kubrick -2 McCarey - 2 Ophuls - 2 Ozu - 2 Renoir -2 Rossellini - 2 Sirk - 2 Tati - 2 Truffaut - 2 Visconti - 2 Weis - 2 Wilder - 2 Wise - 2