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  • Writer's pictureEllen Cheshire

#1930to2020: Films from 1950-1969

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

On 28 June 2020 I started a new viewing project: #1930to2020. Each day I’d watch at least one film from that day’s year. Over the past 20 days I've watched 68 films from 1950 - 1969. 47 were new to me, 21 were re-visits.

You can read my blog on the 59 films I watched from 1930 – 1949 here.

You can read my comments on all the films on my twitter @cheshellen on #1930to2020 hashtag or on my letterboxd. The full list is below.

For those interested in films directed by women, you’ll notice the names of a number of female film directors popping up in across these two decades. Ida Lupino established her own production company in the early 50s and made a number of social issue films. In the mid to late 50s and early 60s in the UK Muriel Box (right) and Wendy Toye were both directing studio films, and Agnes Varda began what would become a six-decade film career.

I also watched the only films directed by British Theatre director Joan Littlewood, Iranian poet Forough Farokhzad and Korean filmmaker Park Nam-ok. I caught up with Maya Deren's last film The Very Eye of Night, one of Joy Batchelor's animations and the Oscar nominated documentary A Time for Burning w/d/e. Barbara Connell & Bill Jersey. And a first, little did I think my interest in watching films directed by women would see me watching a 'nudie' film, Nude on the Moon d. Doris Wishman and Raymond Phelan.

Top 5 new to me films

1959: Libel d. Anthony Asquith A real showcase for Dirk Bogarde in his dual role in the f/backs to WW2 POW camp as Sir Loddon and actor Wellney: but only one returned home. A former camp mate throws doubt on which one. A libel case reveals truths. Olivia De Havilland stars as Lady Loddon. Great court room thriller with flashbacks to the Second World War

1960: Goddess (Devi) d. Satyajit Ray

When Umaprasad (Soumitra Chatterjee) moves for work, he leaves his young wife (Sharmila Tagore) with his father. One night her father in law dreams that she's a Goddess and convinces others of her powers. Visually stunning portrait of faith/hope. Exceptional.

1960: The Grass is Greener d. Stanley Donen

Lots of sly digs at a Brit’s impression of an American and vice versa in this comedy as millionaire oilman (Robert Mitchum) woos a happily married Countess (Deborah Kerr) away from her hubby (Cary Grant). Jean Simmons stars as a meddlesome friend.

1965: Le Bonheur d. Agnes Varda

François (Jean-Claude Drouot) and Thérèse (Claire Drouot) are an idyllically married couple with two children. One day he meets Émilie (Marie-France Boyer) and now he loves both women. A portrait of marriage, love, trust and betrayal. Gorgeous use of colour/mirroring of scenes across the two relationships. Wonderful.

1963: Sparrows Can't Sing d. Joan Littlewood Whilst her hubby (James Booth) has been at sea, Maggie (Barbara Windsor) has shacked up with Bert (George Sewell). When Charlie returns there's much larks as family/friends try to delay the inevitable showdown. Cheeky Cockney Comedy.

And a bonus short film…

1967: Oncle Yanco d. Agnes Varda

In San Francisco to promote a film Agnes is introduced to an artist living on a houseboat – Jean Varda – who tuns out to be a cousin of her father. These two creative talents have an instant connection. Enchanting 16min doc which weaves together the personal, the political and the creative.

Top 5 revisits

1956: Trapeze d. Carol Reed

Veteran/damaged trapeze artist (Burt Lancaster) teams up with a young upstart (Tony Curtis) to master the elusive triple, when the glamorous and ambitious Lola (Gina Lollobrigida) works her way into the act, things fall apart. Enjoyable/atmospheric circus set film.

1958: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof d. Richard Brooks

Trio of dynamic/devastating performances at the heart of this Tennessee Williams' adaptation: Brick (Paul Newman) and Maggie's (Elizabeth Taylor) failed marriage becomes a spectacle for the whole family on her father's (Burl Ives) birthday.

1959: Black Orpheus d. Marcel Camus

The Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice transposed to Rio at carnival time, when masquerades obscure identities and the air is intoxicated by the rhythmic drums and samba beats. Marpessa Dawn and Breno Mello star as the ill-fated lovers.

1964: Mary Poppins d. Robert Stevenson

Walt Disney pursued the rights for Travers' books for 20 years. It was worth the wait as who else but Julie Andrews could have played Mary Poppins. Not practically perfect, completely perfect. Read my blog on Mary Poppins here.

1965: Bunny Lake is Missing d. Otto Preminger

British psychological thriller starring Carol Lynley as a mother whose child goes missing. There are growing suspicions from the police (Laurence Olivier), landlord (Noel Coward) and brother (Keir Dullea) as to whether she ever existed. Compelling and chilling.

Complete list of films watched: 1950 - 1969

  1. 1950: Outrage d. Ida Lupino

  2. 1950: Stage Fright d. Alfred Hitchcock

  3. 1950: Cinderella prod. Walt Disney

  4. 1951: Hard, Fast and Beautiful d. Ida Lupino

  5. 1951: Three Guys Named Mike d. Charles Walters

  6. 1951: Happy Go Lovely d. H Bruce Humberstone

  7. 1951: Behave Yourself! d. George Beck

  8. 1951: Alice In Wonderland prod. Walt Disney

  9. 1952: My Cousin Rachel d. Henry Koster

  10. 1952: Limelight w/d/s. Charlie Chaplin

  11. 1952: Secret People d. Thorold Dickinson Read my blog on The Secret People here.

  12. 1953: Secret Corner d. Muriel Box

  13. 1953: Peter Pan prod. Walt Disney Read my blog on Peter Pan here.

  14. 1953: The Hitch-hiker d. Ida Lupino

  15. 1953: Abbott & Costello Meet Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde d. Charles Lamont

  16. 1953: The Bigamist d. Ida Lupino

  17. 1954: To Dorothy a Son d. Muriel Box

  18. 1954: Cirkus Fandango d. Arne Skouen

  19. 1954: Brigadoon d. Vincente Minnelli

  20. 1954: 3 Ring Circus d. Joseph Pevney

  21. 1955: The Trouble with Harry d. Alfred Hitchcock

  22. 1955: The Widow d. Park Nam-ok

  23. 1956: Trapeze d. Carol Reed

  24. 1956: Eyewitness d. Muriel Box

  25. 1957: The Passionate Stranger d. Muriel Box

  26. 1957: The Truth About Women d. Muriel Box

  27. 1957: A King in New York w/d/s. Charlie Chaplin

  28. 1958: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof d. Richard Brooks

  29. 1958: Bell, Book and Candle d. Richard Quine

  30. 1958: The Very Eye of Night d. Maya Deren

  31. 1958: Diary of a Pregnant Woman d. Agnes Varda

  32. 1959: Sapphire d. Basil Dearden

  33. 1959: Libel d. Anthony Asquith

  34. 1959: Les Liaisons Dangereuses d. Roger Vadim

  35. 1959: Black Orpheus d. Marcel Camus

  36. 1960: Too Young To Love d. Muriel Box

  37. 1960: The Grass is Greener d. Stanley Donen

  38. 1960: Beyond the Time Barrier d. Edgar G. Ulmer

  39. 1960: Goddess (Devi) d. Satyajit Ray

  40. 1961: The Great Imposter d. Robert Mulligan

  41. 1961: Nude on the Moon d. Doris Wishman/Raymond Phelan

  42. 1962: We Joined the Navy d. Wendy Toye

  43. 1962: The L-Shaped Room d. Bryan Forbes

  44. 1963: The House is Black d. Forough Farokhzad

  45. 1963: The Thrill of It All d. Norman Jewison

  46. 1963: Sparrows Can't Sing d. Joan Littlewood

  47. 1964: Rattle of a Simple Man d. Muriel Box

  48. 1964: Mary Poppins d. Robert Stevenson Read my blog on Mary Poppins here.

  49. 1964: French Dressing d. Ken Russell

  50. 1965: Inside Daisy Clover d. Robert Mulligan

  51. 1965: Le Bonheur d. Agnes Varda

  52. 1965: 36 Hours d. George Seaton

  53. 1965: The Nanny d. Seth Holt

  54. 1965: Bunny Lake is Missing d. Otto Preminger

  55. 1966: Elsa La Rose d. Agnes Varda

  56. 1966: A Time for Burning d. Barbara Connell & Bill Jersey

  57. 1966: Les Creatures d. Agnes Varda

  58. 1966: The Trouble with Angels d. Ida Lupino

  59. 1967: Ruddigore d. Joy Batchelor

  60. 1967: Oncle Yanco d. Agnes Varda

  61. 1967: The Jokers d. Michael Winner

  62. 1967: Caprice d. Frank Tashlin

  63. 1967: The Jungle Book prod. Walt Disney Read my blog on The Jungle Book here.

  64. 1968: The Swimmer d. Frank Perry

  65. 1968: The Queen d. Frank Simon

  66. 1968: Louis Lumière d. Eric Rohmer

  67. 1969: Lions Love d. Agnes Varda

  68. 1969: The Assassination Bureau d. Basil Dearden

Check back in a few weeks for 1970 - 1989 or follow me on letterboxd or twitter for daily updates.


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