The African Queen (1951) Humphrey Bogart, Katherine Hepburn. In Africa during World War I, a strait-laced missionary persuades a gin-swilling riverboat owner to attempt an attack on an enemy warship.
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) William Holden, Alec Guinness. In a prisoner of war camp, a British colonel co-operates with the Japanese to construct a railway bridge oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives. During a tense reunion with his father, an alcoholic ex-football player, whose memories plague him, resists the affections of his beautiful wife.
Rebel Without a Cause (1955) James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo. A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, where he finds friends, enemies, and a love he doesn’t get from his middle-class family.
From Here to Eternity (1953) Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra. An Army private is punished while the second in command is falling in love with the captain’s wife in Hawaii in 1942.
On the Waterfront (1954) Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb. After witnessing a murder, an ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses and crush dock racketeers.
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter. Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister and is tormented by her brother-in-law while her reality crumbles.
Sunset Boulevard (1950) William Holden, Gloria Swanson. A screenwriter in the 1950s, works with a former silent-film star who has faded into obscurity, and is remembered only by her butler, but dreams of a comeback.
A Place in the Sun (1951) Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters. A poor young man, working for his rich uncle, falls in love with two women, an assembly line worker in his uncle’s factory and a gorgeous socialite.
Some Came Running (1958) Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Shirley MacLaine. A bitter, alcoholic military veteran and aspiring writer returns to his hometown but is followed by an ‘easy’ woman who has fallen in love with him.
Imitation of Life (1959) Lana Turner, John Gavin, Sandra Dee. A struggling young actress with a daughter shares a home with a black widow with a light-skinned daughter who rejects her mother by trying to pass for white.
The Caine Mutiny (1954) Humphrey Bogart, Jose Ferrer, Van Johnson. A first officer in the U.S. Navy faces court martial for mutiny after he relieved his captain, who he believed to be mentally unstable, of his command.
The Long Hot Summer (1958) Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Anthony Franciosa. A con man, who is accused of barn burning, arrives in a small town and quickly ingratiates himself with a rich Mississippi family.
The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) James Stewart, Charlton Heston, Betty Hutton. The dramatic lives of a trapeze artist, a clown, and an elephant trainer are set against the background of the big top circus spectacle.
River of No Return (1954) Robert Mitchum, Marilyn Monroe, Rory Calhoun. A frontier farmer and his young son help two unexpected visitors, a gambler and his saloon singer/wife, who have lost control of their raft.
Written on the Wind (1956) Rock Hudson, Lauren Bacall, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone. A reckless, alcoholic playboy marries the woman secretly loved by his poor but hardworking best friend.
East of Eden (1955) James Dean, Julie Harris. A wayward young man in the Salinas Valley, around World War I, seeks his own identity as he competes with his brother for approval from their father.
12 Angry Men (1957) Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb. A dissenting juror in a murder trial slowly manages to convince the other jurors that the case is not as obvious as it seems in this critically acclaimed, intense, jury room, drama.
All About Eve (1950) Bette Davis, Anne Baxter. An aspiring actress maneuvers her way into the lives of Broadway’s elite as the ambitious ingenue plots to unseat an established, but aging, stage actress.
Peyton Place (1957) Lana Turner, Lee Phillips, Lloyd Nolan, Hope Lange, Russ Tamblyn, Terry Moore, Diane Varsi, David Nelson. Dark secrets are revealed in a small New England town with high moral standards. Offspring in the pre-World War II era learn that there is much hypocrisy underneath the façade of proper morals.