For reasons that defy logic, the excellent This Island Earth was held up for ridicule as an allegedly bad movie in the film version of TV's Mystery Science Theater. If not the best science-fiction film of the 1950s, Earth is certainly one of the most intelligent and elaborate.
While vacationing in Arizona, beautiful socialite Amanda Lawrence (Jane Russell, The Outlaw) meets handsome Jonathan Dartland (Jeff Chandler, Man in the Shadow), an engineer at the local copper mine. The whirlwind courtship is culminated in a marriage hotly contested by Amanda’s mother (Frieda Inescort, Pride and Prejudice), who has learned that Dartland is a half-breed Apache Indian.
This well-photographed crime drama was filmed in post-WWII Japan and tells the tale of an American military agent who attempts to bust up a corrupt group of Yankee soldiers who have formed a mini-syndicate to operate a string of crooked pachinko palaces.
In this film, John Wayne appears as a Prussian sea captain who, at the outset of WWII, is trying to return from Australia to Germany. As a Prussian he opposes the Third Reich and finds himself in dangerous waters when both British and German navies pursue him.
John Wayne plays a veteran seaman who comes to the aid of Lauren Bacall, the daughter of a missionary doctor killed by the Red Chinese. Bacall convinces the Duke to smuggle a group of villagers past the communist forces and into the safe harbor of Hong Kong.
Anthony Mann's final Western with James Stewart, and his first in Cinemascope, The Man from Laramie (1955) revisits the themes of earlier Mann/Stewart movies and pushes them to the extreme, while allowing Stewart to play a (slightly) less disturbed hero than in their other collaborations. In another superbly structured oater about men's inner wilderness, Stewart is once again a wandering loner.
The Samurai Trilogy, directed by Hiroshi Inagaki (The Rickshaw Man) and starring the inimitable Toshiro Mifune (Seven Samurai), was one of Japan’s most successful exports of the 1950s, a rousing, emotionally gripping tale of combat and self-discovery. Based on a novel that’s often called Japan’s Gone with the Wind, this sweeping saga fictionalizes the life of the legendary seventeenth-century swordsman (and writer and artist) Musashi Miyamoto, following him on his path from unruly youth to enlightened warrior.