As I did with 1955, I am taking a look at the films of 1950 as a whole. This is a real blast from the past from a movie perspective. The industry had been around for a while, but it was still growing and changing. It was during the fifties that the production code basically fell apart. That was the end of the decade, though. In 1950, the Hays code was in full effect. A lot of movies were still in black and white. What was 1950 like for film fans? Let’s see.
The top-grossing movie in the United States for 1950 was King Solomon’s Mines. That’s an old-timey thing. This is not a film I’ve seen, but I know it conceptually. King Solomon’s Mines is one of those old-school adventure films about a burly dude and a damsel in distress and traveling all over the world. They used to make paperback adventure novels like this and a ton of them got turned into movies, or serials. This is the sort of thing that influenced George Lucas for Star Wars and the Indiana Jones films.
In a weird way, 1950 was a big year for Steve Martin. That’s because two films he would star in the remake of, Cheaper by the Dozen and Father of the Bride, came out that year. So did Cinderella. Yes, the Disney film. That’s how far back in time we are. In terms of the awards circuit, it was really a battle between two films: Sunset Boulevard and All About Eve. Both are about showbiz. Both are indebted to the history of movies in some way. Both are considered classics. Sunset Boulevard killed it at the Golden Globes, but All About Eve took home Best Picture at the Oscars.
This was a time when Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, About and Costello, and Esther Williams were all big draws. Bill Murray was born in 1950. What I like about the Wikipedia pages for these old years of film is that they have a section for actors who made their debuts. For example, Marlon Brando made his movie debut in 1950 with The Men. Peter Sellers made his debut as well. Two future Oscar winners, Rita Moreno and Jack Palance, debuted as well. The only disappointing thing is none of them debuted in a notable film.
1950 was a good year for film all in all. There are even some iconic movies that got released. This was so long ago that Ronald Reagan was still acting. He starred in a movie called Louisa. This was so long ago, and yet a movie like Sunset Boulevard, which centers on a woman who was once a star but has been forgotten, could be made. That’s a reminder that, as far back as I’ve gone, there’s a lot of film history yet to cover.