From an era when we all seemed so young and innocent, films about beaches or with beaches as the focal location were popping out of the Hollywood hit machine like popcorn. In some cases, the whole movie revolved around what was happening on or around the beach featured on celluloid; in others the beach appeared in one poignant scene. Here are our top ten beach movies from the 1950s:
You can’t go wrong with a musical starring Judy Garland, especially with hunky James Mason as co-star, and this one is even better than the 1937 original.
more info about A Star is Born @ IMDB
We let this one in, even though it’s from 1949 because it was released to more theaters in 1950 than in ’49. Based on a true story of a WWII ship that ran aground near the Scottish Hebrides, this film stars Basil Radford and Catherine Lacey as the leaders of the pack who attempt to plunder the 250,000 cases of whisky on board.
more info about Whisky Galore! @ IMDB
Yes, there was a beach in it (St-Tropez, no less!), but who looked at anything but Brigitte Bardot! Also starring Jean-Louis Trintignant, it was directed by Roger Vadim, who did the same thing again in 1988, starring Rebecca De Mornay; completely forgettable.
more info about And God Created Woman @ IMDB
A serous drama with racial undertones starring Lana Turner, John Gavin and Sandra Dee. The beach plays a significant and symbolic role in the early scenes when Turner’s character loses track of her six-year-old daughter on the beach and becomes frantic.
more info about Imitation of Life @ IMDB
A classic example of American-style Film Noir, this is based on the Mickey Spillane Novel of the same name and gives up terrific performances by a young Cloris Leachman and Jack Elam.
more info about Kiss Me Deadly @ IMDB
A French-made film, directed by legendary François Truffaut, this was one of the best of the French New Wave films. It’s the story of a lonely boy’s misspent youth and his great dream to see the ocean. We can relate.
more info about The 400 Blows @ IMDB
A classic farce with lots of laughs, directed (initially made in French) by Jacques Tati, this movie is a gem. Monsieur Hulot arrives at a small seaside resort and unwittingly causes all manner of havoc and chaos while he is there.
more info about Mr. Hulot’s Holiday @ IMDB
One of the most beloved Rogers & Hammerstein musicals, this film version remains popular to some degree because of the memorable songs, like “There is Nothin’ Like a Dame” and “Bali Hai”. Rossano Brazzi played the mysterious Frenchman who grabbed nurse Mitzi Gaynor’s attention and was duly distracted from that pesky little WWII business.
more info about South Pacific @ IMDB
Still funny after all these years, with a cast that worked so well together it almost hurt. Marilyn Monroe is at her comedic best in this film, and Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis knew how to hold their own against the blonde bombshell; the balance was perfect thanks to fabulous direction from Billy Wilder.
more info about Some Like It Hot @ IMDB
Get out the hankies, lots of them. This tear-jerker that featured mega-chemistry between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr. Poor Montgomery Clift; all by himself in Hawaii. This one has arguably the best screen kiss ever had on a beach. This oldie just never gets old and it’s why we picked it as the number one!
more info about From Here to Eternity @ IMDB
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