A 1950s timeline
in British cinema of the 1950s

A 1950s timeline

Occasionally names of personnel are included in these lists (‘d.’ for director, ‘p.’ for performer/s) to point up a presence, e.g. John Schlesinger as director of Starfish. Non-British films which were nonetheless really important are asterisked and put out of the alphabetical sequence. The temptation to include five excellent films of 1960 could not be resisted.

CinemaTheatre, writing, broadcastingEvents
1950  
Humphrey Jennings diesTheatre: Hamlet (p. Michael Redgrave)Labour Party elected: Clement Atlee PM
Bitter Springs (music: Vaughan Williams)Theatre: T. S. Eliot, The Cocktail PartyKorean War
The Blue LampWriting: George Orwell dies‘McCarthyism’
Dance Hall  
The Happiest Days of Your Life Odette  
Seven Days to Noon  
The Starfish (d. John Schlesinger and others)  
 
1951  
‘X’ certificates startTheatre: Richard II (p. Michael Redgrave)Festival of Britain
South Pacific* Conservative Party elected: Winston Churchill PM
The Browning Version (p. Michael Redgrave)  
Festival in London  
The Galloping Major  
His Excellency  
The Lavender Hill Mob  
Life in Her Hands  
The Magic Box  
The Man in a White Suit  
Tales of Hoffman  
White Corridors  
 
1952  
National Film Theatre opensTheatre: Agatha Christie, The MousetrapCoronation of Elizabeth II
Sequence endsWriting: Angus Wilson, Hemlock and AfterFog kills 4,000 Londoners
This is Cinerama* Mau-Mau rebellion in Kenya
The Robe (in CinemaScope)* First British atomic tests
High Noon*  
Frightened Man  
The Importance of Being Earnest  
Long Memory  
Mandy  
Outcast of the Islands  
Voice of Merill (Tempean Films)  
Wakefield Express (d. Lindsay Anderson)  
Women of Twilight  
 
1953  
Richard Winnington dies (film critic of News Chronicle)Writing: L.P. Hartley, The Go-BetweenSoviet Union uses hydrogen bomb
Ripening Seed (d. Claude Autant-Lara)*Alfred C. Kinsey, Sexual Behaviour in the Human FemaleSmoking connected to lung cancer
The Cruel Sea  
Genevieve  
Hobson’s Choice  
The Titfield Thunderbolt  
World Without End  
 
1954  
The Belles of St TriniansTheatre: Kenneth Tynan becomes drama critic for the ObserverBritish troops withdraw from Egypt
The Divided HeartTheatre: Terence Rattigan, Separate TablesStanley Kauffmann’s The Philanderer prosecuted for obscene libel
Doctor in the HouseWriting: Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim 
Father BrownBroadcasting: Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood (BBC radio) 
A Kid for Two Farthings (p. Diana Dors)Broadcasting: Dixon of Dock Green (BBC TV) 
The Maggie  
The Sea Shall Not Have Them  
 
1955  
Films and Filming startsTheatre: Titus Andronicus (d. Peter Brook, p. Laurence Olivier)Conservative Party elected: Anthony Eden PM
1984Writing: F. R. Leavis, D. H. Lawrence: Novelist 
Animal Farm (d. Halas and Batchelor)Broadcasting: Nikolaus Pevnser, The Englishness of English Art (BBC Reith Lectures) 
The Deep Blue Sea (p. Vivien Leigh, Kenneth More)  
Escapade  
Foot and Mouth (d. Lindsay Anderson for Central Office of Information)  
I am a Camera (p. Laurence Harvey)  
Impulse (Tempean Films)  
The Ladykillers  
The Quatermass Xperiment  
 
1956  
Sir Alexander Korda diesTheatre: Angus Wilson, The Mulberry Bush (first English Stage Company production)Hungarian revolution
The Good CompanionsTheatre: John Osborne, Look Back in AngerAnglo-French invasion of Suez
Jacqueline  
My Teenage Daughter  
Richard III (d./p. Laurence Olivier)  
The Spanish Gardener  
A Town Like Alice  
Who Done It? (Benny Hill)  
Yield to the Night  
 
1957  
The Archers productions stopTheatre: John Osborne, The EntertainerSoviet satellite Sputnik I launched
Happy Road (p. Michael Redgrave)*Writing: John Braine, Room at the TopAnthony Eden resigns, Harold Macmillan becomes PM
Across the BridgeWriting: Evelyn Waugh, The Ordeal of Gilbert PinfoldWolfenden report on homosexuality
Admirable CrichtonWriting: Richard Hoggart, The Uses of LiteracyEuropean Economic Community founded
The Bridge on the River KwaiBroadcasting: BBC reduces hours of the Third Programme 
Every Day Except Christmas (d. Lindsay Anderson)Broadcasting: Emergency Ward – 10 (ITV) 
The Running Jumping and Standing Still Film  
Shiralee  
The Smallest Show on Earth  
Time Without Pity  
Woman in a Dressing Gown  
 
1958  
Tempean starts its ‘A’ filmsTheatre: Harold Pinter, The Dumb WaiterCommercial stereo recording begins
Carry On SergeantTheatre: Ann Jellicoe, The Sport of My Mad MotherCampaign for Nuclear Disarmament launched
Dracula (Hammer: d. Terence Fisher, p. Peter Cushing)Writing: Raymond Williams, Culture and SocietyRace riots in Nottingham and Notting Hill, London
The Duke Wore Jeans  
Horse’s Mouth  
A Night to Remember  
 
1959  
Ealing Studios closesTheatre: Arnold Wesker, RootsLabour Party pamphlet, Leisure for Living
Hiroshima Mon Amour*Theatre: John Arden, Sergeant Musgrave’s DanceObscene Publications Act
Carry On NurseTheatre: Willis Hall, The Long and the Short and the Tall (d. Lindsay Anderson) 
Dangerous Age (d. Sidney J. Furie)  
I’m All Right Jack  
Look Back in Anger  
Make Mine a Million  
Sapphire  
The Scapegoat  
Separate Tables  
Tiger Bay  
 
1960  
The League of Gentlemen Harold Macmillan acknowledges African nationalism
Our Man in Havana Independence of Nigeria
Peeping Tom  
The Siege of Sidney Street  

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

INFORMATION
TABLE OF CONTENTS
METRICS

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 213 160 3
PDF Downloads 111 81 2
RELATED CONTENT