1951 Movies

Looking for a convenient way to discover and explore classic movies from 1951? Look no further than the 1951 movies Plex database! This user-friendly platform offers a comprehensive selection of films released during this time period.
Start Streaming

Browse 931 titles in our 1951 Movies Database

Top 5 Movies of 1951

Quo Vadis

Released on February 23, 1951, "Quo Vadis" is set in ancient Rome during Emperor Nero's reign. Directed by Mervyn LeRoy, the film tells the story of Roman commander Marcus Vinicius, played by Robert Taylor, who falls in love with a Christian woman named Lygia, portrayed by Deborah Kerr. The narrative explores themes of love, power, and faith amidst the early Christian persecution. The film's grandeur is reflected in its lavish sets and costumes, earning it eight Academy Award nominations.

David and Bathsheba

"David and Bathsheba," directed by Henry King and released on August 10, 1951, dramatizes the Old Testament story of King David's affair with Bathsheba. Gregory Peck and Susan Hayward star in the leading roles, with the film getting into the moral and political consequences of their actions. Its success at the box office was complemented by five Academy Award nominations.

Show Boat

George Sidney's adaptation of the 1927 musical "Show Boat" hit the screens on July 17, 1951. Starring Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, and Howard Keel, the film follows the lives of people associated with the Cotton Blossom, a Mississippi River showboat. Known for its memorable music by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, including "Ol' Man River," the film remains a celebrated piece in the musical genre.

The African Queen

Released on December 26, 1951, "The African Queen," directed by John Huston, features Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. The story, set in Africa during World War I, revolves around a gin-swilling riverboat captain and a strait-laced missionary who embark on a mission to attack an enemy warship. Bogart's performance won him an Academy Award for Best Actor.

A Streetcar Named Desire

Elia Kazan's "A Streetcar Named Desire," based on Tennessee Williams' play, presents a powerful drama. The film stars Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, and Karl Malden. It chronicles the troubled life of Blanche DuBois, a former schoolteacher who moves in with her sister and her husband in New Orleans. The film's critical acclaim is marked by its four Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Vivien Leigh.

Industry Highlights and Notable Moments from 1951

  • HUAC Hearings: The House Un-American Activities Committee conducted a second round of hearings in Hollywood to investigate communism within the industry. This led to the blacklisting of 212 individuals, showcasing the era's political tensions and their impact on Hollywood.

  • United Artists Sale: The sale of United Artists to a syndicate led by Arthur Krim and Robert Benjamin indicated significant changes in industry. This transition marked a shift towards a more modern organizational structure in Hollywood.

  • Best Picture Oscar Changes: The Academy Awards made a notable change by awarding the Best Picture Oscar to the film's producers rather than the production companies. This shift recognized the important role of producers in the filmmaking process.

  • Response to Television Competition: Columbia Pictures' founding of a television production company subsidiary was a strategic move to address the growing competition from television. This initiative reflected the industry's efforts to adapt to the rapidly changing entertainment scene.

  • Pay-Per-View System Trial: The testing of the first pay-per-view movie system on television in Chicago represented an early experiment in offering movies for a fee. This innovation was a precursor to the modern home entertainment models.

  • Technological Advancements: The widescreen revolution began to take shape with innovations like 20th Century Fox's Eidophor. These technological developments were part of Hollywood's response to the evolving demands of audiences and competition from other media.