The 20 Best Films of the 1950s

19. Ben-Hur (1959)

A Biblical epic with an interestingly oblique angle -- Jesus Christ is a side character -- this film had all of the Hollywood pageantry expected of the day’s blockbusters, but also had riveting action scenes and an unusually gritty intensity, particularly in the slow-burning galley-slave sequence that oozes with sweat and toil.