Nifty Fifties: 50 Movie Set (2012) – By Jason S. Lockard

The 1950s marked big changes in culture and technology! The 50s introduced to the world Elvis Presley, The Big Bopper, Buddy Holly and other great Rock ‘N Rollers. The 50s also introduced the world hip cats who drove their dollies around in cool chariots. There was changes in fashion with poodle skirts, motor cycle jackets and horn-rimmed glasses. Hairstyles saw such changes as the ducktail and pompadour; but probably the biggest change in the 50s was a little box sitting in the living room it was called television. Now for the first time ever, the entire family could sit down and watch the antics of their favorite comedians, such as The Nelson Family, The cheapskate of the world; Jack Benny and everyone’s favorite Uncle, Milton Berle. Yes the 50’s changed the world forever!

The 50’s also marked a landmark in motion pictures and now thanks to Mill Creek’s New 50 Movie collection entitled “The Nifty Fifties” you can relive some of the great movies and TV plays of the 50’s with some stars who burst on the scene in the 50s such as Charlton Heston, Marilyn Monroe, Sidney Poitier and Warren Beatty. Then some stars just continued to shine as bright as ever, including Gregory Peck, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra and Eva Gardner just to name a few.

Now lets take an indepth look at the 50 movie collection.


Our Rating System:

**** = Don’t Miss it!
*** = Worth a look.
** = An ok way to spend an evening.
* = You haven’t missed anything.

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Disk 1:

 

The last time I saw Paris (1954) – A reporter (Van Johnson) – covering a celebration in Paris meets and falls for a girl (Elizabeth Taylor) -. The two marry and live on love and not much else, until he gives up his job to finish his novel! Will tragedy have to strike to make him see the error of his ways? (***)

My outlaw brother (1951) – J. Dennis O’Moore (Mickey Rooney) – travels out West to visit his brother Patrick (Robert Stack) – who is a hunted outlaw. Refusing to believe it until he sees proof. When he sees it with his own eyes he decided to find his brother and bring him to justice. (**)

Three husbands (1951) – A playboy finds himself at Heavens gates but asks for one final request. Before he passed away he sent letters to 3 friends stating he had affairs with their wives. He wishes to see what happens to the couples. This film stars the great Eve Arden. (***)

St. Benny the dip (1951) – Three Con men pull a scam and hide from the police at a Bowery Mission disguised as priests no less. (**)

Disk 2:

Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952) – On a hunting expedition in Africa, a famous novelist (Gregory Peck) – is gravely injured. While waiting to be rescued he recalls the missed opportunities in his life. Ava Gardener costars in this classic. (***)

The lady says no (1952) – A best-selling female author writes a book bashing men but then falls in love with a male photographer for Life magazine. (**)

The man who cheated himself (1950) – A San Francisco police detective has been seeing a married socialite, but when she kills her husband thinking he was going to kill her the detective tries to cover up the murder to keep the secret. (***)

The bigamist (1953) – I think the title pretty much explains the film. A man tries to keep two lives separate one in San Francisco one in Los Angeles! (**)

Disk 3:

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1955) – Mark Twain’s classic novel comes to life for the first time on Television and features John Carradine. (**)

Martin Luther (1953) – Martin Luther’s life and times shine on the big screen in this biographical account of the man whose actions created the protestant and Lutheran religions. (***)

African screams (1950) – Abbott and Costello light-up the screen in this jungle farce. Stanley Livingston (Lou Costello) – a timid book salesmen and friend Buzz Johnson (Bud Abbott) – try to scam money from an explorer who is in search of a diamond mine. (**)

The white orchid (1954) – A romantic triangle leads to complications on an archaeological expedition in Southern Mexico. (**)

Disk 4:

The Jackie Robinson story (1950) – The life and times of the first African-American to play for the major league of baseball comes to life and Jackie Robinson himself stars in the title role. Everyone should see this film at least once! (****)

Cyrano De Bergerac (1950) – Jose Ferrer reprises the role to which he won a Tony Award playing the swashbuckling poet who fears love will never come his way because of his enormous nose. (****)

The mark of the hawk (1958) – Obam (Sidney Poitier) – return to his native Africa to take a political office. His brother is the leader of a rebel force opposed to the current government controlled by wealthy white landowners. Obam faces a dilemma side with family or with his duty to his country. (***)

The limping man (1953) – A World War II veteran return to England to visit an old flame. When he arrives at the airport he witnesses a passenger gunned down by a sniper. The reunited couple decide to track the sniper and bring him to justice. (**)

Disk 5:

Buffalo Bill in Tomahawk Territory (1952) – Indians are being accused of raiding the settlers in order to cover-up a land grabbing scheme by criminals. The Indian’s reservation land is rich with gold and bandits wish to mine it. Buffalo Bill (Clayton Moore TV’s Lone Ranger) – must uncover the truth behind the raids to eliminate more bloodshed. (**)

Beneath the 12-Mile reef (1953) – Mike and Tony Petrakis a father and son make their living diving for sponges off the Florida coast. When their catch is stolen they must seek new sponges at the perilous 12 Mile reef. This film has an all-star cast featuring Robert Wagner, terry Moore, Peter Graves and Richard Boone. (**)

Behave yourself (1951) – Newlyweds take in a stray dog named Archie, but Archie is a trained go-between for rival gangs. Now the newlyweds are thrown in the middle of a Million Dollar counterfeiting scheme. Starring Fraley Granger, Shelley Winters and Lon Chaney Jr. (***)

Love Island (1952) – A US Navy pilot crashes on a South Pacific island. He befriends a native beuty (Eva Gabor) -, but a tribemen who wants her for his own decided to arrest the native chief with the stipulation the charged will be dropped when she marries him. (*)

Disk 6:

The night America trembled (1957) – This is an episode of Studio One an hour long TV Drama. This episode centers around the events of 1939’s Halloween Night radio broadcast of The Mercury Theater’s “War of the Worlds.” And listener’s reaction to what they thought was a real invasion. (***)

Never wave at a WAC (1952) – A divorced Washington DCV socialite’s (Rosalind Russel) – Colonel boyfriend gets stationed in Paris. Hoping to reunite with him in Paris she joins the WACs, but all doesn’t go according to plans. (**)

Plan for escape (1952) – Another studio One episode. The wife of a gangster is tired of the lifestyle. When her husband his killed she makes her Plan for Escape from the life of crime. (***)

Home town story (1951) – A politician loses a re-election bid. He returns home and takes over his uncles newspaper and uses the format to attack local business leaders, but could a tragedy show him the error of his ways. Marilyn Monroe has a small part in this film. (***)

Affair in Monte Carlo (1952) – A young bride-to-be runs off with a another man she just met instead of marrying the older man she was betrothed to. At a local café the crowd discusses the event and a writer recounts his own past experience. (**)

Disk 7:

Indiscretion of an American wife (1953) – An American housewife (Jennifer Jones) – meets a handsome Italian man while visiting her family in Rome. At the train station The man professes his love for her and begs her to not return to her husband but instead stay with him. (**)

The second woman (1951) – An architect (Robert Young) – is is heading in a downward spiral after the death of his fiancée in a car accident. A friend (Betsy Drake) -, helps him look into the series of “accidents” that are wrecking his life. (**)

The capture (1950) – An American oilman in Mexico kills a payroll robber. He begins a slippery slide down and must face his conscience and the consequences for his deeds. (***)

Lay that down rifle (1955) – A young country girl (Judy Canova) – works at her aunts hotel dreaming of being an aristocrat. A group of con men arrive in town hoping to use the young girl to swindle the aunt and town’s banker. What results is a very funny little film. (***)

Disk 8:

Life and loves of Mozart (1955) – This biopic centers around the great composers latest creation “the Magic Flute”. The film gives everyone a chance to see the brilance of the composers craft and the buffoonery that he often found himself in. (**)

The painted hills (1951) – This was the seventh and final Lassie film produced by MGM. A prospector strikes it rich and looks up his long-time partner. He finds his partner has died and left a son and faithful dog behind. The prospector takes the two in but when he is lured to his death also Shep (Lassie) – decides to protect the boy and avenge his master. (**)

The groom wore spurs (1951) – A movie star cowboy is the complete opposite of his on-screen persona. When he gets in trouble in Las Vegas he is freed by his female lawyer. The two are married and she plans and transforming him into the hero he portrays on the big screen. (**)

Battles of Chief Pontiac (1952) – Prior to the Revolutionary War, an American frontiersman attemps to broker a peace treaty between the British colonials and Chief Pontiac. When he takes up this campaign it threatens the entire region with an all out war. (**)

Disk 9:

The angel with a trumpet (1950) – A young Jewish girl is forced to marry for the sake of the family instead of love, this causes the man she truly loves to commit suicide. Than things go from bad to worse when the Nazis rise to Power. (***)

Cause for alarm! (1951) – While recovering from a heart attack, a husband believes his wife is having an affair with his doctor and the two are plotting to kill him. (**)

The hoodlum (1951) – A career criminal is released from prison and moves in with his family, goes to work at his brother’s gas station. Yet all the while he is planning a bank robbery. (**)

A life at stake (1954) – A man suffers mysterious accidents. As they pile up he begins to think that these are not just accidents, he thinks someone is trying to kill him to collect on a life insurance policy. Stars Angela Lansbury (**)

Disk 10:

The Admiral was a lady (1950) – A recently discharged WAVE becomes the love interest of four men, all who lead leisurely lifestyle. She feigns off the advances of the four men and goes in search of her fiancé who is running from an angry millionaire. (**)

Borderline (1950) – Two government agents working to break up a drug smuggling ring. Complications arise when the two agents must pretend to be married to keep themselves undercover. (***)

Manfish (1956) – A trio of hunters in the West Indies search for a hidden treasure. Tensions rise as they get closer and closer to the treasure. Stars the great Lon Chaney Jr. (**)

Chained for life (1951) – The Hamilton Sister as a novelty singing act for a vaudevillian show they are exploited by their manager because they are Siamese twins. When one of the sisters is accused of murder the courts must figure if convicted how to punish the one sister, while letting the other go free. (**)

Disk 11:

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1952) – Mark Twain’s classic tale comes to life on the small screen thank to CBS’ Studio One theater. (**)

The man with the golden arm (1955) – Frank Machine (Frank Sinatra) – is expert card dealer and heroine addict but he is out of prison after a long stay and now wants to go straight. Frank’s Wife, former card runner and drug dealers make it hard for him. (***)

Lilli Marlene (1951) – During World War II Nazis occupy a territory in Northern Africa. They take over a bar and unless the daughter sings the song “Lilli Marlene” every night they will kill her parents. (***)

Captain Scarface (1953) – Foreign spies kidnap an atomic Scientist and plot to blow up the Panama Canal, but they must deal with a less than honest but patriotic gentlemen Captain “Scarface” Tednor. (**)

Disk 12:

The trial of John Peter Zenger (1953) – Studio One’s presentation of the Libel case against newspaper publisher John Peter Zenger. (**)

The conquest of Everest (1953) – A documentary about the first assent to Mount Everest. (***)

A tale of two cities (1953) – Studio One brings Charles Dickens classic to TV screens. (**)

Road to Bali (1952) – Bob Hope and Bing Crosby team up for their sixth “road picture”. The two vaudevillians flee a double shotgun wedding and end up in Bali where they both fall for Princess Lalah (Dorothy Lamour) -. They find themselves helping her keep her throne from an evil usurper. (***)

A bolt of lightning (1951) – Studio One returns for the final entry in this collection. This episode is about a colonial American attorney named James Otis (Charlton Heston) – who fought unjust practices of ‘writs of assistance.’ (**)

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In the final analysis all 50 films are not winners, but the good far out weighs the bad. While the video quality is no pristine, it is very watchable, especially when you realize the age of most of these films.

I love these Mill Creek collections I own several myself the only downside for these when you collect these 50 movie sets you get overlapping films in collections, that I could live without; but in the end the price of less than $30 for 50 films that’s less than 60 cents a film and when was the last time you paid 60 cents to watch a film?! I highly recommend you head on over to www.Millcreekent.com or your local DVD store and pick up a copy of "The Nifty Fifties" from Mill Creek Entertainment and enjoy the days of yesteryear on DVD.

Moral Rating: Some Adult Situations
Audience: Parental Guidance
Genre: Muti-Genre
Length: Almost 66 hours
Released: 2012
Our Rating: A