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Movies Set in the 1950s

Back To The Future (1985) Rating: PG

Starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd.

In 1985, Doc Brown invents time travel; in 1955, Marty McFly accidentally prevents his parents from meeting, putting his own existence at stake. 116 minutes.

La Bamba (1987) Rating: PG-13

Starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Elizabeth Pena.

Biographical story of the rise from nowhere of singer Ritchie Valens whose life was cut short by a plane crash. 108 minutes.

Beyond The Sea (2004) Rating: PG-13

Starring Kevin Spacey and Kate Bosworth.

A swooning study of “Mack the Knife” singer Bobby Darin (Spacey) specifically, and his relationship with his wife Sandra Dee (Bosworth). 118 miutes.

Capote (2002) Rating: R

Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener.

Truman Capote (Hoffman), during his research for his book In Cold Blood, an account of the murder of a Kansas family, the writer develops a close relationship with Perry Smith, one of the killers. 114 minutes.

Chocolat (2000) Rating: PG-13

Starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp.

A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community. 121 minutes.

Cry Baby (1990) Rating: PG-13

Starring Johnny Depp and Amy Locane.

“Drape” (or Greaser) Wade Walker, also known as Cry-Baby for his ability to shed a single tear, falls head over heels for square Allison Vernon-Williams who, incidentally, is tired of being good. 85 minutes.

Ed Wood (1994) Rating: R

Starring Johnny Depp and Sarah Jessica Parker.

The mostly true story of the legendary director of awful movies and his strange group of friends and actors. 127 minutes.

Evening (2007) Rating: PG-13

Starring Vanessa Redgrave and Claire Danes.

A drama exploring the romantic past and emotional present of Ann Grant and her daughters, Constance and Nina. As Ann lays dying, she remembers, and is moved to convey to her daughters, the defining moments in her life 50 years prior, when she was a young woman. Harris is the man Ann loves in the 1950s and never forgets. 117 minutes.

Far From Heaven (2002) Rating: PG-13

Starring Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid.

In 1950s Connecticut, a housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world. 107 minutes.

Grease (1978) Rating: PG-13

Starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

Good girl Sandy and greaser Danny fell in love over the summer. But when they unexpectedly discover they’re now in the same high school, will they be able to rekindle their romance? 110 minutes.

Hollywoodland (2006) Rating: R

Starring Ben Affleck and Diane Lane.

A detective examines the mysterious death of George Reeves, TV’s Superman. 126 minutes.

The Hours (2002) Rating: PG-13

Starring Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman.

The story of how the novel “Mrs. Dalloway” affects three generations of women, all of whom, in one way or another, have had to deal with suicide in their lives. 114 minutes.

The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) Rating: PG

Starring Tim Robbins and Paul Newman.

A naive business graduate is installed as president of a manufacturing company as part of a stock scam. 111 minutes.

L.A. Confidential (1997) Rating: R

Starring Kevin Spacey and Kim Basinger.

A shooting at an all night diner is investigated by three LA policemen in their own unique ways. 138 minutes.

The Last Picture Show (1971) Rating: R

Starring Jeff Bridges and Cybill Shepherd.

A group of 50’s high schoolers come of age in a bleak, isolated, atrophied West Texas town that is slowly dying, both economically and culturally. 118 minutes.

The Majestic (2001) Rating: PG

Starring Jim Carrey and Bob Balaban.

Set in 1951, a blacklisted Hollywood writer gets into a car accident, loses his memory and settles down in a small town where he is mistaken for a long-lost son. 152 minutes.

Mona Lisa Smile (2003) Rating: PG-13

Starring Julia Roberts and Kristen Dunst.

A free-thinking art professor teaches conservative 50’s Wellesley girls to question their traditional societal roles. 117 minutes.

Pleasantville (1998) Rating: PG-13

Starring Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon.

Two 1990’s teenagers find themselves in a 1950’s sitcom where their influence begins to profoundly change that complacent world. 124 minutes.

Revolutionary Road (2008) Rating: R

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

A young couple living in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s struggle to come to terms with their personal problems while trying to raise their two children. Based on a novel by Richard Yates. 119 minutes.

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