1950's
Part of the Series: 100 Years, 100 Events

1950's
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The Other America
Part of the Series: The Unfinished Nation Series
People on the margins: rural and inner city poverty. Civil Rights movement: Brown v. Board of Education, expansion of the movement. Eisenhower's Republicanism: the welfare state, the decline of McCarthyism, and the Cold War continued.
Perch of the Devil
Perch of the Devil is about the hard rock miners of Butte, Montana, and the strike of copper miners in 1959. The film reviews the history of the Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Local Union No. 1 and the many violent struggles that have happened in the mining camps of…
Broadway Express - A Historic Portrait of New York City
Shot in 1959, Michael Blackwood's first film, Broadway Express, is a portrait of the people of New York City, as experienced in the city's lively subways. Blackwood's camera captures the beautiful and chaotic choreography of the commuters. Accompanied by a sparse musical score driven by punchy snare drums and rumbling…
CIA: Covert Experiments - CIA Mind-Control Experiments in the 1950's
In August 1951, inhabitants of the picturesque French village of Pont-Saint-Esprit were suddenly tormented by terrifying hallucinations. People imagined lions and tigers were coming to eat them. A man jumped out of a window thinking he was a dragonfly. At least seven people died, dozens were taken to the local…
All My Babies: A Midwife's Own Story
When George C. Stoney was a boy delivering newspapers, he was curious about the black women with black satchels he would spot occasionally on the streets of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, before dawn. Later he learned these early risers were midwives. This is a training film about midwifery which transcends the…
New York Export: Opus Jazz - The Fusion of Jazz and Ballet Dance
In 1958, Jerome Robbins' "ballet in sneakers," NY Export: Opus Jazz, became a smash hit when it was broadcast on The Ed Sullivan Show and toured around the world. Set to an evocative jazz score by Robert Prince, the dance told the story of disaffected urban youth through movement that…
Debra Paget, For Example - The Short Career of Actress Debra Paget
Debra Paget was a contract player for 20th-Century Fox, whom they groomed and coached for stardom. But she never quite caught on. Maybe the movies weren't interesting enough. Or maybe she didn't stand out from the rest of the pack. Or the studio didn't take enough care in shaping her…
San Francisco’s Wild History Groove - Underground Artists and Poets from the California Beat Era
Rebels from the 50s, avant-garde California artists and poets turned their backs on pursuit of money and embraced a new expression of freedom. How it was to "swing" in the underground--in the shadows of American culture.
American Experience: Cold War Roadshow - The Reaction of the American Media to Nikita Khrushchev's 1959 Tour of the U.S.
PBS
This is the story of one of the most bizarre episodes in the annals of modern history--the unprecedented trip across America in 1959 by Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, the world leader of communism and America's arch nemesis. The visit was an opportunity to halt the escalating threats of the Cold…
The Beach - San Francisco’s North Beach in the 50s
True-to-the life history of San Francisco's Beat Era--The Beach recreates its vibrant atmosphere with a mix of jazz, poetry, art and first-hand accounts from that spirited time in North Beach.
Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story - Filmmaker William Castle and his Outrageous Audience Participation Gimmicks
Throughout the 1950's and 60's, William Castle produced and directed a series of horror films marked by their outrageous audience participation gimmicks. Castle treated moviegoers to buzzing seats, flying skeletons, luminescent ghosts and life insurance policies -- and they loved every minute of it. SPINE TINGLER! is a documentary about…
Trumbo - The Blacklisted Screenwriter's Fascinating Life Story
Legendary Hollywood writer Dalton Trumbo's extraordinary story is brought to life through emotionally stirring and downright hilarious performances of his letters by an all-star cast, including Michael Douglas, Liam Neeson and Donald Sutherland. Through spirited performances of his quirky, heartfelt and thoroughly engaging letters by some of the greatest actors…