Movies Set in the Fabulous Fifties

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I was recently down and out with the flu and decided to indulge in some films set in the fifties. While these films are more recent productions, they revisit the time period splendidly.  The 1950’s is one of my favorite movie setting eras, and if you enjoy being whisked away to simpler times on screen also I think you too will love the customs, set design, and storylines of these films.



When a high school kid obsessed with the 50’s TV series “Pleasantville” is mysteriously transported to the idyllic world of the tv series with his sister the kids immediately start bringing changes to the TV fantasyland. This movie touches on the loss of American innocence and the changing roles of women in the ’50s.

Far From Heaven


Far From Heaven set in the 1950s,  tells the story of a Connecticut housewife whose life starts to fall apart at the seams, when she walks in on her husband with another man. When her tidy world starts spinning out of control. In her confusion and grief, she finds consolation in the friendship of their African-American gardener.

Catch Me If You Can


American biographical crime film based on the life of Frank Abagnale, who, before his 19th birthday, successfully performed cons worth millions of dollars by posing as a Pan American World Airways pilot, a Georgia doctor, and a Louisiana parish prosecutor.

Beyond the Sea


This biography of 1950s pop singer Bobby Darin and his wife, movie star Sandra Dee. There are musical performance scenes that are well done and very entertaining.  Who knew Kevin Spacey was such an amazing singer?



When Eilis Lacey moves from Ireland to 1950s Brooklyn, she finds romance and new life, but events in Ireland call her back home and she finds she must choose between the two countries and lives she has made in each.

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio


Based on the true story of Evelyn Ryan. Offers a revealing study of the housewife’s plight during the Eisenhower era, along with an inspiring tale of tenacity and survival against formidable odds. Evelyn is a cheerfully strong-willed mother of ten who compensates for the failings of her alcoholic husband by becoming the most successful “contester” in the country.

The Dressmaker


The Dressmaker tells the story of the beautiful and talented Tilly Dunnage, who after years working as a dressmaker in exclusive Parisian fashion houses, returns home to a town in the Australian outback to reconcile with her eccentric mother. She also falls in love with the pure-hearted Teddy. Armed with her sewing machine and haute couture style, Tilly transforms the women of the town, exacting sweet revenge on those who did her wrong. Prime members will be able to stream this title as part of their membership on March 2nd, 2017.

Julie & Julia


Julia Child’s story of the start of her cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell’s 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child’s first book.

Forrest Gump


Forrest Gump, a simple man, who finds himself present at many historic moments, but his true love, Jenny Curran, eludes him.


Stand by Me


After the death of a friend, a writer recounts a boyhood journey to find the body of a missing boy. Based on the novel by Stephen King.

The Man in The Moon


I loved this movie when it first came out, I was roughly the same age as Dani (Reese Whitherspoon’s Debut Role) when this film was released (1991). This movie is worth a re-watch as an adult, the characters are complex, the setting beautiful, and this is a touching coming of age story set in 1957-ish.

I know there are more movies set in the fifties that I missed, so dish! Tell me your fav movie set in the fifties.

If you enjoy being whisked away to simpler times on screen I think you too will love the customs, set design, and storylines of these films.


  1. Movie “Lolita” 1996 has some amazing atmosphere of that era. If you can handle the forbidden side of that movies, you will definitely enjoy it.
    Btw – LOVE your list. Just watched “Far from heaven” because of your suggestion and absolutely loved it. Thank you!


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