Joseph L. Mankiewicz in 1950

Pop Culture in Review for the Year 1950

While the world was recovering from the Great Depression, the first year into the 1950s was very crucial for the upcoming popular culture. The music and film industry witnessed some great hits, and as technology flourished, the cinematic experience of people also enhanced.

The pop culture of this year saw many events that changed the course of art in the upcoming years; for instance, rock and roll set out to change how classical and jazz had ruled for years. Trendier teens and adults grabbed attention, and finally, the society was up and about to accept individuality very slowly and gradually.

The following are some of the major highlights of the year 1950 with regards to pop culture – what was in and what became obsolete. Let us have a look!

Film

Walt Disney’s most eagerly awaited animated movie, Cinderella, premiered this year. It was the 12th animated movie by the production house. The immense success and popularity of animated movies since they came out for the first time in 1937, the world was waiting to see Cinderella on the big screen. And as it was speculated, the movie was a great hit and quickly became the top-grossing movie of the year 1950.

Most Popular Movies in 1950

Following is a list of most popular movies in the year 1950:

  • King Solomon’s Mines
  • All About Eve
  • Walt Disney’s Cinderella
  • Annie Get Your Gun
  • Father of the Bride
  • Sunset Boulevard
  • Born Yesterday
  • Wabash Avenue
  • At War with the Army
  • My Blue Heaven

Music

Rock & Roll Originated In USA

a retro illustration of a pin-up girl

Rock and Roll was a new style of music (a genre of popular music that drew inspiration from African American blues music, jump blues, gospel, boogie-woogie, and country music). It originated and evolved in the USA during the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Most Popular Music Artists

The most popular music artists back then in 1950 were The King: Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Mary Ford, Les Paul, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, and Ray Charles.

Hollywood

Academy Awards

Following is a list of people/films that won the 1950 Academy Awards:

  • The award for the Best Picture was given to the movie “All About Eve.”
  • The award for the Best Director was given to Joseph L. Mankiewicz for the film “All About Eve.”
  • The award for the Best Actress was given to Judy Holliday for the film “Born Yesterday.”
  • The award for the Best Actor was given to José Ferrer for the movie “Cyrano de Bergerac.”

Famous People Born This Year

Following is a list of famous people born in 1950:

  • Loyd Grossman (16th September)
  • Tom Petty (20th October)
  • Stevie Wonder (13th May)
  • Jay Leno (28th April)

Toys

There was a huge variety of collective toys, but the most popular ones in 1950 were:

  • Play-Doh
  • Silly Putty
  • Magic 8-ball
  • Frisbee
  • Slinky
  • Pogo Stick
  • Hula Hoop
  • BAS-KET Miniature Basketball
  • Spell-It
  • Fisher-Price Little People
  • Foto-Electric Baseball
  • Matchbox Cars
  • Corn Popper
  • Sharpshooter Target Practice Game
  • Feed the Elephant
  • Barbie
  • Doll Houses

Sports

The first inaugural FIA Formula One World Championship was held in Silverstone, England. The British race is the oldest one amongst all and is still being held annually since it was inaugurated in 1950. Guiseppe Nino of the Alfa Romeo won this historic race wherein the World Championship of Drivers was introduced.

Radio

The year 1950 marked the starting of one of the most popular and longest-running radio soap operas, “The Archers.” This soap opera spanned about 19,200 episodes and was aired on the BBC radio. The series had its pilot released in 1950, which then converted the series into an iconic one with unmatched popularity.

Fashion

People Began To Feel More Freedom

The different thing that happened in 1950 was that people started to feel a bit more freedom when it came to their fashion choices. They no longer felt that they had to conform to a certain look according to certain situations. Some women preferred the snug fit of the dresses while others were into dresses with no waistline, also known as sack dresses.

Television

Texaco Star Theatre

The most-watched TV show in 1950 was Texaco Star Theatre, which premiered in 1948. It was an American comedy-variety show that quickly became a hit when it was broadcast on the TV from 1948 to 1956.

More and More People Had TVs at Home

At the beginning of the new decade, people bought a lot of TV sets, which was proven a bit problematic for the cinema industry. People preferred watching movies in their home theatres with their family instead of going to cinemas. But still, 1950 was the year when the cinema industry was flourishing.

Top TV Shows in 1950

Following is a list of top TV shows in 1950:

  • Texaco Star Theatre (NBC)
  • Fireside Theatre (NBC)
  • Philco TV Playhouse (NBC)
  • Your Show of Shows (NBC)
  • The Colgate Comedy Hour (NBC)
  • Gillette Cavalcade of Sports (NBC)
  • The Lone Ranger (ABC)
  • Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts (CBS)
  • Hopalong Cassidy (NBC)
  • Mama (CBS)

News

Automobile Industry Established a New All-Time Production Record

In 1950, a new all-time production record was established in the USA for the second successive year. Total production was 7,987,000 vehicles. This means that people had more money to buy luxuries in order to make their life easier.

Manufacturers Introduced New “Small” Cars 

Several automobile manufacturers introduced new small cars to meet the requirements of customers that belong to the middle class. Their goal was to make an economical car for middle-income families and introduce a car whose price can easily be paid by people who had to buy used cars because of a low budget.

Comic World

2nd October 1950 is the birth of the most popular comic series that most of the baby boomers remember and love. The brainchild of Charles M. Schulz, “Peanuts” appeared in about seven newspapers across the country.

At that time, the comic strip introduced only three characters, including our all-time favorite, Charlie Brown, Patty, and Shermy.

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