The decade where teenage rebellion really got going and rock ‘n’ roll was unleashed on the world. 1950s b-movies were a feast to behold, giving the world some of the best schlocky low-budget b-movies to ever grace the silver screen.

Get down with our 1950s essentials and you will be the star of the coffeehouse, daddy-o.


On The Road by Jack Kerouac

On the Road (1957) by Jack Kerouac – the stoner machismo in this hippie bible is now a tad dated. The novel has inspired musicians such as Van Morrison and Bob Dylan

The Crucible (1953) is a play by Arthur Miller – written as a reaction to the McCarthy era in the early 1950s in America. This saw many government figures and people in the entertainment industry accused of being communists and subsequently blacklisted

The Doors of Perception (1954) by Aldous Huxley – an autobiographical journey into the psychedelic occurrences of a mescaline trip. The title was inspired by a line from a Blake poem and, in turn, was plundered by The Doors rock band

Things Fall Apart (1958) by Chinua Achebe – Achebe was writing in Nigeria and sent his only copy of the manuscript to England to be typed! Thankfully it survived and was later picked up by a publisher

Naked Lunch (1959) by William S. Burroughs – drug-fuelled hallucinatory wanderings. Yup, banned in Boston and Los Angeles in 1962



Big Mama Thornton
Big Mama Thornton

Big Mama Thornton – if you haven’t heard her version of ‘Hound Dog’, check it out. It is far, far…far superior to Elvis Presley’s

Elvis Presley – we couldn’t have the 1950s without The King. When listening to Elvis, it has to be the early ‘Sun’ recordings, before the movies came along.

Charlie Feathers – one of the great rockabillies of the 1950s

Wanda Jackson – the ‘Queen of Rockabilly’

Muddy Waters – influential blues musician who inspired everyone from The Beatles to Led Zeppelin



Creature from the Black Lagoon 1954

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) – a cult classic that inspired The Cramps’ 1990 track, ‘Creature from the Black Leather Lagoon’

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959) – directed by Ed Wood. Say no more

Attack of the 50ft Woman (1958) – the original riot grrrl

Rebel Without a Cause (1955) – the quintessential teenage rebel movie

The Asphalt Jungle (1950) – noir-cool with Marilyn Monroe in a supporting role