The Most Popular Movie the Year You Were Born

These movies gave us some of the greatest moments in cinematic history.

popular movies year born best
TechPluz.com

A film's popularity isn't always defined by Oscar wins and ticket sales. These movies have all made their mark on pop culture and given us lines that we're still quoting years after their release. We'll never let go ... we'll never let go ...

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1950 — All About Eve

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It’s a best picture winner and one of AFI’s Top 100 Movies of All Time. It’s also Bette Davis at her finest: "Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy night."

More: 22 Gifts Any Movie Lover Would Actually Want to Receive

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1951 — A Streetcar Named Desire

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Adapting a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tennessee Williams and hiring stars like Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando as leads is definitely one way to achieve box-office success. Streetcar was also critically acclaimed and won four Oscars.

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1952 — Singin' in the Rain

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It’s one of those meta Hollywood movies about making movies, and it’s iconic. It’s also almost impossible to say “good morning” to someone without that song popping into your head.

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1953 — Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

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Marilyn Monroe’s performance of “Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend” has inspired everything from Madonna to Moulin Rouge! and it just keeps renewing its spot in the pop culture zeitgeist as the years go on.

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1954 — Godzilla

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This Japanese monster movie may not have won any Oscars, but the big guy certainly made an impression. Hollywood keeps trying to make an American adaptation that sticks.

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1955 — Rebel Without a Cause

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Rebel showcases the gone-too-soon talent of James Dean, who died before it was released. It also made Griffith Observatory a must-see tourist destination for anyone visiting Los Angeles.

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1956 — The King and I

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Whenever you “whistle a happy tune,” you can think of this Oscar-winner about an English woman hired by the king of Siam to teach his children.

Fun fact: Marni Nixon was paid $10,000 for providing the singing voice for Deborah Kerr’s Anna.

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1957 — Old Yeller

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You know that depressing movie sub-genre about dying pets? Thank Disney’s Old Yeller for that one. Based on the award-winning book of the same name, this movie traumatized taught generations of kids with its lesson about life and death.

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1958 — Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

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You can take the 1951 A Streetcar Named Desire info and apply it here again. Tennessee Williams + Hollywood megastars = GOLD. Elizabeth Taylor gave her all in the role of Maggie, despite her husband, Mike Todd, dying in a plane crash shortly after production started.

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1959 — Ben-Hur

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This remake of a silent film from 1925 had the largest (at the time) budget in movie history. It was such a success that it saved MGM from folding.

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1960 — Psycho

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The fact that it’s been nearly 60 years since this movie hit theaters and people still know who Norman Bates is serves as a testament to the power of Hitchcock. It also sort of ruined shower curtains forever.

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1961 — Breakfast at Tiffany’s

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Tiffany & Co. has actually started serving breakfast at their Blue Box Café over 50 years after Audrey Hepburn made it the glamorous thing to do. Holly Golightly is eternal!

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1962 — What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

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Feuding co-stars Bette Davis and Joan Crawford play sisters living together and loathing every minute of it. It's a camp classic with dialogue you'll be quoting for days after viewing.

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1963 — Cleopatra

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This Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton collaboration was the highest-earning film of '63, but it actually lost money because of its $44 million production budget. Not to be outdone by 1959’s Ben-Hur, Cleopatra became the most expensive film ever produced (at the time) and nearly sent 20th Century Fox into bankruptcy.

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1964 — Mary Poppins

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Just a spoonful of sugar and nearly 2.5 hours of pure joy made this Disney musical the success that it was — so much so that they decided to make a sequel over a half-century later.

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1965 — The Sound of Music

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Two years in a row of Julie Andrews doing her thing! Who would’ve thought that a movie about a family singing their way out of Austria in World War II would have such widespread and longstanding appeal?

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1966 — Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

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Marital strife may not be a ton of fun to watch, but audiences still flocked to see the performances that won Elizabeth Taylor and Sandy Dennis Oscars.

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1967 — The Graduate

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Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson! This is one of those rare cinematic achievements where the soundtrack is as good as the film it accompanies.

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1968 — Planet of the Apes

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Apes launched a film franchise that's still going strong 50 years later! Also, Charlton Heston’s final moment in the film is flat-out glorious.

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1969 — Midnight Cowboy

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An X-rated movie about male prostitutes in New York City isn’t an easy sell, and yet it managed to make over $44 million at the box office and take home three Oscars. That Dustin Hoffman star power burns bright!

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1970 — Airport

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This star-studded disaster movie made over $100 million on a $10.2 million budget, but most importantly, it inspired the 1980 comedy classic Airplane! Surely, you must have seen it?

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1971 — Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

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The candy man can ... and did! This adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book didn’t break any box-office records, but it has since become a childhood staple.

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1972 — The Poseidon Adventure

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1970’s Airport set the precedent that the decade to come would be all about big-budget disaster movies. Poseidon takes the drama from the sky to sea and features Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters, Roddy McDowall, Leslie Nielsen, and many more.

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1973 — The Sting

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This Paul Newman/Robert Redford caper is one of the highest-grossing films of all-time (when adjusted for inflation), and it won seven Oscars, including best picture. The 1983 sequel? Not so much.

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1974 — The Towering Inferno

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Here’s another classic ‘70s disaster movie. This one involves a fire in a San Francisco high-rise and boasts a cast that includes Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Faye Dunaway, and Fred Astaire.

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1975 — The Rocky Horror Picture Show

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Rocky Horror wasn't just a hit in 1975. It continues to be a hit with midnight screenings taking place every week in theaters around the country. People can’t stop (and won’t stop) doing "The Time Warp."

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1976 — A Star Is Born

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Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson star in the third version of this musical drama. It made $80 million in the United States on a budget of $6 million. It’s no wonder Bradley Cooper couldn’t resist making it again.

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1977 — Star Wars: A New Hope

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Oh, this little movie. Why didn't they ever make another one of these?

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1978 — Superman: The Movie

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Long before superhero movies were a dime a dozen, there was Christopher Reeve as the last son of Krypton. Reeve played Superman in three sequels before passing on the cape.

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1979 — Alien

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Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley is the badass heroine that every movie franchise should aspire to have. It may have only been the sixth highest-grossing movie of the year, but the Xenomorph still reigns supreme in the sci-fi universe.