Every so often I’ll do a film-review search on the N.Y. Times archive, which links to The Times Machine, which offers digital replicas of the all the Times issues from 1851 to 2002. Every damn time I get distracted by the movie ads placed alongside the review, and before you know it I’m lost in this or that time tunnel.

I’ve noted several stellar years for film releases (1939, 1962, 1971, 1999, 2007) in the past, but which year in the 1950s would qualify along similar lines? I’m not saying that 1954 is on the same level, but it might represent the best of that decade.