The Best NFB Films of the 1950s

Films

With 3000+ films that you can stream for free, picking a starting point can be tricky!

Enjoy a (subjective) list of the 10 best NFB films from the 1950s!

A Chairy Tale

Follow our bedeviled protagonist (Claude Jutra) as he chases a chair with a mind of its own. All he wants is to sit down, but McLaren and Lambart’s lively animation results in anything but.

A Chairy Tale, Claude Jutra & Norman McLaren, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Blinkity Blank

Join a variety of lively figures as they frolic in Norman McLaren’s celluloid circus. The pioneering animator scratched his filmstrip by hand in this 1955 Cannes Palme d’Or winner for Short Film.

Blinkity Blank , Norman McLaren, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

City of Gold

Narrated by Pierre Berton, the film juxtaposes still photographs of the freewheeling past with footage of Yukon at the height of the Klondike gold rush in the 1950s.

City of Gold, Wolf Koenig & Colin Low, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Glenn Gould – Off the Record

Join the Canadian concert pianist as he enjoys some R&R at his lakeside cottage and enjoy a privileged view of his life outside the public eye. Watch the continuation: Glenn Gould – On the Record.

Glenn Gould – Off the Record, Wolf Koenig & Roman Kroitor, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Neighbours

Meet a pair of pals whose love-hate relationship comes to blows over a simple backyard flower. Norman McLaren used stop-motion techniques to animate live actors in this ingenious little film.

Neighbours, Norman McLaren, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Royal Journey

Tag along with Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh on their 1951 visit to Canada as they cross the country from coast to coast, experiencing Canadian art, culture and landscape.

Royal Journey, David Bairstow, Roger Blais & Gudrun Parker, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

The Back-breaking Leaf

Learn how tobacco crops are harvested in southwestern Ontario. Terence Macartney-Filgate’s short film portrays the hardship involved in this back-breaking work.

The Back-breaking Leaf, Terence Macartney-Filgate, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

The Living Stone

This short focuses on an old legend about the carving of the image of a sea spirit to bring food to a hungry camp.

The Living Stone, John Feeney, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

The Stratford Adventure

Enjoy this Oscar-nominated Morten Parker short that depicts how the little town of Stratford, Ontario created its own Shakespearean theatre and festival.

The Stratford Adventure, Morten Parker, provided by the National Film Board of Canada