Special Report

Once Popular Movies That Are Now All But Forgotten

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

45. Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)
> Ticket sale to IMDb review ratio: 4,386.1 tickets per review
> Inflation-adjusted box office: $257.8 million (28.1 million tickets)
> IMDb audience rating: 6.9/10 (6,417 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 81% (9,184 reviews)
> Starring: Julie Andrews, James Fox, Mary Tyler Moore

Veteran actress Julie Andrews plays the title character in this musical send-up of the roaring ’20s. Upon moving to New York City, Millie sets her sights on marrying her wealthy boss. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning for Best Score.

Source: Archive Photos / Moviepix via Getty Images

44. The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956)
> Ticket sale to IMDb review ratio: 4,590.1 tickets per review
> Inflation-adjusted box office: $156.2 million (17.0 million tickets)
> IMDb audience rating: 7.1/10 (3,714 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 73% (1,784 reviews)
> Starring: Gregory Peck, Jennifer Jones, Fredric March

A former WWII soldier (Peck) struggles to support his family and move past his traumas in this touching drama. “The film may seem mediocre now (it did back then), but it probably speaks volumes about the period,” wrote critic Jonathan Rosenbaum for Chicago Reader.

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

43. Show Boat (1951)
> Ticket sale to IMDb review ratio: 4,706.1 tickets per review
> Inflation-adjusted box office: $211.9 million (23.1 million tickets)
> IMDb audience rating: 6.9/10 (4,917 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 70% (5,462 reviews)
> Starring: Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, Howard Keel

This Technicolor musical is the third and most successful film adaptation of a 1920s play based on Edna Ferber’s novel of the same name. It centers on the various characters who work for a traveling show boat on the Mississippi river. A number of changes were made to the original play – which incorporated themes of racial inequality – so as to sanitize the material for mass audiences.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

42. The Pride and the Passion (1957)
> Ticket sale to IMDb review ratio: 4,777.1 tickets per review
> Inflation-adjusted box office: $121.2 million (13.2 million tickets)
> IMDb audience rating: 5.7/10 (2,770 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 25% (1,642 reviews)
> Starring: Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Sophia Loren

Set during the Napoleonic Wars, this historical drama follows Spanish forces as they try to keep a powerful cannon out of French hands. It scored big at the box office but nevertheless lost money due to high production costs. Director Stanley Kramer later called it “one of the most difficult and disappointing experiences” of his Hollywood career.

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

41. I’ll Cry Tomorrow (1955)
> Ticket sale to IMDb review ratio: 4,839.1 tickets per review
> Inflation-adjusted box office: $94.7 million (10.3 million tickets)
> IMDb audience rating: 7.2/10 (2,137 reviews)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 74% (415 reviews)
> Starring: Susan Hayward, Richard Conte, Eddie Albert

An entertainer’s (Hayward) path to fortune and fame is nearly derailed by alcoholism in this heralded biopic. It’s based on the real life of actress and singer Lillian Roth, whose best-selling memoir went by the same name.

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