Rock Hudson Movies

Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman in 1954's Magnificent Obsession

Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman in 1954’s Magnificent Obsession

Want to know the best Rock Hudson movies?  How about the worst Rock Hudson movies?  Curious about Rock Hudson’s box office grosses or which Rock Hudson movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Rock Hudson movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

Since I started my new hobby, Ultimate Movie Rankings, my mother has been requesting a Rock Hudson page. So since she is my mother, and since she is such a good mother, what can a son do other than produce a Rock Hudson page.

Hudson was born Roy Harold Scherer, Jr in 1925. After serving as a mechanic in World War II, Hudson moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. He appeared in his first film in 1948’s Fighter Squadron.  His first big success was 1954’s Magnificent Obsession (one of my mom’s favorites) with Jane Wyman.In 1956 he appeared in Giant which co-starred James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor. It was his biggest hit of his career and earned over $454 million in adjusted for inflation dollars at the box office and Hudson received his only Oscar® nomination for his role as Bick Benedict.

The peak of his career was the time frame of 1957-1964, he appeared on Quigley Publishing’s Top Ten Stars every year, including the top spot in 1957 and 1959. During this time span he made three very popular romantic comedies with Doris Day. The best of those three movies is the classic 1959 film Pillow Talk (my mom’s second favorite Hudson movie).  After 1964’s Send Me No Flowers, his movie grosses started to decline. By 1970 his movies were no longer popular at the theaters. He then turned towards television, most notably a show called McMillan and Wife which ran from 1971 to 1977. In 1985 he passed away from an AIDS related illness.

His IMDb page shows 75 acting credits from 1948-1985. This page will rank 50 Rock Hudson movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information. Television shows, shorts, cameos and movies that were not released in theaters were not included in the rankings.

Doris Day and Rock Hudson in 1959's Pillow Talk

Doris Day and Rock Hudson in 1959’s Pillow Talk

Rock Hudson Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Rock Hudson movies by co-stars of his movies.
  • Sort Rock Hudson movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)
  • Sort Rock Hudson movies by yearly domestic box office rank
  • Sort Rock Hudson movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations each Michael Biehn movie received and how many Oscar® wins each Rock Hudson movie won.
  • Sort Rock Hudson movies by Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
  • Use the search and sort button to make this page very interactive.  For example: Type in Doris Day in the search box and the three Day/Hudson movies will pop right up.

 Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Rock Hudson Table

  1. Thirteen Rock Hudson movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 25.49% of his movies listed. Giant (1956) is his biggest box office ht when looking at adjusted domestic box office gross.
  2. An average Rock Hudson movie grosses $91.90 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using’s 60% fresh meter.  31 of Rock Hudson’s movies are rated as good movies…or 60.78% of his movies. Winchester ’73 (1950) is his highest rated movie while Embryo (1976) was his lowest rated movie.
  4. Twelve Rock Hudson movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 23.52% of his movies.
  5. Three Rock Hudson movies won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 5.88% of his movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score is 40.00.  24 Rock Hudson movies scored higher than that average….or 47.05% of his movies.  Giant (1956) got the the highest UMR Score while Embryo (1976) got the lowest UMR Score.
Rock Hudson in 1956's Giant

Rock Hudson in 1956’s Giant

Check out Rock Hudson’s career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.

Academy Award® and Oscar® are the registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences.


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67 thoughts on “Rock Hudson Movies

  1. 1 The appearance of Rock’s update is timely because we have been discussing Chaplin over the past few days and it reminded me of my watching TV coverage back in 1966 of Charlie’s arrival at Pinewood studios England to make A Countess from Hong Kong (released 1967).

    2 As he was CHAPLIN most of the entire lot turned out to greet him including the studio executives and Charlie’s stars Brando and Loren, and of course as well as the TV cameras there was a throng of reporters present. Inadvertently the cameras caught a glimpse of Rock Hudson at a far corner of the site with his head craned round the side of a building as if he was extremely curious about the proceedings but wanted to distance himself from them. It always puzzled me particularly as I never knew what he was doing there as he was not filming at Pinewood that year.

    3 With his early action/adventure yarns, mid 50s weepies and end 50s/ early 60s comedies with Doris and La Lollo Rock gave us a bright and interesting career so I was very pleased to see the update and though it raises his $100 million crashers to just 13 – well done Young Bull ! – nevertheless the revisions substantially increase his overall adjusted gross


      II loved the colour still of Rock on the cover page to the update and the Rock/Doris one on on the updated page itself – eat your heart out Steve ! BOB

      1. Glad you liked our selections…about to add my brand new Doris Day autograph to my Day page. Too bad Rock is no longer with us.

    2. Hey Bob….interesting story about Hudson and Chaplin… makes you wonder the whole story of how he got there and what he was thinking about. Hudson has always been one of my mom’s favorites….though I do not think she really is concerned about the new numbers. Thanks for the comment.

  2. 1 Rock is not in my top 21 fave performers but I still immensely enjoyed his movies in the 1950s/early 60s and his widespread popularity was such in his heyday that he was even billed above the ever-popular Doris in their movies together and one film journalist quipped that he was so popular that “even dogs follow him about.” Accordingly his career has always been of great historic interest to me and I have been patiently waiting for Bruce to find the time to do his update; so you will appreciate that the appearance meanwhile of your Hudson video pleased me and indeed it makes an excellent ‘companion piece’ for your video on Doris a few days ago.

    2 I see his career as falling into 3 phases (a) largely B movies/modest-scale films from 1948 until he became a star with the 1954 Magnificent Obsession (b) his very peak years from that point until about 1962 (c) his sharp decline from then onward; and I was curious to see your split between the 3 eras .

    3 VIDEO COMMENTS (1) your split was 6 from phase (a) 14 from his peak years and 10 from the final phase (2) quite right with choice No 30 as Pretty Maids all in a Row was a dire attempt to revive his career (3) I was disappointed with the relatively low placings of Magnificent Obsession and All that heaven Allows as I thought they were his two best movies and the latter is regarded by historians as a minor classic in view of its astute observations on American society in the 1950s (4) super posters for Back to God’s Country, Bend of the River and a Farewell to Arms and a simply marvellous posed still from The Last Sunset (5) I can’t get my head round you including Winchester 73 as No 2 as Rock had little more than a cameo in it and I’m sure that I’m in a minority of one but I always thought Giant a huge sprawling bore not helped by in my view Dean’s ridiculous performance [pity Laddie turned that part down] (6) however you redeemed yourself in my eyes by making the enthralling Tarnished Angels and Seconds Nos 5 and 3 and by recognising A Gathering of Eagles which was in its day a huge commercial flop and very much underrated artistically. (7) and saving the good wine for the last I must mention that whilst you and Bruce are in broad sync about 3 of the top 5 he seems to agree with me about All that Heaven Allows so to paraphrase an old saying “You can’t lose em all.”

    4 Overall a fine resume’ of the career of a tragic but great star of yesterday albeit for a relatively brief period. His own acting idol was Spencer Tracy.

    1. Hi Bob, let’s have a look… ah okay, the highest score for All that Heaven Allows was by a Radio Times reviewer who gave it 8 out of 10, which gave it an average score of about 7.5, which is not too bad, even Rock’s no.1 Giant failed to reach 9 points. By comparison The Great Kate has 4 films scoring 9 and over.

      The same thing again with Magnificent Obsession, a score of 8 from the RT and an average of 7.3, I think many modern critics raise their noses at the high drama and mawkishness of those films.

      I agree with you on Giant, it’s a great looking film, a good looking cast of actors but it is overlong and dull. James Dean, especially in the latter half, did not convince.

      As for Winchester 73, I wanted to include an early Hudson role and even found a poster with his image on it! [pats himself on the back] Meanwhile Bruce has that film as Rock’s no.1 on the critics chart.

      None of Rock’s films are among my all time favorites but I guess I would count Ice Station Zebra as a guilty pleasure. 🙂


      1. 1 ROCK

        I noticed Bruce had Winchester 73 as No 1 but didn’t have the courage to challenge HIS ranking !

        2 QUIGLEY

        I think Bruce’s 1939 table illustrates how much out of sync with actual box office performance Quigley often was, the Henry Fonda and Alice Faye entries especially showing how ridiculous the whole thing was. Also because he was bogged down longer than usual on the set of GWTW Clark Gable has you will see just one movie credited to him in 1939 but when he got back into his stride the following year the figures for 1940 were
        The King 1,300,000,000
        Mickey 365,000,000

        I would love to do a Rooney/Gable comparison for the whole of the 40s but Bruce has yet to give us his Rooney update and anyway the King was away for a time in military service..

        1. Hey Bob….I will make sure I get Rooney updated…I am thinking I can add in many more of his movies since I first wrote that page. I found the 1939 Quigley page very interesting….and has me even more convinced their lists had nothing to do with what actually happened at the box office. Thanks for the input.

      2. Hey now….keep me out if it… Rock does have the 10th billing in Winchester 73….and his performance as Young Bull has been singled out as the main reason this is considered an all-time great western.

        1. 1 BRUCE: Was that the part Spence was fighting for – the 10th billed one in Winchester 73? And what do you mean by “keep me out of it”? You ARE it ! As Jack Nicholson said about Bud “HE is the marker.” which Martin Scorsese echoed by saying “His is the standard by which everything else is judged.”

          2 But seriously do you not think that both Young Bull and Lin McAdam were outshone by that wonderful raft of other character actors with iconic names like Dutch Henry Brown, High Spade and Waco Johnny Dean? -and look at Will Geers’s delicious. performance as Wyatt Earp.

          3 For me Winchester 73 was the start of Stewart’s best run of movies which was from 1950 -1955 and included those other fine westerns Bend of the River, Naked Spur
          Far Country, The Man from Laramie (which I though the weakest of his early 50s westerns) the oil drama Thunder Bay and of course Glenn Miller and Rear Window. It is hard to think of another actor who had such a succession of thoroughly entertaining movies within such a short period though by Night Passage in 1957 the magic was starting to fade for me as least in relation to the type of westerns he was churning out in the early 50s . Even his ‘young man’ in Liberty Valance didn’t bring it back and indeed in an interview at the time (1962) he said he was worried that making westerns being quite strenuous participation in the genre was starting to tire him physically.

          4 I have never considered Young Bull as part of a Hudson cycle but as always you have a point because subsequently and before he hit the big time Rock was in a series of very fine B westerns -Lawless Breed, Horizons West, Gun Fury – and of course he had a large part in Stewarts Bend of River so maybe going on the warpath as Young Bull set him up for those breaks. Where he really took audiences and critics alike by surprise was by demonstrating how well he could do comedy in the Doris Day movies and Come September. Anyway as always great having these exchanges with you and Steve – but please don’t spoil it by starting to agree with me or each other ! BOB

          PS BRUCE Try and get to see Selleck in the brilliant Jesse Stone series if you have missed it ti date – there is surely a DVD box set.

          1. Hey Bob….Rock in Winchester 73 represents one of our biggest issues here…..mainly that a supporting role gets the same points as the lead role. Surely other than friends and family members…nobody was seeing Winchester because of Rock.

            Still….of all the movies he appeared in….this got the best reviews. I agree this got Stewart going again….but I would say his 1938 to 1941….was pretty good too. I will keep an eye out for that DVD….thanks for the suggestion.

    1. 1 Magnificent Obsession (1954)and All that Heaven Allows (1955) both with Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman are two of my All Time Favourite Movies. The former was by far the bigger box office success but some critics regard the 1955 movie as a minor classic as it is credited with providing astute social commentary on American society in the 1950s.

      2 In relation to stardom Magnificent Obsession is a case of history repeating itself as it made a major star of Robert Taylor in the 1935 version with Irene Dunne and again of Rock Hudson in the 1954 remake. In a TV interview that I saw Rock agreed with that analysis.


      1. Hey Bob.
        1. Good to know that the Hudson/Wyman double shot are among your favorites….I have not see either….though I probably saw most of Magnificent Obsession over the years growing up….as my mom wore out her VHS copy of that one. I agree both of their movies crossed the $100 million mark…..which is the same amount he and Day did…though I imagine with the update that is coming for this page that Send Me Flowers will make it 3 Day/Hudson movies that make it to $100 million.
        2. Yep Magnificent Obsession did the same exact thing for Hudson and Robert Taylor….made them a star.
        Thanks for sharing some of your Hudson movie knowledge with us.

  3. BRUCE

    1 We talked about Tony Curtis recently and as always you got me thinking. He was THE pinup boy among young girls in my own youth in Belfast; and the boys copied his hair style. Before Burt put him in Trapeze and. Sweet Smell of Success which earned him rave critical reviews and showed he was much more than a ‘haircut’ he did a string of B movies that I loved. Six Bridges to Cross was my favourite. The trivia stories that quickly spring to mind about him are the following.

    2 He idolised Cary Grant and he did impersonations of the latter at parties. He gave us one in Some Like it Hot.

    3. He was friendly with Matthau and once when he and Walter were going in different directions on opposite sides of a busy street he shouted across to Walt that he, Tony, had dated an actress they both knew. I’ll not repeat his exact words !

    4 In an interview he claimed that in the early years he shared a flat with Marlon but wouldn’t be drawn on the activities there for fear of offending Brando.

    5 He was generous in his praise of other actors. He said that “Working with Burt was like being near a furnace.” And he suggested that America underrated Charles Bronson because, although the grosses of Charlie’s stand-alone films were not high in the US, Bronson was massive outside the States.

    6 Like his idol he ‘bitched’ from time -to-time about being unappreciated by Oscar. He seemed to put that down to his coming from the Bronx and critics making fun of the way that he spoke his lines as supposedly in the fabled “Yonda lies de castle of my fada.”

    7 Personally I found his vocal delivery very pleasant and in fact think it might have been one of his calling-cards with wider audiences whatever the ‘intellectual snobs’ said. My own father hated Brando because the lout in. Streetcar and the longshoreman in Waterfront didn’t speak like Sir Laurence Olivier. [I’ve said that Bud was my 10th fave actor, two spots below Tony in fact, and if I showed my dad any reviews that praised Bud in those films he would claim that they were fake and that I had counterfeited them! – HE was a Duke and Randolph Scott idolater.]

    8 I’ll let you get on as I’m sure that with all those highly educational stats that you give us you have more to do that stay with me while I indulge myself with nostalgia.

    Best wishes BOB

    1. Hey Bob.
      1. Wiping away the dust on this page….Rock Hudson was one of my mom’s favorites….but this page has been a dud for some reason….looking at the stats…this has gotten a whopping 191 hits since 2016 began….it is actually one of the few pages that did better on the previous sites….mmmmm….I wonder why…..ok….back to your comment.
      2. Tony Curtis is on our request list….and we have done some preliminary research on his movies…his better movies are easy to find…but boy does he have some serious flops in his resume.
      3. I read that the reason he signed up for sub duty in World War 2 was because of Grant’s Destination Tokyo….he had to be on cloud nine when they made Operation Petticoat together.
      4. Interesting story about him and Walter M.
      5. Brando and Curtis roommates….wow…..that would have been fun to see.
      6. He got one Oscar nomination….I wonder which performances he felt he got ignored on…I would say his Boston Strangler role was pretty impressive…but other than that and The Defiant Ones…..not sure if any others really jump out at me.
      7. Seems that the Brando approach to acting was the extreme opposite of Scott and Wayne’s approach. That had to make for some interesting conversations between you and your dad.
      8. I had those types of conversations with my dad too…..and now I have those conversations with my older boys….I get a kick out of reminding them that 15 years ago they thought Adam Sandler was the greatest actor on Earth!
      And finally sounds like I need to get that Tony Curtis page done.

      1. BRUCE:

        1 My Dad always had to have the last word. So out of contrariness I pretended to hate Wayne and that my Brando was my greatest Favourite.

        2 I read a comment by Jimmy Stewart when he was making Liberty Valance that he was getting a bit old for westerns. He went on to joke that Duke and he were having to be helped onto their horses those days by John Ford. I recounted the latter comment to my dad, put presented it as a FACT. He jumped up and retorted ” I read that Brando has to be helped onto his horse!”

        3 In a way it all backfired on him. I never initially had any interest in Marlon in those days because to me as a teenager his films were too much “dry goods” to be entertaining. but my dad’s preoccupation with hating him made me feel that I had to defend Brando so he became “mine” and began to grow on me – but only as far as 10 ! . Jimmy, Peck’ Widmark, Ladd et all were still ‘THE MEN” [no pun intended].

        Best wishes BOB

        1. Hey Bob….
          1. Hey….weird….my dad always had the last word too….lol.
          2. Funny funny…..that sounds like a conversation between me and my 23 year old….he once thought he knew as much about movies that I did……I give him credit for his knowledge on current movies…..he MIGHT have me beat there…..but when we get to movies made before he was born…he is clueless (even if he took some film classes in college and watched some old classics)….so I told him…he only knows 40% of me when it comes to movies… every time he gets some movie trivia correct he snorts….”40 percent…yeah right”.
          3. It is amazing how you start to like an actor….I like Michael Caine because he and my dad look alike….I like Bruce Willis because he did some theater work in my area before becoming a star…and you like Bud because of your father.
          Thanks for sharing another great memory.

          1. BOB
            1 The more ridiculous the Brando story the more it wound up my dad, so in a way the far-fetched publicity that Marlon usually got suited my purposes

            2 Indeed so far fetched was a lot of the stuff about him (and later the Burtons) that if I repeated too much of it your readers would regard me as a Walter Mitty figure. But try on just this one for size..

            3 David Lean was casting Lawrence of Arabia and Brando was one of those he was considering for the lead. They discussed on the phone some of the qualities that would be required for the part and Lean emphasised that, Lawrence was a chameleon like figure who could blend into the desert and become invisible. Therefore the actor who played him had to be able to convey that and Lean was worried that Brando, like nearly all of those big stars with great screen presence, might simply be too strong for the role. They agreed to meet for dinner to discuss the matter further.

            4 Lean turned up and the restaurant and stood close to one of the walls in the foyer. Fifteen minutes passed and no Bud so Lean became impatient and irritable.
            He decided to give Bud 5 more minutes and -no pun – he leaned against the wall to relax. The wall moved and turning round David saw that – it was Brando.

            Best wishes BOB

          2. Hey Bob.
            1 & 2. Very funny.
            3. Brando as Lawrence that would have interesting….and they might still be in the desert still filming….lol. I imagine their might be an entire book worth of stories about Brando and meetings for future movies. Thanks for sharing this one about Brando and Lean.
            4. I will add it to my mental collection of his meetings with Terry Gilliam, Babs, and so many others.
            Thanks for sharing.

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