There are several threads on the topic already but because cameras (DSLR's) today use different sized sensors we need to know which one you're using. The same lens on a 1.6 crop body doesn't give the same results (FOV or DOF) on a full frame body.
Opinions will vary but my vote goes to the EF 85mm f/1.8. This is the only non-L lens I own and it's my favorite for portraits (I have the 24-105 f/4L, 24-70 II f/2.8L, 100mm f/2.8L macro, 70-200mm f/4L IS...any of which can make a nice portrait lens but none can beat the 85mm bokeh @ f/1.8.
In my opinion 50mm is not as good for portraits even for crop sensor
But the 85mm on a crop is?
I even like 50mm on a FF for portraiture, but it can be a bit uncomfortable for the model if they're not used to a camera in their face. You also have a much larger background to deal with.
That said, I'm not crazy about the 50/1.4 as a lens. I try to love it, but I don’t. The 85/1.8 is a better lens IMHO. And providing that you have the space, you can always go longer with portraits. 85mm is a workable distance on either crop or FF.