Best Drama Movies of 1956
The Ten Commandments
Escaping death, a Hebrew infant is raised in a royal household to become a prince. Upon discovery of his true heritage, Moses embarks on a personal quest to reclaim his destiny as the leader and liberator of the Hebrew people.
Career criminal Johnny Clay recruits a sharpshooter, a crooked police officer, a bartender and a betting teller named George, among others, for one last job before he goes straight and gets married. But when George tells his restless wife about the scheme to steal millions from the racetrack where he works, she hatches a plot of her own.
The Man Who Knew Too Much
A widescreen, Technicolor remake by Hitchcock of his 1934 film of the same title. A couple vacationing in Morocco with their young son accidentally stumble upon an assassination plot. When the child is kidnapped to ensure their silence, they have to take matters into their own hands to save him.
Wealthy rancher Bick Benedict and dirt-poor cowboy Jett Rink both woo Leslie Lynnton, a beautiful young woman from Maryland who is new to Texas. She marries Benedict, but she is shocked by the racial bigotry of the White Texans against the local people of Mexican descent. Rink discovers oil on a small plot of land, and while he uses his vast, new wealth to buy all the land surrounding the Benedict ranch, the Benedict's disagreement over prejudice fuels conflict that runs across generations.
The King and I
Widowed Welsh mother Anna Loenowens becomes a governess and English tutor to the wives and many children of the stubborn King Mongkut of Siam. Anna and the King have a clash of personalities as she works to teach the royal family about the English language, customs and etiquette, and rushes to prepare a party for a group of European diplomats who must change their opinions about the King.
The Wrong Man
In 1953, an innocent man named Christopher Emmanuel "Manny" Balestrero is arrested after being mistaken for an armed robber.
In 1841, young Ishmael signs up for service abroad the Pequod, a whaler sailing out of New Bedford. The ship is under the command of Captain Ahab, a strict disciplinarian who exhorts his men to find Moby Dick, the great white whale. Ahab lost his his leg to that creature and is desperate for revenge. As the crew soon learns, he will stop at nothing to gain satisfaction.
Lust for Life
An intense and imaginative artist, revered Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh possesses undeniable talent, but he is plagued by mental problems and frustrations with failure. Supported by his brother, Theo, the tormented Van Gogh eventually leaves Holland for France, where he meets volatile fellow painter Paul Gauguin and struggles to find greater inspiration.
Written on the Wind
Mitch Wayne is a geologist working for the Hadleys, an oil-rich Texas family. While the patriarch, Jared, works hard to establish the family business, his irresponsible son, Kyle, is an alcoholic playboy, and his daughter, Marylee, is the town tramp. Mitch harbors a secret love for Kyle's unsatisfied wife, Lucy -- a fact that leaves him exposed when the jealous Marylee accuses him of murder.
Childhood friends Tracy Lord and C.K. Dexter Haven got married and quickly divorced. Now Tracy is about to marry again, this time to a shrewd social-climbing businessman. C.K. still loves her. Spy magazine blackmails Tracy's family by threatening to reveal her playboy father's exploits if not allowed to cover the wedding. A remake of the 1940 rom com The Philadelphia Story.
War and Peace
Napoleon's tumultuous relations with Russia including his disastrous 1812 invasion serve as the backdrop for the tangled personal lives of two aristocratic families.
Somebody Up There Likes Me
The story of boxer Rocky Graziano's rise from juvenile delinquent to world champ.
The Harder They Fall
Jobless sportswriter Eddie Willis is hired by corrupt fight promoter Nick Benko to promote his current protégé, an unknown Argentinian boxer named Toro Moreno. Although Moreno is a hulking giant, his chances for success are hampered by a powder-puff punch and a glass jaw. Exploiting Willis' reputation for integrity and standing in the boxing community, Benko arranges a series of fixed fights that propel the unsophisticated Moreno to #1 contender for the championship. The reigning champ, the sadistic Buddy Brannen, harbors resentment at the publicity Toro has been receiving and vows to viciously punish him in the ring. Eddie must now decide whether or not to tell the naive Toro the truth.
Cowboys Beauregard Decker and Virgil Blessing attend a rodeo in Phoenix, where Decker falls in love with beautiful cafe singer Cherie. He wants to take Cherie back to his native Montana and marry her, but she dreams of traveling to Hollywood and becoming famous. When she resists his advances, Decker forces Cherie onto the bus back to Montana with him, but, when the bus makes an unscheduled stop due to bad weather, the tables are turned.
Bigger Than Life
When a friendly, successful suburban teacher and father is prescribed cortisone for a painful, possibly fatal affliction, he grows dangerously addicted to the experimental drug, resulting in his transformation into a psychotic and ultimately violent household despot.
Russian exiles in Paris plot to collect ten million pounds from the Bank of England by grooming a destitute, suicidal girl to pose as heir to the Russian throne. While Bounin is coaching her, he comes to believe that she is really Anastasia. In the end, the Empress must decide her claim.
Staples, a successful plant operator, is brought in from Ohio to take an executive position at Ramsey & Co. in New York. He forms a friendship with Briggs, the long-time vice president, but it soon becomes apparent that Walter Ramsey, who has inherited the position of CEO, is grooming Staples to replace Briggs. Ramsey will not fire Briggs, instead doing everything he can to humiliate and sabotage Briggs until he resigns.
The story of a family of Quakers in Indiana in 1862. Their religious sect is strongly opposed to violence and war. It's not easy for them to meet the rules of their religion in everyday life but when Southern troops pass the area they are in real trouble. Should they fight, despite their peaceful attitude?
Archie Lee Meighan is a failing cotton gin owner who is married to Baby Doll, a 19-year old childlike beauty whose father arranged the marriage for financial reasons. As Archie awaits the arrival of Baby Doll's 20th birthday, the day that they are supposed to consummate their marriage, he faces interference from business rival Silva Vacarro, who plots to seduce Baby Doll away from Meighan.
The Man Who Never Was
The true story of a British effort to trick the Germans into weakening Sicily's defenses before the 1943 attack. A dead soldier is dressed as a British officer and outfitted with faked papers showing that the Allies were intending to invade occupied Greece. His body is put into the sea where it will ultimately drift ashore and the papers be passed along to German Intelligence.
The Catered Affair
At breakfast, Jane announces that she and Ralph are getting married the next week. All Jane and Ralph want is a small wedding with the immediate family and no reception. This is because Jane's parents are poor and Jane and Ralph can borrow a car for their honeymoon. However, at dinner that night all Ralph's parents talk about are the big weddings they gave their daughters and everything escalates. All of a sudden, it is a big wedding breakfast with hundreds of guests. The problem is that for 12 years, Tom has been saving money to buy his own cab and license, but now that he can, all of his money is going towards a wedding neither he, or Jane or Ralph really want.
Tea and Sympathy
Tom Lee is more interested in the arts than in sports, something that sits uneasily with both his father and his classmates. Tom's school housemaster Bill Reynolds even gives him a hard time for his "effeminate" interests. However, Bill's wife Laura sympathizes with Tom and tries to help him with her own overtures.
7 Men from Now
Aging lawman Ben Stride burns a trail of murderous revenge across a hardscrabble landscape searching for his wife's murderers.
Yield to the Night
Locked in her cell, a murderer reflects on the events that have led her to death row.
Battle of the Bulge, World War II, 1944. Lieutenant Costa, an infantry company officer who must establish artillery observation posts in a strategic area, has serious doubts about Captain Cooney's leadership ability.
A rich man (Glenn Ford) stuns his wife (Donna Reed) and town with a televised threat to his son's kidnapper.
An innocent man turns fugitive as he reconstructs events that implicate him for a murder and robbery he did not commit.
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit
Tom Rath (Gregory Peck) is a suburban father and husband haunted by his memories of World War II, including a wartime romance with Italian village girl Maria (Marisa Pavan), which resulted in an illegitimate son he's never seen. Pressed by his unhappy wife (Jennifer Jones) to get a higher-paying job, Rath goes to work as a public relations man for television network president Ralph Hopkins (Fredric March). Drawn into poisonous office politics, Tom finds he must choose his career or his family.
A pair of men try to perform the dangerous "triple" in their trapeze act. Problems arise when the duo is made into a trio following the addition of a sexy female performer.
The Long Arm
Scotland Yard detectives attempt to solve a spate of safe robberies across England beginning with clues found at the latest burglary in London. The film is notable for using a police procedural style made popular by Ealing in their 1950 film The Blue Lamp. It is known in the US as The Third Key.
The Fastest Gun Alive
Whenever it becomes known how good he is with guns, ex-gunman George and his wife Dora have to flee the town, in fear of all the gunmen who might want to challenge him. Unfortunately he again spills his secret when he's drunk. All citizens swear to keep his secret and support him to give up his guns forever -- but a boy tells the story to a gang of wanted criminals. Their leader threatens to burn down the whole town, if he doesn't duel him.
While the City Sleeps
Newspaper men compete against each other to find a serial killer dubbed "The Lipstick Killer".
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
A newspaper publisher, wanting to prove a point about the insufficiency of circumstantial evidence, talks his possible son-in-law Tom into a hoax in an attempt to expose ineptitude of the city's hard-line district attorney. The plan is to have Tom plant clues leading to his arrest for killing a female nightclub dancer. Once Tom is found guilty, he is to reveal the setup and humiliate the DA.
Reach for the Sky
The true story of airman Douglas Bader who overcame the loss of both legs in a 1931 flying accident to become a successful fighter pilot and wing leader during World War II.
Selfish Chris Teller pressures his older brother, a retired climber, to accompany him on a treacherous Alpine climb to loot the bodies of plane crash victims.
In a totalitarian future society, a man whose daily work is rewriting history tries to rebel by falling in love.
Labor Day in a small Kansas farm town. Hal, a burly and resolute drifter, jumps off a dusty freight train car with the purpose of visiting Alan, a former college classmate and son of the richest man in town.
A Town Like Alice
In 1941, The advancing Japanese army captures a lot of British territory very quickly. The men are sent off to labor camps, but they have no plan on what to do with the women and children of the British.
The Killer Is Loose
A savings-and-loan bank is robbed; later, a police wiretap identifies teller Leon Poole as inside man. In capturing him, detective Sam Wagner accidentally kills Poole's young wife, and at his trial Poole swears vengeance against Wagner. Poole begins his plans to get revenge when he escapes his captors.
Politicians go after a small-town librarian when she refuses to ban a book. She's quickly labeled a Communist.
The Eddy Duchin Story
The life story of the famous pianist and band-leader of the 1930s and 1940s.
Death of a Scoundrel
A Czech refugee uses women to advance his business interest.
Princess Beatrice's days of enjoying the regal life are numbered unless her only daughter, Princess Alexandra, makes a good impression on a distant cousin when he pays a surprise visit to their palace. Prince Albert has searched all over Europe for a bride and he's bored by the whole courtship routine. He is more interested in the estate's dairy than Alexandra's rose garden. And then he starts playing football with the tutor and Alexandra's brothers. Invite the tutor to the ball that night and watch how gracefully Alexandra dances with him.
A Kiss Before Dying
A college student tries to get rich quick by wooing two wealthy sisters.
Captain Edward Hall returns to the USA after two years in a prison camp in the korean war. In the camp he was brainwashed and helped the Chinese convince the other prisoners that they were fighting an unjust war. When he comes back he is charged for collaboration with the enemy. Where does loyalty end in a prison camp, when the camp is a living hell?
Back from Eternity
A South American plane loaded with an assortment of characters crash lands in a remote jungle area in the middle of a storm. The passengers then discover they are in an area inhabited by vicious cannibals and must escape before they are found. A remake of Five Came Back (1939).
Love Me Tender
At the end of the Civil War, a Confederate team is ordered to rob a Union payroll train but the war ends leaving these men with their Union loot, until the Feds come looking for it.
Between Heaven and Hell
Sam Gifford remembers : In prewar years he was an arrogant southern cotton plantation owner, married to the daughter of a colonel. At the beginning of the war he was mobilized with his National Guard unit as a sergeant. Came the day when, revolted by the cowardice of his lieutenant, who had fired at his own men, he hit him. Downgraded, he was sent to a disciplinary battalion. Sam now discovers his new detachment, his new commanding officer, just another cowardly brute, Captain Waco Grimes. While in combat, Sam will gradually become closer to the privates, working-class people he used to despise. He will become another man, a better man.
The Benny Goodman Story
Young Benny Goodman is taught clarinet by a music professor. He is advised to play whichever kind of music he likes best, but to make a living, Benny begins by joining the Ben Pollack traveling band.
The Great Locomotive Chase
During the Civil War, a Union spy, Andrews, is asked to lead a band of Union soldiers into the South so that they could destroy the railway system. However, things don't go as planned when the conductor of the train that they stole is on to them and is doing everything he can to stop them. Based on a true story.