Best Drama Movies of 1958
Touch of Evil
When a car bomb explodes on the American side of the U.S./Mexico border, Mexican drug enforcement agent Miguel Vargas begins his investigation, along with American police captain Hank Quinlan. When Vargas begins to suspect that Quinlan and his shady partner, Menzies, are planting evidence to frame an innocent man, his investigations into their possible corruption quickly put himself and his new bride, Susie, in jeopardy.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
An alcoholic ex-football player drinks his days away, having failed to come to terms with his sexuality and his real feelings for his football buddy who died after an ambiguous accident. His wife is crucified by her desperation to make him desire her: but he resists the affections of his wife. His reunion with his father—who is dying of cancer—jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.
The Big Country
Retired wealthy sea captain Jim McKay arrives in the vast expanse of the West to marry fiancée Pat Terrill. McKay is a man whose values and approach to life are a mystery to the ranchers and ranch foreman Steve Leech takes an immediate dislike to him. Pat is spoiled, selfish and controlled by her wealthy father, Major Henry Terrill. The Major is involved in a ruthless civil war, over watering rights for cattle, with a rough hewn clan led by Rufus Hannassey. The land in question is owned by Julie Maragon and both Terrill and Hannassey want it.
A Night to Remember
The sinking of the Titanic is presented in a highly realistic fashion in this tense British drama. The disaster is portrayed largely from the perspective of the ocean liner's second officer, Charles Lightoller. Despite numerous warnings about ice, the ship sails on, with Capt. Edward John Smith keeping it going at a steady clip. When the doomed vessel finally hits an iceberg, the crew and passengers discover that they lack enough lifeboats, and tragedy follows.
The Defiant Ones
Two convicts—a white racist and an angry black man—escape while chained to each other.
Industrialist François Delambre is called late at night by his sister-in-law, Helene Delambre, who tells him that she has just killed her husband, André. Reluctant at first, she eventually explains to the police that André invented a matter transportation apparatus and, while experimenting on himself, a fly entered the chamber during the matter transference.
The Long, Hot Summer
Ben Quick arrives in Frenchman's Bend, MS after being kicked out of another town for allegedly burning a barn for revenge. Will Varner owns just about everything in Frenchman's Bend and he hires Ben to work in his store. Will thinks his own son, Jody, who manages the store, lacks ambition and despairs him getting his wife, Eula, pregnant. Will thinks his daughter, Clara, a schoolteacher, will never get married. He decides that Ben Quick might make a good husband for Clara to bring some new blood into the family.
Run Silent, Run Deep
The captain of a submarine sunk by the Japanese during WWII is finally given a chance to skipper another sub after a year of working a desk job. His singleminded determination for revenge against the destroyer that sunk his previous vessel puts his new crew in unneccessary danger.
The relationship between Lelia, a light-skinned black woman, and Tony, a white man is put in jeopardy when Tony meets Lelia’s darker-skinned jazz singer brother, Hugh, and discovers that her racial heritage is not what he thought it was.
Einar, brutal son of Ragnar and future heir to his throne, tangles with Eric, a wily slave, for the hand of a beautiful English maiden.
Ten-year-old orphan Patrick Dennis has come to live with his marvelously madcap Auntie Mame, who lives life to the hilt. "Life is a banquet," Mame says, "and most poor suckers are starving to death!"
Man of the West
Heading east to Fort Worth to hire a schoolteacher for his frontier town home, Link Jones is stranded with singer Billie Ellis and gambler Sam Beasley when their train is held up. For shelter, Jones leads them to his nearby former home, where he was brought up an outlaw. Finding the gang still living in the shack, Jones pretends to be ready to return to a life crime.
The Old Man and the Sea
Santiago is an aging, down-on-his-luck, Cuban fisherman who, after catching nothing for nearly 3 months, hooks a huge Marlin and struggles to land it far out in the Gulf Stream.
An Italian socialite on the run signs on as housekeeper for a widower with three children.
Ice Cold in Alex
A group of army personnel and nurses attempt a dangerous and arduous trek across the deserts of North Africa during the second world war. The leader of the team dreams of his ice cold beer when he reaches Alexandria.
A Time to Love and a Time to Die
A German soldier home on leave falls in love with a girl, then returns to World War II.
No Time for Sergeants
Georgia farm boy Will Stockdale is about to bust with pride. He’s been drafted. Will’s ready. But is Uncle Sam ready for Will? In No Time for Sergeants, Andy Griffith is certifiably funny in the role that clinched his stardom. Wearing a friendly, wide grin, he ambles into the U.S. Air Force – and lots of folks’ll never be the same.
I Want to Live!
Barbara Graham is a woman with dubious moral standards, often a guest in seedy bars. She has been sentenced for some petty crimes. Two men she knows murder an older woman. When they get caught they start to think that Barbara has helped the police arresting them. As a revenge they tell the police that Barbara is the murderer.
The Last Hurrah
In a changing world where television has become the main source of information, Adam Caulfield, a young sports journalist, witnesses how his uncle, Frank Skeffington, a veteran and honest politician, mayor of a New England town, tries to be reelected while bankers and captains of industry conspire in the shadows to place a weak and manageable candidate in the city hall.
In San Francisco, a psychopathic gangster and his mentor retrieve heroin packages carried by unsuspecting travelers.
Home Before Dark
A young woman returns home after being institutionalized in a mental hospital.
Some Came Running
Hard-drinking novelist Dave Hirsh returns home after being gone for years. His brother wants Dave to settle down, and introduces him to English teacher Gwen French. Moody Dave resents his brother, and spends his days hanging out with Bama Dillert, a professional gambler who parties late into the night. Torn between the admiring Gwen and Ginny Morehead, an easy woman who loves him, Dave grows increasingly angry.
Murder by Contract
Claude is a ruthless and efficient contract killer. His next target, a woman, is the most difficult.
Boarders at an English resort struggle with emotional problems.
The Young Lions
The Young Lions follows the lives of three soldiers: one German and two Americans, paralleling their experiences in World War II until they meet up at the end for a confrontation
The Inn of the Sixth Happiness
All her life, Englishwoman Gladys Aylward knew that China was the place where she belonged. Not qualified to be sent there as a missionary, Gladys works as a domestic to earn the money to send herself to a poor, remote village. There she eventually lives a full and happy life: running the inn, acting as "foot inspector", advising the local Mandarin, and even winning the heart of mixed race Captain Lin Nan. But Gladys discovers her real destiny when the country is invaded by Japan and the Chinese children need her to save their lives. Based on a true story.
Slick lawyer Thomas Farrell has made a career of defending mobsters in trials. It's not until he meets a lovely showgirl at a mob party that he realizes that there's more to life than winning trials. Farrell tries to quit the racket, but mob boss Rico Angelo threatens to hurt the showgirl if Farrell leaves him.
Chase a Crooked Shadow
A woman who lives in Spain has trouble convincing anybody that a complete stranger has taken her dead brother's identity.
A Tale of Two Cities
British barrister Sydney Carton lives an insubstantial and unhappy life. He falls under the spell of Lucie Manette, but Lucie marries Charles Darnay. When Darnay goes to Paris to rescue an imprisoned family retainer, he becomes entangled in the snares of the brutal French Revolution and is himself jailed and condemned to the guillotine. But Sydney Carton, in love with a woman he cannot have, comes up with a daring plan to save her husband.
A British Corporal in France finds himself responsible for the lives of his men when their officer is killed. He has to get them back to Britain somehow. Meanwhile, British civilians are being dragged into the war with Operation Dynamo, the scheme to get the French and British forces back from the Dunkirk beaches. Some come forward to help, others were less willing.
I Was Monty's Double
The incredible but true story of how an impersonator was recruited to impersonate General Montgomery to mislead the German's about his intentions before the North Africa campaign.
Terror in a Texas Town
Armed with a harpoon, a Swedish whaler is out for revenge after the death of his father. A greedy oil man trying to buy up the Swede's land might be the guilty party.
Cecile is a decadent young girl who lives with her rich playboy father, Raymond. When Anne, Raymond's old love interest, comes to Raymond's villa, Cecile is afraid for her way of life.
Jim is a rancher and a widower, and he rides into Rio Arriba, where four men are awaiting execution. He wants to see the hanging, but the town has issued instructions to only allow the hangman to enter. They have never had an execution before, so they have brought in a man from outside town to do the job.
Danny Fisher, young delinquent, flunks out of high school. He quits his job as a busboy in a nightclub, and one night he gets the chance to perform. Success is imminent and the local crime boss Maxie Fields wants to hire him to perform at his night club The Blue Shade. Danny refuses, but Fields won't take no for an answer.
A movie publicist is assigned to keep the public from learning that a beloved child star is an egotistical little brat.
The Brothers Karamazov
Ryevsk, Russia, 1870. Tensions abound in the Karamazov family. Fyodor is a wealthy libertine who holds his purse strings tightly. His four grown sons include Dmitri, the eldest, an elegant officer, always broke and at odds with his father, betrothed to Katya, herself lovely and rich. The other brothers include a sterile aesthete, a factotum who is a bastard, and a monk. Family tensions erupt when Dmitri falls in love with one of his father's mistresses, the coquette Grushenka. Two brothers see Dmitri's jealousy of their father as an opportunity to inherit sooner. Acts of violence lead to the story's conclusion: trials of honor, conscience, forgiveness, and redemption.
Desire Under the Elms
Ephraim Cabot is an old man of amazing vitality who loves his New England farm with a greedy passion. Hating him, and sharing his greed, are the sons of two wives Cabot has overworked into early graves. Most bitter is Eben, whose mother had owned most of the farm, and who feels who should be sole heir. When the old man brings home a new wife, Anna, she becomes a fierce contender to inherit the farm. Two of the sons leave when Eben gives them the fare in return for their shares of the farm. Meanwhile, Anna tries to cause some sparks by rubbing up against Eben.
Carve Her Name With Pride
London, England, during World War II. After living a tragic life experience, young Violette Szabo joins the Special Operations Executive and crosses the German enemy lines as a secret agent to aid a French Resistance group.
Kings Go Forth
Toward the end of World War II, two American soldiers fighting in Southern France become romantically involved with a young, American woman. Her background will reveal more about them than her.
St. Louis Blues
Will Handy grows up in Memphis with his preacher father and his Aunt Hagar. His father intends for him to use his musical gifts only in church, but he can't stay away from the music of the streets and workers. After he writes a theme song for a local politician, Gogo, a speakeasy singer, convinces Will to be her accompanist. Will is estranged from his father for many years while he writes and publishes many blues songs. At last the family is reunited when Gogo brings them to New York to see Will's music played by a symphony orchestra.
Scotland Yard Inspector George Gideon starts his day off on the wrong foot when he gets a traffic-violation ticket from a young police officer. From there, his 'typical day" consists in learning that one of his most-trusted detectives has accepted bribes; hunts an escaped maniac who has murdered a girl; tracks a young girl suspected of involvement in a payroll robbery and then helps break up a bank robbery.
During the War of 1812 against Britain: General Andrew Jackson has only 1,200 men left to defend New Orleans when he learns that a British fleet will arrive with 60 ships and 16,000 men to take the city. In this situation an island near the city becomes strategically important to both parties, but it's inhabited by the last big buccaneer: Jean Lafitte. Although Lafitte never attacks American ships, the governor hates him for selling merchandise without taxes - and is loved by the citizens for the same reason. When the big fight gets nearer, Lafitte is drawn between the fronts. His heart belongs to America, but his people urge him to join the party that's more likely to win.
Wind Across the Everglades
An ornithologist battles a family of bird poachers in the Florida Everglades.
In wartime England, circa 1941, poorly-armed tugs are sent into "U-Boat Alley" to rescue damaged Allied ships. An American named David Ross arrives to captain one of these tugs. He's given a key by a fellow tugboat-man -- a key to an apartment and its pretty female resident. Should something happen to the friend, Ross can use the key.
Unrepentant Tennessee moonshine runner Luke Doolin (Robert Mitchum) makes dangerous high-speed deliveries for his liquor-producing father, Vernon (Trevor Bardette), but won't let his younger brother Robin (James Mitchum) join the family business. Under pressure from both out-of-town gangster Kogan (Jacques Aubuchon), who wants a piece of the local action, and Treasury agent Barrett (Gene Barry), who wants to destroy the moonshine business, Luke fights for his fast-fading way of life.
The Quiet American
Cynical British journalist Fowler falls in love with a young Vietnamese woman but is dismayed when a naïve U.S. official also begins vying for her attention. In retaliation, Fowler informs the communists that the American is selling arms to their enemy.
In this powerful abstract film with a soundtrack of African drum music, Lye scratched "white ziggle-zag-splutter scratches" on to black leader, using a variety of tools from saw teeth to arrow heads. The first version of the film won a major award at the International Experimental Film Festival Held in Brussels in 1958 in association with the World's Fair. Stan Brakhage described the film as "an almost unbelievably immense masterpiece".
The Left Handed Gun
When a crooked sheriff murders his employer, William "Billy the Kid" Bonney decides to avenge the death by killing the man responsible, throwing the lives of everyone around him into turmoil, and endangering the General Amnesty set up by Governor Wallace to bring peace to the New Mexico Territory.
Corridors of Blood
An 1840s British surgeon, experiments with anesthetic gases in an effort to make surgery pain-free. While doing so, his demonstration before a panel of his peers ends in a horrific mishap with his patient awakening under the knife; he is forced to leave his position in disgrace. To complicate matters, he becomes addicted to the gases and gets involved with a gang of criminals, led by Black Ben and his henchman Resurrection Joe.