Best Fantasy Movies of 1956
Around the World in Eighty Days
Based on the famous book by Jules Verne the movie follows Phileas Fogg on his journey around the world. Which has to be completed within 80 days, a very short period for those days.
High Tor is a 1936 play by Maxwell Anderson. Twenty years after the original production, Anderson adapted it into a television musical with Arthur Schwartz. Anderson first considered a musical adaptation of High Tor for television in 1949. He and John Monks Jr. adapted the play as a made-for-television musical fantasy in 1955, with music by Arthur Schwartz and lyrics by Anderson. High Tor was filmed in November 1955 by Desilu Productions at the RKO-Pathé Studio and broadcast March 10, 1956 on the CBS television network, as a 90-minute episode of the series Ford Star Jubilee. Bing Crosby, Julie Andrews, Nancy Olson, Hans Conreid, and Keenan Wynn starred in the film, produced by Arthur Schwartz, and directed by James Neilson.
Invitation to the Dance
Three completely different stories are told through dance.
The Mole People
A party of archaeologists discovers the remnants of a mutant five millennia-old Sumerian civilization living beneath a glacier atop a mountain in Mesopatamia.
A parable made in the manner of an old silent comedy about artistry and illusion.
I've Lived Before
Seeing a certain woman (Ann Harding) makes an airline pilot (Jock Mahoney) think he is a reincarnated World War I pilot.
Francis in the Haunted House
A Ha-Ha-Haunted House Has Got 'Em! ...and it's every ghost for himself!
Jack and Old Mac
Two stylized nursery rhymes are shown. First is "The House That Jack Built" as told with a variety of characters composed of letters that spell out their names (Example: the cow is made up of an intertwined C, O, and W). Next is "Old MacDonald Had a Band" (no, not farm) in which Old MacDonald and his band give way with a hot jazz number (even his animals play instruments). The piece comes to an end when Old MacDonald's wife is tired of doing all the housework and gives him a swift whack on his head with her rolling pin.
A mysterious hypnotist (Chester Morris) reverts his beautiful assistant (Marla English) back into the form of a prehistoric sea monster that she was in a past life.
Connie Hayward mounts an expedition into the Himalayan Mountains looking for her brother, who has not returned from a previous trek trying to locate the Yeti, or "Abominable Snowman". Arriving at her brother's last-known camp Connie and her companions find only a strange old guide, Varga. They are soon attacked by gigantic Snowmen but are not half as surprised as when Vargas reveals his secret origin and the plans he has for Connie.
This SECOND live broadcast aired a year after the success of the first. Utilizing much of the same cast, it nevertheless is its own unique performance which charmed millions of households in 1956.
Once Upon a Honeymoon
Thanks to the collaboration between American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) and Angels from Heaven a song writing working on his latest musical can finally go on his delayed honeymoon. The Angel Chief sends down Wilbur the Angel along with a wireless phone, from the 1950s, to help Jeff's muse , his wife Mary, inspire Jeff to complete the needed song. This while at the same time displaying and utilizing the latest and greatest telephone equipment. This includes color phones to match every decor. Be sure to note the matching wall cords that connect the phone to the wall.
Restored to its original glory by the National Film Preservation Foundation back in 2005, this little Christmas film is one of our holiday favorites. Margaret Conneely (Chicago amateur filmmaker & CFA Collection namesake) frames stop-motion animation and trick photography with live action footage to fuel her very own Christmas fairy tale. FAIRY PRINCESS (1956) was Margaret Conneely's most successful amateur film, winning a slew of local awards, and being named one of the Photographic Society of America's 'Ten Best films of 1956.' Conneely's film was also awarded the PSA's 'Harris B. Tuttle Trophy'; named after Eastman Kodak's innovator of the 16mm format, this trophy was awarded annually for the best amateur storytelling film on a family theme. - Chicago Film Archives