Best Movies of 1956

1.

The Ten Commandments

5.6

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.

Starring: Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, Edward G. Robinson, Yvonne De Carlo
Directed by: Cecil B. DeMille
Release date: 1956-10-05
2.

The Searchers

5.6

As a Civil War veteran spends years searching for a young niece captured by Indians, his motivation becomes increasingly questionable.

Starring: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Natalie Wood, Ward Bond
Directed by: John Ford
Release date: 1956-03-13
3.

The Killing

5.6

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 marries his fiancee, Fay. But when George tells his restless wife, Sherry, about the scheme to steal millions from the racetrack where he works, she hatches a plot of her own.

Starring: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, Jay C. Flippen, Elisha Cook Jr.
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Release date: 1956-05-08
4.

Giant

5.6

Sprawling epic covering the life of a Texas cattle rancher and his family and associates.

Starring: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Carroll Baker, Jane Withers
Directed by: George Stevens
Release date: 1956-10-10
5.

The Man Who Knew Too Much

5.5

A widescreen, Technicolor remake by Hitchcock of his 1934 film of the same title. A couple (James Stewart, Doris Day) 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.

Starring: James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda De Banzie, Bernard Miles, Alan Mowbray
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Release date: 1956-06-01
6.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

5.4

A small-town doctor learns that the population of his community is being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates.

Starring: Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, King Donovan, Carolyn Jones, Larry Gates
Directed by: Don Siegel
Release date: 1956-02-05
7.

Forbidden Planet

5.4

A rescue team from earth lands their flying saucer-like spacecraft on an alien world, to discover they are not only not welcomed by the lone survivor of a missing scientific expedition sent there two decades earlier, but, once they have determined to investigate the deaths of his colleagues and bring him back home by force, along with his planet-born daughter, find themselves subjected to assault by something invisible which seems intent on preventing them from leaving the planet, ever.

Starring: Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Warren Stevens, Jack Kelly
Directed by: Fred M. Wilcox
Release date: 1956-03-15
8.

The King and I

5.4

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.

Starring: Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner, Rita Moreno, Martin Benson, Terry Saunders
Directed by: Walter Lang
Release date: 1956-06-29
9.

The Wrong Man

5.4

True story of an innocent man mistaken for a criminal.

Starring: Henry Fonda, Vera Miles, Anthony Quayle, Harold J. Stone, Charles Cooper
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Release date: 1956-12-22
10.

The Bad Seed

5.3

Air Force Colonel Kenneth Penmark and his wife, Christine, dote on their daughter, Rhoda -- as does their lonely landlady, Monica Breedlove. But self-centered Rhoda has a secret tendency for selfishness and loves to accumulate gifts, whether given or stolen, in her room. Christine keeps her knowledge of her daughter's darker side to herself, but when a schoolmate of Rhoda's dies mysteriously, her self-deception unravels.

Starring: Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Eileen Heckart, Henry Jones, Evelyn Varden
Directed by: Mervyn LeRoy
Release date: 1956-09-12
11.

Moby Dick

5.2

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.

Starring: Gregory Peck, Richard Basehart, Leo Genn, James Robertson Justice, Harry Andrews
Directed by: John Huston
Release date: 1956-06-27
12.

Around the World in Eighty Days

4.9

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.

Starring: David Niven, Cantinflas, Finlay Currie, Robert Morley, Charles Boyer
Directed by: Michael Anderson
Release date: 1956-10-17
13.

High Society

4.4

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. Bing still loves her. Spy magazine blackmails Grace's family by threatening to reveal her playboy father's exploits if not allowed to cover the wedding.

Starring: Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Celeste Holm, John Lund
Directed by: Charles Walters
Release date: 1956-07-17
14.

Somebody Up There Likes Me

4.0

Rocky Graziano is building a career in crime, when he's finally caught and arrested. In jail, he is undisciplined, always getting into trouble. When he gets out after many years he has decided to start a new life. However, he is immediately drafted to the army, but even they can't keep him in line and he goes AWOL. Rocky discovers boxing as a way of earning quick money, and is discovered as a new talent.

Starring: Paul Newman, Pier Angeli, Everett Sloane, Eileen Heckart, Sal Mineo
Directed by: Robert Wise
Release date: 1956-07-03
15.

The Green Man

4.0
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Unknown to everyone but his shady Middle Eastern bosses, watchmaker Hawkins is actually a professional hired assassin with a predilection for killing his targets with bombs. After disposing of a dictator and millionaire, Hawkins is assigned to kill a politician who is heading to a remote hotel, The Green Man, for a secret tryst with his secretary. There, however, Hawkins' plot is discovered by vacuum salesman William Blake, who determines to stop him.
Starring: Alastair Sim, George Cole, Terry-Thomas, Jill Adams, Raymond Huntley
Directed by: Robert Day
Release date: 1956-12-21
16.

Bigger Than Life

4.0

A seriously ill schoolteacher becomes dependent on a "miracle" drug that begins to affect his sanity.

Starring: James Mason, Barbara Rush, Walter Matthau, Robert F. Simon, Christopher Olsen
Directed by: Nicholas Ray
Release date: 1956-08-02
17.

Baby Doll

3.9

Based on a play by Tennessee Williams, "Baby Doll" centers on Archie Lee Meighan (Karl Malden), a failing cotton gin owner who is married to Baby Doll (Carroll Baker), 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 (Eli Wallach), who plots to seduce Baby Doll away from Meighan.

Starring: Karl Malden, Carroll Baker, Eli Wallach, Mildred Dunnock, Lonny Chapman
Directed by: Elia Kazan
Release date: 1956-12-18
18.

The Harder They Fall

3.9
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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.
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Rod Steiger, Jan Sterling, Mike Lane, Max Baer
Directed by: Mark Robson
Release date: 1956-05-09
19.

The Catered Affair

3.8

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 Janes 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.

Starring: Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds, Barry Fitzgerald, Rod Taylor
Directed by: Richard Brooks
Release date: 1956-06-14
20.

The Man Who Never Was

3.8

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.

Starring: Clifton Webb, Gloria Grahame, Robert Flemyng, Josephine Griffin, Stephen Boyd
Directed by: Ronald Neame
Release date: 1956-03-15

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