Best Music Movies of 1956
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.
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.
The Eddy Duchin Story
The life story of the famous pianist and band-leader of the 1930s and 1940s.
The Girl Can't Help It
A down-and-out gangster hires an alcoholic press agent to make his blonde bombshell girlfriend a recording star in 6 weeks. But what is he going to do when he finds out that she has no talent? And what is going to happen when the two fall in love?
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.
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.
Bundle of Joy
Kitschy musical remake of "Bachelor Mother". Debbie Reynolds plays an over-eager clerk in a large department store and Eddie Fisher plays the boss' son. After getting fired from her job, she finds an adorable baby on the steps of the foundling home and the folks inside mistake her for the mother. Fisher, well-meaning, but obtuse, tries to help her out with the baby, and the buds of romance begin to appear. Meanwhile old Merlin, the owner of the store, thinks he just might be a grandfather...
Rock Around the Clock
A frustrated big-band promoter runs in to rock-and-rollers Bill Haley and the Comets at a small-town dance. He quickly becomes their manager and, with the help of Alan Freed, hopes to bring the new sound to the entire country. But will a conniving booking agent, with a personal ax to grind with the manager, conspire to keep the band from making the big time?
Billy Bigelow has been dead for 15 years. Now outside the pearly gates, he long ago waived his right to go back to Earth for a day. He has heard that there is a problem with his family: namely with his wife Julie Bigelow, née Jordan, and his child he hasn't met. He would now like to head back to Earth to assist in rectifying the problem; but before he may go, he has to get permission from the gatekeeper by telling him his story. Adapted from the Rodgers and Hammerstein hit Broadway musical.
The Opposite Sex
Former radio singer Kay learns from her gossipy friends that her husband, Steve, has had an affair with chorus girl Crystal. Devastated, Kay tries to ignore the information, but when Crystal performs one of her musical numbers at a charity benefit, she breaks down and goes to Reno to file for divorce. However, when she hears that gold-digging Crystal is making Steve unhappy, Kay resolves to get her husband back. The Opposite Sex is a remake of the 1939 comedy The Women.
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.
My Son Sazali
The movie tells us the story of Hassan who has great passion for music. Hassan and Ani fell in love and ran away to Singapore knowing that their marriage will never be approved by Ani's parents. Hassan soon made a name for himself as a musician and later as a composer. His compositions received great reviews. Hassan was overjoyed when he found out that his wife was pregnant but it soon turned to sorrow as Ani died giving birth to a son, Sazali. Hassan turned his affection towards Sazali and soon Sazali grew up into a rich spoilt kid. Sazali grew up to become one of Singapore's most wanted men. The police was tipped off when Sazali and his gang committed burglary. Sazali was shot but managed to escape and seek shelter in his father's home. What did Hassan do?
Momma Don't Allow
A night at the Wood Green Jazz Club - an example of 'Free Cinema'.
Invitation to the Dance
Three completely different stories are told through dance.
It's a Wonderful World
Two aspiring songwriters finally manage to sell a tune by claiming that it was composed by a reclusive musical genius. When the tune hits the top of the charts, they find themselves having to produce the "real" composer.
A new career opens for Charley Moon when, during his army service, he is detailed to appear in a unit concert. In doing so, he becomes friendly with Harold Armytage, a peacetime actor of the old school. Hearing that Charley has no job to go to when demobilized, Armytage suggests they team up as stage comics. Things are not easy; jobs are few and far between, and when they can be found they are in the tattiest of theatres, but Charley gains the experience he needs. They then decide to try their luck in London.
Nez au vent
A bear, a rabbit and a fox decide to form a band and play for the animals of the forest.
It's Great to be Young!
IT’S GREAT TO A YOUNG stars John Mills as Dingle an easygoing high school teacher. When autocratic new headmaster Frome (Cecil Parker) begins imposing all sorts of repressive rules, Dingle does his best to stand up for his students, only to be dismissed for his troubles. The kids conspire to not only reinstate their favourite teacher, but to circumvent Frome's refusal to purchase new instruments for an upcoming music festival.
Bill Benson and Ted Adams are to appear in a Broadway show together and, while in Paris, each 'discovers' the perfect leading lady for the plum female role. Each promises the prize role to the girl they selected without informing the other until they head back across the Atlantic by liner - with each man having brought his choice along! It becomes a stormy crossing as each man has to tell his 'find' that she might not get the role after all.
The Vagabond King
Louis XI of France drafts Paris's popular "king" of criminals as Provost Marshal in his fight against usurper Charles of Burgundy and the traitorous nobles who rally around him.
Don't Knock The Rock
Rock-and-roller Arnie Haynes returns to his hometown as a hero to the teenagers. However, the mayor and other concerned adults have banned him from performing in his hometown because they consider him and his music a negative influence on the youth. But with the help of disc jockey/publicist Alan Freed and fellow artists (including Bill Haley and the Comets and Little Richard), they hope to convince everyone that rock and roll is not as dangerous as the adults think.
A wealthy woman discovers a vineyard worker with a beautiful operatic singing voice. She helps make him a star but then breaks his heart. He flees in misery to Mexico where he meets a sweet farm girl.
You Can't Run Away from It
A reporter stumbles on a runaway heiress whose story could salvage his career.
Meet Me in Las Vegas
Chuck Rodwell is a gambling cowboy who discovers that he's lucky at the roulette wheel if he holds hands with dancer Marie. However, Marie doesn't like to hold hands with him, at least not in the beginning...
The Best Things in Life Are Free
Ray Henderson joins Buddy De Sylva and Lew Brown to form a successful 1920s musical show writing team. They soon have several hits on Broadway but De Sylva's personal ambition leads to friction as the other two increasingly feel left out of things.
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.
Stephen Torino (Wilde), who is tricked by his brother Marco (Adler) into an arranged marriage with tempestuous Annie Caldash (Russell). Annie is willing to give the union a go, but Torino wants none of it.
Rock, Pretty Baby
A high school rock group enters a band contest.
Rock Rock Rock!
A teenage girl, Dori Graham, can't convince her dad to buy her a strapless gown so she decides to get the money together herself in time for the prom.
The Adventures of Marco Polo
Venetian merchant Marco Polo travels to the East and the court of Kublai Khan who makes him an emissary and sends him on diplomatic missions throughout his empire. Over many years, Polo learns new cultures and languages, but he is haunted by the face of a mysterious woman whom he had met before leaving Venice and encounters her face in every woman he sees. Eventually returning to Venice to share his exotic and esoteric knowledge, Marco Polo once again finds the woman of his dreams. The Adventures of Marco Polo was an original, live television musical which was broadcast on NBC on April 14, 1956.
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.
Rockin' the Blues
DJ Hal Jackson is the all-rhyming onstage host of this all-black musical.
Eurovision Song Contest 1956
The Eurovision Song Contest 1956 was the inaugural edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Lugano, Switzerland, and was held at the Teatro Kursaal on Thursday 24 May 1956.
Singing in the Dark
Leo, a holocaust survivor who suffers from total amnesia, comes to the U.S. and works as a hotel desk clerk. One night while a comedian who owns a bar in the hotel gives him a drink, he breaks out in song and discovers a great voice. Under a psychiatrist's treatment, and because of a blow to the head by some hoodlums, he realizes his name is David and that he was the son of a great Jewish Cantor, and gradually recovers his memory of losing his parents. He gives up a promising career singing in nightclubs to return to the synagogue.
April in Portugal
Jackie Lane sightsees in Portugal.
Basin Street Revue
A one-hour variety show performed live at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, featuring a who’s-who of vocal and big band jazz and comedy acts of the 1950s.
In 1956, BLOOMER GIRL was presented in a live television production starring the magnificent Barbara Cook, whose star was then on the rise, with leading roles in CANDIDE and THE MUSIC MAN still in her future. A solid success when it opened on Broadway in 1944, BLOOMER GIRL boasts a glorious score by the legendary team of Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg (THE WIZARD OF OZ). The book by Fred Saidy is set at the brink of the Civil War and addresses issues of women's equality (priorities were the right to vote and to wear bloomers, a liberating alternative to hoop skirts) and racial equality.
On Such a Night
An American tourist on a day trip to Sussex from London inadvertently finds himself at Glyndebourne Opera House in Sussex where he learns to appreciate Opera.
Several gypsy dances performed by the Hungarian People's State Ensemble.
Leila and Gábor
Buda is mastered by the Turks. Student Gábor and his companion flee a troop into the castle, just in the garden of Gül Baba. Gábor and Leila, the daughter of Gül Baba fall in love with each other. Ali pasha, who wants to marry the girl, has the two Hungarians caught in order to let them be executed.
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.
Design for Dreaming
Over-the-top 1950s “Populuxe” advertisement for General Motors. A woman falls asleep and dreams of a glorious future of perfect products, including a variety of shiny futuristic dream cars and Frigidaire’s fully automated “Kitchen of the Future.” The film debuted at the 1956 General Motors "Motorama" event in New York City.
The Oklahoma Woman
After six years in jail Steve returns to claim a ranch left him in a will. The town is in the middle of a rough election masterminded by saloon owner Marie. Steve is soon on the side of the opposition candidate and his pretty daughter. The town's tough sheriff is on no-one's side, least of all Steve's
The seventeenth presentation from Screen Directors Playhouse. A teenager with outstanding vocal talent would rather play baseball than develop his singing skills.
A married woman is startled by the return of her former fiancé, whom she thought was killed during the war.
1956 musical comedy Corn's-A-Poppin'. Writtern by Robert Altman, directed by Robert Woodburn and starring Jerry Wallace, Little Cora Rice and Hobie Shepp and The Cowtown Wranglers.
Shake, Rattle and Rock!
A TV star meets with opposition from adults who object to the opening of a rock 'n' roll palace for teens.
An animated short of Igor Stravinsky's ballet Petroushka
Stars in Your Eyes
A group of feisty, talented young performers pool their resources and buy a dilapidated theatre to showcase their acts – but unscrupulous property developers also want the theatre and resort to dirty tricks to disrupt the first night's performance!
A bachelor account executive with an advertising agency thinks he has the perfect set-up with three girlfriends. And then there is Marion his devoted secretary who worships him and will do anything for him.