1956 in film

The following is an overview of 1956 in film, including significant events, a list of films released and notable births and deaths.

List of years in film (table)
In television


Top-grossing films (U.S.)

Rank Title Studio Gross rental
1. The Ten Commandments Paramount $34,200,000[3]
2. Around the World in 80 Days United Artists $22,000,000[3]
3. Giant Warner Bros. $12,000,000[3]
4. Seven Wonders of the World Cinerama $9,300,000[4]
5. The King and I 20th Century Fox $8,500,000[3]
6. Trapeze United Artists $7,269,464[5]
7. War and Peace Paramount $6,250,000[3]
8. I'll Cry Tomorrow MGM $5,873,000[6]
9. High Society $5,602,000[6]
10. The Teahouse of the August Moon MGM $5,600,000[3]


Category/Organization 14th Golden Globe Awards
February 28, 1957
29th Academy Awards
March 27, 1957
Drama Comedy or Musical
Best Film Around the World in 80 Days The King and I Around the World in 80 Days
Best Director Elia Kazan
Baby Doll
George Stevens
Best Actor Kirk Douglas
Lust for Life
Around the World in 80 Days
Yul Brynner
The King and I
Best Actress Ingrid Bergman
Deborah Kerr
The King and I
Ingrid Bergman
Best Supporting Actor Earl Holliman
The Rainmaker
Anthony Quinn
Lust for Life
Best Supporting Actress Eileen Heckart
The Bad Seed
Dorothy Malone
Written on the Wind
Best Foreign Language Film Before Sundown
A Girl in Black
Roses on the Arm
War and Peace
The White Reindeer
La Strada

Top ten money making stars

Rank Actor/Actress
1. William Holden
2. John Wayne
3. James Stewart
4. Burt Lancaster
5. Glenn Ford
6. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis
7. Marilyn Monroe
8. Gary Cooper
9. Kim Novak
10. Frank Sinatra

1956 film releases


  • January 1956
    • 12 January
      • Diane
  • February 1956
    • 5 February
      • Invasion of the Body Snatchers
    • 16 February
      • Picnic
      • Carousel
    • 25 February
      • The Lone Ranger
  • March 1956
    • 9 March
      • Come Next Spring
      • Meet Me in Las Vegas
    • 10 March
      • Never Say Goodbye
    • 23 March
      • Serenade
    • 24 March
      • Raw Edge
    • 25 March
      • The Indestructible Man
      • World Without End
    • 28 March
      • The Conqueror


  • April 1956
    • 4 April
      • The Maverick Queen
    • 6 April
      • Jubal
    • 11 April
      • Backlash
    • 24 April
      • Our Miss Brooks
    • 26 April
      • The Creature Walks Among Us
  • May 1956
    • 8 May
      • The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit
    • 15 May
      • Invitation to the Dance
    • 26 May
      • The Searchers
    • 30 May
      • Trapeze
      • While the City Sleeps
  • June 1956
    • 1 June
      • The Man Who Knew Too Much
    • 6 June
      • The Killing
    • 10 June
      • Crime in the Streets
    • 12 June
      • A Kiss Before Dying
    • 13 June
      • Star in the Dust
    • 15 June
      • Gunslinger
    • 16 June
      • Female Jungle
    • 20 June
      • Safari
    • 21 June
      • The Eddy Duchin Story
    • 22 June
      • The Catered Affair
    • 29 June
      • The King & I


  • July 1956
    • 6 July
      • The Fastest Gun Alive
    • 12 July
      • Foreign Intrigue
    • 15 July
      • It Conquered the World
    • 17 July
      • High Society
    • 23 July
      • Dakota Incident
    • 29 July
      • Hold Back the Night
    • 30 July
      • Run for the Sun
  • August 1956
    • 1 August
      • Autumn Leaves
    • 17 August
      • A Cry in the Night
      • These Wilder Years
    • 21 August
      • War and Peace
    • 24 August
      • A Strange Adventure
    • 26 August
      • The Swan
    • 29 August
      • The First Traveling Saleslady
      • The Vagabond King
  • September 1956
    • 12 September
      • The Bad Seed
    • 15 September
      • Lust for Life
    • 21 September
      • The Last Wagon
    • 28 September
      • The Best Things in Life are Free


  • October 1956
    • 5 October
      • The Ten Commandments
    • 17 October
      • Around the World in 80 Days
      • Attack
      • Julie
    • 31 October
      • Death of a Scoundrel
      • You Can't Run Away From It
  • November 1956
    • 1 November
      • Naked Gun
      • The White Squaw
    • 15 November
      • Love Me Tender
      • Gun the Man Down
    • 18 November
      • Blonde Sinner
    • 24 November
      • Giant
    • 25 November
      • Friendly Persuasion
  • December 1956
    • 1 December
      • The Girl Can't Help It
    • 12 December
      • Bundle of Joy
    • 13 December
      • Anastasia
      • The Rainmaker
    • 21 December
      • The King and Four Queens
    • 25 December
      • Written on the Wind
    • 29 December
      • Baby Doll

Notable films released in 1956

U.S.A. unless stated
























Short film series

Ending this year



Film Debuts


  1. ^ "Name Adler to Zanuck Post". Motion Picture Herald. February 11, 1956. p. 18. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  2. ^ "Schary Leaves MGM at Year End". Motion Picture Herald. December 1, 1956. p. 9. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "All-Time Top Grosses". Variety. January 4, 1961. p. 49. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  4. ^ "All-Time Top Gross Films". Variety. January 10, 1962. p. 13.
  5. ^ Cohn, Lawrence (October 15, 1990). "All-Time Film Rental Champs". Variety. p. M140-M196.
  6. ^ a b The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
1950s in film

The decade of the 1950s in film involved many significant films.

1953 in radio

The year 1953 in radio involved some significant events.

1953 in television

The year 1953 in television involved some significant events. Below is a list of television-related events during 1953.

1956 in New Zealand

The following lists events that happened during 1956 in New Zealand.

29th Academy Awards

During the 29th Academy Awards, the regular competitive category of Best Foreign Language Film was introduced, instead of only being recognized as a Special Achievement Award or as a Best Picture nominee (as in 1938). The first winner in this new category was Federico Fellini's La Strada with Anthony Quinn and a second nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Its win would help spur an interest in foreign-language films. Another Fellini film, Nights of Cabiria would win the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in the following year.

This was also the first year that all of the five Best Picture nominees were in color. It was also the first Oscar telecast to be videotaped for later broadcast, especially for those network affiliates that didn't want to broadcast the event live.

All of the major awards winners were large-scale epics – Mike Todd's Around the World in 80 Days, The King and I, Anastasia, George Stevens' Giant, Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments (the highest-grossing film of the year), King Vidor's War and Peace and William Wyler's Friendly Persuasion. And the trend toward blockbusters and colorful spectaculars was established for years to come, with The Bridge on the River Kwai, Gigi, and Ben-Hur being subsequent Best Picture champions.

The Best Original Story category had two interesting quirks this year. First, the Oscar for Best Original Story for The Brave One was awarded to Robert Rich, a pseudonym of Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted at the time and thus unable to receive credit under his own name. Second, Edward Bernds and Elwood Ullman withdrew their names from consideration in this category for their work on High Society, as the nomination had been intended for the musical starring Grace Kelly, while Bernds and Ullman had instead written a Bowery Boys film of the same name. In fact, the nomination was a double mistake, as High Society was based on the play and film The Philadelphia Story and probably would not have qualified as an original story anyway.

James Dean became the only actor to receive a second posthumous – and consecutive – nomination for acting.

Ingrid Bergman was not present to collect her award for Best Actress: Cary Grant accepted it on her behalf. She did, however, list the nominees for Best Director via a pre-recorded segment from a rooftop in Paris. The winner was announced by host Jerry Lewis.

Director John Ford's classic western The Searchers, widely seen as one of the best American films of all time, failed to receive a single nomination.

This was the second time since the introduction of the Supporting Actor and Actress awards that Best Picture, Best Director, and all four acting Oscars were given to different films. This would not happen again until the 78th Academy Awards. Around the World in 80 Days became the sixth film to win Best Picture without any acting nominations.

List of Golden Globe Awards ceremonies

The Golden Globe Award is an American accolade bestowed by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign. The annual formal ceremony and dinner at which the awards are presented are a major part of the film industry's awards season, which culminates each year with the Academy Awards.

List of Japanese films of 1956

A list of films released in Japan in 1956 (see 1956 in film).

List of Soviet films of 1956

A list of films produced in the Soviet Union in 1956 (see 1956 in film).

List of Spanish films of 1956

A list of films produced in Spain in 1956 (see 1956 in film).

List of Turkish films (alphabetical)

A list of films produced in Turkey and in the Turkish language in alphabetical order. For a list of films by year see List of Turkish films for guidance.

The Best Part (film)

The Best Part is a 1956 French film directed by Yves Allegret and starring Gerard Philippe.

It is known in France as La meilleure part.

It had admissions in France of 1,976,595.

Three for Jamie Dawn

Three for Jamie Dawn is a 1956 American film starring Laraine Day and Ricardo Montalban.

1956 films

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