Culture Wikia

The year 1956 in film involved some significant events.


October 5 - The Ten Commandments opens in cinemas and becomes one of the most successful and popular movies of all time, currently ranking 5th on the list of all time moneymakers (when adjusted for inflation) February 5 - First showing of documentary films by the Free Cinema movement, at the National Film Theatre, London. February - Warner Bros. sells much of its pre-1950 library to Associated Artists Productions (a.a.p.), only for the films to return to WB ownership 40 years later. August 4 - The last film serial, Blazing the Overland Trail from Columbia Pictures, is released. November 15 - Elvis Presley's first film, Love Me Tender, opens.

Top-grossing films (U.S.)[]

Rank Title Leading Stars Studio Gross
1. The Ten Commandments Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, Edward G. Robinson, Yvonne De Carlo, Debra Paget, John Derek Paramount $43,000,000
2. Around the World in 80 Days David Niven, Cantinflas, Shirley MacLaine United Artists $23,120,000
3. Giant Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean Warner Bros. $14,000,000
4. War and Peace Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda Paramount $12,500,000
5. The King and I Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner 20th Century Fox $9,000,000
6. The Searchers John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter Warner Bros. $8,500,000
7. Bus Stop Marilyn Monroe, Don Murray 20th Century Fox $7,269,000
8. The Girl Can't Help It Jayne Mansfield, Tom Ewell 20th Century Fox $6,250,000
9. High Society Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Celeste Holm MGM $5,878,000
10. Written on the Wind Rock Hudson, Lauren Bacall, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone Universal $5,712,000
11. Julie Doris Day MGM $4,500,000
12. The Eddy Duchin Story Tyrone Power, Kim Novak Columbia $4,396,000
13. The Lieutenant Wore Skirts Tom Ewell, Sheree North 20th Century Fox $4,390,000
14. Baby Doll Carroll Baker, Karl Malden Warner Bros. $4,285,000
15. Zarak Victor Mature, Michael Wilding, Anita Ekberg Columbia $4,252,000
16. Love Me Tender Elvis Presley, Debra Paget 20th Century Fox $4,225,000
17. Between Heaven and Hell Robert Wagner, Buddy Ebsen, Broderick Crawford, Terry Moore 20th Century Fox $4,200,000
18. The Man Who Knew Too Much James Stewart, Doris Day Paramount $4,153,000
19. The Best Things in Life Are Free Gordon MacRae, Dan Dailey, Ernest Borgnine, Sheree North 20th Century Fox $4,129,000
20. Star in the Dust John Agar, Richard Boone, Mamie Van Doren Universal $4,122,000

(*) After theatrical re-issue(s)


Academy Awards: Best Picture: Around the World in 80 Days - Todd, United ArtistsBest Director: George Stevens - GiantBest Actor: Yul Brynner - The King and IBest Actress: Ingrid Bergman - AnastasiaBest Supporting Actor: Anthony Quinn - Lust for LifeBest Supporting Actress: Dorothy Malone - Written on the WindBest Foreign Language Film: La strada, directed by Federico Fellini, Italy Golden Globe Awards: Drama:Best Picture: Around the World in 80 DaysBest Actor: Kirk Douglas - Lust for LifeBest Actress: Ingrid Bergman - AnastasiaMusical or comedy:Best Picture: The King and IBest Actor: Cantinflas - Around the World in 80 DaysBest Actress: Deborah Kerr - The King and IOtherBest Director: Elia Kazan - Baby DollGolden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture: Earl Holliman - The RainmakerGolden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture: Eileen Heckart - The Bad SeedBest Foreign Film: Before Sundown, West GermanyBest Foreign Film: A Girl in Black, GreeceBest Foreign Film: Richard III, United KingdomBest Foreign Film: Roses on the Arm, JapanBest Foreign Film: War and Peace, ItalyBest Foreign Film: The White Reindeer, Finland Palme d'Or (Cannes Film Festival): The Silent World (Le monde du silence), directed by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Louis Malle, France Golden Lion (Venice Film Festival): Not awarded

Golden Bear (Berlin Film Festival): Invitation to the Dance, directed by Gene Kelly, United States

Top ten money making stars[]



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

Notable films released in 1956[]

  1. The Harder They Fall
  2. The King and I


Blazing the Overland Trail, starring Lee Roberts and Dennis Moore Perils of the Wilderness

Short film series[]

Looney Tunes (1930–1969) Terrytoons (1930–1964) Merrie Melodies (1931–1969) Popeye (1933–1957) The Three Stooges (1934–1959) Bugs Bunny (1940–1962) Tom and Jerry (1940–1958) Droopy (1943–1958) Yosemite Sam (1945–1963) Speedy Gonzales (1953–1968)

Ending this year Donald Duck (1934-1956) Chip 'n' Dale (1943-1956) Ranger Don (1953-1956)



Film Debuts[]

Jean-Paul Belmondo - Molière Michael Caine - Panic in the Parlor James Garner - Toward the Unknown Robert Loggia - Somebody Up There Likes Me Robert Morse - The Proud and Profane Leslie Nielsen - Forbidden Planet Elvis Presley - Love Me Tender John Schlesinger - Sunday in the Park Maggie Smith - Child in the House Rip Torn - Baby Doll Christopher Walken - The Boy Who Saw Through