Best Picture Nominees: 1956

It's the year of Elvis! This was also the first year that all of the five Best Picture nominees were in color.

For more information about 1956, see The Learning Network's Fact Monster.

Around the World in Eighty Days (Michael Anderson, Sidney Smith)
Won Best Picture
An adaptation of the novel by Jules Verne, in which a wealthy English nobleman, Phileas Fogg (David Niven), who on a bet sets off with his trusty sidekick, Passepartout (Cantinflas, to circle the globe in 80 days.

The Ten Commandments (Cecil B. DeMille)
Nominated Best Picture
The epic Cecil B. DeMille spectacle detailing the story of Moses (Charlton Heston), his battles with the Pharoah Rameses (Yul Brynner) and the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. It's a melodramatic, Technicolor extravaganza that still finds its way onto TV screens every Passover/Easter.

Giant (George Stevens)
Nominated Best Picture
From the novel by Edna Ferber, a sprawling story of rivalry, ranching and oil in Texas, starring Liz Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean.

Friendly Persuasion (William Wyler)
Nominated Best Picture
William Wyler directed this story about a family of Quakers in the Civil War. When Confederate soldiers approach, it is a test of their beliefs to choose whether to put up a fight. Starring Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire and Anthony Perkins.

The King and I (Walter Lang)
Nominated Best Picture
The film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical about an English governess (Deborah Kerr) who comes to tutor the son of the King of Siam (Yul Brynner) and winds up teaching the father a thing or two as well.

The Searchers (John Ford)
IMDb Highest Rated
This is the first role in which John Wayne is not the hero. He is an obsessed Indian-hater, searching for his kidnapped nieces (Natalie Wood and Pippa Scott). As the years wear on, it becomes harder and harder to sympathize with him. When he finally finds one niece, she has become a part of the Commanche tribe.

The Killing (Stanley Kubrick)
Stanley Kubrick wrote and directed this crime drama about an ex-con, Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden), who has a plan to steal $2 million from a race track. But backstabbing gang members and girlfriends have a way of making things harder than they ought to be...

The Court Jester (Melvin Frank, Norman Panama)
Solonor's Pick
I love Danny Kaye, and this is his funniest, zaniest movie. He stars as Hawkins, the most timid member of a rebel band trying to rescue the true, infant king from the clutches of evil King Roderick (Cecil Parker). Somehow Hawkins winds up impersonating the court jester, Giacomo (John Carradine), and all hell breaks loose. Remember: The pellet with the poison is in the chalice from the palace. The flagon with the dragon has the brew that is true. Or is that the other way around?

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Don Siegel)
A small town doctor (Kevin McCarthy) goes after the details behind the claims of several of his patients that their relatives are actually alien imposters.

Forbidden Planet (Fred M. Wilcox)
The classic sci-fi story of the search for a lost colony on Altair-4. Commander John J. Adams (Leslie Nielsen) and his crew discover that the only survivors are Dr. Morbius (Walter Pidgeon) and his daughter Altaira (Anne Francis). Notable for its mechanical star, Robby the Robot!

The Man Who Knew Too Much (Alfred Hitchcock)
Another thriller from Alfred Hitchcock. A family on vacation in Morocco (James Stewart, Doris Day and Chrisopher Olsen) stumble on an assassination plot. In order to keep them quiet, their son (Olsen) is kidnapped, and Stewart and Day set off to rescue him.

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1955 <- Main Menu -> 1957

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Best Picture: 1956
What is the best film of 1956?

Around the World in 80 Days
The Ten Commandments
Friendly Persuasion
The King and I
The Searchers
The Killing
The Court Jester
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Forbidden Planet
The Man Who Knew Too Much

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1955 <- Main Menu -> 1957

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