1956 Recap and 10 Favorite Films

searchers poster

I have now watched 102 films released in 1956.  The complete list is here. My new randomized viewing schedule worked in keeping me interested.  In fact, the random number generator saved some of the best films for last this time!

1956 is not noted as a “great” year in film history but I ended it with too many films I rated 9/10 or above to fit on my list of personal favorites.  I had a hard time selecting among them or ranking them. Also rans were:  AttackPatternsSomebody Up There Likes Me; Street of Shame; Le mystere Picasso; Early Spring; A Town Like Alice; and Secrets of Life.  Note:  I am saving my review of Moby Dick for the upcoming Animals in Film blogathon.  Totals include that film.  I will revise this post if necessary.

10.  Baby Doll – directed by Elia Kazan

BABY DOLL, Carroll Baker, Karl Malden, Eli Wallach, 1956

9.  The King and I – directed by Walter Lang


8.  Bigger Than Life – directed by Nicholas Ray


7.  The Killing – directed by Stanley Kubrick

the killing

6. Invasion of the Body Snatchers – directed by Don Siegel

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)_014

5.  Aparajito – directed by Satyajit Ray

aparajito 2

4.  The Bad Seed – directed by Mervyn LeRoy

bad seed 1

3.  The Burmese Harp – directed by Kon Ichikawa

burmese harp

2.  The Red Balloon – directed by Albert Lamorisse


  1.  The Searchers – directed by John Ford



9 thoughts on “1956 Recap and 10 Favorite Films

  1. In a rare moment…I’ve actually seen nine of these. I’m not sure that my order would be the same, but a lot of these would be on my top-10 from this year, too.

    I have long held that The Searchers is one of the five best Western films ever made, and I think I’ll say it’s top-3. Hell of a great movie from start to finish, and a fantastic top pick.

    • Heck, while I’m watching The Searchers I can’t think of any other movie so it’s number one. The 1956 favorites list turned out to be heavy on 1001 Movies and Academy Award nominees. We’ll see what happens in 1957. I think that is going to be a particularly tough list to sort out.

      • Hmm…Once Upon a Time in the West, Unforgiven, and High Noon might give The Searchers a run for its money. Honestly, I think I could argue any of those for the title of Greatest Western.

        • Well, for sheer beauty I think The Searchers has all of them topped but I can’t argue with your other contenders.

    • Monument Valley and the whole Southwest U.S. is magic. I’ve been to the place but not seen it from that angle.

  2. Again you are catching up with me. Now we can watch movies together.
    The Red Balloon sounds like a movie I have to see.
    I will get back to watching movies as soon as I come back home.

    • You should definitely watch The Red Balloon, preferably with your little boy! It’s only half an hour and on YouTube right now.

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