I love 1956. The year, not the Oscar year. The Oscar year is pretty forgettable. Mostly because the Best Picture choice is kind of throwaway. Around the World in 80 Days is not a bad film by any means — it’s big, expansive, lot of cameos, lots of fun, escapist entertainment — but it’s not a very good Best Picture choice. It is in scope, but not in quality.
Best Actor this year was Yul Brynner for The King and I, and I always maintain the decision was a bad choice because Brynner is essentially a supporting role (for the most part) in the film. But, he’s Yul Brynner, so I don’t really have a problem with it. But, I still would have gone another way in that one. Then Best Actress was Ingrid Bergman for Anastasia, a decision (as I said here) I consider one of the worst decisions of all time in the Best Actress category. All of the other choices were better in that category (especially Carroll Baker in Baby Doll). Then Best Supporting Actor was Anthony Quinn for Lust for Life, a decision I don’t like, but am okay with, because Anthony Quinn is awesome. Then Best Supporting Actress was Dorothy Malone for Written on the Wind (talked about here), which is the one decision for this year, aside from this category, that I like.
So, with only 2 out of 6 good decisions (2 more are acceptable, though both are pretty weak), and a really weak Best Picture choice, 1956 is kind of a “bleh” year for me. I like this category though. So I got that going for me. Which is nice.
BEST DIRECTOR – 1956
And the nominees were…
Michael Anderson, Around the World in 80 Days
Walter Lang, The King and I
George Stevens, Giant
King Vidor, War and Peace
William Wyler, Friendly Persuasion (more…)