What we need to talk about for 1956 is the biggest thing in popular culture — rock ‘n’ roll. Music changed forever in the 50s, and this feels like the signature year to bring it up. Elvis’s first movie — Love Me Tender — came out this year, and there was a proliferation of films with rock ‘n’ roll stars in them performing their hits. This goes back to what I brought up in a previous year — teenagers were now the target audience. So they put all their favorite stars in the films. It’s actually a great time capsule, watching those films. You actually get to see these stars perform their hits.
The other thing — at least for me — about 1956 is the amount of straight up hidden gems that are in it. Sure, the big films are represented, as they should be. But my top ten has at least two films that most people haven’t heard of and another film that most people haven’t seen. And there’s also amazing stuff below that as well.
This is one of those years where just about every single movie going down to tier two is something I really enjoy. (more…)