Academy Award Rankings

Ranking All The Movies Nominated At The 28th Academy Awards In 1956

28th Academy Awards 1956 Best Movies

“What are the best movies nominated for the 28th Academy Awards in 1956?” We looked at all 55 movies nominated for an Oscar in 1956 and ranked them again one another to answer that very question!

We took al 55 movies that were nominated for an Academy Award in 1956 and looked at their Rotten Tomato Critic, Rotten Tomato User, IMDB, and Letterboxd scores, ranking them against one another to see which movies came out on top. The movies are ranked on our list below, with the full chart of rankings included at the bottom of the page. We did not use Metacritic scores because of the lack of data for older movies on that site. Metacritic scores will be included when we do rankings for other years in the future.

If you want to see the rankings for additional years you can visit our Academy Award Rankings page.

Happy Viewing!



The Top 1956 Academy Award Movie Rankings



53 ) Crèvecoeur

Nominated For:

  • Best Documentary, Features


53 ) Survival City

Nominated For:

  • Best Short Subject, One-reel (Win)

Oscar Winning short film from 1955 showing the effects of an atomic bomb on an American town.



53 ) Three Kisses

Nominated For:

  • Best Short Subject, One-reel

Oscar nominated short film from 1955



51 ) Men Against the Arctic

Nominated For:

  • Best Documentary, Short Subjects (Win)

This Academy Award winning short subject documentary follows the United States Coast Guard icebreaker ships Eastwind and Westwind for four months as they work to clear navigational paths for ships traversing the arctic sea.



51 ) The Face of Lincoln

Nominated For:

  • Best Documentary, Short Subjects
  • Best Short Subject, Two-reel (Win)

Head of the sculpture dpeartment at USC when this film was made (by USC), Merrell Gage was a lifelong expert on Abraham Lincoln. This short was a lecture often given by Gage, using wet clay to depict the on-going changes to Abe’s face over the years as Abe altered his hairstyle, grew a beard, and showed the effects of aging. Shown on TV many times, a fascinating look at one of history’s important statesmen.



50 ) 24 Hour Alert

Nominated For:

  • Best Short Subject, Two-reel

Members of an Air Force base prove their worth to the Mayor of a nearby town who would like to throw them out due to noise pollution.



48 ) Gadgets Galore

Nominated For:

  • Best Short Subject, One-reel

This Warner Bros. short reviews in an often humorous way the impact of the automobile on the United States. By 1900, the horseless carriage was beginning to have an impact. Early adopters were often the object of attention by large curious crowds. There were many car manufacturers and the quality of their product varied considerably. Traffic jams, pollution and automobile racing were only a few of the outcomes.



48 ) Unchained

Nominated For:

  • Best Music, Original Song

This fact-based prison drama tells the tale of a band of prisoners living in the innovative 2,600-acre prison at Chino, California. The place takes a humanistic approach to reform and there are no armed guards, no lockups and no uniforms. The underlying philosophy is that if these things are not there, the prisoners will not want to escape, and will instead accept their punishment. A new inmate arrives and soon accustoms himself to the new idea. The story includes the Oscar nominated song Unchained Melody.



47 ) The Rains of Ranchipur

Nominated For:

  • Best Effects, Special Effects

India. The spoilt and stubborn Edwina Esketh, comes to a small town with her husband. She falls in love with an indian doctor, Dr. Safti. She also meets an old friend of hers, the alcoholic Tom Ransome. An awful earthquake is followed by days of rain.

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46 ) The Battle of Gettysburg

Nominated For:

  • Best Documentary, Short Subjects
  • Best Short Subject, Two-reel

This film was shot entirely at the Gettysburg National Military Park, where the decisive battle of the American Civil War was fought. Leslie Nielsen narrates the story while contemporary songs and the sounds of battle are heard in the background. The sites of the various engagements, the statues of the leaders of the Northern and Southern troops, and the battlefield cemetery are featured. President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is read at the end.



44 ) Strategic Air Command

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing, Motion Picture Story

Air Force reservist Lt. Col. Robert (Dutch) Holland is recalled into active duty at the peak of his baseball career.

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44 ) The Unconquered

Nominated For:

  • Best Documentary, Features (Win)


43 ) The Private War of Major Benson

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing, Motion Picture Story

A Major noted for advancing with his mouth before thinking is given a choice: to be drummed out of the Army, or take command of and shape up the ROTC program at Sheridan Academy before it fails its next inspection. At Sheridan he encounters three hundred pre-teen cadets who range from rascally to adorable, and a female doctor who has just the right prescription for him.



42 ) Pete Kelly’s Blues

Nominated For:

  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role

In 1927 Kansas City Pete Kelly and his jazz band play nightly at a speakeasy. A local gangster starts to move in on them and when their drummer is killed Kelly gives in…

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41 ) The Sheep Has Five Legs

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing, Motion Picture Story

The Sheep Has Five Legs (French: Le Mouton à cinq pattes) is a 1954 French film directed by Henri Verneuil. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Story.



40 ) 3rd Ave. El

Nominated For:

  • Best Short Subject, One-reel

Oscar nominated short film from 1955



38 ) The Pickwick Papers

Nominated For:

  • Best Costume Design, Black-and-White

The Pickwick Club sends Mr. Pickwick and a group of friends to travel across England and to report back on the interesting things they find…



38 ) The Tender Trap

Nominated For:

  • Best Music, Original Song

Charlie Reader is a successful theater agent. He is also successful with young ladies. One day he is visited by his old friend Joe, married with three children. Joe falls in love with Charlie’s girl Sylvia while Charlie spends his time with young actress Julie. Written by Mattias Thuresson

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37 ) Battle Cry

Nominated For:

  • Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture

The dramatic story of US marines in training, in combat and in love during World War II. The story centres on a major who guides the raw recruits from their training to combat. Based on the novel by Leon Uris.

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36 ) Not as a Stranger

Nominated For:

  • Best Sound, Recording

Lucas Marsh, an intern bent upon becoming a first-class doctor, not merely a successful one. He courts and marries the warm-hearted Kristina, not out of love but because she is highly knowledgeable in the skills of the operating room and because she has frugally put aside her savings through the years. She will be, as he shrewdly knows, a supportive wife in every way. She helps make him the success he wants to be and cheerfully moves with him to the small town in which he starts his practice. But as much as he tries to be a good husband to the undemanding Kristina, Marsh easily falls into the arms of a local siren and the patience of the long-sorrowing Kristina wears thin.



35 ) The Seven Little Foys

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing, Story and Screenplay

Vaudeville entertainer Eddie Foy, who has vowed to forever keep his act a solo, falls in love with and marries Italian ballerina Madeleine. While they continue to tour the circuit, they begin a family and before long have seven little Foys to clutter the wings. After tragedy threatens to stall Eddie’s career, he comes to realize that his little terrors are worth their weight in gold. – Chris Stone



34 ) Queen Bee

Nominated For:

  • Best Cinematography, Black-and-White
  • Best Costume Design, Black-and-White

A devilish Southern woman, married to a man who despises her, manages to manipulate those around her under the guise of being kind. But, when her sister-in-law is engaged to be married to the woman’s former lover and her husband starts up an affair with her cousin, visting from New York, things start to go awry and she sets a plan to destroy it all.

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33 ) The Bridges at Toko-Ri

Nominated For:

  • Best Effects, Special Effects (Win)
  • Best Film Editing

A naval aviator is assigned to bomb a group of heavily defended bridges during the Korean War.

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32 ) Good Will to Men

Nominated For:

  • Best Short Subject, Cartoons

A group of young mice is in the ruins of a church, practicing singing for an upcoming service. After singing an adulterated version of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” the mice wonder about the last line, “Good will to men.” One of them asks the chorus master, an old mouse, “What are men?” The old mouse explains that they all killed each other off by building bigger and more destructive weapons, first guns, then missiles, then bombs.



31 ) Switzerland

Nominated For:

  • Best Short Subject, Two-reel

Oscar nominated short film from 1955



30 ) Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing

Nominated For:

  • Best Actress in a Leading Role
  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color
  • Best Cinematography, Color
  • Best Costume Design, Color (Win)
  • Best Music, Original Song (Win)
  • Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture (Win)
  • Best Picture
  • Best Sound, Recording

Story of torch singer Ruth Etting’s rise from 1920s taxi dancer to movie star, simultaneously aided and frustrated by Chicago mobster Marty Sydney’s headstrong ways and pressure tactics

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29 ) Daddy Long Legs

Nominated For:

  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color
  • Best Music, Original Song
  • Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture

Wealthy American Jervis Pendleton III (Fred Astaire) has a chance encounter at a French orphanage with a cheerful 18-year-old resident, Julie Andre (Leslie Caron). He anonymously pays for her education at a New England college. She writes letters to her mysterious benefactor regularly, but he never writes back. Her nickname for him, “Daddy Long Legs”, is taken from the description of him given to Andre by some of her fellow orphans who see his shadow as he leaves their building. Several years later, he visits her at school, still concealing his identity. Despite their large age difference, they soon fall in love.

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28 ) The Virgin Queen

Nominated For:

  • Best Costume Design, Color

Sir Walter Raleigh overcomes court intrigue to win favor with the Queen in order to get financing for a proposed voyage to the New World.

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27 ) On the Twelfth Day…

Nominated For:

  • Best Short Subject, Two-reel

A proper Edwardian lady patiently endures the ever-increasing disruption to her quiet household when her Truelove gives her all the items from the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”



26 ) No Hunting

Nominated For:

  • Best Short Subject, Cartoons

A cartoon that satirizes hunting to the extreme. Donald Duck is inspired by his grandpappy to go hunting in the woods. Once there, all the hunters are greeted by hot dog vendors, ambulances, and fire engines. Nobody is going to be unprepared for the big day tomorrow when hunting season begins. The next day, the hunting is so intense that hunters use bazookas and tanks to catch their prey and are even parachuted out of airplanes onto the hunting grounds! After dodging some bullets and other chaos, Donald and his “grandpappy” finally leave the hunt with game, a cow (labelled “cow” by a local farmer so the hunters wouldn’t confuse it for prey!).



25 ) Interrupted Melody

Nominated For:

  • Best Actress in a Leading Role
  • Best Costume Design, Color
  • Best Writing, Story and Screenplay (Win)

Interrupted Melody is the inspirational filmed biography of world-renowned Australian soprano Marjorie Lawrence. She’s a foremost Wagnerian, equal to the vocal and physical demands of the composer’s oeuvre. And she’s a beacon of triumph to anyone who fights back when personal tragedy strikes.

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23 ) Picnic

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color (Win)
  • Best Director
  • Best Film Editing (Win)
  • Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture
  • Best Picture

The morning of a small town Labor Day picnic, a drifter (Hal Carter) blows into town to visit an old fraternity buddy (Alan Benson) who also happens to be the son of the richest man in town. Hal is an egocentric braggart – all potential and no accomplishment. He meets up with Madge Owens, the town beauty queen and girlfriend of Alan Benson.

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23 ) Speedy Gonzales

Nominated For:

  • Best Short Subject, Cartoons (Win)

Speedy comes to the aid of a group of mice trying to get the cheese from a factory guarded by Sylvester.



22 ) Trial

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role

The story of a murder trial where a Mexican boy is accused of the death of a Caucasian girl. The two-faced attorney (Arthur Kennedy) who takes the boy’s case is only interested in defending him so he can exploit his Communist-backed organization for their own underhanded purposes. He and his organization bring in an idealistic law professor (Glenn Ford) who agrees to represent the boy in court.



21 ) The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing, Story and Screenplay

A dramatization of the American general and his court martial for publically complaining about High Command’s dismissal and neglect of the aerial fighting forces.



20 ) I’ll Cry Tomorrow

Nominated For:

  • Best Actress in a Leading Role
  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White
  • Best Cinematography, Black-and-White
  • Best Costume Design, Black-and-White (Win)

Deprived of a normal childhood by her ambitious mother, Katie (Jo Van Fleet), Lillian Roth (Susan Hayward) becomes a star of Broadway and Hollywood before she is twenty. Shortly before her marriage to her childhood sweetheart, David Tredman (Ray Danton), he dies and Lillian takes her first drink of many down the road of becoming an alcoholic.

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19 ) Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday

Nominated For:

  • Best Writing, Story and Screenplay

Monsieur Hulot, Jacques Tati’s endearing clown, takes a holiday at a seaside resort, where his presence provokes one catastrophe after another. Tati’s masterpiece of gentle slapstick is a series of effortlessly well-choreographed sight gags involving dogs, boats, and firecrackers; it was the first entry in the Hulot series and the film that launched its maker to international stardom.

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18 ) The Rose Tattoo

Nominated For:

  • Best Actress in a Leading Role (Win)
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role
  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White (Win)
  • Best Cinematography, Black-and-White (Win)
  • Best Costume Design, Black-and-White
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture
  • Best Picture

A grieving widow embarks on a new romance when she discovers her late husband had been cheating on her.

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17 ) Oklahoma!

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Nominated For:

  • Best Cinematography, Color
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture (Win)
  • Best Sound, Recording (Win)

This joyous celebration of frontier life combines tender romance and violent passion in the Oklahoma Territory of the 1900’s, with a timeless score filled with unforgettable songs. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s hit Broadway musical.

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16 ) A Man Called Peter

Nominated For:

  • Best Cinematography, Color

Based on the true story of a young Scottish lad, Peter Marshall, who dreams of only going to sea but finds out there is a different future for him when he receives a “calling” from God to be a minister. He leaves Scotland and goes to America where after a few small congregations he lands the position of pastor of the Church of the Presidents in Washington, D.C. and eventually he becomes Chaplain of the U.S. Senate.

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15 ) Love Me or Leave Me

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • Best Music, Original Song
  • Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture
  • Best Sound, Recording
  • Best Writing, Motion Picture Story (Win)
  • Best Writing, Screenplay

Brilliant performances by Doris Day and James Cagney highlight this story of jazz singing sensation Ruth Etting and the vicious Chicago hood who controlled her life.

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14 ) The Legend of Rockabye Point

Nominated For:

  • Best Short Subject, Cartoons

The old fishing boat captain tells the story of Chilly Willy, a singing polar bear and a bulldog who quickly falls asleep when he hears a lullaby.



13 ) Guys and Dolls

Nominated For:

  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color
  • Best Cinematography, Color
  • Best Costume Design, Color
  • Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture

In New York, a gambler is challenged to take a cold female missionary to Havana, but they fall for each other, and the bet has a hidden motive to finance a crap game.

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12 ) Blackboard Jungle

Nominated For:

  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White
  • Best Cinematography, Black-and-White
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Writing, Screenplay

Richard Dadier is a teacher at North Manual High School, an inner-city school where many of the pupils frequently engage in anti-social behavior. Dadier makes various attempts to engage the students’ interest in education, challenging both the school staff and the pupils. He is subjected to violence as well as duplicitous schemes.

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11 ) It’s Always Fair Weather

Nominated For:

  • Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture
  • Best Writing, Story and Screenplay

Three World War II buddies promise to meet at a specified place and time 10 years after the war. They keep their word only to discover how far apart they’ve grown. But the reunion sparks memories of youthful dreams that haven’t been fulfilled — and slowly, the three men reevaluate their lives and try to find a way to renew their friendship.

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10 ) Summertime

Nominated For:

  • Best Actress in a Leading Role
  • Best Director

Middle-aged Ohio secretary Jane Hudson has never found love and has nearly resigned herself to spending the rest of her life alone. But before she does, she uses her savings to finance a summer in romantic Venice, where she finally meets the man of her dreams, the elegant Renato Di Rossi. But when she learns that her new paramour is leading a double life, she must decide whether her happiness can come at the expense of others.

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9 ) The Man with the Golden Arm

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White
  • Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture

Frankie is a heroin addict and sits in prison. He wants a different life but the rehabilitation isn’t as easy as he had thought. Director Otto Preminger films one of the first social studies of an addict in this 1955 film.



8 ) To Catch a Thief

Nominated For:

  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color
  • Best Cinematography, Color (Win)
  • Best Costume Design, Color

To prevent being accused of the crimes, an ex-burglar must catch a thief who’s been copying his style.

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6 ) Mister Roberts

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Win)
  • Best Picture
  • Best Sound, Recording

A hilarious and heartfelt military comedy-drama co-directed by John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy, Mister Roberts stars Henry Fonda as an officer who’s yearning for battle but is stuck in the backwaters of World War II on a noncommissioned Navy ship run by the bullying Capt. Morton (James Cagney). Jack Lemmon enjoys a star-making turn as the freewheeling Ensign Pulver, and William Powell stars as the ship’s doctor in his last screen role. Based on the 1946 novel with the same name, by Thomas Heggen, and the 1948 Broadway play, written by Thomas Heggen and Joshua Logan. Henry Fonda also starred in the original Broadway production. Warner Bros. didn’t want Fonda to star in the film, as they thought he was too old, and had been a stage player for so long (8 years), that he no longer was box office material. However, John Ford insisted on Fonda and the company eventually agreed.

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6 ) The Dam Busters

Nominated For:

  • Best Effects, Special Effects

Adapted by R.C. Sherriff from Guy Gibson’s book Enemy Coast Ahead, The Dam Busters is a docudrama following the conception of a new British weapon for smashing the German dams in the Ruhr industrial complex and the execution of the raid by 617 Squadron ‘The Dam Busters’



5 ) East of Eden

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Win)
  • Best Director
  • Best Writing, Screenplay

In the Salinas Valley, in and around World War I, Cal Trask feels he must compete against overwhelming odds with his brother Aron for the love of their father Adam. Cal is frustrated at every turn, from his reaction to the war, to how to get ahead in business and in life, to how to relate to estranged mother.

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4 ) Rebel Without a Cause

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role
  • Best Writing, Motion Picture Story

After moving to a new town, troublemaking teen Jim Stark is supposed to have a clean slate, although being the new kid in town brings its own problems. While searching for some stability, Stark forms a bond with a disturbed classmate, Plato, and falls for local girl Judy. However, Judy is the girlfriend of neighborhood tough, Buzz. When Buzz violently confronts Jim and challenges him to a drag race, the new kid’s real troubles begin.

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3 ) Marty

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role (Win)
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role
  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White
  • Best Cinematography, Black-and-White
  • Best Director (Win)
  • Best Picture (Win)
  • Best Writing, Screenplay (Win)

Marty, a butcher who lives in the Bronx with his mother is unmarried at 34. Good-natured but socially awkward he faces constant badgering from family and friends to get married but has reluctantly resigned himself to bachelorhood. Marty meets Clara, an unattractive school teacher, realising their emotional connection, he promises to call but family and friends try to convince him not to.

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2 ) Bad Day at Black Rock

Nominated For:

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • Best Director
  • Best Writing, Screenplay

A stranger visits a tiny Western town determined to keep a horrible secret.

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1 ) Ugetsu

Nominated For:

  • Best Costume Design, Black-and-White

In the civil wars of 16th century Japan, two ambitious peasants in Nakanogo want to make their fortunes. The potter Genjuro intends to sell his wares for vast profits in the local city, Omizo, while his brother-in-law Tobei wishes to become a samurai. A respected sage warns them against seeking profit in times of war but his advice goes unheeded, and their insistency leads to the ruin of their families.

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The Best 28th Academy Award Rankings



1956 Academy Award Rankings

Film RT Critic RT User IMDB Letterboxd Overal Rank
Ugetsu 1 1 1 1 1
Bad Day at Black Rock 6 3 4 2 2
Marty 1 5 7 3 3
Rebel Without a Cause 7 3 4 3 4
East of Eden 13 2 3 3 5
Mister Roberts 11 6 4 8 6
The Dam Busters 1 8 12 8 6
To Catch a Thief 9 8 10 8 8
The Man with the Golden Arm 13 8 10 11 9
Summertime 10 13 12 11 10
It’s Always Fair Weather 1 18 26 3 11
Blackboard Jungle 17 15 12 11 12
Guys and Dolls 12 11 19 14 13
The Legend of Rockabye Point 21 14 12 14 14
Love Me or Leave Me 18 18 12 14 15
A Man Called Peter 24 6 19 14 16
Oklahoma! 7 16 19 23 17
The Rose Tattoo 15 16 19 23 18
Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday 24 39 8 3 19
I’ll Cry Tomorrow 24 20 12 19 20
The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell 1 27 31 19 21
Trial 24 12 31 14 22
Picnic 20 32 19 23 23
Speedy Gonzales 24 39 12 19 23
Interrupted Melody 24 21 31 23 25
No Hunting 24 39 19 19 26
On the Twelfth Day… 24 39 2 40 27
The Virgin Queen 24 23 28 31 28
Daddy Long Legs 24 22 38 23 29
Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing 21 30 19 39 30
Switzerland 24 39 8 40 31
Good Will to Men 24 39 26 23 32
The Bridges at Toko-Ri 16 25 35 37 33
Queen Bee 24 27 40 23 34
The Seven Little Foys 24 26 35 31 35
Not as a Stranger 23 29 35 31 36
Battle Cry 24 36 40 23 37
The Pickwick Papers 24 34 28 40 38
The Tender Trap 18 31 46 31 38
3rd Ave. El 24 39 28 40 40
The Sheep Has Five Legs 24 39 31 40 41
Pete Kelly’s Blues 24 37 43 31 42
The Private War of Major Benson 24 34 40 40 43
Strategic Air Command 24 33 46 37 44
The Unconquered 24 24 52 40 44
The Battle of Gettysburg 24 39 38 40 46
The Rains of Ranchipur 24 38 51 31 47
Gadgets Galore 24 39 43 40 48
Unchained 24 39 43 40 48
24 Hour Alert 24 39 48 40 50
Men Against the Arctic 24 39 49 40 51
The Face of Lincoln 24 39 49 40 51
Crèvecoeur 24 39 52 40 53
Survival City 24 39 52 40 53
Three Kisses 24 39 52 40 53

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