Ilya Muromets (1956, USSR)
The high budget Soviet movies of the 40s and 50s often feel like they were made in an alternate universe where the ambition that in Hollywood was channeled through greed, instead was channeled through the Ministry of Culture of a borderline-totalitarian dictatorship. Which is more or less what really happened. Watched it all. This is a fantastic fantasy epic, visually ahead of the rest the world, and it makes up for being weird in bad ways by being also weird in good ways.
Starik Kottabych (1956, USSR)
A Young Pioneer discovers a mischievous genie in a bottle, which teaches him valuable life lessons about power and responsibility. Watched: 20 minutes. I think this is the first Soviet movie I’ve seen that portrays anything resembling daily life in the modern Soviet Union.
Susaki Paradise (1956, Japan)
The bar right at the edge of the red light district is a convenient place to work for girls who are not entirely sure which of the two worlds they belong to. It’s less convenient for her loser husband, who gets constant reminders of his inability to provide. Watched it all.
1984 (1956, USA)
The 1954 BBC version is better. It even features that guy who had that minor role in Star Wars. Watched: 13 minutes.
Break the Darkness Before Dawn (1956, China)
If high-budget war movies are a sign of prosperity, then I predict that Chinas will have enough to eat for everybody for years to come. Watched: 22 minutes.