Several classics were released this year. Many, more easily forgotten, B-grade fodder were released too. More sci-fi movies were released in '56 than had been in each of the previous years, but the sci-fi rocket was just warming up. Here are 1956's films in roughly chronological order:
Invasion of the Body Snatchers -- THE seminal classic about alien take-over and personal loss of individuality and humanity.
Indestructible Man -- A pulp crime story with Lon Chaney Jr. as a man man invulnerable to weapons.
The Atomic Man -- A British crime drama with a sci-fi twist. Industrial spies are after a scientist who lives 7.5 seconds in the future.
Forbidden Planet -- To many, this is the apex of 50s sci-fi. A United Planets cruiser finds a dark and deadly secret of a lost civilization.
World Without End -- Astronauts returning from Mars go through a time warp and arrive on earth centuries after a global nuclear war, to find mutants and underworlders.
The Creature Walks Among Us -- The third in the Creature series, and the most thoughtful. Gill man develops lungs and lives among men.
Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers -- A Ray Harryhausen classic of saucers and aliens intent on conquering the earth.
It Conquered The World -- A Roger Corman flick about a Venusian who smooth talks his way to earth so he can conquer it. Very low budget.
Satellite In The Sky -- British space drama about a weapons test intended to shock the world into peace, but things go wrong.
Beast of Hollow Mountain -- Not really a sci-fi story, but sometimes classified as one. A dormant T-Rex emerges to terrorize Mexican cattle ranchers.
Godzilla, King of Monsters -- The Americanized re-issue of the 1954 classic Gojira. Raymond Burr footage inserted, but essentially the same story.
Manhunt In Space -- Essentially three episodes of the Rocky Jones: Space Ranger TV show, edited into a "feature" film.
Fire Maidens of Outer Space -- A British variation on Catwomen of the Moon that panders with beauties, yet falteringly tries to be "art."
1984 -- The first film adaptation of Orwell's famous novel. Imperfect but moody and evocative.
Quatermass 2: Enemy From Space -- Professor Quatermass discovers a secret government plot and a processing plant which is incubating ammonia-breathing aliens.
The Mole People -- Archeologists find a "lost" civilization of (now) albino humans deep in the earth, who enslaved a race of mole-man creatures.
The Gamma People -- Obscure British sci-fi about an evil scientist trying to create a super-race in a tiny European nation.
Warning From Space -- English dubbed version of a Japanese film, which was itself a mash-up of The Day the Earth Stood Still and When Worlds Collide.