Cinema 1958: You Must Remember This–Trends, Events, Movies, Stars

Cineliteracy: What You Need to Know about 1958 as a Movie Year

Top-Grossing Films of 1958

Rank Title Studio Box-office gross rental
1 South Pacific Magna/20th Century Fox $16,300,000
2 Auntie Mame Warner Bros. $9,100,000
3 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer $7,660,000
4 No Time for Sergeants Warner Bros. $7,500,000
5 Gigi Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer $6,500,000
6 The Vikings United Artists/Bryna Productions $6,000,000
7 The Young Lions 20th Century Fox $4,480,000
8 The Inn of the Sixth Happiness $4,400,000
9 Some Came Running Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer $4,245,000
10 Indiscreet Warner Bros. $3,600,000


January 29 –

Elevator to the Gallows (Ascenseur pour l’échafaud), Louis Malle’s film is released, notable for the improvised soundtrack by Miles Davis, though Le Beau Serge is credited as the first French New Wave feature.

February 16 – In the Money by William Beaudine is released, the last installment of The Bowery Boys series, which began in 1946.

February 27 – Harry Cohn, the founder of Columbia Pictures and one of the last Hollywood movie moguls, dies.

The second installment of Sergei Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible is finally released, after being shelved for political reasons. The director died during production on Part III.

April –

Samuel J. Briskin leaves MGM and rejoins Columbia, later becoming vice president and general manager of the studio.

April 22 –

Sol C. Siegel becomes head of studio operations at MGM.

May 15 –

MGM releases Gigi, one of the last classic musicals, directed by Vincente Minnelli, produced by Arthur Freed, and written by Alan Jay Lerner, The film is a critical and commercial success, the highest-grossing musical ever made by MGM– until That’s Entertainment! in 1974.

May 17 – Joseph E. Levine presents a picture on his own, 1954’s Attila with massive marketing, earning rentals of $2 million.

August 31 –

Carry on Sergeant, the first film in the popular British Carry On series

October –

Universal sells the lot to Music Corporation of America for $11.25 million and leases it back for $1 million a year.

November 15 –

During production of Solomon and Sheba in Madrid, actor Tyrone Power dies of heart attack. The production is halted until Yul Brynner replaces him as King Solomon.

December 16 –

MCA Inc. acquires the Universal studio lot for $11 million, and later the studio.

Oscar Awards

Golden Globe Awards (16th); March 5, 1959

Academy Awards (31st), April 6, 1959

Drama The Defiant Ones; Comedy Auntie Mame
Gigi (Musical) Gigi
Best Director Vincente Minnelli
Best Actor David Niven, Separate Tables

Danny Kaye, Me and the Colonel; David Niven, Separate Tables
Best Actress Susan Hayward, I Want to Live! Rosalind Russell
Auntie Mame Susan Hayward
I Want to Live!
Best Supporting Actor Burl Ives, The Big Country
Best Supporting Actress Hermione Gingold, Gigi

Wendy Hiller, Separate Tables

Best Foreign Language Film

Girl and the River
The Road a Year Long
Rosemary Mon Oncle