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DISCLAIMER: All film criticism is extremely subjective and there is no such thing as the definitive list of the Greatest (English-language) Films. Great Films can't be measured scientifically because greatness is extremely subjective. Just because we like a film doesn't mean that you will like it as well. Please feel free to leave us a comment with the films that you think are the greatest which we have not included on our list.

Not only was 1958 a big year for movies but it was also a big year for actors making their film debuts and the deaths of some truly great talent. Here is a snap shot of the American film industry.


Making Their Film Debuts:

  • Claudia Cardinale – Goha
  • Patty Duke – Country Music Holiday
  • Ian Holm – Girls at Sea
  • Jack Nicholson – The Cry Baby Killer
  • Suzanne Pleshette – The Geisha Boy
  • Christopher Plummer – Stage Struck
  • Vanessa Redgrave – Behind the Mask
  • Oliver Reed – The Square Peg
  • Don Rickles – Run Silent, Run Deep


Top-grossing Films

RankTitleStudioGross rental
1.South Pacific20th Century Fox$16,300,000
2.Auntie MameWarner Bros.$9,100,000
3.Cat on a Hot Tin RoofMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer$7,800,000
4.No Time for SergeantsWarner Bros.$7,500,000
6.The VikingsUnited Artists$6,000,000
7.VertigoParamount Pictures$5,306,000
8.The Young Lions20th Century Fox$4,480,000
9.Some Came RunningMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer$4,442,000
10.The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw20th Century Fox$4,410,000


Academy Award Winners

Best Picture: Gigi – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Best Director: Vincente MinnelliGigi

Best Actor: David NivenSeparate Tables

Best Actress: Susan HaywardI Want to Live!

Best Supporting Actor: Burl IvesThe Big Country

Best Supporting Actress: Wendy HillerSeparate Tables


Among Those Who Died In 1958:

  • January 11 – Edna Purviance, 62, American actress, The Kid, A Woman of Paris
  • January 13 – Jesse L. Lasky, 77, American producer, Wings, The Cocoanuts
  • February 13 – Helen Twelvetrees, 49, American actress, A Bedtime Story, Now I’ll Tell
  • February 15 – William Berke, 54, American director, Dick Tracy, FBI Girl
  • February 17 – Tala Birell, 50, Romanian actress, Women in the Night, Dangerous Millions
  • February 27 – Harry Cohn, 66, American film executive, co-founder of CBS Sales Association (Columbia Pictures), Platinum Blonde, American Madness
  • March 22
    • Mike Todd, 48, American producer, Around the World in 80 Days, This Is Cinerama
    • Art Cohn, 48, American screenwriter, The Set-Up, Ten Thousand Bedrooms
  • April 9 – Sol M. Wurtzel, 67, American producer, Charlie Chan in Rio, Bright Eyes
  • April 15 – Estelle Taylor, 63, American actress, Cimarron, The Ten Commandments
  • May 2 – Henry Cornelius, 44, South African director, Genevieve, I Am a Camera
  • May 19 – Ronald Colman, 67, British actor, Lost Horizon, Random Harvest
  • June 6 – Virginia Pearson, 72, American actress, The Phantom of the Opera, The Wizard of Oz
  • June 9 – Robert Donat, 53, British actor, The 39 Steps, Goodbye, Mr. Chips
  • July 11 – Evelyn Varden, 65, American actress, The Night of the Hunter, Ten Thousand Bedrooms
  • July 20 – Franklin Pangborn, 69, American actor, Never Give a Sucker an Even Break, The Bank Dick
  • August 8 – Barbara Bennett, 51, American actress, Black Jack, Syncopation
  • August 18 – Bonar Colleano, 34, British actor, Eight Iron Men, Joe MacBeth
  • August 21 – Kurt Neumann, 50, German director, The Fly, Mohawk
  • August 27 – Priscilla Lawson, 44, American actress, Flash Gordon, Rose Bowl
  • October 4 – Ida Wüst, 74, German actress, Chamber Music
  • November 15 – Tyrone Power, 44, American actor, Witness for the Prosecution, The Mark of Zorro
  • December 1 – Boots Mallory, 45, American actress, Sing Sing Nights, Here’s Flash Casey
  • December 20 – Elisabeth Risdon, 71, British actress, Florence Nightingale, Five Came Back
  • December 21 – H. B. Warner, 83, British actor, Lost Horizon, It’s a Wonderful Life

The Greatest Films of 1958




Poster for the movie "Auntie Mame"

© − All right reserved.

Auntie Mame

D: Morton DaCosta

Ten-year-old orphan Patrick Dennis has come to live with his nearest relative and in the high times ahead, he’s not going to believe his luck. Nor will you, because Patrick’s relation is played by one of Hollywood’s grandest dames. Reprising her Broadway triumph, Rosalind Russell won her fourth Oscar nomination and third Golden Globe Award as the marvelous madcap who lives life to the hilt. Auntie Mame brings to bubbly life the mayhem Mame and her cronies create while guiding Patrick’s fortunes. “Life is a banquet,” Mame says, “and most poor suckers are starving to death!” With wit, style and a seasoned cast to dish humor and heart with gusto, Auntie Mame is a full-course meal of entertainment magic.

Learn more and watch the preview here


Poster for the movie "The Big Country"

© 1958 United Artists − All right reserved.

The Big Country

D: William Wyler

Retired, wealthy sea Captain Jame McKay arrives in the vast expanse of the West to marry fiancée Pat Terrill. McKay is a man whose values and approach to life are a mystery to the ranchers and ranch foreman Steve Leech takes an immediate dislike to him. Pat is spoiled, selfish and controlled by her wealthy father, Major Henry Terrill. The Major is involved in a ruthless civil war, over watering rights for cattle, with a rough hewn clan led by Rufus Hannassey. The land in question is owned by Julie Maragon and both Terrill and Hannassey want it.

Learn more and watch the preview here