Oh, it was an EVENT in 1956!
Not just because it was new and one of the first major films to be shown in widescreen Todd AO (like Conemascope), but because it was one of the first big films to use authentic locations. Up until that time, most films were shot in soundstages, even if they were about riding the open range or the road to Zanzibar. ATWI80D was actually filmed on locations all over the world, in places the audiences had never seen on real life or on color film, they were so wowed by seeing Japan and Spain etc. that they barely noticed the film is kind of stodgy.
l think that's why the film industry loved it enough to award it best picture over "THE TEN COMMANDMENTS", "THE KING AND I,' "GIANT" and "FRIENDLY PERSUASION". It was the kind of huge colorful spectacle that was the perfect counter to the niiggling little gray threat of Television.