Best Films of the 1960s
Here are our picks for the 60s best films!
Honorable Mention: Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Genius director Stanley Kubrick crafted the best political satire of all time with this unique film. Starring Peter Sellers in three roles, including the odd titular character, this film has a group of men determining whether or not to launch nuclear weapons at America's so-called enemies. Featuring hilarious dialogue and visuals, this comedy takes on the U.S. defense apparatus in a brilliant way.
10. 101 Dalmatians
Disney animation was saved by their brilliant film 101 Dalmatians. It's a significant, groundbreaking masterpiece of animation that follows the titular kanines as they evade the one of the most heartless and frightening villains ever put to film, Cruella De Vil. It's got some great songs, fantastic voice acting, and a heartwarming story of family and friendship.
Featuring the King of Cool himself Steve McQueen in his best role, Bullitt is a well-paced police drama with one of the most famous car chases in movie history. This film has an intriguing plot, incredible car stunts, and is expertly edited. McQueen's awesome portrayal of Lt. Frank Bullitt holds the audience's attention as his renegade cop does things his own way and will stop at nothing to catch the bad guy.
8. Once Upon a Time in the West
The western genre hasn't been the same since Italian auteur Segio Leone put his own stamp on the genre, and his greatest achievement is Once Upon a Time in the West. This movie is so stylish thanks to it's brilliant cinematography by Tonino Delli Colli, Ennio Morricone's cool score, and slow-paced editing with sudden bursts of action from Nino Baragli. It's got great performances from Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, and Claudia Cardinale all of which bring this sprawling epic western together for a surprisingly intimate story.
7. Cool Hand Luke
Paul Newman is at his best in Cool Hand Luke. This is his most fascinating and likeable character as we watch him survive harsh prison life in Florida's summer heat. It's got great dialogue thanks to it's tough and honest script, great direction, and superb performances from Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin, Morgan Woodward, and Clifton James.
6. Swiss Family Robinson
The ultimate family adventure film, Swiss Family Robinson takes us on a joyous journey of survival and danger. Shooting on location greatly helps add realism to this movie and they capture some stunning vistas in the film. It's got a fun premise, solid action scenes, and tells an important story of family, loyalty, and love.
The samurai film was never the same after Akira Kurosawa took a shot at it. In his best film role, Toshiro Mifune takes the strong silent anti-hero to another level as he reluctantly helps a small town by pitting two warring factions against one another. It's a fun romp with striking visuals, stunning action, and solid performances all of which inspired future American westerns.
4. The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music is Julie Andrews' best film because this is where she broke out into the mainstream in a lead role that suited her perfectly. Andrews plays a nanny taking care of children in 1930s Austria by using her musical talents to teach them important life lessons which is a very different way of raising the kids compared to their strict father, played brilliantly by Christopher Plummer. The fun, light film takes a turn for the dramatic when the family must evade Nazis who are chasing them down made even more serious by the fact that it's based on the true story of the von Trapp family.
3. Dr. No
The film that kicked off the longest-running film franchise of all time, Dr. No is an action flick with both style and substance. The best actor to play James Bond is still Sean Connery as his calm cool charm shines through his performance alongside the bold and beautiful Ursula Andress, Jack Lord's loyal ally Felix Leiter, and Joseph Wiseman's dastardly villain. There are plenty of exciting action sequences including gunplay, fist fights, and car chases, an iconic musical score, some fun dialogue, and a smart story.
2. Planet of the Apes
A groundbreaking movie from it's story to it's makeup and special effects, Planet of the Apes is an outstanding achievement. Charlton Heston gives it his all as Taylor, an astronaut stranded on a planet where apes have taken over and humans are treated as animals which also features truly splendid performances from both Kim Hunter and Roddy McDowall. Jerry Goldsmith's score is marvelous, the cinematography by Leon Shamroy is fantastic, and the directing from Franklin J. Schaffner gives everything a frantic sense of oddness and urgency.
1. Lawrence of Arabia
The best film of the 60s is Lawrence of Arabia. David Lean's magnum opus is am exquisite historical epic set in the deserts of the Middle East. As we follow the life of T.E. Lawrence we're caught up in his adventurous and dangerous life in the brutal Arabian sand. Every shot is a breathtaking, the music is thrilling, and the battle sequences are awesome to behold. Peter O'Toole's performance is a masterclass in acting as he carries the entire film with ease alongside the rest of the brilliant cast like Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, and Omar Sharif.