Top 5 Films Turning 50 This Year
Here are our picks for the five best films of 1968!
The king of cool, Steve McQueen brought his on screen charisma to the role of rogue cop Lt. Frank Bullitt in this classic police drama. The character is perhaps McQueen's most memorable as he's a man of few words with a gruff attitude yet maintains a charm and swagger most can't replicate. His awesome Mustang is his signature ride and the car chase in this film remains one of the best in movie history. As Bullitt follows his prey in a high-speed race through the streets of San Fancisco we go on the exhilarating ride with him until it's explosive conclusion. This is a fun movie filled with mystery, action, and interesting character relationships that compel the story forward.
4. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Still one of the best family films of all time, Dick Van Dyke shines in this children's book adaptation. A fantastical, musical adventure unlike any other, the film takes us on an imaginative journey through a magical land of fun and thrills. It's got plenty of hilarious moments along with some great music and outrageous action. The acting is excellent and the story is unforgettable. You'll want to watch this one over and over again.
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey
Stanley Kubrick's greatest technical achievement is this science fiction cautionary tale. While the beginning of the film is a bit boring, once we go on the titular space odyssey the film builds tension to a fever pitch unlike any other movie until Kubrick's other masterpiece, The Shining. Anyone who's seen it knows that HAL 9000 remains one of the scariest movie villains of all time due to his cold, calculating nature and oddly friendly voice. No one had seen special effects like this before, and it was a leap forward for innovators like George Lucas who realized that bringing his Star Wars to the screen was possible. This is a must see for anyone interested in the history of film.
2. Once Upon a Time in the West
Sergio Leone's magnum opus is this epic western. He pulls out all the stops here framing the most beautiful shots ever in this film. Starring Charles Bronson as the quirky and quiet Harmonica and Henry Fonda as the ruthless Frank, the movie is a sprawling saga of characters caught up in a struggle during the days of the Old American West as the railroad expanded and cold-blooded killers ran free. Each scene takes it's time and every performance is perfectly nuanced allowing the viewer to get caught up in the story and majesty of the American landscapes. It's a genius work of art from an Italian auteur.
1. Planet of the Apes
Based on the French novel of the same name, Franklin J. Schaffner's film about astronauts who discover a planet of the apes is as audacious and groundbreaking as a film can be. It's a tale of survival, discovery, and rebellion. Charlton Heston gives an amazing performance as the worldly and selfish astronaut Taylor, as do both Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter as intelligent apes trying to understand an how an intelligent man exists on a world where humans are more like animals. It's got some excellent comedy and fantastic make-up effects which were revolutionary at the time. This one also still has the best twist ending in cinematic history.