The 100 Greatest Movies of the 1960s

The 1960s were a transformative period in the world of cinema, marked by innovation, artistic experimentation, and the emergence of new waves in filmmaking. It was a decade when boundaries were pushed, conventions were challenged, and timeless classics were created. In this article, we embark on a nostalgic journey through the 1960s, revisiting some of the greatest films that not only defined the era but also left an indelible mark on the history of cinema.

Known as the ‘decade of youth,’ the 1960s were the years of rebellion, self-awareness, and new ideas. Some of the best moments in the history of the United States came during the 1960s. And some of the worst decisions in American history were made in the same decade. The US went to war with a foreign country that we did not fully understand. It can be argued that the country lost the war in Vietnam.

The 1960s brought about the uprising of “hippies.” And in the process, some expressions that we still use today became popular in this era. Like “Groovy” or “Radical.”

It was the period of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, drugs, and love. From the point of view of partying, I highly doubt there was ever a better decade than the 1960s.

People in colleges were opening up their horizons and giving way to expressing thoughts and feelings. People were pulling their heads out of the sand of the 1950s and embracing revolutionary new concepts. Protests began to break out all over. Women were demanding more rights. People of every different color and creed demanded to be heard.

With all of these changes going on, it became increasingly hard for Hollywood to keep up with the wants and dislikes of the public. Studios were still recuperating from the massive loss of their theatre chains. 20th Century Fox, like many other studios in the early years of the 1960s, was about to go completely bankrupt. They were hoping huge epics like Cleopatra would bail them out of their sinking sandbox of debt. It turns out such crazy endeavors actually made things worse for the studios. Major corporate businesses started buying up studios like Paramount and the great MGM with very little interest in actually producing quality films.

All of these changes didn’t stop truly great filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock, David Lean, or Stanley Kubrick from giving audiences some of their best work. We got to see some truly remarkable stars shine their brightest.

Paul Newman and Robert Redford proved that they were the ultimate team for a “buddy movie” in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). The beautiful and multi-talented Julie Andrews proved how great her voice was in two great musicals, The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins.

The 1960s also introduced audiences to a new breed of Western film with The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and a new superstar in Clint Eastwood. Little did anyone know, but he would rise up to arguably become the new John Wayne. Charlton Heston told off some “damn dirty apes.” We got to see what space would look like before Neil Armstrong made it to the moon in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Psycho (1960)

It was the decade that introduced us to James Bond and the great Sean Connery. And before all of this, Alfred Hitchcock broke the rules and scared us all to death by introducing audiences to the first truly great horror film, Psycho.

1. Psycho (1960)
2. The Sound of Music (1965)
3. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
4. Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
5. Lawrence of Arabia (1963)
6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
7. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966)
8. Planet of the Apes (1968)
9. The Graduate (1967)
10. Goldfinger (1964)
11. My Fair Lady (1964)
12. Spartacus (1960)
13. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
14. A Shot in The Dark (1964)
15. The Great Escape (1963)
16. From Russia with Love (1963)
17. The Apartment (1960)
18. The Longest Day (1962)
19. West Side Story (1961)
20. The Odd Couple (1968)
21. It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)
22. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
23. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
24. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
25. 8 1/2 (1963)
26. The Hustler (1961)
27. The Dirty Dozen (1967)
28. Mary Poppins (1964)
29. Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
30. La Dolce Vita (1962)
31. Rosemary's Baby (1968)
32. The Pink Panther (1963)
33. Once Upon A Time in the West
34. The Misfits (1961)
35. Oliver! (1968)
36. Bullitt (1968)
37. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
38. The Birds (1963)
39. Charade (1963)
40. The Wild Bunch (1969)
41. A Hard Day's Night (1964)
42. How the West Was Won (1962)
43. Dr. No (1962)
44. A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
45. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
46. Cape Fear (1962)
47. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
48. Easy Rider (1969)
49. The Magnificent Seven (1960)
50. Splendor in the Grass (1961)
51. Romeo and Julet (1968)
52. Tom Jones (1963)
53. Lolita (1962)
54. The Guns of Navarone (1961)
55. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
56. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
57. Cat Ballou (1967)
58. Barefoot in The Park (1967)
59. McLintock! (1963)
60. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
61. True Grit (1969)
62. The Music Man (1962)
63. 101 Dalmations (1961)
64. The Nutty Professor (1962)
65. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
66. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
67. The Time Machine (1960)
68. Ocean's Eleven (1960)
69. The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)
70. The Haunting (1963)
71. A Man for All Season (1966)
72. Alfie (1966)
73. The Great Race (1965)
74. The Jungle Book (1967)
75. The Alamo (1960)
76. Hud (1963)
77. Camelot (1967)
78. The Love Bug (1969)
79. Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
80. Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
81. Faces (1968)
82. One Million Years B.C. (1966)
83. Hello, Dolly! (1969)
84. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
85. Where Eagles Dare (1969)
86. You Only Live Twice (1968)
87. Viva Las Vegas (1964)
88. Juliet of the Spirits (1965)
89. The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)
90. The Lost World (1960)
91. Funny Girl (1968)
92. Fail-Safe (1964)
93. Kid Galahad (1962)
94. The Green Berets (1968)
95. Lillies of the Field (1963)
96. Barbarella (1968)
97. The Ugly Dachshund (1966)
98. Help! (1965)
99. The Leopard (1963)
100. For A Few Dollars More (1966)

Was the 1960s the best decade in the history of film? That’s hard to say. It certainly introduced us to some of the greatest movies and celebrities. But, I still stand by my belief that the period between 1970 and 2000 was the second Golden Age of Hollywood. But, some of the movies from the 1960s sure helped influence that period.

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