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30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic 

Ranker Film
Originally by
Updated January 26, 2020 1.2k votes 254 voters 23.3k views 46 items

The 1960s is one of the best settings for films because the decade marked a true change in America and around the world. The top 1960s period movies feature characters fighting for equal rights, coping with the horrors of the Vietnam War, and just trying to make it through the everyday struggles of middle-class life. This is a list of 1960s period movies featuring everything from Catch Me If You Can to Across the Universe to Girl, Interrupted.

What films will you find on this list of movies set in the 1960s? Maybe you'll vote Taking Woodstock to the top of the heap. Set at the most famous music festival of all time, a young man learns more about himself and the town which played host to the epic event. The Doors is another music-centric movie that represents the 1960s aesthetic. If you are looking for some sixties-era laughs, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery has you covered. Other good movies featured on this 1960s period movies list include Moonrise Kingdom, A Single Man, and Riding in Cars with Boys.

Which 1960s movie deserves the top spot on this list? Help us decide by giving your favorites a thumbs up and add any notable titles that are missing.

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1
Catch Me If You Can is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Leonardo DiCaprio, Amy Adams, Jennifer Garner

Released: 2002

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Catch Me If You Can is a 2002 American biographical crime drama film based on the life of Frank Abagnale, who, before his 19th birthday, successfully performed cons worth millions of dollars by ...more

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2
Moonrise Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton

Released: 2012

Directed by: Wes Anderson

Moonrise Kingdom is a 2012 American film directed by Wes Anderson, written by Anderson and Roman Coppola. Described as an "eccentric pubescent love story", it features newcomers Jared ...more

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3
Girl, Interrupted is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Angelina Jolie, Winona Ryder, Whoopi Goldberg

Released: 1999

Directed by: James Mangold

Girl, Interrupted is a 1999 American drama film, and an adaptation of Susanna Kaysen's 1993 memoir of the same name. The film chronicles Kaysen's 18-month stay at a mental institution. Directed ...more

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4
National Lampoon's Anima... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Kevin Bacon, John Belushi, Donald Sutherland

Released: 1978

Directed by: John Landis

National Lampoon's Animal House is a 1978 American comedy film directed by John Landis. The film was a direct spinoff from National Lampoon magazine. It is about a misfit group of fraternity ...more

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5
The Help is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard

Released: 2011

Directed by: Tate Taylor

The Help is a 2011 American period drama film directed and written by Tate Taylor, and adapted from Kathryn Stockett's 2009 novel of the same name. Featuring an ensemble cast, the film is about ...more

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6
That Thing You Do! is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Charlize Theron, Tom Hanks, Liv Tyler

Released: 1996

Directed by: Tom Hanks

That Thing You Do! is a 1996 American musical comedy drama film written, directed by, and co-starring Tom Hanks. Set in the summer of 1964, the movie tells the story of the quick rise and fall ...more

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7
Austin Powers: Internati... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Elizabeth Hurley, Will Ferrell, Carrie Fisher

Released: 1997

Directed by: Jay Roach

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is a 1997 American action comedy film and the first installment of the Austin Powers series. It was directed by Jay Roach and written by Mike Myers, ...more

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8
Brokeback Mountain is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Anne Hathaway, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kate Mara

Released: 2005

Directed by: Ang Lee

Brokeback Mountain is a 2005 American epic romantic drama film directed by Ang Lee. It is a film adaptation of the 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx; the screenplay was written ...more

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9
Peggy Sue Got Married is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, Kathleen Turner

Released: 1986

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

Peggy Sue Got Married is a 1986 American comedy-drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola starring Kathleen Turner as a woman on the verge of a divorce, who finds herself transported back to ...more

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10
Saving Mr. Banks is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Emma Thompson

Released: 2013

Directed by: John Lee Hancock

Saving Mr. Banks is a 2013 period drama film directed by John Lee Hancock from a screenplay written by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith. Centered on the development of the 1964 Walt Disney Studios ...more

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11
Down with Love is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Ewan McGregor, Renée Zellweger, Jeri Ryan

Released: 2003

Directed by: Peyton Reed

Down with Love is a 2003 romantic comedy film. It was directed by Peyton Reed and stars Renée Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, Sarah Paulson and David Hyde Pierce. The story follows a woman who ...more

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12
Hairspray is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Debbie Harry, Jerry Stiller, John Waters

Released: 1988

Directed by: John Waters

Hairspray is a 1988 American romantic musical comedy film written and directed by John Waters, and starring Ricki Lake, Divine, Debbie Harry, Sonny Bono, Jerry Stiller, Leslie Ann Powers, ...more

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13
A Single Man is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Julianne Moore, Jon Hamm, Ginnifer Goodwin

Released: 2009

Directed by: Tom Ford

A Single Man is a 2009 American drama film based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Isherwood. It is directed by Tom Ford in his directorial debut and stars Colin Firth, who was ...more

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14
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer, Kelly Hu

Released: 1991

Directed by: Oliver Stone

The Doors is a 1991 American biopic about the 1960-70s rock band of the same name which emphasizes the life of its lead singer, Jim Morrison. It was directed by Oliver Stone.

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15
Ray is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Kerry Washington, Jamie Foxx, Terrence Howard

Released: 2004

Directed by: Taylor Hackford

Ray is a biographical film focusing on 30 years in the life of rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles. The independently produced film was written, produced and directed by Taylor Hackford, and ...more

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16
Dreamgirls is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx

Released: 2006

Directed by: Bill Condon

Dreamgirls is a 2006 American musical drama film, directed by Bill Condon and jointly produced and released by DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures. The film debuted in three special road ...more

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17
Riding in Cars with Boys... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Riding in Cars with Boys Drew Barrymore, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Brittany Murphy

Released: 2001

Directed by: Penny Marshall

Riding in Cars with Boys is a 2001 film based on the autobiography of the same name by Beverly Donofrio about a woman who overcame difficulties, including being a teen mother, and who later ...more
18
Across the Universe is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Salma Hayek, Evan Rachel Wood, Bono

Released: 2007

Directed by: Julie Taymor

Across the Universe is a 2007 British-American jukebox musical romantic drama film directed by Julie Taymor. The music of The Beatles and the Vietnam War form the backdrop for the romance ...more

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19
Jersey Boys is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Christopher Walken, Francesca Eastwood, Steve Schirripa

Released: 2014

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Jersey Boys is a 2014 American biographical musical drama film directed by Clint Eastwood based on the Tony Award-winning musical of the same name. The film tells the story of the musical group ...more

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20
Inside Llewyn Davis is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman

Released: 2013

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Inside Llewyn Davis is a 2013 American comedy-drama film edited, written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It was produced by Scott Rudin, Ethan and Joel Coen. Set in 1961, the film stars ...more

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21
Mermaids is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
LudwigSorrentino added Cher, Christina Ricci, Winona Ryder

Released: 1990

Directed by: Richard Benjamin

Mermaids is a 1990 American comedy-drama film directed by Richard Benjamin and starring Cher, Bob Hoskins, Winona Ryder, and Christina Ricci in her first film role. The film is based on the 1986 ...more

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22
An Education is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Emma Thompson, Carey Mulligan, Rosamund Pike

Released: 2009

Directed by: Lone Scherfig

An Education is a 2009 coming-of-age drama film, based on a memoir of the same name by British journalist Lynn Barber. The film was directed by Lone Scherfig from a screenplay by Nick Hornby, ...more

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23
The Flamingo Kid is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Tommy Udo added Marisa Tomei, John Turturro, Janet Jones

Released: 1984

Directed by: Garry Marshall

The Flamingo Kid is a 1984 American comedy film directed by Garry Marshall and written by Marshall, Neal Marshall and Bo Goldman. It stars Matt Dillon, Richard Crenna, Hector Elizondo, Janet ...more

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24
Once Upon a Time in Holl... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Tommy Udo added Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie

Released: 2019

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a 2019 crime thriller film directed by Quentin Tarantino. A TV actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Brad Pitt) embark on an odyssey to make a name for ...more

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25
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Tommy Udo added Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, Diane Lane

Released: 1983

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

The Outsiders is a 1983 American drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by S. E. Hinton. The film was released on March 25, 1983. Jo Ellen ...more

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