Entertainment

30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic 

Ranker Film
Originally by
1.1k votes 238 voters 21.3k 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.

list ordered by
1
The Help is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard
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

More The Help 

#83 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #60 of 348 The Best Movies Based On Books

2
Catch Me If You Can is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Leonardo DiCaprio, Amy Adams, Jennifer Garner
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

More Catch Me If You Can 

#28 of 348 The Best Movies Based On Books #8 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books

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
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

More Girl, Interrupted 

#669 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #158 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

4
Moonrise Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton
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

More Moonrise Kingdom 

#1,165 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #420 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

5
Austin Powers: Internati... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Elizabeth Hurley, Will Ferrell, Carrie Fisher
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

More Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery 

#195 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #89 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Timefeaturing The Best Characters in the Austin Power Movies, Ranked

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
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

More That Thing You Do! 

#1,162 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #24 of 205 The Best Movies About Music

7
National Lampoon's Anima... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Kevin Bacon, John Belushi, Donald Sutherland
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

More National Lampoon's Animal House 

#170 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #10 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Filmsfeaturing Behind The Scenes Stories From 'Animal House' That Are Way More Insane Than The Movie

8
Saving Mr. Banks is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Emma Thompson
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

More Saving Mr. Banks 

#349 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time #265 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

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
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

More Peggy Sue Got Married 

#312 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #130 of 625 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #218 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

10
Hairspray is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Debbie Harry, Jerry Stiller, 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

More Hairspray 

#149 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #355 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

11
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer, Kelly Hu
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.

More The Doors 

#305 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #341 of 387 The Best Movies to Watch While Stoned

12
Across the Universe is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Salma Hayek, Evan Rachel Wood, Bono
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

More Across the Universe 

#67 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #204 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #1,148 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

13
Down with Love is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Ewan McGregor, Renée Zellweger, Jeri Ryan
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

More Down with Love 

#59 of 66 The Best Movies About Getting Dumped #34 of 38 The Best Campy Comedy Movies, Ranked

14
Brokeback Mountain is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Anne Hathaway, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kate Mara
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

More Brokeback Mountain 

#595 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #15 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Againlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
Jersey Boys is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Christopher Walken, Francesca Eastwood, Steve Schirripa
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

More Jersey Boys 

#164 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #262 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time

16
A Single Man is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Julianne Moore, Jon Hamm, Ginnifer Goodwin
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

More A Single Man 

#26 of 37 Great Movies About the Death of a Spouse #89 of 395 The Best Gay Themed Movies

17
The Flamingo Kid is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Tommy Udo added
Marisa Tomei, John Turturro, Janet Jones
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

More The Flamingo Kid 

#515 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #110 of 314 The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s

18
Ray is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Kerry Washington, Jamie Foxx, Terrence Howard
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

More Ray 

#334 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #433 of 582 The Greatest Film Scores of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

19
Riding in Cars with Boys... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Riding in Cars with Boys
Drew Barrymore, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Brittany Murphy
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
20
Mermaids is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
LudwigSorrentino added
Cher, Christina Ricci, Winona Ryder
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

More Mermaids 

#110 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #294 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Madefeaturing People From History Who Claimed To Have Encountered Mermaids (And Their Evidence)

21
Dreamgirls is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx
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

More Dreamgirls 

#94 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songsfeaturing Every Song in Dreamgirls, Ranked by Singabilitylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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
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
23
Taking Woodstock is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Liev Schreiber, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Emile Hirsch
Taking Woodstock is a 2009 American comedy-drama film about the Woodstock Festival of 1969, directed by Ang Lee. The film premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, and opened in New York and ...more
24
Inside Llewyn Davis is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman
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

More Inside Llewyn Davis 

#113 of 205 The Best Movies About Music #13 of 18 The Saddest Movies In Which No One Actually Dies

25
Love & Mercy is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti, John Cusack
A 2013 biopic about the life of Beach Boys' frontman Brian Wilson

More Love & Mercy 

#92 of 205 The Best Movies About Music #116 of 140 The Very Best Biopics About Real People #49 of 107 The Best Rock Music Movies