Historical Movies 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic  

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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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Catch Me If You Can is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Catch Me If You Can 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

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The Help is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
The Help 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

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That Thing You Do! is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
That Thing You Do! 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

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National Lampoon's Animal Hous... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
National Lampoon's Animal House 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

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Austin Powers: International M... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery 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

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Moonrise Kingdom is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Moonrise Kingdom 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

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Girl, Interrupted is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Girl, Interrupted 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

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Saving Mr. Banks is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Saving Mr. Banks 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

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A Single Man is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
A Single Man 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

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Peggy Sue Got Married is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Peggy Sue Got Married 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

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Across the Universe is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Across the Universe Salma Hayek, Evan Rachel Wood, Bono At once gritty, whimsical and highly theatrical, Revolution Studios’ Across the Universe is a groundbreaking movie musical, springing from the imagination of renowned writer-director Julie ...more

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The Doors is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
The Doors 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, and stars Val ...more

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Down with Love is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Down with Love 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

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An Education is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
An Education 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

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Hairspray is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Hairspray 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

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Hitchcock is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Hitchcock Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, Helen Mirren Hitchcock is a 2012 American biographical drama film directed by Sacha Gervasi and based on Stephen Rebello's non-fiction book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho. The film was released in ...more

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Jersey Boys is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Jersey Boys 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

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Mermaids is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
LudwigSorrentino added Mermaids 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

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It is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
It Tim Curry, Seth Green, John Ritter It is a 1990 psychological horror/drama miniseries based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. The story revolves around an inter-dimensional predatory life-form, which has the ability to ...more

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Dreamgirls is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Dreamgirls 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

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Ray is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Ray 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

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Brokeback Mountain is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Brokeback Mountain 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

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Taking Woodstock is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Taking Woodstock 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 screenplay by James Schamus is based on the memoir Taking Woodstock: A True ...more

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The Dreamers is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
The Dreamers Eva Green, Michael Pitt, Jean Piere Leaud The Dreamers is a 2003 romantic drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. The screenplay is by Gilbert Adair, based on his own novel The Holy Innocents. An international co-production by ...more

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Riding in Cars with Boys is listed (or ranked) 25 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

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Love & Mercy is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Love & Mercy Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti, John Cusack A 2013 biopic about the life of Beach Boys' frontman Brian Wilson

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The Good Shepherd is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
The Good Shepherd Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro, Alec Baldwin The Good Shepherd is a 2006 spy film produced and directed by Robert De Niro and starring Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie and De Niro, with an extensive supporting cast. De Niro also produced it with ...more

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Inside Llewyn Davis is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Inside Llewyn Davis 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

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Grace of Monaco is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Grace of Monaco Nicole Kidman, Tim Roth, Paz Vega Grace of Monaco is a 2014 French-American biography film about Grace Kelly, directed by Olivier Dahan. The film stars Nicole Kidman in the titular role. It also features a supporting cast of ...more

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Doubt is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Doubt Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman Doubt is a 2008 American drama film adaptation of John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer Prize winning fictive stage play Doubt: A Parable. Written and directed by Shanley and produced by Scott Rudin, ...more

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Big Eyes is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Big Eyes Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Danny Huston Big Eyes is a 2014 American biographical drama film directed by Tim Burton. Famous for drawing portraits and paintings with big eyes, American artist Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) fights a legal ...more

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Lenny is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Lenny Dustin Hoffman, Valerie Perrine, Gary Morton Lenny is a 1974 American biographical film about the comedian Lenny Bruce, starring Dustin Hoffman and directed by Bob Fosse. The screenplay by Julian Barry is based on his play of the same

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Beyond the Sea is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Beyond the Sea Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, John Goodman Beyond the Sea is a 2004 American biographical film based on the life of singer/actor Bobby Darin. Starring in the lead role and using his own singing voice for the musical numbers, Kevin Spacey ...more

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The Rum Diary is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
The Rum Diary Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, Aaron Eckhart The Rum Diary is a 2011 American film based on the novel of the same name by Hunter S. Thompson. The film was written and directed by Bruce Robinson and stars Johnny Depp. Filming began in ...more

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Pirate Radio USA is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list 30+ Great Period Films with a 1960s Aesthetic
Pirate Radio USA Pirate Radio USA is a 2006 documentary film written and directed by Jeff Pearson, with musical director Mary Jones. Its running time is 82 minutes in length.