Entertainment

The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s 

Ranker Film
2.2k votes 420 voters 12.3k views 54 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite espionage films that were released in the 1960s

The best ‘60s spy movies are a diverse group of films, featuring suave super-spies, dangerous and beautiful femme fatales, and flashes of Cold War paranoia. Many of these espionage classics were box office hits when they were released, and several have transcended to legendary status.


What are the best ‘60s spy movies? Allow me to introduce you to Bond. James Bond. The British gentleman-spy was ubiquitous in the 1960s. For most of the decade, Sean Connery inhabited the role, appearing in such Bond favorites as Goldfinger and From Russia with Love. In 1969, Connery was replaced by George Lazenby, the only actor to have only appeared in one Bond film: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Here, you’ll also find The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, an adaptation of the 1963 John le Carré novel of the same name. Le Carré is one of the most prolific espionage novelists of all time, and many of his books have been adapted for the screen.


Some of the top ‘60s spy movies take a comedic approach to the genre. For example, you’ll see What’s Up, Tiger Lily?, a 1966 Woody Allen comedy. Allen overdubbed a Japanese spy film with all new dialogue, transforming the plot into a quest for the world’s best egg salad recipe. Vote up the best '60s spy movies below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section.

list ordered by
1
From Russia with Love is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
Sean Connery, Robert Shaw, Daniela Bianchi
From Russia with Love is the second James Bond film made by Eon Productions and the second to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Released in 1963, the film was produced by ...more

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2
Goldfinger is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
Sean Connery, Honor Blackman, Garry Marshall
Goldfinger is the third film in the James Bond series and the third to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It is based on the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. The film ...more

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3
Dr. No is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Jack Lord
Dr. No is a 1962 British spy film, starring Sean Connery; it is the first James Bond film. Based on the 1958 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, it was adapted by Richard Maibaum, Johanna ...more

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4
Thunderball is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
Sean Connery, Luciana Paluzzi, Claudine Auger
Thunderball is the fourth spy film in the James Bond series starring Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, which ...more

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#1,182 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #37 of 194 The Best Movies of the '60slisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
On Her Majesty's Secret ... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
Diana Rigg, Joanna Lumley, Telly Savalas
On Her Majesty's Secret Service is the sixth spy film in the James Bond series, based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. Following the decision of Sean Connery to retire from the ...more

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6
You Only Live Twice is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
Sean Connery, Donald Pleasence, Lois Maxwell
You Only Live Twice is the fifth spy film in the James Bond series, and the fifth to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film's screenplay was written by Roald Dahl, and ...more

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7
The Ipcress File is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
Michael Caine, Sue Lloyd, Gordon Jackson
The Ipcress File is a 1965 British espionage film directed by Sidney J. Furie, starring Michael Caine and featuring Guy Doleman and Nigel Green. The screenplay by Bill Canaway and James Doran ...more

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8
Charade is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
weik added
Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Coburn
Charade is a 1963 Technicolor American romantic comedy/mystery film directed by Stanley Donen, written by Peter Stone and Marc Behm, and starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. The cast also ...more

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9
Our Man Flint is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
James Coburn, James Brolin, Lee J. Cobb
Our Man Flint is a 1966 American action film that parodies the James Bond genre. The film was directed by Daniel Mann, written by Hal Fimberg and Ben Starr, and starring James Coburn as master ...more
10
The Spy Who Came in from... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
Richard Burton, Claire Bloom, Robert Hardy
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is a 1965 British Cold War spy film directed by Martin Ritt and starring Richard Burton, Claire Bloom, and Oskar Werner. Based on the 1963 novel of the same ...more
11
Where Eagles Dare is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
weik added
Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton, Michael Hordern
Where Eagles Dare is a 1968 WWII action film starring Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood and Mary Ure. It was directed by Brian G. Hutton and shot on location in Austria and Bavaria. Alistair ...more

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12
In Like Flint is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
James Coburn, Lee J. Cobb, Anna Lee
In Like Flint is a film directed by Gordon Douglas, the sequel to the parody spy film Our Man Flint. It posits an international feminist conspiracy to depose the ruling American patriarchy with ...more
13
Arabesque is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
Sophia Loren, Gregory Peck, Alan Badel
Arabesque is a 1966 Technicolor thriller starring Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren filmed in Panavision. The film is based on Gordon Cotler's novel The Cypher and directed by Stanley Donen.
14
Ice Station Zebra is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
Jim Brown, Rock Hudson, Ernest Borgnine
Ice Station Zebra is a 1968 suspense film directed by John Sturges, starring Rock Hudson, Patrick McGoohan, Ernest Borgnine, and Jim Brown. The screenplay by Alistair MacLean, Douglas Heyes, ...more

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15
Funeral in Berlin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
Michael Caine, Marthe Keller, Oskar Homolka
Funeral in Berlin is a 1966 British spy film directed by Guy Hamilton and based on the novel of the same name by Len Deighton. It is the second of three 1960s films starring Michael Caine as the ...more

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16
The Quiller Memorandum ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
Alec Guinness, Max von Sydow, George Sanders
The Quiller Memorandum is an Anglo-American Eurospy film adapted from the 1965 spy novel The Berlin Memorandum, by Elleston Trevor under the name "Adam Hall", screenplay by Harold ...more
17
36 Hours is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, Rod Taylor
36 Hours is an American suspense film, based on the short story "Beware of the Dog" by Roald Dahl. The picture stars James Garner, Eva Marie Saint, and Rod Taylor and was directed by ...more
18
Operation Crossbow is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
Sophia Loren, George Peppard, John Mills
Operation Crossbow, later re-released as The Great Spy Mission, is a 1965 British spy thriller and WWII film, directed by Michael Anderson and written by Emeric Pressburger, under the pseudonym ...more

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19
Deadlier Than the Male ... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
weik added
Elke Sommer, Sylva Koscina, Richard Johnson
Deadlier Than the Male is a 1967 British crime and mystery film featuring the character of Bulldog Drummond. It is one of the many take-offs of James Bond produced during the 1960s, but is based ...more
20
Torn Curtain is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
Paul Newman, Julie Andrews, Alfred Hitchcock
Torn Curtain is a 1966 American political thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Paul Newman and Julie Andrews. Written by Brian Moore, the film is about an American scientist who ...more
21
That Man from Rio is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
weik added
Jean-Paul Belmondo, Françoise Dorléac, Adolfo Celi
That Man From Rio is a 1964 adventure film directed by Philippe de Broca and starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Françoise Dorléac. It was the first film to be made by the French ...more
22
The Prize is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
Paul Newman, Britt Ekland, Elke Sommer
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Prize is a 1963 spy film starring Paul Newman, Elke Sommer and Edward G. Robinson. It was directed by Mark Robson, produced by Pandro S. Berman and adapted for the screen by Ernest Lehman ...more
23
Our Man in Havana is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
Maureen O'Hara, Alec Guinness, Burl Ives
Our Man in Havana is a 1959 British film shot in CinemaScope, directed and produced by Carol Reed and starring Alec Guinness, Burl Ives, Maureen O'Hara, Ralph Richardson, Noël Coward and ...more
24
The Deadly Affair is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
Lynn Redgrave, Simone Signoret, David Warner
The Deadly Affair is a 1966 British espionage–thriller film, based on John le Carré's first novel Call for the Dead. The film stars James Mason, Harry Andrews, Simone Signoret and ...more
25
Murderers' Row is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
weik added
Ann-Margret, Dean Martin, Karl Malden
Murderers' Row is a 1966 American comedy-spy-fi film starring Dean Martin and very loosely based upon the Matt Helm spy novel Murderers' Row by Donald Hamilton, which was published in 1962. ...more