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The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s

Updated October 7, 2019 2.8k votes 451 voters 13.8k views54 items

List RulesVote 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.

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  • 1
    Goldfinger is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
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    Goldfinger

    Sean Connery, Honor Blackman

    Released1964

    Directed byGuy Hamilton

    Goldfinger is the third film in the James Bond series and the third to star Sean Connery as... more
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  • 2
    From Russia with Love is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
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    From Russia with Love

    Sean Connery, Robert Shaw

    Released1963

    Directed byTerence Young

    From Russia with Love is the second James Bond film made by Eon Productions and the second to... more
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  • 3
    Dr. No is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
    98
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    Dr. No

    Sean Connery, Ursula Andress

    Released1962

    Directed byTerence Young

    Dr. No is a 1962 British spy film, starring Sean Connery; it is the first James Bond film.... more
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  • 4
    Thunderball is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
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    Thunderball

    Sean Connery, Luciana Paluzzi

    Released1965

    Directed byTerence Young

    Thunderball is the fourth spy film in the James Bond series starring Sean Connery as the... more

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  • 5
    You Only Live Twice is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
    91
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    You Only Live Twice

    Sean Connery, Donald Pleasence

    Released1967

    Directed byLewis Gilbert

    You Only Live Twice is the fifth spy film in the James Bond series, and the fifth to star Sean... more
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  • 6
    On Her Majesty's Secret Servic is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
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    On Her Majesty's Secret Service

    Diana Rigg, Joanna Lumley

    Released1969

    Directed byPeter R. Hunt

    On Her Majesty's Secret Service is the sixth spy film in the James Bond series, based on the... more

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  • 7
    Charade is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
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    Charade

    Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant

    Released1963

    Directed byStanley Donen

    Charade is a 1963 Technicolor American romantic comedy/mystery film directed by Stanley Donen,... more

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  • 8
    Where Eagles Dare is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
    70
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    Where Eagles Dare

    Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton

    Released1968

    Directed byBrian G. Hutton

    Where Eagles Dare is a 1968 WWII action film starring Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood and Mary... more

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  • 9
    The Ipcress File is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
    75
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    The Ipcress File

    Michael Caine, Sue Lloyd

    Released1965

    Directed bySidney J. Furie

    The Ipcress File is a 1965 British espionage film directed by Sidney J. Furie, starring... more
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  • 10
    Our Man Flint is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
    62
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    Our Man Flint

    James Coburn, James Brolin

    Released1966

    Directed byDaniel Mann

    Our Man Flint is a 1966 American action film that parodies the James Bond genre. The film was... more
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  • 11
    Arabesque is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
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    17

    Arabesque

    Sophia Loren, Gregory Peck

    Released1966

    Directed byStanley Donen

    Arabesque is a 1966 Technicolor thriller starring Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren filmed in... more
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  • 12
    The Spy Who Came in from the C is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
    64
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    The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

    Richard Burton, Claire Bloom

    Released1965

    Directed byMartin Ritt

    The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is a 1965 British Cold War spy film directed by Martin Ritt... more

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  • 13
    Ice Station Zebra is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
    45
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    Ice Station Zebra

    Jim Brown, Rock Hudson

    Released1968

    Directed byJohn Sturges

    Ice Station Zebra is a 1968 suspense film directed by John Sturges, starring Rock Hudson,... moreamazon_watch buy button

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  • 14
    In Like Flint is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
    51
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    In Like Flint

    James Coburn, Lee J. Cobb

    Released1967

    Directed byGordon Douglas

    In Like Flint is a film directed by Gordon Douglas, the sequel to the parody spy film Our Man... more
  • 0
  • 15
    Funeral in Berlin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
    54
    30

    Funeral in Berlin

    Michael Caine, Marthe Keller

    Released1966

    Directed byGuy Hamilton

    Funeral in Berlin is a 1966 British spy film directed by Guy Hamilton and based on the novel... more
  • 0
  • 16
    36 Hours is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
    37
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    36 Hours

    James Garner, Eva Marie Saint

    Released1965

    Directed byGeorge Seaton

    36 Hours is an American suspense film, based on the short story "Beware of the Dog" by Roald... more
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  • 17
    The Quiller Memorandum is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
    40
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    The Quiller Memorandum

    Alec Guinness, Max von Sydow

    Released1966

    Directed byMichael Anderson

    The Quiller Memorandum is an Anglo-American Eurospy film adapted from the 1965 spy novel The... more
  • 0
  • 18
    Operation Crossbow is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
    30
    17

    Operation Crossbow

    Sophia Loren, George Peppard

    Released1965

    Directed byMichael Anderson

    Operation Crossbow, later re-released as The Great Spy Mission, is a 1965 British spy thriller... 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
    31
    19

    Deadlier Than the Male

    Elke Sommer, Sylva Koscina

    Released1967

    Directed byRalph Thomas

    Deadlier Than the Male is a 1967 British crime and mystery film featuring the character of... more
  • 0
  • 20
    Our Man in Havana is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
    28
    18

    Our Man in Havana

    Maureen O'Hara, Alec Guinness

    Released1959

    Directed byCarol Reed

    Our Man in Havana is a 1959 British film shot in CinemaScope, directed and produced by Carol... moreamazon_watch buy button
  • 0
  • 21
    That Man from Rio is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
    26
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    That Man from Rio

    Jean-Paul Belmondo, Françoise Dorléac

    Released1964

    Directed byPhilippe de Broca

    That Man From Rio is a 1964 adventure film directed by Philippe de Broca and starring... more
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  • 22
    Torn Curtain is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
    28
    22

    Torn Curtain

    Paul Newman, Julie Andrews

    Released1966

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Torn Curtain is a 1966 American political thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring... more
  • 0
  • 23
    The Deadly Affair is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
    22
    14

    The Deadly Affair

    Lynn Redgrave, Simone Signoret

    Released1966

    Directed bySidney Lumet

    The Deadly Affair is a 1966 British espionage–thriller film, based on John le Carré's first... more
  • 0
  • 24
    The Silencers is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
    25
    19

    The Silencers

    Dean Martin, Stella Stevens

    Released1967

    Directed byPhil Karlson

    The Silencers is an American spy film spoof motion picture released in 1966 and starring Dean... more
  • 0
  • 25
    The Prize is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Spy Movies of the 1960s
    22
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    The Prize

    Paul Newman, Britt Ekland

    Released1963

    Directed byMark Robson

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