60s The Best '60s Thriller Movies  

Ranker Film
609 votes 209 voters 5.5k views 44 items

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

The best ‘60s thriller movies feature suspenseful action, political intrigue, and racial tension. Although many of these films were quite realistic, some of them depicted a more surrealist side to terror, as seen in Roman Polanski's Repulsion, or Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. 


What are your favorite ‘60s thriller movies? On this list, you’ll find one of the most talked about thrillers ever, Alfred Hitchcock’s
Psycho. Norman Bates, the film’s murderous protagonist, has gone down in the annals of pop culture history, and the shower scene has been parodied and referenced countless time since the film’s 1960 release. Another top ‘60s thriller movie, The Manchurian Candidate tapped into U.S. Cold War fears. Starring Old Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra, the film tells the story of a brainwashed soldier manipulated by the Chinese into becoming a weapon against America. The film was later remade starring Denzel Washington.  

American filmmakers weren’t the only ones churning out great ‘60s thrillers. Several foreign films made this list, as well, including Eyes Without a Face, a chilling thriller about a mad surgeon and his disfigured daughter. Here, you’ll also find the first appearance of James Bond on film, in Dr. No. The 007 franchise has given us several intense thrillers every decade for years. Vote up the best '60s thriller movies, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section. 

list ordered by

1
33 5
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins Psycho is a 1960 American horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film centers on an encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane, who ends up at a secluded motel after stealing money from ...more

2
21 4
What Ever Happened to Baby Jan... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Robert Aldrich What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is a 1962 American psychological thriller film produced and directed by Robert Aldrich, starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford about an actress who holds her ...more

3
19 6
Charade is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
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

4
18 5
The Birds is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
stubb added Alfred Hitchcock, Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette The Birds is a 1963 suspense/horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, loosely based on the 1952 story "The Birds" by Daphne du Maurier. It depicts Bodega Bay, California, which is, ...more

5
20 8
Wait Until Dark is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Robby Benson Wait Until Dark is a suspense-thriller film directed by Terence Young and produced by Mel Ferrer. It stars Audrey Hepburn as a young blind woman, Alan Arkin as a violent criminal searching for ...more

6
20 8
Repulsion is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Catherine Deneuve, Roman Polanski, Ian Hendry Repulsion is a 1965 British psychological horror film directed by Roman Polanski, and starring Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser and Yvonne Furneaux. The screenplay was based on a ...more

7
16 5
In the Heat of the Night is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Lee Grant In the Heat of the Night is a 1967 American mystery drama film directed by Norman Jewison. It is based on John Ball's 1965 novel of the same name which tells the story of Virgil Tibbs, a black ...more

8
15 5
Dr. No is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
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

9
15 5
Cape Fear is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Telly Savalas Cape Fear is a 1962 American psychological thriller film starring Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck, Martin Balsam and Polly Bergen. It was adapted by James R. Webb from the novel The Executioners by ...more

10
11 2
Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Olivia de Havilland Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte is a 1964 American thriller film directed and produced by Robert Aldrich, and starring Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotten, and Agnes Moorehead, as well ...more

11
14 5
Goldfinger is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
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

12
12 4
Bullitt is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Robert Duvall, Steve McQueen, Jacqueline Bissett Bullitt is a 1968 American crime action police procedural film directed by Peter Yates and produced by Philip D'Antoni. It stars Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn and Jacqueline Bisset. The ...more

13
15 7
Peeping Tom is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Anna Massey, Michael Powell, Pamela Green Peeping Tom is a 1960 British thriller/horror film directed by Michael Powell and written by the World War II cryptographer and polymath Leo Marks. The title derives from the slang expression ...more

14
17 10
The Manchurian Candidate is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh The Manchurian Candidate is a 1962 American Cold War suspense thriller directed by John Frankenheimer that stars Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Janet Leigh and co-stars Angela Lansbury, ...more

15
9 3
The Pit and the Pendulum is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, Charles Victor Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Pit and the Pendulum is a 1961 horror film directed by Roger Corman, starring Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, John Kerr, and Luana Anders. The screenplay by Richard Matheson was based on ...more

16
9 3
House of Usher is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Vincent Price, Mark Damon, Myrna Fahey House of Usher is a 1960 American horror film directed by Roger Corman and written by Richard Matheson from the short story "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe. The ...more

17
9 3
Seconds is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Rock Hudson, Will Geer, Richard Anderson Seconds is a 1966 American science fiction drama film directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Rock Hudson. The screenplay by Lewis John Carlino was based on Seconds, a novel by David Ely. ...more

18
10 4
Bunny Lake Is Missing is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Laurence Olivier, Carol Lynley, Noël Coward Bunny Lake Is Missing is a 1965 British psychological thriller film starring Laurence Olivier and directed and produced by Otto Preminger, who filmed it in black and white widescreen format in ...more

19
10 4
Marnie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Sean Connery, Alfred Hitchcock, Tippi Hedren Marnie is a 1964 psychological thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The screenplay by Jay Presson Allen was based on the 1961 novel of the same name by Winston Graham. The film stars Tippi ...more

20
11 5
From Russia with Love is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
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

21
10 5
Point Blank is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Lauren Bacall, Angie Dickinson, Lee Marvin Point Blank is a 1967 American neo noir crime film directed by John Boorman, starring Lee Marvin and featuring Angie Dickinson, adapted from the crime noir pulp novel The Hunter by Donald E. ...more

22
9 4
High and Low is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Tatsuya Nakadai High and Low is a 1963 police procedural crime drama film directed by Akira Kurosawa, starring Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai and Kyōko Kagawa. The film is loosely based on King's Ransom, by Ed ...more

23
8 5
Knife in the Water is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Roman Polanski, Leon Niemczyk, Zygmunt Malanowicz Knife in the Water is a 1962 Polish drama film co-written and directed by Roman Polański, which was nominated for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It is Polanski's first feature ...more

24
6 3
The Train is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Burt Lancaster, Jeanne Moreau, Paul Scofield The Train is a 1964 black-and-white war film directed by John Frankenheimer from a story and screenplay by Franklin Coen and Frank Davis, based on the non-fiction book Le front de l'art by Rose ...more

25
5 3
Torn Curtain is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
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

26
5 3
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Julie Christie, Cyril Cusack, Oskar Werner Fahrenheit 451 is a 1966 British Dystopian science fiction drama film directed by François Truffaut and starring Oskar Werner, Julie Christie, and Cyril Cusack. Based on the 1953 novel of ...more

27
3 1
The Professionals is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Claudia Cardinale, Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin The Professionals is a 1966 American western starring Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Claudia Cardinale, Robert Ryan, and Woody Strode. The supporting cast includes Jack Palance and Ralph Bellamy ...more

28
6 5
Eyes Without a Face is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Alida Valli, Pierre Brasseur, Édith Scob Eyes Without a Face is a 1960 French-Italian horror film adaptation of Jean Redon's novel, directed by Georges Franju, and starring Pierre Brasseur and Alida Valli. During the film's production, ...more

29
5 4
Village of the Damned is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
George Sanders, Barbara Shelley, Michael Gwynn Village of the Damned is a 1960 British science fiction film by German director Wolf Rilla. The film is adapted from the novel The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. The lead role of Professor ...more

30
5 4
Cul-de-sac is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Jacqueline Bissett, Donald Pleasence, Lionel Stander Cul-de-sac is a 1966 British psychological thriller directed by the Franco-Polish director Roman Polanski. It was his second film in English, written by himself and Gérard Brach. The cast ...more

31
4 3
Seven Days in May is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Kirk Douglas, Ava Gardner, Burt Lancaster Seven Days in May is a 1964 drama-romance film written by Fletcher Knebel, Charles W. Bailey II and Rod Serling and directed by John Frankenheimer.

32
4 3
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Nicholas Hammond, James Aubrey, Kent Fletcher Lord of the Flies is a 1963 British film adaptation of William Golding's novel of the same name. It was directed by Peter Brook and produced by Lewis M. Allen. The film was in production for ...more

33
4 3
The Spy Who Came in from the C... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
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

34
4 3
Spider Baby is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Lon Chaney, Jr., Sid Haig Spider Baby is a 1968 black comedy horror film, written and directed by Jack Hill. It stars Lon Chaney, Jr. as Bruno, the chauffeur and caretaker of three orphaned siblings who suffer from ...more

35
4 3
Purple Noon is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Romy Schneider, Marie Laforêt, Ave Ninchi Purple Noon is a 1960 film directed by René Clément, based on the 1955 novel The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. The film stars Alain Delon in his first major film, ...more

36
3 2
The Naked Kiss is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
stubb added Patsy Kelly, Virginia Grey, Edy Williams The Naked Kiss is a 1964 neo-noir film written and directed by Samuel Fuller, starring Constance Towers as Kelly, Anthony Eisley as Captain Griff and Michael Dante as J.L. Grant.

37
2 1
Targets is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Randy Quaid, Boris Karloff, Peter Bogdanovich Targets is a 1968 American thriller, written, produced and directed by Peter Bogdanovich and filmed in color by László Kovács.

38
7 7
Fail Safe is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau, Larry Hagman Fail-Safe is a 1964 Cold war thriller film directed by Sidney Lumet, based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler. It portrays a fictional account of a Cold War ...more

39
7 7
Z is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Jean-Louis Trintignant, Yves Montand, Jacques Perrin Z is a 1969 Algerian French language political thriller directed by Costa-Gavras, with a screenplay by Gavras and Jorge Semprún, based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Vassilis ...more

40
3 3
The Time Machine is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
RobLein added Yvette Mimieux, Rod Taylor, Alan Young The Time Machine – also known promotionally as H.G. Wells' The Time Machine – is a 1960 Metrocolor time travel science fiction film based on the 1895 novel of the same name by H. G. Wells in ...more

41
2 2
Shock Corridor is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
James Best, Peter Breck, Constance Towers Shock Corridor is a 1963 film, directed and written by Samuel Fuller. The film tells the story of a journalist who gets himself committed to a mental hospital in order to track an unsolved

42
6 7
The Italian Job is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Michael Caine, Benny Hill, Noël Coward The Italian Job is a 1969 British caper film, written by Troy Kennedy Martin, produced by Michael Deeley and directed by Peter Collinson. Subsequent television showings and releases on video ...more

43
2 3
Alphaville is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
stubb added Anna Karina, Jean Piere Leaud, Akim Tamiroff Alphaville: une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution is a 1965 black-and-white French science fiction film noir directed by Jean-Luc Godard. It stars Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Howard ...more

44
1 5
Branded to Kill is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Kōji Nanbara, Annu Mari, Isao Tamagawa Branded to Kill is a 1967 Japanese yakuza film directed by Seijun Suzuki and starring Joe Shishido, Koji Nanbara, Annu Mari and Mariko Ogawa. It was a low budget, production line number for the ...more