60s Movies The Best '60s Thriller Movies  

Ranker Film
727 votes 226 voters 7k 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
41 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 taking money from ...more
2
23 5
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
23 6
The Birds is listed (or ranked) 3 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
4
22 8
Wait Until Dark is listed (or ranked) 4 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
5
18 5
In the Heat of the Night is listed (or ranked) 5 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
6
18 5
Dr. No is listed (or ranked) 6 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
7
17 5
Goldfinger is listed (or ranked) 7 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
8
17 6
Cape Fear is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
19 8
Charade is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
21 10
Repulsion is listed (or ranked) 10 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
11
15 6
From Russia with Love is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
14 6
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 action police procedural film directed by Peter Yates and produced by Philip D'Antoni. It stars Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn and Jacqueline Bisset. The screenplay by ...more
13
19 12
The Manchurian Candidate is listed (or ranked) 13 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
14
10 4
House of Usher is listed (or ranked) 14 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
15
10 4
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
11 5
Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
15 9
Peeping Tom is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Anna Massey, Michael Powell, Pamela Green
This film 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
18
11 6
Marnie is listed (or ranked) 18 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
19
11 7
Point Blank is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '60s Thriller Movies
Lauren Bacall, Angie Dickinson, Lee Marvin
Point Blank is a 1967 American neo noir film directed by John Boorman, starring Lee Marvin and featuring Angie Dickinson, adapted from the noir pulp novel The Hunter by Donald E. Westlake, ...more
20
10 6
Bunny Lake Is Missing is listed (or ranked) 20 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
21
9 5
Seconds is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
9 6
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 7
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
8 7
Eyes Without a Face is listed (or ranked) 24 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
25
6 5
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