Films The Best Movies of 1961  

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List of the best movies of 1961, with movie trailers when available. 1961 saw the debut of many historic actors, including Gene Hackman and Joe Pecsi. These top movies of 1961 are listed by popularity, so the movies with the most votes are at the top. This list consists of all different movie genres - from Breakfast at Tiffany's to Judgment at Nuremberg - but each film was released in 1961. You can filter this list of films that came out in 1961 for various bits of information, such as who directed the movie and what genre it is. Think the best 1961 movie isn't as high as it should be? Vote up your favorite so it will rise to the top.

Examples of movies on this list include West Side Story and Babes in Toyland.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best movies from 1961?" and "What are the most popular movies of 1961?"

1961 was a great year for movies, since a lot of classic films were released in 1961. This is a crowd sourced list that has been voted on by many people, so these top films of 1961 aren't just one persons opinion.

32 15
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West Side Story Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, John Astin West Side Story is a 1961 American romantic musical drama film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. The film is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn ...more

28 10
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Judgment at Nuremberg Judy Garland, William Shatner, Marlene Dietrich Judgment at Nuremberg is a 1961 American drama film dealing with the Holocaust, with non-combatant war crimes against a civilian population, and with the post-World War II geo-political ...more

25 11
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The Hustler Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott The Hustler is a 1961 American drama film directed by Robert Rossen from the Walter Tevis's 1959 novel of the same name Rossen and Sidney Carroll adapted for the screen. It tells the story of ...more

27 13
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The Guns of Navarone Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn The Guns of Navarone is a 1961 British-American action/adventure war film directed by J. Lee Thompson. The screenplay by producer Carl Foreman was based on Alistair MacLean's 1957 novel The Guns ...more

27 14
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Breakfast at Tiffany's Audrey Hepburn, Mickey Rooney, Mel Blanc Breakfast at Tiffany's is a 1961 American romantic comedy film starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard, and featuring Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen, Martin Balsam, and Mickey Rooney. The film ...more

28 17
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The Misfits Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Eli Wallach The Misfits is a 1961 American drama film with a screenplay by Arthur Miller which was directed by John Huston. It stars Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift, Thelma Ritter, Eli Wallach ...more

20 8
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Splendor in the Grass Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, Pat Hingle Splendor in the Grass is a 1961 Technicolor romantic drama film that tells a story of sexual repression, love, and heartbreak, from which the character Deanie suffers. Written by William Inge, ...more

21 12
The Innocents is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies of 1961
The Innocents Deborah Kerr, Michael Redgrave, Pamela Franklin The Innocents is a 1961 British supernatural gothic horror film directed and produced by Jack Clayton, and starring Deborah Kerr, Michael Redgrave and Megs Jenkins. Based on the novella The Turn ...more

16 9
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The Pit and the Pendulum Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, Charles Victor 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

21 11
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101 Dalmations Rod Taylor, Paul Frees, J. Pat O'Malley One Hundred and One Dalmatians, often written 101 Dalmatians, is a 1961 American animated adventure film produced by Walt Disney Productions and adapted from Dodie Smith's 1956 novel of the same ...more

22 8
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The Parent Trap Maureen O'Hara, John Mills, Hayley Mills The Parent Trap is a 1961 Walt Disney film. It stars Hayley Mills, Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith in a story about teenage twins on a quest to reunite their divorced parents. The screenplay by ...more

19 9
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Yojimbo Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Tatsuya Nakadai Yojimbo is a 1961 jidaigeki film directed by Akira Kurosawa. It tells the story of a rōnin, portrayed by Toshiro Mifune, who arrives in a small town where competing crime lords vie for ...more

12 6
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A Raisin in the Sun Sidney Poitier, Louis Gossett, Jr. A Raisin in the Sun is a 1961 drama film, starring Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil, Diana Sands, Roy Glenn, and Louis Gossett, and adapted from the play of the same name by Lorraine ...more

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King of Kings Orson Welles, Rip Torn, Robert Ryan King of Kings is a 1961 American biblical epic film made by Samuel Bronston Productions and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Directed by Nicholas Ray, the film is a dramatization of the story ...more

14 7
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Viridiana Fernando Rey, Silvia Pinal, Francisco Rabal Viridiana is a 1961 Spanish-Mexican motion picture, directed by Luis Buñuel and produced by Mexican Gustavo Alatriste. It is loosely based on Halma, a novel by Benito Pérez ...more

12 6
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Through a Glass Darkly Max von Sydow, Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand Through a Glass Darkly is a 1961 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, and produced by Allan Ekelund. The film is a three-act "chamber film," in which four family ...more

11 5
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La Notte Marcello Mastroianni, Jeanne Moreau, Monica Vitti La Notte is a 1961 Italian drama film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni and starring Marcello Mastroianni, Jeanne Moreau, and Monica Vitti. Filmed on location in Milan, the film is about a day ...more

12 9
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The Children's Hour Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, James Garner The Children's Hour is a 1961 American drama film directed by William Wyler. The screenplay by John Michael Hayes is based on the 1934 play of the same title by Lillian Hellman. The film stars ...more

10 7
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El Cid Sophia Loren, Charlton Heston, Herbert Lom El Cid is a 1961 historical epic film, a romanticized story of the life of the Christian Castilian knight Don Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, called "El Cid", who, in the 11th century, ...more

9 6
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Mothra Takashi Shimura, Kyōko Kagawa, Akihiko Hirata Mothra is a 1961 kaiju/tokusatsu film from Toho Studios, directed by genre regular Ishirō Honda with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. It is the genre film debut of screenwriter Shinichi ...more

13 8
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One, Two, Three James Cagney, Red Buttons, Pamela Tiffin One, Two, Three is a 1961 American comedy film directed by Billy Wilder and written by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond. It is based on the 1929 Hungarian one-act play Egy, kettő, három by ...more

9 5
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The Absent-Minded Professor Fred MacMurray, Keenan Wynn, Paul Frees The Absent-Minded Professor is a 1961 American film distributed by Walt Disney Productions based on the short story "A Situation of Gravity" by Samuel W. Taylor. The title character ...more

7 3
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Last Year at Marienbad Delphine Seyrig, Sacha Pitoëff, Giorgio Albertazzi L'Année dernière à Marienbad is a 1961 French film directed by Alain Resnais from a screenplay by Alain Robbe-Grillet. The film is famous for its enigmatic narrative ...more

8 4
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The Last Sunset Kirk Douglas, Rock Hudson, Piper Laurie The Last Sunset is a 1961 western movie starring Rock Hudson, Kirk Douglas, and Dorothy Malone, and was directed by Robert Aldrich. The film was released by Universal Studios, shot in Eastman ...more

10 7
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Two Rode Together James Stewart, Shirley Jones, Richard Widmark Two Rode Together is a western film directed by John Ford, and starring James Stewart, Richard Widmark, and Shirley Jones. The supporting cast includes Linda Cristal, Andy Devine, and John ...more

7 4
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The Deadly Companions Maureen O'Hara, Brian Keith, Strother Martin The Deadly Companions is a 1961 Western film directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Maureen O'Hara, Brian Keith, Steve Cochran, and Chill Wills. Based on the novel of the same name by A. S. ...more

7 4
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The Day the Earth Caught Fire Michael Caine, Leo McKern, Janet Munro The Day the Earth Caught Fire is a British science fiction disaster film starring Edward Judd, Leo McKern and Janet Munro. It was directed by Val Guest and released in 1961, and is one of the ...more

9 6
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The Comancheros John Wayne, Lee Marvin, Jack Elam The Comancheros is a 1961 Western Deluxe CinemaScope color film directed by Michael Curtiz, based on a 1952 novel of the same name by Paul Wellman, and starring John Wayne and Stuart Whitman. ...more

6 4
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Lola Anouk Aimée, Margo Lion, Corinne Marchand Lola, is a 1961 film, the debut film directed by Jacques Demy as a tribute to director Max Ophüls and is described by Demy as a "musical without music". Anouk Aimée starred ...more

7 5
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Snow White and the Three Stooges Mel Blanc, Larry Fine, Moe Howard Snow White and the Three Stooges is the second feature film to star the Three Stooges after their 1959 resurgence in popularity. By this time, the trio consisted of Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and ...more

5 3
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Samson Roman Polanski, Beata Tyszkiewicz, Władysław Kowalski Samson is a 1961 film made by Academy Award-winning Polish director Andrzej Wajda that uses art house aesthetics to tell a story about the Holocaust. Wajda's World War II film alludes to the Old ...more

4 5
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Fanny Leslie Caron, Charles Boyer, Maurice Chevalier Fanny is a 1961 American drama film directed by Joshua Logan. The screenplay by Julius J. Epstein is based on the book for the 1954 stage musical of the same title by Logan and S.N. Behrman, ...more

8 7
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Pocketful of Miracles Ann-Margret, Bette Davis, Peter Falk Pocketful of Miracles is a 1961 American comedy film starring Bette Davis and Glenn Ford, and directed by Frank Capra. The screenplay by Hal Kanter and Harry Tugend is based on the screenplay ...more

6 5
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The Naked Edge Gary Cooper, Deborah Kerr, Peter Cushing The Naked Edge is a 1961 thriller film starring Gary Cooper and Deborah Kerr. The movie was a British-American co-production distributed by United Artists, directed by Michael Anderson and ...more

8 8
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Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Barbara Eden, Joan Fontaine, Peter Lorre Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is an American science fiction film, produced and directed by Irwin Allen, released by 20th Century Fox in 1961. The story was written by Irwin Allen and Charles ...more

7 7
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Summer and Smoke Summer and Smoke is a two-part, thirteen-scene 1948 play by Tennessee Williams, originally titled Chart of Anatomy when Williams began work on it in 1945. The phrase "summer and smoke" ...more

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Dimos Dicoudis added Too Late Blues Stella Stevens, Bobby Darin, John Cassavetes Too Late Blues is a black-and-white American film directed in 1961 by John Cassavetes, with stars Bobby Darin, Stella Stevens and Everett Chambers. It is the story of jazz musician ...more

6 6
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Back Street Susan Hayward, Vera Miles, John Gavin Back Street is a 1961 film made by Universal Pictures, directed by David Miller, and produced by Ross Hunter. The screenplay was written by William Ludwig and Eleanore Griffin based on the novel ...more

6 6
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A Woman Is a Woman Jeanne Moreau, Anna Karina, Jean-Paul Belmondo A Woman Is a Woman is a 1961 French film directed by Jean-Luc Godard, featuring Anna Karina, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean-Claude Brialy. It is a tribute to American musical comedy and associated ...more

8 11
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The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone Vivien Leigh, Warren Beatty, Jill St. John The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone is a 1961 British film made by Seven Arts-Warner Bros. It was directed by José Quintero and produced by Louis De Rochemont with Lothar Wolff as associate ...more

4 4
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Goodbye Again Ingrid Bergman, Anthony Perkins, Yul Brynner Goodbye Again, released in Europe as Aimez-vous Brahms?, is a 1961 romantic drama film produced and directed by Anatole Litvak. The screenplay was written by Samuel A. Taylor, based on the novel ...more

5 5
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Accattone Franco Citti, Adriana Asti, Silvana Corsini Accattone is a 1961 Italian drama film written and directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. Despite being filmed from an original screenplay, academics perceive Accattone as a cinematic rendition of ...more

4 4
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Ghosts of Rome Marcello Mastroianni, Vittorio Gassman, Sandra Milo Ghosts of Rome is a 1961 Italian comedy film directed by Antonio Pietrangeli.

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One-Eyed Jacks Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Katy Jurado One-Eyed Jacks, a 1961 Western, is the only film directed by actor Marlon Brando. The picture was originally planned to be directed by Stanley Kubrick from a screenplay by Sam Peckinpah, but ...more

4 7
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The Honeymoon Machine Steve McQueen, Paula Prentiss, Dean Jagger The Honeymoon Machine is a 1961 film directed by Richard Thorpe and starring Steve McQueen, Brigid Bazlen, Jim Hutton, Paula Prentiss, Jack Mullaney, and Dean Jagger, based on the 1959 Broadway ...more

8 9
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Babes in Toyland Annette Funicello, Ed Wynn, Tommy Kirk Babes in Toyland is a 1961 Walt Disney Christmas musical film in Technicolor, directed by Jack Donohue, and distributed to theatres by Buena Vista Distribution. It stars Ray Bolger as Barnaby, ...more

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Dimos Dicoudis added The Young Ones Cliff Richard, Robert Morley, Richard O'Sullivan The Young Ones is a 1961 British film musical, directed by Sidney J. Furie and featuring teen idol Cliff Richard, Robert Morley as his character's father, Carole Gray as his love interest, and ...more

6 7
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The Ladies Man Jerry Lewis, Milton Berle, George Raft The Ladies Man is a 1961 American comedy film directed by and starring Jerry Lewis. It was released on June 28, 1961 by Paramount.

8 12
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The Curse of the Werewolf Oliver Reed, Peter Sallis, Warren Mitchell The Curse of the Werewolf is a British film based on the novel The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore. The film was made by the British film studio Hammer Film Productions and was shot at Bray ...more

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Dimos Dicoudis added Man-Trap Stella Stevens, Bob Crane, Jeffrey Hunter Man-Trap is a 1961 American drama film about a Korean War veteran who becomes involved in a scheme to steal $3.5 million from a Central American dictator. The film was directed by Edmond ...more