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The Best Movies of 1961

Updated August 12, 2019 3.4k votes 192 voters 7.1k views105 items

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.

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  • 1
    Breakfast at Tiffany's
    69
    38

    Breakfast at Tiffany's

    Audrey Hepburn, Mickey Rooney

    Released1961

    Directed byBlake Edwards

    Breakfast at Tiffany's is a 1961 American romantic comedy film starring Audrey Hepburn and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    101 Dalmations
    49
    14

    101 Dalmations

    Rod Taylor, Paul Frees

    Released1961

    Directed byHamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi, Wolfgang Reitherman

    One Hundred and One Dalmatians, often written 101 Dalmatians, is a 1961 American animated... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    The Guns of Navarone
    52
    20

    The Guns of Navarone

    Gregory Peck, David Niven

    Released1961

    Directed byJ. Lee Thompson, Alexander Mackendrick

    The Guns of Navarone is a 1961 British-American action/adventure film directed by J. Lee... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    The Parent Trap
    51
    15

    The Parent Trap

    Maureen O'Hara, John Mills

    Released1961

    Directed byDavid Swift

    The Parent Trap is a 1961 Walt Disney film. It stars Hayley Mills, Maureen O'Hara and Brian... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    King of Kings
    47
    24

    King of Kings

    Orson Welles, Rip Torn

    Released1961

    Directed byNicholas Ray

    King of Kings is a 1961 American biblical epic film made by Samuel Bronston Productions and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Judgment at Nuremberg
    58
    38

    Judgment at Nuremberg

    Judy Garland, William Shatner

    Released1961

    Directed byStanley Kramer

    Judgment at Nuremberg is a 1961 American drama film dealing with the Holocaust and with the... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    West Side Story
    49
    34

    West Side Story

    Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno

    Released1961

    Directed byJerome Robbins, Robert Wise

    West Side Story is a 1961 American romantic musical drama film directed by Robert Wise and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    The Hustler
    47
    32

    The Hustler

    Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason

    Released1961

    Directed byRobert Rossen

    The Hustler is a 1961 American drama film directed by Robert Rossen from the Walter Tevis's... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    Through a Glass Darkly
    42
    22

    Through a Glass Darkly

    Max von Sydow, Harriet Andersson

    Released1961

    Directed byIngmar Bergman

    Through a Glass Darkly is a 1961 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, and... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    The Absent-Minded Professor
    38
    9

    The Absent-Minded Professor

    Fred MacMurray, Keenan Wynn

    Released1961

    Directed byRobert Stevenson

    The Absent-Minded Professor is a 1961 American film distributed by Walt Disney Productions... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    Splendor in the Grass
    42
    32

    Splendor in the Grass

    Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty

    Released1961

    Directed byElia Kazan

    Splendor in the Grass is a 1961 Technicolor romantic drama film that tells a story of sexual... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    La Notte
    51
    25

    La Notte

    Marcello Mastroianni, Jeanne Moreau

    Released1961

    Directed byMichelangelo Antonioni

    La Notte is a 1961 Italian drama film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni and starring Marcello... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    The Comancheros
    58
    19

    The Comancheros

    John Wayne, Lee Marvin

    Released1961

    Directed byJohn Wayne, Michael Curtiz

    The Comancheros is a 1961 Western Deluxe CinemaScope color film directed by Michael Curtiz,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    The Ladies Man
    30
    14

    The Ladies Man

    Jerry Lewis, Milton Berle

    Released1961

    Directed byJerry Lewis

    The Ladies Man is a 1961 American comedy film directed by and starring Jerry Lewis. It was... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Last Year at Marienbad
    24
    21

    Last Year at Marienbad

    Delphine Seyrig, Sacha Pitoëff

    Released1961

    Directed byAlain Resnais

    L'Année dernière à Marienbad is a 1961 French film directed by Alain Resnais from a screenplay... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    The Deadly Companions
    19
    14

    The Deadly Companions

    Maureen O'Hara, Brian Keith

    Released1961

    Directed bySam Peckinpah

    The Deadly Companions is a 1961 Western film directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Maureen... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    A Raisin in the Sun
    24
    25

    A Raisin in the Sun

    Sidney Poitier, Louis Gossett

    Released1961

    Directed byDaniel Petrie

    A Raisin in the Sun is a 1961 drama film, starring Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    Babes in Toyland
    16
    15

    Babes in Toyland

    Annette Funicello, Ed Wynn

    Released1961

    Directed byJack Donohue

    Babes in Toyland is a 1961 Walt Disney Christmas musical film in Technicolor, directed by Jack... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    The Misfits
    31
    37

    The Misfits

    Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable

    Released1961

    Directed byJohn Huston

    The Misfits is a 1961 American drama film with a screenplay by Arthur Miller which was... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    The Pit and the Pendulum
    24
    27

    The Pit and the Pendulum

    Vincent Price, Barbara Steele

    Released1961

    Directed byRoger Corman

    The Pit and the Pendulum is a 1961 horror film directed by Roger Corman, starring Vincent... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
    25
    13

    Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

    Barbara Eden, Joan Fontaine

    Released1961

    Directed byIrwin Allen

    Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is an American science fiction film, produced and directed by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    Taste of Fear
    18
    18

    Taste of Fear

    Christopher Lee, Susan Strasberg

    Released1961

    Directed bySeth Holt

    Taste of Fear is a 1961 British thriller film directed by Seth Holt, shot in black-and-white... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Snow White and the Three Stooges
    22
    13

    Released1961

    Directed byWalter Lang

    Snow White and the Three Stooges is the second feature film to star the Three Stooges after... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    The Innocents
    26
    31

    The Innocents

    Deborah Kerr, Michael Redgrave

    Released1961

    Directed byJack Clayton

    The Innocents is a 1961 British supernatural gothic horror film directed and produced by Jack... more on Wikipedia

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  • 25
    El Cid
    22
    26

    El Cid

    Sophia Loren, Charlton Heston

    Released1961

    Directed byAnthony Mann

    El Cid is a 1961 historical epic film, a romanticized story of the life of the Christian... more on Wikipedia