The Best Movies Of The '60s
The 1960s were a great period for film. Some of the best and most memorable movies came out in the 1960s. The '60s saw the overlap of many of the iconic film directors and stars from Hollywood's Golden Age along with some of the young upstarts who came to define the next generation of stars and powerbrokers.
The best movies of the '60s spanned many genres as well. Famous thrillers like Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and John Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate are considered classics as is Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus, Dr. Strangelove, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. There were also musicals that were adopted to the big screen like West Side Story. If you are a fan of westerns, there plenty of great films in the genre made in the '60s. These tough guy movies, like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, introduced Clint Eastwood to the mainstream while Paul Newman and Robert Redford captured the hearts of audiences in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Movies like Midnight Cowboy and Easy Rider were gritty films that introduced Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson to the world. Hoffman was nominated for his role in The Graduate during the same decade. These films, which wouldn't even get made now, were actually popular movies of the 1960s.
The 1960s were a special period in film history and these are the decade's best movies. Vote for the movies you think are the best of the '60s and should be recognized as the best of the decade.
- Actors: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Charlie Condou, Gemma Jones, Jodie Whittaker
- Directed by: Sergio Leone, Vicente Amorim
Sergio Leone's iconic spaghetti western culminates in a thrilling climax between three gunslingers, played by Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach. The film masterfully interweaves their individual stories and boasts an unforgettable score by Ennio Morricone. The stark landscapes and morally ambiguous characters make for a compelling watch, solidifying its place as one of the greatest films of the '60s.
- Actors: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, James Donald
- Directed by: John Sturges
Based on a true story, John Sturges' war epic chronicles the daring escape of Allied prisoners from a German POW camp during WWII. Boasting an ensemble cast including Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard Attenborough, the film showcases a gripping narrative filled with suspense, camaraderie, and heroism. Its enduring popularity is underpinned by Elmer Bernstein's rousing score, as well as McQueen’s memorable motorcycle chase scene.
- Actors: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam
- Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense, delivered a shocking and groundbreaking psychological thriller that pushed the boundaries of conventional cinema. Psycho tells the chilling tale of a young woman's encounter with a disturbed motel proprietor, played impeccably by Anthony Perkins. With its haunting score by Bernard Herrmann and the infamous shower scene, Psycho continues to influence generations of filmmakers and remains a hallmark of '60s cinema.
- Actors: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Strother Martin, Henry Jones
- Directed by: George Roy Hill
This classic western tells the tale of two outlaws, portrayed by Paul Newman and Robert Redford, as they attempt to outrun a relentless posse in the dying days of the Wild West. Directed by George Roy Hill, the film expertly combines action, humor, and romance, while Burt Bacharach's score sets the perfect tone. Its unforgettable chemistry between Newman and Redford solidifies it as one of the best buddy films of all time.
- Actors: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, John Cassavetes
- Directed by: Robert Aldrich
Robert Aldrich's gritty war film follows the story of twelve convicted military prisoners who are offered a chance at redemption by embarking on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines. Featuring a stellar ensemble cast led by Lee Marvin, the film skillfully balances high-stakes action and human drama. It has since become a beloved classic, inspiring numerous spin-offs and adaptations.
- Actors: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, John Fiedler, Herbert Edelman, Monica Evans
- Directed by: Gene Saks
Neil Simon's uproarious comedy, directed by Gene Saks, pairs the fastidious Felix Ungar (Jack Lemmon) with the slovenly Oscar Madison (Walter Matthau) as mismatched roommates. The film's witty dialogue and outstanding chemistry between Lemmon and Matthau make it an enduring favorite. It would later spawn a successful TV series and numerous adaptations, but the original remains unmatched in its comic brilliance.