Films 1960s

This page contains links to all the films I have reviewed in the 60s. Hollywood started a journey from the breezy musicals to more the edgy material that would mark the 70s. Cynicism and counter-culture dribbled into films with Cold War conspiracy thrillers and bitter satires. In Britain Kitchen Sink Dramas pushed class to the forefront, while other films critiqued the Swinging Sixties. In Europe, gifted directors pushed the boundaries of cinema stylistically and emotionally. A generation of directors came to the fore who grew up on movies and homaged old films in their new work.

1960

A Bout de Souffle – a Bogart-obsessed young man commits crimes and falls in love in Godard’s French New Wave classicDirector: Jean-Luc Godard
Cast: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger
The Apartment – Best Picture winner about an ambitious worker who lends his apartment out for his bosses affairsDirector: Billy Wilder
Cast: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray
La Dolce Vita – a hedonistic would-be-novelist flits from party to party in Rome and never writes a wordDirector: Federico Fellini
Cast: Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimee
The Entertainer – a selfish, seedy end-of-the-pier performer staggers from personal disaster to personal disasterDirector: Tony Richardson
Cast: Laurence Olivier, Brenda de Banzie, Roger Livesey
Inherit the Wind – faith vs science in this reimagining of the Scopes Monkey TrialDirector: Stanley Kramer
Cast: Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Gene Kelly
The League of Gentlemen – ex-servicemen denied their pay-offs, plot a heist in this great, overlooked, crime caperDirector: Basil Dearden
Cast: Jack Hawkins, Nigel Patrick, Richard Attenborough
Psycho – iconic murder mystery/horror film with the scariest shower scene everDirector: Alfred Hitchcock
Cast: Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning – a rebellious, chippy highly-skilled working class man refuses to be told what to doDirector: Karel Reisz
Cast: Albert Finney, Rachel Roberts, Shirley Anne Field
Spartacus – iconic Ancient Rome action epic, as slaves fight for freedom. “I’m Spartacus!”Director: Stanley Kubrick
Cast: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Peter Ustinov

1961

The Children’s Hour – two teachers are accused of being lesbians leading to local scandal in this play adaptationDirector: William Wyler
Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, James Garner
El Cid – a Spanish lord makes allies with the Muslims, to the fury of his King in this sweeping epicDirector: Anthony Mann
Cast: Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Herbert Lom
The Guns of Navarone – classic men-on-a-mission film as a WW2 team goes to blow up the eponymous gunsDirector: J Lee Thompson
Cast: Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn
Judgment at Nuremberg – Nazi officials are placed on trial, but will politics get in the way in this cracking dramaDirector: Stanley Kramer
Cast: Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Maximilian Schell
Victim – a closeted lawyer is blackmailed in this pioneering drama on gay rightsDirector: Basil Dearden
Cast: Dirk Bogarde, Sylvia Sims, Derek Price
West Side Story – Best Picture winning classic musical about dancing street gangs with some of the best dancing you’ll ever seeDirector: Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins
Cast: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno

1962 

Birdman of Alcatraz – a lifer in prison dedicates his time to becoming a leading expert on ornithologyDirector: John Frankenheimer
Cast: Burt Lancaster, Karl Malden, Thelma Ritter
Dr No – the first ever James Bond film, gets a lot of the formula in place from day oneDirector: Terence Young
Cast: Sean Connery, Ursual Andress, Joseph Wiseman
Jules et Jim – Truffaut’s classic menage as a Frenchman and a German share a mutual love for a French womanDirector: François Truffaut
Cast: Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner, Henri Serre
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner – a borstal boy has only one skill – running – which is exploited by the GovernorDirector: Tony Richardson
Cast: Tom Courtenay, Michael Redgrave, Avis Bunnage
The Longest Day – huge scale D-Day drama with an all-star castDirector: Ken Annakin, Andrew Martan, Bernhard Wicki
Cast: John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Henry Fonda
The Manchurian Candidate – brilliant, chilling brainwash conspiracy thriller as Korean war vets are programmed to killDirector: John Frankenheimer
Cast: Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Angela Lansbury
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? – two sisters feud over the past in the first ever “hag horror”Director: Robert Aldrich
Cast: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono

1963

The Birds – our feathered friends go crazy in this apocalyptic Hitchcock horror film based on a du Maurier short storyDirector: Alfred Hitchcock
Cast: Tippi Hedron, Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy
Eight and a Half – Fellini’s brilliant fantasy about his own life, love, careers and past packed with many brilliant momentsDirector: Federico Fellini
Cast: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Rossella Falk
The Great Escape – classic prison break from a POW camp, a staple of Bank Holiday MondaysDirector: John Sturges
Cast: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough
How the West Was Won – packed with stars and filmed in super-duper widescreen, basically a short story anthologyDirector: Henry Hathaway, John Ford, George Marshall
Cast: Gregory Peck, Carroll Baker, James Stewart
Jason and the Argonauts – absolutely superb Harryhausen Greek myths film, which I’ve loved since being a kidDirector: Don Chaffey
Cast: Todd Armstrong, Nancy Kovack, Gary Raymond
Lilies of the Field – a travelling handyman builds a church for a group of German nunsDirector: Ralph Nelson
Cast: Sidney Poitier, Lilia Skala, Lisa Mann
The Servant – a creepy butler manipulates his weak-willed master in this breath-taking British classicDirector: Joseph Losey
Cast: Dirk Bogarde, James Fox, Sarah Miles
This Sporting Life – a self-loathing rugby player struggles to express his feelings in this hard-hitting kitchen sink dramaDirector: Lindsay Anderson
Cast: Richard Harris, Rachel Roberts, Alan Badel
Tom Jones – Best Picture winning sex-farce about a rogueish adopted son of a country squire, which tries way to hardDirector: Tony Richardson
Cast: Albert Finney, Susannah York, Hugh Griffith

1964

Becket – Henry II and Thomas Becket fall out and feud in this grand, literary historical epicDirector: Peter Glenville
Cast: Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole, John Gielgud
Dr Strangelove; or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb – nuclear war farce, blackly hilarious end-of-the-worldDirector: Stanley Kubrick
Cast: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden
Fail SafeDr Strangelove played absolutely straight, but full of brilliant scenes and performancesDirector: Sidney Lumet
Cast: Henry Fonda, Dan O’Herlihy, Walter Matthau
Goldfinger – possibly the greatest Bond film, as a mad man launches a plot against Fort Know to increase the value of his goldDirector: Guy Hamilton
Cast: Sean Connery, Honor Blackman, Gert Fröbe
Lilith – a troubled counsellor starts to fall in love with his disturbed patient and finds his own grip on reality slippingDirector: Robert Rossen
Cast: Warren Beatty, Jean Seberg, Peter Fonda
My Fair Lady – Best Picture winning musical version of Pygmalion, very stagy and unoriginal, rather flatly madeDirector: George Cukor
Cast: Rex Harrison, Audrey Hepburn, Sterling Holloway
The Pumpkin Eater – an unhappy novelist struggles to deal with her husband’s infidelity and hold her family togetherDirector: Jack Clayton
Cast: Anne Bancroft, Peter Finch, James Mason
Seance on a Wet Afternoon – a mystic and her husband kidnap a child so that she can ‘discover’ him and prove her giftDirector: Bryan Forbes
Cast: Kim Stanley, Richard Attenborough, Nanette Newman
Seven Days in May – an American general plots a coup in this conspiracy thrillerDirector: John Frankenheimer
Cast: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March
The Train – a French resistance fighter frustrates a German general, stealing France’s art legacy by train Director: John Frankenheimer
Cast: Burt Lancaster, Paul Scofield, Jeanne Moreau
Zorba the Greek – a Brit learns to become Greek from a larger-than-life peasant in a tonally confused filmDirector: Michael Cacoyannis
Cast: Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates, Irene Papas, Lila Kedrova
Zulu – a small group of British soldiers stand firm against overwhelming orders in this non-triumphalist Zulu war filmDirector: Cy Endfield
Cast: Stanley Baker, Michael Caine, Jack Hawkins

1965

The Agony and the Ecstasy – Michaelangelo takes a very, very, long time to paint the Sistine Chapel in this flawed but enjoyable epicDirector: Carol Reed
Cast: Charlton Heston, Rex Harrison, Harry Andrews
Bunny Lake is Missing – a woman insists her daughter has gone missing – but there seems to be no record that her daughter even existsDirector: Otto Preminger
Cast: Laurence Olivier, Carl Lynley, Kier Dullea
The Collector – a disturbed young man kidnaps a woman, hoping she will fall in love with himDirector: William Wyler
Cast: Terence Stamp, Samantha Egger
Doctor Zhivago – Lean mega-epic about revolutionary Russia, looks pretty but miscast and more than a little emptyDirector: David Lean
Cast: Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Rod Steiger
The Flight of the Phoenix – an aircraft crashes in the desert and the survivors must rebuild it to have any chance of survivingDirector: Robert Aldrich
Cast: James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Peter Finch
The Greatest Story Ever Told – epic, tedious story of the life of Christ, that turns the most interesting life ever into a dragDirector: George Stevens
Cast: Max von Sydow, Dorothy McGuire, Charlton Heston
The Heroes of Telemark – SOE plans to blow up a Norwegian factory during WWII – not as good as other similar filmsDirector: Anthony Mann
Cast: Kirk Douglas, Richard Harris, Ulla Jacobsson
The Ipcress File – a working class spy uncovers a conspiracy but struggles to get his posh bosses to listenDirector: Sidney J Furie
Cast: Michael Caine, Guy Doleman, Nigel Green
Khartoum – General Gordon makes his final stand in this biographical epicDirector: Basil Dearden
Cast: Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Richard Johnson
The Pawnbroker – hugely depressing drama about a Holocaust survivor, now living in New York, still crushed with guiltDirector: Sidney Lumet
Cast: Rod Steiger, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Brock Peters
Ship of Fools – an eclectic group of passengers lives intersect on a long voyage from US to Nazi Germany in the 1930sDirector: Stanley Kramer
Cast: Vivien Leigh, Oskar Werner, Simone Signoret
The Sound of Music – Best Picture winning musical about singing nuns and loving families. The most popular movie ever?Director: Robert Wise
Cast: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker
The Spy Who Came In From the Cold – a ground-down spy gets involved in a masterplot to discredit an East German spy catcherDirector: Martin Ritt
Cast: Richard Burton, Claire Bloom, Oskar Werner
Thunderball – Bond searches for lost nuclear weapons and spends a lot of time underwater in a film I’ve often found boringDirector: Terence Young
Cast: Sean Connery, Alfredo Celi, Claudine Auger

1966

Alfie – a heartless cockney wide-boy gets himself into all sorts of entanglements in this expose of swinging sixties LondonDirector: Lewis Gilbert
Cast: Michael Caine, Shelley Winters, Millicent Martin
The Battle of Algiers – hugely influential documentary style dramatisation of the uprising against the French in AlgiersDirector: Gilles Pontecorvo
Cast: Jean Martin, Yacef Saadi, Brahim Hadjadi
The Deadly Affair – marvellous Le Carré adaptation as a British spy with an unfaithful wife tracks a killer in LondonDirector: Sidney Lumet
Cast: James Mason, Simeone Signoret, Maximilian Schell
Georgy Girl – a plain-looking young woman searches for happiness in another 1966 expose of the Swinging Sixties Director: Silvio Narizzano
Cast: Lynn Redgrave, Alan Bates, James Mason
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – the most iconic Spaghetti Western of them all, a trio of men search for Gold in the WestDirecter: Sergio Leone
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef
A Man For All Seasons – Thomas More won’t compromise on Henry VIII’s marriage in the Best Picture winning personal faveDirector: Fred Zinnemann
Cast: Paul Scofield, Robert Shaw, Wendy Hiller
Seconds – rich people take on new bodies to live forever in this creepy but not quite engaging enough conspiracy thrillerDirector: John Frankenheimer
Cast: Rock Hudson, Salome Jens, John Randolph
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – a married couple play psychological games with themselves and their guestsDirector: Mike Nichols
Cast: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, George Segal, Sandy Dennis

1967

Bonnie and Clyde – two young killers love fame, crime and themselves in this violent, influential “American New Wave” filmDirector: Arthur Penn
Cast: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J Pollard
The Graduate – a bored housewife seduces her daughter’s boyfriend; a dated coming-of-age comedy I’m not sure I likeDirector: Mike Nichols
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, Katharine Ross
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – a middle class couple’s daughter wants to marry a black man in this earnest dramaDirector: Stanley Kramer
Cast: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier
In the Heat of the Night – a black cop investigates a murder in the Deep South in this Best Picture winner about racismDirector: Norman Jewison
Cast: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates
You Only Live Twice – Bond goes to Japan and meets Blofield. Connery looks like he wants to be literally anywhere elseDirector: Lewis Gilbert
Cast: Sean Connery, Donald Pleasance, Akiko Wakabayashi

1968

Charlie Bubbles – a working class lad turned Hollywood scriptwriter struggles with ennui, his unmanly job and his love life Director: Albert Finney
Cast: Albert Finney, Liza Minnelli, Billie Whitelaw
Ice Station Zebra – American and Soviet teams rush to uncover a secret in the ArcticDirector: John Sturges
Cast: Rock Hudson, Ernest Borgnine, Patrick McGoohan
If… – dark rebellious fantasy, as boys in a British public school boys push back against the oppressive systemDirector: Lindsay Anderson
Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Richard Warwick, David Wood
The Lion in Winter – Henry II and his family gather to fight and argue over Christmas in this sensationally acted historical epicDirector: Anthony Harvey
Cast: Peter O’Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins
Oliver! – Best Picture winning musical, sickly sweet and lousy Dickens adaptation, crammed with a total lack of imaginationDirector: Carol Reed
Cast: Ron Moody, Mark Lester, Jack Wild
Once Upon a Time in the West – magnificently overblown Spaghetti Western, full of long stares and great musicDirector: Sergio Leone
Cast: Claudia Cardinale, Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson

1969

Anne of the Thousand Days – Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn: it doesn’t end well in this richly mounted but empty Tudor epicDirector: Charles Jarrott
Cast: Richard Burton, Genevieve Bujold, Anthony Quayle
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – two outlaws form a lasting, witty bond while dealing with disasterDirector: George Roy Hill
Cast: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross
Midnight Cowboy – Best Picture winning tale of two grifters who shoot for the moon in New York, but crash to the groundDirector: John Schlesinger
Cast: Jon Voight, Dustin Hoffman, Sylvia Miles
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – the purist’s James Bond, hampered by having George Lazenby in itDirector: Peter R Hunt
Cast: George Lazenby, Diana Rigg, Telly Savalas
The Wild Bunch – a bunch of old cowboys rage against the dying of the light in this hugely violent, brilliant WesternDirector: Sam Peckinpah
Cast: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan
Women in Love – two couples struggle for love and happiness in this arty and odd DH Lawrence adaptationDirector: Ken Russell
Cast: Glenda Jackson, Alan Bates, Oliver Reed, Jennie Linden