The 1960s were a transformative decade in cinema, and the films of that era continue to have an impact on what is released now.
In spite of the fact that many contemporary hits are based on films that were released decades ago, such as the unkillable James Bond franchise, many contemporary hits are based on films that were released decades ago.
Despite the fact that movies have a tremendous impact on pop culture in general, the 1960s was a decade that saw a major shift in the way people lived their lives and what was acceptable in terms of media. As a result, the most successful films of the 1960s were typically depicted as reflecting the decade’s transitional nature.
In the year 2021, Mark Birrell updated the article. Most people are familiar with pop culture today because of the films of the 1960s, even though they aren’t cited as much in general discourse as they once were. If all of today’s references and inspirations are to be fully appreciated, each of the decade’s most significant films from around the world must be recognized. The ’60s recreated many of the most recognizable staples of popular filmmaking, including Westerns, spy movies, horror, and science fiction.
1. Django (1966)
Subversive modifications began to occur in the Western genre after a heyday from 1930 to the 1950s, and the most well-known of these changes was that of the “Spaghetti Western,” mainly Italian productions set in the American West or Mexico, but sometimes shot in Spain.
Sergio Leone and Sergio Corbucci are two of the most well-known directors in this specialized but immensely important subgenre. Due to Quentin Tarantino’s film Django Unchained, the name of Corbucci’s mystery gunman Django has remained in popular culture for many years, thanks in large part to his appearance in it. However, the style of the original vengeance picture can be plainly observed in numerous pulp stories in film, television, and anime. ”
2. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
David Lean’s historical epicLawrence of Arabiainfluenced a wide range of desert-themed films for many years after it was produced. It’s hard to overstate the impact this film has had on the way people think about desert landscapes and what they anticipate from a movie journey, thanks to the epic visuals and moving score by Maurice Jarre.
While Peter O’Toole lost out to Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird for Best Actor in To Kill a Mockingbird, his portrayal of T.E. Lawrence in The Great Gatsby is frequently emulated today.
3. Planet of the Apes (1968)
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Planet of the Apes, despite the fact that its closing scene remains the most recognizable aspect of the film and is constantly ridiculed to this day as one of the most well-known examples of a twist ending, has proven to be a major influence on the sci-fi genre.
The film’s ape makeup, while dated by today’s standards, was a significant step forward in genre cinema, and the series’ direct approach to social analogies was just as popular in the 2010s as it was in the 1960s when it was relaunched.
4. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Rosemary’s Baby remains one of the best high-end and prestige horror films ever made, with the relationship drama between Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes’ New York couple taking precedence over gruesome images or shocking jumpscares.
Critics have continued to praise the picture for its pioneering treatment of pregnancy and motherhood as a source of terror, as seen in films like Hereditary, The Babadook, and We Need to Talk About Kevin.
5. Yojimbo (1961)
Yajuro, Akira Kurosawa’s samurai epic, had a significant impact on world cinema not only after the 1960s but also throughout that decade. Toho, the Japanese distributor of the film, launched a lawsuit against Sergio Leone, the director of the Spaghetti Westerns, for stealing so much from the script.
Toshiro Mifune’s roaming warrior was the inspiration for Clint Eastwood’s stony screen character, but the cunning pacing of the story was as significant a stepping stone in the creation of action pictures as Kurosawa’s bigger epic, Seven Samurai.
6. Night Of The Living Dead (1968)
Zombies have long been a source of folklore and myth in various cultures, but it wasn’t until George A. Romero’s cult classic, Night of the Living Dead, that the horror genre paid them any attention.
While vacationing in rural Pennsylvania with their families, a gang of “living dead” creatures emerge from the grave and attack them. In addition to serving as an inspiration for countless films and television shows in the years to come, this film was groundbreaking when it was produced owing to the inclusion of Black actor Duane Jones in the lead role.
7. Dr. No (1962)
In the world of cinema, James Bond has become a household name. Many people think of 007 when they think of espionage movies, and he is still a huge box office draw to this day.
When Dr. No was launched in 1962, it starred Sean Connery as a British agent based on Ian Fleming’s original character from his books, and it became an instant hit. Every espionage film that has come after it has been affected in some way by this film’s wacky villain and magnificent locales and outfits.
8. Psycho (1960)
Alfred Hitchcock comes to mind very instantly when discussing films from the latter half of the twentieth century. Rebecca,Rear Window,and Vertigo are some of the most well-known films from the decades of 1940 and 1950. However, when it comes to the 1960s, Psycho is one of the most popular horror films ever filmed.
Norman Bates is the proprietor of the motel where Marion is staying, and the film was released in 1960. It’s at this point that the film turns gears and becomes an intimate examination of Bates’ psychologically damaged personality and the horrific mysteries that surround him. The killer’s stabbing motion and the accompanying music of wailing strings in the legendary shower scene were instantly evocative of horror films in general, not least the slasher subgenre that would flourish in their wake over the next two decades.
9. In The Heat Of The Night (1967)
The 1967 film adaptation of John Ball’s novel In the Heat of the Night is a classic. There’s a fictional southern town and an African-American police officer who is assigned to investigate a horrific incident in this film.
Racism was dealt with in an open and honest manner in the film, which won five Oscars, including Best Picture, and spawned two sequels and a television series of the same name.
10. Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Political parody and black comedy directed by Stanley Kubrick and released in 1964 under the working title of “Doctor. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”. The plot revolves around a US Air Force General who orders a nuclear strike on the Soviet Union in this satirical film.
It has remained one of the most often cited films of the decade, thanks in large part to Peter Sellers’ quirky title character and the iconic shot of Slim Pickens riding the atom bomb.
11. The Apartment (1960)
For the first time on prime-time television, Fred and Wilma Flintstone were shown sleeping side by side in the same bed in 1960. While depicting intimate relationships in media was still considered taboo at the time, The Apartment is a film that defied expectations.
To advance his career, an insurance clerk allows his coworkers to use his New York City apartment to host their adulterous romances… In spite of the story’s explicit content, the film was a huge success with critics and moviegoers alike, garnering five Oscars in total, including Best Director and Best Picture.
12. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
A Space Odyssey: 2001
science fiction movie directed by Stanley Kubrick that reinvented the genre in terms of cinema, broadening both the visual and philosophical scopes of high-concept Hollywood movies forevermore.
The tale explores topics related to human progress throughout history and into the future in depth.
For its day, 2001 boasted very impressive and ambitious special effects. When combined with the film’s unique narrative framework, this resulted in its immense influence.
13. Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961)
Holly Golightly, a naive and quirky New York socialite, is played by Aubrey Hepburn in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which starred Hepburn. A Truman Capote novella served as the inspiration for the film, which went on to win many Oscars and Grammys for its score, which included the iconic song “Moon River.”
In spite of the fact that it became an immediate classic, the film hasn’t held up very well over time. This is especially true of Mickey Rooney’s portrayal of the Japanese character I. Y. Yunioshi.
14. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (1966)
Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, and Lee Van Cleef feature in the 1966 spaghetti western The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. “Dollars” trilogy” trilogy, sometimes nicknamed “Man with No Name” trilogy because Clint Eastwood’s nameless main protagonists in each film, A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More were preceded by this picture, though it is now usually considered to be a stand-alone plot.
The movie focuses on three Civil War-era gunslingers who compete to uncover a buried treasure cache.
A Fistful of DollarsandYojimbo were delayed due to legal concerns, thus all three films in the “Dollars” trilogy were released in the US in the same year. As a result, many people believe this was the film that cemented Clint Eastwood’s reputation as a successful leading man.
15. Easy Rider (1969)
In 1969, Easy Rider was released, bringing the 1960s to a close. Iconic film that launched New Hollywood’s new era of cinematic experimentation Deniss Hopper and Peter Fond co-wrote the script for the film, which Fonda produced and directed.
Two young bikers set out to execute a shady deal across the country, and their story touched on a number of the important developments of that decade, as the most widespread features of the 1960s countercultural movements became more widely accepted. Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild” included the iconic image of the two riders on the open road, and the film’s fame as one of the best biker movies of all time continues to this day.