Top 10 Favorites from the 1960s

I’ll be the first to admit that I am horrible at the whole social aspect of blogging, as I rarely visit other websites or attempt to engage with the community as a whole. But I was very intrigued by a post from Ryan McNeil at The Matinee. In it he recounts his experience of contributing a Top 10 list of 1960s favorites for a big ol’, multi-person list of lists on the Movie Mezzanine, and how the finished list irked him a bit (both for its title and for some of the selections made by others).

Ryan definitely has some valid points, but my post isn’t about any of that! Instead, the posts have inspired me to go through the films of the ’60s and see what I could come up with if I was tasked with listing my favorites of the decade. It’s a horribly brutal process, as the ’60s (or any decade, really) are full of great films. My list ended up being a mix of old favorites I’ve loved for 15+ years, and others I’ve only just seen and become enamored with. But lists are always snapshots of the time they were made, and ultimately arbitrary. Anyway, it was fun to make!

So here’s what I came up with for my top 10 favorites of the ’60s:

#10 True Grit (1969)
Directed by Henry Hathaway


#9 Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Directed by George A. Romero


#8 One-Armed Swordsman (1967)
Directed by Chang Cheh
Reviewed July 27, 2011


#7 Underworld U.S.A. (1961)
Directed by Samuel Fuller
Reviewed July 11, 2013


#6 Dragon Inn (1967)
Directed by King Hu
Reviewed April 28, 2014


#5 The Wild Bunch (1969)
Directed by Sam Peckinpah
Reviewed February 6, 2014


#4 Psycho (1960)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock


#3 Yojimo (1961)
Directed by Akira Kurosawa


#2 Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Directed by Sergio Leone


#1 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Directed by Stanley Kubrick


If you haven’t seen these, they’re grrrrrr-reat! And if you’re curious what’s just beyond the 10-film cut, I have a 25-film version on my Letterboxd account.

What are your favorite films of the 1960s?

4 comments to Top 10 Favorites from the 1960s

  • I agree with pretty much everything on this list, except number one. I’ve never been a fan of 2001. I haven’t seen number six, but I may have to check it out now.

  • Phil

    Ahh, interesting decade to pick. As big of a classic movie fan I am, the 60s didnt overly impress. I’d have more personal debating i were doing a list for the 30s, 40s, or 50s. Not to mention 80s- present. 60s and 70s Im not as into….yet.

    60s were a transition period. The big stars from yesteryear were aging and fading from the screen. Felt like Pyscho was Hitchcocks last great picture. The Birds, Marnine and others were good but not best of the year calibur.

    Anyways, I tried to brain storm some possible candidates not listed.
    Seconds (would make my list)
    The Manchurian Candidate
    Blast of Silence (another criterion discovery which i think is underrated)
    Rosemary’s Baby/Repulsion
    Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
    Spartacus (You have 2001 which is better pick, but I found Sparacus enjoyable despite being lengthy)
    Shock Corridor/Naked Kiss (You have Underworld USA- which I prefer but Shock Corridor made make my list as well)
    Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?/Dead Ringer
    YOu have True Grit a superior Wayne film but I have a soft spot for The Alamo.

    • Yeah, I agree that other decades would be harder to narrow down. I don’t know that I could do the ’80s in 10 movies! Your additional selections seem sound, although I must admit to never seeing a fair amount of them! Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, for instance, is one I’ve really been meaning to get to but just never have yet. I don’t remember much about The Alamo, but it sounds like I might have to re-watch it. I only saw it once as a kid. I’m not that big on Polanski, but I have been meaning to see the rest of his early films, and re-watch Rosemary’s Baby. I just saw Repulsion and wasn’t overly impressed.

      And of course Shock Corridor and Naked Kiss are big favorites of mine. Naked Kiss is just shy of making it at #11.

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