1. Thunderball 1965– Perhaps the best James Bond Movie of the 60s. I could go on to say that we could fill all ten slots with Bond movies but so I just picked one to represent the genre. The other Bond Movie, which could have been in this spot would have been “Goldfinger”. Many die hard Bond fans claim Sean Connery is the one and only true James Bond agent 007.
2. Planet of the Apes – This was the original POA starring Charlton Heston. Not only was it the highest rated movie of the 60s, but it brought in 26 Million at the U.S. box office. The story of Re-evolution where man time travels forward into time only to find that Apes are at the top of the food chain while humans are still subspecies has been done three times now. (To the best of my knowledge) The original has yet to be outdone. Perhaps the novelty of Apes being in charge only works once.
3. Bonnie and Clyde 1967 – This was one of the first movies that I watched more than twice. In the 60s, the counter culture was making its’ mark in Hollywood. Bad was good and Good was boring and “Not Cool”, so we will find a few anti-establishment movies on this list. The first of them is a story about Bonnie and Clyde Barrows. The two were real bank robbers that used a B.A.R. military weapon to shoot it out with the police. It was no contest.
The Browning Automatic Rifle was used in WWII to save the squad’s ass when they were “Pinned down”. The 20 round magazine could not only go through a car fender, but it could go through the engine as well. After this movie came out, every kid in junior high use to recreate the final scene. I’ll not spoil the ending for you, however it is the best part of the movie. This put Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway on the A list of Actors in Hollywood.
4. 2001 A Space Odyssey 1968 – Where’s my Jet Pack Damn It? It’s funny how much of the technology has come to fruition in this Sci-Fi movie about the future. This movie was written by Stanley Kubrick about life 34 years in the future. But the movie is more about “Theosophy” than it is “Technology”. It’s about aliens, but not as we expected. There are no little green men and the ending has spawned endless college essays. One interesting bit of trivia is that the computer used in the movie is named HAL. (The letters that precede IBM)
5. Follow that Dream 1962 – also include, Blue Hawaii, Roustabout, Viva Las Vegas, Kissing Cousins, Fun in Acapulco, Kid Gallahad, It happened at the world’s fair, The 68 Comeback Special and 24 other Elvis Movies that the King did in the 60s. While Elvis was trying to merge his music career with crappy movies, the Music Charts would be dominated by the group that is next on the list.
6. A Hard Day’s Night 1964 – This was a stupid movie that introduced the Beatles to the World. There’s no real plot. It’s more of a fictional documentary of what it was like being a Beatle amidst “Beatlemania”. As with Elvis, you can add the movie “Help” (In Color) to this list as well as “Yellow Submarine”. I happen to think A Hard Day’s Night is still the Beatles’ best album. (With all due respect to the White Album and Let it be) In fairness, The Dave Clark Five had a movie released in the 60s called “Have a wild weekend” but you would have never known had I not just told you.
7. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane 1962 – I only have one comment: “Betty Davis scared the fuck out of me”.
8. *All of the 60s counter culture classics – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cool Hand Luke, Guess who’s coming to dinner, To kill a Mocking Bird, Easy Rider, To Sir with Love, Midnight Cowboy, etc…. Towards the end of the 60s, we started getting movies that made us root for the bad guys. After all, bad guys are cool right? Just look at the White house.
9. The Longest Day 1962 – Simply the ultimate movie about WWII. You need patients and lots of time to watch it. It has a star studded cast that starts with John Wayne. I could fill a whole page with A list actors in this Movie.
10. The Graduate 1967 – The movie that made Dustin Hoffman a household word as in: “Mrs. Robinson you’re seducing me”. This movie was filmed in Berkeley CA during the midst of the summer of Love as well as the People’s park riots. One great blooper is a shot of Hoffman racing in his MG to Berkeley on the top deck of the Bay Bridge. Sorry, that takes you to the San Francisco Peninsula. Berkeley is the other way. The movie was spoofed three times. Once in the 80s in Greg Kihn’s video “Jeopardy”, again in Weird Al’s video “I lost at Jeopardy” (Greg Kihn drives the MG in Weird Al’s video at the end) then finally, in the 90s at the end of “Wayne’s World” II
Notable Mentions. I would put all of the Disney Hits that dominated the box office. I believe the top grossing film in the 60s was “The Sound of Music”. The list of Disney movies out numbers the list of Elvis movies.
Best Sleeper of the 60s – The Producers 1967 produced by Mel Brooks starring Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel. Best part of the Movie: “Springtime for Hitler and Germany”.
CM Best Cult Movie – Without a doubt, the best Cult movie of the 60s was “The Batman Movie”. It’s a timeless classis with a star studded cast that includes the TV cast.
Personal Favorite – The Blue Max 1966 – This was the first movie that I watched 3 times in one day. It’s a WWI movie with bi-planes and Ursula Andress’ breasts. I was just entering puberty when I saw this movie and fell in love with it. The movie features George Peppard and James Mason. It also stars the beautiful Ms. Ursula Andress.