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The 10 Best Films of the 1960s

Here's one critic's opinion.

by
Kyle Smith

Bio

June 6, 2014 - 8:00 am
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10. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

Warren Beatty and Co’s idea to make a movie showing vicious criminals as prankish antiheroes — but nevertheless have them meet the most gruesome comeuppance ever depicted on screen to that point — yielded a provocative entertainment that also expertly marshalled the forces of irony. Are we meant to laugh with these careless bandits as banjo music plays them jauntily along to their next despicable act? Maybe, but even as we become complicit in the granting of legend status to twisted narcissists we forgive ourselves for enjoying what is, in our experience of it, only a movie. And the shocking, sudden end makes sure we don’t leave the theater smiling.

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Top Rated Comments   
This seems to be a best list of "60s flims" as someone would describe them in a cliche, not films shot in the 60s, which also included the best examples of traditional cinema like The Great Escape, Rear Window, The Guns of Navarone and Spartacus.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Ride the High Country and The Magnificent Seven are ALL better than Butch and Sundance.
The Music Man is way better than The Sound of Music
I would much rather see Planet of the Apes again than 2001
I'm good with Strangelove and more people need to see The Lion in Winter though.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Terry Southern, author of "Dr. Strangelove"---and of "Candy"---enjoys a wholly undeserved reputation because he was the progenitor of the hipster attitude that sex everywhere at all times is excellent except when "squares" do it, in which case it's icky and gross. That is the attitude that formed the bedrock of the Sixties and of most of the social decline we have experienced since.

There are two worthwhile things about "Dr. Strangelove"; the use of black and white film (then very much on its way out) to mask the incredibly cheap production values, and the punning names, mostly sexual and/or scatological.

For the rest, this film, which when it came out was supposed to primarily be sneering at the "conservative" figures as buffoons---e.g., Major Kong (Slim Pickens) riding the bomb to its target to complete his mission, General Turgidson (George C. Scott) objecting to the Russian ambassador seeing the Big Board, General Ripper (Sterling Hayden) ordering the attack which is the driving force of the movie---end up looking better than the "liberal" characters. Gen. Ripper may be insane, but he is not wrong; likewise, Turgidson is not wrong either. Major Kong is actually admirable in the way he fights to complete what he believes is a legitimate mission and strives to keep up his men's morale. We are supposed to hate them, despise them, sneer at them because they are military, and our military, and for no other reason---an attitude we see fully rampant, alas, in our Leftist government today.

Strangelove is a Cassandra warning, a half-century old, about what an Obama administration would be.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Midnight Cowboy

Hud

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (89)
All Comments   (89)
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As much as I appreciate "Butch Cassidy" the greatest (anti)Western of that era is Sam Peckinpaugh's bloody fireball of death and mayhem, "The Wild Bunch."
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 - The Virgin Spring (Ingmar Bergman)
2 - La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini)
3 - Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean)
4 - 2001 (Stanley Kubrick)
5 - Dr. Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick)
6 - A Hard Day's Night (Richard Lester)
7 - El Cid (Anthony Mann)
8 - The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo)
9 - Zulu (Cy Enfield)
10 - Goldfinger (Guy Hamilton)

21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree with Lawrence of Arabia. The rest is mostly pretentious, drug soaked 60's sheit
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
This seems to be a best list of "60s flims" as someone would describe them in a cliche, not films shot in the 60s, which also included the best examples of traditional cinema like The Great Escape, Rear Window, The Guns of Navarone and Spartacus.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Ride the High Country and The Magnificent Seven are ALL better than Butch and Sundance.
The Music Man is way better than The Sound of Music
I would much rather see Planet of the Apes again than 2001
I'm good with Strangelove and more people need to see The Lion in Winter though.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can't we make room for:

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie -- fine, sharp script about a charismatic teacher and her cult of boarding school girls; even more amazing to see young Pamela Franklin hold her own with the great Maggie Smith. Celia Johnson battles wits with Dame Maggie too.

A Man For All Seasons -- Paul Scofield (need we say more?)

And not a great movie, but a very good movie worth watching for James Mason's hilarious old soft-hearted lecher: Georgy Girl
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Totally agree on "The Wild Bunch" which totally revolutionized the concept of cinematic violence. I must admit my grand kids love "the Sound of Music" so I guess it hold up.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Is this only English-language cinema?

You're giving conservatives a bad name.

Sound of Music????

Lion in Winter and Two for the Road in top 10?

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid??

You call yourself a critic?

24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
It takes skill to criticize someone or something strongly and disdainfully without being personally abusive.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Days of Wine and Roses
Bullit
In Harm's Way
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
No love for "The Wild Bunch"? It was a good 20-30 years ahead of its time.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obviously the list is meant to show how poor the movies were in the '60s. Only veteran movie makers like David Lean (Doctor Zhivago) were making films on the order of "Gone with the Wind." The sixties were a vast wasteland in cinema ending in plotless and pointless visual "experiences."
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I disagree. Generally speaking, singling out films for distinction rests on the fact they not only work as entertaining movies but that nothing quite like them existed previously in a cinematographic sense.

By that standard, Zhivago is certainly has a much weaker case than Lawrence of Arabia. Two For the Road has no case that can be made for it in my opinion. You don't have to necessarily like Bonnie and Clyde or Butch Cassidy to understand nothing like those had ever been done before, and that's especially true for Bonnie, which stunned people at the time for its originality.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bonnie and Clyde I recognized instantly, at the time, as merely a hipsterized version of "This gun for Hire". Hackman was the only good thing that came from that movie.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Nothing like it has ever been done before" often merely means, " nobody has ever been this stupid before".


To equate "different" with "good" is the stupidity that got Obama elected.

I know it's a popular affectation with the "artsy" crowd, but that doesn't make it any less unintelligent.





24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
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