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Best movies of the 60s

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Columbia Pictures Corporation

Best movies of the 60s

As one of America’s most transformative decades, the 1960s represented a cultural shift on multiple fronts, cinema being no exception. Between the emerging youth market, the collapse of the studio system, the influence of foreign films, increased competition from television, and a variety of other factors, the decade ushered in new paradigms as far as what constituted big-screen entertainment. In the process, Old Hollywood became New Hollywood, and along with this changing of the guard there came an endless sense of possibility and innovation.

Even with so much change in the air, there was still plenty of room left for a good old-fashioned John Wayne Western or blockbuster musical. However, groundbreaking films like “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Easy Rider” not only challenged the medium’s very own conventions, but broadened the country’s cultural horizons by refusing to pander to previous norms. In the wake of these historic films, there came a slew of talented young visionaries—like Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg—all of whom would continue to redefine the possibilities of cinema in the 1970s and beyond.

To honor the decade in which everything initially changed, Stacker is listing out the top 50 movies of the 1960s as voted on by the users of IMDb. Each film on the list was produced in America (in English), and had at least 25,000 votes on IMDb. In the case of a ratings tie, the film with more votes was ranked higher. Counting down from #50 to #1, here are the best movies of the 1960s.

Related: Ranking John Wayne movies from worst to first 

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Wallis-Hazen

#50. True Grit

IMDb user rating: 7.4
IMDb user votes: 36,948
Release year: 1969
Director: Henry Hathaway

From a novel by Charles Portis came this hard-hitting 1969 western, in which John Wayne plays drunken U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn. In the film, Cogburn is enlisted by a young tomboy to help track down her father’s killer. In the wake of his performance, Wayne won his one and only Best Actor Award at the Oscars. A 1975 follow up, simply titled “Rooster Cogburn,” continued the character’s adventures, although to less acclaim. Then in 2010, the Coen Brothers released a remake, starring Jeff Bridges as the disgruntled U.S. Marshal.

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Pando Company Inc.

#49. Easy Rider

IMDb user rating: 7.4
IMDb user votes: 83,652
Release year: 1969
Director: Dennis Hopper

While not the greatest film of the 1960s, Dennis Hopper’s “Easy Rider” was among the decade’s most influential. Depicting the adventures of two motorcycle-riding drug dealers as they ride off in search of the American dream, the film was awash with taboo subject matterfor its timeand hyper-realistic performances. Made on a shoestring budget and shot in a guerilla style, the movie generated more than $60 million at the box office and helped pave the way for much of the auteurist cinema that followed.

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Solar Productions

#48. Bullitt

IMDb user rating: 7.5
IMDb user votes: 52,089
Release year: 1968
Director: Peter Yates

Before “Dirty Harry,” in 1971, there was “Bullitt” in 1968, starring Steve McQueen as a no-holds-barred cop on the trail of a ruthless underworld kingpin. Directed by Peter Yates, the film features lots of hand-held footage, a legendary car chase, and no shortage of spilt blood. It won the Oscar for Best Editing.

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Argyle Enterprises

#47. The Haunting

IMDb user rating: 7.6
IMDb user votes: 29,381
Release year: 1963
Director: Robert Wise

Based on a novel by Shirley Jackson, “The Haunting” puts a psychological twist on a classic horror premise. It tells the story of two women who spend the night in a supposedly haunted house, which leads to one of the women losing her mind. The film features a famous scene involving a bending door; to achieve the effect, the film crew built a rubber door and then had stagehands push it from behind.

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George Pal Productions

#46. The Time Machine

IMDb user rating: 7.6
IMDb user votes: 31,052
Release year: 1960
Director: George Pal

Bringing H.G. Wells’ classic novella to the big screen, “The Time Machine” follows a man as he travels to a future society where things aren’t as utopian as they first appear. To show the world changing as it passes by our protagonist, the movie utilized a nifty photographic time-lapse effect. As a result, the film ended up winning an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

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Casey Productions

#45. It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

IMDb user rating: 7.6
IMDb user votes: 32,618
Release year: 1963
Director: Stanley Kramer

In “It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World,” a legion of strangers are sent on a cross-country adventure in search of hidden treasure. The slapstick comedy was the second-highest-grossing film of 1964, and it would end up earning $60 million worldwide by 1970. This was the first film to premiere at Hollywood’s Cinerama Dome, and a special 70mm version was made just for the occasion. Meanwhile, a shorter, 35mm version was released in regular theaters around the country.

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Mirisch Corporation, The

#44. The Party

IMDb user rating: 7.6
IMDb user votes: 33,249
Release year: 1968
Director: Blake Edwards

“The Party” saw director Blake Edwards teaming with actor Peter Sellers, after the two found meteoric success working together on “The Pink Panther.” In the film, an inept Indian film star accidentally gets invited to an exclusive Hollywood party, and hilarity ensues—most of it improvised. This was one of Elvis Presley’s favorite films

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Columbia Pictures Corporation

#43. The Guns of Navarone

IMDb user rating: 7.6
IMDb user votes: 39,992
Release year: 1961
Director: J. Lee Thompson

Continuing a tradition of burly World War II action films, “The Guns of Navarone” centers on a group of Allied and Greek soldiers who are tasked with destroying a German gun emplacement. Sharing the marquee were Old Hollywood A-listers Gregory Peck, David Niven, and Anthony Quinn. The film won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and two Golden Globes, including one for Best Motion Picture—Drama.

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A.A. Productions Ltd.

#42. Lolita

IMDb user rating: 7.6
IMDb user votes: 77,760
Release year: 1962
Director: Stanley Kubrick

Giving the decency envelope an early push in 1962 was Stanley Kubrick’s “Lolita.” Adapted from the famous novel by Vladimir Nabokov, the movie tells the story of an older man who has feverish, carnal desires for an underage girl. Look for an unintentional cameo from Kubrick, who can be seen walking out of a shot during the opening sequence.

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The Mirisch Corporation

#41. West Side Story

IMDb user rating: 7.6
IMDb user votes: 82,218
Release year: 1961
Directors: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise

While American cinema might have become a discernibly grittier beast by the end of the 1960s, the decade still featured a range of celebrated musicals—including the 1961 film “West Side Story.” Despite a premise that involves warring New York City gangs, the film remains a joy to behold, brimming with fantastic songs and thrilling dance sequences. Cherished among both audiences and critics, this modern day “Romeo and Juliet” adaptation raked in over $40 million at the box officea lot at the time, and a whopping 10 Academy Awards out of 12 nominations.

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Walt Disney Productions

#40. The Jungle Book

IMDb user rating: 7.6
IMDb user votes: 141,318
Release year: 1967
Director: Wolfgang Reitherman

Disney’s “The Jungle Book” centers on a young boy who must learn to adapt to human civilization after being raised in the wild. A massive success in its day, the film earned over $200 million at the worldwide box office, making it one of the biggest hits of all time when the numbers are adjusted for inflation. A similarly successful live-action remake was released in 2016.

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Paramount Pictures

#39. The Odd Couple

IMDb user rating: 7.7
IMDb user votes: 27,668
Release year: 1968
Director: Gene Saks

Adapting his own hit Broadway play, Neil Simon penned the script for this 1968 comedy. It stars Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau as two friends who become roommates, only to butt heads over one another’s respective lifestyles. Often pointed to as the original “buddy comedy,” the movie spawned a popular TV series on ABC—and then a far less popular revival on CBS.

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Crossbow Productions

#38. The Producers

IMDb user rating: 7.7
IMDb user votes: 44,151
Release year: 1967
Director: Mel Brooks

Written and directed by comedy legend Mel Brooks, “The Producers” tells the story of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom, two producers who put together a play called “Springtime for Hitler.” If the play sounds like a guaranteed disaster in the making, that’s the plan: The two men discover they can actually make more money by producing a flop. The acclaimed film pulls off an impressive feat in that it both celebrates and skewers Broadway musicals at the very same time. For somewhat obvious reasons, the movie was banned in Germany for years.

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Gershwin-Kastner Productions

#37. Where Eagles Dare

IMDb user rating: 7.7
IMDb user votes: 44,963
Release year: 1968
Director: Brian G. Hutton

In the 1968 film “Where Eagles Dare,” an American general with knowledge of a military operation is being held prisoner by the Nazis, and a group of British soldiers are sent in to retrieve him. Helping those soldiers is Clint Eastwood’s Lt. Schaffer, an American ranger who suspects that there’s an ulterior motive at play. Eastwood’s character kills more people in this film than any other role he plays in other films.

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Paramount Pictures

#36. Breakfast at Tiffany's

IMDb user rating: 7.7
IMDb user votes: 142,650
Release year: 1961
Director: Blake Edwards

Audrey Hepburn lights up the screen in the 1961 film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” in which she plays a beautiful socialite with an aversion to emotional commitment and a taste for the finer things in life. Hepburn finds herself exploring new terrain after forging a friendship and then a romantic relationship with a like-minded young man in her building. Adapted from a novel by Truman Capote, the film’s main character was reportedly based on a woman who lived downstairs from the author when he first moved to New York in the early '40s.

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Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions

#35. The Birds

IMDb user rating: 7.7
IMDb user votes: 146,384
Release year: 1963
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock was at the height of his power and fame when he unleashed this 1963 classic, about a small town in Northern California that gets randomly terrorized by vicious birds. Both real, trained birds and fake ones were used during production while a number of “yellow screen” effects were implemented at Walt Disney Studios. To attract the real birds during the shoot, many of the film’s actors smeared ground meat and anchovies on their hands.

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Columbia Pictures Corporation

#34. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

IMDb user rating: 7.8
IMDb user votes: 33,160
Release year: 1967
Director: Stanley Kramer

Exploring America’s long history of racial tension in somewhat comedic fashion, ”Guess Who's Coming to Dinner” puts a liberal couple’s progressive ideals to the test after their daughter brings her African-American fiancé home for dinner. The movie stars Sidney Poitier, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, and Hepburn’s real-life niece, Katharine Houghtonwho plays Hepburn’s daughter. Sadly, Spencer Tracy passed away just 17 days after shooting completed. Meanwhile, the film would go on to win two Academy Awards, including Best Screenplay.

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Twentieth Century Fox

#33. The Longest Day

IMDb user rating: 7.8
IMDb user votes: 47,067
Release year: 1962
Directors: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki, Gerd Oswald, Darryl F. Zanuck

Weaving multiple stories together over the course of its nearly three-hour runtime, “The Longest Day” depicts D-Day from both Allied and German perspectives. A true star-studded affair, the film puts a variety of top-shelf talent both in front ofand behindthe camera. It would end up earning just over $50 million at the box office, on an estimated budget of $10 million.

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

#32. The Dirty Dozen

IMDb user rating: 7.8
IMDb user votes: 58,670
Release year: 1967
Director: Robert Aldrich

A World War II Army major must turn a group of convicted murderers into disciplined assassins in the 1967 film “The Dirty Dozen.” Directed by Robert Aldrich, the film stars Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, and a pre-”Death Wish” Charles Bronson. According to legend, Bronson was so frustrated with Marvin’s constant inebriation on set that the two actors nearly came to blows.

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The Mirisch Company

#31. The Magnificent Seven

IMDb user rating: 7.8
IMDb user votes: 76,866
Release year: 1960
Director: John Sturges

Not to be confused with the 2016 remake, the 1960 movie “The Magnificent Seven” follows seven gunfighters as they protect a Mexican village from attackers. Meanwhile, the 1960 version was likewise a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai.” A poorly received 1965 sequel, “Return of Magnificent Seven,” would follow.

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Walt Disney Productions

#30. Mary Poppins

IMDb user rating: 7.8
IMDb user votes: 124,737
Release year: 1964
Director: Robert Stevenson

Entertaining young children to this day is the 1964 film “Mary Poppins,” about a housekeeperplayed by Julie Andrewswho descends from the sky and helps whip a family into shape. Filled with memorable song-and-dance numbers, the film won four Academy Awards, including Best Original Music Score. A sequel starring Emily Blunt and Manuel Lin Miranda is slated for release on Christmas Day this year.

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Warner Bros.

#29. My Fair Lady

IMDb user rating: 7.9
IMDb user votes: 75,538
Release year: 1964
Director: George Cukor

Adapting an acclaimed Broadway musical for the big screen, this popular 1964 film has a phonetics professor accepting a wager that he can transform a lowly flower girl into a member of high society. Screen legend Audrey Hepburn plays the female lead, a role portrayed by Julie Andrews in the Broadway version. That same year, Andrews starred as Mary Poppins, and both she and Hepburn received Best Actress nominations at the 1965 Academy Awards. It was Andrews who ended up walking away with the Oscar gold.

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Jerome Hellman Productions

#28. Midnight Cowboy

IMDb user rating: 7.9
IMDb user votes: 85,526
Release year: 1969
Director: John Schlesinger

The only X-rated movie to win Best Picture at the Oscars, the 1969 movie “Midnight Cowboy” depicts the exploits of small-town hustler trying to make it in the big city, namely by turning tricks for cash. Bolstered by exceptional writing, a hit soundtrack, and stellar performances from lead actors Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman, the film affirmed once again that mainstream cinema was no longer playing by the rules of Old Hollywood.

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Warner Brothers/Seven Arts

#27. Bonnie and Clyde

IMDb user rating: 7.9
IMDb user votes: 89,222
Release year: 1967
Director: Arthur Penn

If there’s a single film that divides Old Hollywood from new, it might very well be the 1967 film “Bonnie and Clyde.” Loosely based on actual events, the movie follows a small town waitress (Faye Dunaway) and her ex-con boyfriend (Warren Beatty) as they rob a string of banks during the Depression era. While the premise wasn’t exactly groundbreaking in and of itself, the film’s two anti-heroes took the world by storm, as did director Arthur Penn’s uncompromising portrayal of gun violence. Consequently, the film opened doors in cinema that have remained open to this day.

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Market Square Productions

#26. Night of the Living Dead

IMDb user rating: 7.9
IMDb user votes: 99,095
Release year: 1968
Director: George A. Romero

Armed with a great idea, solid storytelling instincts, and an estimated budget of just over $100,000, filmmaker George Romero churned out this horror classic in 1968. The movie endures as a cinematic milestone, so much so that one doesn’t even need to see it in order to know it’s about the walking dead on the hunt for human flesh. Not only would a number of sequels eventually follow, but the film more or less single-handedly kicked off the zombie sub-genre, even if the word “zombie” is never once uttered in the movie itselfRomero referred to them as ghouls).

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Bryna Productions

#25. Spartacus

IMDb user rating: 7.9
IMDb user votes: 108,422
Release year: 1960
Director: Stanley Kubrick

Kirk Douglas plays Spartacus in this 1960 film of the same name, about a slave who leads a revolt against the Roman Republic in 1st century Before Common Era. Douglas was so passionate about the project that he bought the rights to the book upon which the film was based using his own money. As any cinephile is likely to know, director Stanley Kubrick was not originally attached to helm, and only came on board after Douglas had a falling out with the film’s original director, Anthony Mann.

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Universal Pictures

#24. Charade

IMDb user rating: 8.0
IMDb user votes: 56,280
Release year: 1963
Director: Stanley Donen

A classic tale of romance and suspense, this 1963 thriller provides a golden glimpse of Old Hollywood before the era was shown the door. In the film, Audrey Hepburn plays a woman whose husband is murdered after stealing a fortune in gold bars. Suddenly finding herself embroiled in the ordeal, she turns to Cary Grant for help, but can she trust him? 

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The Mirisch Corporation

#23. In the Heat of the Night

IMDb user rating: 8.0
IMDb user votes: 56,741
Release year: 1967
Director: Norman Jewison

An examination of extreme racism in the south, the 1967 film “In the Heat of the Night” pits an African-American detective against hostile forces while he investigate a small-town homicide. Playing the lead role was Sidney Poitier, who wanted to stay north of the Mason-Dixon line during filming, having previously experienced racist encounters down south. The movie won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and spawned a hit TV series.

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

#22. Doctor Zhivago

IMDb user rating: 8.0
IMDb user votes: 61,389
Release year: 1965
Director: David Lean

Based on the wildly popular novel, the 1965 film “Doctor Zhivago” takes place during World War I and then the Russian Revolution, telling the story of a married Russian doctor who falls in love with a politician’s wife. Starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie, the film won five Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay.

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M.C. Productions

#21. The Manchurian Candidate

IMDb user rating: 8.0
IMDb user votes: 65,567
Release year: 1962
Director: John Frankenheimer

A taut political thriller, the 1962 film “The Manchurian Candidate” stars Frank Sinatra as former prisoner-of-war Maj. Bennett Marco, who gets brainwashed into becoming a Cold War assassin. In order to get the film greenlit by reluctant studio executives, Sinatra had his friend, President John F. Kennedy, give them a call. The resulting film didn’t perform too well at the box office, but it has endured as a favorite among cinema buffs and conspiracy theorists alike.

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Twentieth Century Fox

#20. The Hustler

IMDb user rating: 8.0
IMDb user votes: 68,157
Release year: 1961
Director: Robert Rossen

Paul Newman stars as pool shark “Fast” Eddie Felson in this acclaimed 1961 drama. Down on his luck and out of money, Felson hustles his way back to the top, grappling with his own soul along the way. Newman would reprise the role over two decades later, in 1986 follow-up “The Color of Money.”    

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Warner Brothers/Seven Arts

#19. The Wild Bunch

IMDb user rating: 8.0
IMDb user votes: 68,864
Release year: 1969
Director: Sam Peckinpah

From infamously gritty director Sam Peckinpah came the 1969 film “The Wild Bunch,” in which a group of aging Wild West gunslingers get together for one last job. Set in 1913, the film finds its rugged protagonists struggling to keep pace with a rapidly changing society. The action culminates with a deadly standoff in a Mexican village.

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Twentieth Century Fox

#18. Planet of the Apes

IMDb user rating: 8.0
IMDb user votes: 150,535
Release year: 1968
Director: Franklin J. Schaffner

Before the sequels, remakes, and revivals, there was the original “Planet of the Apes.” The film stars Charlton Heston as a human astronaut who crashes on a planet ruled by an advanced simian species. Production was plagued by numerous setbacks, most of which revolved around makeup and art direction issues, whereas the filmmakers wanted to ensure audiences took the premise seriously. 

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William Castle Productions

#17. Rosemary's Baby

IMDb user rating: 8.0
IMDb user votes: 158,885
Release year: 1968
Director: Roman Polanski

A bona fide horror classic, “Rosemary’s Baby” tells the story of a Catholic housewife (Mia Farrow), who becomes mysteriously pregnant and soon believes that something might be terribly wrong with her unborn child. As it turns out, she’s carrying the spawn of the devil himself. Based on a novel by Ira Levin, the film was written and directed by Roman Polanski.  

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Robert Wise Productions

#16. The Sound of Music

IMDb user rating: 8.0
IMDb user votes: 169,593
Release year: 1965
Director: Robert Wise

The hills were alive with “The Sound of Music” in 1965, when this massively popular musical debuted. Winner of five Academy Awards, the movie stars Julie Andrews as a former nun who ends up tending to seven unruly children in Austria 1930. Co-star Christopher Plummer reportedly disliked working on the film and later admitted to being drunk during certain scenes.

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Lawrence Turman

#15. The Graduate

IMDb user rating: 8.0
IMDb user votes: 228,784
Release year: 1967
Director: Mike Nichols

Another seminal 1960s movie, “The Graduate” not only captures the spirit of the era in which it was released, but it helped point the way forward for mainstream cinema. The film centers on a young graduate student (Dustin Hoffman) who finds himself romantically entangled with both a girl his age and her mother, Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft). Featured in the film are a number of classic songs by Simon & Garfunkel, along with some truly iconic scenes and lines of dialogue.

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

#14. The Lion in Winter

IMDb user rating: 8.1
IMDb user votes: 25,616
Release year: 1968
Director: Anthony Harvey

Based on a play by James Goldman, “The Lion in Winter” takes place in 1183 A.D., and sees King Henry II’s three sons vying to inherit their father’s throne. The moviewhich stars Katharine Hepburn and Peter O’Toole in the lead rolesdistinguishes itself from others of its kind by way of witty banter and an un-glamorized depiction of 12th-century England. The film opened to mixed reviews, but turned in respectable box office numbers, and enjoyed a healthy second life on TV and VHS.

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Associates & Aldrich Company, The

#13. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

IMDb user rating: 8.1
IMDb user votes: 42,149
Release year: 1962
Director: Robert Aldrich

Thanks in part to the recent FX show “Feud,” the 1962 film “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” remains notable for its off-screen drama and on-screen horror alike. Indeed, the bitter rivalry between lead actresses Joan Crawford and Bette Davis only heightened the film’s terse atmosphere. In the movie, a former child star (Davis) tends toand viciously abusesher paraplegic sister (Crawford). In addition to resurrecting the careers of its lead stars, the film spawned a sequel of sorts, “Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte” in 1964.

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Paramount Pictures

#12. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

IMDb user rating: 8.1
IMDb user votes: 59,578
Release year: 1962
Director: John Ford

Representing one among a number of collaborations between director John Ford and actor John Wayne, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” centers on a senator played by James Stewart, who’s heralded as the man who once shot and killed a notorious criminal. However, when the senator returns to the town in which the deed took place, he reveals that the shooting didn’t go down the way people think it did. As it turns out, Wayne’s characteran honorable gunslingeris the movie’s true unspoken hero.

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Warner Bros.

#11. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

IMDb user rating: 8.1
IMDb user votes: 61,555
Release year: 1966
Director: Mike Nichols

Real-life husband and wife Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton play a sparring married couple in the 1966 film “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Taylor won a Best Actress Oscar for her turn as Martha, the film’s bitter and sharp-tongued wife. According to legend, the movie hit close to home, with Taylor and Burton once being famously dubbed the “Battling Burtons” by the press. In fact, when the couple first separated, Taylor was quoted as saying she was “tired of playing Martha.

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Warner Bros.

#10. Cool Hand Luke

IMDb user rating: 8.1
IMDb user votes: 139,788
Release year: 1967
Director: Stuart Rosenberg

A laid-back southerner lands two years of hard labor in prison, whereto the chagrin of the cruel wardenhis infectious behavior has a discernible effect on his fellow inmates. So goes the 1967 film “Cool Hand Luke,” which stars Paul Newman in the title role. The movie was based on a novel by Don Pearce, who also co-wrote the script. Pearce was an ex-convict, having spent two years in a chain gang. It was there that he first heard of Luke Jackson, the character on which Cool Hand Luke was based.

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Twentieth Century Fox

#9. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

IMDb user rating: 8.1
IMDb user votes: 177,035
Release year: 1969
Director: George Roy Hill

In “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” two outlaws and their respective gangs botch a train robbery and find themselves on the run. Playing the outlaws are Robert Redford and Paul Newman, who both turn in some of their finest work. Not only was the film loosely based on actual events, but the real-life Butch’s youngest sister would often visit the set during filming. The movie won three Academy Awards, including Best Original Screenplay.  

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Roxlom Films Inc.

#8. Judgment at Nuremberg

IMDb user rating: 8.2
IMDb user votes: 56,994
Release year: 1961
Director: Stanley Kramer

The German press wasn’t exactly thrilled with the release of this 1961 drama, in which four Nazi judges are charged with war crimes and then put on trial in an American court. Director Stanley Kramer was nevertheless committed to showing his film in Germany, even after being accused of trying to “rekindle German guilt.” While failing to land with German audiences, the movie fared better on American soil, earning about $6 million at the box office on an estimated $3 million budget.

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Mirisch Company, The

#7. The Great Escape

IMDb user rating: 8.2
IMDb user votes: 193,750
Release year: 1963
Director: John Sturges

Allied prisoners plot a massive escape from a German POW camp in this 1963 World War II action film. The story is divided into two parts, with the first part focused on the witty exchanges between prisoners, and the second part dedicated to plotting and executing the escape. Playing one of the film’s leads is actor Steve McQueen, the quintessential action hero of his time. While based on actual events, the movie does takes its liberties. For instance, the real life escape didn’t involve any motorbike chases.

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The Mirisch Corporation

#6. The Apartment

IMDb user rating: 8.3
IMDb user votes: 132,852
Release year: 1960
Director: Billy Wilder

Co-written and directed by Billy Wilder, this 1960 comedy finds a man named C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) lending his pad to various executives at his company, who use it for extramarital trysts. Baxter is hoping his ethically skewed generosity will land him a promotion, which it does, but only after he agrees to let the personnel director use the apartment. Things get complicated when it turns out the personnel director is having an affair with the girl of Baxter’s dreams. Winner of five Academy Awardsincluding Best Picturethe film remains a comedy classic to this day. 

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Universal International Pictures (UI)

#5. To Kill a Mockingbird

IMDb user rating: 8.3
IMDb user votes: 255,050
Release year: 1962
Director: Robert Mulligan

Harper Lee’s timeless novel made for an equally timeless film with “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Taking place in a small town during the Depression era, the movie pits Southern lawyer Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) against hostile locals when he defends an African-American man from rape charges. Featured in the film is an iconic six-and-a-half minute speech from Finch, which was reportedly nailed by Peck in one take.

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Warner Brothers Entertainment

#4. 2001: A Space Odyssey

IMDb user rating: 8.3
IMDb user votes: 503,344
Release year: 1968
Director: Stanley Kubrick

While Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” left some critics and audience members scratching their respective heads upon its 1968 debut, the film has achieved true masterpiece status in the time since. Critical reception aside, the workwhich depicts human evolution as being guided by advanced alien forcesstrongly influenced a slew of space epics to follow, including “Star Wars.” A notorious perfectionist, Kubrick was involved in virtually every aspect of production, even choosing the fabrics for some of the actor’s costumes.

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Columbia Pictures Corporation

#3. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

IMDb user rating: 8.5
IMDb user votes: 393,334
Release year: 1964
Director: Stanley Kubrick

Impending nuclear disaster might not sound like the stuff of black comedy gold, but director Stanley Kubrick and his talented cast keep the laughs coming in this 1964 classic. Based on a decidedly non-comic novel, the brilliant film chronicles a series of military mishaps and miscommunications, which eventually bring about the end of the world. Meanwhile, actor Slim Pickenswho plays an overzealous cowboy pilot in the filmthought they were making a serious war drama the whole time

50/
Shamley Productions

#2. Psycho

IMDb user rating: 8.5
IMDb user votes: 497,610
Release year: 1960
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Master filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock went to great lengths to ensure the 1960 film “Psycho” delivered maximum thrills and surprises. That included prohibiting late admittance to the theater, and reportedly having his assistant buy as many copies of the source material, a novel by Robert Bloch, as possible so that major twists wouldn’t be spoiled in advance. Suffice to say, the effort paid off, as audiences were indeed terrified beyond belief by the groundbreaking classic. The movie, which tells the story of a serial-killing motel owner who preys upon his unwitting guests, features a legendary shower scene that’s still dissected in film schools to this day.

51/
United Artists

#1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

IMDb user rating: 8.9
IMDb user votes: 581,052
Release year: 1966
Director: Sergio Leone

While the type of Western popularized by actors like John Wayne began losing steam in the 1960s, that didn’t mean there was no room left for the genre itself. Enter the "Dollars" trilogy from director Sergio Leone, which introduced a grittier kind of Western, and helped usher in Clint Eastwood as the genre’s newest, brightest star. Representing the apex of the trilogy was the 1966 film, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” which finds three rugged gunslingers squaring off as they hunt for buried gold. The movie was ruthless in its depiction of the Wild West, and cherished by both audiences and critics as a result—proving as much is its position at #1 on the list.

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