Mike’s Top Tens of the Decade (1960-1969)

We’ve reached the 1960s. We had the 2000s and its Terrible Tens, the 1990s and the Films of My Childhood, the 1980s and the Awesomely 80s Movies, and the 1970s and my 70s Recommendations. Now come my favorite films of the 1960s.

Just like the other decades, along with the Top Ten, I’ll also list an 11-15 (or 20, depending on how strong the year is) list at the bottom to make it easier for me in the future. The idea is that when I do revisit these lists and see how my tastes have changed, I’ll have more than just ten films immediately on hand to get a sense of which films made it on or fell off the Top Ten list. (Let me remind you: the lists only include (or exclude) the films from these years that I’ve seen. As I see and like more films from the decade, the lists will be updated accordingly.)

Now there’s the issue of the extra category. As I always do, I like to include an extra category besides the 11-15; the Terrible Ten, the Films of My Childhood, the Awesomely 80s Movies, etc. This time, for the 60s — it’s not a particularly consistent decade. That is, with the 80s, they had 80s movies. The 60s don’t really have that. They were more of a combination of the end of the studio system and the changing film landscape and the end of the production code (epitomized by Bonnie and Clyde). So my 60s list will be what I’m calling “Out with the old, In with the new.” That is, films (good films, mind you. Not just any films. I had to have least liked them enough to put them on) that either typify the fading studio system (“out with the old”) or the emergence of New Hollywood (“in with the new”), as well as “other good films too,” which are ones that don’t necessarily fit in either category, but are also pretty great. “Out with the old, in with the new, and other good films too.”

So here are my Top Tens of the 1960s:

My Top Ten of 1969

Anne of the Thousand Days

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

The Italian Job

Midnight Cowboy

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

The Secret of Santa Vittoria

The Sterile Cuckoo

They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

True Grit

The Wild Bunch

11-15: Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Cactus Flower, Castle Keep, John and Mary, Support Your Local Sheriff

+ Honorable Mention to: Frosty the Snowman (Love me some Christmas cartoons.)

Out with the old: Hello, Dolly!, Paint Your Wagon

In with the new: Alice’s Restaurant, Easy Rider, Last Summer, Medium Cool

And other good films too: A Boy Named Charlie Brown, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Sweet Charity, Topaz

My Top Ten of 1968

2001: A Space Odyssey


The Lion in Winter

Night of the Living Dead

The Odd Couple


Once Upon a Time in the West

Planet of the Apes

The Producers

Rosemary’s Baby

11-15: The Boston Strangler, Charly, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Romeo and Juliet, Where Eagles Dare

+ Honorable Mention to: Barbarella (Because how can you not?)

Out with the old: Funny Girl, Ice Station Zebra

In with the new: Head, If…,The Thomas Crown Affair

+ Honorable Mention to: Yellow Submarine (Because it’s so damn trippy.)

And other good films too: Hang ‘Em High, Hell in the Pacific, The Scalphunters, The Subject Was Roses, The Swimmer

My Top Ten of 1967

Bonnie and Clyde

Cool Hand Luke

The Dirty Dozen

The Graduate

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

In the Heat of the Night

Point Blank

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Two for the Road

Wait Until Dark

11-15: Le Samourai, Playtime, Reflections in a Golden Eye, Up the Down Staircase, You Only Live Twice

+ Honorable Mention to: The Jungle Book

Out with the old: A Countess from Hong Kong, Doctor Dolittle

In with the new: In Cold Blood

And other good films too: Barefoot in the Park, The Taming of the Shrew

+ Honorable Mention to: Branded to Kill (I don’t quite know what it is, but it’s very much that.)

My Top Ten of 1966


A Big Hand for the Little Lady


The Fortune Cookie

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

A Man for All Seasons


The Sand Pebbles

Tokyo Drifter

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

11-15: Arabesque, Fantastic Voyage, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Gambit, The Professionals

+ Honorable Mention to: Batman (“Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb!”)

+ Honorable Mention to: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Out with the old: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming

+ Honorable Mention to: The Oscar (It is one of the campiest movies you will ever see.)

In with the new: The Battle of Algiers, Georgy Girl

And other good films too: Born Free, Torn Curtain

My Top Ten of 1965

The Collector


Doctor Zhivago

The Flight of the Phoenix

For a Few Dollars More

The Great Race

A Patch of Blue

The Sound of Music

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

A Thousand Clowns

11-15: 36 HoursThe Hill, Inside Daisy Clover, The Slender Thread, Thunderball

+ Honorable Mention to: A Charlie Brown Christmas

Out with the old: The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Sandpiper, Shenandoah

In with the new: Bunny Lake is Missing, The Ipcress File, Promise Her Anything

And other good films too: Cat Ballou, The Cincinnati Kid, The Shop on Main Street, The Sons of Katie Elder

My Top Ten of 1964

The Best Man

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

A Fistful of Dollars



Mary Poppins

My Fair Lady

Paris When It Sizzles

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

What a Way to Go!

11-20: Band of Outsiders, Becket, Father Goose, Goodbye Charlie, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, Seven Days in May, Sex and the Single Girl, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Woman in the Dunes, Zorba the Greek

+ Honorable Mention to: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Out with the old: The Fall of the Roman Empire

In with the new: A Hard Day’s Night, The Pawnbroker, The Pumpkin Eater

And other good films too: The Americanization of Emily, Blood and Black Lace, Fail-SafeSéance on a Wet Afternoon, A Shot in the Dark, Viva Las Vegas

My Top Ten of 1963

America, America

Captain Newman, M.D.

The Cardinal



From Russia With Love

The Great Escape

Irma la Douce

The Sword in the Stone

11-20: The Birds, Hud, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, The List of Adrian Messenger, Love with the Proper Stranger, Papa’s Delicate Condition, The Pink Panther, This Sporting Life, Tom Jones, The V.I.P.s

Out with the old: Bye Bye Birdie, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father

In with the new: Shock Corridor, Contempt, Billy Liar, Ladybug Ladybug, Ladybug Ladybug

And other good films too: High and Low, Jason and the Argonauts, Twilight of Honor

My Top Ten of 1962

Birdman of Alcatraz

Cape Fear

David and Lisa

Days of Wine and Roses

How the West Was Won

Lawrence of Arabia

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

The Manchurian Candidate

The Miracle Worker

To Kill a Mockingbird

11-20: Advise and ConsentBilly Budd, Experiment in Terror, The L-Shaped Room, Lolita, Lonely Are the Brave, The Longest Day, The Music Man, Mutiny on the Bounty, Requiem for a Heavyweight

Out with the old: Sweet Bird of Youth

In with the new: Dr. No (The start of a dynasty.)

And other good films too: Hell is for Heroes, Sanjuro, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

My Top Ten of 1961

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

The Children’s Hour


The Guns of Navarone

The Hustler

Judgment at Nuremberg

Last Year at Marienbad

One, Two, Three!

Splendor in the Grass

West Side Story

11-15: The Great Impostor, The Mark, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, A Raisin in the Sun, Yojimbo

Out with the old: Pocketful of Miracles

In with the new: A Taste of Honey

And other good films too: The Misfits, Town Without PityUnderworld U.S.A.

My Top Ten of 1960

The Apartment


La Dolce Vita

Elmer Gantry

Inherit the Wind

The Magnificent Seven

Peeping Tom



The Sundowners

11-15: The Alamo, BUtterfield 8, L’Avventura, North to Alaska, Who Was That Lady?

Out with the old: Bells Are Ringing, Ocean’s Eleven

In with the new: The Entertainer, Seven Thieves

And other good films too: Eyes Without a Face, Pollyanna, The Rat Race, Sons and Lovers, Two Women, The Unforgiven


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