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Mike’s Top Ten of 1960-1969

The 60s is almost like two decades in one. It’s the only decade that has a decided shift in the types of films that got made. It’s because all of Hollywood changed 2/3 of the way through.

List-wise, this one was easy as hell. 12 of these movies are in my top 100, so really all I needed to do was figure out which two were getting left out of the top ten. And the 11-20 only got difficult because I had to leave off a bunch of good stuff I love a lot. This, more so than the other decades, is full of really obvious choices that just about everyone would have as a ‘best of the decade’ list. I’d say there’s only like two or three personal choices that are really just my own personal preference.

For methodology purposes, the way I compile these Top Tens of the Decade lists: I take my top ten for each year of the decade, throw them all together, and simply whittle it down until I find what I feel are my ten favorites from that decade. Not the best, my favorite. That’s really all it is. I feel like if I can figure out what my favorite films of all time are, then I can figure it out by specific decades.

Mike’s Top Ten of 1960-1969

The Apartment (1960)

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

The Great Escape (1963)

How the West Was Won (1962)

The Hustler (1961)

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

The Producers (1968)

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

West Side Story (1961)

This was so easy. The Apartment and Lawrence of Arabia are top five movies for me. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Mockingbird are top 20. Butch and Sundance is not much lower. That’s half the list right there. Outside of that, the rest is just stuff I really love. I know that not everyone loves How the West Was Won, but I go back and watch that like twice a year because I love it so much. West Side Story is a perfect movie, and The Producers is still one of the funniest movies ever made that I quote all the time. The Great Escape and The Hustler — yeah. No questions there. I had to leave some great stuff off, but these are my ten favorite films of the decade.

The years not represented on the list are 1964, 1965 and 1967. ’64 just missed, and ’67 could have easily made it on. 1962 is represented three times, which is owing to my love of How the West Was Won. The other two are pretty much on everyone’s best of the decade list. 1961 and 1962 account for half the list, which is interesting.

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11-20:

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
  • Cool Hand Luke (1967)
  • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
  • The Graduate (1967)
  • Inherit the Wind (1960)
  • Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
  • Psycho (1960)
  • The Sundowners (1960)
  • The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

Look at how good these movies are. The only somewhat hidden gem is The Sundowners, otherwise everything else makes complete sense. This is the entire second half of the decade we were missing from the top ten. I find it interesting that 1960 manages another three films on the list, giving it four total. But other than that, we almost immediately skip to the end of the decade. Three 1967 films, two 1968. 1964 also makes its first appearance, along with 1967. Looking at this, there’s only like, one other movies from the decade that could have (and almost) made it, which is Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Otherwise I’m really happy with what I’ve got.

The only year from the 60s to not be represented in this list is 1965, which is crazy because that’s one of the overall strongest years of the decade. But its peaks were not as high as the peaks of the other years. So no 1965. Shit happens.

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