My favorite year of the 60s. This is the year where legitimately the top ten is amongst the greatest films ever made, and the year where I can go 25 deep for great films. I don’t know how other people look at these lists, if they look at the top ten and ignore everything else. But here, you want to look through the top 20 and see them all, because this year is wonderful.
The great thing about 1962 is that you can go down the list, and pretty much one of the greatest (insert genre here) films was released. One of the greatest epics, one of the greatest westerns (two, for my money), one of the greatest courtroom films, one of the greatest prison fils, one of the greatest thrillers, one of the greatest spy films (which spawned the most successful spy franchise of all time), one of the greatest biopics, one of the greatest war films, and one of the greatest cult films of all time.
Top to bottom, this is hard year to beat. (more…)
This is one of the strongest years at the top of the 60s. This is like when a famous band that’s been around a long time plays a concert and then starts playing the major hits one after another. It’s just banger after banger.
The year as a whole isn’t as strong as some of the other 60s years. You don’t go ten deep of classics. But still, there’s cool shit here. The 60s isn’t so much about the major stuff — since we can all pretty much agree on that — it’s about the gems that are below the surface that no one remembers anymore. They’re not as numerous as they were in the 50s, so they’re more pronounced. And because they’re not as much a product of the studio system as they were (since the studio system at this point is decaying and will be gone before the end of the decade), they’re all really interesting, subject wise.
But really, the best part of 1961 is getting to talk about the top tier films. Because man, are those all-timers. (more…)
I love 1960. I look at my favorite films of this year, and they make me smile. Not just because one of my five favorite films of all time came out this year, but also because legitimately half this top ten list (minimum) is widely considered among the absolute greatest films ever made. Personally, I think that distinction goes about seven or eight deep for this one. Plus, there’s a lot of cool under-the-radar stuff this year as well.
As far as the year goes, I think the major note is that you’re starting to see things turn. You don’t see the standard “studio” movie anymore. You look at most movies from the 50s, and they just feel like studio system movies. The movies are getting longer, they’re starting to feel less artificial and the subject matter is starting to broaden.
You also start to see way more foreign films permeating the lists, as this is part of the golden era of foreign cinema. Certain countries had movements before now, but in the 60s, you’re gonna see a lot of countries producing masterpieces left and right.
1960 is a good year. (more…)
The 50s feels like a very insular decade. That is to say, it feels like a decade that is mostly unaffected by the outside world. At least, not the way the 30s and 40s were. The 30s is highly impacted by both the advancement of technology and complete upheaval of the norms of the silent era to sound, as well as the Depression. The 40s was obviously impacted by the war. But the 50s — what is there? Rock ‘n’ roll? TV? There are minor things that will affect certain pockets of the films, but overall, this feels like a decade that’s pure studio filmmaking.
This list was the toughest yet. Not so much in the first ten (though once you get to 8-10, you can easily swap them out for 3-4 other movies, easily). And 11-20 was just brutal. There’s so much stuff I wish I could have also included on this list. But, hey, that’s what happens. You gotta make the tough decisions. It only means there’s a lot of great stuff that’s on the actual lists that you should look at.
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. (more…)
This is a cool year. There’s a lot of amazing stuff on this top ten. Just about every film in the top ten can be describes as being a “classic” in its respective genre. And the other one… well, we’ll get to the other one. It’s amazing.
The French New Wave began this year, and it marks a major upturn (which had been coming over the past couple years) of European cinema. International film industries had been growing since the war, but the 60s were the time when the films greatly started making their way over to America in a big way.
Otherwise, you look at this year — Billy Wilder, William Wyler, George Stevens, Otto Preminger, Douglas Sirk, Howard Hawks — it’s one of those years with all the auteurs making some of the absolute most classic films.
Pound for pound, this is legitimately one of the best years of the decade. (more…)
1958’s just a cool year. There’s nothing hugely specific that will define the year, but there are important things to talk about in terms of films. The noir genre basically ended this year, for example. Also, a film is now generally considered one of the actual two or three greatest films ever made was released. And there’s just a lot of cool shit about vikings, too.
What I like about this list is that it’s all over the map. Classic foreign film, suspense, campy horror, epic western, musical, classy drama, classic race film, ensemble, classic noir, and vikings.
Can you guys tell I’m really excited about the vikings? (more…)
The single best year of the 50s. My personal favorite is 1953, for sentimental reasons, but in terms of having the absolute strongest films, 1957 is your year. You’ll see what I mean below.
This top ten list goes 8 deep. The first 8 films on this list are generally considered among the greatest films ever made. And then the other two are just some great hidden gems that I love that generally aren’t very widely known among film buffs.
Really what makes me happy about this year is my #1 film, which is one of my twenty favorite films of all time. The rest is just icing on the cake.
Pay attention to this year in particular. It’s so deep that there are a larger number of true hidden gems out there for people to see and enjoy. (more…)