Having grown up in the 1960s, I remember some of the bad times: an unpopular undeclared war, high school, street riots, acne and assassinations; but fortunately those memories are fading away. I choose to recall the better times – NASA manned space triumphs, cool muscle cars, 25¢/gal gasoline, Beatles music, the golden age of Major League baseball, and my favorite movies. Like most kids I enjoyed the type of films that the art house crowd or academy snobs would scorn. But sometimes a popcorn flick is what you want and need. I still have fond memories of several 1960s movies and having re-watched them as an adult, added a few into my DVD collection. The movies on my list aren’t necessarily classics of world cinema, but rather movies that provide solid entertainment, despite a few flaws. Not one movie on my 60s list won a major Academy award, but a few scored big bucks at the box office. That should tell you something.
All movies on my 60s list can be found on DVD, and many are available at local libraries. Drumroll, please.
12. Pretty Poison
It was pure genius casting Anthony Perkins with Tuesday Weld. Great screen chemistry! This movie may be playing at a psycho ward near you.
11. Easy Rider
A low, low budget flick that hit the zeitgeist better than the overrated Midnight Cowboy or The Graduate.
10. Hang “Em High
Depend on it, nothing concentrates a man’s mind like the prospect of a noose around his neck. This is Old-School Western with Clint Eastwood in his cowboy days.
9. Miracle of the White Stallions
You are never too old to watch a Disney movie and this one, based on a true story, has a great pro-American message.
So gloriously awful; it is hilarious. And we need John Wayne on the list.
James Bond is a rite of passage for most young men, and I was initiated with this movie on the big screen, of course.
6. Downhill Racer
My vote for one of the best sports movies of all time. I admit to being biased – I fell in love with alpine skiing in the 60s.
5. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
A fun crime-comedy loosely based on a true story.
4. Pit and the Pendulum
Gothic horror, Vincent Price and Barbara Steele. WOW!
3. El Cid
The 60s was the heyday for Costume Romances and this film was one of the very best. Big time visual impact – not one to watch on your I-phone.
2. Carnival of Souls
I don't know why, but I love this film.
1. Once Upon a Time in the West
One of the best motion pictures of the 60's, regardless of genre. This film is on my personal all-time top 20. Beautifully photographed, scored, directed, and acted: This is the Spaghetti Western full-meal-deal.
Popular Movies that best evoke the 1960’s
Right Stuff (1983), American Graffiti (1973), Hoosiers (1986), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), Dreamers (2003), The Doors (1991), Blast from the Past (1999), Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (2005), and The Sapphires (2012), Parkland (2013).