Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ten Favorite Movies of the 1960s

10. Where Eagles Dare (1968)A cold, calculated thriller. The perfect, escapist World War II film.

8. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)Seeing this for the first time in the student theater at Trinity College it felt like I was seeing the most subversive film ever. Shocking, weird, touching and timely.

7. Pscyho (1960)I love the first half so much more than I love the second half but I couldn't keep it off this list. Changed movies forever (maybe for the worse).

6. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)You could turn the sound off and this would be visual poetry. Turn the sound up and you get Ennio Morricone and Henry Fonda's all-American voice speaking some of the cruelest lines of all time.

5. Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)This is the 1960s that I want to live in, sans Mickey Rooney as the Japanese photographer.

4. The Sound of Music (1965)Still very watchable for me. My favorite batch of original songs from a musical.

4. The Apartment (1960)A romantic comedy in which the theme is that American cities are filled with millions of bleak little lives.

3. Rosemary's Baby (1968) The pure horror stuff is amazing but I am equally mesmerized by the everyday moments, including John Cassavette's great performance as a husband who makes a very bad decision.

2. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)Flawed at times but indisputably my favorite Bond film. The look of it, John Barry's greatest score, the winter sequences, and, of course, the sad ending. George Lazenby, while he doesn't have a tenth of Connery's charisma, comes closer to the James Bond of Fleming's novels.

1. Charade (1963)Saw this at age nine, and it made me say to myself: This is what I want to do with my life--watch movies. Not make them, watch them. Till then, I had no idea how entertaining an adult movie could be. I'm still watching movies, hoping to recreate that experience.

runners up: the first five Bond films, The Graduate, The Great Escape, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

1 comment:

  1. You forgot #9, there. Maybe you can slide one of your runners up in there. (Goldfinger?)

    #8-I remember seeing this when I was younger-I definitely wasn't in college, maybe even before high school. And I remember thinking a very similar thing: I must have been younger because I remember thinking that movies in black and white had a very specific, I don't know, set of rules, I guess. Then seeing "The Manchurian Candidate", that just threw all of them out of the window.

    #2-That ski chase at the end-I guess the end of the 60's was when they really started pushing the envelope, so to speak, on the violence they would show. I remember being surprised when they guy fell into the huge snow blower and they showed the the snow turning dark red coming out of the top of it.