Best of the 1960’s

I finally made it through the Best Picture nominees of the 1960’s.   This decade produced several great films, but mostly gave us a healthy mix of musicals and epic costume dramas.  The Best Picture nominees, generally speaking, were rather weak.  There was an emphasis on the Musical or the Past and these were, for the most part, big-budget films.  You could take the temperature of our country during this time period by looking at which films the Academy chose to nominate.  The 1960’s were sandwiched between the Cold War and the Vietnam war and it’s easy to sense some attempt at escapism with all of these musicals as well as the other big budget films that were set hundreds of years in the past.  Several of the films that were set during the present day were either war satire (Dr. Strangelove, The Russians are Coming) or ultra serious political films (Z).  Not until the latter part of the decade did we find films that were smaller and more real in nature; ushering us into a refreshing decade that is the 1970’s.   Not all of these films were great, but it’s evident that there was movement towards a more realistic approach to film making.  What’s fascinating is that the Academy totally went for it by awarding Midnight Cowboy the Best Picture of 1969.

Below I provide an exhaustive amount of Best- and Worst-of lists regarding the 1960’s in film.

Top 10 Best Picture Nominees

1) To Kill A Mockingbird
2) Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
3) Bonnie and Clyde
4) The Apartment
5) Mary Poppins
6) The Sound of Music
7) The Longest Day
8) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
9) The Hustler
10) Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Top 10 WORST Best Picture Nominees

1) Doctor Dolittle
2) Fanny
3) The Sundowners
4) Cleopatra
5) Hello, Dolly!
6) Zorba the Greek
7) The Guns of Navarone
8) Ship of Fools
9) Oliver!
10) The Sand Pebbles

Top 10 Films Not Nominated for Best Picture

1) Hud
2) Lolita
3) Splendor in the Grass
4) Psycho
5) 2001: A Space Odyssey
6) The Miracle Worker
7) The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
8) Divorce, Italian Style
9) In Cold Blood
10) Cool Hand Luke

Top 10 Films of the 1960’s (Nominated or Not)
1) To Kill A Mockingbird
2) Hud
3) Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
4) Bonnie and Clyde
5) Lolita
6) The Apartment
7) Mary Poppins
8) The Sound of Music
9) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
10) 2001: A Space Odyssey

Best Years

1) 1962
2) 1964
3) 1969
4) 1961
5) 1967
6) 1968
7) 1966
8) 1963
9) 1960
*Not listed 1965 (score not complete)

Best Musical: Mary Poppins

Worst Musical: Hello, Dolly!
 

Best Epic/Costume Drama: The Lion in Winter

Worst Epic/Costume Drama: Cleopatra

Best War Film: The Longest Day


Worst War Film: The Guns of Navarone

Best Western: Hud


Worst Western: The Sundowners
 

I am obsessed with the Oscars so naturally, I can’t help but give out my own proverbial statuettes.  If I were to award Oscars for the whole decade, then these would be my nominees and winners

Director: Stanley Kubrick (Spartacus, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey)

Elia Kazaan (Splendor in the Grass,America,America)
Federico Fellini (8 1/2 , La Dolce Vita)
Arthur Penn (The Miracle Worker, Bonnie & Clyde)
Mike Nichols (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Graduate)

Actor: Paul Newman (The Hustler, Hud, Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid)

Sidney Poitier (Lilies of the Field, In the Heat of the Night, Guess Whose Coming to Dinner)
Gregory Peck (How the West Was W on, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Guns of Navarone)
Richard Burton (Becket, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Anne of the Thousand Days)
Peter O’Toole (LawrenceofArabia, Becket, The Lion in Winter)

Actress: Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music)

Natalie Wood (Splendor in the Grass,West Side Story, Gypsy)
Julie Christie (Darling, Doctor Zhivago)
Elizabeth Taylor(Cleopatra, Becket, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)
Anne Bancroft (The Miracle Worker, The Graduate)

Adapted Screenplay: To Kill A Mockingbird

Hud
The Longest Day
Lolita
Dr. Strangelove

Original Screenplay: The Apartment

Splendor in the Grass
Divorce, Italian Style
Bonnie and Clyde
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Score: Mary Poppins

Doctor Zhivago
To Kill A Mockingbird
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
In Cold Blood

Cinematography: 2001: A Space Odyssey

To Kill A Mockingbird
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Psycho
Bonnie and Clyde

Film Editing: Dr. Strangelove

The Longest Day
Z
2001: A Space Odyssey
To Kill A Mockingbird

Sound: In the Heat of the Night

West Side Story
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
Mary Poppins
The Longest Day

Art Direction: 2001: A Space Odyssey

8 ½
Mary Poppins
To Kill A Mockingbird
Dr. Strangelove

Costume Design: 8 1/2

La Dolce Vita
Mary Poppins
My Fair Lady
Doctor Zhivago

Visual Effects: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Mary Poppins
The Longest Day
Cleopatra
Mutiny on the Bounty

Best Shots
1) Hal – 2001: A Space Odyssey

2) Leg – The Graduate

3) War Room – Dr. Strangelove

4) Finale – Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid

5) Backyard – Lolita

6) Shower – Psycho

7) Dance – 8 1/2

8) The Good – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

9) Stand up – To Kill A Mockingbird

10) Buck – Dr. Strangelove

I shouldn’t round up a decade’s worth of “Best of” without poling the individuals whose opinions on film I value most.  As expected, these guys have diverse and solid lists.  Here are their lists of the top 5 films from the 1960’s.

Corey C. – Tuscaloosa NewsAspect Radio
1) Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
2) Psycho
3) The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
4) 8 1/2
5) The Apartment

Matt S.FilmNerds.com
1) The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
2) 2001: A Space Odyssey
3) Psycho
4) Dr. Strangelove
5) Rosemary’s Baby

Benjamin F.Aspect RadioBen AroundFilmNerds.com
1) The Graduate
2) The Jungle Book
3) Psycho
4) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
5) In the Heat of the Night

Graham F. – FilmNerds.com
1)LawrenceofArabia
2) Sword in the Stone
3) Lolita
4) The Errand Boy
5) 8 ½

Ben S.The Nocturnal ThirdA Genesis FoundFilmNerds.com
1) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
2) 2001: A Space Odyssey
3) Yojimbo
4) Shoot the Piano Player
5) On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Morgan G.
1) The Graduate
2) Dr. Strangelove
3) 2011: A Space Odyssey
4) Psycho
5) To Kill A Mockingbird

JD M.
1) The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
2) Midnight Cowboy
3) Psycho
4) 2001: A Space Odyssey
5) Bonnie and Clyde

Now, it’s on to the 1970’s!!  The land of Scorsese, Speilberg, Coppola and Allen…and  few more Kubricks!!

OVERALL DECADE SCORE – 72%

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