Decadence - 1960's

  1. paultheitie
  2. Paul

The "Golden Age" ends with the emergence of the Post-Modern movement in several different areas of film. The Europeans dominated the era, especially in Italian Neo-Realism and the French New Wave. Melville, Kubrick and Leone establish their own genres and, with a multitude of great films, leaving one of the largest legacies in the Cold War era. Without further ado, here are the best films of the era, spanning 1960 - 1969.

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2001: A Space Odyssey 1968,  G)
2001: A Space Odyssey
the classic sci-fi film that has set the stage for all space films, hal 9000 is one of the greatest characterizations in cinema ever made, it is still provocative even decades after its initial release, kubrick at his best
Lawrence of Arabia 1962,  PG)
Lawrence of Arabia
utterly spectacular, everything in this film was no less than brilliant, the acting, the direction, the story, the landscapes - all of which will captivate in an instant once it is viewed for the first time, truly remarkable
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 1966,  R)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
the cream of the crop of all westerns, sets a standard so high that only a handful of films ever lived up to it since, eastwood is so badass and van cleef is oh-so-evil as a great villain, among the greatest films ever
Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 1964,  PG)
Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
a wonderful political satire about the cold war, sellers' humour is surely something to laugh at for being so original and truly absurd, among kubrick's best and a great hallmark for all of modern black comedy
Once Upon a Time in the West 1968,  PG-13)
Once Upon a Time in the West
essentially one of a kind and very much legendary, an extremely impressive western with leone's talents presented at the peak of perfection, brilliant acting and set work, a piece of absolute magnificence
Psycho 1960,  R)
the original "slasher" and it's still the very finest, hitchcock's masterful directing skill is made perfect in this horror classic, one of the most original scores that has ever been written and a haunting screenplay
Le Samouraī (The Godson) 1967,  PG)
Le Samouraī (The Godson)
the complete and flawless definition of substance, another triumph in the hallows of melville's glorious career, picturesque and very suspenseful even without tricky gunplay, delon is sensational, truly perfect
8 1/2 1963,  Unrated)
8 1/2
essential fellini and with enough messages and meaning to leave the viewer astounded, its autobiographical nature makes room for interpretation on fellini's own career, a decadent italian masterpiece
Akahige (Red Beard) 1965,  Unrated)
Akahige (Red Beard)
a supreme final pairing between the actor and the director and the final closure for kurosawa's first of two legacies, a medical drama focused on the humanism behind the healing, mifune's work is at his prime
L'Armée des ombres (Army in the Shadows) 1969,  Unrated)
L'Armée des ombres (Army in the Shadows)
shot in a way that synthesizes several narrative modes into a sublime whole, an unrelentingly dark journey into the psyche of freedom fighters whose own freedoms are constrained, refined filmmaking at its best
La Dolce Vita 1960,  Unrated)
La Dolce Vita
the true hallmark of fellini's entire career and proabaly his best film ever, the directing vision is exquisite and the drifiting protagonist has become a staple of drama itself, stunning and truly heartfelt
Voyna i Mir (War and Peace) 1967,  PG)
Voyna i Mir (War and Peace)
a dazzling epic that fits the grand scale of the classic novel, surprisingly it's among the most historically accurate films even by military and cultural standards, simply engrossing for bondarchuk's debut film
Yojimbo 1961,  Unrated)
the grandfather of all spaghetti westerns, its influences are so great and it has truly impacted international cinema for many decades to come, mifune adds another perfect role, stupendous from every angle
Jungfrukällan (The Virgin Spring) 1960,  Unrated)
Jungfrukällan (The Virgin Spring)
a true questioning of real justice and the ideals of vengeance, especially in one of the most unknown areas to envision such ideals, terrific performances made along with surreal imagery, bergman at his best
Jules and Jim 1962,  Unrated)
Jules and Jim
a heartening film filled with treachery with the bonds of friends being easily broken by a beautiful temptress, as charming as it is manical at times, friendship proves to be a long test, truly innovative technically
Z 1969,  PG)
a groundbreaking piece of algerian film making that would give way to nearly every modern political thriller ever made, gavras utilizes the full potential of the camera for perfect captures of character
Persona 1966,  Unrated)
a breakthrough film that uses iconoclasm to shatter the everyday perceptions of our world in a sense of psychoanalysis, a unique usage of the camera coupled with brilliant performances, a dramatic marvel
La Battaglia di Algeri (The Battle of Algiers) 1967,  Unrated)
La Battaglia di Algeri (The Battle of Algiers)
gripping cinema at its most intense, as important of a political commentary as it is an exploration of the mechanisms that guide modern insurgencies, an important work with startling imagery and superb clairvoyance
The Wild Bunch 1969,  R)
The Wild Bunch
a technological marvel that retells one of the most superb stories ever used in all of fimmaking, peckinpah uses full potential of his actors and sets and blends them in a beautiful tragedy, a near-flawless effort
Bonnie and Clyde 1967,  R)
Bonnie and Clyde
a truly well done crime drama about the most notorious crime duo ever, the character development is subtle yet the pacing brings out the very best in each character, a film ahead of its time especially with its ending
The Leopard 1963,  PG)
The Leopard
a riveting set and period drama that relies on tradtional elements of acting to create an epic that can stand on its own, delon is the greatest lead in a great triumvirate of casting, visconti's most notable feature
A Fistful of Dollars (Per un Pugno di Dollari) 1964,  R)
Harakiri 1962,  Unrated)
Rocco e i suoi fratelli (Rocco and His Brothers) 1960,  Unrated)
The Great Escape 1963,  Unrated)
The Great Escape
one of the best prisoner of war movies and easily one of the best prison break movies ever, an all-star cast that brings a unique combination of drama and action that is often imitated, a superb masterwork
Samurai Rebellion 1967,  Unrated)
L'Avventura (The Adventure) 1960,  Unrated)
Sanjuro (Tsubaki Sanjûrô) 1962,  PG-13)
Sanjuro (Tsubaki Sanjûrô)
a slight fall from grace from its roots but still has that kurosawa touch of gold, the dialogue is much sharper than in the first but the action sequences felt out of place in some areas, overall it is still entertaining
L'Eclisse 1962,  Unrated)
Såsom i en Spegel (Through A Glass Darkly) 1961,  Unrated)
The Manchurian Candidate 1962,  PG-13)
The Manchurian Candidate
a conspiracy drama unlike every other before it, sinatra was good although one wonders if he was slightly miscast, harvey gives a brilliant side performance as well, lansbury was simply devious, suspensful
El Ángel Exterminador (The Exterminating Angel) 1967,  Unrated)
Playtime (Play Time) 1967,  Unrated)
The Apartment 1960,  Unrated)
The Apartment
a rare blend of melodrama and romantic farce that creates an extremely impressive comedy worthy of admiration, lemmon and maclaine are simply divine together, a match made in heaven and a great film
Au Hasard Balthazar 1966,  Unrated)
If.... 1968,  R)
a thrilling piece of new age british cinema, mcdowell's first dramatic role is done very well, the dystopian undertones are really shown in full form due to a focused story and plot design, truly sharp and insightful
Blow-Up 1966,  Unrated)
Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) 2004,  G)
Andrei Rublev 1973,  Unrated)
Andrei Rublev
an unconventional narrative that, while deviating slightly away from history, it changes itself into a modern critique of the soviet union in a dreary setting that is alluding to the cold war, a truly smart epic
Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki (When a Woman Ascends the Stairs) 1963,  Unrated)
Obchod na Korze (The Shop On Main Street) (A Shop on the High Street) 1966,  Unrated)
High and Low (Tengoku to jigoku) (Heaven and Hell) 1963,  Unrated)
Peeping Tom 1960,  Unrated)
Peeping Tom
subversive and extremely daring, this film speaks volumes about the essence of cinema and the element of human interaction, superbly acted and wonderfully composed, easily a trail-blazing achievement for its own time
The Guns of Navarone 1961,  PG)
The Guns of Navarone
one of the classic war movies that has lost a lot of its appreciation, outstanding for its time, the effects were spectacular and they probably couldn't be duplicated, the acting was very intense, a superb movie
For a Few Dollars More (Per Qualche Dollaro in Pių) 1965,  R)
The Graduate 1967,  PG)
The Graduate
the definitive film of a generation, had everything and then some, hoffman is exceptional as is the daring bancroft in one of the most memorable scenes in cinema, a classic dramedy in every sense
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 1962,  G)
Judgment at Nuremberg 1961,  PG-13)
Ride the High Country 1962,  Unrated)
Doctor Zhivago 1965,  PG-13)
Doctor Zhivago
another lean masterpiece, sharif proves his greatness for all time in this movie, not as epic on a scale like lawrence or kwai but just as deep emotionally
In the Heat of the Night 1967,  G)
Breathless (Ā bout de souffle) (By a Tether) 1961,  Unrated)
Breathless (Ā bout de souffle) (By a Tether)
an important achievement in the rise of the french new wave, godard distills the elements of his narrative to the bare essentials and adds a dash of pop culture for effect, a solid film that continues to endure
Suna no Onna (Woman in the Dunes) 1964,  Unrated)
Cool Hand Luke 1967,  PG)
Alphaville 1965,  Unrated)
Viridiana 1961,  R)
To Kill A Mockingbird 1962,  Unrated)
To Kill A Mockingbird
a wonderful adaptation of one of the great literary standards, very strong in all respects with few real weaknesses, peck is in his finest hour as a character with an immortal screen presence, a classic with genuine gravitas
From Russia With Love 1964,  PG)
From Russia With Love
one of the best bonds to date, connery makes this film his own and shows us why he is the best of all the 007's, the cold war has never before been brought to such heights, a classic in every respect
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 1969,  PG)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
an excellent western with a rare kind of chemistry between redford and newman, bold scores and smart screenplay are a bonus for this classic, culturally significant and definitive for a lifetime, a terrific work
Rosemary's Baby 1968,  R)
Rosemary's Baby
a superbly crafted thriller, with polanski's superb direction and not needing to rely on cheap shock value, it makes for an engaging film that really taps a dark seed in all of us, one of the best horrors easily
The Sword of Doom 1966,  Unrated)
The Sword of Doom
swift in action yet surprising in the amount of historical intrigue present in the plot, an abrupt ending is the film's major weak point yet nakadai's performance makes the rest of it entirely worthwhile, thoroughly dramatic
Hiroshima Mon Amour (Hiroshima, My Love) 1959,  Unrated)
Nķz w Wodzie (Knife in the Water) 1962,  Unrated)
The Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru (The Bad Sleep Well) 1962,  Unrated)
The Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru (The Bad Sleep Well)
kurosawa's take on hamlet is among his most refined works simply for the style in which it's presented, mifune and shimura once again have beautiful collaboration, an underrated adaptation but still a classic
Goldfinger 1964,  PG)
the iconic bond film and easily hails as the best of them all, great villains gadgets and gorgeous women, this has everything for a great bond and an outstanding action film, connery has his best acting role ever
The Firemen's Ball 1968,  Unrated)
Branded to Kill 1967,  Unrated)
Baisers Volés (Stolen Kisses) 1968,  R)
Kaidan (Kwaidan) (Ghost Stories) 1964,  Unrated)
Charade 1963,  G)
My Fair Lady 1964,  G)
My Fair Lady
hepburn in one of her best, a very original comedy with a good score
Night of the Living Dead 1968,  R)
Night of the Living Dead
the zombie film that started an entire phenomena, highly inventive for the time although the campiness that is present has deteriorated its value as a movie significantly, an impressive low budget film
The Sound of Music 1965,  G)
The Sound of Music
a great musical and probably still holds as the greatest musical of all time, andrews as always plays a beautiful role, both in acting and singing capability, plummer is good as the family patriarch, wondrous
Midnight Cowboy 1969,  R)
Midnight Cowboy
although extremely dark in its day, it is able to shed a lot of light on many of the subjects in our social scene, voight and hoffman play extraordinary roles, it has lost some of its lustre, but its still very real
Spartacus 1960,  PG-13)
an underrated kubrick but truly among his best simply because of his daring in attempting an ancient epic, douglas was fantasticas the lead and olivier helped out immensely, a great and glorious triumph

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