Friday, February 25, 2011

Paul's Cinema Chronology: The 1960s

What I’ve Seen



Inheret the Wind



One Hundred and One Dalmation

Judgement at Nuremberg


To Kill a Mockingbird

Lawrence of Arabia

Dr. No


The Sword in the Stone

From Russia with Love


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Neindeer

Mary Poppins


Dr. Strangelove


The Sound of Music


A Man for All Seasons

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum


The Jungle Book


Yellow Submarine

Romeo and Juliet


2001: A Space Odyssey


Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Age of Consent

24 Total

The Best of What I’ve Seen

5. Barbarella – Frankly, I’m not sure the phrase “so bad it’s good” does justice to this Franco Zefrelli gem. More like so horrible it’s awesome. Barbarella is totally nonsensical, exploitive, poorly written, confusingly directed, and altogether fantastic. What a great movie. (For the record, if one wanted to disqualify this kind a movie from a top five list—a totally defensible position—than number five here would be To Kill a Mockingbird).

4. Judgment at Nuremburg (top 100) – The opposite of the over-the-top silliness of the previous entry, Judgment couldn’t be a more serious film. As sophisticated an analysis of the holocaust as we’re likely to get in fictional form, Judgment presents a number of very difficult questions without clear answers. Spencer Tracy leads a very talented cast, which included a young William Shatner in a minor role. Although not quite as hard to watch as something like Schindler’s List, this is still an uncomfortable movie that uses some real-life footage from Auschwitz and other concentration camps.

3. Psycho (top 100) – The ur-example of a slasher movie, Psycho has the advantage of being directed by the very best at this sort of thing. While at least one of the film’s several twists is almost certain to be known to a modern viewer, it is still a tense and scary movie. Hitchcock’s use of black and white was a stroke of genius.

2. Dr. Strangelove (top 100) – Even forty years after its release, Stanley Kubrick’ masterpiece remains our best example of film satire. An effective satire is two things: smart and funny. Dr. Strangelove is both of those, and then some. It isn’t easy for a movie to be both hilarious and thought provoking, but this one sure makes it look so.

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (top 100) – 2001 is a difficult movie to describe, or to compare to just about anything ever done. It defies film conventions in dozens of ways, and in some ways feels more like visual poetry. But that isn’t quite right either. Whatever it is, Kubrick (other) masterpiece is a mesmerizing accomplishment, and an incredibly unique piece of cinema history.

What I Haven’t Seen

As always, this is very much a partial list:

8 ½

Advise and Consent

The Apartment

Army of Shadows

The Birds

Bonnie and Clyde

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang


The Dirty Dozen

Doctor Zhivago

La Dolce Vita

Easy Rider

A Fistful of Dollars

For a Few Dollars More

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Graduate

The Great Escape

The Guns of Navarrone

How the West Was Won

The Hustler

The Italian Job


The Man who Shot Liberty Valence

Midnight Cowboy

The Miracle Worker

Planet of the Apes

Il Posto

Purple Noon

Ocean's 11

Once Upon a Time in the West

Rosemary's Baby

Le Samourai

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Viva Las Vegas

West Side Story

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

The Wild Bunch


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