I had so much fun participating in Rick of Classic Film and TV Cafe’s Five Favorite Films of the Fifties blogathon last year. So when he chose to continue that theme again this year with 6 From the 60’s to celebrate National Classic Movie Day, I didn’t want to miss out.
I honestly thought narrowing down my choices for this year’s post would be much harder. After all, the Sixties are the decade of the romantic comedy. And indeed, a cursory glance at my list proves that my favorite genre is well-represented. Purely by chance, more than half of my choices were released in 1963. And I’ve also happened to fully review all but one of these.
But apart from the rom-com, it turns out that the Sixties, does not hold as many of my personal well-loved films as I thought it would. Still, there is much to love.
6 FROM THE SIXTIES
My Fair Lady (1964) – This is my favorite musical ever and also one of my favorite movies period. I’ve seen it both on stage and on film more times than I can count. With some of the most memorable costumes ever designed, witty, biting music lyrics, outstanding performances, and great character development, it really is the whole package. Eliza’s personal journey in identity and self-confidence never fail to inspire me. For more of my thoughts, you can read my full review.
Charade (1963) – Yes, I know I’ve already name one of Audrey Hepburn’s films on this list. But, I can’t help that she made such great movies. She and Cary Grant (who is my all time favorite actor) displayed such great chemistry here and it’s a shame they never worked together again. But there are so many other things to love about this Stanley Donen directed picture; a score by Henry Mancini, the Parisian setting, Givenchy’s colorful wardrobe for Hepburn’s character and of course, all the smart, snappy dialogue. One of the best things about Charade is that has something for everyone, suspense, comedy, romance, drama, so it’s sure to entertain even the pickiest movie watcher. Read my full review.
Glass Bottom Boat (1966) – Just like last year, a Doris Day movie makes my list of favorites. Honestly, I love most of her rom-coms from this decade, but this one edges out the others with what I believe is the best meet-cute ever filmed. It also doesn’t hurt that the very handsome, very bronzed Australian import Rod Taylor makes for a great co-star. Then of course there is the stable of talented supporting actors who give hilarious performances. I also love the various gags, especially the one where Day’s character calls her dog Vladimir on the phone. Read my full review.
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) – I always end up at least one Mad short when talking about this film. But using four mads in the title is actually spot on for this absolutely crazy comedy. This one features a long run time and a large cast of virtually every famous comedian of the time, as well as some of the most outlandish scenarios ever conceived. Despite throwing everything, including the kitchen sink, into this movie, it works very well. I never get tired of watching it, and also never notice the three and a half hour run time. Like I Love Lucy, it still makes me laugh every time I see it. It’s also rather special to me, because my mom introduced me to this film. We were fortunate enough to be able to see it on the big screen together a couple of years ago and enjoyed quoting some of the funnier lines along with the characters.
Sunday in New York (1963) – Oh wait! Did I list a second Rod Taylor film here? Why yes, yes I did. He’s a particular weakness of mine, although I also appreciate Jane Fonda in her early comedies. The two work well together here as a frustrated virgin and the man who desires her but won’t pursue her. Sixties rom-coms were great at exploring the changing sexual mores of the time in an inoffensive way, such as this one does. But I also really love the sweet sibling relationship between Fonda’s character and her older, over-protective, philandering brother. And then of course, there is the film’s exploration of an idealized New York which adds to the romantic feel of this comedy. My full review.
Nurse on Wheels (1963) – I only discovered this British comedy recently and quite by chance. I’m rather sad it is so difficult to track down, but am glad I managed to catch it on TCM. I fell hard for Juliet Mills as a district nurse who is assigned to a small village and must win over it’s quirky residents. I’ve always been a fan of stories which focus on a community or family and this one certainly does that with great humor and sincerity. For those who have ever argued with a “back seat driver” there is a hilarious scene where Mills’ love interest is trying to teach her how to drive which just about anyone can relate to. My full review.
What are some of your favorite films from the 60’s?