Saturday, May 19, 2012

101 Cinematic Reasons Why I Love the ‘60s

1.     “The day was 24 hours long, but it seemed longer.”
2.     “You never did eat your lunch, did you?”
3.     “Here you are, sir. Main Level D.”
4.     Peter Sellers as Clare Quilty
5.     Peter Sellers as Capt. Mandrake
6.     Peter Sellers as President Muffley
7.     Peter Sellers as Dr. Strangelove
8.     The unexpected brutality that occurs directly before this shot:

9.     How a handful of black people silently standing up in a courtroom says more than four monologues could.
10.  The impossibility of Catherine Deneuve’s sexiness in Bell de Jour
11.  The fact that the first two minutes are dedicated entirely to a black screen and "Overture: Atmospheres"
12.  The revelatory use of "Also Sprach Zarathustra"
13.  “The Dawn of Man”—best title card ever
14.  The discovery of weaponry
15.  The jump cut from the bone to the space ship

16.  The jump to HAL’s point of view as he reads Dave and Frank’s lips
17.  “Open the pod bay doors, Hal.”
18.  The flight to Jupiter
19.  A weak, ill Montgomery Clift as the weak, ill Rudolph Peterson in Judgment at Nuremberg
20.  The sex scene in The Silence

21.  Fran’s initial shock at hearing a gunshot, and her immediate relief upon discovering it was a champagne cork popping
22.  “What. We’ve. Got here. Is a failure, to communicate.”
23.  The fact that The Battle of Algiers is just… that good.
24.  Same with Z
25.  And Au Hasard Balthazar
26.  Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, the best movie villain of all time
27.  This shot:

28.  Eastwood as The Good
29.  Lee Van Cleef as The Bad
30.  Eli Wallach as The Ugly
31.  The slow, eerie reveal of Robert Duvall as Boo
32.  “Plastics.”
33.  “Gentleman, you can’t fight in here, this is a war room!”
34.  Because The Virgin Spring, Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, The Silence, Persona, Hour of the Wolf, Shame, and The Passion of Anna is arguably the best string of films any director has ever had in any one decade. Ever.
35.  Well, that and Breathless, A Woman is a Woman, Vivre sa vie, Contempt, Band of Outsiders, Alphaville, Pierrot le fou, and Week End.
36.  The brutal, honest, unflinching rape scene in The Virgin Spring
37.  Max von Sydow’s reaction to the brutal, honest, unflinching rape in The Virgin Spring

38.  Ingmar Bergman’s letter to censors concerning the brutal, honest, unflinching rape scene in The Virgin Spring
39.  Harriet Andersson’s face in Through a Glass Darkly
40.  Ingrid Thulin’s face in Winter Light
41.  Ingrid Thulin’s face in The Silence
42.  Anna Karina’s face as shot through the lens of her husband
43.  The endless pain in watching the contestants’ endless pain in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
44.  The audacity of Peeping Tom
45.  These daydreams:

46.  “Mama, face it: I was the slut of all time.”
47.  Jesus flying into Rome via helicopter
48.  The Fab Four running from screaming fans
49.  “I enjoyed it.”
50.  The birds
51.  Luke eating 50 eggs
52.  Bette Davis as Baby Jane Hudson
53.  Joan Crawford as Blanche Hudson
54.  “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.”
55.  The way Sam Peckinpah shoots violence
56.  Likewise Arthur Penn
57.  The Queen of Diamonds

58.  “A boy’s best friend is his mother.”
59.  Sidney’s Poitier’s slap
60.  The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance – the perfect Western
61.  “This isn’t a dream… this is really happening!”
62.  Rain reflected off glass to make it look like Robert Blake is crying
63.  The visual marvel of Last Year at Marienbad

64.  The jump cuts of Rod Steiger in a concentration camp
65.  Jules and Jim (and Catherine)
66.  The traffic jam in Week End
67.  Slim Pickens riding an atomic bomb
68.  The walls crumbling in on Catherine Deneuve in Repulsion
69.  Every single spoken word in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
70.  Butch and the Kid jumping off a cliff
71.  The shocking conclusion to Easy Rider
72.  The insanely high contrast of this scene:

73.  Steve McQueen parallel parking on a steep San Francisco hill
74.  Spencer Tracey’s final monologue in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
75.  The fact that you never really know if you’re watching Guido’s dream, a shot from Guido’s film, or a scene from Fellini’s film
76.  The quicksand death in Lawrence of Arabia
77.   “HEY, I’M WALKIN’ HERE!”
78.  78 cuts: no nudity, no knife entering skin, only screams and a knife cutting a melon

79. Little Johan peeing in a hotel room hallway for no other reason than he has to go pee
80.  “I’m only doing my job. Some people are bullfighters, some people are politicians. I’m a photographer.”
81.  The epic match between Fast Eddie and Minnesota Fats
82.  The impeccable morals of Kingo Gondo
83.  This: 

84.  This: 

85.  This: 

86.  And this: 

87.  The fact that Peter Bogdanovich manages to mix two completely different stories, about a psychopathic sniper and a B-movie horror film actor, together perfectly
88.  The jump cut of Ben Braddock jumping on a pool raft, to him jumping on Mrs. Robinson
89.  The fact that you never really know what the hell Polanski is planning to do with his Knife in the Water characters
90.  Mia Farrow’s lullaby
91.  Alma narrating Elisabet’s life story to Elisabet, while the camera stays on her
92.  Alma narrating Elisabet’s life story to Elisabet, while the camera stays on her
93.  The quick shot of Bergman and Nykvist on a crane
94.  Watching Alain Leroy’s final day
95.  Jack Lemmon trying to find a bottle of alcohol with animalistic rage

96.  Jack Lemmon’s face in the final shot of Days of Wine and Roses
97.  Jon Voight putting his arm around Dustin Hoffman
98.  “I’ve got a flat tire and I ain’t got no spare.”
99.  “Shut up and deal.”
100. “…the four million year old black monolith has remained completely inert, its origin and purpose still a total mystery."
101. “I hope they are watching. They'll see. They'll see and they'll know and they'll say, 'Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly.'"

'60s Answers

1. To Kill a Mockingbird
2. Psycho
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey
4. Lolita
5.-7. Dr. Strangelove
8. Once Upon a Time in the West
9. To Kill a Mockingbird
11.-18. 2001: A Space Odyssey
21. The Apartment
22. Cool Hand Luke
26. Psycho
27. The Graduate
28.-30. The Good The Bad and The Ugly
31. To Kill a Mockingbird
32. The Graduate
33. Dr. Strangelove
42. A Woman is a Woman, Vivre sa Vie, Band of Outsiders, Alphaville, Pierrot le Fou
45. Belle de Jour
46. BUtterfield 8
47. La Dolce Vita
48. A Hard Day’s Night
49. Lawrence of Arabia
50. The Birds
51. Cool Hand Luke
52.-53. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
54. Goldfinger
55. The Wild Bunch
56. Bonnie and Clyde
57. The Manchurian Candidate
58. Psycho
59. In the Heat of the Night
61. Rosemary’s Baby
62. In Cold Blood
64. The Pawnbroker
65. Jules and Jim
67. Dr. Strangelove
70. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
72. Hour of the Wolf
73. Bullit
75. 8 ½
77. Midnight Cowboy
78. Psycho
79. The Silence
80. Blow-Up
81. The Hustler
82. High and Low
87. Targets
88. The Graduate
90. Rosemary’s Baby
91.-93. Persona
94. The Fire Within
95. Days of Wine and Roses
97. Midnight Cowboy
98. Bonnie and Clyde
99. The Apartment
100. 2001: A Space Odyssey
101. Psycho 


  1. That's amazing man. There are quite a few I don't get here, but the ones I do-yess! Like all the 2001 and Psycho and Godard and The Graduate.

    Oh and I was thinking just today that Kubrick should have made Lolita during A Clockwork Orange times so that it too could be as unflinching and honest, except as Peter Sellers being exactly the same uhmazing Claire Quilty.

    Now off to read your other lists :D

    1. Thanks! I'll post the "answers" on Monday, so check back then if you want!

      Considering the material, Kubrick was really tame with Lolita, but I guess he kinda had to be. Either way, LOVE that flick.

  2. Oh God YES with #19. I was absolutely speechless from that scene.

    1. Easily my favorite scene of that movie. Clift is one of my top 5 favorite actors of all time. A master of his craft.

    2. Why he didn't win that Oscar, I don't think we'll ever know. (One of AMPAS' many blights, that goes without saying.)

  3. Great list man. That was a great decade for international cinema. For American cinema, not so much until late in the decade.

    1. Oh I couldn't agree more. American cinema in the '60s kinda blew until the MPAA was established in 1968. Thank god for them foreigners.

  4. This list is absolutely stunning. There are so many on here that made me shout "Oh God Yes!" when I read them. Perhaps my favourite is #94. The Fire Within is one of the most harrowing movies I've ever seen. I would do my own version of these lists, but I'd only be copying yours. Fantastic stuff.

    1. Thanks man! Not gonna lie, I added that one at the last minute solely because I knew you loved that film so much. I love it too, but I knew if anyone would get it, you would.

  5. I'll give you one more--every single frame of Inherit the Wind.

  6. Great list, especially love the Kubrick films and my favorite of the 60's at 70. Although for that movie I'd have to go with "I didn't know you were the Sundance Kid when i accused you of cheating" as my favorite scene and probably my favorite scene of the any 60's film.

    1. Dude I LOVE that scene. Definitely not talked about enough. In fact, I need to revisit that flick sooner rather than later.

  7. Hell yes to point 87. Targets is remarkable stuff.

    1. Oh man, I'm so glad to hear you say that. Loved that movie.

  8. Oh this is fantastic! Love Belle du Jour one!

  9. Great post, man!

    ha ha Cool Hand Luke eating 50 eggs, classic! That video is my favorite moment of Easy Rider too ( :

    I got Last Year at Marienbad on dvd recently, I can't wait to see what all the fuss is about. I'm also curious about Days of Wine and Roses.

    From the 60s, the scene of Antonioni's La Notte (1961) I find hauntingly moving, when a passage is read out, and he asks who wrote that? and the reply is: you wrote it.

    I'll give you another movie worth checking out, A Patch of Blue (1965), a pick-me-up film about friendship. I find it equally as good as
    Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.

    1. Thanks buddy! Gonna check out La Notte and A Patch of Blue ASAP.

      As for Days of Wine and Roses, as far as I'm concerned, if you haven't seen that flick, then you truly have not seen Jack Lemmon's best performance.

      Thanks for the recommendations!

  10. I love 60s for the New Waves around the world and for a single film -2001.I hardly remember if a film is from 60s or 70s,that's why I can't write something like this,haha.

    1. Ha, yeah the end of the '60s kind of bleeds into the '70s, if we're talking about American films only. Both really good decades but for very different reasons.

  11. Another post to make me feel 60s movie knowledge is so bad, I should make a little marathon soon! Great post!

  12. Love it. So many classics in there, and I especially like shots 8, 15 and 27. The Graduate's closing shot is one of my all-time favorites.

    1. Nichols, man... dude knew when to keep that damn camera running. What a way to end that movie.

  13. I was reading down through your list and I was getting most of them, but not all of them. I was wondering if it would be worth the time to keep track of the ones I didn't know to ask later then I saw you had the answers below. Thanks for including those.

    1. Ha my pleasure man. I initially didn't post answers for the 2000s list, and people FLIPPED out. I suppose it is kind of cruel, given how obscure I am with some of them. Hope you got a lot "right"!

  14. Great post, Love the 60's because movies didn't have to worry so much as the censorship was softened. This gave us such amazing movies like Bonnie and Clyde and Easy Rider.

    1. Oh hell yeah, but I think, in terms of American film, that flexibility in censorship only came late in the decade, particularly after the MPAA was enacted in 1968. There are exceptions to this, like Bonnie and Clyde and The Graduate, but either way, the 60's rocked. So much gold in that decade.

  15. #19 - Judgement At Nuremberg..........Saw it on TV when I was really young. The shock/horror of the realization then (for me), of the atrocities committed, obviously blew me away. This film was my very first real exposure to the Holocaust and the magnitude of it! Those films shown by the Prosecutor (an always outstanding Richard Widmark), really tore at the heart strings of everybody (viewers and cast alike). Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Judy Garland and a fabulous Maximillian Schell were all outstanding. was the amazing performance by the great Montgomery Clift. Yes, I know he was ill etc., but I think that is more a credit to him. His complete breakdown in five minutes of film is heartbreaking and with many repeat viewings, still brings me to tears!
    Somebody once said, "There's no such thing as small roles, only small actors!" Clift's giant performance in a brief role, certainly fits that bill. He was indeed truly outstanding!
    Gee, that's only one comment on your fabulous 101 list! Great Stuff!

    1. Thanks Ron! I love that you love Judgement at Nuremberg. It truly is a masterful film, one that is criminally overlooked by many modern movie watchers, I fear.

      Clift is one of my favorite actors of all time, and his brief but astonishing role in this film is one of my favorite performances he ever gave. A monumental achievement.

      Thanks, as always, for commenting!

    2. Unfortunately for Paul Newman who was nominated for Best Actor for The Hustler and Spencer Tracy for Judgement At Nuremberg.....they both lost to Mr. Schell.
      But, the truly outstanding Clift (for Judgement), George C. Scott and Jackie Gleason (both for The Hustler), all losing to George Chakiris for West Side just beyond a joke! What goes on there?

    3. Yeah Chakiris' win is just nuts when you take into account the others up for the award. Imagine if the Oscars always got it right? I can't even fathom.

  16. Fast becoming my favorite decade, its fascinating to come back after years and pick up the ones I'd have no idea about before. Great to see a shout for Targets, my favorite film of that year. I think, if you can find time (and harder still some copies) you'd be interested in the work of Yoshishige Yoshida, particuarly Heroic Purgatory and Eros + Massacre :)

    1. Oh nice, I need to check those out ASAP. Thanks for the recos!