The 1960s were a period of profound change, turmoil in the form of movements, conflicts, and a thriving culture. A variety of significant developments that would change the course of the way we live today occurred during the 1960s. In the 1960s, the Civil Rights Movement rocked the United States, the Vietnam War continued to rage, people were sent into space, and astronauts first visited the moon. The time also witnessed massive cultural changes.
Many old-fashioned notions and beliefs were replaced, and a brand new young generation exploded. The Beat Generation of poets and writers of the 1950s were experts in the field of culture in the 1960s, transforming their views to become the hippie movement. The phenomenon of rock and roll was felt across every side of the Atlantic that was elevated to an unprecedented level when The Beatles performed in The United States for the first time. They also started a huge wave known as The British Invasion, which later saw other bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Who, Pink Floyd, and many others influence the music of America.
The 60s also was the decade that witnessed a significant change in cinema. This was the decade when cinema’s language was put before an audience, and its structure and formulas were questioned and rewritten. Following their initial success with “400 Blows’ (1959) and “Breathless’ (1960), Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard became the most recognizable iconic cultural icons that signaled a major transformation in cinema. The 1960s brought the death of the studio-dominated film equipment Hollywood was becoming. The first blow was taken with the help of Alfred Hitchcock when he refused to submit to the dictates of Paramount and decided to create the film “Psycho” (1960) himself.
In the wake of Alfred Hitchcock and the French New Wave icons, America experienced its own cultural revolution in filmmaking that is now called the ‘New Movie’. The movement was actually booming during the 1970s, however, it was in the 1960s that the concepts that characterized New Hollywood were firmly established. Two specific films initiated the revolution — “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967), which Arthur Penn produced, and ‘Easy Rider’ (1969), directed by and starring the madman in movies, Dennis Hopper. Both of these films completely reshaped ideas of what can or should be seen in cinemas. The incredible box-office success of both films shook the studios to their bases as they realized that their systems and beliefs were becoming outdated for their time.
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Through various cultural shifts in filmmaking, a few young filmmakers, often referred to as the ‘Movie Brats, were able to find their feet in the 1960s and took over the world in the later decades. The group comprised Martin Scorsese, Brian de Palma, Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas. After all, this is the list of the best 60s-themed films available on Netflix that you can stream now. The list contains names that range from B-movies to classic films. There are many Bollywood movies from the 60s that are streaming on Netflix.
One of the very few Bollywood films that was released in the 1960s and is available on Netflix”Prince,” a 1960s film, is a story of character greed, man’s ego, and his search for meaning in his life. Shammi Kapoor, well-known as ‘The Elvis Presley of India’ due to his unique appearance and dance moves, is the film’s main character of Shamsherand Sajjan Singh. He plays a prince who is consumed by his wealth and treats everyone and everyone with contempt.
But, Shamsher never manages to achieve inner peace, despite all the riches in the world. He is forced to seek out the local priest to seek help. Following the priest’s advice, Shamsher pretends to be dead and travels to a village, where he can live the life of a normal man. In the village, a widow mistakenly identifies the deceased son for Sajjan, and Shamsher rather than correcting her assumes this new identity. Then, he’s spotted in the presence of two officials from the royal who believe that he’s an individual with an eerie resemblance to the deceased Prince, and they request Sajjan for the prince’s persona in exchange for the amount of money. Sajjan’s situation becomes complex when he accepts to pretend to be himself. The film remains well-loved by those who love Bollywood classics. It also has a famous soundtrack.
“Thunderball” is the fourth installment in”Thunderball,” which is the fourth installment of the James Bond franchise. Sean Connery reprises his role as the most famous spy in the history of cinema, James Bond. We see Bond trying to find two nuclear bombs that were stolen by the criminal international organization known as SPECTRE. The evil group is planning to use these weapons to create destruction massively until they receive 100 million dollars in diamonds. Bond can meet his second in command in SPECTRE SPECTRE, Emilio Largo, however, it takes a while before he is aware that SPECTRE intends to bomb Miami Beach. The onus is on Bond to save the lives of a lot of innocent victims by thwarting Largo’s scheme. The film was a massive commercial success despite getting mixed reviews. John Stears was awarded an Academy Award for the movie’s visual effects.
Another film with Shammi Kapoor appears on this list. Produced by Lekh Tandon and written by Abrar Alvi, “Professor” is the tale of a young unemployed man named Pritam Khanna, who desperately needs work to assist his terminally ill mother. He discovers an opportunity in which an elderly woman seeks a professor to tutor two girls in the home. However, the requirement is that only applicants over 50 years old are qualified for the job. In a desperate attempt, Khanna disguises himself as an older man of 50 and can be hired. The situation gets more complicated when his boss falls for his character and Khanna himself becomes infatuated with one of his students.
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On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
“On Her Majesty’s Special Service” was the initial James Bond film to be created after Sean Connery quit acting in the Bond character after five films. George Lazenby, who was unnoticed as a model and actor before, was picked to be the character of Bond. In the film, Bond is after Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the worldwide criminal group SPECTRE leader. To find the criminal mastermind, Bond is assisted by a Portuguese criminal known as Marc-Ange Draco, who is a part of the European Crime Syndicate called Unione Corse. If Bond finds Blofeld and discovers that the leader of SPECTRE is brainwashing a bunch of women from Switzerland to make them instruments for spread bioterrorism. It’s up to Bond to stop this global disaster. This story became the second in which Bond is married.
Written by Lekh Tandon, Amrapali is a historical drama that centers around the conquest of an Indian province of Vaishali by the King of Magadha, Ajatshatru. The king decides to besiege Vaishali after becoming infatuated with her famous courtesan Amrapali. But, when he’s engaged in fighting and capturing his province, Amrapali is fired from her post and accepted by Gautam Buddha, his disciple. Sunil Dutt portrays the character of Ajatshatru in the film, while Vyjayanthimala is the main character. “Amrapali” was India’s entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars. Despite its lackluster commercial success, the film was deemed an iconic film. The war scenes of this film also were appreciated by the critics. Bhanu Athaiya is only the second Indian to be awarded an Oscar for this film’s costume designer.
West Side Story (1961)
“West Side Story” is certainly one of the most viewed musicals ever. It tells the story of two lovers falling into a fierce street rivalry between gangs in New York. Tony Maria and Maria have two love interests and are very close to the leader of the two rival gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. Although Tony is a co-founder and an ex-member of the Jets, Maria is Bernardo’s sister, who is the Sharks’ head. “West Side Story” was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, out of which it won 10 awards, with the most notable being Best Picture and Best Director for Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. Many critics have called the film a total masterpiece and praised its technical elements and stunning transformation from stage play to film. It is a 1999 Bollywood film “Josh” is an unofficial remake of the film ‘West Side Story.
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
If we examine some of the film’s cinematic landmarks in the 1960s, “Cool Hand Luke” will be an integral part of the discussion. It is the film based off a 1965 book with the same name by Donn Pearce. The story centers around the character Lucas Johnson, who is sentenced to two years in jail after being arrested for the crime of vandalism. Luke is a free spirit who doesn’t want to be governed by the rules of the prison. He has even fallen out with the gang in prison. However, he manages to gain their respect. But the authorities don’t appreciate him because they believe that his impulsive personality is harmful and infectious to the other prisoners. They attempt to knock him down with the punishments of physical and mental until Luke himself starts to think about the possibility of a prison break.
There’s a lot of Christian imagery throughout the film, which portrays the character Luke as an incarnation of Jesus Christ who is in prison to boost the spirits of fellow prisoners. “Cool hand Luke” has a strong anti-establishment position while focusing on the strong anti-war sentiments that were taking over America in the wake of the Vietnam War. It’s, without a doubt, among the most influential films in the 60s.
Doctor Zhivago (1965)
Written and produced by David Lean, ‘Doctor Zhivago is a romantic drama film adapted from the novel published by Boris Pasternak. The character Yuri Zhivago’s lead role is an orphan raised by his uncle and aunt. When he reaches the age of 18, Yuri develops a relationship with Lara Guitar. Lara, however, is also involved in an affair with an entrepreneur named Victor Komarovsky. Komarovsky was her mother’s lover, and that’s how Lara became acquainted with Komarovsky. He was the one who introduced her to him. Yuri later married her cousin Tonya. The two lovers reunite after many years only to realize that their attraction hasn’t completely gone away.
“Doctor Zhivago” is regarded by many as among the greatest films ever produced, however there are critics who aren’t taking too well to the long and monotonous speed of the film. The film was awarded with five Academy Awards — Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design. It was also awarded Best Costume Design. American Film Institute placed ‘Doctor Zhivago’ on 39th in their list titled “100 Years…100 Movies.
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The Graduate (1967)
“The Graduate” is one of the most recognizable film pieces to emerge from The United States in the 1960s. The film is based on the novel of the same title written by Charles Webb. The story follows an unnamed young man Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) who is home from college. While his family and friends congratulate Benjamin for his achievements, his wife’s father’s business partner Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) is unhappy with how things are going. She is not happy with her mind. She attempts to lure Benjamin and engage in an affair. Benjamin will not keep his distance from her initially but then he accepts and begins visiting her frequently in the hotel. While he’s there, he is out to dinner with Robinson’s daughter, Elaine (Katharine Rose), and does her a disservice to ensure that there is no chance of a relationship between the two.
In the following days, issues begin to arise after Benjamin realizes that he doesn’t enjoy being around Elaine and realizes that their relationship doesn’t have an intention and only causes difficulties in his personal life. The Graduate received overwhelmingly favorable reviews and pushed Dustin Hoffman to superstardom. Incredibly, the film’s stars were not Hoffman and Rose were first considered to play their roles. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunnaway were considered for the roles in Benjamin and Elaine, respectively. They were forced to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts with the film ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ (1967). Mike Nichols was awarded an Academy Award for Best Director for his contribution to the film.
The Dirty Dozen (1967)
The film is based on E. M. Nathanson’s novel of the same title, “The Dirty Dozen,” is among the best film was ever made. The film revolves around the story of a group of convicts that are in prison for serious offenses such as murder and rape. In the Second World War, the American Army decided to recruit the convicts and force them to go deep into the Nazi center of France to execute an important official who was working under Hitler. We follow the characters as they attempt to break Nazi security throughout France while completing their task. Although they are criminals, these guys demonstrate a lot of determination and grit when fighting. They’ve been given the benefit of immunity and reduced punishments if they can manage to complete the task.
The film features an ensemble cast of stars, which includes Charles Bronson, John Cassavetes, Tim Busby, Jim Brown, Donald Sutherland, Clint Walker, Colin Maitland, Al Mancini, and Telly Savalas being part of the Dirty Dozen, among others. When it was released, the film was adored by the public, but some critics, like Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times and others, were critical of its brutality. Through the years, ‘The Dirty Dozen’ grown into an iconic film in American film, and was ranked at number 65 in the American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Thrills’ list.
You Only Live Twice (1967)
Five films from the James Bond series”You Only Live Twice written by Lewis Gilbert, was produced after the satirical film ‘Casino Royale (1967). The film is about the famous British secret agent as he journeys to Japan to uncover the reason for the disappearance of Soviet and American spacecraft in orbit. Bond discovers that the sinister group SPECTRE is involved with the incident and they operate independently, under the direction of an unknown Asian government. The motive behind the problem is to cause the two superpowers to become more hostile to each one. The renowned British writer Roald Dahl wrote the screenplay of this film. The director Lewis Gilbert later directed two other James Bond films- ‘Moonraker’ (1977), and “The Spy Who Loved Me (1979). The film was not popular when it first came out, and critics pointed out the flaws in the structure of the plot. There were even those who criticized the film’s excessive emphasis on the gadgets employed by Bond.
One of the most acclaimed Bollywood films ever produced, ‘Mughal E-Azam’ is a sweeping tale of love and respect. It focuses on the love story of the two most renowned Mughal leaders of India, King Akbar (Prithviraj Kapoor), and his son Salim (Dilip Kumar), who later became Emperor Jahangir. Salim’s affection for a courtesan Anarkali (Madhubala) will be revealed by his father, who is unable to accept that his son is planning to get married by a girl who has no royal blood. When Akbar takes away Anarkali to prevent them from perpetuating to be together, Salim gathers an army and agitates in a rebellion against Akbar. However, he is defeated in the battle and is sentenced to death. Akbar states that he will offer Salim his life if Anarkali chooses to accept the sentence on Salim’s behalf.
“Mughal-E-Azam” has an excellent soundtrack that is regarded by many as one of the greatest in Bollywood history of Bollywood. The film was the earliest and most expensive Indian film ever made, and it was a huge box office hit. It was released after being colored digitally in 2004 and was once more a hit in the theaters. Prithviraj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar were each praised for their performance in the movie.
The Wild Bunch (1969)
If you’re a lover of Western movies and haven’t yet looked at Sam Peckinpah’s “The wild Bunch You are doing yourself a huge injustice. It was highly controversial at the time of its release. The Wild Bunch is perhaps one of the more violent, action-packed Western films to ever be produced. The film follows a group of aging outlaws and forced to put down their guns before it’s time. In the final moments, before they retire, they’re looking to rob once more and have targeted a railroad station. However, they’re followed by a gang of bounty hunters who railroad officials hire to guard their merchandise. This film is filled with the most intense and dramatic gunfights you’ll see in American films. In fact, the American Film Institute has listed it as the sixth-best Western ever produced. The National Fim Registry of the United States regards the film as “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant” and therefore has chosen to keep its collection within the Library of Congress.
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Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
“Bonnie and Clyde” influenced and broadened the scope of American cinema unlike any other film of the 1960s. The film hugely affected the aesthetics of cinema in the next decade, in which American cinema experienced a fresh revival with New Hollywood. Arthur Penn directed the screenplay written by David Newman and Robert Benton. The film was made by Warren Beatty, who also plays a part in the role of Clyde Barrow in the movie. This story is about two criminals, Bonnie and Clyde, who steal and kill all over the nation. They are vicious and do not blink an eye even before putting down police law enforcement officers. However, their fun may not last long once police and highwaymen begin searching them in large amounts. The film was awarded two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress (Estelle Parsons) and Best Cinematography (Burnett Guffey). Bonnie And Clyde’ is often cited as one of the top crime films ever made despite being the subject of sharp criticism after its release due to the violence depicted in the film.