Here's a year that sported some greatness as well. The 60's get off to a real rocking start. A lot of influential and legendary films came from this year that are still talked about today or still being ribbed from.
WINNER - The Apartment
Sons And Lovers
Today this is one of Jean-Luc Godard's more accessible films, but back when it came out, it was pretty groundbreaking. Inspiring everyone from Scorsese to Tarantino, this is one of the first films to truly take a look at a villain in a sort of "normal" fashion and get us to sort of enjoy following him as a protagonist. You'll see the makings of some of your very favorite all time films right here in Godard's film. For being 55 years old, it sure has a lot of modern touches to it. I really enjoy the dialogue and character work going on in this one. It sort of feels like an archetype or proto 1990s indie film.
House Of Usher
Vincent Price with no mustache? Odd right? I'm not as big on this one as I used to be growing up. However, there are a lot of these Corman-Poe movies that carry similar story bases and themes, and this is one of the better ones.
The Magnificent Seven
The American answer (Or remake) to Kurosawa's legendary classic actually works as a nice compliment to that feature and shows how fun and creative remakes can be when good minds are put to them. Retrospectively, this movie kind of works as an Expendables of Western/action stars of that time period, too.
I won't get to discuss my love of Michael Powell's masterpiece The Red Shoes in this retrospective as it misses it by 3 years. But, I'm happy that another of his masterworks makes the list in Peeping Tom. Peeping Tom is a film that I feel still to this day is sort of underground or mostly known by horror fans, but had a big impact on the genre when it came to the slasher. It also gets the distinct notion of calling "first" and (by a few months) predating...
I go back and forth on whether this or North By Northwest is my favorite Hitchcock film. You'd think as a horror nut it'd be this one easily, but its a close race. I love the hell out of this movie and its an absolutely perfect film start to finish. Its still effective and still works to every degree its intended. Its a film that is full of shock, surprise and violence that really isn't all there but people swear they saw it. Hitchcock features some of his best sequences and camera movements in the film as well. Within seconds of this film starting, you get the feeling you are watching one of the greatest things ever and are swept up in an "experience". What a fantastic movie. Also, first toilet to ever appear in a movie.
The least Kubrick of any Kubrick film. Still a solid film in the canon of period epics that were going on at this time. And Kirk Douglas is brilliant. But this is more a Kirk Douglas affair than it is Kubrick. Stanley had been brought in after the original director was let go and Douglas had just worked with him on Paths Of Glory thought he could bring him in and slap him around to get what he wanted. That wasn't the case. The two butted heads, finished the film and then never worked together again. In terms of Kubrick films this falls low on my scale, but in terms of grand biblical/medieval/roman epics (I dunno what the general term would be), its really good.