Cinema is one of the most complex (if not the most complex) art forms, and to consider a movie beautiful, many elements can be considered. Calling a movie “beautiful” is really a very complex statement. From a beautiful story to truly gorgeous shots, and from amazing acting to the great use of any other of the many elements of cinema, some movies are simply beautiful.
As usual, a lot of things interfere in the choices of the movies on an article like this, but memory and personal preferences are the main factors as always.
If you think any other 60’s film should be on this list, please leave it as a recommendation in the comments section below. It is also never late to remember that the movies on this list are not ranked.
So, here are the most beautiful movies from the 1960s:
10. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964; dir. Jacques Demy)
The winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival of 1964, “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” is one of the best musicals in the history of film.
Starring Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo, the film follows the story of a young couple that wants to get married. She helps her widowed mother in the family umbrella shop, and he works at a gas station. But when she gets pregnant before he is sent to war, she will have a very difficult decision to make.
With great performances, beautiful music and an amazing mise en scène, “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” is without a doubt one of the most beautiful films from the 1960s and a musical that should definitely be watched by any cinephile.
9. Le Samouraï (1967; dir. Jean-Pierre Melville)
One of the best directed films of all time, “Le Samourai” is Jean-Pierre Melville’s masterpiece.
It stars Alain Delon as Jef Costello, a professional hitman who, though being very careful, one day gets caught. From that moment on, While he tries to find an alibi, his situation gets even more complicated.
With very impressive attention to detail and an amazing performance by Delon, “Le Samourai” has an exquisite mise en scène and a very powerful atmosphere of mystery composed by the camera work, allied with the use of silence and the production design.
“Le Samourai” is one of the most intriguing movies from the 1960s, and for its visually stunning shots, it should definitely be considered among the most beautiful movies from the 1960s.
8. The Leopard (1963; dir. Luchino Visconti)
One of the best Italian movies of all time and another masterpiece directed by Luchino Visconti.
“The Leopard” is a movie starring Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale and Alain Delon that follows how life in Sicilia changed during the Italian unification, also known as Risorgimento.
Being visually one of the most astonishing films ever made, “The Leopard” is definitely a movie that should be seen for its story and for the extraordinary production design. Based on the novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, the movie won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and is truly one of the best films ever made.
7. An Autumn Afternoon (1962; dir. Yasujiro Ozu)
The last film in the career of one of the best filmmakers of all time, “An Autumn Afternoon” is another great work by Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu.
It follows the story of Hirayama, a former captain of the navy who lives with his daughter, who stayed single in order to take care of him. She is happy living with her family, but Hirayama starts to think that he may be a burden to his daughter.
With many of the well-known traces of Ozu’s filmography, this family drama written by Ozu alongside Kogo Noda is able to approach time and love in a very unique way.
Being able to capture the essence of the drama shown on screen and making every line of dialogue count scene after scene, “An Autumn Afternoon” is a beautiful movie and definitely one that every cinephile should see.
6. Lawrence of Arabia (1962; dir. David Lean)
Based on the life of T.E. Lawrence, this film directed by David Lean is one of the greatest and most visually impressive movies of all time.
Following the story of a Lieutenant that is sent to Arabia to fight the Turks, this epic film has Peter O’Toole in one of the best performances in cinema history, one of the greatest cinematography works of all time and a very powerful script with a leading character that is one of the most complex ever seen in film.
Winning seven Oscars, “Lawrence of Arabia” is one of the best movies from the 1960s and a masterpiece so visually and narratively amazing that it deserves to be considered one of the most beautiful movies from that decade.