The 10 Most Beautiful Movies of The 1960s

5. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968; dir. Stanley Kubrick)

2001 a space odyssey

A movie so complex and with so many nuances that is truly a task to put it into words.

Directed by Stanley Kubrick, “2001: A Space Odyssey” is a movie about evolution. When humans find a monolith on the moon that is the next step in evolution, they sent astronauts on a quest to reach it alongside the computer H.A.L. 9000. Human or machine: who will reach it first?

With such powerful imagery, this masterpiece is one of the most amazing and one of the best movies of all time. Starring Keir Dullea as Dr. Dave Bowman and with great voicework by Douglas Rain as H.A.L. 9000, “2001: A Space Odyssey” has so many iconic shots that a list about the most beautiful movies of the 1960s would not be complete without it.


4. Last Year in Marienbad (1961; dir. Alain Resnais)

Last Year at Marienbad (1961)

With a truly unique narrative construction, “Last Year in Marienbad” is directed by Alain Resnais based on an screenplay by Alain Robbe-Grillet.

In this film, a man tries to convince a woman to run away with him. Even though she doesn’t remember, they had – or maybe they did not have – an affair sometime in the past.

With amazing cinematography by Sacha Vierny and a great approach toward architecture in its shots, “Last Year in Marienbad” is so visually magnificent and so inventive in what regards to its writing that this masterpiece definitely is one of the most beautiful movies of the 1960s.


3. Blow-Up (1966; dir. Michelangelo Antonioni)

Blow-Up film

Based on the short story “The Devil’s Drool” by Argentinean writer Julio Cortázar, “Blow-Up” is one of the most iconic films from the 1960s.

Being able to capture some aspects of the counterculture era and being a critical and box office success, “Blow-Up” became a very influential film from the 1960s until today.

Following the story of a mod photographer who has a very agitated life in London, everything changes when he finds something suspicious in a series of photographs he took in the park.

With a very slow-paced atmosphere and prodigious photography by Carlo Di Palma, “Blow-Up” is definitely a movie worth watching for the way it is able to capture the aura of the time it was made, and is definitely one of the most beautiful films from the 60s.


2. The Apartment (1960; dir. Billy Wilder)

The Apartment (1960)

Written by I.A.L. Diamond and Billy Wilder, “The Apartment” is one of the best comedies in cinema history.

Starred by Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, the movie follows a young man who is trying to rise in the company where he works, and so he lets the executives of this company use his apartment for their affairs. But one day he ends up falling in love with the lover of one of these executives.

With an amazing script and dialogue, allied with iconic performances by Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon, this great film directed by Wilder is one of the best romantic comedies of all time.

Having the usual powerful mise en scène we’re able to see in Wilder’s movies, this great love story won five Oscars at the 33rd Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, and definitely deserves to be remembered among the most beautiful movies of the 1960s.


1. Eight and a Half (1963; dir. Federico Fellini)

This very surreal dramatic comedy is so full of iconic moments that it is really difficult for this writer to choose a favorite one.

Starring Marcello Mastroianni, the movie follows Guido Anselmo, a filmmaker who is struggling to make a new film after his last hit and, from that moment on, begins to remember important moments in his life.

Using surrealism in a truly powerful way, “Eight and a Half” is, above all, a movie about filmmaking. Its approach toward creativity and how the life of an artist impacts his work is something truly intriguing, especially with a mise en scène conducted by the maestro Federico Fellini.

“Eight and a Half” may not be the best film in Fellini’s career (even though it is one of his masterpieces), but still, this is a movie that truly shows how powerful cinema can be. Definitely one of the most beautiful movies from the 1960s.

Author bio: Vítor Guima is a filmmaker, writer and musician. Every day he watches a movie, reads a few pages from a book, listens to an album and freaks out with the feeling of not having enough time to see everything. You can follow him on Instagram on @ovitorguima.