Five Great Movies of the 60s

With Made in Dagenham heading to Irish cinemas, celebrates with five great movies of the

Psycho (1960)

Though Alfred Hitchcock is known more as a thriller director, Psycho is arguably the mother of the modern horror film. Fifties horror cinema had been mostly based around creature features; the horror that lurked in the “other.” Psycho showed the audience that the horrific is more often found in the most benign settings and in the hearts of what appear to be the most normal of people. This idea revolutionised the horror flick and still hits home today.

Blow-Up (1966)

Blow-Up was released in 1966, smack bang in the middle of the swinging London era and from its heartthrob star David Hemmings to its ultra-cool Herbie Hancock soundtrack, this was one hip film. Hemmings channels notorious sixties photographer and lothario David Bailey playing fashion photographer Thomas, who unwittingly gets caught up in a murder after capturing it on film. This is a film that captures the darker side of this decadent lifestyle.

Easy Rider (1969)

It’s strange that the most recognised film about the American counter-culture of the 1960’s was actually released just as the decade was coming to a close but looking at Easy Rider now it’s a bittersweet memoir of the time. Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper may get on their motorcycles and hit the road in an attempt to find freedom from the everyday but they never actually seem to find it. For all the Born to be Wild soundtrack and beautiful desert vistas, in the end it’s a bit of a downer!

The Wild Bunch (1969)

Peckinpah’s ultra-violent Western certainly made the 1960’s end with a bang. The sixties began with hope but in the end delivered little in the way of peace and love and the cinema that were made as the decade ended reflect this kind of cynicism. On the bright side it gave us some truly great films that had a sense of anarchy at their hearts and that pushed the boundaries. The Wild Bunch certainly did this; making the most traditional of genres truly modern.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Perhaps of all the films here in our top ten, it’s hardest to believe that this film was really made over 40 years ago. 2001 was a quantum leap for science fiction – a genre that had been populated mostly by googly eyed creatures from outer space for most of the fifties. Kubrick’s masterpiece was more interested in the realism of a world where man has conquered space travel and its design and effects have been the touchstone for cinema space travel ever since.