The 1960s were a time of change and rebellion. There was rock 'n' roll, there was the civil rights movement, there were tragedies and assassinations, and cinema became much more adaptable.
The cinema industry in the United States was having a hard time before this decade, as a result of the popularity of television. An unprecedented number of foreign films including Akira Kurosawa's High and Low reached American theaters, making the 1960s a fascinating time for anyone who enjoys film.
10) The Japanese Equivalent of a Hitchcock Masterpiece 'High and Low' (1963)
High and Low, one of the many masterpieces of legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, is about a wealthy businessman who becomes victim to extortion: His chauffeur's son is kidnapped, and he must pay the ransom.
With a stellar 8.4, the crime thriller is the 89th highest-rated film on IMDb, and it's not difficult to see why. It's also a testament to Kurosawa's artistic acumen as a filmmaker and Toshiro Mifune, who plays the protagonist, as an actor.
9) Kubrick's Unaparalleled War Satire 'Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb' (1964)
Dr. Strangelove, directed by Stanley Kubrick, has revolutionized the genre of satire by blending sophisticated dark comedy with a tale about a nuclear holocaust started by an unhinged general.
The film is a masterful farce that audiences have never seen again. It's got fantastic cinematography, a brisk and enjoyable pace, and Peter Sellers and George C. Scott giving some of the best and funniest performances of the decade. On IMDb, it's an 8.4/10.
'Woman in the Dunes' (1964): Haunting, Erotic, and Unforgettable
An entomologist (Eiji Okada) is subjected to extreme torture after being kidnapped by the residents of a poor seaside village in this underappreciated Japanese classic.
Woman in the Dunes is a haunting and mysterious erotic thriller that is impossible to decipher in any given scene. The visuals and symbolism are striking and the screenplay is superb, giving the film an IMDb rating.
7) A Very, Very Busy Student 'Operation Y and Other Shurik's Adventures' (1965)
Three stories about a young student in this Soviet comedy cover him: he fights criminals, falls in love, misunderstands apartments, and passes exams. It's all normal young student stuff.
Users describe the film, which has an IMDb rating of 8.5, as one of the funniest Russian comedy ever. In all three segments, the humor is surprising and the performances are funny, making it one of the greatest classics to ever come out of its home country.
6) 'Psycho': The Most Famous Plot Twist in Cinema History (1960)
Psycho is a horror film about a Phoenix secretary (Janet Leigh) who eludes $40,000 dollars and departs town, staying at a remote and mysterious motel managed by a young man (Anthony Perkins) who has a manipulative mother.
Hitchcock's last film is not only a great achievement, but it may very well be his finest work, as evidenced by its excellent IMDb rating of 8.5. It's scary, it's exciting, it's beautifully written, and it remains one of the most popular horror films after more than six decades.
'Once Upon a Time in the West,' (1968) is the father of the Spaghetti Western.
Once Upon a Time in the West is a benchmark in a decade of outstanding Western films. It's a nearly three-hour-long documentary about two men protecting a woman whose land and life are being jeopardized by the growing closeness of the railroad.
The film's use of its settings and the way it explores the concept of progress, powered by director Serio Leone's stunning and elegant style, are admirable.
4) Death Before Dishonor 'Harakiri' (1962)
Harakiri by Masaki Kobayashi is a stunning artwork depicting an old Japanese custom of suicide as a result of disembowelment. The film follows an old samurai who visits a feudal ruler's house and requests an honorable location to execute harakiri.
This is one of those films that make you believe you're going somewhere only to suddenly go completely off the rails. It's strange, it's exciting, it's unbelievablely well-crafted, and it's definitely worthy of its IMDb rating of 8.6.
'The Witness' (1969): Life Is Not a Whipped-Cream Cake
The Witness, in its home country Hungary, has been banned for its outspoken criticism of the post-WWII communist regime, seeing a criminal grow dramatically into an implacable position usually reserved for the communist elite.
The Witness, often dubbed the best communist satire in Hungary, has gained cult status, with several scenes from the film even becoming part of everyday life in the country. It's thoughtful, funny, and a must-see for enthusiasts of the genre, who have given it an 8.7 on IMDb.
2) Being Human is a condition of love 'The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer' (1961)
After the Japanese defeat to the Russians, Masaki Kobayashi's legendary war trilogy has Kaji (Tatsuya Nakadai), leading the last remaining men through Manchuria.
The Human Condition III isn't only as superior as the two previous movies (which happen to be among the highest-rated films of the 1950s on IMDb), but it may even be the finest. It's one of the most ambitious, visually stunning, emotionally moving dramas in cinema history, as evidenced by its IMDb score of 8.8.
1) The Civil War Wasn't Hell.It Was Practice "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" (1966)
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly are three of the most famous spaghetti westerns, and maybe even the finest in the whole Western genre. It's a Sergio Leone masterpiece about three men searching for $200,000 dollars in gold.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly has an incredible 8.8 rating on IMDb, either because of its incredible scale and visual flair, recognizable characters and performances, or because of its intricately complex plot. It's not surprising, given that it's one of the greatest classic movies ever made.