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The Best Movies of 1961
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Movie: West Side Story ( 1961 )
Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.
Movie: Breakfast at Tiffany's ( 1961 )
A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building, but her past threatens to get in the way.
Movie: The Parent Trap ( 1961 )
Teenage twin sisters swap places and scheme to reunite their divorced parents.
Movie: One Hundred and One Dalmatians ( 1961 )
When a litter of Dalmatian puppies are abducted by the minions of Cruella de Vil, the parents must find them before she uses them for a diabolical fashion statement.
Movie: A Raisin in the Sun ( 1961 )
A substantial insurance payment could mean either financial salvation or personal ruin for a poor black family.
Movie: The Misfits ( 1961 )
A divorcée falls for an over-the-hill cowboy who is struggling to maintain his romantically independent lifestyle.
Movie: Judgment at Nuremberg ( 1961 )
In 1948, an American court in occupied Germany tries four Nazis judged for war crimes.
Movie: Yojimbo ( 1961 )
A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.
Movie: The Hustler ( 1961 )
An up-and-coming pool player plays a long-time champion in a single high-stakes match.
Movie: The Guns of Navarone ( 1961 )
A British team is sent to cross occupied Greek territory and destroy the massive German gun emplacement that commands a key sea channel.
Movie: Murder She Said ( 1961 )
When Miss Marple reports witnessing a murder through the window of a passing train, the police dismiss her as a dotty spinster when no trace of the crime can be found.
Movie: The Children's Hour ( 1961 )
A troublemaking student at a girls' school accuses two teachers of being lesbians.
Movie: The Innocents ( 1962 )
A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.
Movie: El Cid ( 1961 )
The fabled Spanish hero Rodrigo Diaz (a.k.a. El Cid) overcomes a family vendetta and court intrigue to defend Christian Spain against the Moors.
Movie: One-Eyed Jacks ( 1961 )
After robbing a Mexican bank, Dad Longworth takes the loot and leaves his partner Rio to be captured but Rio escapes and searches for Dad in California.
Movie: Splendor in the Grass ( 1961 )
A fragile Kansas girl's love for a handsome young man from the town's most powerful family drives her to heartbreak and madness.
Movie: Babes in Toyland ( 1960 )
Tom the Piper's Son is about to marry Mary Quite Contrary. On the eve of their wedding, evil miser Barnaby hires two henchmen to drown Tom and steal Mary's sheep, cared for by Little Bo Peep, thus depriving Mary and the children she lives with of their livelihood, forcing her to marry Barnaby. The sheep are stolen, but Gonzorgo and Roderigo, Barnaby's henchmen, double-cross him by selling Tom to a band of gypsies instead, leaving Tom with the opportunity to escape and make his way with Mary, Bo-Peep, and other Mother Goose characters to Toyland.
Movie: Blue Hawaii ( 1962 )
After arriving back in Hawaii from the Army, Chad Gates defies his parents' wishes for him to work at the family business and instead goes to work as a tour guide at his girlfriend's agency.
Movie: Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea ( 1961 )
When the Earth is threatened by a burning Van Allen Radiation Belt, U.S. Navy Admiral Harriman Nelson plans to shoot a nuclear missile at the Belt, using his experimental atomic submarine, the Seaview.
Movie: La Notte ( 1961 )
A day in the life of an unfaithful married couple and their steadily deteriorating relationship.
Movie: Through a Glass Darkly ( 1961 )
Recently released from a mental hospital; Karin rejoins her emotionally disconnected family and their island home, only to slip from reality as she begins to believe she is being visited by God.
Movie: Paris Blues ( 1961 )
During the 1960s, two American expatriate jazz musicians living in Paris meet and fall in love with two American tourist girls.
Movie: Last Year at Marienbad ( 1961 )
In a strange and isolated chateau, a man becomes acquainted with a woman and insists that they have met before.
Movie: Mothra ( 1961 )
A giant, ancient moth begins to attack Japan when coming to the rescue of its two, foot-tall worshippers who were taken by shipwreck survivors.
Movie: Mysterious Island ( 1961 )
During the Civil War a group of Union soldiers and two Confederates escape the stockade using a hot air balloon and end up on a strange Pacific island.
Movie: One, Two, Three ( 1961 )
In West Berlin during the Cold War, a Coca-Cola executive is given the task of taking care of his boss' socialite daughter.
Movie: Pit and the Pendulum ( 1961 )
In the sixteenth century, Francis Barnard travels to Spain to clarify the strange circumstances of his sister's death after she had married the son of a cruel Spanish Inquisitor.
Movie: Viridiana ( 1962 )
Viridiana, a young nun about to take her final vows, pays a visit to her widowed uncle at the request of her Mother Superior.
Movie: The Absent Minded Professor ( 1961 )
A college professor invents an anti-gravity substance which a corrupt businessman wants for himself.
Movie: Accattone ( 1961 )
A pimp with no other means to provide for himself finds his life spiraling out of control when his prostitute is sent to prison.
Movie: The Comancheros ( 1961 )
Texas Ranger Jake Cutter arrests gambler Paul Regret, but soon finds himself teamed with his prisoner in an undercover effort to defeat a band of renegade arms merchants and thieves known as Comancheros.
Movie: A Woman Is a Woman ( 1961 )
A French striptease artist is desperate to become a mother. When her reluctant boyfriend suggests that his best friend impregnate her, feelings become complicated when she accepts.
Movie: Pocketful of Miracles ( 1962 )
A New York gangster and his girlfriend attempt to turn street beggar Apple Annie into a society lady when the peddler learns her daughter is marrying royalty.
Movie: King of Kings ( 1961 )
The temporary physical life of the Biblical Savior, Jesus Christ.
Movie: Lola ( 1962 )
Roland Cassard is a young man with no job and seemingly no prospects. By chance, he runs into his former girlfriend, Cecile who works as a dancer at a cabaret under the stage name Lola. She is now a single mom and works hard to provide her young son with all of the necessities of life. Lola still hopes that her son's father, Michel - the true love of her life - will someday return to them. Seeing Lola again confirms to Roland that he is in love with her but his feelings aren't reciprocated. Roland has also met Madame Desnoyer and her 14 year-old daughter, also called Cecile. Madame Desnoyer, a widow, is quite taken with Roland but he has little interest in her. For Roland, he sees little future in remaining in France.
Movie: Blueprint for Robbery ( 1961 )
Makeshift gang carries off a theft of $2,000,000 and manages to baffle the police for three years.
Movie: Lover Come Back ( 1961 )
A series of misunderstandings leaves an advertising executive with a campaign for a product which has not yet been invented, while he romances his rival in the guise of its inventor.
Movie: Flower Drum Song ( 1962 )
A young woman arrives in San Francisco's Chinatown from Hong Kong with the intention of marrying a rakish nightclub owner, unaware he is involved with one of his singers.
Movie: Divorce Italian Style ( 1962 )
A married Sicilian baron falls in love with his cousin and vows to wed her, but with divorce illegal he must concoct a crime of passion to do away with his wife.
Movie: A Taste of Honey ( 1961 )
A pregnant teenage girl must fend for herself when her mother remarries, leaving the girl with only a new male friend for support.
Movie: Two Rode Together ( 1961 )
A corrupt marshal is pressured by his army friend into negotiating the release of white captives of the Comanches, but finds that their reintegration into society has its consequences.
Movie: The Curse of the Werewolf ( 1961 )
In 18th Century Spain, an adopted boy becomes a werewolf and terrorizes the inhabitants of his town.
Movie: The Deadly Companions ( 1962 )
An ex-army officer accidentally kills a woman's son and tries to make up for it by escorting the funeral procession through dangerous Indian territory.
Movie: The Colossus of Rhodes ( 1961 )
While on holiday in Rhodes, Athenian war hero Darios becomes involved in two different plots to overthrow the tyrannical king, one from Rhodian patriots and the other from sinister Phoenician agents.
Movie: The Last Sunset ( 1961 )
At a Mexican ranch, fugitive O'Malley and pursuing Sheriff Stribling agree to help rancher Breckenridge drive his herd into Texas where Stribling could legally arrest O'Malley, but Breckenridge's wife complicates things.
Movie: Gorgo ( 1961 )
Greedy sailors capture a giant lizard off the coast of Ireland and sell it to a London circus. Then its mother shows up.
Movie: Whistle Down the Wind ( 1961 )
Little Kathy discovers a man wanted for murder hiding in her family's barn. When she asks him who he is, he says Jesus Christ just before he goes unconscious. Kathy and her siblings are convinced that he is Jesus and try to hide him from grown-ups.
Movie: Reptilicus ( 1961 )
After copper miners discover part of the frozen tail of a prehistoric monster in Lapland, scientists inadvertently bring it back to life.
Movie: Come September ( 1961 )
Younger generation vs. "older" folks on vacation at an Italian villa.
Movie: The Day the Earth Caught Fire ( 1961 )
When the U.S. and Russia unwittingly test atomic bombs at the same time, it alters the nutation (axis of rotation) of the Earth.
Movie: The Young Savages ( 1961 )
A D.A. investigates 3 white teenagers accused of murdering a blind Puerto Rican kid.
Movie: Gidget Goes Hawaiian ( 1961 )
Francine (Gidget) is desperate: her parents want to force her to come with them on vacation to Hawaii - just during the two weeks when her beloved "Moondoggie" is home from College. When he suggests she go for it, she's even more in panic - doesn't he care to be with her? So she sets out for Hawaii in the worst mood. On the plane she meets the sociable Abby, who gives her the advice to forget about Jeff - and regrets it shortly after, when Francine follows the advice and steals her boyfriend Eddie, a famous dancer. But then Jeff discovers he's missing Francine...
Movie: Scream of Fear ( 1961 )
A wheelchair-bound young woman returns to her father's estate after ten years, and although she's told he's away, she keeps seeing his dead body on the estate.
Movie: The Ladies Man ( 1961 )
A clueless, recently single graduate unwittingly takes a job as a servant in a mansion inhabited by dozens of young women.
Movie: Victim ( 1961 )
The death of a young man leads to the discovery of a blackmail plot against several gay men in 1960s London.
Movie: The Second Time Around ( 1961 )
In 1911, a widow with two children leaves New York City for territorial Arizona and becomes a ranch hand and later gets herself elected sheriff. A gambler and a rancher become rivals for her affections.
Movie: The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone ( 1961 )
An aging actress travels to Rome with her husband; after he suddenly dies during the flight, she begins a passionate affair with a young gigolo.
Movie: Town Without Pity ( 1961 )
Four American soldiers stationed near a German village face death in the rape of a local girl, and are defended by outside counsel Major Steve Garrett.
Movie: Cash on Demand ( 1962 )
A charming but ruthless criminal holds the family of a bank manager hostage as part of a cold-blooded plan to steal 97,000 pounds.
Movie: Francis of Assisi ( 1961 )
Francis Bernardone (Bradford Dillman) is the son of a wealthy cloth merchant in Assisi, who gives up all his worldly goods to dedicate himself to God. Clare (Dolores Hart) is a young aristocratic woman who, according to the film, is so taken with St. Francis that she leaves her family and becomes a nun. By this time (1212 A.D.), St. Francis has a well-established reputation for his vows of poverty. The movie goes on to note miracles (such as the appearance of the stigmata on Francis's hands and feet) and other aspects of his life, up to and including his death on October 3, 1226.
Movie: The Naked Edge ( 1961 )
Five years after George Radcliffe was the chief witness in a high profile murder case, his wife receives a blackmailing letter accusing him of the crime.
Movie: The Phantom Planet ( 1961 )
After an invisible asteroid draws an astronaut and his ship to its surface, he is miniaturized by the phantom planet's exotic atmosphere.
Movie: Greyfriars Bobby: The True Story of a Dog ( 1961 )
Scotland, 1865. An old shepherd and his little Skye Terrier Bobby go to Edinburgh. But when the shepherd dies of pneumonia, the dog remains faithful to his master, refuses to be adopted by anyone, and takes to sleeping on his master's grave in the Greyfriars Kirkyard, despite a caretaker with a "no dogs" rule. And when Bobby is taken up for being unlicensed, it's up to the children of Edinburgh and the Lord Provost to decide what's to be done.
Movie: The Beast of Yucca Flats ( 1961 )
A defecting Soviet scientist is hit by a nuclear explosion near Yucca Flats and roams around as a beast.
Movie: Mr. Sardonicus ( 1962 )
A search for a winning lottery ticket in his dead father's grave causes Sardonicus' face to freeze in a horrible grimace, until he forces a doctor to treat his affliction--with even more grotesque results! The audience gets an opportunity to vote--via the "Punishment Poll"--for the penalty Sardonicus must pay for his deeds...
Movie: Fanny ( 1961 )
A love triangle between a young woman, a rich 60-something man and an aspiring sailor set in early 20th century Marseilles.
Movie: Carry on Regardless ( 1961 )
The Helping Hands agency employs some very strange people to perform some very strange jobs. Even the simplest of tasks get bungled by the incompetent but lovable staff.
Movie: A Thunder of Drums ( 1961 )
The trials and tribulations of bitter veteran Captain Maddocks and argumentative rookie Lieutenant McQuade at a cavalry desert outpost.
Movie: Erik the Conqueror ( 1961 )
Two estranged brothers confront each other as rivals when war breaks out between Britain and the Vikings for control of England.
Movie: Snow White and the Three Stooges ( 1961 )
An ice-skating Snow White finds refuge from the Wicked Queen with the Three Stooges.
Movie: Summer and Smoke ( 1962 )
Plain, repressed spinster falls for a dashing young medical student, but he prefers the wilder life, until it's too late.
Movie: Hercules in the Haunted World ( 1961 )
Hercules must journey in Hades itself to retrieve the magic stone that will free his love from the powers of darkness.
Movie: Paris Belongs to Us ( 1961 )
Anne Goupil is a literature student in Paris in 1957. Her elder brother, Pierre, takes her to a friend's party where the guests include Philip Kaufman, an expatriate American escaping McCarthyism, and Gerard Lenz, a theatre director who arrives with the mysterious woman Terry. The talk at the party is about the apparent suicide of their friend Juan, a Spanish activist who had recently broken up with Terry. Philip warns Anne that the forces that killed Juan will soon do the same to Gerard. Gerard is trying to rehearse Shakespeare's "Pericles", although he has no financial backing. Anne takes a part in the play to help Gerard, and to try to discover why Juan died.
Movie: Back Street ( 1961 )
Ambitious but thwarted, Rae Smith meets handsome Marine Paul Saxon, (of the Saxon department store chain), as he passes through Lincoln, Nebraska, on his way home from World War II. There's a definite spark between them but circumstances intervene and he leaves town without her. Later she learns he's married. Determined to make it as a fashion designer, Rae moves to New York and becomes a great success. One day she happens to meet Paul again and again there's that spark but he's still married so, as a form of escape, Rae moves to Rome to set up shop. Once again she meets Paul and finally they begin an actual affair since Paul's shrewish, drunken wife, Liz, won't give him a divorce. Time passes, the affair continues whenever time and place permit, but then, Paul's young son finds out about Rae and Rae's back-street world begins to crumble.
Movie: Master of the World ( 1961 )
In 1868, an American scientist and his team become hostages of fanatical pacifist Robur who uses his airship Albatross to destroy military targets on Earth.
Movie: Hercules Conquers Atlantis ( 1961 )
Strong yet sleepy Hercules discovers that the Queen of Atlantis is plotting to take over the world with superhuman warriors.
Movie: Too Late Blues ( 1962 )
Ghost is an ideological musician who would rather play his blues in the park to the birds than compromise himself. However, when he meets and falls in love with beautiful singer Jess Polanski, she comes between him and his band members, and he leaves his dreams behind in search of fame.
Movie: Wild in the Country ( 1961 )
A troubled young man discovers that he has a knack for writing when a counselor encourages him to pursue a literary career.
Movie: The Frightened City ( 1961 )
A small time thief is recruited by a mobster to help with the racketeering. He doesn't like the job, but with the mob on his back, a femme fatale in his bed and a sick friend to care for, he will have to keep all his wits about him.
Movie: Konga ( 1961 )
Dr.Decker comes back from Africa after a year, presumed dead. During that year, he came across a way of growing plants and animals to an enormous size. He brings back a baby chimpanzee to test out his theory. As he has many enemies at home, he decides to use his chimp, 'Konga' to 'get rid of them'. Then Konga grows to gigantic proportions and reaks havoc all over the city of London!!
Movie: I Like Money ( 1962 )
Mr. Topaze ('Peter Sellers') is an unassuming school teacher in an unassuming small French town who is honest to a fault. He is fired when he refuses to give a passing grade to a bad student, the grandson of a wealthy baroness. Castel Benac (Herbert Lom), a government official who runs a crooked financial business on the side, is persuaded by his mistress, Suzy (Nadia Gray), a musical comedy actress, to hire Mr. Topaze as the front man for his business. Gradually, Topaze becomes a rapacious financier who sacrifices his honesty for success and, in a final stroke of business bravado, fires Benac and acquires Suzy in the deal. An old friend and colleague, Tamise (Michael Gough) questions him and tells Topaze that if what he now says and practices indicates there are no more honest men.
Movie: The Wonders of Aladdin ( 1961 )
A poor young man finds a magic lamp that possesses a genie, who will grant the boy three wishes if he sets him free from the lamp.
Movie: The Devil at 4 O'Clock ( 1960 )
A crusty, eccentric priest recruits three reluctant convicts to help him rescue a children's leper colony from a Pacific island menaced by a smoldering volcano.
Movie: Something Wild ( 1962 )
A young rape victim tries desperately to pick up the pieces of her life, only to find herself at the mercy of a would-be rescuer.
Movie: On the Double ( 1961 )
At the time of the Invasion of Normandy, an American soldier is asked to impersonate a British General in order to confuse the Nazi spies and assassins in London.
Movie: The Mark ( 1961 )
This is the story of a 33 year old man, Jim Fuller, released from prison after serving a three year term for intent to commit child molestation. Fuller is assisted by the prison psychiatrist in obtaining a position. He does well in this position and falls in love with the secretary of the owner of the company. A child is molested and beaten in the town where he now lives and the police pick him up for questioning. He has an alibi and is released, but a reporter who covered his former trial recognizes him. The reporter begins to follow him and reports that Fuller spent time alone with the daughter of his girl friend.
Movie: Duel of the Titans ( 1961 )
Twin brothers revolt against tyranny in pre-Roman Italy and then come to a parting of the ways as they lead their people toward the founding of a new city.
Movie: The Terror of the Tongs ( 1961 )
In 1910, Hong Kong members of a secret Tong crime syndicate protect their identities by murdering the daughter of a British sea captain who vows revenge.
Movie: Tammy Tell Me True ( 1961 )
Tammy leaves the river in Mississippi to attend college, developing a relationship with Tom Freeman (John Gavin). Sandra Dee replaces Debbie Reynolds in this and the third Tammy movie. This film introduces both a new theme song, "Tammy Tell Me True", and the character of Mrs. Annie Call, played by veteran Beulah Bondi. Mrs. Call ultimately moves in with Tammy at the Ellen B. and would be the catalyst for the events in the following film, "Tammy and The Doctor".
Movie: Gun Fight ( 1961 )
On the stagecoach to Laramie, Wayne Santley rescues singer Nora Brown from the advances of gambler Cole Fender. In Laramie, Wayne discovers his brother Brad is an outlaw, but he refuses to join the gang of rustlers and sets up a homestead. He and Nora are married. Later Brad repents and joins his brother, but Brad's former partner Pawnee organizes an attack on the brothers. Despite the source that seems to think so, this was not an M-G-M production.
Movie: Bachelor in Paradise ( 1961 )
A bachelor author of sleazy books moves to a family-oriented subdivision where he becomes an unofficial relationship advisor to unhappy local housewives, to the dismay of their respective husbands who suspect him of sexual misconduct.
Movie: The Honeymoon Machine ( 1961 )
A navy lieutenant and his civilian friend use a classified computer to help them break the bank at a Venetian casino.
Movie: Queen of the Nile ( 1961 )
Chronicles the rise and fall of the woman who eventually became known as Queen Nefertiti.
Movie: The Thief of Baghdad ( 1961 )
In the time of the Arabian Nights, the city of Baghdad is ruled by Sultan Ali Bajazeth but actually controlled by the scheming Grand Vizier Ghamal. The poor of Baghdad are aided by Karim, the Thief of Baghdad.
Movie: The Mask ( 1961 )
A young archaeologist believes he is cursed by a mask that causes him to have weird nightmares and possibly to murder. Before committing suicide, he mails the mask to his psychiatrist, Dr. Barnes, who is soon plunged into the nightmare world of the mask.
Movie: Blast of Silence ( 1962 )
A hired killer from Cleveland has a job to do on a second-string mob boss in New York. But a special girl from his past, and a fat gun dealer with pet rats, each gets in his way.
Movie: The Errand Boy ( 1961 )
A goofy paperhanger is hired to root out a financial inefficiency on a Hollywood studio lot, wreaking havoc as he goes.
Movie: Susan Slade ( 1961 )
Premarital sex, secrets, and society. At 17, shy Susan Slade is on her way to California after a ten-year stay at a remote Chilean mine where her father was chief engineer. Onboard ship, she's romanced by Conn White, a handsome mountain climber on his way to Alaska. Home in Monterey, Susan longs to hear from Conn. Two locals also take a shine to her - Hoyt Brecker, a horse wrangler who's the son of a criminal, and Wells Corbett, a sweet guy who lives in his high-society parents' shadow. Jump ahead two years, Susan has a desperate secret that her socially-conscious mother won't let her share. Can Susan find happiness - and what is it really that turns a girl into a woman?
Movie: The Outsider ( 1962 )
Tony Curtis plays an Indian (Nicknamed "Chief" by other soldiers) who fights in WWII and helps to raise the flag at Iwo Jima.
Movie: Angel Baby ( 1961 )
A woman who believes she has been chosen by God to heal people is taken in by a greedy promoter and his shrewish wife to make the rounds of the rural South - she to save souls and heal the sick, he to make as much money as he possibly can.
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