Every Best Picture Winner of the 1960s, Ranked According to IMDb – Screen Rant

Posted: August 17, 2020 at 4:56 pm


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The 1960s saw a rise in notable filmmaking techniques and stars; these are the 10 Best Picture winners of the 1960s, ranked by IMDb.

The 1960s marked a period of great transition in the U.S. film industry. While the early and middle part of the decade was populated by traditional Hollywood musicals, the end of the decade was a different story entirely. Once the Hays Production Code was revoked in 1968, the filmmaking climate of gritty, personal, character-driven stories began to emerge in high volume.

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Of course, the social unrest of the Civil Rights Movement and assassinations of various respected world leaders such as JFK, RFK, Martin Luther King Jr., etc. began shaping the kinds of stories that were told on-screen post-1968.

Based on the famed Henry Fielding novel, Tom Jones earned Tony Richardson a pair of Oscars, one for Best Picture and another for Best Director. The film was also honored with Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay and Original Score.

The story follows Tom Jones (Albert Finney), a charming bastard rogue who gallivants across the English countryside looking for new women to bed. When Tom falls in love with Sophie Western (Susannah York), his playboy lifestyle is put to the test.

Carol Reed's Oliver! puts a lighthearted musical spin on Charles Dickens' infamous orphaned rascal, Oliver Twist. The film earned five Oscars in total, including Best Picture and Best Director (Reed).

The plot picks up when Oliver (Mark Lester) is auctioned to a mortician, prompting the young boy to run away from the orphanage and join a gang of juvenile pickpockets as a way to earn a living. The musical adaptation also won an Academy Award for Best Original Score for five-time Oscar-winning composer Johnny Green.

Johnny Green also won an Oscar for composing the score for West Side Story, the Best Picture winner of 1961. The classic gang-related musical earned 10 total Academy Awards, including Best Director honors for Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins.

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The story tracks the heated rival between street gangs The Sharks and The Jets. When an epic battle is planned to determine respect and ultimate supremacy, a love affair between Shark Tony (Richard Beymer) and Jet Maria (Natalie Wood) leads to absolute mayhem.

Fred Zinnemann won four Oscars for Best Director over his illustrious career. The final honor in the category came following the release of A Man For All Seasons, a historical drama that took home a total of six Academy Awards.

Adapted from the Robert Bolt stage play (who also won an Oscar for adapting his own screenplay), the film stars Paul Schofield as Sir Thomas Moore, a rebellious knight who stood up to King Henry VIII's (Robert Shaw) repudiation of the Catholic Church as a means of divorcing one wife to marry another.

George Cukor's adaptation of the classic George Bernard Shaw play My Fair Lady resulted in a total of eight Oscar Awards. In addition to producer Jack Warner winning Best Picture, Cukor was also given a Best Director award.

Audrey Hepburn stars as Eliza Doolittle, a blue-collar English ingenue who becomes the object of experimentation by the pretentious Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison). Higgins sets out to transform Liza into a radiant socialite and an upstanding member of society. However, Liza and Henry butt-heads at every turn until the dashing Freddy (Jeremy Brett) comes calling.

Midnight Cowboy still holds the distinction of being the only X-Rated movie in cinematic history to win Best Picture. The platonic love story between big city street hustler Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman) and wide-eyed Texas cowboy Joe Buck (Jon Voight) also won Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay (Waldo Salt) and Best Director (John Schlesinger).

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When naive Joe Buck arrives in bustling New York City, he's immediately humbled by the difficulty of his surroundings. When he meets street-wise Ratso, he forms an unlikely bond that carries them all the way to sunny Florida.

The timely topic of racial justice and police discrimination was confronted head-on in Norman Jewison's In The Heat of the Night, named the Best Picture of 1967.

The film follows Virgil Tubbs (Sidney Poitier), a black police detective who is suddenly arrested for murder in Sparta, Mississippi while awaiting a train. When local authorities learn that Tubbs is the ace homicide detective in Philadelphia, an investigation to find the real killer ensues. Rod Steiger also won an Oscar for playing southern Police Chief Gillespie.

The second Robert Wise 1960s musical to win Best Picture includes The Sound of Music. Wise also won his second Best Director Award following West Side Story in 1961.

Julie Andrews stars as Maria, a young Austrian nanny who aspires to become a nun. When the rakish George von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) asks the convent for help looking after his seven unruly children, Maria is given the position. At first, the Von Trapp children treat her poorly, but over time, Maria's kindhearted nature wins the family over.

Billy Wilder walked away with three Academy Awards for his work on The Apartment. In addition to Best Picture, Wilder earned Best Director and Original Screenplay honors.

RELATED: 10 Best Billy Wilder Movies, According To Rotten Tomatoes

The uproarious sex-comedy revolves around C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon), a staid insurance salesman who does everything in his power to climb the corporate ladder. His brown-nosing includes loaning his apartment to various insurance executives to carry out their extramarital trysts. When Baxter's boss asks for the key to his apartment, he must figure out a way to satisfy all involved.

David Lean's sweeping historical epic Lawrence of Arabia remains one of the greatest cinematic achievements of all time. The seven-time Oscar winner currently ranks #109 on IMDb's Top 250 and holds a perfect 1000 Metascore.

Based on the historical writings of T.E. Lawrence, the story follows the titular English Lieutenant as he mobilizes a Bedouin Arab population in the Middle East and leads their uprising against Turkish forces during World War I. The four-hour film earned Lean his second Best Director Oscar after The Bridge on the River Kwai in 1958.

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Every Best Picture Winner of the 1960s, Ranked According to IMDb - Screen Rant

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August 17th, 2020 at 4:56 pm

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