My Favorite Movies of 1961

by Girgisbond | created - 06 Jul 2013 | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public
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1. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

Approved | 179 min | Drama, War

60 Metascore

In 1948, an American court in occupied Germany tries four Nazis judged for war crimes.

Director: Stanley Kramer | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich

Votes: 76,308

2. The Hustler (1961)

Not Rated | 134 min | Drama, Sport

90 Metascore

An up-and-coming pool player plays a long-time champion in a single high-stakes match.

Director: Robert Rossen | Stars: Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie, George C. Scott

Votes: 81,102 | Gross: $8.28M

3. A Raisin in the Sun (1961)

Approved | 128 min | Drama

87 Metascore

A substantial insurance payment could mean either financial salvation or personal ruin for a poor black family.

Director: Daniel Petrie | Stars: Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands

Votes: 8,502

4. One, Two, Three (1961)

Not Rated | 104 min | Comedy

73 Metascore

In West Berlin during the Cold War, a Coca-Cola executive is given the task of taking care of his boss' socialite daughter.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: James Cagney, Horst Buchholz, Pamela Tiffin, Arlene Francis

Votes: 21,056

5. Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

Approved | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

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.

Director: Blake Edwards | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen

Votes: 177,328

6. The Children's Hour (1961)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama, Romance

49 Metascore

A rebellious student at a girls' school accuses two teachers of lesbianism.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, James Garner, Miriam Hopkins

Votes: 16,304

7. Splendor in the Grass (1961)

Not Rated | 124 min | Drama, Romance

74 Metascore

A fragile Kansas girl's love for a handsome young man from the town's most powerful family drives her to heartbreak and madness.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, Pat Hingle, Audrey Christie

Votes: 20,835 | Gross: $8.72M

8. The Guns of Navarone (1961)

Not Rated | 158 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

72 Metascore

A team of Allied saboteurs are assigned an impossible mission: infiltrate an impregnable Nazi-held Greek island and destroy the two enormous long-range field guns that prevent the rescue of 2,000 trapped British soldiers.

Director: J. Lee Thompson | Stars: David Niven, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, Anthony Quayle

Votes: 50,339 | Gross: $28.90M

9. El Cid (1961)

Approved | 182 min | Biography, Drama, History

79 Metascore

The fabled Spanish hero Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar (a.k.a. El Cid) overcomes a family vendetta and court intrigue to defend Christian Spain against the Moors.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Raf Vallone, Geneviève Page

Votes: 14,292 | Gross: $26.62M

10. Lover Come Back (1961)

Approved | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

58 Metascore

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.

Director: Delbert Mann | Stars: Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Tony Randall, Edie Adams

Votes: 7,895 | Gross: $16.94M

11. The Parent Trap (1961)

Passed | 129 min | Comedy, Family, Romance

73 Metascore

Teenage twin sisters swap places and scheme to reunite their divorced parents.

Director: David Swift | Stars: Hayley Mills, Maureen O'Hara, Brian Keith, Charles Ruggles

Votes: 21,327

12. The Young Savages (1961)

Not Rated | 103 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A district attorney investigates three white teenagers accused of murdering a blind Puerto Rican kid.

Director: John Frankenheimer | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Dina Merrill, Edward Andrews, Vivian Nathan

Votes: 2,556

13. King of Kings (1961)

PG-13 | 168 min | Biography, Drama

The temporary physical life of the Biblical Savior, Jesus Christ.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: Jeffrey Hunter, Siobhan McKenna, Hurd Hatfield, Ron Randell

Votes: 8,024 | Gross: $14.48M

14. Barabbas (1961)

Approved | 137 min | Biography, Drama, History

Barabbas, the criminal that the Jewish leaders induced the populace to vote to set free, so that Christ could be crucified, is haunted by the image of Jesus for the rest of his life.

Director: Richard Fleischer | Stars: Anthony Quinn, Silvana Mangano, Arthur Kennedy, Katy Jurado

Votes: 6,369 | Gross: $6.32M

15. Two Rode Together (1961)

Passed | 109 min | Western

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.

Director: John Ford | Stars: James Stewart, Richard Widmark, Shirley Jones, Linda Cristal

Votes: 6,153

16. The Comancheros (1961)

Approved | 107 min | Western

55 Metascore

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 dealing with the Comanches known as Comancheros.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, John Wayne | Stars: John Wayne, Stuart Whitman, Ina Balin, Nehemiah Persoff

Votes: 9,093

17. Posse from Hell (1961)

Approved | 88 min | Western

Banner Cole is a tough sheriff's deputy who forms a small posse to go after 4 death cell escapees who killed the sheriff , along with 3 other men, and kidnapped a woman with rape in mind.

Director: Herbert Coleman | Stars: Audie Murphy, John Saxon, Zohra Lampert, Vic Morrow

Votes: 1,107

18. Francis of Assisi (1961)

Not Rated | 105 min | Biography, Drama, History

In 13th century Italy, Francis Bernardone, the son of an Assisi merchant, renounces a promising army career in favor of a monastic life and starts his own religious order, sanctioned by the Pope.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Bradford Dillman, Dolores Hart, Stuart Whitman, Cecil Kellaway

Votes: 993

19. Wild in the Country (1961)

Not Rated | 114 min | Drama, Musical

A troubled young man discovers that he has a knack for writing when a counselor encourages him to pursue a literary career.

Director: Philip Dunne | Stars: Elvis Presley, Hope Lange, Tuesday Weld, Millie Perkins

Votes: 1,734

20. Return to Peyton Place (1961)

Approved | 123 min | Drama

The residents of Peyton Place are not happy when its most famous resident, Alison Mackenzie, writes a "shocking" novel detailing the sinful secrets of the town.

Director: José Ferrer | Stars: Carol Lynley, Jeff Chandler, Eleanor Parker, Mary Astor

Votes: 895

21. Parrish (1961)

Passed | 138 min | Drama

In the Connecticut River Valley, Parrish McLean and his mother are newly employed by the Sala Post tobacco farm that is engaged in a competition war with the neighboring Judd Raike tobacco corporation.

Director: Delmer Daves | Stars: Claudette Colbert, Troy Donahue, Karl Malden, Dean Jagger

Votes: 1,100

22. The Sky Above, the Mud Below (1961)

92 min | Documentary

In September, 1959, six Europeans leave Cook's Bay on the southern coast of Dutch New Guinea, now West Papua or Irian Jaya, to trek north to the far side of the island. The journey (450 ... See full summary »

Director: Pierre-Dominique Gaisseau | Stars: Gerard Delloye, Tony Saulnier, Herve de Maigret, William Dexter

Votes: 229

AKA - The Sky Above, The Mud Below

23. The Tartars (1961)

Not Rated | 83 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Tartan and Viking forces clash in what is modern-day Russia.

Directors: Richard Thorpe, Ferdinando Baldi | Stars: Victor Mature, Orson Welles, Liana Orfei, Arnoldo Foà

Votes: 434

AKA - The Tartars

24. The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961)

Approved | 103 min | Drama, Romance

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.

Director: José Quintero | Stars: Vivien Leigh, Warren Beatty, Coral Browne, Jill St. John

Votes: 2,691

25. Victim (1961)

Not Rated | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

A closeted lawyer risks his career to bring a blackmailer to justice.

Director: Basil Dearden | Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Sylvia Syms, Dennis Price, Anthony Nicholls

Votes: 5,985

26. Atlantis: The Lost Continent (1961)

Approved | 90 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

Welcome to Atlantis, where royal guardsmen wear uniforms that could easily be from the wardrobe of Ming the Merciless and some unfortunate slaves are turned into bovine-headed beasts.

Director: George Pal | Stars: Sal Ponti, Joyce Taylor, John Dall, William Smith

Votes: 1,842

27. Pocketful of Miracles (1961)

Approved | 136 min | Comedy, Drama

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.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Glenn Ford, Bette Davis, Hope Lange, Arthur O'Connell

Votes: 7,048 | Gross: $5.45M

28. Blue Hawaii (1961)

PG | 102 min | Comedy, Musical

58 Metascore

After arriving back in Hawaii from the Army, Chad Gates (Elvis Presley) 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.

Director: Norman Taurog | Stars: Elvis Presley, Joan Blackman, Angela Lansbury, Nancy Walters

Votes: 6,197 | Gross: $10.44M

29. Susan Slade (1961)

Not Rated | 116 min | Drama

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, ... See full summary »

Director: Delmer Daves | Stars: Troy Donahue, Dorothy McGuire, Connie Stevens, Lloyd Nolan

Votes: 831

30. Back Street (1961)

Passed | 107 min | Drama

In Lincoln, the ambitious aspirant-designer Rae Smith has an incident with a wolf department store businessman and is rescued by the Marine Paul Saxon. They immediately fall in love with ... See full summary »

Director: David Miller | Stars: Susan Hayward, John Gavin, Vera Miles, Charles Drake

Votes: 1,157

31. A Thunder of Drums (1961)

Approved | 97 min | Western

The trials and tribulations of bitter veteran Captain Maddocks and argumentative rookie Lieutenant McQuade at a cavalry desert outpost.

Director: Joseph M. Newman | Stars: Richard Boone, George Hamilton, Luana Patten, Arthur O'Connell

Votes: 833

32. Man-Trap (1961)

Unrated | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Two Korean War veterans re-unite to pull off a heist at a San Francisco airport but find themselves running for their lives.

Director: Edmond O'Brien | Stars: Jeffrey Hunter, David Janssen, Stella Stevens, Elaine Devry

Votes: 212

33. Yojimbo (1961)

Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

93 Metascore

A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Eijirô Tôno, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yôko Tsukasa

Votes: 120,884

34. Ada (1961)

Not Rated | 109 min | Drama, Romance

Political drama about a honest but naive gubernatorial candidate who is manipulated by his corrupt campaign manager and is forced to temporarily cede power to his wife, a woman of integrity despite her shameful past.

Director: Daniel Mann | Stars: Susan Hayward, Dean Martin, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Ralph Meeker

Votes: 1,030

35. The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

Not Rated | 80 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

78 Metascore

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.

Director: Roger Corman | Stars: Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, John Kerr, Luana Anders

Votes: 14,334 | Gross: $4.36M

36. Mysterious Island (1961)

Not Rated | 101 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

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.

Director: Cy Endfield | Stars: Michael Craig, Joan Greenwood, Michael Callan, Gary Merrill

Votes: 7,428

37. Come September (1961)

Approved | 112 min | Comedy, Romance

Younger generation vs. "older" folks on vacation at an Italian villa.

Director: Robert Mulligan | Stars: Rock Hudson, Gina Lollobrigida, Sandra Dee, Bobby Darin

Votes: 3,563 | Gross: $14.17M

38. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961)

PG | 105 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

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.

Director: Irwin Allen | Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Joan Fontaine, Barbara Eden, Peter Lorre

Votes: 6,046

39. Nikki, Wild Dog of the North (1961)

G | 74 min | Adventure, Family

The rugged Canadian wilderness is the backdrop to this story of a dog separated from his owner.

Directors: Jack Couffer, Don Haldane | Stars: Jean Coutu, Émile Genest, Uriel Luft, Robert Rivard

Votes: 456

40. I masnadieri (1961)

85 min | Adventure

The leader of a gang of Spanish mercenaries falls for a beautiful princess.

Director: Mario Bonnard | Stars: Daniela Rocca, Antonio Cifariello, Yvonne Sanson, Livio Lorenzon

Votes: 24

AKA - Rome 1585

41. Fanny (1961)

Approved | 134 min | Drama, Romance

Young Marius dreams of leaving his dull provincial life and seeing the world. When the beautiful Fanny declares her adoration for him, Marius must choose between an adventurous life at sea and the grandest adventure of all: love.

Director: Joshua Logan | Stars: Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, Charles Boyer, Horst Buchholz

Votes: 2,266 | Gross: $10.00M

42. The Ladies Man (1961)

Not Rated | 95 min | Comedy

A clueless, recently single graduate unwittingly takes a job as a servant in a mansion inhabited by dozens of young women.

Director: Jerry Lewis | Stars: Jerry Lewis, Helen Traubel, Pat Stanley, Kathleen Freeman

Votes: 4,102

43. The Last Sunset (1961)

Approved | 112 min | Drama, Romance, Western

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.

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Rock Hudson, Kirk Douglas, Dorothy Malone, Joseph Cotten

Votes: 3,229 | Gross: $6.54M

44. The Deadly Companions (1961)

Approved | 93 min | Adventure, Western

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.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: Maureen O'Hara, Brian Keith, Steve Cochran, Chill Wills

Votes: 2,401