25 greatest films of 1961

by stuff_1004 | created - 19 Mar 2013 | updated - 19 Mar 2013 | Public

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1. Yojimbo (1961)

Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

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: 89,034

2. The Hustler (1961)

Not Rated | 134 min | Drama, Sport

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: 67,856

3. Last Year at Marienbad (1961)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Mystery

In a strange and isolated chateau, a man becomes acquainted with a woman and insists that they have met before.

Director: Alain Resnais | Stars: Delphine Seyrig, Giorgio Albertazzi, Sacha Pitoëff, Françoise Bertin

Votes: 16,475 | Gross: $0.14M

4. West Side Story (1961)

Not Rated | 153 min | Crime, Drama, Musical

86 Metascore

Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.

Directors: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise | Stars: Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn

Votes: 81,709 | Gross: $43.66M

5. The Innocents (1961)

Not Rated | 100 min | Horror

A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.

Director: Jack Clayton | Stars: Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins, Michael Redgrave

Votes: 22,012

6. Viridiana (1961)

Not Rated | 90 min | Comedy, Drama

Viridiana, a young nun about to take her final vows, pays a visit to her widowed uncle at the request of her Mother Superior.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Silvia Pinal, Francisco Rabal, Fernando Rey, José Calvo

Votes: 18,437

7. Through a Glass Darkly (1961)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama

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.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand, Max von Sydow, Lars Passgård

Votes: 17,823

8. Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

Not Rated | 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: 141,695

9. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

Not Rated | 186 min | Drama, War

60 Metascore

In 1948, an American court in occupied Germany tries four Nazi judges for war crimes.

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

Votes: 56,514

10. Victim (1961)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama

The death of a young man leads to the discovery of a blackmail plot against a number of gay men in 1960s London.

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

Votes: 4,075

11. 101 Dalmatians (1961)

G | 79 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

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.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, Wolfgang Reitherman | Stars: Rod Taylor, Betty Lou Gerson, J. Pat O'Malley, Martha Wentworth

Votes: 127,834 | Gross: $144.88M

12. The Guns of Navarone (1961)

TV-PG | 158 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A British team is sent to cross occupied Greek territory and destroy the massive German gun emplacement that commands a key sea channel.

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

Votes: 39,768 | Gross: $28.90M

13. One, Two, Three (1961)

Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy

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: 16,650

14. El Cid (1961)

Approved | 182 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

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.

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

Votes: 10,964 | Gross: $26.62M

15. Il Posto (1961)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama

A very young college graduate attempts to obtain a position with a large corporation.

Director: Ermanno Olmi | Stars: Sandro Panseri, Loredana Detto, Tullio Kezich, Mara Revel

Votes: 3,404 | Gross: $0.01M

16. Divorce Italian Style (1961)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

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.

Director: Pietro Germi | Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Daniela Rocca, Stefania Sandrelli, Leopoldo Trieste

Votes: 9,413

17. Splendor in the Grass (1961)

Not Rated | 124 min | Drama, Romance

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: 15,123 | Gross: $8.72M

18. La Notte (1961)

Not Rated | 122 min | Drama

A day in the life of an unfaithful married couple and their steadily deteriorating relationship.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni | Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Marcello Mastroianni, Monica Vitti, Bernhard Wicki

Votes: 13,786 | Gross: $0.04M

19. A Raisin in the Sun (1961)

Approved | 128 min | Drama

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: 5,590

20. A Taste of Honey (1961)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama

A pregnant teenage girl must fend for herself when her mother remarries, leaving the girl with only a new male friend for support.

Director: Tony Richardson | Stars: Rita Tushingham, Dora Bryan, Robert Stephens, Murray Melvin

Votes: 3,804

21. The Misfits (1961)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama, Romance, Western

A divorcée falls for an over-the-hill cowboy who is struggling to maintain his romantically independent lifestyle.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift, Thelma Ritter

Votes: 14,640

22. Whistle Down the Wind (1961)

Unrated | 99 min | Crime, Drama

When an injured wife murderer takes refuge on a remote Lancashire farm, the owners three children mistakenly believe him to be the Second Coming of Christ.

Director: Bryan Forbes | Stars: Alan Bates, Bernard Lee, Norman Bird, Diane Clare

Votes: 2,544

23. Lola (1961)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

73 Metascore

A bored young man meets with his former girlfriend, now a cabaret dancer and single mother, and soon finds himself falling back in love with her.

Director: Jacques Demy | Stars: Anouk Aimée, Marc Michel, Jacques Harden, Alan Scott

Votes: 3,838

24. Lover Come Back (1961)

Approved | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

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: 5,650 | Gross: $16.94M

25. Underworld U.S.A. (1961)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

Fourteen-year-old Tolly Devlin sees four hoods beat his father to death. Twenty years later, the killers have risen to the top of the crime syndicate and Tolly has a plan for revenge.

Director: Samuel Fuller | Stars: Cliff Robertson, Dolores Dorn, Beatrice Kay, Paul Dubov

Votes: 2,037