10 Most Culturally Influential Movies Of The 1960s

DEC 01, 2019

 Even though there are great movies coming out all the time, a lot of these contemporary films have been heavily inspired by movies that were released decades ago. Movies, TV shows, and generally the way that we live our lives and the things that get huge in the world of pop culture have been inspired by what was released in the past. Many people still love to watch movies that came out decades ago, sometimes even before they were born, and we definitely see why.
Movies are a form of media that have a huge impact on pop culture. The 1960s was a decade that saw a huge turn in the way people lived their lives and what was popular in media consumption. This decade was a turning point in a lot of ways, and the movies of the times definitely reflected that. These are the most culturally influential movies of the 1960s.

 If you watch TV shows like The Walking Dead or basically any movie that features zombies, you can thank this 1968 film for popularizing the monster. Zombies have been a subject of myths and legends in different cultures for a long time, but they didn't see much attention in the cinematic world until George A. Romero released this cult classic, Night of the Living Dead.
This movie follows a group of people who find themselves trapped in a Pennsylvania farmhouse when a group of terrifying "living dead" creatures rise from the grave and descend upon their home. On top of inspiring movies and TV shows for years to come, this movie was groundbreaking at the time of its release because of the fact that the protagonist was played by Duane Jones, a black actor, which was seen as a controversial choice at the time.

9 DR. NO (1962)
 James Bond has become an iconic character in the world of movies. When many people think about spy films, they immediately think of 007 himself. James Bond has appeared in 27 movies and references to this spy have appeared in tons of other movies and TV shows over the years.
All those references started with a single movie. Dr. No was released in 1962 and stars Sean Connery as the iconic James Bond, a British spy who was originally created in the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. This movie had a relatively low budget, considering what a success it was.

8 PSYCHO (1960)

It's hard to think about movies from this part of the 20th century without immediately thinking about Alfred Hitchcock. Films like Rebecca, Rear Window, and Vertigo are classics from the 1940s and 1950s. But when it comes to the 1960s, Psycho is among the most famous horror movies ever made.
This movie was released in 1960 and follows a secretary named Marion who finds herself at a hotel run by a man named Norman Bates. Her stay goes horribly wrong and introduces us to one of the most infamous characters in horror movie history.

 In the Heat of the Night is a movie that was released in 1967 and is based on a novel of the same name by John Ball. This film is set in a fictional southern town and follows a black police detective who is tasked with investigating a heinous crime.
This movie's plot, cast, and the time period in which it was released all lead to it becoming critically acclaimed and the winner of five Academy Awards. In 2002, In the Heat of the Night was selected for its cultural significance to be put in the National Film Registry.

 Released in 1964, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is a political satire and black comedy film that was directed by Stanley Kubrick. This movie is a satirical take on the Cold War and follows a US Air Force General who orders a strike on the Soviet Union and the aftermath of this order.
After it was released, this movie was nominated for and won several awards, including multiple nominations for Academy Awards. It's Stanley Kubrick's highest rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes and has gone on to serve as an inspiration for satirical comedies for decades.

 The Apartment was released in 1960, the same decade in which Fred and Wilma Flintstone became the first couple to be in bed together on primetime TV. Because of the fact that this was a time period in which personal relationships like that were still pretty taboo in media, The Apartment is a movie that really broke some boundaries.
This movie follows an insurance clerk who allows his co-workers to use his New York City apartment to host their extramarital affairs in the hopes of getting ahead in his own career. This movie touched on taboo subjects and has since become a classic, even securing a spot in the National Film Registry.

4 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
 2001: A Space Odyssey is a science-fiction movie that was directed by Stanley Kubrick and released in 1968. This movie is regarded as a classic and has even been put into the National Film Registry.
The movie deals with themes of human evolution throughout time and into the future. Considering the fact that it was released in the late 1960s, this movie had some pretty incredible and ambitious special effects that, paired with the unique narrative methods, made this movie incredibly influential.
 The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is a Spaghetti Western that was released in 1996 and stars Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, and Lee Van Cleef. It was marketed as the third and final installment in the trilogy of movies that include A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More.
The movie follows three gunslingers who are all competing to try to find a buried cache of gold during the American Civil War. This movie is a classic example of the Spaghetti Western genre and is among the first movies to launch Clint Eastwood into stardom.

 Breakfast at Tiffany's was released in 1961 and stars Aubrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, a naive and eccentric New York City socialite. The movie is based on a Truman Capote novella by the same name and, along with winning multiple awards when it was released, was put into the National Film Registry.
The movie became a classic, with the images of Hepburn in the film among the most iconic images from mid-20th century cinema. The movie has also received some negative attention and has become a common example of racial insensitivity in cinema for Mickey Rooney's portrayal of I. Y. Yunioshi.

1 EASY RIDER (1969)
 Easy Rider was released in 1969, closing out the 1960s. It was an incredibly influential film that went on to inspire a new movement in Hollywood known as New Hollywood. This movie stars Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper and was written, produced, and directed by them as well.

The movie may have come out at the tail end of the 1960s, but the plot of these two bikers traveling across the US in order to do a nefarious deal really touched on a huge part of the culture of the decade, as people began to change their lifestyles from the way that people lived in the '40s and '50s.