1963's Best Movies: 60 Years Later

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Poll Closing Date: Friday, 16 June 2023 00:00 (in 1 week)

Rankings come from the overall list of the top 1,000 films at They Shoot Pictures, Don't They.

AN ACTOR'S REVENGE (Ichikawa Kon; Japan) [#1729]
AMERICA, AMERICA (Elia Kazan; USA) [#983]
BARREN LIVES (Nelson Pereira dos Santos; Brazil) [#457]
THE BIG CITY (Satyajit Ray; India) [#1364]
THE BIRDS (Alfred Hitchcock; USA) [#180]
BLOW JOB (Andy Warhol; USA) [#1569]
LES CARABINIERS (Jean-Luc Godardl France) [#1602]
CHARADE Donen, Stanley USA) [#1324]
CONTEMPT (Jean-Luc Godard; France) [#44]
LE DOULOS (Jean-Pierre Melville; France) [#1992]
8½ (Federico Fellinil Italy) [#7]
LE FEU FOLLET (Louis Malle; France) [#1184]
FLAMING CREATURES (Jack Smith; USA) [#720]
THE GREAT ESCAPE (John Sturges; USA) [#866]
HANDS OVER THE CITY (Francesco Rosi; Italy) [#1881]
THE HAUNTING (Robert Wise; USA) [#1877]
HIGH AND LOW (Kurosawa Akira; Japan) [#360]
THE HOUSE IS BLACK (Forugh Farrokhzad; Iran) [#241]
THE INSECT WOMAN (Imamura Shohei; Japan) [#1393]
JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (Don Chaffey; UK) [#1485]
LE JOLI MAI (Chris Marker; France) [#1902]
JUDEX (Georges Franju; France) [#1715]
THE LEOPARD (Luchino Visconti; Italy) [#75]
MÉDITERRANÉE (Jean-Daniel Pollet; France) [#1668]
MOTHLIGHT (Stan Brakhage; USA) [#908]
MURIEL (Alain Resnais; France) [#342]
THE NUTTY PROFESSOR (Jerry Lewis; USA) [#1066]
PASAZERKA (Andrzej Munk; Poland) [#1868]
POUR LA SUITE DU MONDE (Pierre Perrault & Michel Brault; Canada) [#1850]
SCORPIO RISING (Kenneth Anger; USA) [#596]
THE SERVANT (Joseph Losey; UK) [#583]
SHOCK CORRIDOR (Samuel Fuller; USA) [#818]
THE SILENCE (Ingmar Bergman; Sweden) [#561]
THIS SPORTING LIFE (Lindsay Anderson; UK) [#1423]
TOM JONES (Tony Richardson; UK) [#1535]
EL VERDUGO (Luis García Berlanga; Spain) [#303]

fair but so uncool beliefs here (Eric H.), Wednesday, 24 May 2023 18:25 (two weeks ago) link

In keeping with previous polls, I've gone with the contenders in the top 2,000 films, but they now offer the entire starting spreadsheet. Here are the titles that carry through through the top 5,000 films ever.

2004	3104	Something Different	Chytilová, Věra	1963	Czechoslovakia	85
2162 5272 Christmas on Earth Rubin, Barbara 1963 USA 29
2189 1843 Fidanzati, I Olmi, Ermanno 1963 Italy 77
2236 1641 Hud Ritt, Martin 1963 USA 112
2362 2437 Organiser, The Monicelli, Mario 1963 Italy 126
2377 1969 Billy Liar Schlesinger, John 1963 UK 98
2390 1938 Cool World, The Clarke, Shirley 1963 USA 106
2513 3931 Bay of Angels Demy, Jacques 1963 France 85
2518 3799 Ro.Go.Pa.G. Godard, Jean-Luc/Ugo Gregoretti/Pier Paolo Pasolini/Roberto Rossellini 1963 Italy 122
2566 7856 Notebook Menken, Marie 1963 USA 10
2571 2767 Borom sarret Sembene, Ousmane 1963 Senegal 20
2632 2347 Mostri, I Risi, Dino 1963 Italy 87
2714 4427 Zapruder Film of Kennedy Assassination Zapruder, Abraham 1963 USA 1
2725 2745 Cleopatra Mankiewicz, Joseph L. 1963 USA 251
2770 3370 It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Kramer, Stanley 1963 USA 154
2783 2205 Raven's End Widerberg, Bo 1963 Sweden 101
2810 2535 From Russia with Love Young, Terence 1963 UK 115
3052 2991 How to Be Loved Has, Wojciech 1963 Poland 97
3156 2493 Valparaiso Ivens, Joris 1963 Chile 34
3233 2775 Rite of Spring Oliveira, Manoel de 1963 Portugal 94
3234 8397 Twice a Man Markopoulos, Gregory J. 1963 USA 49
3240 6856 Donovan's Reef Ford, John 1963 USA 109
3570 2363 Love Eterne, The Li Han Hsiang 1963 Hong Kong 126
3653 4475 Barnvagnen Widerberg, Bo 1963 Sweden 95
3904 2845 Whip and the Body, The Bava, Mario 1963 Italy 87
3937 3578 Matango Honda, Ishiro 1963 Japan 89
4098 3895 X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes Corman, Roger 1963 USA 80
4128 7745 Kiss Warhol, Andy 1963 USA 55
4140 4686 Thirteen Assassins, The Kudo, Eiichi 1963 Japan 125
4279 5607 Green Years, The Rocha, Paulo 1963 Portugal 91
4300 4887 À tout prendre Jutra, Claude 1963 Canada 99
4313 5945 Small World of Sammy Lee, The Hughes, Ken 1963 UK 107
4346 6316 Lord of the Flies Brook, Peter 1963 UK 90
4460 7768 Normal Love Smith, Jack 1963 USA 105
4714 13037 Nose, The Alexeieff, Alexandre & Claire Parker 1963 France 11
4749 4857 Irma la Douce Wilder, Billy 1963 USA 142
4755 3091 Threshold of Spring Xie Tieli 1963 China 109
4821 5521 Joseph (k*l*an) Juracek, Pavel & Jan Schmidt 1963 Czechoslovakia 38
4895 4169 Elegant Life of Mr. Everyman, The Okamoto, Kihachi 1963 Japan 103
4934 10002 Sword in the Stone, The Reitherman, Wolfgang 1963 USA 75
4978 4753 Rabbia, La Pasolini, Pier Paolo & Giovanni Guareschi 1963 Italy 104

fair but so uncool beliefs here (Eric H.), Wednesday, 24 May 2023 18:25 (two weeks ago) link

Either Scorpio Rising or The Leopard; not that big on any part of The Birds without birds, find Contempt a bit of a struggle. My favourite for the year is Hud.

clemenza, Wednesday, 24 May 2023 18:39 (two weeks ago) link

Voted for The Silence, over Contempt and High and Low.

The Terroir of Tiny Town (WmC), Wednesday, 24 May 2023 18:49 (two weeks ago) link

I must've subconsciously saved this poll until the day Kenneth Anger's death was announced

fair but so uncool beliefs here (Eric H.), Wednesday, 24 May 2023 18:53 (two weeks ago) link

First I've heard of that, wow. Saw him introduce some films 10-15 years ago.

clemenza, Wednesday, 24 May 2023 19:01 (two weeks ago) link

The main actor in An Actor's Revenge distracted me for speaking in the Japanese version of a Winnie-the-Pooh accent.

the dreaded dependent claus (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 24 May 2023 19:06 (two weeks ago) link


The Leopard
The Silence
High and Low
The Big City
The Nutty Professor

the dreaded dependent claus (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 24 May 2023 19:07 (two weeks ago) link

Top 5:
THE BIRDS (Alfred Hitchcock; USA) [#180]
FLAMING CREATURES (Jack Smith; USA) [#720]
THE HOUSE IS BLACK (Forugh Farrokhzad; Iran) [#241]
MURIEL (Alain Resnais; France) [#342]
SCORPIO RISING (Kenneth Anger; USA) [#596]

(Much as I love Lewis, Professor ranks maybe 3rd or 4th among the six-film run between 1960 and 1965.)

fair but so uncool beliefs here (Eric H.), Wednesday, 24 May 2023 19:09 (two weeks ago) link

I've seen surprisingly few of these. Going with The Birds.

niall horanburger (cryptosicko), Wednesday, 24 May 2023 19:14 (two weeks ago) link

Would've been really fun if Christmas on Earth had gotten into the top 2,000

fair but so uncool beliefs here (Eric H.), Wednesday, 24 May 2023 19:15 (two weeks ago) link

'Christmas on Earth' has an astonishing classical beauty, it's one of my favorite films. Pity i can't vote for it.

No, 𝘐'𝘮 Breathless! (Deflatormouse), Wednesday, 24 May 2023 21:01 (two weeks ago) link

Hope you both were able to see the Barbara Rubin documentary from four or five years ago--loved it.

clemenza, Wednesday, 24 May 2023 21:24 (two weeks ago) link

Going with The Silence even though I was literally watching Scorpio Rising when I opened this thread. Seems like kind of a weird year for films.

Muad'Doob (Moodles), Wednesday, 24 May 2023 21:28 (two weeks ago) link

Just noticed this:

2714 4427 Zapruder Film of Kennedy Assassination Zapruder, Abraham 1963 USA 1

That is extremely interesting.

clemenza, Wednesday, 24 May 2023 21:30 (two weeks ago) link


No, 𝘐'𝘮 Breathless! (Deflatormouse), Wednesday, 24 May 2023 21:30 (two weeks ago) link

i haven't seen the doc, was involved in a couple of Christmas on Earth things, had my ear talked off by Rosebud Pettit, caught the text exhibit at Boo Hooray in 2012, all Barbara Rubined out.

still love the actual film tho.

No, 𝘐'𝘮 Breathless! (Deflatormouse), Wednesday, 24 May 2023 21:39 (two weeks ago) link

An Actor's Revenge - Good. Japan's international reputation is of such reserve and sophistication that I always get a kick out of art focusing on its earthy, working class aspects - like this is an ode to Tokyo that portrays its inhabitants as being as feisty as any I'm Walkin' Heah Ben Grimm types.

The Big City - Probably voting for this? Saw it on the big screen last year. It's a bit difficult to write about its greatness because there's nothing showy about it, it's just a truly great traditional film, has that same effortlessly entertaining vibe of classic Hollywood. First and so far only time I've seen an Anglo-Indian character portrayed in Indian cinema.

Charade - It's fine, great cast of course.

8 1/2- Have mentioned on other threads I think there's more self-awareness to Fellini's indulgence than he's given credit for. Enjoyed the Uncle Scrooge comic shout out, love to imagine Cardinale sinking her teeth into some Carl Barks. Def most of the films inspired by it are dire tho.

The Great Escape - Not my fav Sturges.

Hands Over The City - Pretty great, fun OTT Steiger perf.

The Haunting - Lesbian content from the novel surprisingly intact in the film I thought.

Jason & The Argonauts - Skellingtons.

Judex - This is a lot of fun, kind of a throwback to the age of French pulp serials. Watched it with a friend who laughed out of delight at many moments and got angry stares from an old guy, felt like we were going to be remembered as the annoying hipsters who laugh at old movies :(

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 25 May 2023 09:30 (two weeks ago) link

I watched Scorpio Rising for the first in forever after a buncha Tina Turner videos. It belongs on my list. So does Charade, which I missed yesterday.

the dreaded dependent claus (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 25 May 2023 09:32 (two weeks ago) link

Throw that dreary Charade away, it bores me

fair but so uncool beliefs here (Eric H.), Thursday, 25 May 2023 13:41 (two weeks ago) link

Slow curtain. The end.

the dreaded dependent claus (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 25 May 2023 13:44 (two weeks ago) link

I voted for An Actor's Revenge straight away but shdve considered Scorpio Rising maybe

two grills one tap (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 25 May 2023 13:54 (two weeks ago) link

Shock Corridor, The Leopard, or Insect Woman ...

honorary mention: Blow Job

sarahell, Thursday, 25 May 2023 14:24 (two weeks ago) link

I may have posted this elsewhere but my favorite part of the birds is suzanne pleshette being cast as an undesireable spinster schoolmarm

top bird

sarahell, Thursday, 25 May 2023 14:28 (two weeks ago) link

I don't doubt that, to Hitchcock, Pleshette was basically undesirable

fair but so uncool beliefs here (Eric H.), Thursday, 25 May 2023 14:45 (two weeks ago) link

I know she's less than cool these days, but has anyone read Paglia's monograph on The Birds?

niall horanburger (cryptosicko), Thursday, 25 May 2023 14:50 (two weeks ago) link

It's one of the very best in that series (or worst, definitely the most)

fair but so uncool beliefs here (Eric H.), Thursday, 25 May 2023 15:02 (two weeks ago) link

I love Flaming Creatures, Mothlight and Scorpio Rising, but my heart is really pulling me to vote for The Haunting, gahhh.

emil.y, Thursday, 25 May 2023 15:09 (two weeks ago) link

Really love Le Doulos, High and Low, and the Great Escape. The latter is the best kind of Hollywood big budget '60s all star cast film.

omar little, Thursday, 25 May 2023 16:21 (two weeks ago) link

Still got love for Camille P

Still got love The Birds

Still got love for the streets

two grills one tap (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 25 May 2023 16:35 (two weeks ago) link

This Sporting Life is on my top ten films of all time. Really turns kitchen sink machismo on its head. Richard Harris & Rachel Roberts both incredible in it.

Saxophone Of Futility (Michael B), Thursday, 25 May 2023 16:37 (two weeks ago) link

I feel like 1963 is the year that international film really started to loosen up, a lot of conventions were now being regarded as optional (and, sure, a lot of pretensions were now able to be indulged). I think you can see this, for example, even in the distance between the beginning of the Bergman trilogy and its culmination here. It's a cusp year, like 1966 in rock.
This list contains my favourites by Malle, Kurosawa, Imamura, Resnais, and Demy on the secondary list. Machorka-Muff by Straub/Huillet didn't make the top 5000 but is a very interesting debut short film. Wish I could remember anything about Barren Lives or The Organizer.
I couldn't not vote for Le Mépris here, but I would hope that Les Carabiniers receives more than the zero votes I expect.

Halfway there but for you, Thursday, 25 May 2023 17:57 (two weeks ago) link

It's a cusp year, like 1966 in rock

Lot of that same mojo in A-G cinema in '63, especially glancing over the runners-up list above

fair but so uncool beliefs here (Eric H.), Friday, 26 May 2023 11:25 (one week ago) link

Based on what I’ve seen: Contempt. (Which is screening locally this summer!)

The Triumphant Return of Bernard & Stubbs (Raymond Cummings), Friday, 26 May 2023 11:49 (one week ago) link

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