Screen Chronology: 1960 to 1969
Compiled by John Kenrick
- **** - Sensational
- *** - Good entertainment
- ** - Beats a finger in the eye
- * - You'd rather mow a lawn
- (NO stars) - Run for your life
- Bells Are Ringing ** - Judy Holliday repeats her acclaimed stage
role as an answering service operator who falls in
love with a client. More than okay but should have been better.
- Can-Can ** - Stellar cast, Parisian setting and Cole Porter score enliven this
uneven version of the 1950s stage hit. Highlight: the breathtaking
- GI Blues (not seen)
- High Time (not seen)
- Let's Make Love * - Yves Montand out to get Marilyn Monroe. You
watch, you lose.
- Pepe (NO stars) - Clumsy all-star attempt to turn Mexican
favorite Cantinflas into a US screen star.
- Song Without End * - Turgid bio pic with Dirk Bogarde as Franz
- Babes in Toyland ** - Annette Funicello and Ray Bolger in a
so-so version of Victor Herbert's children's
musical. New lyrics are okay, but the great music is still the main event.
- Flower Drum Song *** - Very entertaining version of Rodgers &
Hammerstein's story of generational differences in a Chinese-American
- Snow White and the Three Stooges ** - The Three Stooges in an ice
skating musical? Okay for the kiddies, but sober adults be warned.
- West Side Story **** - Romance blossoms during a street gang war in
Robert Wise's dazzling screen version of the Broadway hit. Rita Moreno is
socko, as are the Jerome Robbins dances.
- Paris Blues (not seen)
- Too Late Blues * - Bobby Darin as a jazz musician on the skids.
What were they thinking?
- Almost Angels ** - The real Vienna Boy Choir stars in this
passable melodrama of a chorister contending with the vocal horrors of
- Billy Rose's Jumbo *** - Jimmy Durante and Doris Day in an enjoyable circus tale
with several fine Rodgers & Hart songs. Busby Berkeley's last film.
- Blue Hawaii ** - Elvis as a singing GI 'neath the swaying palm
- Gay Purr-ee *** - Animated cats, famous voices (Garland, Goulet,
Gingold) and a fine Harold Arlen-Yip Harburg score make this a solid charmer.
- Follow That Dream * - Elvis Presley as a pioneer in Florida
- Girls! Girls! Girls! (not seen)
- Gypsy *** - The stage hit still packs lots of entertainment. Rosalind Russell's
no Merman, but gives a fine dramatic performance (vocals courtesy of Lisa Kirk).
- Kid Galahad * - Elvis Presley as a car mechanic who unwillingly
becomes a boxing champion. Poor songs, weak story.
- Music Man, The **** - A trifle long, but Robert Preston and Shirley
Jones are sensational in Meredith Willson's stage hit about a con artist
flim flamming an Iowa town in 1912. Not to be missed!
- Road to Hong Kong, The ** - Hope & Crosby closed their Road
series with this uninspired, star-studded entry.
- State Fair * - Annoyingly clumsy remake of the Rodgers &
Hammerstein hit. Trust me, you have something better to do.
- Swingin' Along (not seen)
- Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, The * - Grim indeed.
- Bye Bye Birdie ** - Some casting mistakes mar this mediocre version of the delightful stage
hit about a rock star giving his final performance before a stint in the army.
- Follow the Boys (not seen)
- Hootenanny Hoot (not seen)
- I Could Go On Singing ** - Judy Garland's concert sequences
are the highlights in this soapy backstager.
- It Happened at the World's Fair NO STARS - And it should have
- Summer Magic (not seen)
- Sword in the Stone, The **** - Delightful Disney animated take
on Merlin & young King Arthur
- Fun in Acapulco (not seen)
- Get Yourself a College Girl
- Kissin' Cousins (not seen)
- Mary Poppins **** - Julie Andrews as a magical nanny in Disney's
sparkling live-action musical. Glorious Sherman Brothers score and superb production
help make this a classic.
- My Fair Lady **** - A bit long, but who cares? Lerner &
Loewe's stage hit about a professor who turns a London street urchin into
a lady is wonderful entertainment, with Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn
giving luminous performances.
- Robin and the 7 Hoods *** - Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin are
gangsters battling for dominance in 1920s Chicago, with an assist from
unscrupulous do-gooder Bing Crosby. Great score and wry comedy make this
an underrated pleasure.
- Roustabout (not seen)
- Unsinkable Molly Brown, The *** - Debbie Reynolds is delightful in
this fine version of Meredith Willson's stage hit about the Colorado
mountain girl who became a social climbing millionaire.
- Viva Las Vegas ** - Elvis Presley is a race car driver in one of his
better films, co-starring Ann Margaret.
- Billie ** - Patty Duke is a tomboy in this so-so vehicle.
- Harum Scarum (NO stars) - Elvis Presley pursues an Arabian
princess. His worst musical.
- Help! *** - The Beatles fight off a religious sect. Loads of laughs
and a solid helping of the group's hit tunes.
- Sergeant Deadhead (NO stars) - Astronaut Frankie Avalon heads
into space with a chimp. Do not follow them.
- Sound of Music, The **** - Rodgers & Hammerstein's beloved mega-hit story
of the Von Trapp family, with Julie Andrews brilliant as the nanny who finds love in
- Tickle Me * - Elvis at the rodeo? This clunker belongs in a
- Your Cheatin' Heart * - George Hamilton as country
legend Hank Williams. 'Nuf said..
- Frankie and Johnnie * - Elvis as a river boat gambler. Aviod..
- Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A **** - Richard
Lester's hilarious version of the stage hit, with Zero Mostel as a slave
seeking freedom in ancient Rome. Highlight: Mostel and Jack Gilford
singing a reprise of "Lovely."
- Hold On (NO STARS) - Someone wants to name a spaceship for
Herman's Hermits. Don't bother.
- Singing Nun, The *** - Debbie Reynolds shines as a guitar-playing nun
who rose to musical stardom. Corny, but surprisingly enjoyable.
- Spinout * - Elvis as a racecar driver. Goes nowhere fast.
- When the Boys Meet the Girls * - Sappy updated remake of Girl Crazy.
- Camelot * - Ghastly film version of Lerner & Loewe's musical about
King Arthur & his roundtable. Incoherent
direction, stupid casting and rotten singing.
- Clambake * - Elvis clunker.
- C'Mon Let's Live a Little * - Folk singer get mixed up in
campus nonsense. Hilarious Patsy Kelly almost makes this worth seeing.
- Doctor Dolittle *** - Rex Harrison as a veterinarian who talks to
animals. Over produced and far too long, but a very enjoyable score.
- Double Trouble * - Elvis tours Europe.
- Easy Come, Easy Go * - Elvis joins the Navy.
- Fastest Guitar Alive, The (NO stars) - Country music legend Roy
Orbison as a Confederate Civil War spy with a guitar that shoots
bullets. Look away, look away . . .
- Half a Sixpence * - Tommy Steele as a clerk who inherits a
fortune. Stage hit fails here due to clumsy direction & muddled
- Happiest Millionaire, The ** - Great cast and a fine Sherman
Brothers score cannot save this overblown (and painfully long)
tale of wealthy families battling over a wedding.
- How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying *** - Robert Morse
repeats his ingratiating stage performance in this delicious spoof of
corporate culture. Fantastic Frank Loesser score, and Rudy Valee is a hoot
as a pompous executive.
- Jungle Book, The **** - Walt Disney's final animated feature is a
joyous adaptation of Kipling's classic about a boy raised by wolves
in the Indian jungle.
- Thoroughly Modern Millie *** - Julie Andrews, a stellar supporting
cast and some great musical numbers in this story of a 1920s
flapper out to marry her way into wealth. Great fun until it falls apart
in the final scenes.
- A Time to Sing ** - Hank Williams Jr. as a struggling country
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang *** - Dick Van Dyke is outstanding in this fun
story of an inventor who finds adventure in a flying car. Some fine
Sherman Brothers songs.
- Finian's Rainbow *** - Fred Astaire and Petula Clark star in this
underrated version of the stage hit about magic defeating racism in the
deep South. Wonderful Burton Lane-Yip Harburg songs and great ensemble add to
- Funny Girl **** - Barbra Streisand is unforgettable as Fanny Brice in this first
rate version of the stage hit great Styne-Merrill score, gorgeous production.
- Head (NO stars) - The Monkees star in this incoherent psychedelic
- Night They Raided Minsky's, The *** - Not exactly a musical,
but Bert Lahr (who died during production) is on hand for this recreation
- Oliver! **** - The stage hit based on Dickens' Oliver Twist
becomes a glorious film, with Ron Moody as the loveable yet evil Fagin.
Great score by Lionel Bart.
- One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, The * - Incoherent tale
of a family torn apart by the presidential election of 1888. Pity.
- Speedway (not seen)
- Star! *** - The director's cut redeems this lavish musical bio of
stage star Gertrude Lawrence, starring Julie Andrews.
- Yellow Submarine *** - Delightful animated musical features the
Beatles as musicians bringing color back to a world gone blue.
- A Boy Named Charlie Brown *** - The beloved Charles Schultz comic strip
inspired this charming animated musical.
- Goodbye Mr. Chips ** - Mediocre musical remake of the 1939 classic,
strengthened by some fine Leslie Bricusse songs.
- Hello, Dolly! *** - Jerry Herman's stage hit about a clever widow nabbing a
husband in 1890s New York is hampered by overproduction and a too-young Barbra Streisand
in the lead, but there is lots of fun along the way.
- Oh! What a Lovely War ** - Heavy-handed look at life in Britain during World War I.
- Paint Your Wagon (NO stars) - Josh Logan's unforgivable version of
Lerner & Loewe's musical about gold rush prospectors. Idiotic, but it
has a cult following.
- Sweet Charity *** - Shirley MacLaine stars in Bob Fosse's excellent screen version of
his stage hit about a dance hall girl seeking love in 1960s New York.
The Other Film Chronologies: