1960’s Movie Review

1960s Movie Review

By Alivia McAtee and Ali McBride.
The 1960’s were a time in cinematic history where films became more elaborate as the movie industry grew. Hundreds of films were made, with popular genres ranging from western dramas to psychological horror. During this era, romantic comedies took off with Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and later the more contentious romance Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. As seen with neighboring decades, western movies were also popular, with sub genres like “Spaghetti Westerns” gaining popularity. One of the more elaborate westerns of the 60’s was Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid is a western film directed by George Roy Hill and released in 1969. It starred Paul Newman as the perceptive Butch Cassidy, Robert Redford as the sharp-shooting Butch Cassidy, and Katharine Ross as the beautiful Etta Place. The story follows the trio of robbers as they travel to Bolivia to escape a threatening posse following them back home. The movie is full of captivating scenery as they scramble up cliffs and ride on horseback across deserts. It has it’s fair share of shooting scenes, but they aren’t overly abundant so as to become unnecessary. A subtle love triangle with Etta gives the whole film a romantic undertone, but it is still definitely an action packed, classic western. The acting is passionate yet humorous, with some very eccentric side characters occasionally stealing the show.

Breakfast At Tiffany’s was directed by Blake Edwards and released in 1961. It stars Audrey Hepburn in what is often considered her most prominent role. Hepburn plays Holly Golightly, a country bumpkin turned Manhattan socialite who doesn’t quite have her life together. She befriends struggling writer and new neighbor Paul Varjak, played by George Peppard. The two kindle a romance that will test their limits and open their minds. Golightly is a fascinating character that is admirable for how she carries herself at parties, but also relatable for her vulnerability in private. Viewers will find themselves wishing for the simple pleasures of eating pastries outside of Tiffany’s Jewelry and stealing toys from Five and Dime stores, both activities Golightly relishes in. The movie is a classic tale of unlikely urban romance that shouldn’t be missed.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was released in 1967 and directed by Stanley Kramer. It stars Katharine Houghton as Joanna Drayton and Sidney Poitier as John Prentice; a young couple who fell instantly in love when they met in Hawaii. Wanting to get married right away, they surprise Joanna’s parents by flying home early to ask for their blessing. However, John is black, which causes tensions in the Caucasian Drayton household. Things only get more complicated when John’s parents come to dinner as well, and Joanna’s parents only have a few hours to decide if they will approve the marriage. The movie deals head-on with the racism and prejudice of the time period, but it is a heartwarming tale where love trumps all, whether it be blood or water. Viewers get caught up in the drama as the day unfolds and the unveiling of Joanna’s parents decision looms nearer. The whole movie takes place in a single day, which can get monotonous. Nonetheless, the movie makes you think about how far we have come, and possibly how far we still have to go regarding our attitudes towards race and prejudice.
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