The Movies That Make 1967 One Of The Best Years In Film
Looking back at the films from 50 years ago, it’s easy to see why 1967 is considered one of the most impressive years for movies. From the darkest of comedies to the grittiest action and war films, from a bold approach to drama to Disney’s animated genius, these were the films that made 1967 the year it was in film.
Dustin Hoffman’s greatest film wasn’t his first, but it was early on. The TV star was now set for future success as this comedic screenplay by Calder Willinham and Buck Henry, co-starring Anne Bancroft, brought us Hoffman as a college graduate torn between a mother and daughter, both of whom find him to be a catch.
Cool Hand Luke and Hombre:
To say that 1967 was a great year for Paul Newman would be an understatement. Two of his most memorable films debuted. Newman’s roles as likable bad guys would continue through the next decade into Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting and Slap Shot.
In The Heat of The Night, To Sir, With Love and Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner:
Newman wasn’t the only star making history in 1967. Sidney Poitier had three of his finest films debut with Stirling Silliphant’s screenplay of In The Heat of The Night and the mod classic drama To Sir, With Love. His role as the fiancé of the daughter (Jody Houghton) of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, whose calm, peaceful world is turned upside down, though they considered themselves to be progressive, understanding people, becomes a blend of comedy and drama that mixes life lessons with real life struggles, from a comedic approach.
Valley of The Dolls:
While drug abuse was nothing new in 1967, the seriousness of the consequences of drugs was something that was being highlighted for the first time. A fresh-faced Patty Duke, already a teenage television legend from The Patty Duke Show, played the role of a star whose violence and anger overcomes her desire to live the lifestyle she worked to achieve. Directed by Mark Robson, Barbara Parkins, Patty Duke and the beautiful Sharon Tate star.
John Wayne and Robert Mitchum’s incredibly well done, even humorous Western in which the Duke plays a professional gunman who takes a job from a wealthy rancher, with the sheriff played by an old friend of his, played by Mitchum. Mitchum and Wayne eventually build a team against the double-crossing rancher.
The Jungle Book:
Disney had a big year in 1967. The Jungle Book created memorable animated characters with music and the typical Disney magic, while they continued to make family friendly real life films with The Happiest Millionaire, Charlie, the Lonesome Cougar and The Gnome Mobile.
Casino Royale and You Only Live Twice:
While James Bond flicks were all the rage, spoofs were a hot item, too. Peter Sellers starred in a parody of the 007 franchise, written by Wolf Mankowitz and John Law. David Niven and Ursula Andress costar. Sean Connery’s actual Bond franchise released You Only Live Twice.
The horror genre had The Fearless Vampire Killers and Wait Until Dark, with the crime drama by Truman Capote, In Cold Blood scaring audiences beyond previous years. The comedies of 1967 included Camelot, Audrey Hepburn’s Two For the Road, Robert Redford and Jane Fonda’s Barefoot In The Park and the classic Thoroughly Modern Millie, starring Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Channing.
Elvis went on a Clambake, drug enduced film The Trip made a dramatic debut, Bob Dylan’s musical film Don’t Look Back documented Dylan’s ’65 tour of England. The Japanese drama Samurai Rebellion chronicled the tale of an aging swordsman, during a time of peace, decided to retire, leaving his son in charge of the family. A series of events soon splits the family in two.
Bonnie and Clyde:
Of course, few can compare to the tale of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow’s gang, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. Bonnie and Clyde proved that movies no longer had to have happy endings, blurring the lines between right and wrong, good and bad.
Being not only entertaining, but relevant 50 years after their creation is an amazing accomplishment in a pop culture society that is consistently overlapping itself, making even the most creative things look humorous. The movies of 1967 don’t fall into that category. Instead, these films have aged in fine fashion and are worthy of another look.