By Raquel Stecher, classic film blogger
This year, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of 1968 and what a year it was for movies. Some groundbreaking and truly enjoyable films released that year and many went on to spawn sequels, remakes, and even franchises. And others were best left well enough alone.
Below are 10 of the top movies from 1968 (click the titles to rent them), plus a breakdown of five movies that I personally recommend.
Bullitt is simply one of the coolest movies ever and Steve McQueen made it that way. Directed by Peter Yates, McQueen stars as Bullitt, a city cop who takes on the mob. The plot is rather convoluted, but you really don’t even need to be invested in the story to enjoy this movie.
Bullitt was a role that suited McQueen like a glove. And no one else could make wearing a turtleneck and a gun holster look that good.
Also in the movie are familiar names like Robert Vaughn, Robert Duvall, Norman Fell and Simon Oakland. The film was shot on location in San Francisco and serves like a time travel trip to the city circa the late 1960s.
And let’s not forget one of the biggest reasons to watch the movie: the amazing car chase sequence with McQueen driving a green Mustang. In fact, Ford is releasing a 2019 Mustang Bullitt inspired by this iconic film.
Who knew bank heists could be so chic? 1968 was a good year for Steve McQueen because here is another role that highlighted his strong suits. Directed by Norman Jewison, McQueen stars as a millionaire Thomas Crown, who orchestrates the perfect bank heist. Insurance investigator Vicki (Faye Dunaway) tries to recover the money for the bank, but gets more than she bargained for with the suave Crown.
Great location shooting in Boston, amazing wardrobe, a memorable soundtrack and to-die-for cinematography makes The Thomas Crown Affair a feast for the eyes and ears. It was remade in 1999 with Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo.
If you enjoyed (is that the right word?) Mother! (2017) and haven’t seen Rosemary’s Baby yet, it’s time to correct that grievous oversight right now. Director Roman Polanski’s psychological thriller is harrowing and enthralling. A young housewife Rosemary (Mia Farrow) and her husband Guy (John Cassavetes) move to a new apartment in the city. She increasingly becomes wary of her mysterious neighbors and, when she becomes pregnant, a shocking surprise awaits.
If I tell you anymore, you’d miss the fun of watching the film. A legend in its own right, this captivating movie is not one you’ll want to miss.
If you ever feel like you have too much on your plate, watch Yours, Mine & Ours and you’ll instantly feel better. Directed by Melville Shavelson, this family movie stars Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda as the heads of big military families who have recently been widowed.
Introduced by a mutual friend (Van Johnson), they meet and fall in love... only to discover that if they were to join families, that would be a total of 18 children! How will they pull it off?
The story is narrated by two leads and by the youngest member of the clan Tommy North (Mitch Vogel). There are some downright hilarious moments in this movie. Yours, Mine & Ours was the precursor to the hit TV show The Brady Bunch and was remade in 2005.
If you're like me, you watched this adaptation of Shakespeare’s most popular play in high school and it made you see the Bard’s work in a whole new light. Directed by Franco Zeffirelli, Romeo & Juliet stars Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey as the famous star-crossed lovers.
It’s equal parts sexy and heartbreaking. There really hasn’t been anything quite like it and it continues to be beloved among film fans and Shakespeare enthusiasts. Roger Ebert once called it “the most exciting film of Shakespeare ever made.”
There have been many adaptations of the play before and since but this one still sits at the top. It’s simply timeless.
Raquel Stecher has been writing about classic films for the past decade on her blog Out of the Past. She attends the TCM Classic Film Festival as well as other events where old movie fanatics get together to geek out. Raquel has been a devoted DVD Netflix member since 2002! Follow her on her blog Out of the Past, or find her on Twitter @Quellelove and @ClassicFilmRead, Facebook, and Instagram.