By Amy Chesler
The sixties were a time of change and action in America: we experienced the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, the assassinations of JFK and Martin Luther King, Jr., and more. And the cinematic tales told on the big screen often captured such: big stars, bigger stories, and stamina to boot. Here are six of my favorite films set in the sixties that still make me swoon to this day.
Leo’s role as Frank Abagnale, Jr. in Catch Me if You Can could never fly today (literally and figuratively). But there’s something so captivating about DiCaprio’s character and the true story behind the conman who faked his way in to becoming a pilot, a doctor, and a prosecutor before his 19th birthday.
Hidden Figures is another riveting film based in truth. It is the story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, brilliant mathematicians and NASA employees who helped launch John Glenn in to space. As African-American women, their presence in such high profile positions was revolutionary, and the book-turned-film is beautiful, too.
Now, if we’re talking animation, I think Minions easily takes the ‘60s-set cake. I’m always a sucker for a good origin story, plus this third film in the franchise boasts “cameos” by The Beatles and the Queen of England. Talk about groovy!
That Thing You Do! was a sensational directorial and writing debut on behalf of Tom Hanks. In it he plays a band manager, Mr. White, who has a large vision for a small-town band. But the true star of the flick was the original, swingin’ soundtrack by the Oneders... er, Wonders. Any fan of classic rock ‘n roll and nostalgia should be a fan of this film.
Speaking of music, no ‘60s-set list is complete without my personal favorite, Dirty Dancing. It’s the time-old tale of star-crossed lovers divided by a modern caste system. There are steamy scenes full of impeccable dancing and fabulous music. I mean, dance classes with Patrick? Sign me up!
Last and, ok, maybe least, is Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. Yes, it’s cheesy. Yes, it’s beyond silly. But weren’t the ‘60s a bit over-the-top, too? Plus, this is Mike Myers’ quintessential role, rife with slapstick humor and terribly entertaining accents. And if you’re left wanting more (stranger things have happened), there’s a few sequels to indulge in afterwards.
Amy Chesler is an author, content creator, blogger, and family woman from Los Angeles, California. Her most recent publications include four different contributions in six different Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, as well as her first solo children’s book, A Man and His Books. Follow her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ABCauthor1), Twitter (@abcauthor), or Instagram (@abc_author) for updates, giveaways, and much more!