Top 21 of 1964


1964 was a spectacular year for film. So many new film movements were beginning, ending, and converging. The American New Wave was about to give birth, the Japanese New Wave was in full-swing, as were Spaghetti Westerns, the French New Wave, and there were still remnants of Italian neo-realism, all of which are represented on this year’s list.

My list has two films with the brilliant Peter Sellers, with inarguably his best role and perhaps one of the best comedic roles of all time, at the top. At the end of the list is his slapstick version of the Pink Panther, easily the best of what was often a mediocre series despite the talent of Mr. Sellers.

There are four Japanese films, including three in the top six. If this list had gone to 30, there would have been at least two more — Suzuki’s Gate of Flesh and Shinoda’s Pale Flower. It was a phenomenal year for Japanese film, although not quite at the level of the next list, 1954.

1. Dr. Strangelove
2. Woman in the Dunes
3. Charulata
4. I Am Cuba
5. Onibaba
6. Yearning
7. Séance in the Afternoon
8. The Gospel According to St. Matthew
9. Red Desert
10. The Soft Skin
11. Marnie
12. Seduced and Abandoned
13. Fail-Safe
14. The Train
15. A Hard Day’s Night
16. The Pawnbroker
17. A Fistful of Dollars
18. Becket
19. Kwaidan
20. Scorpio Rising
21. A Shot in the Dark

Posted on March 16, 2014, in Lists. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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