Best Drama Movies of 1961
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Holly Golightly is an eccentric New York City playgirl determined to marry a Brazilian millionaire. But when young writer Paul Varjak moves into her apartment building, her past threatens to get in their way.
West Side Story
In the slums of the upper West Side of Manhattan, New York, a gang of Polish-American teenagers called the Jets compete with a rival gang of recently immigrated Puerto Ricans, the Sharks, to "own" the neighborhood streets. Tensions are high between the gangs but two kids, one from each rival gang, fall in love leading to tragedy.
Judgment at Nuremberg
In 1947, four German judges who served on the bench during the Nazi regime face a military tribunal to answer charges of crimes against humanity. Chief Justice Haywood hears evidence and testimony not only from lead defendant Ernst Janning and his defense attorney Hans Rolfe, but also from the widow of a Nazi general, an idealistic U.S. Army captain and reluctant witness Irene Wallner.
Fast Eddie Felson is a small-time pool hustler with a lot of talent but a self-destructive attitude. His bravado causes him to challenge the legendary Minnesota Fats to a high-stakes match.
The Children's Hour
A private school for young girls is scandalized when one spiteful student, Mary Tilford, accuses the two young women who run the school of having a lesbian relationship.
Splendor in the Grass
A fragile Kansas girl's unrequited and forbidden love for a handsome young man from the town's most powerful family drives her to heartbreak and madness.
The Guns of Navarone
A team of allied saboteurs are assigned an impossible mission: infiltrate an impregnable Nazi-held island and destroy the two enormous long-range field guns that prevent the rescue of 2,000 trapped British soldiers.
While filing for a divorce, beautiful ex-stripper Roslyn Taber ends up meeting aging cowboy-turned-gambler Gay Langland and former World War II aviator Guido Racanelli. The two men instantly become infatuated with Roslyn and, on a whim, the three decide to move into Guido's half-finished desert home together. When grizzled ex-rodeo rider Perce Howland arrives, the unlikely foursome strike up a business capturing wild horses.
Epic film of the legendary Spanish hero, Rodrigo Diaz ("El Cid" to his followers), who, without compromising his strict sense of honour, still succeeds in taking the initiative and driving the Moors from Spain.
Pocketful of Miracles
Boozy, brassy Apple Annie, a beggar with a basket of apples, is as much a part of downtown New York as old Broadway itself. Bootlegger Dave the Dude is a sucker for her apples -- he thinks they bring him luck. But Dave and girlfriend Queenie Martin need a lot more than luck when it turns out that Annie is in a jam and only they can help: Annie's daughter Louise, who has lived all her life in a Spanish convent, is coming to America with a Count and his son. The count's son wants to marry Louise, who thinks her mother is part of New York society. It's up to Dave and Queenie and their cronies to turn Annie into a lady and convince the Count and his son that they are hobnobbing with New York's elite.
Murder She Said
Miss Marple believes she's seen a murder in a passing-by train, yet when the police find no evidence she decides to investigate it on her own.
King of Kings
Who is Jesus, and why does he impact all he meets? He is respected and reviled, emulated and accused, beloved, betrayed, and finally crucified. Yet that terrible fate would not be the end of the story.
Epic account of the thief Barabbas, who was spared crucifixion when Pilate manipulated the crowd into pardoning him, rather than Jesus. Struggling with his spirituality, Barabbas goes through many ordeals leading him to the gladiatorial arena, where he tries to win his freedom and confront his inner demons, ultimately becoming a follower of the man who was crucified in his place.
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
A southerner in the American Civil War is about to be hanged from a bridge for sabotage when the noose suddenly breaks. After he plunges into the water below, he must find a way to free himself, evade enemy forces and flee to safety.
A Raisin in the Sun
Walter Lee Younger is a young man struggling with his station in life. Sharing a tiny apartment with his wife, son, sister and mother, he seems like an imprisoned man. Until, that is, the family gets an unexpected financial windfall.
Whistle Down the Wind
When an injured wife-murderer takes refuge on a remote Lancashire farm, the farmer’s three children mistakenly believe him to be the Second Coming of Christ.
In early 1960s London, barrister Melville Farr is on the path to success. With his practice winning cases and a loving marriage to his wife, Farr's career and personal life are nearly idyllic. However, when blackmailers link Farr to a young gay man, everything Farr has worked for is threatened. As it turns out, Farr is a closeted homosexual -- which is problematic, due to Britain's anti-sodomy laws. But instead of giving in, Farr decides to fight.
Lover Come Back
Jerry Webster and Carol Templeton are rival Madison Avenue advertising executives who each dislike each other’s methods. After he steals a client out from under her cute little nose, revenge prompts her to infiltrate his secret "VIP" campaign in order to persuade the mystery product’s scientist to switch to her firm.
Cash on Demand
A charming but ruthless criminal holds the family of a bank manager hostage as part of a cold-blooded plan to steal 97,000 pounds.
Blast of Silence
A hired killer from Cleveland has a job to do on a second-string mob boss in New York. But a special girl from his past, and a fat gun dealer with pet rats, each gets in his way.
A Taste of Honey
A working class girl struggles to create a life for herself with her gay co-worker after becoming pregnant from a one-night stand with a black sailor.
The Day the Earth Caught Fire
British reporters suspect an international cover-up of a global disaster in progress... and they're right. Hysterical panic has engulfed the world after the United States and the Soviet Union simultaneously detonate nuclear devices and have caused the orbit of the Earth to alter, sending it hurtling towards the sun.
A bitter young man sets out to get back at the gangsters who murdered his father.
Town Without Pity
Four American soldiers stationed near a German village face death in the rape of a local girl and are defended by outside counsel Major Steve Grant.
Greyfriars Bobby: The True Story of a Dog
In Scotland 1865, An old shepherd and his little Skye terrier go to Edinburgh. But when the shepherd dies of pneumonia, the dog remains faithful to his master, refuses to be adopted by anyone, and takes to sleeping on his master's grave in the Greyfriars kirkyard, despite a caretaker with a "no dogs" rule. And when Bobby is taken up for being unlicensed, it's up to the children of Edinburgh and the Lord Provost to decide what's to be done.
The story of one wild but typical night in the lives of three young American Indians who have left their reservations to live in downtown Los Angeles.
Middle-aged businesswoman Paula Tessier resists the advances of Philip Van der Besh, the 24-year-old son of one of her clients. But when her longtime paramour, Roger Demarest, begins yet another casual affair with a younger woman, Paula decides that two can play that game. However, it seems that society looks differently at May-December romances when the woman is the older partner.
The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone
Critics and the public say Karen Stone is too old -- as she approaches 50 -- for her role in a play she is about to take to Broadway. Her businessman husband, 20 years her senior, has been the angel for the play and gives her a way out: They are off to a holiday in Rome for his health. He suffers a fatal heart attack on the plane. Mrs. Stone stays in Rome. She leases a magnificent apartment with a view of the seven hills from the terrace. Then the contessa comes calling to introduce a young man named Paola to her. The contessa knows many presentable young men and lonely American widows.
Summer and Smoke
In a small Mississippi town in 1916, an eccentric spinster battles her romantic yearnings for the randy boy next door. A 1961 film, adapted from a Tennessee Williams play, starring Geraldine Page, Laurence Harvey, John McIntire, Una Merkel and Rita Moreno.
Almost 19-year-old Marius feels himself in a rut in Marseille, his life planned for him by his cafe'-owning father, and he longs for the sea. The night before he is to leave on a 5-year voyage, Fanny, a girl he grew up with, reveals that she is in love with him, and he discovers that he is in love with her. He must choose between an exciting life at sea, and a boring life with the woman he loves. And Fanny must choose between keeping the man she loves, and letting him live the life he seems to want.
The Young Savages
A district attorney investigates the racially charged case of three teenagers accused of the murder of a blind Puerto Rican boy.
The Last Sunset
Brendan O'Malley arrives at the Mexican home of old flame Belle Breckenridge to find her married to a drunkard getting ready for a cattle drive to Texas. Hot on O'Malley's heels is lawman Dana Stribling who has a personal reason for getting him back into his jurisdiction. Both men join Breckenridge and his wife on the drive. As they near Texas tensions mount, not least because Stribling is starting to court Belle, and O'Malley is increasingly drawn by her daughter Missy.
Too Late Blues
Ghost is an ideological musician and leader of a jazz band who would rather play his blues in the park to the birds than compromise himself. His peripatetic performances lead him to cross paths with a singer, while his masculinity is thrown into question following a violent brawl.
Ram Bowen and Eddie Cook are two expatriate jazz musicians living in Paris where, unlike America at the time, Jazz musicians are celebrated and racism is a non-issue. When they meet and fall in love with two young American girls, Lillian and Connie, who are vacationing in France, Ram and Eddie must decide whether they should move back to America with them, or stay in Paris for the freedom it allows them. Ram, who wants to be a serious composer, finds Paris more exciting than America and is reluctant to give up his music for a relationship, and Eddie wants to stay for the city's more tolerant racial atmosphere.
A young rape victim tries desperately to pick up the pieces of her life, only to find herself at the mercy of a would-be rescuer.
A search for a winning lottery ticket in his dead father's grave causes Sardonicus' face to freeze in a horrible grimace, until he forces a doctor to treat his affliction--with even more grotesque results! The audience gets an opportunity to vote--via the "Punishment Poll"--for the penalty Sardonicus must pay for his deeds...
Wild in the Country
A troubled young man discovers that he has a knack for writing when a counselor encourages him to pursue a literary career.
Parrish McLean lives with his mother Ellen on Sala Post's tobacco plantation in the Connecticut River Valley. His mother winds up marrying Sala's rival Judd Raike, ruthless planter who wants to drive Sala out of business. Judd insists that Parrish learn the business from the ground up.
Ambitious but thwarted, Rae Smith meets handsome Marine Paul Saxon, (of the Saxon department store chain), as he passes through Lincoln, Nebraska, on his way home from World War II. There's a definite spark between them but circumstances intervene and he leaves town without her. Later she learns he's married. Determined to make it as a fashion designer, Rae moves to New York and becomes a great success. One day she happens to meet Paul again and again there's that spark but he's still married so, as a form of escape, Rae moves to Rome to set up shop. Once again she meets Paul and finally they begin an actual affair since Paul's shrewish, drunken wife, Liz, won't give him a divorce. Time passes, the affair continues whenever time and place permit, but then, Paul's young son finds out about Rae and Rae's back-street world begins to crumble.
Two Swedish girls fall in love with a Persian man in London. Beside this there is much dancing, much stripping and a lot of alcohol.
The Devil at 4 O'Clock
A crusty, eccentric priest recruits three reluctant convicts to help him rescue a children's leper colony from a Pacific island menaced by a smoldering volcano.
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
The crew of an atomic submarine battle to save the world from global destruction.
Hand in Hand
Seven-year-olds Michael and Rachel are best friends who do everything together and who have vowed to remain friends "forever and ever and can't be parted for never and never". Unfortunately, the society that Michael and Rachel live in is one of religious intolerance. The fact that Michael is Irish Catholic and Rachel is Jewish is a point of conflict for just about everyone in the community.
Two Living, One Dead
Three Post Office employees are at work when the facility is held up. The robber kills the supervisor and knocks out another employee. The third one offers no resistance and survives unscathed. Afterwards he begins to wonder if his refusal to resist was a prudent move to preserve his family, or an act of cowardice, as many in the town believe. The resulting conflict begins to tear apart his family.
Bridge to the Sun
Tells the true story of Gwen Terasaki, who falls in love with, then marries a Japanese diplomat. When war breaks out they find animosity and trouble from both sides.
Guns of the Trees
A depressed woman, Barbara, is on the verge of suicide while a man she meets in a church and a married couple try to convince her that life is worth living.
Spare the Rod
It is London in the year 1960 and John Saunders enthusiastically begins his new teaching career at a tough slum-area school. His class are bored pupils in their last term before leaving. Will he handle the grave problems that lie ahead?
Francis of Assisi
In 13th century Italy, Francis Bernardone, the son of an Assisi merchant, renounces a promising army career in favor of a monastic life and starts his own religious order, sanctioned by the Pope.
Originally edited in two versions. Version I, 70 minutes; version II, 90 minutes. (The only known existing version is not Markopoulos’s edit and contains additional titles, music and voice-over added later than 1961. 65 minutes.) Filmed in Mytilene and Annavysos, Greece, 1958. Existing copy on video, J. and M. Paris Films, Athens.
Square of Violence
Set in Italy, the story takes place in this very country, during WW2, where German occupation army ruled everything, just before the allied forces came, in 1944. Crawford plays here a doctor whose son has been shot by the Germans. Of course he has no more taste in life. He continues his work as a German officers' physician. One day, he throws a bomb just in the middle of German troops. Many soldiers and officers are killed. Some time later, the lead officer of the Nazis troops suspects the doctor to be the responsible of the explosion. He lets him know that he himself knows...