Best Drama Movies of 1961

1.

West Side Story

6.1
7.5/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, Simon Oakland, Ned Glass, William Bramley, Tucker Smith, Tony Mordente ..
Directed by: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise
Release date: 1961-12-13
2.

Judgment at Nuremberg

5.9
8.2/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich, Maximilian Schell, Judy Garland, Montgomery Clift, Edward Binns, Werner Klemperer, Torben Meyer ..
Directed by: Stanley Kramer
Release date: 1961-12-01
3.

The Hustler

5.7
8.0/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie, George C. Scott, Myron McCormick, Murray Hamilton, Michael Constantine, Stefan Gierasch, Jake LaMotta, Vincent Gardenia ..
Directed by: Robert Rossen
Release date: 1961-09-25
4.

The Children's Hour

5.6
7.8/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, James Garner, Miriam Hopkins, Fay Bainter, Veronica Cartwright, Karen Balkin, Sally Brophy, Mimi Gibson, Jered Barclay ..
Directed by: William Wyler
Release date: 1961-01-01
5.

Splendor in the Grass

5.5
7.8/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, Pat Hingle, Audrey Christie, Barbara Loden, Zohra Lampert, Fred Stewart, Gary Lockwood, Sandy Dennis, Joanna Roos ..
Directed by: Elia Kazan
Release date: 1961-10-10
6.

The Misfits

5.2
7.2/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift, Thelma Ritter, Eli Wallach, James Barton, Kevin McCarthy, Estelle Winwood, Rex Bell, John Huston ..
Directed by: John Huston
Release date: 1961-01-01
7.

El Cid

5.1
7.2/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Raf Vallone, Geneviève Page, John Fraser, Gary Raymond, Ralph Truman, Andrew Cruickshank, Douglas Wilmer, Frank Thring ..
Directed by: Anthony Mann
Release date: 1961-10-24
8.

Murder She Said

4.6
7.4/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Margaret Rutherford, Arthur Kennedy, Muriel Pavlow, James Robertson Justice, Thorley Walters, Charles Tingwell, Conrad Phillips, Ronald Howard, Joan Hickson, Stringer Davis ..
Directed by: George Pollock
Release date: 1961-09-26
9.

A Raisin in the Sun

4.1
8.0/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands, Louis Gossett Jr., Stephen Perry, Joel Fluellen, Ivan Dixon, John Fiedler, Roy Glenn ..
Directed by: Daniel Petrie
Release date: 1961-05-28
10.

Victim

4.0
7.7/10 IMDB

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.

Starring: Dirk Bogarde, Sylvia Syms, Dennis Price, Nigel Stock, Peter McEnery, Anthony Nicholls, Norman Bird, Margaret Diamond, Hilton Edwards, John Barrie ..
Directed by: Basil Dearden
Release date: 1961-08-01

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