Best Drama Movies of 1963
The Great Escape
The Nazis, exasperated at the number of escapes from their prison camps by a relatively small number of Allied prisoners, relocate them to a high-security 'escape-proof' camp to sit out the remainder of the war. Undaunted, the prisoners plan one of the most ambitious escape attempts of World War II. Based on a true story.
Hud Bannon is a ruthless young man who tarnishes everything and everyone he touches. Hud represents the perfect embodiment of alienated youth, out for kicks with no regard for the consequences. There is bitter conflict between the callous Hud and his stern and highly principled father, Homer. Hud's nephew Lon admires Hud's cheating ways, though he soon becomes too aware of Hud's reckless amorality to bear him anymore. In the world of the takers and the taken, Hud is a winner. He's a cheat, but, he explains, "I always say the law was meant to be interpreted in a lenient manner."
Hugo Barrett is a servant in the Chelsea home of indolent aristocrat Tony. All seems to go well until the playboy’s girlfriend Susan takes a dislike to the efficient employee. Then Barrett persuades Tony to hire his sister Vera as a live-in maid, and matters take another turn for the worse…
Lilies of the Field
An unemployed construction worker heading out west stops at a remote farm in the desert to get water when his car overheats. The farm is being worked by a group of East European Catholic nuns, headed by the strict mother superior, who believes the man has been sent by God to build a much needed church in the desert.
Determined to hold on to the throne, Cleopatra seduces the Roman emperor Julius Caesar. When Caesar is murdered, she redirects her attentions to his general, Marc Antony, who vows to take power—but Caesar’s successor has other plans.
With the help of his girlfriend Cathy and Dr. Fong, a psychiatrist, ambitious journalist Johnny Barrett poses as a madman in order to be admitted to a mental institution where a bloody murder has been committed.
Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
A salesman (William Shatner) recovering from a nervous breakdown sees a creature on the wing of the airplane he is on, but no one believes him.
Lord of the Flies
Amidst a nuclear war, a plane carrying a group of schoolboys crash lands on a deserted island. With no adult survivors, the boys are forced to fend for themselves. At first they cooperate, but when they split into two separate camps -- one led by the pragmatic Ralph and the other by militaristic Jack -- their society falls into disarray, leading to a disturbing examination of human nature and a chilling conclusion.
55 Days at Peking
Diplomats, soldiers and other representatives of a dozen nations fend off the siege of the International Compound in Peking during the 1900 Boxer Rebellion. The disparate interests unite for survival despite competing factions, overwhelming odds, delayed relief and tacit support of the Boxers by the Empress of China and her generals.
Murder at the Gallop
Miss Marple and Mr. Stringer are witnesses to the death by heart attack of elderly, rich Mr. Enderby. Yet they have their doubts about what happened. The police don't believe them, thus leading Miss Marple to yet again investigate by herself.
A young Englishman dreams of escaping from his working class family and dead-end job as an undertaker's assistant. A number of indiscretions cause him to lie in order to avoid the penalties. His life turns into a mess and he has an opportunity to run away and leave it all behind.
A young Anatolian Greek, entrusted with his family's fortune, loses it en route to Istanbul and dreams of going to America.
This Sporting Life
In Northern England in the early 1960s, Frank Machin is mean, tough and ambitious enough to become an immediate star in the rugby league team run by local employer Weaver.
The Three Lives of Thomasina
Thomasina is the pet cat of Mary McDhui, the daughter of Scottish veterinarian Andrew McDhui. When Thomasina falls ill, McDhui declares that the pet should be put down. But when Mary and her father try to bury the cat, Lori MacGregor (Susan Hampshire), who is said to be a witch, shows up and attempts to steal it.
A Child Is Waiting
Dr. Matthew Clark is the head of a state institution for intellectually disabled children. Jean Hansen, a former music teacher anxious to give her life some meaning, joins the staff of the hospital. Jean, who tries to shelter the children with her love, suspiciously regards Dr. Clark's stern training methods. She becomes emotionally involved with 12-year-old Reuben Widdicombe, who has been abandoned by his divorced parents.
Love with the Proper Stranger
Angie Rossini, an innocent New York City sales clerk from a repressive Italian-American family, engages in a short-lived affair with a handsome jazz musician named Rocky Papasano. When Angie becomes pregnant, she tracks down Rocky hoping he'll pay for her abortion. Rocky agrees to help, but after seeing the unsanitary abortion facility, he refuses to let Angie go through with the procedure and attempts to make her an honest woman.
Intercutting dramatic vignettes with newsreel footage, the story follows the characters from an infantry squad as they make their way from Sicily to Germany during the end of World War II.
Clay Spencer is a hard-working man who loves his wife and large family. He is respected by his neighbors and always ready to give them a helping hand. Although not a churchgoer, he even helps a newly arrived local minister regain his flock after he and Clay get into a bit of trouble. If he has one dream in life it's to build his wife Olivia a beautiful house on a piece of land he inherited on Spender's mountain. When his eldest son, Clayboy, graduates at the top of his high school class and has the opportunity to go to college, Clay has only one option left to him.
A group of Nobel laureates descends on Stockholm to accept their awards. Among them is American novelist Andrew Craig, a former literary luminary now writing pulp detective stories to earn a living. Craig, who is infamous for his drinking and womanizing, formulates a wild theory that physics prize winner Dr. Max Stratman has been replaced by an impostor, embroiling Craig and his chaperone in a Cold War kidnapping plot.
Simon Ashby is a wealthy psychotic who is is coddled by his aunt in their palatial mansion outside of London. One day, Ashby's long lost brother mysteriously arrives at the house, but events prove that he is an impostor, sent by Keith Kossett, son of the attorney for the family estate, who has been dipping into the family trust fund.
Images of a woman lying on a bed appearing to have a sexual fantasy for lack of anything else to do.
Nine Miles to Noon
A boy is coerced into a murder plot to kill his step-dad, unaware that the conspirator is his real father.
The Home-Made Car
The Home-Made Car is a 1963 short film directed by James Hill about a young man who rebuilds a vintage car and finds love. Made in and around Farnborough, Hampshire, it became a cult success when regularly broadcast as a trade test colour transmission on the run up to the start of BBC2 colour transmissions. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film.
Captain Newman, M.D.
In 1944, Capt. Josiah J. Newman is the doctor in charge of Ward 7, the neuropsychiatric ward, at an Army Air Corps hospital in Arizona. The hospital is under-resourced and Newman scrounges what he needs with the help of his inventive staff, especially Cpl. Jake Leibowitz. The military in general is only just coming to accept psychiatric disorders as legitimate and Newman generally has 6 weeks to cure them or send them on to another facility. There are many patients in the ward and his latest include Colonel Norville Bliss who has dissociated from his past; Capt. Paul Winston who is nearly catatonic after spending 13 months hiding in a cellar behind enemy lines; and 20 year-old Cpl. Jim Tompkins who is severely traumatized after his aircraft was shot down. Others come and go, including Italian prisoners of war, but Newman and team all realize that their success means the men will return to their units.
Toys in the Attic
Julian Berniers returns from Illinois with his young bride Lily Prine to the family in New Orleans. His spinster sisters Carrie and Anna welcome the couple, who arrive with expensive gifts. The sisters hope Julian will help with their expenses, and he tells them that while his profitable factory went out of business, he did manage to save money. It turns out that Julian pulled off a real estate scam and took off with the money. Carrie is obsessed with her brother. Her jealousy of Lily pushes her to discover the shady land deal for herself and she does everything she can to wreck their marriage.
A young Catholic priest from Boston confronts bigotry, Nazism, and his own personal conflicts as he rises to the office of cardinal.
The Running Man
When pilot Rex Black destroys his plane in a crash the day after his insurance policy expires, the insurance company refuses to give him any money. To strike back at the agency, Rex fakes his death, changes his identity, and escapes to Spain, with 50,000 pounds in life insurance money. His wife joins him in Spain, but when an insurance investigator arrives unexpectedly, Rex's paranoia causes him to flee again.
The World Ten Times Over
Early 1960s realist drama following a day in the lives of two London flatmates. Sylvia Syms and June Ritchie star as Billa and Ginnie, two singletons sharing a London flat who both work as night club hostesses in the same Soho club. Tensions arise when Ginnie becomes romantically entangled with rich married businessman Bob Shelbourne (Edward Judd), causing Billa to become jealous of their relationship.
Three people driving into Los Angeles for a Dodgers game have car trouble and pull off into an old wrecking yard where they are held at bay by a bloodthirsty psycho and his crazy girlfriend.
Soldier in the Rain
Maxwell Slaughter is a kind, heavyset guy who has reached the rank of master sergeant in the army. Admired by handsome young Sgt. Eustis Clay, Slaughter forms a close bond with his peer. Clay hopes to convince Slaughter to join him in a business venture outside of the service, but, in the meantime, he introduces the older officer to the beautiful young Bobby Jo Pepperdine, inadvertently creating trouble for both men.
The Ugly American
An intelligent, articulate scholar, Harrison MacWhite, survives a hostile Senate confirmation hearing at the hands of conservatives to become ambassador to Sarkan, a southeast Asian country where civil war threatens a tense peace. Despite his knowledge, once he's there, MacWhite sees only a dichotomy between the U.S. and Communism. He can't accept that anti-American sentiment might be a longing for self-determination and nationalism. So, he breaks from his friend Deong, a local opposition leader, ignores a foreman's advice about slowing the building of a road, and tries to muscle ahead. What price must the country and his friends pay for him to get some sense?
I Could Go on Singing
Jenny Bowman is a successful singer who, while on an engagement at the London Palladium, visits David Donne to see her son Matt again, spending a few glorious days with him while his father is away in Rome in an attempt to attain the family that she never had. When David returns, Matt is torn between his loyalty to his father and his affection for Jenny.
Dramatization of President John F. Kennedy's war time experiences during which he captained a PT boat, took it to battle and had it sunk by a Japanese destroyer. He and the survivors had to make their way to an island, find food and shelter and signal the Navy for rescue.
The Courtship of Eddie's Father
Although he's only seven, Eddie's got it all figured out. He wants his father, a widower, to get remarried — to the girl next door. Unfortunately, she's not one of the women that his dad's been dating.
A young sailor falls in love with a mysterious woman performing as a mermaid on the local pier. As they become entwined, he comes to suspect the woman might be a real mermaid who lures men to a watery death during the full moon.
Bye Bye Birdie
A singer goes to a small town for a performance before he is drafted.
Wealthy passengers fogged in at London's Heathrow Airport fight to survive a variety of personal trials.
A past world is revived in the little cottage in the outskirts, next to the housing blocks under construction. Tamburás, the old hobo collects swerved youth: Diák, who desires freedom, the bus driver who is deprived of his license for having run over someone, and the rest. They have got an easy and unbound life there, with constant music, small thefts, occasional labour, tricks.
What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?
A writer named Algernon (but called Harry by his friends) buys a picture of a boat on a lake, and his obsession with it renders normal life impossible.
Under the Yum-Yum Tree
A love-struck landlord tries to convince a pretty tanant to dump her fiancé and give him a chance.
Johnny Shiloh is a 1963 made for TV film that originally aired in two parts on the Wonderful World of Disney in Color. It was released in other countries theatrically as one film and is on DVD as one film. Johnny Shiloh is the true story about Johnny Clem, the ten year old drummer boy who became a union officer in the Civil War.
Cornet at Night
Based on a short story by Sinclair Ross, this short film recalls rural life on the Prairies in the 1930s. In the film a farmer's young son, sent to town to hire a man for the harvest, readily accepts when an itinerant trumpet player, down on his luck, begs a chance. He is hardly the kind of man the boy's father had in mind, but that night his trumpet speaks from the shadows and everyone pauses to listen.
In the Midst of Life
This Civil War anthology adapts three Ambrose Bierce stories "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," "Chickamauga" and "The Mockingbird."
A deported gangster trains an Italian convict to take over his operations in the U.S.
The Mouse on the Moon
Sequel to The Mouse that Roared; The Tiny Country of Grand Fenwick has a hot water problem in the castle. To get the money necessary to put in a new set of plumbing, they request foreign aid from the U.S. for Space Research. The Russians then send aid as well to show that they too are for the internationalization of space. While the grand Duke is dreaming of hot baths, their one scientist is slapping together a rocket. The U.S. and Soviets get wind of the impending launch and try and beat them to the moon.
Many kids might say their best friend is a puppy or a pony. But for 12-year-old Sandy, the most special pet of all is the exuberant dolphin he rescues and who returns the favor by rescuing Sandy from sharks.
Staff and students at a rural school react to a warning of an imminent nuclear attack, not knowing whether it is real or mistaken.
Miss Tu Hau
Considered a masterpiece of Vietnamese cinema, Pham Ky Nam’s enduring classic, MS. TU HAU, is a product of the countries fledgling film industry which took rise during the war years. MS. TU HAU tells the story, as the narrator explains, of a “simple but exciting life of a genuine South woman.” Not so simple really, but exciting nonetheless. Tu Hau is a common woman from a fishing village whose husband has gone away to fight in the revolution. She takes care of her young daughter as well as her aging father-in-law. Soon, her peaceful village is attacked. From there a series of tragic events would befall Tu Hau. Each one would challenge her will. She survives so she can continue to raise her child. As a midwife, she puts aside her own grief to assist in a neighbor’s childbirth. Eventually her hardships drive her to join the resistance and ultimately makes the difficult sacrifice of leaving her child behind so she can help lead the front.
Travis, Arliss, and Lisbeth are captured by Apaches while Old Yeller's son, Sam, tracks their trail.
The Punch and Judy Man
Walter Pinner is the titular Punch And Judy Man plying his trade in the seaside town of Piltdown. Unhappily married to his social climbing wife, who gets him to perform at the 60th Anniversary celebrations of the town in front of all the local dignitaries, his hatred of snobbery comes to a hilarious head.