Best Movies of 1963

1.

The Great Escape

6.6

The Nazis, exasperated at the number of escapes from their prison camps by a relatively small number of Allied prisoners, relocates 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.

Starring: James Garner, Donald Pleasence, Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Donald
Directed by: John Sturges
Release date: 1963-06-20
2.

The Birds

6.2

Chic socialite Melanie Daniels enjoys a passing flirtation with an eligible attorney in a San Francisco pet shop and, on an impulse, follows him to his hometown bearing a gift of lovebirds. But upon her arrival, the bird population runs amok. Suddenly, the townsfolk face a massive avian onslaught, with the feathered fiends inexplicably attacking people all over Bodega Bay.

Starring: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy, Veronica Cartwright, Suzanne Pleshette
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Release date: 1963-03-28
3.

From Russia with Love

6.0

Agent 007 is back in the second installment of the James Bond series, this time battling a secret crime organization known as SPECTRE. Russians Rosa Klebb and Kronsteen are out to snatch a decoding device known as the Lektor, using the ravishing Tatiana to lure Bond into helping them. Bond willingly travels to meet Tatiana in Istanbul, where he must rely on his wits to escape with his life in a series of deadly encounters with the enemy

Starring: Sean Connery, Daniela Bianchi, Pedro Armendáriz, Lotte Lenya, Robert Shaw
Directed by: Terence Young
Release date: 1963-10-11
4.

The Sword in the Stone

5.9

Wart is a young boy who aspires to be a knight's squire. On a hunting trip he falls in on Merlin, a powerful but amnesiac wizard who has plans for him beyond mere squiredom. He starts by trying to give him an education, believing that once one has an education, one can go anywhere. Needless to say, it doesn't quite work out that way.

Starring: Sebastian Cabot, Karl Swenson, Junius Matthews, Norman Alden, Rickie Sorensen
Directed by: Wolfgang Reitherman
Release date: 1963-12-25
5.

Charade

5.7

After Regina Lampert falls for the dashing Peter Joshua on a skiing holiday in the French Alps, she discovers upon her return to Paris that her husband has been murdered. Soon, she and Peter are giving chase to three of her late husband's World War II cronies, Tex, Scobie and Gideon, who are after a quarter of a million dollars the quartet stole while behind enemy lines. But why does Peter keep changing his name?

Starring: Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, James Coburn, George Kennedy
Directed by: Stanley Donen
Release date: 1963-12-05
6.

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

5.4

A group of strangers come across a man dying after a car crash who proceeds to tell them about the $350,000 he buried in California. What follows is the madcap adventures of those strangers as each attempts to claim the prize for himself.

Starring: Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Rooney
Directed by: Stanley Kramer
Release date: 1963-11-07
7.

Irma la Douce

5.3

A Parisian policeman gives up everything for the love of a free-living sex worker.

Starring: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Lou Jacobi, Cliff Osmond, Bruce Yarnell
Directed by: Billy Wilder
Release date: 1963-06-04
8.

The Haunting

5.3

Dr. Markway, doing research to prove the existence of ghosts, investigates Hill House, a large, eerie mansion with a lurid history of violent death and insanity.

Starring: Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, Russ Tamblyn, Fay Compton
Directed by: Robert Wise
Release date: 1963-09-18
9.

Jason and the Argonauts

5.2

Jason, a fearless sailor and explorer, returns to his home land of Thessaly after a long voyage to claim his rightful throne. He learns, however, that he must first find the magical Golden Fleece. To do so, he must embark on an epic quest fraught with fantastic monsters and terrible perils.

Starring: Todd Armstrong, Nancy Kovack, Gary Raymond, Laurence Naismith, Niall MacGinnis
Directed by: Don Chaffey
Release date: 1963-06-19
10.

The Pink Panther

5.2

The trademark of The Phantom, a renowned jewel thief, is a glove left at the scene of the crime. Inspector Clouseau, an expert on The Phantom's exploits, feels sure that he knows where The Phantom will strike next and leaves Paris for Switzerland, where the famous Lugashi jewel 'The Pink Panther' is going to be. However, he does not know who The Phantom really is, or for that matter who anyone else really is...

Starring: David Niven, Peter Sellers, Robert Wagner, Capucine, Brenda De Banzie
Directed by: Blake Edwards
Release date: 1963-12-19
11.

Cleopatra

5.1

Winner of four Oscars, this epic saga of love, greed, and betrayal stars Elizabeth Taylor as the passionate and ambitious Egyptian queen, Cleopatra. Determined to hold on to the throne, she 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.

Starring: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, Pamela Brown, George Cole
Directed by: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Release date: 1963-06-12
12.

Hud

5.0

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."

Starring: Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas, Patricia Neal, Brandon De Wilde, Whit Bissell
Directed by: Martin Ritt
Release date: 1963-05-29
13.

The Nutty Professor

4.8

Jerry Lewis directed, co-wrote and starred in this riotously funny movie that set a new standard for screen comedy and inspired the hit remake. Lewis plays a timid, nearsighted chemistry teacher who discovers a magical potion that can transform him into a suave and handsome Romeo. The Jekyll and Hyde game works well enough until the concoction starts to wear off at the most embarrassing times.

Starring: Jerry Lewis, Stella Stevens, Henry Gibson, Richard Kiel, Del Moore
Directed by: Jerry Lewis
Release date: 1963-06-04
14.

McLintock!

4.4

Aging rancher George Washington McLintock, a wealthy self-made man, is forced to deal with numerous personal and professional problems. Seemingly everyone wants a piece of his enormous farmstead, including high-ranking government men, McLintock's own sons and nearby Native Americans. As McLintock tries to juggle his various adversaries, his wife, who left him two years previously, suddenly returns. But she isn't interested in her husband -- she wants custody of their daughter.

Starring: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Patrick Wayne, Stefanie Powers, Jack Kruschen
Directed by: Andrew V. McLaglen
Release date: 1963-11-13
15.

Tom Jones

4.2

Tom loves Sophie and Sophie loves Tom. But Tom and Sophie are of differering classes. Can they find a way through the mayhem to be true to love?

Starring: Albert Finney, Susannah York, Hugh Griffith, Edith Evans, Joan Greenwood
Directed by: Tony Richardson
Release date: 1963-08-24
16.

The Servant

4.1

A decadent London aristocrat hires a man-servant to attend to his needs. However, the balance of power starts to shift...

Starring: Dirk Bogarde, James Fox, Sarah Miles, Wendy Craig, Catherine Lacey
Directed by: Joseph Losey
Release date: 1963-11-01
17.

Dinner for One

4.0
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A very old woman wants to have dinner with her friends. As they are all dead, the butler has to play the role of every guest.
Starring: Freddie Frinton, May Warden, Heinz Piper
Directed by: Franco Marazzi, Heinz Dunkhase
Release date: 1963-06-08
18.

Billy Liar

4.0

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.

Starring: Tom Courtenay, Wilfred Pickles, Mona Washbourne, Ethel Griffies, Finlay Currie
Directed by: John Schlesinger
Release date: 1963-06-05
19.

This Sporting Life

3.9

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.

Starring: Richard Harris, Rachel Roberts, Alan Badel, William Hartnell, Colin Blakely
Directed by: Lindsay Anderson
Release date: 1963-01-15
20.

Lilies of the Field

3.9

An unemployed construction worker (Homer Smith) 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 (Mother Maria), who believes that Homer has been sent by God to build a much needed church in the desert...

Starring: Sidney Poitier, Lilia Skala, Isa Crino, Lisa Mann, Stanley Adams
Directed by: Ralph Nelson
Release date: 1963-06-04

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