YEAR OF FURIOUS FILMS: 1964

Year of Furious Films is our newest series on FC where we’ll be choosing our favorite films from each designated year. You may notice that we won’t be going in chronological order, it’ll be more random, but thats really part of the fun. We’ll be covering a wide array of movies from various eras spanning from the 20th century to the modern age. We hope you enjoy these lists and that they’ll inspire you to give the movies a watch or even a rewatch if you’ve already seen them.

1964

642

A Fistful of Dollars (Dir: Sergio Leone)

The film that gave birth to the genre known as the “Spaghetti Western”. Clint Eastwood, a TV actor on the show Rawhide took the role of a mysterious, gunslinging drifter that comes upon a small Mexican town and plays two warring factions against each other. The result was one of Clint’s most iconic roles and a cinematic benchmark from Sergio Leone. READ MOREWATCH TRAILER

649Goldfinger (Dir: Guy Hamilton)

In the third installment of the Bond series, MI6 Agent 007 (Sean Connery) encounters the flamboyant mastermind Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) who plans to infiltrate the gold bullion depository at Fort Knox. Co-starring Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore and Harold Sakata as Goldfinger’s killer hat throwing henchman Oddjob. Many elements introduced would become a Bond standard like the various gadgets from “M” and the cool pre-credits sequences which weren’t connected to the main storylines. Goldfinger was also the first Bond film to win an Academy Award. WATCH TRAILER

6491A Shot in The Dark (Dir: Blake Edwards)

In this follow up to The Pink Panther Peter Sellers reprises his role as bungling French Inspector Clouseau who is called to investigate the murder of a chauffeur at the home of wealthy Paris businessman Benjamin Ballon (George Sanders). Clouseau’s trademark hijinks deliver plenty of laughs in this 60s comedy gem that originally didn’t include the character. The film would introduce future Panther regulars Commissioner Dreyfus (Herbert Lom) and Cato (Burt Kwouk), Clouseau’s Asian manservant whom he would get in fights with in subsequent films. WATCH TRAILER

643A Hard Day’s Night (Dir: Richard Lester)

For Beatlemaniacs and film fans in general this black and white comedy is a treasure from the 60s British Invasion era. The Lads From Liverpool show off their zany Marx Bros style humor in this raucously funny tale that follows them on an adventure while being chased by rabid fans. It would even inspire TV’s The Monkees and Beatles spoof The Rutles. WATCH TRAILER

6498The Pink Panther (Dir: Blake Edwards)

A crime-comedy that introduced audiences to the great Peter Sellers as his iconic alter-ego Inspector Clouseau. The story focuses on Princess Dala (Claudia Cardinale) and her priceless diamond “The Pink Panther” which she received in childhood from her father, The Shah of Lugash. Years later Dala is staying at a ski resort where an enigmatic jewel thief known as The Phantom aka Sir Charles Lytton (David Niven) plans to steal the diamond. Meanwhile the clumsy French detective Jacques Clouseau (Sellers) is on his trail. Filled with laughs, swinging 60s charm and style. Co-starring Capucine and Robert Wagner. WATCH TRAILER

64104Viva Las Vegas (Dir: George Sidney)

In this fast moving rockin’ musical, Elvis plays Lucky Jackson a racecar driver who heads to Las Vegas to compete in the city’s first ever Grand Prix race. While staying at a hotel he meets sexy swimming instructor Rusty Martin (Ann-Margret) and tries to woo her with his charms. There’s some really fantastic performances in this. One of The King’s best films along with Jailhouse Rock and King Creole. WATCH TRAILER

646Dr. Strangelove (Dir: Stanley Kubrick)

In this Cold War era black comedy masterpiece, deranged U.S. Army General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) orders a nuclear strike on Russia, leaving President Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers who plays multiple roles), the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Royal Air Force scrambling to try to stop the attack. A hilarious movie on a very dark topic. Featuring superb off-kilter performances from Hayden, George C. Scott, Keenan Wynn and Slim Pickens. WATCH TRAILER

6493Marnie (Dir: Alfred Hitchcock)

Tippi Hedren (The Birds) is Marnie Edgar, a mentally disturbed thief that robs one of her bosses and is later apprehended by Mark Rutland (Sean Connery) who uses his knowledge of the robbery to force her to marry him. A visually stunning thriller from Hitch that delves into the topic of child abuse and its effects on the psyche. WATCH TRAILER

6492Man’s Favorite Sport? (Dir: Howard Hawks)

Rock Hudson plays Roger Willoughby a sporting goods sales rep/fishing expert who is pursued by a nagging public relations woman named Abigail Page (Paula Prentiss) to take part in a big fishing tournament being held at a country club in the mountains. Willoughby has been lying to keep his job and has never fished in his life. He runs into more trouble when it’s discovered that he’s basically a big klutz who can’t do much of anything that’s physically demanding. A laugh out loud screwball comedy in the tradition of Hawks’ Bringing Up Baby. WATCH TRAILER

6499Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte (Dir: Robert Aldrich)

In this dark mystery thriller a wealthy older southern woman Charlotte Hollis (Bette Davis) is haunted by the death of her lover (Bruce Dern) who was murdered years earlier. One of the best films in the “Hagsploitation” genre. Co-starring Olivia DeHavilland, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead and George Kennedy. WATCH TRAILER
644

Blood and Black Lace (Dir: Mario Bava)

An early giallo masterpiece in which a masked killer begins knocking off fashion models when a diary suspected of holding secrets of various past crimes might be uncovered. A gorgeously photographed, atmospheric murder-mystery from Il Maestro. Starring Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Thomas Reiner. WATCH TRAILER
645

Dog Eat Dog (Dir: Gustav Gavrin)

After a heist on a U.S. transport, three thieves go on the lam with the million dollars they’ve stolen. Corbett (Cameron Mitchell), Darlene (Jayne Mansfield) and Kostas (Ivor Salter) take refuge on a small Mediteranean island but find they can’t get away so easily. A quirky little B-crime film that has dashes of The Killing, Sunset Boulevard and Key Largo with a European twist. WATCH TRAILER

648Fail-Safe (Dir: Sidney Lumet)

This film unlike Dr Strangelove was not a satire but a serious look at the consequences of a potential nuclear attack being set in motion between the U.S. and Russia at the height of the Cold War. An edge of your seat, highly tense thriller that was later remade by George Clooney. Starring Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau, Larry Hagman, Dom DeLuise and Dana Elcar. WATCH TRAILER
6496

The Killers (Dir: Don Siegel)

Two hitmen, Charlie (Lee Marvin) and Lee (Clu Gulager) are hired to kill Johnny North (John Cassavetes). After they carry out their job they find themselves investigating the reason behind it. A flashy, pulpy, stylized remake of the 1946 film noir. Co-starring Angie Dickinson, Ronald Reagan, Claude Akins. WATCH TRAILER

6497

The Last Man on Earth (Dir: Ubaldo Ragona/Sidney Salkow)

Vincent Price plays Dr. Robert Morgan, the sole survivor of a mass plague that has turned most of the human population into vampires. Morgan’s lonely existance is spent keeping the nocturnal monsters at bay. This was the first film adaptation of Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel I Am Legend (the others being The Omega Man and I Am Legend). A perfect story for a low budget and highly rewatchable due to its simple but intriguing storyline and post-apocalyptic atmosphere. WATCH TRAILER
6494

The Naked Kiss (Dir: Sam Fuller)

A worn out prostitute named Kelly (Constance Towers) wants to leave that way of life behind. To remedy this she moves to a small Midwest town and meets a wealthy man (Michael Dante) whom she marries. Troubles arise once again when Kelly discovers her new husband has been keeping a very dark secret. A controversial, seedy neo-noir from wildman Sam Fuller. WATCH TRAILER
64102

Masque of The Red Death (Dir: Roger Corman)

Set in medieval times, Vincent Price stars as Prince Prospero, a diabolical Satanist who holds a party in his castle for an elite group of nobles. When Prospero finds that a deadly plague known as “The Red Death” has somehow infiltrated his domain the nightmare begins. A low budget yet beautifully acted/directed/photographed horror classic. Based on the short story by Edgar Allan Poe. WATCH TRAILER

641

The Pawnbroker (Dir: Sidney Lumet)

The harrowing story of Sol Nazerman (Rod Steiger) a Holocaust survivor who owns a pawnshop in East Harlem, New York. Since losing his family in the war, Sol has become an angry, bitter loner. His shop assistant Jesus (Jaime Sanchez) looks up to him but has a tough time getting through. When a local criminal (Brock Peters) tries to strongarm Sol he decides to fight back. One of Rod Steiger’s finest performances. WATCH TRAILER
64103

Seven Days in May (Dir: John Frankenheimer)

In this superb Cold War political/conspiracy thriller, a U.S. Marine Colonel (Kirk Douglas) uncovers a conspiracy by the Joint Chiefs and an Air Force General (Burt Lancaster) to stage a coup d’etat to remove The President and his cabinet. Co-starring Fredric March and Ava Gardner. Screenplay by Rod Serling adapted from the novel. WATCH TRAILER
647

Strait-Jacket (Dir: William Castle)

Lucy Harbin (Joan Crawford) has been in a mental hospital for 20 years after being convicted of the axe murder of her husband (Lee Majors) and his mistress. Following her release she moves in on the farm of her brother Bill and sister-in-law Emily. Soon more axe murders begin occurring and the chills and thrills begin. A B-horror classic. Co-starring Diane Baker, Leif Erickson, Rochelle Hudson. WATCH TRAILER
64101

The Train (Dir: John Frankenheimer)

Burt Lancaster stars in this action packed World War II drama about a French Resistance member that tries to intercept precious artwork stolen by The Nazis which is being transported by train into Germany. One of the greatest war/adventure movies. Co-starring Paul Scofield, Jeanne Moreau. WATCH TRAILER
64100

Zulu (Dir: Cy Endfield)

A thrilling war epic based on the 1879 Battle of Rorke’s Drift in Africa which pitted the British Army (who were mostly sick and wounded) Vs. hundreds of Zulu Warriors. Starring Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins, Nigel Greene and Michael Caine in his first major film role. WATCH TRAILER
6495

Your Cheatin’ Heart (Dir: Gene Nelson)

George Hamilton shines as legendary country crooner Hank Williams aka The Hillbilly Shakespeare in this entertaining B&W biopic based on his life. Co-starring Susan Oliver and Red Buttons. WATCH TRAILER

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Peter

Editor-In-Chief of The Grindhouse Cinema Database/Furious Cinema contributor. Pete is a rabid movie geek who enjoys everything from wild n' crazy exploitation/cult flix to big budget mainstream classics. His other interests include: graphic design, cartooning and music.

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