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24 September 2014
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Summer in the Sixties
Michael Caine as Harry Palmer in Billion Dollar Brain

Summer in the Sixties

Snapshot of the era - Films

The Sixties were an era of memorable events, fads and fashions. To jog your memory, we have highlights for art, social/political moments, sport, music, TV, films, style and toys along with information about related programming in the BBC FOUR season.

Films being screened as part of the BBC FOUR season:

Alfie, A Hard Day's Night, Performance, Billion Dollar Brain and many more

Polanski in the Sixties - each Thursday from 10 June to 1 July BBC FOUR will screen a Polanski classic: Rosemary's Baby, Cul De Sac, Knife in the Water and Repulsion

The DVD Collection - special Sixties edition

From Sci-Fi films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Barbarella to depictions of the vibrant Sixties lifestyle in Blow Up, Alfie and A Hard Day's Night, it was a busy decade for cinema-goers…

• Arguably one of Hitchcock's finest films and certainly one of cinema's scariest shower moments, Psycho opened in 1960.

Breakfast at Tiffany's starred Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in 1961. The sunglasses with black dress and cigarette holder look went down in history.

A Taste of Honey, the revolutionary kitchen sink drama depicting the life of a northern lass, was a turning point for British cinema in 1961.

• The first ever James Bond film, Dr No, hit screens in 1962 starring a little known Scottish actor called Sean Connery. In it Bond pursued the villainous Dr No to his secret installation on a Caribbean island.

Lawrence of Arabia - One of the great desert dramas, this epic tale of World War I hero TE Lawrence was a smash hit, critically and financially, in 1962.

Mary Poppins - the children's musical fantasy about a magical London nanny was Julie Andrews' cinema debut in 1964 and landed her the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Mary Poppins.

Dr Strangelove - this story of a mad general who sends his bombers to destroy the USSR was particularly poignant in 1964 because of the cold war and the assassination of JFK during the era.

A Hard Day's Night was a dream come true for Beatles fans worldwide in 1964: a feature length film capturing a day in the life of the Fab Four.

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly starred Clint Eastwood in 1966. It is still probably the ultimate spaghetti Western.

• In 1966 Michael Caine played Alfie, the quintessential lady-killer who eventually grew a soul by the end of the film.

• A wonderful depiction of swinging London, Blow Up from 1966 told the intriguing tale of a hip but vain fashion photographer who by chance manages to take a snap that becomes evidence for a murder.

The Graduate from 1967 was the classic coming-of-age comedy in which Dustin Hoffman falls for a girl - and the seduction techniques of her mother.

Bonnie and Clyde, the highly influential film telling the story of the depression era bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, came out in 1967.

Barbarella - Set in the 40th Century and released in 1968, Jane Fonda played the futuristic heroine who sets out to save the world from the evil clutches of scientist Durand Durand.

• Stanley Kubrick's sci-fi masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey, came out in 1968.

• The Oscar-winning drama Midnight Cowboy, about a naive, young country boy who travels to New York to make his fortune as a gigolo and the friendship he makes along the way, hit screens in 1969.

Easy Rider was released in 1969 and became the ultimate road movie. It featured Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper as the two 'anti heroes' who hit the road and travelled across the South West US.

Performance was made in 1967 but not released until 1970. This cult film, encapsulating drug-crazed Swinging Sixties London, stars Mick Jagger as a reclusive rock star who meets gangster James Fox.

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