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My MUST SEE Films 1960-1990

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By Marci Liroff

I believe that you should become a student of the cinema. You should be a walking talking library of films. There are SO many films that you should see not only for reference, but to become a well-rounded actor.

It is crucial to you to become an actor with range by watching old movies. I’d like you to become a walking/talking film library . You may come across a director in an audition situation or on-set who, rather than being able to articulate what she is looking for, will give you an example of a character in a classic (or not so classic) film. Since you’re a student of cinema, you will know exactly what she’s referring to.

I’ve compiled a few lists of my favorite American Films from the Sixties to the Nineties.

I’m sure I’ve missed A LOT!

Let me know what I should add to the list!

SIXTIES

THE BIRDS

BONNIE & CLYDE

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S

BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID

BYE BYE BIRDIE

THE MUSIC MAN

WEST SIDE STORY

DR. ZHIVAGO

THE DIRTY DOZEN

EASY RIDER

FUNNY GIRL

GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS

GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER?

LOLITA

MY FAIR LADY

PATTON

THE PINK PANTHER

PSYCHO

ROMEO & JULIET

SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS

WAIT UNTIL DARK

SEVENTIES

ALICE DOESN’T LIVER HERE ANYMORE

ALL THAT JAZZ

AMERICAN GRAFITTI

ANNIE HALL

ROSEMARY’S BABY

BREAKING AWAY

CARRIE

CATCH-22

CHINATOWN

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND

COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER

DAYS OF HEAVEN

THE DEER HUNTER

DELIVERANCE

DOG DAY AFTERNOON

THE ELEPHANT MAN

FAME

THE FRENCH CONNECTION

THE FRONT

THE GODFATHER I & II

THE GRADUATE

THE GREAT SANTINI

HAROLD & MAUDE

THE HEARTBREAK KID

HEAVEN CAN WAIT

KRAMER VS. KRAMER

LADY SINGS THE BLUES

THE LAST PICTURE SHOW

THE LAST DETAIL

LENNY

MANHATTAN

MARATHON MAN

MASH

MCCABE & MRS. MILLER

MIDNIGHT EXPRESS

MIDNIGHT COWBOY

NASHVILLE

NORMA RAE

NORTH DALLAS FORTY

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUKOO’S NEXT

ORDINARY PEOPLE

PAPER MOON

PAPILLION

PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM

RAGING BULL

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER

SERPICO

SHAMPOO

SLEEPER

A STAR IS BORN

THE SUGARLAND EXPRESS

TAXI DRIVER

URBAN COWBOY

THE WAY WE WERE

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN

EIGHTIES

AFTER HOURS

AGNES OF GOD

AMADEUS

ATLANTIC CITY

AVALON

BABY BOOM

THE BIG CHILL

THE BIG PICTURE

BLADE RUNNER

BLOOD SIMPLE

BODY HEAT

BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY

THE BREAKFAST CLUB

BULL DURHAM

DEAD CALM

DEAD POETS SOCIETY

DESERT BLOOM

DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN

DINER

DO THE RIGHT THING

DOWN AND OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS

DRUGSTORE COWBOY

E.T.

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS

EMPIRE OF THE SUN

THE FABULOUS BAKER BOYS

FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH

FATAL ATTRACTION

FERRIS BEULLER

A FISH CALLED WANDA

FIVE CORNERS

THE FLAMINGO KID

FLASHDANCE

THE FLY

FOXES

FRANCES

FULL METAL JACKET

GHOSTBUSTERS

GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM

GOODFELLAS

THE GRIFTERS

HENRY & JUNE

HOOSIERS

KING OF COMEDY

MOONSTRUCK

AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN

OUT OF AFRICA

PLATOON

THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE

THE PRINCESS BRIDE

PRIZZI’S HONOR

RAINMAN

RAISING ARIZONA

THE RIVER’S EDGE

SCARFACE

SAY ANYTHING

SEX, LIES & VIDEOTAPES

SHOOT THE MOON

SILKWOOD

SOMETHING WILD

SOPHIE’S CHOICE

STAND BY ME

THE SURE THING

TENDER MERCIES

TERMS OF ENDEARMENT

TESTAMENT

TOOTSIE

THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL

VICTOR/VICTORIA

WORKING GIRL

ZELIG

Please let me know what I’m missing. I think this list will be ever-growing! (I haven’t even touched all the foreign films yet!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. I loved your article in this weeks backstage. I’m an actor and such a huge fan of TV/FILM, I could talk about it all day. All I was doing was nodding in agreement while I was reading your article. I’m such a big believer in knowing the history of what’s come before. Like any good musician should know classical music in some form or another, an actor should know certain in’s and out’s of great films and television shows. I noticed you had Butch Cassidy in the 70’s list ( I believe it came out in 1969 haha). I’m looking forward to coming in and reading for you in the future. I’m currently in NYC “acting” it up.

  2. Chuck Filipov says:

    Having a sick day film festival and am loving this list for reference! One thing I notice missing: Lawrence of Arabia. Granted it’s one of MY must-sees but wanted to throw it out there.

  3. Brenda foulks says:

    One of my favorites is “Silence of the Lambs” 1996 movie.

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