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Top 10 Scariest Movies of the 1960's

Posted on 22 October 2014

Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz 1939
Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz 1939

 

Halloween is just around the corner..time to turn out the lights, pop some popcorn and curl up with your favorite horror movie. There is something very interesting to me about scary movies - what scares one person doesn't scare the other.  Sometimes, I take a look at those endless top ten lists of the scariest horror films of all time or movies you should never watch alone and they always seem to be filled with monsters, vampires, zombies, and, well..more zombies.  Those creatures can startle me, but they don't really SCARE me..so I decided to make my own list of the top 10 scariest movies.  Since I want to be true to my blog, mine are all vintage - from the 1960's.

 

Wait Until Dark - Audrey Hepburn
Wait Until Dark - Audrey Hepburn

 

10. Wait Until Dark - 1967 Terence Young film with Audrey Hepburn and Alan Arkin - never was being blind more terrifying.  Audrey Hepburn plays the role just right, and beautifully, of course.  I always like to work her in to anything I'm writing anyway..

 

Tippi Hedren - The Birds
Tippi Hedren - The Birds

 

9. The Birds Alfred Hitchcock 1963 film with Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor. I know this one makes all of the lists, a few of mine do, but I never looked at birds the same way again.  It is made even scarier if you read Tippi's autobiography or see the movie "The Girl."

 

Sara Lane, Andi Garrett and Sharyl Locke in I Saw What You Did
Sara Lane, Andi Garrett and Sharyl Locke in I Saw What You Did

 

8. I Saw What You Did - Long before I Saw What You Did Last Summer, there was William Castle's 1968 film about prank calls gone wrong. Joan Crawford, John Ireland and Leif Erickson.  

 

Claire Bloom and Julie Harris in The Haunting
Claire Bloom and Julie Harris in The Haunting

 

7. The Haunting and I don't mean the bad remake! The original 1963 Robert Wise film with Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn.  It looks innocent enough - how can that little movie be scary? Be warned, it definitely sneaks up on you. Less is more has never been better exemplified.

 

Janet Leigh in - do I really need to explain this one?
Janet Leigh in - do I really need to explain this one?

 

6. Psycho I know, a cliche. But there's a reason Hitchcock's 1960 film Psycho makes every top ten horror film list - it made clear glass shower doors and transparent shower curtains more popular than ever. Anthony Perkins was brilliant in the title role - I can't imagine anyone playing it better.

 

The Innocents
The Innocents

 

5. The Innocents Jack Clayton's 1961 adaptation of Henry James' Taming of the Shrew is simply creepy.  A terrifying thriller with Deborah Kerr that thrusts you through a maze of psychological twists and turns.

 

Catherine Deneuve in Repulsion
Catherine Deneuve in Repulsion

 

4. Repulsion this one I only saw once and couldn't watch it again - ever.  Roman Polanski's 1965 weird voyeuristic type experience - peering into the madness and hallucinations of a beautiful young manicurist played by Catherine Deneuve. Highly Disturbing.

 

 

3. Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte A Robert Aldrich 1964 film with Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland and Joseph Cotten.  An aging recluse in an old, secluded Southern mansion... you will have to watch it to see why it made the list!  "The worms crawl in the worms crawl out..."

 

Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane
Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane

 

2. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane I mean, come on! Just look at that picture and you will see why Robert Aldrich's 1962 low budget film couldn't be any creepier. Bette Davis is absolutely perfect as an aging former child star who is forced to take care of her wheelchair bound sister, Blanche (Joan Crawford).

 

 

1. In Cold Blood - my #1 scariest film might surprise you - it doesn't usually make anyone's top 10 list, even though it has the most terrifying monsters of all.  I had a nightmare, JUST the other night, that I was in the Clutter family's home in Holcomb, Kansas and I was terrified because I knew what was going to happen!  Richard Brooks directed this 1967 film based on the novel by Truman Capote and Robert Blake and Scott Wilson played the killers. The fact that it was based on a true story just makes it more chilling. It's the other one on my list that I know I will never watch again!

 

 

However you decide to spend this Halloween, try to include watching one of these classic 1960's movies - I'd love to hear what you think!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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