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Best Comedies of the 1960s: From Charade to Barbarella and beyond!

Best comedy films of the 1960s

Welcome to the Hilarious World of the 1960s

So you are one of those keen comedy lovers, who like to travel back in time to experience the humor of earlier cinematic eras. So are we!

The funny stuff of the 1960s may be a thing of the distant past, but thanks to an enthralling, good old invention called Film, it will never be really gone.

Whenever you miss the swinging sixties and want to laugh your heart out, all you have to do, is watching one (or more) of its best comedies.

But which ones should you watch?
Well, if that’s the very question lurking in your mind right now, then you came to the right place. We are just about to present 21 of the greatest comedy films of the 1960s.

This is not your average comedy list featuring only the funniest and stupidest films. We treat comedy as the broad genre it actually is. Thus, we tried to diversify this collection as much as possible.

We picked romantic comedies, comedy-dramas, mystery comedies, crime comedies, adventure comedies, black comedies, musical comedies, fantasy comedies, superhero comedies, heist comedies, satirical comedies, horror comedies, science fiction comedies, buddy comedies, caper comedies, mockumentary comedies and everything in between.

Ready to see the list? Buckle up then, and let the best comedies of the 1960s make you laugh out loud!

This collection is an episode of FrameTrek’s Best Comedies of All Time. A mega-journey dedicated to identify the funniest films of each cinematic era, chronologically. It starts with the Comedies of the Silent Era and wanders ahead decade-by-decade, all the way to our ever moving present.



Revealing the Top 21 Comedies of the 1960s

Chronologically


The Apartment (1960)

The Apartment (1960), Billy Wilder, Jack Lemmon, Best 1960s comedy films
Where to Watch?   More info

Romantic comedy-drama film directed by Billy Wilder and starring Jack Lemmon.

Story: A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue. (IMDB)

Director Billy Wilder’s customary cynicism is leavened here by tender humor, romance, and genuine pathos.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is The Apartment among the funniest movies of the 1960s?
Featured in Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list.
Winner of Oscar’s Best Picture of the Year Academy Award.
Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
Selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.


La Dolce Vita (1960)

La Dolce Vita (1960), Federico Fellini, Best 1960s comedy movies
Where to Watch?   More info

Comedy-drama film directed and co-written by Federico Fellini.

Story: A series of stories following a week in the life of a philandering paparazzo journalist living in Rome. (IMDB)

An epic, breathtakingly stylish cinematic landmark, La Dolce Vita remains riveting in spite of — or perhaps because of — its sprawling length.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is La Dolce Vita among the funniest films of the 1960s?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
✓ Featured in Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list.
✓ It won the Palme d’Or at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival and the Oscar for Best Costumes.


Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Audrey Hepburn, Best 1960s comedies
Where to Watch?   More info

Romantic comedy film directed by Blake Edwards and starring Audrey Hepburn.

Story: A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building, but her past threatens to get in the way. (IMDB)

It contains some ugly anachronisms, but Blake Edwards is at his funniest in this iconic classic, and Audrey Hepburn absolutely lights up the screen.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is Breakfast at Tiffany’s among the best 1960s comedy films?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
✓ Winner of 2 Academy Awards, and nominated for another three.
✓ Deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.


Charade (1963)

Charade (1963), Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Best comedy movies of the 1960s
Where to Watch?   More info

Romantic comedy mystery film starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.

Story: Romance and suspense ensue in Paris as a woman is pursued by several men who want a fortune her murdered husband had stolen. Whom can she trust? (IMDB)

A globetrotting caper that prizes its idiosyncratic pieces over the general puzzle, Charade is a delightful romp with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn’s sparkling chemistry at the center of some perfectly orchestrated mayhem.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is Charade among the best 1960s comedy movies?
✓ It is notable for its screenplay, especially the repartee between Grant and Hepburn, and for Henry Mancini’s score and theme song.
✓ One of the most popular comedies of the 1960s.



The Pink Panther (1963)

The Pink Panther (1963), Peter Sellers, Best comedy films of the 1960s
Where to Watch?   More info

Comedy crime film directed by Blake Edwards and starring Peter Sellers.

Story: A bumbling inspector travels to Rome to catch a notorious jewel thief known as “The Phantom” before he conducts his most daring heist yet: a princess’ priceless diamond with one slight imperfection, known as “The Pink Panther”. (IMDB)

Peter Sellers is at his virtuosically bumbling best in The Pink Panther, a sophisticated caper blessed with an unforgettably slinky score by Henry Mancini.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is The Pink Panther among the best 1960s comedies?
✓  Selected to be preserved by the Library of Congress as part of its National Film Registry, being deemed “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant”.
✓ One of the most popular and most successful movies of the 1960s, and a timeless comedy classic, with a noteworthy influence on pop culture.


It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963)

It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963), Spencer Tracy, Best comedies of the 1960s
Where to Watch?   More info

Adventure comedy film starring Spencer Tracy.

Story: A group of motorists hear about a crook’s hidden stash of loot, and race against each other across the country to get to it. (IMDB)

It’s long, frantic, and stuffed to the gills with comic actors and set pieces — and that’s exactly its charm.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World among the best comedy movies of the 1960s?
✓ It became a critical and commercial success upon release, and it is one of the most popular comedies of the 1960s.
✓ Included among the American Film Institute’s list of the Top 100 Funniest American Movies.


Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Dr. Strangelove (1964), Stanley Kubrick, Peter Sellers, Best 1960s comedy films
Where to Watch?   More info

Black comedy film directed, produced, and co-written by Stanley Kubrick, starring Peter Sellers.

Story: An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a War Room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop. (IMDB)

Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant Cold War satire remains as funny and razor-sharp today as it was in 1964.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is Dr. Strangelove among the best comedy films of the 1960s?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list.
✓ Widely considered one of the best comedies ever made.
✓ Selected into the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.


Mary Poppins (1964)

Mary Poppins (1964), Robert Stevenson, Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Best 1960s comedy movies
Where to Watch?   More info

Musical fantasy comedy film produced Disney, directed by Robert Stevenson, starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke.

Story: In turn of the century London, a magical nanny employs music and adventure to help two neglected children become closer to their father. (IMDB)

A lavish modern fairy tale celebrated for its amazing special effects, catchy songs, and Julie Andrews’s legendary performance in the title role.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is Mary Poppins among the best comedies of the 1960s?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, and widely considered Walt Disney’s crowning live-action achievement.
✓ Winner of 5 Oscars, and nominee for another 8, including the ‘Best Picture of the Year’ Academy Award.
✓ Selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.



A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

A Hard Day’s Night (1964), The Beatles, Best 1960s comedies
Where to Watch?   More info

Musical comedy film starring the influential English rock band The Beatles.

Story: Over two “typical” days in the life of The Beatles, the boys struggle to keep themselves and Sir Paul McCartney’s mischievous grandfather in check while preparing for a live television performance. (IMDB)

A Hard Day’s Night, despite its age, is still a delight to watch and has proven itself to be a rock-and-roll movie classic.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is A Hard Day’s Night among the top comedy movies of the 1960s?
✓ Featured in Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list.
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
✓ The film was a financial and critical success and it is credited as being one of the most influential of all musical films.


Zorba the Greek (1964)

Zorba the Greek (1964), Anthony Quinn, Best comedy movies of the 1960s
Where to Watch?   More info

Comedy-drama film starring Anthony Quinn.

Story: An uptight English writer travelling to Crete, on a matter of business, finds his life changed forever when he meets the gregarious Alexis Zorba. (IMDB)

Why is Zorba the Greek among the top comedy films of the 1960s?
✓ The film was a smash hit and became one of the most popular comedies of the decade.
✓ Anthony Quinn receiving numerous accolades for his performance.


Batman: The Movie (1966)

Batman: The Movie (1966), Adam West, Best comedy films of the 1960s
Where to Watch?   More info

Superhero comedy film starring Adam West.

Story: The Dynamic Duo faces four supervillains who plan to hold the world for ransom with the help of a secret invention that instantly dehydrates people. (IMDB)

Batman: The Movie elevates camp to an art form — and has a blast doing it, every gloriously tongue-in-cheek inch of the way.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

How to Steal a Million (1966)

How to Steal a Million (1966), Audrey Hepburn, Peter O'Toole, Best comedies of the 1960s
Where to Watch?   More info

Heist comedy film directed by William Wyler, starring Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole.

Story: The daughter of an art forger teams up with a burglar to steal one of her father’s forgeries and protect his secret. (IMDB)



The Graduate (1967)

The Graduate (1967), Dustin Hoffman, Top comedy movies of the 1960s
Where to Watch?   More info

Romantic comedy-drama film starring Dustin Hoffman.

Story: A disillusioned college graduate finds himself torn between his older lover and her daughter. (IMDB)

The music, the performances, the precision in capturing the post-college malaise – The Graduate’s coming-of-age story is indeed one for the ages.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is The Graduate among the top comedies of the 1960s?
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
✓ Selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
✓ The American Film Institute ranked this as the #17 Greatest Movie of All Time.


The Producers (1967)

The Producers (1967), Mel Brooks, Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder, Top comedy films of the 1960s
Where to Watch?   More info

Satirical black comedy film written and directed by Mel Brooks, starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder.

Story: A stage-play producer devises a plan to make money by producing a sure-fire flop. (IMDB)

A hilarious satire of the business side of Hollywood, The Producers is one of Mel Brooks’ finest, as well as funniest films, featuring standout performances by Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is The Producers among the greatest comedy movies of the 1960s?
✓ Featured in Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list.
✓ Included among the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
✓ Selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.


The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)

The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967), Roman Polanski, Top comedies of the 1960s
Where to Watch?   More info

Horror comedy film directed by and co-starring Roman Polanski.

Story: A noted professor and his dim-witted apprentice fall prey to their inquiring vampires, while on the trail of the ominous damsel in distress. (IMDB)

This uneven but amiable 1967 vampire picture is part horror spoof, part central European epic, and 100 percent Roman Polanski, whose signature sensibility colors every frame.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Greatest comedy movies of the 1960s
Where to Watch?   More info

Comedy-drama film produced and directed by Stanley Kramer, starring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, and Katharine Hepburn.

Story: A couple’s attitudes are challenged when their daughter introduces them to her African-American fiancé. (IMDB)

More well-intentioned than insightful in its approach to interracial marriage, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner succeeds thanks to the fizzy chemistry of its star-studded ensemble.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner among the greatest comedy films of the 1960s?
✓ Selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
✓ Included among the American Film Institute’s list of the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.



The Party (1968)

The Party (1968), Peter Sellers, Greatest comedy films of the 1960s
Where to Watch?   More info

Comedy film directed by Blake Edwards and starring Peter Sellers.

Story: A clerical mistake results in a bumbling Indian film star being invited to an exclusive Hollywood party instead of being fired. (IMDB)

Why is The Party among the greatest comedies of the 1960s?
✓ It is widely considered a comic masterpiece and an influential classic cult film.


Barbarella (1968)

Barbarella (1968), Jane Fonda, Greatest comedies of the 1960s
Where to Watch?   More info

Science fiction comedy film starring Jane Fonda.

Story: Barbarella, an astronaut from the 41st century, sets out to find and stop the evil scientist Durand Durand, whose Positronic Ray threatens to bring evil back into the galaxy. (IMDB)

Unevenly paced and thoroughly cheesy, Barbarella is nonetheless full of humor, entertaining visuals, and Jane Fonda’s sex appeal.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is Barbarella among the funniest movies of the 1960s?
✓ One of the most popular comedies of the 1960s.
✓ Widely praised for its visuals and cinematography.


The Odd Couple (1968)

The Odd Couple (1968), Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Most popular comedy movies of the 1960s
Where to Watch?   More info

Buddy comedy film starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau.

Story: Two friends try sharing an apartment, but their ideas of housekeeping and lifestyles are as different as night and day. (IMDB)

Enlivening Neil Simon’s crackerjack script with their harmonious rapport, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau are a perfect pairing as The Odd Couple.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is The Odd Couple among the funniest films of the 1960s?
Included among the American Film Institute’s list of the Top 100 Funniest American Movies.
✓ Successful with critics and audiences, it became one of the most popular comedies of the 1960s.


The Italian Job (1969)

The Italian Job (1969), Michael Caine, Most popular comedy films of the 1960s
Where to Watch?   More info

British comedy caper film starring Michael Caine.

Story: A British crook robs gold ingots in Italy by having a computer expert cause a traffic jam. (Rotten Tomatoes)

The Italian Job is a wildly fun romp that epitomizes the height of Britannia style.

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus

Why is The Italian Job among the most popular comedy movies of the 1960s?
Voted #36 on the BFI’s 100 Greatest British Films of the 20th century.
✓ Since its release, the popularity of the film has led to parodies and allusions in other films and productions.


Take the Money and Run (1969)

Take the Money and Run (1969), Woody Allen, Most popular comedies of the 1960s
Where to Watch?   More info

Mockumentary comedy film written, directed by and starring Woody Allen.

Story: The life and times of Virgil Starkwell, inept bank robber. (IMDB)

Why is Take the Money and Run among the best 1960s comedy films?
✓ Included among the American Film Institute’s list of the Top 100 Funniest American Movies.
✓ The first widely-released “mockumentary.”
✓ One of the most popular comedies of the 1960s.



…end of the reel…

So there you have it: The 21 Greatest Comedies of the 1960s

If you want to take a look at the movies listed above, without all that info between the titles, here’s a quick recap:

Top 21 Comedies of the 1960s
The Apartment 1960
The Apartment (1960)
La Dolce Vita 1960
La Dolce Vita (1960)
Breakfast at Tiffany’s 1961
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Charade 1963
Charade (1963)
The Pink Panther 1963
The Pink Panther (1963)
*Part of the Collection: Peter Sellers’s Pink Panther Franchise

It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World 1963
It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963)
Dr. Strangelove 1964
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Mary Poppins 1964
Mary Poppins (1964)
A Hard Day’s Night 1964
A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
Zorba the Greek 1964
Zorba the Greek (1964)
Batman: The Movie 1966
Batman: The Movie (1966)
How to Steal a Million 1966
How to Steal a Million (1966)
The Graduate 1967
The Graduate (1967)
The Producers 1967
The Producers (1967)
The Fearless Vampire Killers 1967
The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner 1967
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
The Party 1968
The Party (1968)
Barbarella 1968
Barbarella (1968)
The Odd Couple 1968
The Odd Couple (1968)
The Italian Job 1969
The Italian Job (1969)
Take the Money and Run 1969
Take the Money and Run (1969)
*Click any title for more info or for Streaming / Disc Buying options

Ready for another journey?

Explore the best comedies of other decades too!

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