Lost Classics: Must-Watch Movies From the 1960s You Might Have Missed

By Sophia Maddox | May 19, 2024

Valley of the Dolls

In the 1960s, cinematic history was shaped by a few iconic films that became
cultural touchstones. However, amidst these towering achievements, there exists
a plethora of underappreciated cinematic works that have fallen into obscurity.
These overlooked gems, once celebrated and revered, now languish in the
shadows of their more widely recognized counterparts. This article endeavors to
undertake a scholarly examination of this neglected corner of film history, aiming
to shed light on the forgotten masterpieces of the 1960s and restore their rightful
place within the canon of cinematic achievement. Through careful analysis and
appreciation, we seek to revive interest in these overlooked classics and reaffirm
their significance in the cultural landscape.

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20th Century Fox

"Valley of the Dolls" is a melodramatic film directed by Mark Robson, loosely based on novelist Jacqueline Susann's experience as an actress from the late 1930s to the late 1950s. Set in the glamorous world of show
business, the film follows three women—Anne, Neely, and Jennifer—whose lives
intersect as they navigate fame, addiction, and heartbreak. As they struggle with the pressures of stardom and the seductive allure of pills ("dolls"), their friendships are tested, and they each face their own personal demons.

With its scandalous plot lines, colorful characters, and iconic performances, "Valley of the Dolls" became a cult classic, captivating audiences with its portrayal of the darker side of fame and fortune. Bonus points go out to readers who check out the absolutely unhinged pseudo-sequel penned by Roger Ebert (yes, that Roger Ebert) and directed by maestro of trash, Russ Meyer.

Help!

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United Artists

"Help!" is a musical comedy film directed by Richard Lester, starring The Beatles—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. The film follows the Fab Four as they become entangled in a series of misadventures after Ringo inadvertently wears a sacrificial ring that attracts a religious cult. Escaping to various exotic locations, including the Bahamas and Austria, they encounter eccentric characters and engage in slapstick comedy while trying to rid Ringo of the ring. With its catchy soundtrack, vibrant visuals, and irreverent humor, "Help!" showcases The Beatles' charm and wit, making it a timeless
favorite among fans and music enthusiasts.