Entertainment TV & Film The Best Picture Oscar Winners of the 1960s Sunny Musicals, Gritty Themes, Sweeping Histories Share PINTEREST Email Print TV & Film Movies Classic Movies Best Movie Lists Comedies Science Fiction Movies War Movies International Movies Movies For Kids Horror Movies Movie Awards Animated Films TV Shows By Laurie Boeder Laurie Boeder has over 20 years of experience as a journalist and script writer. She's a former Associated Press journalist and TV news reporter. our editorial process Laurie Boeder Updated January 02, 2018 Big musicals were the big Best Picture Oscar winners of the 1960s, along with tough social dramas and British historical and literary epics with wit and high style. It was a decade that brought forth both frothy entertainment and sharp social commentary, and fierce competition for Oscar’s top prize in every year. 01 of 10 1960 Best Picture - The Apartment The Apartment. United Artists The last classic black and white film to win Best Picture, The Apartment is a Billy Wilder masterpiece of bittersweet romance and a cynical take on corporate America, with a witty script. Jack Lemmon is utterly heartbreaking as an office schlub who falls for an elevator operator, and he leads a superb ensemble cast. The Apartment won out over religious chicanery in Elmer Gantry, gallant frontiersmen at The Alamo and dramas Sons and Lovers and The Sundowners. Snubbed for the nomination in a great year for movies were Psycho, Spartacus, The Entertainer and Inherit the Wind. 02 of 10 1961 Best Picture - West Side Story West Side Story. United Artists This affecting film of the immortal Broadway musical West Side Story, with lovely Natalie Wood in the lead and fiery Rita Moreno as her friend Anita, beat out the Guns of Navarone, the Hustler, Judgment at Nuremberg and Fanny. Among the movies Oscar failed to nominate for the top prize were Breakfast at Tiffany’s (which received a total of four other nominations), and two excellent, controversial films, A Raisin in the Sun (racism) and The Children’s Hour (homosexuality), which received no nominations in any category. 03 of 10 1962 Best Picture - Lawrence of Arabia Lawrence of Arabia. Columbia Pictures The sweeping epic of the English adventurer (a gorgeous Peter O’Toole with piercing blue eyes) won out over strong competition from my personal choice, To Kill a Mockingbird, a sad, sweet, searing memoir of racism and coming of age in the south. Lawrence of Arabia also bested the cheery, tuneful Music Man, the WWII epic The Longest Day, and Marlon Brando’s rebellious Mutiny on the Bounty. Snubbed were the Helen Keller biopic The Miracle Worker, the eerie, surreal Manchurian Candidate, and two addiction dramas, Days of Wine and Roses and Long Day’s Journey Into Night. 04 of 10 1963 Best Picture - Tom Jones Tom Jones. Woodfall Film Productions The funny, freewheeling, rollicking story of the randy English orphan took top honors in 1963, rolling over the big-budget disaster with its diabolically catchy tunes. 05 of 10 1964 Best Picture - My Fair Lady My Fair Lady. Warner Brothers The lavish screen adaptation of the lovely Lerner and Lowe musical with Audrey Hepburn at her luminous best beat out another sunny, singable and immortal musical: Julie Andrews as the magical nanny in Mary Poppins. My Fair Lady crushed the historical drama Becket and the lush movie of the successful novel, Zorba the Greek. It didn’t win, but at least the best black comedy of all time was nominated: Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Ignored in nominations for the top prize was Night of the Iguana. 06 of 10 1965 Best Picture - The Sound of Music 20th Century Fox Oscar was in the mood for another big musical in 1965, when the adventures of the Von Trapp family singing and dancing their way out of Nazi-occupied Austria won. The Sound of Music successfully duked it out with the snowy Russian epic Dr. Zhivago and left another Julie Christie film, Darling, in its wake, along with drama Ship of Fools and drama/comedy/romance A Thousand Clowns. Skipped over were Nothing But a Man and Othello. 07 of 10 1966 Best Picture - A Man For All Seasons A Man for All Seasons. Columbia Pictures The historical drama of one courageous man standing up against King Henry VIII’s desire for a divorce is a fine film, but . 08 of 10 1967 Best Picture - In the Heat of the Night MGM Home Entertainment In another year with a wealth of truly great movies, a drama of crime and racism in a small town, . 09 of 10 1968 Best Picture - Oliver Oliver!. Columbia Pictures Back to musicals for Oscar in 1968, with the somewhat unlikely win for . 10 of 10 1969 Best Picture - Midnight Cowboy Midnight Cowboy. United Artists Another boffo year rounded out the decade, with Midnight Cowboy, a gritty, heartbreaking story of a would-be gigolo winning out over such wonderful films as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Anne of the Thousand Days, Hello, Dolly! and Z -- each an iconic movie in its own right. Snubbed films included the devastating movie about depression-era dance marathons, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, western musical Paint Your Wagon, motorcycle mayhem in The Wild Bunch, motorcycle drug weirdness in Easy Rider, and the epic Once Upon a Time in the West.