1962 Movies

Stop the endless searches for your favorite 1962 movies. Plex brings you an organized collection of all films released that year, designed for ease of use. From the comfort of your home, browse through a wide array of options and make your movie-watching experience a pleasant one.
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The Best Movies of 1962

To Kill a Mockingbird

This film occurs in Depression-era Alabama and centers around the Finch family. Atticus Finch, a widowed lawyer, defends a Black man falsely accused of rape. Concurrently, he tries to instill values of fairness and compassion in his children. Directed by Robert Mulligan, the movie's roots lie in Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Praised for its heartfelt portrayal of social issues, it has earned its place in the annals of American cinema.

The Longest Day

This war epic takes you through the events of D-Day, offering perspectives from both the Allied and German sides. Directors Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, and Bernhard Wicki brought this complicated narrative to the screen. A diverse cast featuring John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, and Richard Burton helped to create a realistic depiction of this significant military operation. The film received high praise for the accuracy with which it represented D-Day and the broader conflict.

Lawrence of Arabia

Taking inspiration from real-life events, the film recounts the adventures of T.E. Lawrence during World War I. Lawrence unifies various Arab tribes to combat the Turks. Directed by David Lean, the film stars Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, and Anthony Quinn. Critics and audiences alike lauded the movie for its remarkable cinematography and narrative.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

This psychological thriller, directed by Robert Aldrich, portrays a twisted sibling relationship. A former child star torments her wheelchair-bound sister in a decrepit Hollywood mansion. Featuring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, the film delves into the darker aspects of fame and family. It received critical acclaim for its suspense-filled storyline and strong character development.


Set in Japan, this film explores the samurai code through the story of a ronin seeking seppuku—ritual suicide—at a feudal lord's palace. However, before proceeding, he learns about the tragic fate of another ronin and confronts the clan's ethics. Directed by Masaki Kobayashi, it was lauded for its visual beauty and narrative strength.

Days of Wine and Roses

Directed by Blake Edwards, this drama focuses on the destructive influence of alcoholism on a couple's life. Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick take on the central roles in this film that offers an honest and stark view into addiction and its corrosive effects on love and companionship. Known for its raw portrayal, the film tackles an issue often glossed over during its time.

The Manchurian Candidate

Turning the lens on the political fears of its era, this John Frankenheimer film stars Frank Sinatra and Laurence Harvey. Centered on the story of an American P.O.W. from the Korean War turned unwitting assassin, this political thriller received high praise. What stands out is its meticulous attention to the details of Cold War paranoia, effectively keeping the viewer on the edge of their seat.

Boccaccio '70

As an anthology film inspired by Boccaccio's novellas, this work is a joint directorial effort by Federico Fellini, Luchino Visconti, Mario Monicelli, and Vittorio De Sica. Offering a glimpse into the social shifts in Italy during the 1960s, the film explores the complexities of love, intimacy, and cultural transformation. The film opened up discussions on how rapid economic and social changes were affecting traditional Italian ways of life.


Michelangelo Antonioni directed this French-Italian drama that stars Monica Vitti and Alain Delon. The story revolves around a young woman and a man whose relationship falls apart due to his materialistic tendencies. Lauded for its cinematography and character depth, the film questions the extent to which human connection can survive in a world increasingly driven by material gain.

The Miracle Worker

Arthur Penn's biographical drama revolves around Anne Sullivan's efforts to teach Helen Keller, who is both blind and deaf. Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke take the lead roles in a story that emphasizes the resilience of the human spirit. More than just a tale of overcoming adversity, this film stands as an ode to the extraordinary lengths educators can go to unlock potential in their students.

1962 Movies & Industry Highlights

Top Earning Films in the U.S.

Data from box office earnings in North America show a riveting lineup of successful films. The film that led the earnings chart was The Longest Day, produced by 20th Century Fox, with domestic rentals amounting to $15,250,000. It was closely followed by Lawrence of Arabia from Columbia Pictures, which raked in $15,000,000. Other noteworthy films include The Music Man from Warner Bros. Pictures at $8,000,000 and That Touch of Mink by Universal Pictures at $7,942,000. Movies like Mutiny on the Bounty and To Kill a Mockingbird also fared well, with earnings at $7,410,000 and $7,112,000, respectively.

Significant Events

Throughout the year, there were events that shaped the trajectory of the film industry:

  • Warner Bros. secured the film rights for My Fair Lady at a record-breaking sum of $5.5 million, plus 47¼% of the gross earnings above $20 million.
  • The Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards were officially established in Taiwan, adding a new dimension to the appreciation of cinema in the region.
  • M.C.A. Inc. completed their merger with Decca-Universal, affecting a broad change in media ownership.
  • Darryl F. Zanuck, one of the co-founders of 20th Century Fox, took over as president, signaling a shift in the company's direction.
  • The tragic passing of Marilyn Monroe sent shockwaves through the community, her life ending in a drug overdose.
  • The commencement of filming for Sergei Bondarchuk's War and Peace took place, a project that extended for another five years.
  • Lastly, Dr. No not only initiated the James Bond series but also served as a launchpad for Sean Connery's career.

Cultural Impact

One of the films that made an unforgettable mark on society was To Kill a Mockingbird, a thought-provoking film that addressed the issues of racial inequality in America. Not only did it have strong earnings at the box office, but it also left a lasting effect on discussions about civil rights and social justice.