1966 Movies

In 1966, cinemas around the world showcased a range of films that varied in genre, origin, and intent. American directors, European auteurs, and commercial franchises all contributed to the year's cinematic output. This was the era of both socially conscious dramas and big-budget spectacles, set against the backdrop of social and political changes occurring at the time.
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Browse 1,498 titles in our 1966 Movies Database

The Best Movies of 1966

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Directed by Sergio Leone, this film remains an important contribution to the Spaghetti Western genre. The narrative centers around three individuals—each with his own motive—who learn about hidden treasure and compete to find it. The musical score, composed by Ennio Morricone, has become synonymous with Western films and remains an enduring element that adds to the movie's memorable nature. Clint Eastwood's portrayal in this film elevated his career, marking a significant milestone in his filmography. The movie also serves as the concluding part of Leone's "Dollars Trilogy," offering a fitting end to a series of iconic films.


Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, "Blow-Up" is another gem from 1966. This film focuses on a photographer who believes he has captured a murder through his lens. He enlarges portions of the photograph to glean details, entering a slow-paced, investigative narrative. While the movie's tempo may be slower than what modern audiences are used to, its unique aura and stylistic approach make it worthwhile. It invites viewers to focus more on the process rather than rushing toward a conclusion.


"Django" is another classic from the Spaghetti Western genre, originally released in 1966. The film introduced audiences to an anti-hero caught in a fierce conflict between a masked gang and revolutionaries. The movie, much like its contemporaries, pushed the boundaries of what could be depicted in film during that period. Its impact resonates even today, inspiring modern directors such as Quentin Tarantino, who paid homage to this classic with his 2012 film, "Django Unchained."

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

In 1966, director Mike Nichols debuted with a film that became an instant classic: "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" The movie, adapted from a stage play of the same title, delves into the intricacies of human relationships. It focuses on an older couple who engages in psychological manipulation of a younger couple. Despite its uncomfortable themes, the film stands out due to its brilliant writing and impeccable acting. It serves as an unflinching look at the complexities of human nature, providing a stimulating watch that leaves a lasting impact.

A Man for All Seasons

"A Man for All Seasons" emerged as a high-caliber historical drama that clinched six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Set in the 1500s, it revolves around Sir Thomas More's dispute with King Henry VIII over religious matters. Paul Scofield's outstanding portrayal of More earned him a Best Lead Actor Oscar. The film successfully brings a historical conflict to life, blending an intelligent script with captivating performances. Though it may seem like typical Oscar fare at first glance, it unfolds as an absorbing drama that remains one of 1966's finest contributions to cinema.

The Battle of Algiers

Another seminal film from 1966 is "The Battle of Algiers," which portrays the Algerian struggle for independence from French colonial rule between 1954 and 1957. Unlike many war movies of its era, it strives for a level of realism that makes it hard to distinguish from actual events. This powerful film serves as both a detailed account of a pivotal point in Algerian history and a stern critique of colonialism. Its intensity and realism make it not just a war movie but also a poignant commentary that remains relevant.

Andrei Rublev

Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, "Andrei Rublev" is a monumental film that takes its audience on a journey through the life of the eponymous historical figure, a revered Russian icon painter. Stretching over three hours, the movie delves into Rublev's artistry, religious convictions, and personal struggles. In addition, it touches upon broad themes like the essence of humanity, spirituality, and conflict. This ambitious project is not an easy watch, but those who invest their time in it will find it rewarding, both visually and intellectually.


Ingmar Bergman's "Persona" is a classic psychological thriller that examines the blurring boundaries between two women—a nurse and an actress. As they interact, their personalities begin to converge in unsettling ways. Although made in 1966, the film remains impactful, holding viewers' attention and encouraging multiple viewings to fully grasp its intricate nuances. With superb acting from Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann, as well as its striking visuals, "Persona" stands as an influential cinematic work.


Initially overlooked, "Seconds" is a sci-fi/horror film that has gained attention and accolades as time has passed. It offers a disturbing glimpse into identity transformation through an organization that provides complete physical makeovers. Although it was not well-received upon its initial release, it is now considered a significant work, lauded for its unique atmosphere and insightful commentary on human nature and identity.

The Sword of Doom

Unlike typical samurai films, "The Sword of Doom" offers no moral compass. It presents a swordsman who defies traditional ethics, resulting in a multitude of enemies. Featuring a standout performance by Tatsuya Nakadai, the film shocks with its brutal violence but captivates with its complex character study.

1966 Movies & Industry Highlights

Significant Wins

A significant highlight was the film "A Man for All Seasons," which grabbed six Academy Awards, including the one for Best Picture. Produced by Columbia Pictures, the movie also proved successful in terms of box office earnings, with a domestic rental income of approximately $12.8 million.

Top Earning Films in North America

  1. Hawaii: Produced by United Artists and The Mirisch Corporation, this film led the charts with about $15.6 million in domestic rentals.
  2. The Bible: In the Beginning...: Close behind was this 20th Century Fox movie, generating around $15 million.
  3. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: With approximately $14.5 million, this Warner Bros. Pictures film occupied the third spot.
  4. The Sand Pebbles: Also a 20th Century Fox production, it earned around $13.5 million.
  5. The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming: Created by United Artists and The Mirisch Corporation, this film made around $9.8 million.
  6. Grand Prix: Produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the film earned about $9.3 million.
  7. The Professionals: From Columbia Pictures, this film made approximately $8.8 million.
  8. Alfie: A Paramount Pictures production, it generated around $8.5 million.
  9. Georgy Girl: Also from Columbia Pictures, it made about $7.6 million.

Top Earning Films Outside North America

· In India, "Phool Aur Patthar" by Ralhan Productions led with about $11.79 million. · In the Soviet Union, "War and Peace" produced by Mosfilm was a behemoth, raking in an estimated $64 million.

Pivotal Corporate Changes

· October 19th witnessed Gulf and Western Industries acquiring Paramount Pictures. · In November, Seven Arts Productions agreed to acquire Warner Bros. for approximately $32 million, leading to the formation of a new entity, Warner Bros.-Seven Arts.

Loss of an Icon

One of the most sorrowful moments of 1966 came with the passing of Walt Disney on December 15th. Known for contributions to animation and theme park design, among other sectors, Disney was working on several films at the time, including "The Jungle Book," "The Happiest Millionaire," and "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day."