Timeline of Greatest Film
Milestones and Turning Points
in Film History


The Year 1960

Timeline of Greatest Film History Milestones and Turning Points
(by decade and year)
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1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969

The Year 1960
Year
Event and Significance
1960
The master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock's psychological horror-thriller film Psycho terrified audiences. It opened in theatres amidst great secrecy, and instructions that no patrons would be admitted once the film started. It served as the "mother" of all modern horror suspense films, featuring Bernard Herrmann's famous and memorable score with shrieking, harpie-like piercing violins, and the notorious shower scene. It was the first American film ever to show a toilet flushing on screen.
1960
Alfred Hitchcock received his fifth and last nomination as Best Director for Psycho (1960). His four previous nominations (all losses) were for Rebecca (1940), Lifeboat (1944), Spellbound (1945), and Rear Window (1954).
1960
Respected director Michael Powell's disastrous psychological drama Peeping Tom (1960, UK), a British film about a voyeuristic photographer who was also a deranged and sadistic serial murderer, was so vilified at the time of its release that it nearly destroyed Powell's career. However, critics, archivists, and other film enthusiasts, notably Martin Scorsese, have championed the film since then.
1960
Sophia Loren was the first foreign-language performer to win the Best Actress prize (presented in 1961) for Two Women (1960, It) (aka La Ciociara) - in a film that was not in English. She was the only actress to win an acting Oscar in a foreign-language film, until French actress Marion Cotillard also won Best Actress for the French film La Vie en Rose (2007, Fr.).
1960
The talented scriptwriter Dalton Trumbo, one of the Hollywood Ten, received full credit for writing the screenplays for Preminger's Exodus (1960) and Kubrick's Spartacus (1960), thus becoming the first blacklisted writer to receive screen credit. In 1960, Trumbo was finally reinstated in the Writers Guild of America. This official recognition effectively brought an end to the HUAC 'blacklist era'. (After his blacklisting, he wrote 30 scripts under pseudonyms, such as the co-written Gun Crazy (1949) with the pseudonym Millard Kaufman, and Roman Holiday (1953) under the name Ian McLellan Hunter (he was properly credited and given a posthumous Oscar for the latter in 1992). He also won the Best Writing: Original Story Oscar for The Brave One (1956), written under the front name of Robert Rich. He wasn't presented with his award until May of 1975, almost 20 years later.)
1960
The epic costume drama Spartacus (1960), originally to be directed by Anthony Mann, was a highly-successful production by star Kirk Douglas. 31 year-old director Stanley Kubrick had been brought in to salvage the film. It was auteur Kubrick's sole work for hire - he was able to avoid Hollywood almost completely afterwards, and began to direct movies on his own.
1960
The first feature film released in Panavision was Billy Wilder's The Apartment (1960). The film was also the last B/W film to win the Best Picture Academy Award Oscar until Schindler's List (1993).
1960
Gimmicky Smell-O-Vision, developed by Mike Todd, Jr., son of the famed showman, piped odors or scents (through a "scent vent") to each seat in a theatre auditorium. Scent of Mystery (aka Holiday in Spain) was the only film made in Smell-O-Vision. (Over twenty years later, cult director John Waters paid homage to Smell-O-Vision with scratch-and-sniff "Odorama" cards for his classic film Polyester (1981).)
1960
The decline of Italian Neo-Realism was evidenced by director Federico Fellini's epic film La Dolce Vita (1960, It.) (The Good Life) and Michelangelo Antonioni's L'Avventura (1960, It.) (The Adventure).
1960
Exploitation producer/director Roger Corman directed the original version of the low-budget horror comedy The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), featuring an early appearance by actor Jack Nicholson. The cult film, a satire of the teen horror exploitation film, was later created in differing versions, including a big-budget off-Broadway rock musical in 1982 (and subsequently a Broadway production), director Frank Oz's expensive musical comedy remake Little Shop of Horrors (1986) (with an Oscar-nominated song: "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space"), and a Saturday morning cartoon series called Little Shop in 1991.
1960
Although the tradition of embedding 5-pointed pink stars in the sidewalk ("the Hollywood Walk of Fame") along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street was established by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in 1958, it wasn't until February 9, 1960 that the first star to be unveiled was awarded to actress Joanne Woodward.
1960
Low-budget showman William Castle (known as "The King of Ballyhoo") released his first "Illusion-O" feature film, 13 Ghosts (1960) - audience members were given red-and-blue colored 'ghost-viewers' in order to see the ghosts on-screen in the haunted house.
1960
On November 16, 1960, a few weeks after completing filming of John Huston's The Misfits (1961) opposite Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable (known at one time as "The King of Hollywood") died of a heart attack (and coronary thrombosis) at the age of 59. It was the last screen appearance of both stars. Some attributed his death to the physical exertion required for the role, and to his crash dieting for the film. He was also a heavy smoker and drinker. Gable was buried at Forest Lawn next to his deceased actress/wife Carole Lombard, who died in an airplane crash in 1942.
1960
The Screen Directors Guild, formed in 1936 by a number of Hollywood filmmakers, was renamed the Director's Guild of America (DGA) in 1960.
1960
Actor Henry Fonda's 23 year-old daughter Jane Fonda, a fashion model and Broadway stage actress made her film screen debut in producer/director Joshua Logan's sports comedy The Tall Story (1960), in the role of college cheerleader June Ryder who pursued basketball star Ray Blent (Anthony Perkins). Future star/director Robert Redford, playing another basketball star, also made his screen debut in the film.
1960
Influential art director Cedric Gibbons, who during his long career had won 11 Oscars for Art Direction (from 1929 to 1957) (from a total of 39 nominations), died at the age of 67. As chief art director at MGM, Gibbons was credited in 1929 with providing the design for the Academy Awards statuettes (a knight holding a crusader's sword, standing on a reel of film).
1960
Harper Lee's only novel To Kill a Mockingbird, was published in July of 1960. The best-seller went on to win the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and was adapted into the acclaimed film To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) directed by Robert Mulligan and starring Gregory Peck (in his definitive Best Actor Oscar-winning role as lawyer Atticus Finch).
1960
Director Jean-Luc Godard's low-budget, mostly improvised A Bout de Souffle (1960, Fr.) (Breathless), his first feature-length film, became the cornerstone film of the French New Wave, with startling jump cuts and bold visuals shot with a hand-held camera on location. It paid homage to B-gangster films with star Jean-Paul Belmondo, in the role of a young hoodlum, modeling himself on Humphrey Bogart. The film marked a return to the screen for 21 year-old American actress Jean Seberg who had faltered in her first two films directed by Otto Preminger, Saint Joan (1957) and Bonjour Tristesse (1958).
1960
"Rock n Roller" Elvis "the King" Presley was honorably discharged from the US Army after serving a two-year stint, and went on to make his fifth film, Paramount's G.I. Blues (1960) opposite Juliet Prowse, and singing the popular "Blue Suede Shoes."


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