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Best British Films from the 1960s

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The 1960s was the golden age of British filmmaking. Unfortunately although some good films have come from Britain, the film industry in the United Kingdom these days barely exists. The British film industry may have died but British actors are still in much demand around the world. Probably British actors are sought because of the excellent acting schools in Britain which seem to be lacking in other countries including the United States.

During the golden years of the 1960s, many an epic film came from Britain like Lawrence of Arabia featuring Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif. This film was a three hour epic depicting the Army life of T.E. Lawrence.

Another three hour long epic was the classic film, Doctor Zhivago. This film also stared a young Omar Sharif, Rita Tushington, Julie Christie and a star performance by Alex Guinness. This was a love story based at the time of the Russian revolution.

Another film to be remembered is the epic film Cleopatra which stared Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Rex Harrison. George Cole also played a supporting role. This film was based around Egypt and the Pharaohs. It was a masterpiece in its time and took years to finish filming.  

Comedy brought a dozen or so ‘Carry On’ films, which were a huge success at the time and featured accomplished comedy actors like Sid James, Hatty Jacques and Bernard Bresslaw to name a few. The ‘Carry On’ films were simple straightforward humour to appeal to all ages. The mix was excellent and each film made was a huge success.

There were actions films like the Italian Job which brought fame to actors like Michael Caine, who also starred in another epic Zulu, a three hour film featuring the attack by Zulu warriors on a British Military outpost at Roukes Drift, Natal. Over four thousand Zulus attacked the outpost defended and saved by 140 soldiers, including men in the sick bay. The films also demonstrated superb acting by Stanley Baker, and Jack Hawkins.  

St Trinians was another collection of comedy films based on a school for young ladies with a unique approach to teaching girls for the outside world. This series of films brought fame to actors like George Cole, Alistair Sim, Lionel Jefferies and Terry Thomas. This series of films was such a success that a remake has been made of the films. A remake was also recently made of The Italian Job detailed above.

More about this author: Blighty

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