Wanting to wear something a little bit different to your 60s fancy dress party? Why not get your costume inspiration from movies released during the decade?
When it came to movies the 1960s was the era of the ‘kitchen-sink’ drama, with films such as Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Billy Liar and A Taste of Honey.
There are some classic 1960s films which you will not find mentioned below as they can be rather limited when it comes to costumes. These include The Graduate, Alfie, The Odd Couple, The Thomas Crown Affair, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. If you have ideas as to how you could dress for these films please let us know and we will add it to the list below…
1960s MOVIE GENRES – ACTION MOVIES
Bonnie & Clyde (1967) – Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway starred in this classic film about 1930s legendary bank-robbers Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, who met their death on 23rd May 1934. Gangster costumes and flapper dresses (although not strictly correct) work very well for this famous couple.
Great Escape, The (1963) – Paul Newman is one of the stars in this classic film, about Allied POWs escaping from their German prison camp. Wear Military uniform
Guns of Navarone, The (1961) – This explosive WW2 film was based on Alistair MacLean’s novel about Allied Commando’s plotting to destroy German Guns. Uniforms can sometimes be difficult to obtain, but why not check out our 1940s costume range?
1960s MOVIE GENRES – CARTOON & ANIMATION
101 Dalmatians (1962) – Cruella de Vil is still a very popular cartoon villainess and there are several versions of a Cruella costume available.
The Pink Panther (1963) – Originally a cartoon character featuring in the credits of the films of the same name, the Pink Panther built his part and starred in his own cartoon show, also featuring an animated Inspector Clouseau. We hire Pink Panther costumes.
Yellow Submarine (1968) – A psychedelic fantasy animation based on music from the Beatles.
1960s MOVIE GENRES – CHICK FLICKS/ROMANCE
Breakfast at Tiffanys (1961) – Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly image of black evening gown, beehive, black eyelashes and cigarette holder is iconic.
1960s MOVIE GENRES – COMEDY MOVIES
Bedazzled (1967) – Peter Cook and Dudley Moore star in this comedy fantasy film, about a young man selling his soul to the devil, all in the name of love.
Casino Royale (1967) – Spoof James Bond film with David Niven, Peter Sellers and Ursula Andress.
1960s MOVIE GENRES – FANTASY MOVIES
Prior to the moon landings in 1969, there were a number of space orientated films.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – Stanley Kubrick’s epic saga about man and machine set in space.
Barbarella (1968) – Jane Fonda’s (then) husband cast her as an intergalactic space heroine, with a penchant for revealing outfits and vinyl boots.
Planet of the Apes (1968) – Space crew find themselves on a planet, where apes are masters and humans are slaves.We have gorilla outfits to hire
1960s MOVIE GENRES – HEROES OF 1960s MOVIES
Cleopatra (1963) – Elizabeth Taylor set the benchmark for Egyptian-style and Richard Burton provided love interest both on (as Mark Anthony) and off screen.
Eliza Dolittle (Ascot Races) (My Fair Lady) (1964) – Elegant Edwardian-style black/white gown, worn with a large hat.
James Bond (1962 onwards) – The spy played by Sean Connery throughout the Sixties, who started numerous spin-offs from The Man From UNCLE and Get Smart, to I Spy and Austin Powers.- see our main section on James Bond for plenty more James Bond costume ideas
Lawrence of Arabia (1962) – Peter O’Toole’s breakthrough role as the English-born leader of Arabian rebels. Wear one of our Arab Costumes
1960s MOVIE GENRES – HISTORICAL
El Cid (1961) – Just one of the films during the 1960s featuring Italian actress Sophia Loren. This one is set in 11th Century Spain. An interesting challenge for costumes.
Fall of the Roman Empire, The (1964) – The title says it all, in this film starring Sophia Loren, James Mason, Alec Guinness and Christopher Plummer. Time to break out those ancient times Roman costumes.
Romeo and Juliet (1968) – Franco Zeffirelli’s take on William Shakespeare’s classic tale about two star crossed lovers, set during medieval times, in Verona, Italy. Medieval costumes available to purchase and we stock a huge range of costumes to hire
Spartacus (1960) – Epic saga about slaves bid for freedom in Ancient Rome. Chariots are probably beyond our remit, but Roman costumes are not.
Tom Jones (1963) – Henry Fielding’s novel about an 18th Century youth and his bawdy adventures was turned into a film starring Albert Finney. Costumes from the Georgian period are available in our hire department.
1960s MOVIE GENRES – HORROR
Birds,The (1963) – Just one of Alfred Hitchcock’s thrillers released in the 1960s. This one has more mileage as far as costumes are concerned, as there are various bird costumes on the market. There is even a niche market yellow outfit decorated with black birds! Perhaps, something a little off-the-wall for a group going to a 1960s or movies event?
Brides of Dracula (1960) – First of the Hammer horror series, popular in the 1960s starring Christopher Lee as Count Dracula. Vampire Costume variations on Dracula and his bride are available.
The Masque of the Red Death (1964) – Vincent Price in a classic Edgar Allan Poe story in which the rich party whilst plague ravages the countryside outside. Film directed by Roger Corman.
Night of the Living Dead (1968) – George A Romero’s first horror film about flesh eating Zombies. Zombie Costumes are available to hire and purchase and we stock some fantastic Zombie Make-up and special effects.
Psycho (1960) – A shower curtain, a knife, and a man who dresses as a woman. What more can be said?
1960s MOVIE GENRES – MUSICALS
Camelot (1967) – Musical take on the Arthurian legend, starring Richard Harris as Arthur and Vanessa Redgrave as Guinevere. We have a large collection of Medieval costumes including Knight outfits.
Funny Girl (1968) – Barbara Streisand and Omar Sharif in musical about the life of comedienne Fannie Brice, who became part of Ziegfeld’s Follies. Showgirl costumes are available.
Mary Poppins & Bert the Sweep (1966) – Disney made Mary Poppins much sweeter than the original book character, but the film has become a popular children’s favourite.
My Fair Lady (1964) – Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison in the story of a down-and-dirty ragamuffin cockney girl, who was turned into an elegant Edwardian Lady.
Sound of Music, The (1965) – Still very popular on the sing-along-a circuit, the traditional Nun costume worn by Julie Andrews stands the test of time.
West Side Story (1961) – Film adaptation of the Broadway musical set in New York in the mid-1950s and 1960s. The Jets and the Sharks are the two teenage ethnic gangs in this ‘Romeo and Juliet’ musical. 1950s & 1960s costumes available.
1960s MOVIE GENRES – WESTERNS
Not as popular as earlier decades, the Western did have a resurgence of interest in the 1960s thanks to the advent of the Italian ‘Spaghetti Western’. Sergio Leone was the benchmark for a number of directors who adopted this sub-genre of Western movies. Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Burt Reynolds, Yul Brynner and Charles Bronson were probably some of the more famous actors who went down this route.
When it comes to costumes most Western films have a very standard format and we have a fantastic array of Wild West costumes and accessories, including ponchos for the ‘Spaghetti Western’.
Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (1969) – Cowboy films had fallen from favour since the 1950s, but the lighter tone of this film with its heartthrob stars, Robert Redford and Paul Newman, proved popular.
Once upon a Time in the West (1969) – Henry Fonda and Charles Bronson in a Sergio Leone film.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) – One of the popular Spaghetti Westerns of the 1960s, which saw Clint Eastwood make the poncho and flat cowboy hat his own.
*If you really want to do something really different, why not get 2 friends, 1 dresses as an angel (or something equally ‘good’, one dresses as a Devil, or something equally ‘bad’ and one dresses up as Ugly as they can. A great laugh!
The Magnificent Seven (1960) – Always a good one for those trivia quizzes – Can you name them? A great choice for a group of seven men, just all dress up in cowboy costumes.
The Unforgiven (1960) – Burt Lancaster, Audrey Hepburn and Audie Murphy in this Western tale of distrust and revenge.
The Wild Bunch (1969) – Aging outlaws look for their last big heist as the traditional American West disappears around them.