The Summer of '66
May 5, 2016 6:18 PM   Subscribe

Batman, remakes, TV spin-offs, comic adaptations — not much has changed in half a century. Here's what the summer movie schedule looked like in 1966.

And just to flesh out the linked article, here are some additional titles that came out in the summer of '66:

Cary Grant closed out his career with Walk, Don't Run.
Paul Newman and Julie Andrews team up for Alfred Hitchcock in Torn Curtain.
Fred Flintstone becomes a spy (because, why not?) in The Man Called Flintstone.
Sean Connery took a break between Thunderball and You Only Live Twice to make A Fine Madness.
David McCallum and Robert Vaughn jump onto the big screen (my own previously) with One of Our Spies are Missing.

Not to mention The Navy vs. the Night Monsters, She Beast and, of course, Las Vegas Hillbillys.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI (32 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Modesty Blaise is also the book that Vincent Vega reads on the john before Butch shoots him dead in Pulp Fiction.
posted by jonp72 at 6:28 PM on May 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


I saw Batman in 1966 with my dad at the drive-in, from the front seat of a Ford Galaxie. I was 4.
posted by davebush at 6:37 PM on May 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


Batman, remakes, TV spin-offs, comic adaptations —

Don't forget aggression with our Russian neighbors across the way. Cold War aggression is back in full force. As evidenced by that film: "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming".

Everything old is new again.
posted by Fizz at 6:39 PM on May 5, 2016


I saw Born Free with my parents at the drive-in. Mom liked it, but I don't think dad was too keen.

I too was 4.

We had a Chrysler station wagon.
posted by freakazoid at 6:49 PM on May 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


I absolutely loved Fantastic Voyage as a kid. Somehow the effects aren't as impressive as I remember.
posted by mattholomew at 6:55 PM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I absolutely loved Fantastic Voyage as a kid. Somehow the effects aren't as impressive as I remember.

There are rumours that Guillermo Del Toro may reboot this film. IT WOULD BE AMAZING!
posted by Fizz at 6:58 PM on May 5, 2016


I absolutely loved Fantastic Voyage as a kid. Somehow the effects aren't as impressive as I remember.

There are rumours that Guillermo Del Toro may reboot this film. IT WOULD BE AMAZING!


But would it still feature
FOUR MEN AND A BEAUTIFUL GIRL!
posted by chococat at 7:07 PM on May 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


'Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf' was one of the most expensive Black & White films ever made, probably because of superstar salaries.
posted by ovvl at 7:34 PM on May 5, 2016


Modesty Blaise has some awesome sunglasses in it.
posted by Artw at 8:00 PM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


'Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf' was one of the most expensive Black & White films ever made, probably because of superstar salaries.
I really love that movie. By the time they've gone out drinking on the road and they come back and they're so fucking hammered and the movie seems to be just dragging along so uncomfortably it's like you want it to be over so bad, but it's perfect, it's like this awful night that won't end. Party, party! The whole thing is just so wonderfully awful.
posted by chococat at 8:05 PM on May 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


For more of the zeitgeist, MeFi Projects: Boomtown Sinners - Scans of My Book Collection, the covers of trashy paperbacks
posted by XMLicious at 8:11 PM on May 5, 2016


Why didn't I think of this, movie release dates, for remembering which year I was doing what? So that was the summer we were in New York. How to Steal a Million was the movie they played, along with the show, at Radio City Music Hall. Now I can look up what the N.Y. Philharmonic played at that concert in Central Park and... Beethoven? I don't remember that at ALL, and I was a lil' Beethoven fan. Huh.

The funny thing is, one of the other movies we saw was My Fair Lady, which was from '64, so either movies had much longer runs back then, or big-theater second runs.
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 8:39 PM on May 5, 2016


I am astounded that a movie I have never even heard--that Robinson Crusoe one with Dick van Dyke--of made $22,565,634 back in 1966. That seems like a FORTUNE back then.
posted by blueberry at 8:42 PM on May 5, 2016


That translates to approximately $167,352,594.30 in 2016 dollars (unless, the 22.5M was, itself, already the 2016 translation from a lesser number in 1966 dollars)
posted by blueberry at 8:47 PM on May 5, 2016


Modesty Blaise

Based on the popular comic strip, this British production oozed mod style. Monica Vitti starred as the title character.


Along with a minor actor you may have heard of called Terence Stamp.
posted by The Tensor at 8:48 PM on May 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh yeh, we saw that Robinson Crusoe one too. Funny water hose. It was publicized enough that any kid would mercilessly bug their parents to see it.
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 8:49 PM on May 5, 2016


I realize my opinion is in the minority, but that's still the best Batman movie ever made.
posted by fairmettle at 9:48 PM on May 5, 2016 [8 favorites]


The Russians Are Coming was one of the first movies I went to by myself, and I remember eleven-year-old me being shocked when Brian Keith said "damn."
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:51 PM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Coming up, this Christmas: Blowup and The Fall of the Production Code:

As a way of bypassing the Production Code (i.e. censors), MGM created "Premiere Productions". This was a dummy company which had no agreement or affiliation with the Production Code and, therefore, did not have to adhere to its standards. MGM did not have to cut the full frontal nudity or other sexually explicit scenes and maintained all rights to the film. When the film opened to rave reviews and excellent box office, this defeat was considered the final blow for the Production Code's credibility and was replaced with a ratings system less than two years later.

Also, re: Vitti and Modesty Blaise:

Joseph Losey found it difficult to work with Monica Vitti, as she would invariably be accompanied onto the set by director Michelangelo Antonioni, in whose films she had become famous. Antonioni would often whisper suggestions to her, and she would take direction from him rather than Losey. Eventually, Losey asked Antonioni, whom he greatly admired, to keep away from the studios during filming. Antonioni complied.

Terence Stamp was the one who was supposed to play the lead in Blowup, but "dropped out" a few weeks before filming. I don't know what conclusions can be drawn from such trivia, however.
posted by sapagan at 12:22 AM on May 6, 2016


Cold War aggression is back in full force. As evidenced by that film: "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming".

From what I remember, it's more détentish than aggressive.

The Blue Max turned up two years later as a character in Yellow Submarine. I only just figured that gag out after forty years of watching the film, but I expect they laughed themselves silly over it when they thought it up.
posted by Grangousier at 12:26 AM on May 6, 2016


But would it still feature
FOUR MEN AND A BEAUTIFUL GIRL!


Have you met the modern internet?
It would not.
At least, not without lots of shouting.
(I kid, there would be shouting anyway).

On the plus side, we could finally get that sequel Asimov wrote.
posted by Mezentian at 4:31 AM on May 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Did anyone else hear Harvey Korman's voice in two of these trailers (Flintstone and Madness)?
posted by gubo at 5:09 AM on May 6, 2016


OK, I'll bite. Yes... in my opinion, 50 years ago it was also a somewhat vapid time for film in the US--things were as big and bright and crazy as they could be, but without much of the open-mindedness about life that came with the social revolutions at the end of the decade. The 70's are my favorite time for cinema, and I wallow in them; it seems like there are always more gems to find there. Regarding the films of the 60's, I am grateful for the spaghetti westerns, the samurai films, and the other amazing stuff that came from outside the US with interesting characterizations, just as I am thankful for noir, horror and science fiction in previous decades.

To compare and contrast with the FPP content with no particular aim, here are some other films released in 1966 which may be of interest:
The Battle of Algiers
The Face of Another
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Our Man Flint
Zatoichi's Vengeance (the 13th of the 26 Zatoichi films)
Andrei Rublev
Seconds
Au Hasard Balthazar
A Big Hand for the Little Lady
Tokyo Drifter
Persona
Sword of Doom
The Wrong Box
(and also Manos: The Hands of Fate)
posted by heatvision at 5:10 AM on May 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


I was 11 in '66. Just old enough to dig how groovy it was. Nice list, AlonzoMosleyFBI.
posted by rmmcclay at 5:22 AM on May 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


FOUR MEN AND A BEAUTIFUL GIRL!

You mean Raquel Welch in a diving suit and four other people. Or at least that's how my ten year old self saw it.
posted by octothorpe at 5:32 AM on May 6, 2016


'The Blue Max' had some fairly impressive live action airplane stunt-flying, if you like watching that sort of thing. It was also, in my mind, the probable subject of parody/homage in the 1980 film 'The Stunt Man'.
posted by ovvl at 7:16 AM on May 6, 2016


Batman, remakes, TV spin-offs, comic adaptations — not much has changed in half a century. . . .

In my opinion, 50 years ago it was also a somewhat vapid time for film in the US . . . .


Some days -- you just can't get rid of a bomb.
 
posted by Herodios at 7:36 AM on May 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Some days -- you just can't get rid of a bomb.

That's not true.
Did you see how many territories BvS was released in?
And it's still hanging around.
posted by Mezentian at 8:02 AM on May 6, 2016


The Sean Connery movie is fun, but messy and weird. Elliott Baker's book, A Fine Madness, upon which the movie was made, is wonderful. A truly great unheralded classic.
posted by Chitownfats at 8:12 AM on May 6, 2016


'Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf' was one of the most expensive Black & White films ever made, probably because of superstar salaries.

they were all underpaid
posted by any major dude at 8:19 AM on May 6, 2016


> here are some other films released in 1966 which may be of interest:

Excellent choices, but how could you leave out Masculin Féminin? First Godard I ever saw (thanks to my cinephile younger brother); I hated it at the time, but years later it blew me away.
posted by languagehat at 8:23 AM on May 6, 2016


It was a great time for me, summer '66. It's when I discovered both girls and rock'n'roll, acquired my first Hawaiian shirts, and first left the USA (only getting as far as Ontario, but still). Being so young, I wasn't able see a lot of these films then, but here's a couple missing from the discussion so far, which I did see that year:...and a few more great '66 pictures I didn't see until later:Bonus blog: 1966 My Favorite Year
posted by Rash at 4:41 PM on May 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


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