1960s Spy/Espionage/Cold War Movies

by omoo22 | created - 05 May 2011 | updated - 08 May 2017 | Public

(Only movies dealing with post-WWII espionage are covered in this list.)

The 60s run of "spy films" began with the first James Bond films, which set the tone by completely copping-out from dealing with the realities of espionage and the Cold War, opting instead for ridiculous "super-villains" and infantile "evil plots". Many subsequent 60s "spy" films treated espionage as even more of a joke, while a few others seemed to react against the unreality and stupidity of Bond, Flint, Helm, etc. In the middle of this list are some 60s "nuclear crisis" and Cold War films that don't deal with espionage, but deal more closely with Cold War issues than most of the "spy" films. Like the "spy" films, but maybe to a lesser extent, they generally fall over themselves to remain apolitical.

After that, I list lesser known foreign (French, German, Italian, etc.) spy movies.

Scores out of ten for the ones I've seen.

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1. Who Was That Lady? (1960)

Approved | 115 min | Comedy, Romance

In order to get back into the good graces with his wife with whom he has had a misunderstanding, a young chemistry professor concocts a wild story that he is an undercover FBI agent. To ... See full summary »

Director: George Sidney | Stars: Tony Curtis, Dean Martin, Janet Leigh, James Whitmore

Votes: 1,063

2. The Great Armored Car Swindle (1961)

59 min | Crime, Drama

The nephew of a printer gets involved with foreign spies intent on making counterfeit money.

Director: Lance Comfort | Stars: Peter Reynolds, Dermot Walsh, Joanna Dunham, Lisa Gastoni

Votes: 60

3. The Cat Burglar (1961)

Not Rated | 65 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A burglar steals a briefcase. Unknown to him, it contains a valuable secret formula. So he has the police on his trail--plus the owner of the formula and a ruthless spy...

Director: William Witney | Stars: Jack Hogan, June Kenney, John Baer, Gregg Palmer

Votes: 158

4. Dead Man's Evidence (1962)

67 min | Drama

Spy David Baxter is sent to Ireland to investigate the death of a defected colleague apparently found dead on a beach. But is the body really him?

Director: Francis Searle | Stars: Conrad Phillips, Jane Griffiths, Veronica Hurst, Ryck Rydon

Votes: 83

5. The Devil's Agent (1962)

77 min | Drama, Mystery

In East Germany, a double agent falls for a beautiful young escapee from Hungary.

Director: John Paddy Carstairs | Stars: Peter van Eyck, Macdonald Carey, Marianne Koch, Christopher Lee

Votes: 59

6. Dr. No (1962)

PG | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

78 Metascore

A resourceful British government agent seeks answers in a case involving the disappearance of a colleague and the disruption of the American space program.

Director: Terence Young | Stars: Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Bernard Lee, Joseph Wiseman

Votes: 135,101 | Gross: $16.07M

4/10

7. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

PG-13 | 126 min | Drama, Thriller

94 Metascore

A former prisoner of war is brainwashed as an unwitting assassin for an international Communist conspiracy.

Director: John Frankenheimer | Stars: Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury

Votes: 67,740

4/10

8. Paradisio (1962)

76 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi, Thriller

An English professor interested in photography is given a pair of special sunglasses by an Austrian colleague. To his surprise and boyish delight, he discovers they're X-ray specs, which ... See full summary »

Director: H. Haile Chace | Stars: Arthur Howard, Eva Wagner

Votes: 24

9. Call Me Bwana (1963)

Not Rated | 93 min | Comedy

A returning moon capsule with vital information goes off-course and lands in Africa, where the little-known Ekele tribesmen find it. Washington orders African expert, Matthew Merriwether - ... See full summary »

Director: Gordon Douglas | Stars: Bob Hope, Anita Ekberg, Edie Adams, Lionel Jeffries

Votes: 638

10. Charade (1963)

Not Rated | 113 min | Comedy, Mystery, Romance

83 Metascore

Romance and suspense ensue in Paris as a woman is pursued by several men who want a fortune her murdered husband had stolen. Whom can she trust?

Director: Stanley Donen | Stars: Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, James Coburn

Votes: 60,777 | Gross: $13.47M

11. From Russia with Love (1963)

PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

85 Metascore

James Bond willingly falls into an assassination plot involving a naive Russian beauty in order to retrieve a Soviet encryption device that was stolen by S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

Director: Terence Young | Stars: Sean Connery, Robert Shaw, Lotte Lenya, Daniela Bianchi

Votes: 106,615 | Gross: $24.80M

4/10

12. The Christine Keeler Story (1963)

90 min | Biography, Drama

A teenage prostitute in England gets involved with high-level politicians and becomes enmeshed in a sex-and-spy scandal.

Director: Robert Spafford | Stars: Yvonne Buckingham, John Drew Barrymore, Alicia Brandet, Mel Welles

Votes: 18

13. The Prize (1963)

Approved | 134 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

As the Nobel Prize winners come to Stockholm to receive their awards, their lives are overturned and perturbed in various ways.

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Paul Newman, Edward G. Robinson, Elke Sommer, Diane Baker

Votes: 3,864

14. 13 Frightened Girls (1963)

Approved | 88 min | Adventure, Comedy, Thriller

While attending a school for diplomats' daughters, the teen-aged daughter of the American ambassador uses her access to various embassies to engage in espionage.

Director: William Castle | Stars: Murray Hamilton, Joyce Taylor, Hugh Marlowe, Khigh Dhiegh

Votes: 535

15. Carry On Spying (1964)

87 min | Comedy

A top secret chemical formula has been stolen by STENCH (the Society for the Total Extinction of Non-Conforming Humans), and so Agent Simpkins and his three trainees are hot on the trail, ... See full summary »

Director: Gerald Thomas | Stars: Kenneth Williams, Barbara Windsor, Bernard Cribbins, Charles Hawtrey

Votes: 2,196

3/10

16. Goldfinger (1964)

PG | 110 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

87 Metascore

While investigating a gold magnate's smuggling, James Bond uncovers a plot to contaminate the Fort Knox gold reserve.

Director: Guy Hamilton | Stars: Sean Connery, Gert Fröbe, Honor Blackman, Shirley Eaton

Votes: 159,495 | Gross: $51.08M

2/10

17. Agent 8 3/4 (1964)

98 min | Comedy

Czech-speaking, out-of-work Briton Nicholas Whistler (Sir Dirk Bogarde) is unwittingly sent on a secret mission to Prague by British Intelligence.

Director: Ralph Thomas | Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Sylva Koscina, Robert Morley, Leo McKern

Votes: 658

6/10

18. Master Spy (1963)

70 min | Drama

A Russian scientist working for the British is suspected of being a "plant", sent to monitor nuclear secrets on behalf of the communists.

Director: Montgomery Tully | Stars: Stephen Murray, June Thorburn, Alan Wheatley, John Carson

Votes: 100

19. The Nasty Rabbit (1964)

90 min | Comedy

Russian spies secretly infect rabbits with a deadly bacteria, then let them loose in the U.S.

Director: James Landis | Stars: Michael Terr, Arch Hall Jr., Liz Renay, Arch Hall Sr.

Votes: 316

20. Night Train to Paris (1964)

65 min | Thriller, Drama

Former OSS officer Alan Holiday, now living in London, is visited on New Year's Eve by Catherine Carrel who says she is a close friend of Jules Lemoine who served with Holiday during the ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Douglas | Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Aliza Gur, Dorinda Stevens, Eric Pohlmann

Votes: 227

21. Shadow of Treason (1964)

90 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

During the Cold War, a RN warrant officer stationed in the British Embassy in Warsaw leaks secrets to his Polish girlfriend who's a Soviet agent and after his transfer to a naval station in Britain he joins a Soviet spy ring.

Director: Robert Tronson | Stars: Bernard Lee, William Sylvester, Margaret Tyzack, David Kossoff

Votes: 152

22. To Trap a Spy (1964)

Not Rated | 92 min | Comedy, Adventure, Drama

The pilot for the TV series "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," re-edited and released to theaters as a feature.

Director: Don Medford | Stars: Robert Vaughn, Luciana Paluzzi, Pat Crowley, Fritz Weaver

Votes: 359

23. Blindfold (1966)

Not Rated | 102 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

A New York psychiatrist is solicited by government agents in connection with a former patient of his who also happens to be a scientist wanted by certain foreign powers.

Director: Philip Dunne | Stars: Rock Hudson, Claudia Cardinale, Jack Warden, Guy Stockwell

Votes: 651

5/10

24. City of Fear (1965)

90 min | Drama

A Canadian reporter gets mixed up in Cold-War politics, romance and espionage in Eastern Europe.

Director: Peter Bezencenet | Stars: Paul Maxwell, Terry Moore, Marisa Mell, Albert Lieven

Votes: 16

25. The Secret Agents (1965)

125 min | Drama, History, Thriller

The US intelligence chief in Europe relates the stories of three different operations that he was involved in with colleagues in Paris and Djibouti, Rome, and Berlin.

Directors: Christian-Jaque, Werner Klingler, Carlo Lizzani, Terence Young | Stars: Henry Fonda, Robert Ryan, Vittorio Gassman, Annie Girardot

Votes: 166

26. Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965)

Approved | 88 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

Skirt-chasing SIC agent Craig Gamble and millionaire bachelor Todd Armstrong set out to foil mad scientist Dr. Goldfoot's plot to use his army of bikini-clad robots to seduce wealthy men into signing over their assets.

Director: Norman Taurog | Stars: Vincent Price, Frankie Avalon, Dwayne Hickman, Susan Hart

Votes: 1,855

3/10

27. The Ipcress File (1965)

Not Rated | 109 min | Thriller

In London, a counter espionage Agent deals with his own bureaucracy while investigating the kidnapping and brainwashing of British scientists.

Director: Sidney J. Furie | Stars: Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman, Sue Lloyd

Votes: 12,595

6/10

28. The 2nd Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World (1965)

96 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Dauntless British agent Charles Vine is called upon to escort to London the famed Swedish scientist Henrik Jacobs to negotiate the sale of a secret formula. However, sinister forces ... See full summary »

Director: Lindsay Shonteff | Stars: Tom Adams, Karel Stepanek, Peter Bull, John Arnatt

Votes: 127

29. The Liquidator (1965)

Not Rated | 105 min | Action, Thriller, Crime

Colonel Mostyn of the British Intelligence Service suspects there is a leak in his department and hires an American expatriate to eliminate various targets working for the Soviets.

Director: Jack Cardiff | Stars: Rod Taylor, Trevor Howard, Jill St. John, Wilfrid Hyde-White

Votes: 814

30. Operation C.I.A. (1965)

Approved | 90 min | Drama, Thriller

A young CIA agent is assigned to Saigon to stop a planned political assassination.

Director: Christian Nyby | Stars: Burt Reynolds, Kieu Chinh, Danielle Aubry, Cyril Collick

Votes: 134

31. The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (1965)

Not Rated | 112 min | Drama, Thriller

British agent Alec Leamas refuses to come in from the Cold War during the 1960s, choosing to face another mission, which may prove to be his final one.

Director: Martin Ritt | Stars: Richard Burton, Oskar Werner, Claire Bloom, Sam Wanamaker

Votes: 13,146

9/10

32. The Spy with My Face (1965)

Not Rated | 88 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

U.N.C.L.E. agents Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin are sent to the Swiss Alps to find a secret nuclear weapon design but T.H.R.U.S.H. agents kidnap Solo and replace him with a look-alike double.

Director: John Newland | Stars: Robert Vaughn, Senta Berger, David McCallum, Leo G. Carroll

Votes: 372

33. Thunderball (1965)

PG | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

64 Metascore

James Bond heads to the Bahamas to recover two nuclear warheads stolen by S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Agent Emilio Largo in an international extortion scheme.

Director: Terence Young | Stars: Sean Connery, Claudine Auger, Adolfo Celi, Luciana Paluzzi

Votes: 96,041 | Gross: $63.60M

2/10

34. Where the Spies Are (1966)

Approved | 110 min | Adventure, Comedy

A local doctor is recruited as a cold war spy to fulfill a very important secret mission in the Middle East, only to experience that his mission is complicated by a sexy female double agent.

Director: Val Guest | Stars: David Niven, Françoise Dorléac, John Le Mesurier, Cyril Cusack

Votes: 592

35. Agent for H.A.R.M. (1966)

Approved | 84 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Secret agent tries to stop a scientist who has devised a bacterium that devours the body from within.

Director: Gerd Oswald | Stars: Peter Mark Richman, Wendell Corey, Carl Esmond, Barbara Bouchet

Votes: 1,176

36. Arabesque (1966)

Unrated | 105 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

Story of international intrigue involving a university professor, an Arab prime minister, a ruthless businessman, a beautiful spy, and hieroglyphics.

Director: Stanley Donen | Stars: Gregory Peck, Sophia Loren, Alan Badel, Kieron Moore

Votes: 5,726

3/10

37. The Deadly Affair (1967)

Not Rated | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A British agent sets out to uncover the hidden facts behind a British government employee's suicide.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: James Mason, Maximilian Schell, Simone Signoret, Harriet Andersson

Votes: 2,608

7/10

38. Don't Worry, We'll Think of a Title (1966)

Not Rated | 83 min | Comedy

A man is mistaken by foreign agents for a defecting cosmonaut and must prove his identity while evading capture.

Director: Harmon Jones | Stars: Morey Amsterdam, Rose Marie, Richard Deacon, Joey Adams

Votes: 217

39. Funeral in Berlin (1966)

Not Rated | 102 min | Thriller

A British Agent is sent to East Berlin to receive a Communist defector, but the true situation turns out to be rather more complicated.

Director: Guy Hamilton | Stars: Michael Caine, Oskar Homolka, Paul Hubschmid, Eva Renzi

Votes: 4,897

5/10

40. The Girl from S.I.N. (1966)

68 min | Comedy

Poontang Plenty is a secret agent who works on defeating evil while trying to crack the secret of invisibility.

Director: C. Davis Smith | Stars: Joyana, Barbara Kemp, Carol Evans, Mary O'Hara

Votes: 67

41. The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)

Approved | 110 min | Comedy, Romance

After a series of misunderstandings, the head of an aerospace research laboratory begins to suspect his new girlfriend is a Russian spy.

Director: Frank Tashlin | Stars: Doris Day, Rod Taylor, Arthur Godfrey, John McGiver

Votes: 3,925

3/10

42. The Last of the Secret Agents? (1966)

92 min | Comedy

Marty and Steve, American tourists in France, are given a multipurpose umbrella and pitted against an international band of art thieves. Among the stolen treasures is the Statue Of Liberty.

Director: Norman Abbott | Stars: Marty Allen, Steve Rossi, John Williams, Nancy Sinatra

Votes: 143

43. The Man Called Flintstone (1966)

Unrated | 89 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

In this feature-length film based on the "Flintstones" TV show, secret agent Rock Slag is injured during a chase in Bedrock. Slag's chief decides to replace the injured Slag with Fred ... See full summary »

Directors: Joseph Barbera, William Hanna | Stars: Alan Reed, Mel Blanc, Jean Vander Pyl, Gerry Johnson

Votes: 1,326

44. Modesty Blaise (1966)

119 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

A spy spoof in the 1960s tradition, featuring the comic book heroine Modesty Blaise (Monica Vitti) set in the Italian Mediterranean.

Director: Joseph Losey | Stars: Monica Vitti, Terence Stamp, Dirk Bogarde, Harry Andrews

Votes: 2,351

6/10

45. Our Man Flint (1966)

Unrated | 108 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

When scientists use eco-terrorism to impose their will on the world by affecting extremes in the weather, Intelligence Chief Cramden calls in top agent Derek Flint.

Director: Daniel Mann | Stars: James Coburn, Lee J. Cobb, Gila Golan, Edward Mulhare

Votes: 5,526 | Gross: $16.00M

2/10

46. The Quiller Memorandum (1966)

Approved | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

In the West Berlin of the 1960s, two British agents are killed by a Nazi group, prompting British Intelligence to dispatch agent Quiller to investigate.

Director: Michael Anderson | Stars: George Segal, Alec Guinness, Max von Sydow, Senta Berger

Votes: 3,101

5/10

47. The Silencers (1966)

TV-PG | 102 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Retired agent Matt Helm is re-activated in order to stop an evil organization from exploding an atom bomb over the USA and starting WWIII.

Director: Phil Karlson | Stars: Dean Martin, Stella Stevens, Daliah Lavi, Victor Buono

Votes: 2,381

1/10

48. Murderers' Row (1966)

Not Rated | 105 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy