Top Five 1960s – 1970s Movies


Our standing joke-not-a-joke is that we don’t review historical costume movies set when I was alive, since I’m the oldest staff member. That means the movie or TV show has to take place before the 1960s. But I’m going to break my own rules here, because every now and then, I kinda sorta do enjoy a so-called period piece that’s set in an era I have some acquaintance with. This won’t happen again any time soon, so enjoy it now!


Behind the Candelabra (2013)

Behind the Candelabra (2013)

True confession time: I’ve always been a Liberace fan. So I had to watch this HBO movie about his life. Michael Douglas truly becomes Liberace, and his relationship with Scott Thorson (Matt Damon) is fascinating. The sets and costumes are so precisely of the time period, it’s a little creepy.


Dreamgirls (2006)

Dreamgirls (2006)

An adaption of the Broadway musical that was loosely based on the story of The Supremes, this film starring Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, and more is riveting. The songs are stunning, the ’60s-’70s costumes are perfect, and the drama is sublime.


Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)

Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)

Another confession: I love Loretta Lynn, and I’ve seen this movie a dozen times. Her story and her songs are so inspiring, and this movie is brutally honest (making you wonder what more was left out). The style isn’t flashy, but this is a good representation of Lynn’s rise to fame through the 1960s and 1970s, from Butcher Holler to the Grand Ol’ Opry.


Dark Shadows (2012)

Dark Shadows (2012)

I’m a huge fan of the original Dark Shadows TV series, and I kind of hated this movie remake (sorry, Tim Burton). The story was dumb and a waste of all the actors. However, the visual design was spot-on, and Colleen Atwood‘s costumes were an amazing homage to the 1970s air-date of the TV series.


Velvet Goldmine (1998)

Velvet Goldmine (1998)

Is it weird that most of these are music related? Maybe that’s all I really want to remember from the ’60s and ’70s. This is a fictionalized version of glam rock’s early days with the likes of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Mick Jagger renamed as Brian Slade (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and Curt Wild (Ewan McGregor). The one and only Sandy Powell designed the dreamy, sexy, fantastical stage costumes.



What 1960s – 1970s frock flicks are you secretly fond of?

12 Responses

  1. MoHub

    I’d have included National Lampoon’s Animal House and the original Hairspray as both nailing the early ’60s.


  2. Frannie Germeshausen

    Another music movie, “Walk the Line,” but I’ve loved it for the performances, but haven’t broken down the costumes.

    • LadySlippers

      I don’t remember the costumes as being horrible. And I liked the story overall.

  3. LadySlippers

    Oh my. I intensely disliked Behind the Candelabra — the acting and costumes were amazing but I liked nothing else. I thought the script, directing, and story horrible.

    I still need to see Dreamgirls….

  4. Susan Pola Staples

    I enjoyed Hidden Figures. The designer not only captured each of the women’s character by her dress, but also delineated class as well.

    The miniseries A Woman Named Jackie was excellent in their choice of dressing actress Roma Downey as Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. The choice of dress did an excellent job of showing Jackie’s evolution from the daughter of privilege to a woman of power.

  5. Lady Hermina De Pagan

    I loved the costuming in the Mambo Kings. It shows what clothing was like in the Latin community in the 50’s and 60’s.

  6. Charity

    I love Call the Midwife; saw The Last Post on Amazon Prime recently, enjoyed it; 1960’s are about as late as I prefer to go in costume dramas. I don’t like the 70’s as much.

  7. Catharine Emma Hershey

    The Sapphires! It’s the (dramatised) true story of four aboriginal women who traveled to Vietnam to sing for troops. It’s funny and endearing, and of course, the Motown music is fantastic.

  8. ladylavinia1932

    I really enjoyed “Dreamgirls”, along with “Saving Mr. Banks”, “American Gangster” “Infamous”, “That Thing You Do”, “Rush”, and “Apollo 13”.

  9. Kathleen Norvell

    Crybaby (kind of companion piece to Hairspray). Another John Water masterpiece.

  10. Mrs. D

    “Catch Me if You Can” was another great one. Of course, for TV there’s always “Mad Men.”