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DISCLAIMER: All film criticism is extremely subjective and there is no such thing as the definitive list of the Greatest (English-language) Films. Great Films can't be measured scientifically because greatness is extremely subjective. Just because we like a film doesn't mean that you will like it as well. Please feel free to leave us a comment with the films that you think are the greatest which we have not included on our list.

The year 1963 in film involved some significant events, including the big-budget epic Cleopatra, Alfred Hitchcock’s horror The Birds, and two films with all-star casts, How the West Was Won and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Not only was 1963 a big year for movies but it was also a big year for actors making their film debuts and the deaths of some truly great talent. Here is a snap shot of the American film industry.

Making Their Film Debuts:

  • Alan Alda – Gone are the Days!
  • James Brolin – Take Her, She’s Mine
  • Mel Brooks – The Critic
  • James CaanIrma la Douce
  • William Daniels – Ladybug Ladybug
  • Dick Van DykeBye Bye Birdie
  • Héctor Elizondo – The Fat Black Pussycat
  • Peter Fonda – Tammy and the Doctor
  • Teri Garr – Fun in Acapulco
  • Estelle Parsons – Ladybug Ladybug
  • Kurt Russell – It Happened at the World’s Fair
  • Lynn RedgraveTom Jones
  • Donald Sutherland – The World Ten Times Over


Top-grossing Films

1.Cleopatra20th Century Fox$57,777,778
2.How the West Was WonMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Cinerama$46,500,000
3.It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad WorldUnited Artists$46,332,858
4.Tom JonesUnited Artists$37,600,000
5.Irma la DouceUnited Artists / The Mirisch Corporation$25,246,588
6.The Sword in the StoneWalt Disney Productions$22,182,353
7.Son of FlubberWalt Disney Productions$22,129,412
8.The BirdsUniversal Pictures$18,500,900
9.Dr. NoUnited Artists$16,067,035
10.The V.I.P.sMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer$15,000,000
11.McLintock!United Artists$14,500,000
12.CharadeUniversal Pictures$13,474,588
13.Bye Bye BirdieColumbia Pictures$13,129,412
14.Move Over, Darling20th Century Fox$12,705,882
15.Come Blow Your HornParamount Pictures$12,000,000
16.The Thrill of It AllUniversal Pictures$11,779,093
17.The Great EscapeUnited Artists$11,744,471
18.The CardinalColumbia Pictures$11,170,588
19.HudParamount Pictures$10,000,000
20.55 Days at PekingAllied Artists$10,000,000
21.Captain Newman, M.D.Universal Pictures$8,500,000
22.Love with the Proper StrangerParamount Pictures$7,200,000
23.Columbia Pictures / Embassy Pictures$7,000,000
24.Donovan’s ReefParamount Pictures$6,600,000
25.Lilies of the FieldUnited Artists$6,000,000
26.Promises! Promises!Independent film$3,775,000
27.The HauntingMGM$2,616,000


Academy Award Winners

Best Picture: Tom Jones — Woodfall, United Artists-Lopert (British)

Best Director: Tony RichardsonTom Jones

Best Actor: Sidney PoitierLilies of the Field

Best Actress: Patricia NealHud

Best Supporting Actor: Melvyn DouglasHud

Best Supporting Actress: Margaret RutherfordThe V.I.P.s


Among Those Who Died In 1963:

  • January 2
  • January 6 – Frank Tuttle, 70, American director, This Gun for Hire, Waikiki Wedding
  • January 26 – Ole Olsen, 70, American actor and comedian, Hellzapoppin’
  • January 28 – John Farrow, 58, Australian director, Hondo, The Big Clock
  • February 2 – William Gaxton, 69, American actor and singer, Diamond Horseshoe, The Heat’s On
  • February 8 – George Dolenz, 55, Hungarian actor, Vendetta, My Cousin Rachel
  • February 18 – Monte Blue, 76, American actor, Key Largo, White Shadows in the South Seas
  • March 18 – Wanda Hawley, 67, American actress, The Young Rajah, The Midnight Message
  • April 4 – Jason Robards, Sr., 70, American actor, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, Isle of the Dead
  • May 6 – Monty Woolley, 74, American actor, The Bishop’s Wife, The Man Who Came to Dinner
  • May 19 – Luana Walters, 50, American actress, Mexicali Rose, The Corpse Vanishes
  • June 7 – ZaSu Pitts, 69, American actress, Greed, Life with Father
  • June 18 – Pedro Armendáriz, 51, Mexican actor, The Fugitive, Fort Apache
  • July 10 – John Sutton, 54, Pakistani actor, The Three Musketeers, Captain from Castile
  • July 25 – Leota Lane, 59, American singer, actress, Three Hollywood Girls
  • August 4 – Tom Keene, 66, American actor, Our Daily Bread, Ghost Valley
  • August 14 – Clifford Odets, 57, American playwright and screenwriter, Sweet Smell of Success, None but the Lonely Heart
  • August 17 – Richard Barthelmess, 68, American actor, Broken Blossoms, Only Angels Have Wings
  • August 25 – Edward L. Cahn, 64, American director, It! The Terror from Beyond Space, Girls in Prison
  • October 8 – Grace Darmond, 68, Canadian actress, What Every Woman Wants, The Hope Diamond Mystery
  • October 11 – Jean Cocteau, 74, French director and screenwriter, Beauty and the Beast, Orpheus
  • October 18 – Constance Worth, 52, Australian actress, China Passage, Meet Boston Blackie
  • October 29 – Adolphe Menjou, 73, American actor, Paths of Glory, A Star is Born
  • October 31
    • Henry Daniell, 69, British actor, Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror, The Great Dictator
    • Hans Jacoby, 59, German screenwriter, Reunion in Reno, Champagne for Caesar
  • November 1 – Elsa Maxwell, 82, American gossip columnist, Rhapsody in Blue, Stage Door Canteen
  • November 15 – Paul Sloane, 70, American director, The Woman Accused, Down to Their Last Yacht
  • November 25
    • Jean Brooks, 47, American actress, The Leopard Man, The Seventh Victim
    • Joseph Sweeney, 79, American actor, 12 Angry Men, The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit
  • November 29 – Charles Schnee, 47, American screenwriter, The Bad and the Beautiful, Red River
  • November 30
    • Phil Baker, 67, American comedian and actor, The Gang’s All Here, Take It or Leave It
    • Gina Malo, 54, American actress, The Gang Show, All In
  • December 2
    • Sabu, 39, Indian actor, Jungle Book, The Thief of Bagdad
    • Mario Zampi, 60, Italian director, The Naked Truth, Five Golden Hours
  • December 4 – Robert Hamer, 52, British director, Kind Hearts and Coronets, Dead of Night
  • December 5 – Tom London, 74, American actor, Calamity Jane, High Noon
  • December 12
    • Yasujirō Ozu, 60, Japanese director and screenwriter, Tokyo Story, Late Spring
    • Barbara Read, 45, Canadian actress, Three Smart Girls, The Shadow Returns