All articles and pages may contain affiliate links. You can read our disclosure policy here.

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.

Not only was 1964 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:

  • Jenny Agutter – East of Sudan
  • The BeatlesA Hard Day’s Night
  • Ellen Burstyn – For Those Who Think Young
  • David Carradine – Taggart
  • Dom DeLuise – Diary of a Bachelor
  • Judi Dench – The Third Secret
  • Olympia Dukakis – Twice a Man
  • Morgan FreemanThe Pawnbroker
  • James Earl JonesDr. Strangelove
  • Roy Scheider – The Curse of the Living Corpse
  • Raquel Welch – A House Is Not a Home


Top-grossing Films

1.My Fair LadyWarner Bros.$72,000,000
2.GoldfingerUnited Artists$51,081,062
3.Mary PoppinsDisney$31,000,000
4.The CarpetbaggersParamount$28,409,547
5.From Russia with LoveUnited Artists$24,796,765
6.A Fistful of DollarsUnited Artists$14,500,000
7.Father GooseUniversal International$12,500,000
8.A Shot in the DarkUnited Artists$12,368,234
9.A Hard Day’s NightUnited Artists$12,299,668
10.The Night of the IguanaMGM$12,000,000
11.What a Way to Go!Fox$11,180,531
12.The Unsinkable Molly BrownMGM$11,070,559
13.The Pink PantherUnited Artists$10,878,107
14.Viva Las VegasMGM$9,442,967
15.Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the BombColumbia$9,440,272
17.Send Me No FlowersUniversal International$9,129,247
18.Good Neighbor SamColumbia$9,072,726
19.Zorba the GreekFox$9,000,000
20.Sex and the Single GirlWarner Bros.$8,000,000
21.Hush… Hush, Sweet CharlotteFox$8,000,000
22.MarnieUniversal International$7,000,000
23.TopkapiUnited Artists$7,000,000
24.Man’s Favorite Sport?Universal International$6,000,000


Academy Award Winners

Best Picture: My Fair Lady – Warner Bros.

Best Director: George Cukor – My Fair Lady

Best Actor: Rex Harrison – My Fair Lady

Best Actress: Julie AndrewsMary Poppins

Best Supporting Actor: Peter Ustinov – Topkapi

Best Supporting Actress: Lila KedrovaZorba the Greek


Among Those Who Died In 1964:

  • January 21 – Joseph Schildkraut, 67, Austrian actor, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Life of Emile Zola, Viva Villa!
  • January 22 – Lissy Arna, 63, German actress, Eva in Silk, The Dance Goes On
  • January 27 – Norman Z. McLeod, 65, American director, The Paleface, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  • January 29 – Alan Ladd, 50, American actor, Shane, The Blue Dahlia
  • February 24 – Frank Conroy, 73, British actor, The Ox-Bow Incident, The Naked City
  • February 27 – Orry-Kelly, 66, Australian costume designer, Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon
  • February 29 – Frank Albertson, 55, American actor, It’s a Wonderful Life, Psycho
  • March 10 – Arthur Hohl, 74, American actor, Cleopatra, Private Detective 62
  • March 23 – Peter Lorre, 59, Hungarian actor, Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon
  • April 18 – Ben Hecht, 70, American playwright and screenwriter, Notorious, His Girl Friday
  • May 10 – Carol Haney, 39, American dancer, actress, The Pajama Game, Invitation to the Dance
  • May 13 – Diana Wynyard, 58, British actress, Cavalcade, Gaslight
  • June 27 – Mona Barrie, 54, British actress, Mystery Woman, Ladies Love Danger
  • July 15 – Myles Connolly, 66, American screenwriter, State of the Union, Hans Christian Andersen
  • July 26 – William A. Seiter, 73, American film director, The Beautiful and Damned, Sons of the Desert, Roberta
  • August 5 – Charles Quigley, 58, American actor, The Shadow, The Game That Kills
  • August 6
    • Cedric Hardwicke, 71, British actor, Rope, Suspicion
    • Reed Howes, 64, American model and actor, The Dawn Rider, Paradise Canyon
  • August 12 – Ian Fleming, 56, British author of James Bond novels, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • August 27 – Gracie Allen, 69, American comedy actress, A Damsel in Distress, The Big Broadcast of 1936
  • September 23 – Fred M. Wilcox, 56, American director, Forbidden Planet, Lassie Come Home
  • September 28
  • October 10 – Eddie Cantor, 72, American actor, singer, comedian, Whoopee!, Kid Millions
  • October 15 – Cole Porter, 73, American composer and songwriter, Night and Day, High Society
  • October 19 – Russ Brown, American actor, Damn Yankees, Anatomy of a Murder
  • October 22 – Whip Wilson, 53, American actor, Night Raiders
  • October 23 – Jo Swerling, 71, American screenwriter, It’s a Wonderful Life, Guys and Dolls
  • October 27 – Rudolph Maté, 66, Hungarian cinematographer and director, D.O.A., When Worlds Collide
  • November 10 – Sam Newfield, 64, American director, The Terror of Tiny Town, I Accuse My Parents
  • December 11 – Percy Kilbride, 76, American actor, The Southerner, State Fair
  • December 14 – William Bendix, 58, American actor, Lifeboat, Detective Story
  • December 31 – Gertrude Michael, 53, American actress, Murder at the Vanities, Women in Bondage

The Greatest Films of 1964