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The '60s

91 customer reviews

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(Jun 22, 1999)
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Editorial Reviews

Tackling an entire decade--and a turbulent one at that--within a three-hour movie is a challenge, and while The '60s is frequently entertaining, it unfortunately is not completely up to the task. Following the lives of four young people, three from a white suburban family with parents out of The Wonder Years and one African American from the South, the characters are forced into one-dimensional clichés; they are their personas to the nth degree. Katie (Julia Stiles), the pretty young blond, is the lost hippie; Brian (Jerry O'Connell), the former high school football player, is the gung-ho-turned-disgruntled Vietnam solider; Michael (Josh Hamilton) exemplifies the political activist; and Emmet (Leonard Roberts), the only representative of the entire black movement of the '60s, plays first the pacifist who effects change through nonviolent means and then the Black Panther, and then he finally returns to his nonviolent ways. Yet, despite the trite characters and slow beginning, the movie picks up pace as each becomes involved in his or her own story. They become strangely compelling, to the point where you are sorry when the story switches to another character because you want to see more.

An eclectic shooting style--a mixture of archival footage, seamlessly spliced with shots of the miniseries in black and white, which then becomes color--effectively places the characters in the '60s context. You can believe that these folks were at the Democratic Convention in Chicago or the Watts riots or Woodstock. Yet, sometimes a break is needed: the film is unrelenting in presenting crisis after crisis with no respite, making one wonder if there were any quiet, simple, or nice moments in the entire decade. The sentimental soundtrack plays continuously, helping set the appropriate tone and the frenetic atmosphere of the movie. For those who lived through the '60s, this miniseries provides a nostalgic look back at the various movements and a general feel of the time, especially with the proliferation of film clips that aren't oft repeated (we've all seen the moon landing ad nauseam, but footage of Abbie Hoffman or Dylan playing the club scene in the East Village is refreshing). And for those born after this period, this miniseries makes the decade look like a frenzied, troubled mess that we can be grateful we had the good fortune to miss. --Jenny Brown

Special Features

  • Interview with executive producer Lynda Obst
  • '60s Speak

Product Details

  • Actors: Josh Hamilton, Julia Stiles, Jerry O'Connell, Jeremy Sisto, Jordana Brewster
  • Directors: Mark Piznarski
  • Writers: Bill Couturié, Jeffrey Alan Fiskin, Robert Greenfield
  • Producers: Jim Chory, Lynda Obst
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: June 22, 1999
  • Run Time: 172 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305408998
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,060 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The '60s" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Bill Emblom on December 31, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Every so often I get lucky when I take a chance on a DVD. This is one such case. The '60s is the story of one family with three children, one of which (a daughter) becomes involved with hippies, a son who serves in Vietnam, and another son who becomes a peace activist. We follow the lives of each child as they play out their respective roles throughout the decade. Combined with the music from the time period along with NBC newsclips on assassinations, race riots, and political unrest this was a movie that brought this decade back to me to relive all over again.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Kate on February 17, 2005
Format: DVD
Watching this film made me feel immensley nostalgic.

Despite that I was born two decades after the sixties, the illustrations of the emotional uproar at the time was so excellently done that I felt as if I was experiencing it myself. The portrayl of the characters development, as well as the Social Issues of the time, was wonderfully intense.

Many of the sense were so so emotionally rich that I even cried a few times, even when it wasn't a particularly sad scene.

The NBC news clips furthered the feeling of experiencing the important events of the sixties, such as JFKs assasination, yourself. Watching what so many saw back in 1963 evokes a feeling of empathy for everyone who heard the news so long ago.

One main aspect of the sixties was the feeling of hope, and that anyone could make a difference, which was clealy evident in the film. After watching it, I wanted so badly to organize a protest. This film definatley inspires the want to stand up for what you believe in and take action.

For those not very interested with the culture and history of the sixties, chances are that the film still possess something they would enjoy. As an example, the lost, confused, and angry attitude of teenage-hood is also demonstrated.

Overall The Sixties was an amazing film. I strongly reccomend this film. Anyone with brain waves will enjoy it.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mistress Raye on March 10, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
I've read the reviews, and everyone seems to have something bad to say about this movie!
First of all, sure, the acting wasn't all that great - what do you expect from a made for television movie? Get over it! You're not gonna see major actors in such a small movie. Be glad you got Julia Stiles and Jerry O'Connell!
Secondly, there seems to be complaint that the movie didn't cover some of the major things of the sixties. This makes sense to me - why cover the things that everyone knows about? Why not include the things that not everyone knows about?
I was born in 1983, and I have always been interested in the sixties, and this movie taught me a lot of things I didn't know. If this movie had covered things like the Beatles and Woodstock just like everything else out there, I would have changed the channel and said forget it.
Also, there were comments that there were too many stereotypes - you had the sorta rebellious daughter who got pregnant, the Vietnam veteran who was haunted by the images he saw while in the field, the guy protesting against the war, etc. But did you honestly think that in three hours they could cover all the types of people who lived in the sixties? I don't think so! It would take three days instead of three hours!
All in all, I'd have to say that this movie wasn't all that bad - so quit your complaining! If you think this movie was such a bad portrayal of the sixties, then I say get out there and make your own movie! For those of you who want to learn more about the sixties and are tired of hearing all about hippies and Woodstock and other typical things from the sixties, buy this movie.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jillian on July 25, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Although this movie manages to squeeze just about every 60's cliche into three hours, it's still immensely enjoyable. The 60's a was a turbulent time, and this movie covers nearly every aspect of the political, social, and emotional turmoil that America was going through.

The principal characters are three siblings from a white, suburban family. Jerry O'Connell plays Brian, a patriotic heartthrob, who returns from Nam a disillusioned and angry man. His younger sister Katie (Julia Stiles) does not fare much better, and leaves home for hippiedom after becoming pregnant. His brother Michael is the most normal of the bunch, and fights inequality, while pursuing a confusing love interest (Jordana Brewster).

This movie leaves nothing out. It packs in the war, Woodstock, the equal rights movement, and still manages to create likeable characters. It's not an Oscar contender, but it was fairly well done, and deserves a look for anyone with a curiosity about the 1960's
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kaitlyn Moore on December 19, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
This movie was great!! We watched it in my social studies class at the end of our unit on the sixties. They included great clips from what actually happened during that era, and combined them beautifully! I really liked the way the movie starts out in 1960 and ends in 1969, and highlighting the events that took place in the 60's from JKF, Malcolm X and MLK Jr's assassinations, to the Summer of Love and Woodstock to the demonstrations that occurred!

I would definatly recommend "The 60's" to anyone!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ryan James on March 30, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
I teach in the American Studies program at a university in Budapest, Hungary. I am currently using this video in my course "US Pop Culture- 50s, 60s, and 70s". I show 1/2 hour a class and supplement it with articles that match the 30 minutes viewed. My students love the movie and it encourages them to read more about the topics. They are reading deeper than they did before. I also have The 70s movie, which I will also use.
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