Well, the 1960s were, for me, a unique decade because the performance I have selected as the decade’s best coincides with my choice of the single greatest film performance ever. This appears below in the first position. The remaining nine performances are listed alphabetically by the last name of the actors.

1. Per Oscarsson, as the starving, hallucinating writer in Henning Carlsen’s Hunger (1966), an adaptation of Knut Hamsun’s wonderful 1890 first-person novel, gives what is possibly cinema’s finest performance. Brilliant and exacting, it finds humanity in one of its most extreme forms, at the edge and sometimes slipping over. Here is surely the one film performance of my life, as I struggle to hold myself back from the abyss. This man’s belly is hungry; but he also hungers for the feeling that life matters—that he matters. Where is the vessel bound that he boards at the end? Home? Eternity?

2. Jean-Paul Belmondo, Le doulos (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1962).

3. Gunnar Björnstrand, Winter Light (Ingmar Bergman, 1963).

4. Marcello Mastroianni, Family Diary (Valerio Zurlini, 1962).

5. Jeanne Moreau, Jules et Jim (François Truffaut, 1961).

6. Patricia Neal, Hud (Martin Ritt, 1963).

7. Maurice Ronet, The Fire Within (Louis Malle, 1963).

8. Ingrid Thulin, The Silence (Ingmar Bergman, 1963).

9. Monica Vitti, L’avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960).

10. Sergo Zaqariadze, Father of a Soldier (Rezo Chkheidze, 1964).


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