Here is a sampling of the top grossing American films for 1967 and 1968. There is a big shift towards the hippie culture becoming commercialized in 1968.
Films of 1967:
A pulpy film of women and their pills:
The Graduate: An unhappy housewife attempts to seduce a young, indecisive man. Cool Hand Luke: Luke intentionally gets himself arrested by cutting off parking meters. In prison, he refuses to align with the hierarchy enforced by the warden, “the man with no eyes.”
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: Joanna returns home to introduce her parents to her new fiance, John Prentice, a black physician. Conversations about society, equality, and racism ensue.
Films of 1968:
Barbarella: This wild hippy sci-fi film follows hyper-sexualized Barbarella on her adventures to save Duran Duran and Earth.
The Love Bug: Herbie, an anthropomorphic racing VW Bug. Enough said.
Rosemary’s Baby: A young housewife gives birth to the anti-christ.
Courtesy of Eliza – take a moment and dance to Sly & The Family Stone!
Quella sporca storia nel west
(aka Johnny Hamlet: To Kill or Not to Kill)
1968 had it’s own release of a retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in Enzo G. Castellari’s spaghetti western, Quella sporca storia nel west, literally translated to That Dirty Story in the West in English.
[In Castellari’s Johnny Hamlet there are] parallels clearly made between the figures of Johnny and his mother with those of Jesus and Mary. Catholic Christian imagery is a recurring element in many italian westerns; unsurprising given the theological background of its creators as well as its target domestic audience. But here the imagery is starkly unavoidable. Once his father’s persecutors have been exposed Johnny is literally crucified and left to die. His mother, mortally wounded, makes her way to the site of his torture and lies prostrate beneath his cross, bleeding and seeking forgiveness for her sins. Johnny then defies death and returns to clear the ranch of the evil that has overtaken it, eradicating the perpetrators of wickedness and causing the source of avarice (gold dust) to be swept away in a cleansing breeze.
-“Johnny Hamlet Review.” Phil H. TheSpaghetti Western Database, 2008
Watch the trailer below and note the use of color.