"" Automotive Mileposts  
Ford Thunderbird: Movie and TV-Birds (The Sixties)

Ford Thunderbird Movies—The Sixties

1961 - 1969

AM Blog | AUTOPOSTS Forum | The Showroom

"" SELECT YEAR TO VIEW OR SCROLL DOWN ""

1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 |1968 | 1969

TO BUY: Click item image or title. A new window or tab will open at Amazon.com or other merchant partner for that item.
Checkout is over a secure connection for your protection.

LOOK FOR THE GOLD STAR
Recommended! = HIGHLY RECOMMENDED—DENOTES GOOD THUNDERBIRD SCENES! Recommended!

1961 Select Another Year

The Andy Griffith Show

(1960-1968; TV Show)—A white 1961 Thunderbird Convertible with beige interior is used on several episodes, including episode #35 which was first aired on October 16, 1961 titled "Andy and the Woman Speeder." The woman was played by pretty Jean Hagen, who turned a few people in Mayberry against Andy before her conscience got to her.

Episode #42, "The Clubmen," which originally aired on December 11, 1961, also featured the same white Thunderbird Convertible. In this episode, a fishing buddy of Andy's from Raleigh invites Andy to join his exclusive men's club, The Esquire Club. Barney is also invited, but tries too hard to impress and ends up alienating everyone. Andy gets in, but Barney doesn't, so Andy declines the offer out of respect for his friendship with Barney. Naturally, Barney assumes it was Andy that got both of them denied.

In episode #47, "Bailey's Bad Boy," Bill Bixby plays a spoiled rich kid who gets pulled over for careless driving. This episode originally aired on January 15, 1962—the Convertible was already last year's model!

 

Follow That Dream (VHS)

Follow That Dream (VHS) (1962)—From the Richard C. Powell novel Pioneer Go Home, Elvis Presley fans will like this one about a musical hillbilly whose family is trying to homestead on government land along the Florida coast. Elvis sings a song to a girl (of course) while laying on the ground next to a Monte Carlo Red 1961 Convertible with a Red interior. Arthur O'Connell, Anne Helm, Joanna Moore and Simon Oakland also appear.

The State Welfare Supervisor, an attractive young woman played by Joanna Moore (1934-1997), drives the Thunderbird. The State of Florida must have paid pretty well back then, or perhaps she came from a wealthy family? The Thunderbird has narrow 1-inch white sidewall tires on it, possibly done to update the car in anticipation of the new narrower stripe style, introduced late in the 1961 model year.

 

For Love Or Money

(1963)—A wealthy widow hires a lawyer to find husbands for her three gorgeous daughters. Mitzi Gaynor plays one of the daughters, and she drives a Cambridge Blue Metallic 1961 Hardtop with a black interior quite a bit in this movie, there are some good shots of the car at a service station. Also starred Kirk Douglas, Julie Newman, William Bendix and Thelma Ritter. Typical early '60s comedy.

 

The Rockford Files

The Rockford Files: Backlash Of the Hunter (Pilot Episode) (VHS)The Rockford Files: Lions, Tigers, Monkeys and Dogs (VHS)(1974-1980; TV Show)—In an episode titled Just By Accident, a two tone red 1961 Hardtop with a white roof was used—in a demolition derby! Also involved in this senseless act was a light blue 1960 Hardtop and what WAS a nice 1968 Riviera. The Champagne Metallic 1963 Landau (listed in the 1963 section) made an appearance in this episode as well. We'll spare you further details, but we wish there had been Yugos around back then to use for these stunts! (Our apologies to any Yugo fans.)

EPISODES AVAILABLE: Backlash Of the Hunter (Pilot Episode) (VHS) and Lions, Tigers, Monkeys and Dogs (VHS)

 

Recommended! 77 Sunset Strip

77 Sunset Strip (Soundtrack album cover shown)(1958-1964; TV Show)—Edd "Kookie" Byrnes, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., and Roger Smith must have had fun in their white 1961 Convertible with light beige interior. Do you remember the swingin' club, "Dino's" that was next door to 77 Sunset Strip and shared a parking lot? Quite a few T-Birds in THAT parking lot over the years! This show is hard to find on televised reruns, but will hopefully come into vogue again. Absolutely worth finding if you love watching classic Thunderbirds in action when they were brand new!

Most 77 Sunset Strip items are currently out of print. However, they can often be found for sale on eBay. Check current eBay auctions for: 77 Sunset Strip (search all)

 

Available on DVDThat Touch of Mink (DVD)
That Touch of Mink (VHS)

That Touch of Mink (VHS)(1962)—Doris Day and Cary Grant raised eyebrows with this movie back in 1962. It seems people had a problem with a single girl going to Bermuda with a man and sharing a one bedroom hotel suite! But Cathy Timberlake (Day) held out for marriage over a cheap fling with Philip Shayne (Grant).

Two different 1961 Thunderbird Hardtops are spotted—one is Raven Black with red interior, and the other is Honey Beige. Look for both closer to the end of the movie, the black one can be seen turning in the background when Doris gets out of a van at a gas station. The beige one can be seen sitting next to a building at a motel in the background while Doris is in a phone booth during one of the last scenes. Sharp eyes will also spot two 1960 vintage Thunderbirds, one of them a Platinum Metallic Convertible, in the opening sequence.

One of the highlights of this movie is the fabulous fashion sequence, courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman. Gig Young, Audrey Meadows, John Astin, and a young and very handsome Dick Sergeant also appear. Watch for the cameos with Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Yogi Berra of the New York Yankees playing themselves. Astin is on the receiving end of a put down from Day in one funny scene: "I would enjoy going out with you, Mr. Beasley, if I just didn't find you so personally distasteful. You're a sneaky, crude, offensive man. Of course that's just how I feel. I'm sure there are hundreds of girls in this city who admire those qualities."

That Touch of Mink was the first movie ever to gross over a million dollars in a single theatre. Opening at Radio City Music Hall on June 14, 1962, it made $2 million during the 10 weeks it played there, and was Cary Grant's 25th movie opening at that theatre. Grant received a plaque to commemorate the event.

The movie received three Academy Award nominations.

Also available in WIDESCREEN.

1962 Select Another Year

Available on DVDRecommended!Crime Story (DVD)
Recommended!Crime Story (VHS)

Crime Story (Pilot Episode) (VHS) (Pilot Episode) (1986-1988; TV Show)—This television show first debuted on September 18, 1986 and despite a short run was critically acclaimed. Set in circa 1963 Chicago, Crime Story was created by Michael Mann (Miami Vice), was beautifully photographed and had an excellent soundtrack. Dennis Farina stars, notable guests included Julia Roberts and David Caruso. In the Pilot Episode guest starring Caruso, he is shot and killed in an Acapulco Blue 1962 Thunderbird Hardtop. The car is shown quite a bit in this episode.

 

I Spy

(1965-1968; TV Show)—Robert Culp and Bill Cosby were sleuths in this popular television show, and Robert Culp's character had a penchant for Thunderbirds! We recall at least one 1962 Hardtop that was used prominently in one episode, but there may be others as well.

 

It Happened At the World's Fair

(1963)—Elvis Presley plays a bush pilot who is after the heart of Joan O'Brien at the World's Fair in Seattle. A 1962 Thunderbird Sports Roadster is driving down the highway in the background in one scene. The Roadster appeared to be painted Deep Sea Blue Metallic, a color not listed as available on the Sports Roadster model. A very young Kurt Russell appears.

 

Perry Mason

(1957-1966; TV Show)—Paul Drake has a 1962 Thunderbird Convertible on many episodes and it appears to have a two tone interior. The car is a dark color, as is the interior, but the pleated inserts on the seats are light colored. Possibly a black vinyl interior with the gray cloth inserts, which would be rare in a convertible. Lots of T-Bird shots on this show in the episodes filmed during the 1961-1962 period.

 

The Twilight Zone

(1959-1964; TV Show)—A very early production white Sports Roadster is used on one episode, titled Showdown with Rance McGrew. This episode was filmed and copyrighted in 1961, and had an original air date of February 2, 1962. Apparently filmed during the recall of the Kelsey Hayes Wire Wheels, this car featured all of the other Roadster items, with standard wheel covers installed! Look for it!

 

Hazel (VHS)

Hazel - A Double Holiday Dose of Hazel (1961-1966; TV Show)—In the episode titled Hazel's Secret Wish, which originally aired on February 1, 1962, Shirley Booth portrays a live-in maid character named Hazel, who takes a vacation at a posh resort where all the other vacationers are wealthy women. Upon learning of Hazel's occupation, many of them snub her, except for the wealthy Mrs. H.T. Forbes-Craigie, who befriends Hazel during a confrontation.

Mrs. Forbes-Craigie, who is worth $23 million, has a chauffeur driven 1962 Ford Thunderbird Landau with white vinyl top and medium beige interior. The car is shown early in the episode, and does not include rear fender shields. (The Thunderbird appears in the video at right at 5:51.)

(The episode with the Thunderbird isn't currently available, but the Holiday episodes linked here are very good. This show is a classic, similar to "I Love Lucy.")

1963 Select Another Year

The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

This show has many episodes which feature cool old cars. Hitchcock seemed to prefer using Ford products, in both his television shows and movies. For instance, North by Northwest (1959) featured a 1958 Continental Mark III Convertible in a couple of its more notable scenes; in Marnie (1964), one of the main characters drove a 1963 Lincoln Continental Sedan; and in his last film, Family Plot (1976), Hitchcock had the villians driving a black 1968 Lincoln Continental Sedan. Below are episodes of interest if you love T-birds:

The Long Silence (Season 1, Episode 25, Original air date March 22, 1963; TV Show)—A Silver Mink 1963 Sports Roadster appears in several shots parked in front of a mansion, but can be seen driving away in one of them. In this episode, a wealthy family is shocked to learn of a son's embezzlement of a large amount of money from the family bank account. It is later learned that the step father is to blame. The mother falls down the stairs in one scene and is unable to talk or move for a period of time. She fears her husband, and manages to figure out the truth as she slowly returns to normal. A black 1963 Lincoln Continental Sedan is also featured in a couple of scenes.

Who Needs An Enemy? (Season 2, Episode 28, Original air date May 15, 1964; TV Show)—Hitchcock favorite JoAnna Moore stars in this story of a man caught embezzling from his business partner. Confronted with being arrested, the man decides to fake his death to avoid prosecution and paying back the money. A couple of scenes show the embezzler driving a 1963 Convertible, and it's involved in a minor accident in one of them. Richard Anderson, (who later played Oscar Goldman in The Six Million Dollar Man television show), co-stars as the other business partner. There is a twist to this story, as there usually is with anything Alfred Hitchcock put his name on!

 

Buddy Faro

(1998; TV Show)—Dennis Farina starred in this short-lived series about a 1960's-type private detective trying to survive in the 1990's. He drove a triple black 1963 Sports Roadster, and there were good shots of the car in the few episodes that actually aired.

 

Available on DVD Recommended!Choose Me (DVD)
Recommended!Choose Me (VHS)

Choose Me (VHS - DVD cover shown) (1984)—Geneviève Bujold, Keith Carradine, and Leslie Ann Warren heat up the screen in this steamy movie with a distinct film noir feel to it. Set in the mid-eighties, this drama has a timeless appeal, and more than a few very funny moments. Bujold portrays a radio psychologist with a sex talk show; Carradine's character is recently released from a mental institution, and he may be a killer or a spy for the CIA; Warren plays Eve, an ex-prostitute who now owns her own bar, and drives a Rangoon Red 1963 Thunderbird Landau with black vinyl roof. The Thunderbird is in quite a few of the scenes, and its appearance as Warren's choice of transportation seems logical, as having an ordinary car would not fit her profile at all.

There's a lot going on in this movie, and everyone seems to take something different away from it. You may end up watching it a couple of times before you catch everything that's going on, but that's part of the fun of it! The interaction between the main characters is brilliant. John Laroquette co-stars as the bartender at Eve's bar, and is also her stand in lover on occasion.

(DVD format is in WIDESCREEN.)

 

Recommended!Della

(1964; also known as Fatal Confinement)—Paul Burke stars in this drama with just a touch of mystery that was originally intended as a television series titled Royal Bay, which wasn't picked up by a network. So, it was made into a movie instead. Joan Crawford is the special guest star, portraying reclusive Della Chappell, a very wealthy widow with a pretty daughter named Jenny. Burke is an attorney who was hired by a corporation to purchase land from Chappell. While visiting the Chappell house to make the deal, he meets and falls in love with Jenny, but soon discovers a tragic secret.

The costumes, sets and scenery are wonderful, Burke's character drives a 1963 Thunderbird Landau, seen frequently in the movie. It is finished in Rose Beige with a white vinyl roof and Rose Beige vinyl interior. Miss Crawford drives a Bermuda Blue 1963 Lincoln Continental Sedan.

 

Available on DVDDivorce American Style (DVD)
Divorce American Style (VHS)

Divorce American Style (VHS)(1967)—Dick Van Dyke and Debbie Reynolds star in this typical '60s comedy about a couple getting divorced. Van Johnson, Jason Robards, Jr., Tim Matheson, and Tom Bosley also appear. A 1963 Thunderbird Hardtop with an Acapulco Blue Metallic finish is in the parking lot of a bowling alley. A 1961-1963 Thunderbird is also shown sitting in a carport in one scene filmed at night, making identification of the year difficult. This movie is an excellent one for 1960's car buffs, as a 1967 Buick Riviera, 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 Convertible, 1966 Mercury Park Lane Four Door Hardtop, 1965 Buick LeSabre Convertible, and a 1967 Ford Country Squire Station Wagon are all shown. Sharp eyes will also spot a 1965 Thunderbird Landau, Vintage Burgundy with White Vinyl Roof sitting in the middle of a parking lot in a scene shot from overhead at a distance.

 

Available on DVDRecommended!Flubber (DVD)
Recommended!Flubber (VHS)

Flubber (VHS)(1999)—Disney couldn't resist the temptation to remake 1961's popular comedy The Absent Minded Professor, so they cast Robin Williams as Professor Philip Brainard (a role vaguely related to the character originated by Fred MacMurray), and the result is a comedy that, frankly, doesn't fully deserve its modest success. It's admittedly clever to a point, and certainly the digitally "flubberized" special effects provide the kind of movie magic that's entertaining for kids and parents alike. The professor can't even remember his own wedding day (much to the chagrin of his fiancee, played by Marcia Gay Harden), and now his academic rival (Christopher McDonald) is trying to steal his latest and purely accidental invention - flying rubber, or ... flubber. The green goo magnifies energy and can be used as an amazing source of power, but in the hands of screenwriter John Hughes it becomes just another excuse to recycle a lot of Home Alone-style slapstick humor involving a pair of bumbling would-be flubber thieves. And the Thunderbird in this film—a red 1963 Convertible with a Tonneau Cover added—really could fly (if you buy into the story line). Amazon.com Review

 

The Fugitive

(1963-1967; TV Show)—This popular television show starred David Janssen as a Doctor from Indiana wrongly convicted of killing his wife. He escapes and travels across the country assuming various identities, searching for the one armed man he saw leaving the scene of the crime.

One of the episodes which aired during the first season featured a 1963 Thunderbird Sports Roadster in Silver Mink Metallic with a Red interior. The episode, titled "Bloodline" originally aired on January 28, 1964. An identical car appeared in the television show Hazel as well as the movie Palm Springs Weekend (both listed above). Perhaps it is the same car.

The final episode of The Fugitive aired on August 29, 1967, and captured 72% of the market, making it the most watched television program ever. We found out in the last episode that the one armed man did it. This episode of The Fugitive kept the most watched record until the "Who Shot J.R.?" episode of Dallas aired in 1980.

 

Hazel—A Double Holiday Dose of Hazel (VHS)

Hazel - A Double Holiday Dose of Hazel (VHS)(1961-1966; TV Show)—Mr. Baxter's sister drives a Silver Mink Sports Roadster in at least one episode of this Emmy award winning show, which ran on NBC 1961-1965, and CBS from 1965-1966. Shirley Booth played the loveable maid. Ford was a sponsor of this show, and the opening sequence features a red 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 Convertible. One carefully timed episode revolved around the family's new car - a Ford Mustang. The Mustang episode aired on Friday, April 17, 1964 at 9:30 pm, which was the announcement date of Ford's new Mustang. Ford purchased all of the advertising on all three networks during this time period that evening!

(The episode with the Thunderbird isn't currently available, but the Holiday episodes linked here are very good. This show is a classic, similar to "I Love Lucy.")

 

Available on DVD Recommended!The Idolmaker (DVD)
Recommended!The Idolmaker (VHS)

The Idolmaker (VHS) (1980)—The late Ray Sharkey stars in the story of a talent manager named Vincent "Vinnie" Vacarri who takes two young unknowns and makes them stars. They both reciprocate by turning against him. After realizing he cannot force others to be something they don't want to be, Vacarri begins to fulfill his dream himself...by starting his own singing career.

A white 1963 Sports Roadster with black interior is used quite a bit in the movie. Cadillac fans will also appreciate numerous scenes with many of their favorite late fifties and early sixties cars as well. Tovah Feldshuh, Peter Gallagher, Paul Land, Joe Pantoliano, Maureen McCormick, John Aprea, Richard Bright, and Olympia Dukakis also appear. Directed by Taylor Hackford. (In the video at right, the Thunderbird first appears at 3:40.)

 

Leave It To Beaver (VHS)

Leave It To Beaver (VHS)(1997)—A 90's movie update on the 60's television show, you'll be happy to know that June Cleaver still wears her pearls while cleaning house! Here's the story: The Beaver is in trouble...this time his new bicycle is stolen, his new computer falls out of the second floor bedroom window (both were birthday gifts)...you get the picture. A Rangoon Red 1963 Thunderbird Convertible with white top is shown several times in the parking lot during the "bike tricks" scene (just before The Beav has his bike stolen.) Janine Turner plays June Cleaver and Christopher McDonald plays Ward Cleaver.

Also available on DVD.

 

Available on DVDThe Outer Limits (Original Series Complete Box Set)

The Invisibles (Season 1, Episode 19, Original air date February 3, 1964; TV Show)—A government employee identified as "GIA Agent 021" infiltrates an organization known as "The Invisibles" which has plans to take over the world by attaching horrid little parasites to the spinal cords of victims, taking control of them. This episode was filmed in black and white, but based on the factory color selection, the 1963 Sports Roadster Convertible seen in this show was Silver Mink with a red interior. A '63 Lincoln Continental Sedan is also featured.

This is an excellent series for sci-fi fans as well as anyone who enjoys seeing old cars, and includes 4 double-sided discs totaling 2,515 minutes. Only 49 episodes total were filmed, and 32 of them are included in this box set. "There is nothing wrong with your television set..." is how the narrator began each episode, as he explained the show had taken control. We're sure you won't mind!

 

Recommended!Palm Springs Weekend (VHS)

Palm Springs Weekend (VHS) (1963)—Sun drenched Palm Springs, California serves as the backdrop for this sixties teen classic. Spoiled rich kid Eric, played by Robert Conrad, has issues with his Father, and takes his 1963 Silver Mink Sports Roadster to Palm Springs.

While there he gets mad and on a chase, scrapes the car. The car isn't really damaged, as one shot shows, and near the end of the movie, Conrad realizes he's really not a nice guy. He straightens up in the end, and everyone is happy.

Also stars Troy Donahue, Connie Stevens, Jerry Van Dyke, Ty Hardin, and a young Stephanie Powers. A white 1961 Thunderbird Convertible with black top is shown in the parking lot at a dinner club, just before the chase scene mentioned above starts.

When asked about his part in this movie, Robert Conrad said "I thought I was hot: I had tailor-made suits and a James Dean haircut and I was driving a T-Bird. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven." This movie is a real treat for vintage car fans, and it's awesome to watch a brand new Sports Roadster in action, which makes this movie a "must have" for your video collection!

VIEW: Movie Poster | Movie Still

 

Perry Mason

(1957-1966; TV Show)—Paul Drake scores again, this time driving a 1963 Convertible. One episode in particular is notable: the only person Perry ever defended—and lost—is seen in the back seat of Paul's car with Della Street. The car was reportedly Chestnut Metallic, with a matching vinyl interior. Another episode featured a 1963 Sports Roadster, whose driver is involved in a setup for murder, and he hires Perry and team to defend him.

 

The Rockford Files

(1974-1980; TV Show)—A Champagne Metallic 1963 Thunderbird Landau with a white vinyl roof can be seen on quite a few episodes of this series. We wonder if the car belonged to someone who worked on the show, or if it was just a prop. (We're looking into this.) One episode, "Joey Blue Eyes" which originally aired January 30, 1976, had a scene where the T-Bird was hit by a silver 1975 Monte Carlo. Not a bad accident, but the front end on the Chevy didn't look too good afterwards. The Bird was not shown in its wrecked state. We're looking to see if it appears in later episodes with a new paint job! It may still be around, waiting patiently in a storage lot in California. (See the 1961 section above to order.)

 

Shattered (VHS)

Shattered (VHS)(1991)—Tom Berenger plays architect Dan Merrick, who is suffering from flashbacks to an accident he was in. Lots of plot twists and turns, but they are dealt with in a fashion that isn't confusing to the viewer. Surprises have priority in this film, and just when you think you know where it's going, the plot changes - especially near the end! The car in the accident was a white 1963 Thunderbird Hardtop. Greta Scacchi, Bob Hoskins, and Joanne Whalley-Kilmer play supporting roles.

1964 Select Another Year

A Cab To Canada

(1998; TV Movie)—Lovely and talented Maureen O'Hara and handsome Jason Beghe star in this one, about the relationship between a wealthy older woman and her younger cab driver. They don't seem to like each other at first, but grow to become good friends. If it sounds a bit like Driving Miss Daisy, that's because it kind of is. The story is a bit predictable, but it's presented well, and Miss O'Hara's presence makes the movie respectable. Watch for a white on white 1964 Thunderbird Landau parked at the curb in the first scene at the cemetery, early in the movie.

 

A Guide For the Married Man (VHS)

A Guide For the Married Man (VHS)(1967)—Walter Matthau and Robert Morse star in this romp about two suburban husbands with adultery on their minds. Morse is teaching Matthau the proper way to do it without getting caught, helped along the way with a who's who of stars appearing in cameos. Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Polly Bergen, Sid Caesar, Art Carney, Jayne Mansfield (in one of her final roles), Carl Reiner, Terry-Thomas, and Joey Bishop, among others are hilarious, and listed as "Technical Directors" in the credits. This movie is a visual feast for lovers of 1960's cars, look for a 1964 Thunderbird (with a burned out tail lamp) in one scene filmed at night with Matthau and Morse doing a "dry run." In the same scene behind their rented car is a 1965 Thunderbird. Great Imperials, Cadillacs, and others appear as well.

 

Bewitched: Meet The Stephens (VHS)

Bewitched: Meet The Stephens (VHS)(1964-1972; TV Show)—The very first episode of this show (titled I, Darren, Take This Witch, Samantha) originally aired September 17, 1964, and shows Samantha sitting in the front passenger bucket seat of Darrin's 1964 Thunderbird Convertible! This episode was in black and white, so who knows what color the car was, and after this episode, Chevrolet became a big sponsor and had the honor of supplying cars for the show, so no more T-Birds.

This video tape features two episodes; in addition to the pilot, episode 54, titled And Then There Were Three is included. This episode introduces baby Tabitha to the world, and features Agnes Moorehead as Endora as well as Eve Arden as Nurse Kelton.

 

Available on DVD Recommended!Goldfinger (DVD)
Recommended!Goldfinger (VHS)

Goldfinger (VHS)(1964)—To many the best James Bond film ever made, Goldfinger was the third 007 movie, and firmly established Sean Connery as a major star. Bond is investigating gold smuggling, and in the process uncovers a plot to contaminate the United States gold reserve at Fort Knox!

A Wimbledon White 1964 Thunderbird Convertible, with black top and interior, is equipped with all the latest spy gadgets—and none of them were on the Ford options list! The car didn't have fender skirts when the Government agents driving it were following a new Lincoln Continental to the airport, but did have the skirts in a scene that was supposed to be later that afternoon. If you look closely, you can spot a rare optional black body side accent stripe on the car! This is the James Bond movie where the Lincoln Continental is crushed—reports indicate a wrecked and stripped 1961-63 model painted Nocturne Blue metallic (dark blue) replaced the 1964 model just before the crusher got it. But in 1964, even a 1961 model was still pretty new...anyway, Goldfinger paid the price for smashing that Lincoln!

 

Recommended!Good Neighbor Sam (VHS)

Good Neighbor Sam (VHS) (1964)—A Diamond Blue 1964 Convertible with white top is the star of this movie—great interior, exterior, and action shots. Filmed in San Francisco, two identical cars are used—identical except one has the early 1963-style door mirror with a blue cloth interior, and the other has blue vinyl upholstery with the late 1964/1965-style mirror with emblem.

The car is shown with top both up and down, and it really gets driven hard in this movie, so one would hope it was equipped with heavy duty suspension. (From the amount of body lean while cornering, it likely did not.) Jack Lemmon later recalled that he was filming this movie the day JFK was assassinated. Romy Schneider, Mike Connors (pre-Mannix), and Edward G. Robinson also starred.

 

Hazel

(1961-1966; TV Show)—It must be a good neighborhood...a 1964 Thunderbird Convertible in Raven Black with a white interior is sitting in the driveway of the house used on the Bewitched television show. In this episode, an elegantly attired lady is seen unloading her Thunderbird after a hard day of shopping all the trendy and expensive boutique shops in town. A Bird Watcher with a good memory remembers a Raven Black 1964 Thunderbird Hardtop in another episode, where Hazel visits the home of another maid and the two end up being held captive by crooks! The Thunderbird is referred to as a "black sedan" throughout this episode. Have no fear, the crooks are eventually nabbed, proving once again that crime doesn't pay. Hazel is an excellent show, and the stories are hilarious and heart warming, very similar to Lucille Ball's comedic style. If you can find Hazel on television, it's worth watching. (Also see above.)

 

Kraft Suspense Theater

Suspense Theater aired on NBC from 1963-1965, and included some rather big name stars of the era. Sponsored by Kraft Foods, it is also known as Crisis in some markets, the name it was given in syndication. Most of the stories of this series are well written, with good production and capable actors.

Charlie, He Couldn't Kill A Fly (Season 1, Episode 25, Original air date May 7, 1964;TV Show)—Keenan Wynn, Beverly Garland, and Richard Kiley appear in this play about a loud, unemployed alcoholic man who is on the verge of losing his wife and son until an event occurs that changes all of their lives. In the first scene, Garland and Kiley arrive in an Acapulco Blue 1963 Convertible with Medium Blue vinyl interior. This is its only appearance.

Knight's Gambit (Season 1, Episode 20, Original air date March 26, 1964; TV Show)—Eleanor Parker and Roger Smith star in this story of a U.S. Special Envoy under investigation for allegedly accepting bribes in his former position as District Attorney. Set in Majorca, Spain, Miss Parker drives a lovely Diamond Blue 1964 Convertible, which is used in several scenes during the show. Smith's character has an older black Aston Martin DB2/4 DHC. The vehicle of choice for the Envoy is a 1964 Imperial Crown 4-Door Hardtop finished in Silver Turquoise. The Imperial and Aston Martin get a workout during a chase scene, and the story itself is pretty good.

 

The Lively Set

(1964)—Starring James Darren and Doug McClure with a guest role for sixties singing sensation Joanie Sommers, who is best known for her hit single Johnny Get Angry.

One of Chrysler's Turbine Cars had a prominent role in this picture, and several Thunderbirds serve as props. During the opening sequence, a 1962 Hardtop in Silver Mink with a Red interior and a 1960 Corinthian White Hardtop are in a college parking lot. Seconds later, after leaving the parking lot, a then-brand new 1964 Thunderbird Hardtop in Wimbledon White is parked at the curb. Later in the movie a 1964 Thunderbird in Caspian Blue with a White top is sitting in a service bay during a sequence shot in a car repair garage. We couldn't tell if it was a Hardtop or Landau, though.

This movie included $500,000 in props, including a $50,000 dragster with surplus J-47 Jet engine, the previously mentioned Turbine Car ($150,000), and the $250,000 Challenger I that held the land speed record at the time, which was owned by Mickey Thompson, who also appeared in this movie as himself. Joanie Sommers sung If You Love Him in a nightclub sequence. Not a bad movie, and there are plenty of great sixties cars to look at if the story line loses your interest.

 

Why My Daughter?

(1993; TV Movie)—Pretty Linda Gray stars in this drama based on the factual story of Gayle Moffitt. A divorced mother tries to save her 18 year old daughter from the world of prostitution, and in so doing fights the exploitation of minors. The daughter is basically a spoiled pain in the neck, and one almost wishes the mother would just haul off and slap her! Also stars Jamie Luner, and Antonio Sabato Jr. There's a white 1964 Thunderbird Hardtop parked at a car repair garage in the scene where the Police are chasing Antonio Sabato Jr.

1965 Select Another Year

The Andy Griffith Show

(1960-1968; TV Show)—Two 1965 Thunderbird sightings so far! The first was in Episode 150 TV Or Not TV, in which bank robbers pose as television producers in an elaborate attempt to scam Sheriff Andy Taylor (played by Andy Griffith) and Deputy Barney Fife (Don Knotts). The robbers travel in style in a 1965 Thunderbird Landau with a White vinyl roof. This black and white episode doesn't reveal the color of the car, but one of our TAGS (The Andy Griffith Show) experts revealed it was Honey Gold with an Ivy Gold vinyl interior.

In Episode 169, A Message from Warren, Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) and his girlfriend Helen Crump (played by Aneta Corsaut) just want to get away to be by themselves for a little while. Andy's new Deputy, Warren Ferguson (played by Jack Burns) thinks he has ESP, and believes Andy's in danger! A shiny new Rangoon Red Convertible with Black top and interior is parked on the curb across the street from the Mayberry Courthouse in several scenes.

 

I Spy

Lori (Season 2, Episode 2, Original air date September 21, 1966; TV Show)—Robert Culp and Bill Cosby portray government agents in this series. In this episode, they investigate the deaths of members of a nuclear test team. When only one member of the nuclear test team survives, they are assigned the duty of protecting him. There's just one problem, though. The prime suspect is a friend of Cosby's character, and they can't locate him. Singer Nancy Wilson guest stars in this episode as a casino performer in Las Vegas, and sister of the suspect. She did pretty well, as her clothes, apartment, and car testify. A Candyapple Red 1965 Convertible was her mode of transportation.

 

Jumanji (VHS)

Jumanji (VHS)(1995)—Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, Kirsten Dunst, and David Alan Grier star in this movie from the pages of a children's book written by Chris Van Allsburg. Jumanji is the tale of a board game that's just a little too realistic. As players roll dice and move about the board, strange things begin to happen. Animals stampeding through the house and a huge tidal wave are just for starters. They are accompanied by giant insects, killer plants, and a big game hunter. The special effects are very realistic, and the Dolby Surround Sound on the DVD Widescreen version are spectacular. Although based on a children's story, this movie can be intense for small children. Parents are advised to watch the movie beforehand to see if it's appropriate for their children. A black 1964-1965 Thunderbird Hardtop is driving through town at the beginning of the movie, and in the flashback sequence, a white 1965 Thunderbird Hardtop can be seen parked in front of the house where Robin Williams' character lived as a small boy.

Also available on DVD Widescreen.

 

Marriage On the Rocks (VHS)

Marriage On the Rocks (VHS)(1965)—This light-hearted comedy is typical fare for the mid-sixties; Frank Sinatra and Deborah Kerr are a husband and wife with marital troubles. Pal Dean Martin is the swingin' bachelor friend. The two members of The Rat Pack were having a good time filming this one, and the situations that occur are entertaining. Watch for Nancy Sinatra as the daughter. Dino zips around town in—what else?—a 1965 Thunderbird Convertible! This particular car was reportedly customized especially for the movie by none other than George Barris.

In the sixties, Barris was the guy you went to if you needed a sure fire show stopper, and he turned them out one after the other, no problem.

Cesar Romero and Trini López also appear.

 

Murder in Texas (VHS)

(1981; TV Movie)—Farrah Fawcett, Katherine Ross, Andy Griffith, Sam Elliott and Craig T. Nelson star in this one based on the true story of Houston society woman Joan Robinson Hill, played by Fawcett, who died surrounded by strange events. Hill was the daughter of wealthy Texas oilman Ash Robinson (Andy Griffith), and the first wife of plastic surgeon Dr. John Hill (portrayed by Sam Elliott). Katherine Ross plays Hill's second wife, and drives a Brittany Blue 1965 Thunderbird Convertible with a white top. In addition to the Thunderbird, this movie also features quite a few other vintage cars, especially 1969-1970 era Cadillacs. Based on the book Prescription Murder, which was written by Dr. Hill's second wife.

For more information on the true story of Joan Robinson Hill, images from the movie, the actual Hill House in River Oaks in Houston, and of the Hills, visit the Murder In Texas site. Most consider the book Blood and Money, written by Tommy Thompson in 1976, to be the best factual resource regarding this sad tale.

 

Mystery, Alaska (VHS)

Mystery, Alaska (VHS)(1999)—Reminiscent of the television show Northern Exposure due to its quirky small town Alaska setting, this movie focuses on the local hockey team. A town tradition, the ten elite players split into two teams and face off against each other every Saturday. A local guy who made it big as a writer for Sports Illustrated covers the team in an article, which leads to an exhibition game with the New York Rangers Hockey Team—to be covered on a cable sports network!

A lot of other issues also occur in this very good movie. Russell Crowe, Hank Azaria, and Burt Reynolds star. Mike Meyers makes a cameo appearance near the end. Crowe's character drives an all-black 1965 Thunderbird Landau with after market wheels. Car looks to be in good shape, this one's worth watching.

Also available on DVD.

 

Perry Mason

(1957-1966; TV Show)—Paul Drake has a Caspian Blue 1965 Convertible in The Twice-Told Twist, which originally aired on February 27, 1966 and was the only episode that was filmed in color! The light blue metallic vinyl interior really stands out against the dark exterior, and the car is shown quite a bit in this episode. Perry's 1965 Lincoln Continental Convertible is shown being stripped by a gang of hoodlums at the beginning of the show. Raymond Burr as Perry Mason, Barbara Hale as Della Street, and William Hopper as private investigator Drake provided consistently realistic portrayals of their characters during this series. Vintage car fans will enjoy the classics that appear in every episode.

 

Redline 7000

(1965)—A very young and handsome James Caan is a race car driver who falls in love with the girlfriend of another driver who was killed in an accident. A green 1965 Convertible with white top and green vinyl interior is in this movie, with top both up and down.

 

The Shuttered Room

(1967)—Carol Lynley, Gig Young, and Oliver Reed star in the movie rendition of H. P. Lovecraft's story of the same name about a couple of newlyweds (Lynley and Young), who return to the bride's childhood home in New England after she inherits a mill house. In route, the couple's Honey Gold 1965 Thunderbird Convertible gets hit from behind by a truck full of local hoodlums (Reed's portrayal of one of the locals is quite convincing). There are plenty of plot twists in this spooky movie, but the ending is not quite as chilling as one might expect. The Thunderbird is shown quite a bit, with the top both up and down. The car has a black top and interior. (Currently not available on VHS or DVD, but we'll let you know if it becomes available.) Special thanks to Scott Logan for submitting this one!

 

Thunderball (VHS)

Thunderball (VHS)(1965)—The fourth of Ian Fleming's James Bond movies, with Tom Jones performing the theme song. A Wimbledon White 1965 Convertible with black top and interior is shown pulling up to the curb at the beginning of the movie.

Agent 007 sets out to stop SPECTRE from blowing up Miami, Florida with a stolen atomic bomb if 100 million pounds in ransom isn't paid. Sean Connery is Bond, with Adolfo Celi, Claudine Auger, and Bernard Lee. Won the Academy Award in 1965 for Special Visual Effects, and was remade in 1985 with Connery reprising his role in Never Say Never Again.

Also available on DVD.

 

Village Of the Giants (VHS)

Village of the Giants (VHS)(1965)—Based on an H.G. Wells story, this (really) bad movie stars Ron Howard and Beau Bridges. The story is about a group of drunken teenagers, who run off the road during a torrential downpour in a 1965 Thunderbird Landau—Diamond Blue in color with white vinyl roof and light blue metallic vinyl interior. The car doesn't appear to be damaged, but they leave it behind anyway.

Meanwhile, in a nearby town, a twelve year old genius played by Ron Howard invents something that turns people into giants. The teenagers eat it, and...well, you can fast forward to the end if you want. The Thunderbird is shown only at the beginning and the end of the movie, and honestly it's the only reason to watch the movie, unless you enjoy campy mid-sixties horror movies that were filmed on a tight budget. No doubt Ron and Beau are still embarrassed over this one! This movie has almost achieved a cult status, so some do find it enjoyable. Johnny Crawford, Tommy Kirk, and Freddy Cannon appear.

Also available on DVD.

 

Recommended!Wild At Heart (VHS)

Wild At Heart (VHS)(1990)—Laura Dern and Nicolas Cage are on the lam, running from her Mother, his parole officer, and life in general. And what better way to be on the run than in a Raven Black 1965 Thunderbird Convertible? There are many good scenes featuring the T-bird.

This movie is humorous, frightening, and at times violent. Willem Dafoe, Diane Ladd, Harry Dean Stanton, and Isabella Rossellini costar.

1966 Select Another Year

Available on DVDBatman (DVD)
Batman (VHS)

Batman (VHS)(1966; TV Movie/Pilot)—Holy cow caped crusaders! Adam West, Burt Ward, Burgess Meredith, Cesar Romero, Frank Gorshin, and Lee Meriwether star in this campy pilot for the television series. Of course, they save the world from hostile takeover by The Penguin, The Joker, The Riddler, and The Catwoman. You see, there's this secret invention...oh well, you probably know the story. A Wimbledon White 1966 Thunderbird Town Hardtop poses in a parking area near a waterside dock as Batman and Robin come to the rescue. By the way, did you know that the Batmobile started life as a Lincoln concept car? The 1955 Lincoln Futura was built by Ghia of Turin, Italy at a cost of $250,000. Fully functional, the Futura was a sensation at auto shows! The pearlescent frost blue-white paint contained pulverized fish scales to mimic the colors of the water in the Caribbean. The Batmobile survives today and frequents car shows around the country.

 

Available on DVDCaprice (DVD)

Caprice (DVD)

(1966)—Regrettably, Doris Day was approaching the end of her film career in 1966, and critics were becoming more vocal in their feelings that Miss Day's movies were not keeping up with the times. On The Today Show, film critic Judith Crist said Day looked like an "aging drag queen" in this movie! At its Radio City Music Hall debut, however, the audience clearly loved the film, in spite of the reviews it had received.

Caprice is a bit difficult to follow on the first viewing, but like The Glass Bottom Boat, Doris Day's other 1966 film release, Caprice jumped on the trendy secret agent spy theme made popular by James Bond, and added Day's trademark humor and naivety to the mix. The plot is a good one, and subsequent viewings of the film reveal bits and pieces overlooked or missed by the viewer the first time. Miss Day stars as Patricia Fowler, the daughter of an Interpol agent who was killed on the ski slopes of Switzerland in the line of duty while investigating a narcotics smuggling ring. Of course, there's a double agent, a Federal Agent under cover, face powder laced with drugs, and enough plot twists and turns to keep the interest level high.

Image: 1966 Thunderbird in CapriceDay takes a ride in a Sahara Beige 1966 Convertible with Parchment interior. There are a few good shots of the car, and the movie itself isn't bad if you enjoy Miss Day. As for Miss Crist's observation of Doris Day's appearance, we think she looks wonderful, as usual, in this picture and we also believe Doris Day is one of the greatest actresses of all time, who is due greater recognition for her immense talent. Richard Harris and Ray Walston costar.

 

Deadly Matrimony

(1992; TV Miniseries)—Brian Dennehy, Lisa Eilbacher, and Treat Williams star in this sordid tale of a Chicago homicide cop named John Reed (played by Dennehy), who is in pursuit of a wife-murdering mob attorney (played by Williams). The closer Dennehy gets to solving the murder, the more likely it is he will lose his job, as Williams has influential friends in high places.

A Honeydew Yellow 1966 Thunderbird Convertible with black top makes an appearance in this Miniseries. Originally aired on November 22 and 23, 1992.

 

Emergency!

(1972-1978; TV Show)—This is a great place to spot vintage cars of all types. In stock footage that is used on many of the episodes, one shows a 1966 Thunderbird Town Landau in Tahoe Turquoise with a white vinyl roof. Watch for the scene with the fire truck leaving the fire station. The camera is inside the fire truck, shooting over the driver's shoulder through the windshield. As they are passing on the left side of cars stopped at a traffic light, you'll see the T-Bird with brake lights on stopped for the fire truck in the middle lane, just after the fire truck passes through the intersection. This show was a precursor of ER and Third Watch, focusing on the lives of two paramedics and the Doctors and Nurses at Rampart General Hospital in sunny and tranquil 1970's Los Angeles.

 

Recommended!Fitzwilly (VHS)

Fitzwilly (VHS)(1967)—Dick Van Dyke stars as a Butler in charge of a household staff. The lady they work for is penniless, but she doesn't know it and the staff doesn't want her to know. In order to cover for her, the household staff has turned into a Robin Hood band that steals from the rich, so that their employer can give to charity.

They must do pretty well, because Van Dyke has a Raven Black 1966 Town Landau with a black vinyl roof, and Parchment interior. Of course, he is stealing from someone in the movie, so apparently crime does pay—at least in this case! Barbara Feldon (of Get Smart fame) co-stars.

 

Recommended!Harper (VHS)

Harper (VHS)(1966)—Paul Newman plays a cynical private eye in L.A., hired by Lauren Bacall to investigating the disappearance of her wealthy husband. Janet Leigh sports around town in a Brittany Blue Metallic 1966 Convertible, with the new-for-'66 Dark Blue-colored interior. Shelley Winters, Julie Harris, and Robert Wagner also appear. A popular sequel was released in 1975's The Drowning Pool.

 

Recommended!Murderers' Row (VHS)

Murderers' Row (VHS) (1966)—Dean Martin and Ann-Margret take on the bad guys in a 1966 Sauterne Gold Metallic Town Landau—complete with dual reclining front bucket seats, a TV built into the overhead console, and full-width tail lamps that sequentially display the words spoken into a microphone inside the car!

The car has an Ivy Gold vinyl interior and a black vinyl roof, and there are many good interior and exterior shots of the car. Don't feel bad if your Town Landau doesn't have all this extra equipment—this one was a special order for Matt Helm!

This was the second of three Matt Helm movies made during the 1960's. (The Matt Helm character was similar to James Bond, only with a more comedic twist, and it cashed in on the secret spy craze of the sixties.)

 

Available on DVDRecommended!The Outsiders (DVD)
Recommended!The Outsiders (VHS)

The Outsiders (VHS)(1983)—Based on the book by S. E. Hinton, the story of teenagers from different economic backgrounds clashing in mid-1960s Tulsa, Oklahoma. The young cast included a literal who's who of top talent: Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Diane Lane, Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez, and Rob Lowe. A 1966 Thunderbird Convertible, in Emberglo Metallic with White Pearl Vinyl Interior is used in this movie. The car is somewhat beat up with broken tail lamps, considering it would have been a new car during the time period the movie is set in (1966). There are several good shots of the car, including a few of the interior. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, The Outsiders is a bit melodramatic, but a good story nonetheless.

 

The Seven-Ups (VHS)

The Seven-Ups (VHS)(1973)—A group of New York City detectives investigate the killing of a fellow squad member, and seek to avenge his death. Their investigation also focuses on arresting felons that commit crimes punishable with a sentence of at least seven years or more. The car chase scene in this movie ranks among the very best ever filmed, and a 1966 Thunderbird Town Landau, Vintage Burgundy with Black Vinyl Roof can be seen changing lanes—complete with properly operating sequential turn signals—as the chase crosses a bridge. Roy Schneider and Tony LoBianco star. General Motors fans will appreciate the many brand new 1973 Buicks, Oldsmobiles, and Pontiacs as well.

 

That Was Then...This Is Now (VHS)

That Was Then...This Is Now (VHS)(1985)—From the S. E. Hinton novel, Emilio Estevez stars as a rebellious kid whose only friend is his adoptive brother (played by Craig Sheffer). When his brother finds a girlfriend, she is viewed as a threat to the brothers' relationship. Jealousy, frustration, and trouble begin, which produces a few very strong emotional scenes, and an ending that will move you. Estevez drives a Brittany Blue 1966 Thunderbird in the movie. Kim Delaney co-stars, and Estevez wrote the script!

 

Available on DVD Recommended!Thelma & Louise (DVD)
Recommended!Thelma & Louise (VHS)

Thelma & Louise (VHS)(1991)—Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis make a statement in a big way while on vacation traveling the Southwest in a Tahoe Turquoise 1966 Thunderbird Convertible. The camera scans the car lovingly several times during the movie, and at times is so close you almost think you can touch the car. The car is shown with the top raised in several scenes, but through most of the movie it is down. The end of the movie proves that Thunderbird truly is the only way to fly! (But rest assured the Convertible used in the movie was not the car used for the ending, several different cars were used in the filming and the final scene used a scrapped Hardtop with the roof cut off.)

Also available in WIDESCREEN

1967 Select Another Year

Gunn

(1967)—Craig Stevens reprised his television role of Peter Gunn (1958-1961) in this Blake Edwards movie that also starred Ed Asner. Most will recall Henry Mancini's theme music. Mancini's album, "The Music from Peter Gunn" won a double Grammy in 1958 for Best Arrangement and Album of the Year.

One of Movie and TV-Birds' viewers remembers a scene with Gunn driving away into the night, turning on the Sequential Turn Signals of his Nightmist Blue 1967 Thunderbird. That alone makes this movie worth watching in our book!

 

Helter Skelter

(1976; TV Movie)—The story of the murder of actress Sharon Tate and four others in the early morning hours of August 9, 1969. The following night, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were killed. Charles Manson was convicted of the crime, and a couple playing one of Tate's neighbors in the movie drove a 1967 Thunderbird Two Door Landau, Beige Mist Metallic with a Black Vinyl Roof. This TV miniseries was based on the book by Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, and adapted by J.P. Miller. Steve Railsback is hauntingly accurate in his portrayal of Manson. Nancy Wolfe and George DiCenzo co-star.

Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were returning home from a weekend of boating in Leno's Highland Green 1968 Thunderbird Fordor Landau with black vinyl roof, listening to reports of the Tate murders on the radio. Little did they know at the time, they would be the next victims in just a few hours.

 

Available on DVDRecommended!How High (DVD)
Recommended!How High (VHS)

How High (VHS) (2001)—This is the story of two guys who cheat to get good grades and wind up in college. Once they get there, it's all about girls, smokin' wacky weed, and the typical stuff you'd expect from two guys who cheated to get to college in the first place.

Starring Method Man and Redman, this movie does have its funny moments, but is a bit predictable. The wheels of choice are a 1967 Ford Thunderbird Tudor Landau, in triple black. The car does get its share of abuse, and there are many scenes which feature it. Not the best movie ever made, but not the worst either.

 

Available on DVDNational Lampoon's Vacation (VHS)
National Lampoon's Vacation (DVD)

National Lampoon's Vacation (VHS)(1983)—The story of a typical American family from Chicago: The Griswolds. Father Clark Griswold (played by Chevy Chase) is an advertising executive with big plans for summer family fun: a cross-country road trip to Wally World in their new Royal Deluxe Station Wagon! Mother Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo), son Rusty (Anthony Michael Hall), and daughter Audrey (Dana Barron) aren't quite as thrilled. A myriad of events occur during the trip, making this movie one of the most hilarious of all time! Randy Quaid, Imogene Coca, and John Candy all have supporting roles. Super model Christie Brinkley appears in a red Ferrari and catches Clark's attention. This movie spawned several sequels, all of them good. Written by John Hughes, who would also write, direct, and/or produce smash eighties hits like The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and Home Alone. Look for a gold 1967 Thunderbird Tudor Landau parked on the curb in one scene, and passing by in another as the Griswold's tour one of the less affluent neighborhoods in St. Louis.

 

The Rockford Files

(1974-1980; TV Show)—Someone affiliated with this show liked old Thunderbirds. In addition to the 1963 Landau mentioned in that section, a Wimbledon White 1967 Thunderbird Tudor Hardtop is spotted in quite a few of the episodes. It is usually parked in The Sandcastle Restaurant parking lot (also home to Jim Rockford's trailer). The show was filmed mostly on location, and the restaurant really is located in Paradise Cove, Malibu, California, and has since been renamed The Beach Cafe. The Thunderbirds can also be spotted sitting at the curb, stopping at an intersection, passing by in the background, etc., in other episodes. If you look closely, you'll see the '67 is usually there somewhere, although the '63 has more prominent appearances. (See the 1961 section above to order.)

 

Sweet Charity (VHS)

Sweet Charity (VHS)(1968)—Bob Fosse (Cabaret, All That Jazz) made his directorial debut with this film, a big-budget version of Neil Simon's popular Broadway musical. Starring Shirley MacLaine as a dime-a-dance girl in a seedy ballroom, in search of a classy guy to marry and not having much luck. The soundtrack included the hits Big Spender and If They Could See Me Now.

A big dance number set in a parking garage has a Nightmist Blue 1967 Thunderbird Fordor Landau with black vinyl roof as a background prop, complete with sequentially flashing rear tail lamps! This is a fun movie to watch, especially if you enjoy Broadway shows. Chita Rivera, John McMartin, Paula Kelly, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Ricardo Montalban also appear.

 

Available on DVDThe Thomas Crown Affair (DVD)
The Thomas Crown Affair (VHS)

The Thomas Crown Affair (VHS) The Thomas Crown Affair (DVD)(1968)—Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway set the screen on fire in this romantic suspense drama. McQueen is Thomas Crown, a wealthy Boston investor who doesn't need the money, but likes to rob banks for kicks. Dunaway is Vicki Anderson, the gorgeous insurance investigator looking into Crown's latest heist. Before long, they fall in love and it's difficult to tell who's seducing who. The entire movie is a thrill to watch, with many scenes edited in multiple split screen, where several different scenes are all happening at the same time, reminiscent of the television show Mannix.

Dunaway's costumes are beautiful, and the scenery is as interesting as the story. Several Thunderbirds are spotted in this picture, including a triple black Fordor Landau in the traffic jam scene near the beginning of the movie. Later, a Tudor Landau is seen parked on the street at night - with its headlight doors open! This would have been a brand new car when this was filmed, so apparently there were issues with the headlight covers even when the cars were new. A 1965 Thunderbird Convertible is also present in the night scene on the Massachusetts Turnpike, leaving the toll gate with the top down. Ford Country Squire station wagon fans will delight in the two 1967 wagons used, a red one and a white one. A black 1967 Lincoln Continental Sedan does duty in the scene at the airport when Dunaway's character arrives in Boston. There's a great shot of how easy entering the rear compartment is with the center-opening rear door. A beautiful and rare 1967 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow Coupe is Crown's preferred mode of transportation.

The Thomas Crown Affair ends with a betrayal, which is not totally unexpected, although the writer's have thrown in a last minute twist that will take most by surprise. The soundtrack is beautiful and haunting, and had this reviewer humming the theme song, Windmills of Your Mind, for a week after. It's still available for purchase, and is offered at the end of this review. Even without the numerous scenes showing old cars, this movie is a true classic that should be a cherished part of everyone's collection. Paul Burke and Jack Weston provide supporting roles.

Also available:

The Thomas Crown Affair Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack (CD)The Thomas Crown Affair Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack (Enhanced CD)

(Original LP release: 1968)—The memorable song Windmills of Your Mind is just one of the lush selections from this soundtrack. Written by Noel Harrison and Michael Legrand, it's truly a must-have!

 

Tony Rome (VHS)

Tony Rome (VHS)(1967)—Frank Sinatra is a detective in Miami investigating the disappearance of a millionaire's daughter, and her connection with organized crime. Sinatra pulls up to the Viscaya Museum in Coconut Grove (which is just your average millionaire's house in this movie). Parked proudly out front is a 1967 Fordor Landau in Burnt Amber with a black vinyl roof. The car also appears in a high rise building construction scene as well, later in the movie. Complex story line can be hard to follow at times, but the mid-sixties Miami scenery makes it worthwhile.

Jill St. John, Simon Oakland, Gena Rowlands, Richard Conte, Lloyd Bochner, Jeffrey Lynn, and Sue Lyon all appear.

1968 Select Another Year

CHiPS

(1977-1983; TV Show)—Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada portray Jon and Ponch, two California Highway Patrol Officers on motorcycles in this television show. One episode has them investigating an accident which involved a 1968 Thunderbird Tudor Hardtop—a rare model—painted Sunlit Gold Metallic.

 

Cold Turkey

(1971)—Dick Van Dyke plays a minister in a small Kansas town. The entire town is attempting to quit smoking to win a national contest. Bob Newhart works for the tobacco company that doesn't want the town to succeed. Hilarious! A Candyapple Red '68 Tudor Hardtop with Parchment (white) vinyl interior is among the cars in line waiting to pass the "Tobacco Check Point" to enter town. There's also a 1956 T-bird in Peacock Blue, owned by a character named Lotty Davenport, known for her "world famous massage," and that's all we're going to say about that! Van Dyke is supported by an excellent cast, including Pippa Scott, Tom Poston, Vincent Gardenia, Barnard Hughes, and Jean Stapleton.

 

The Detective

(1968)—Frank Sinatra stars in this drama about a gay man who is murdered. The discovery of the man's mutilated body leads detective Sinatra to unearth corruption in the police department. Lee Remick, Jacqueline Bissett, William Windom, Robert Duvall, Tony Musante and Jack Klugman all appear. A 1968 Thunderbird Tudor Landau, dark blue with a white vinyl roof and white vinyl bucket seat interior is featured in one scene. Due to the topic, this movie was considered quite daring at the time of its release.

 

Hawaii Five-O

(1968-1980; TV Show)—To date, the longest continuously-running television police series, which was set in (of course) Hawaii. The Ventures recorded the theme song for the show, and it became a hit for them. Jack Lord played Steve McGarrett and James MacArthur was his sidekick Danny ("Danno") Williams. McGarrett was the head man at an elite state police unit that kept the streets of Honolulu safe.

On one episode, a Sunlit Gold Metallic 1968 Thunderbird Fordor Landau with White Vinyl Roof is shown driving up, and a young female passenger exits. We're investigating, and will provide more details about this episode in the future. Book 'em, Danno!

1969 Select Another Year

Available on DVDA Colder Kind of Death (DVD)
A Colder Kind of Death (VHS)

A Colder Kind of Death (VHS)

(2000)—A former police officer turned television journalist finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy when the man accused of her husband's murder is killed while in police custody. Based on the best-selling novel, this movie stars Wendy Crewson, Robin Dunne, Teri Garr, Victor Gerber, and Cynthia Gibb.

A dark-colored (possibly Black Jade or Oxford Gray) 1969 Thunderbird Tudor Landau is the star of one scene. The characters even talk about what a great car it is while standing there admiring it!

There are a few places where this movie is difficult to follow, but enough surprises and plot twists happen along the way to keep your interest. Worth watching for, airs occasionally on the Lifetime cable network.

 

Annie Hall (VHS)

Annie Hall (VHS)(1977)—This Woody Allen film won a slew of awards. Planned originally to be based solely on Allen's life, the story was expanded before filming began. Diane Keaton played Annie, and her wardrobe in this film started a major fashion trend. A Candyapple Red 1969 Thunderbird Tudor Landau with black vinyl roof drives by as Allen and Keaton walk down the sidewalk in one scene. Featuring Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, Paul Simon, Jeff Goldblum, Janet Margolin, Colleen Dewhurst, and Sigourney Weaver. Won the following 1977 Academy Awards: Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress (Keaton), and Best Original Screenplay.

Also available on DVD.

 

The FBI

(1965-1974; TV Show)—A Diamond Blue Fordor Landau with dark blue vinyl roof serves as a getaway car in one episode. We hope the car wasn't stolen! Ford Motor Company sponsored this show, so naturally all of the cars were Fords. Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. starred as Inspector Erskine. Hard to find in reruns today, this show is a great resource for vintage Ford products—all brand new at the time the show was filmed. Handsome blonde actor Shelly Novack co-starred in the final season.

 

The Happy Ending (VHS)

The Happy Ending (VHS)(1969)—The American Beauty of 1969, a Denver housewife is trying to deal with her lawyer husband's philandering by popping pills and drinking Vodka. Jean Simmons is convincing as the housewife and mother trying to discover herself. John Forsythe, Lloyd Bridges, Shirley Jones, Dick Shawn, Nanette Fabray (in a rare non-comedic role), Bobby Darin, and Tina Louise also star.

The right tail lamp of a 1969 Thunderbird is clearly shown in one scene, although most of the car is covered with snow. Brief appearances of a red 1959 Hardtop, and a 1961-1963 Thunderbird are also in this movie. Some might remember Michael LeGrand's theme song What Are You Doing With the Rest of Your Life? which was a big hit when this movie was released.

 

Kotch (VHS)

Kotch (VHS)(1971)—Jack Lemmon directed this movie with Walter Matthau starring as a Grandfather who is beginning to look at life differently, mostly due to a young unwed pregnant girl played by Deborah Winters. It takes a while to set the plot, but this touching movie about how two people from different generations become good friends is touching and entertaining. Look for a Champagne Gold 1969 Thunderbird Tudor Landau with white vinyl roof in the driveway when Matthau's character drops by to visit his son during a costume party. Lots of other great late sixties and early seventies cars as well.

 

The Out-Of-Towners (VHS)

The Out-Of-Towners (VHS) (1970)—Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis play a married couple who wish they'd stayed in Ohio when they visit New York City for a job interview. Funny at times, but the misery this couple endures takes some of the fun out of it. They arrive in town late through no fault of their own, during a garbage strike, and the hotel where they have reservations is full, so they have to sleep in a park. They get mugged, his job interview doesn't go well, and about the time they decide they just want to go home...well, you'll have to see it...we don't want to spoil it for you. Near the end of the film, a Diamond Blue 1969 Tudor Landau with dark blue vinyl roof drives by in the background. This movie was later remade with Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn in the starring roles.

 

Recommended!The Profane Comedy

(1969; TV Movie)—Originally titled Set This Town On Fire, this movie didn't air until 1973, 4 years after it was filmed! Carl Betz (played the husband on The Donna Reed Show) is a newspaper editor with a Champagne Gold 1969 Tudor Landau. The car has a black vinyl roof, a Brougham white leather bucket seat interior, styled steel wheel covers, and a factory power sunroof! Lots of great action shots of the car, including one that shows the headlight doors cycling and another with the front cornering lamps in operation. Hard to find on television today, the made-for-TV story line is a bit slow getting started, but gets interesting once the plot is established, if you can make it that far.

A man convicted of manslaughter returns to town after serving seven years in prison, only to discover that the eyewitness whose testimony convicted him has now decided that he isn't so sure, and the town drunk has confessed to the crime! 1969 Thunderbird fans will find it worth it to see the car, and the house Betz lives in is pretty swank, especially with the T-Bird parked out front. Chuck Connors and Lynda Day (not yet Lynda Day George) also star.

 

Available on DVD Recommended!Winning (DVD)
Recommended!Winning (VHS)

Winning (VHS) (1969)—The late Paul Newman is a race car driver set on winning the Indianapolis 500. He drives a triple black 1969 Thunderbird Tudor Landau when not on the racetrack, and the T-Bird is stunning with a black leather bucket seat interior. Joanne Woodward plays his wife (she is in real life), but she gets caught (in the movie—we don't want to start any rumors!) having an affair with Robert Wagner. Richard Thomas of The Waltons makes his film debut, and Clu Gulager also appears. Great scene with the Thunderbird driving on the Indy 500 track! Note the seams on the vinyl roof, and the change of wheel covers in the last scene. Several other late sixties Thunderbirds are in various background shots, including a Fordor Landau. Everyone with interest in a 1969 Thunderbird should include this movie in their collection!

 
AutomotiveMileposts.com
All You Ever Wanted to Know About Classic Personal Luxury Cars