Sharon Tate had a brief career that was tragically cut short, the night of August 9th, 1969. A young adult and promising newcomer, Tate will forever be remembered for her comedic and dramatic talents.
Married to Roman Polanski, the tragic story of her life was considered a turning point for Tinseltown, heralding the end of Hollywood’s Golden age.
In today’s list, we will be looking at the Top 5 Sharon Tate Movies of All Time.
#5. The Wrecking Crew (1968)
The first film on our list also happens to be Sharon Tate’s last before her death. Released in 1968, The Wrecking Crew is the fourth film in the Matt Helm’s series, starring Dean Martin as the charismatic US counteragent.
Tate plays the role of Freya Carlson, Helm’s beautiful yet clumsy guide from the Danish Tourism Bureau. This time, Matt Helm is sent to Denmark to retrieve an extremely valuable gold bullion.
Matt Helm speculate that the nefarious Count Massimo Cantini might be the one who stole the ingot as part of his plan to collapse the world economy.
For this mission in a foreign land, Helm is assigned a companion to guide him through the streets of Copenhagen. Freya proves to be of great help to Helm, even though her clumsiness can get them into even more complicated situations.
The Wrecking Crew was also the last film in the popular Math Helms series. There’s a certain rumor that this movie wasn’t as successful as its prequels, hence the series cancellation. The truth, however, is much darker than that.
A mere six months after The Wrecking Crew’s release, Sharon Tate was one of the victims of the infamous Tate Lobbianca murders. Committed by members of the Manson family. This heinous act shocked the entire Hollywood community.
Dean Martin, costar and friend of Sharon Tate was particularly moved by her demise. He vowed to quit playing the character of Matt Helm cutting the series short, the critics and audiences agreed that Sharon Tate’s portrayal of the ditzy yet Lovable Freya was one of the movie’s highlights.
To prepare herself for the action scenes where her character needed to fight. Tate recruited an expert martial artist’s help. The name of this martial expert, a certain young man called Bruce Lee.
#4. Don’t Make Waves (1967)
Despite being Tate’s third film to be produced in 1967, Don’t Make Waves was actually the first one to be released in cinemas. This makes this comedy flick the first time that audiences would see Tate on the big screen.
An adaptation of Irawalik’s novel Muscle Beach. The film stars Tony Curtis as Carlo Cofield and Sharon Tate as Malibu. Carlo Cofield is a tourist on vacation to California’s West Coast, lost in the beauty of the beaches and the surfer lifestyle. His trip hasn’t even begun when he’s involved in a car crash.
In the other car is the gorgeous Italian artist Laura Califatti, who offers her house for him to stay the night. Carlo then gets involved in yet another incident. This time he nearly drowns at the beach. Luckily for him, he’s saved by a very attractive and young surfer, a girl simply known as Malibu.
He is soon involved in an uneasy romantic triangle and the ups and downs of Southern Californian culture. Despite the laughs, the production of Don’t Make Waves wasn’t a particularly pleasing experience for Tate. She would later tell her husband that the atmosphere on the set was quite tense.
This was only made worse when an uncredited stuntman drowned in a parachuting incident. That said, the movie became an icon of the Californian culture of the 60s, with Tate running an advertising campaign for Coppertone, she also became a symbol of the beach culture of the decade.
Tate’s appearance was so recognizable that Mattel used her likeness for the Malibu Barbie doll. Being the first big Sharon Tate film, MGM jumped into the chance to run an advertisement campaign based on her gorgeous looks.
This was her big movie premiere, at least for American audiences, as she had already debuted on the other side of the pond.
#3. Eye of the Devil (1966)
Despite producer Martin Ransohoff’s claims that don’t make waves with Sharon Tate’s debut as an actress, her first real film credit would be in 1966 is Eye of the Devil.
A small British horror flick, this movie introduces Sharon Tate as Odile de Caray in a dark story set in a French vineyard. Philippe de Montfaucon has inherited a decaying vineyard in the town of Bordeaux. For three years, the estate had produced no fruits falling from Grace and forcing Philippe to return to Paris.
However, one day he is suddenly summoned to the vineyard, where he’s welcomed by siblings Christian and Odile de Caray. Things soon take a turn for the wicked. As Philip and his wife, Catherine, discover ancient fertility rituals that happened in their vineyard.
Philippe will soon understand what a mess he has inherited and just how evil the people running this inconspicuous vineyard can be.
It was Martin Ransohoff who first came across Tate’s acting talents. He discovered the young actress and immediately signed a seven year contract with her. Ransohoff was a firm believer in the importance of showing new talent, insisting on including at least one new actor or actress in each of his productions.
Eye of the Devil was a small commercial success, but only in Europe. American audiences hardly ever knew of the film’s existence. Thus the reason why Tate didn’t become a bigname star thanks to this horror flick. Despite its lukewarm reception, the movie has become a cult classic with horror fans.
It’s also worth noting that Eye of the Devil had a particularly complicated production. A series of freak accidents affected production schedules, even gravely injuring actress Kim Novak.
Of course, due to the occult subject matter of the movie and the involvement of Alex Sanders, an English occultist and wicked as a consultant, there are rumors that Eye of the Devil’s production might have been cursed.
#2. Valley of the Dolls (1967)
A tale of drama, substance abuse, and the temptations of the entertainment industry. 1967 Valley of the Dolls was a massive box office hitdespite receiving some harsh reviews by critics.
The movie chronicles the rise and fall of three young women looking to make it big in show business. Sharon Tate plays Jennifer North, one of the main characters in the movie. Jennifer is a gorgeous chorus singer with little to no acting abilities wishing to become a Hollywood star.
She falls in love with a nightclub singer who happens to suffer from a rare genetic disease.
The disease is called Huntington’s career. It’s relatively rare. Unfortunately, there is no cure, disillusioned and heartbroken. Jennifer’s Hollywood dreams are cut short as she now has to take care of her institutionalized husband and her pregnancy.
In her time of need, she realizes just how dangerous Tinseltown can be. The limelights shine bright and burn deeper, especially for someone like Jennifer.
Based on a novel written by Jacqueline Suzanne, Valley of the Dolls was a controversial book for its time. However, much of what made the novel controversial had to be removed to comply with the 60s strict censorship norms. Things like lesbianism and some risque content had to be toned down or downright removed.
These differences between the movie and its source material are the reason for the film’s poor critical reception. The author herself was very vocal about her disdain for the movie, particularly because it uses a typical happy ending instead of the darker one scene in the book.
Sharon Tate herself wasn’t a huge fan of the novel. Upon first reading it, the actress would say that she hated the book’s themes but agreed to participate in the movie anyways. This ultimately proved to be the right decision, as Valley of the Dolls turned her into one of Hollywood’s most coveted stars.
#1. The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)
The Fearless Vampire Killers is a horror comedy that spoofs the common tropes of classic vampire stories. The movie stars Sharon Tate alongside her future husband, Roman Polanski. Directed by Polanski, this film would Mark the first and only time the couple appeared together on the big screen.
The movie follows a respected professor and his loyal assistant, played by Polanski. As vampire hunters, they investigate a small village that seems to be besieged by the creatures of the night.
In that village the professor’s assisted me searching all the beautiful daughter of the tavern keeper. Fittingly Sharon Tate please Serra the romantic interest of Polanski’s character.
The couple was introduced by producer Martin Ransohoff who always defended Tate’s acting chops after a few dinners with Tate Polanski was convinced that she was the right actors for the role.
Despite being hit with European audiences, the movie didn’t resonate with the American public. Polanski blames the many differences between the British original and its American release as the cause for its failure.
For one the movie’s original title was dance of the vampires. Summary editing also messed with the movie’s plot ruining its narrative according to Polansky.
Whatever the case the film began an integral part of Sharon Tate’s career and considering her relationship with Polanski he changed her personal life as well.
The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967) was rated a respectable 7.2 out of 10 on IMDb website and receive the 76 percent audience score on rotten tomatoes.
This was our Top 5 Sharon Tate Movies list. We have been able to compile a great list of the best Sharon Tate Movies. Do you agree with our list? If you have any suggestions or comments please shoot them down in the comments below.