The year 1963 in film involved some significant events, including the big-budget epic Cleopatra, Alfred Hitchcock's horror The Birds, and two films with all-star casts, How the West Was Won and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
- February 20 – The classic epic western How the West Was Won premieres.
- June 12 – Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rex Harrison and Richard Burton, premieres at the Rivoli Theatre in New York City. Its staggering production costs nearly bankrupted Twentieth Century Fox and the adulterous affair between Taylor and Burton made the publicity even worse. Cleopatra marked the only instance that a film would be the highest-grossing film of a year while still losing money, thus establishing it as, at the time, the biggest box office disaster in cinema history. The film's terrible reception harmed the reputation of director Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who had an esteemed career for directing classics like A Letter to Three Wives, All About Eve, Julius Caesar, , Guys and Dolls, and Suddenly, Last Summer. It effectively destroyed the career of its well-known producer Walter Wanger, who never worked in Hollywood or on another film again; he died five years later at the age of 74 of a heart attack. Much of the blame of the film's failures could be pointed at Taylor's super-diva personality, her health issues, her and Burton's adulterous affair, and the studio's inadequate management. It wouldn't be until two years later that Rodgers and Hammerstein's adaptation of The Sound of Music would help rescue Fox from bankruptcy by becoming one of the highest-grossing motion pictures of all time.
- November 7 – The classic comedy It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World premieres and it boasts one of the finest all-star ensemble casts ever, easily the most impressive for a comedy. It is also the first comedy film ever directed by Stanley Kramer, best known for directing serious human drama films on controversial subjects like The Defiant Ones, Inherit the Wind, Judgment at Nuremberg, and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.
- December 25 – Walt Disney's production of The Sword in the Stone premieres. It is the second adaptation of T. H. White's The Once and Future King after the Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe musical Camelot, the first cinematic adaptation of the novel, and the 13th film adaptation of the legend of King Arthur.