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The Best '60s Action Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated September 30, 2019 1.5k votes 318 voters 7.7k views 46 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite action films that were released in the 1960s.

Are you a fan of action movies? If so, you’ve come to the right place. This list of the greatest 1960s action movies is full of undeniable, take no prisoners classics. With the social turmoil of the ‘60s and the rapidly-escalating conflict in Vietnam, action films took on a new role as social commentary, blended with classic American escapism.


Casual fans of the genre might think action movies are a purely American institution, but this list of the best 1960s action movies would suggest otherwise. Foreign directors produced some epic films during the ‘60s, spanning the gamut from the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Corbucci to the British James Bond films. This list features legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa with his masterpiece Yojimbo. Another British classic also appears on this list: The Italian Job, starring cinema legend Michael Caine.


American audiences were treated to their fare share of homegrown action films, as well. Movies like A Fistful of Dollars starring Clint Eastwood and The Wild Bunch, directed by Sam Peckinpah thrilled audiences in the ‘60s. Vote up the best '60s action movies below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section. 

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1
A Fistful of Dollars is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volonté, Aldo Sambrell

Released: 1964

Directed by: Sergio Leone

A Fistful of Dollars, titled on-screen as Fistful of Dollars, is a 1964 spaghetti western film directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood, alongside Gian Maria Volonté, Marianne ...more

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2
Goldfinger is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Sean Connery, Honor Blackman, Garry Marshall

Released: 1964

Directed by: Guy Hamilton

Goldfinger is the third film in the James Bond series and the third to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It is based on the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. The film ...more

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3
Dr. No is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Jack Lord

Released: 1962

Directed by: Terence Young

Dr. No is a 1962 British spy film, starring Sean Connery; it is the first James Bond film. Based on the 1958 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, it was adapted by Richard Maibaum, Johanna ...more

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4
For a Few Dollars More ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
RobLein added Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Sergio Leone

Released: 1965

Directed by: Sergio Leone

For a Few Dollars More is a 1965 Italian spaghetti western film directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Gian Maria Volonté. German actor Klaus Kinski also ...more

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#19 of 395 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #951 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #83 of 581 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

5
From Russia with Love is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Sean Connery, Robert Shaw, Daniela Bianchi

Released: 1963

Directed by: Terence Young

From Russia with Love is the second James Bond film made by Eon Productions and the second to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Released in 1963, the film was produced by ...more

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6
The Wild Bunch is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan

Released: 1969

Directed by: Sam Peckinpah

The Wild Bunch is a 1969 American epic Western film directed by Sam Peckinpah about an aging outlaw gang on the Texas–Mexico border, trying to exist in the changing "modern" world of ...more

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#25 of 395 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #862 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #445 of 581 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

7
Where Eagles Dare is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton, Michael Hordern

Released: 1968

Directed by: Brian G. Hutton

Where Eagles Dare is a 1968 WWII action film starring Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood and Mary Ure. It was directed by Brian G. Hutton and shot on location in Austria and Bavaria. Alistair ...more

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8
You Only Live Twice is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Sean Connery, Donald Pleasence, Lois Maxwell

Released: 1967

Directed by: Lewis Gilbert

You Only Live Twice is the fifth spy film in the James Bond series, and the fifth to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film's screenplay was written by Roald Dahl, and ...more

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9
Jason and the Argonauts ... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Honor Blackman, Patrick Troughton, Nancy Kovack

Released: 1963

Directed by: Don Chaffey

Jason and the Argonauts is a 1963 British Columbia Pictures fantasy Greek Mythology feature film starring Todd Armstrong as the titular mythical Greek hero in a story about his quest for the ...more

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10
Thunderball is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Sean Connery, Luciana Paluzzi, Claudine Auger

Released: 1965

Directed by: Terence Young

Thunderball is the fourth spy film in the James Bond series starring Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, which ...more

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11
Planet of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Charlton Heston, Linda Harrison, James Whitmore

Released: 1968

Directed by: Franklin J. Schaffner

Planet of the Apes is a 1968 American science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and starring Charlton Heston. Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, and James ...more

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12
Zulu is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Michael Caine, Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins

Released: 1964

Directed by: Cy Endfield

Zulu is a 1964 epic film depicting the Battle of Rorke's Drift between the British Army and the Zulus in January 1879. It depicts 150 British soldiers who successfully held off a force of 4,000 ...more

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13
On Her Majesty's Secret ... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Diana Rigg, Joanna Lumley, Telly Savalas

Released: 1969

Directed by: Peter R. Hunt

On Her Majesty's Secret Service is the sixth spy film in the James Bond series, based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. Following the decision of Sean Connery to retire from the ...more

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Why 'On Her Majesty’s Secret Service' Is - And Always Will Be - The Weirdest Bond Movie Ever #1,079 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #181 of 581 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

14
Yojimbo is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Tatsuya Nakadai

Released: 1961

Directed by: Akira Kurosawa

Yojimbo is a 1961 jidaigeki film directed by Akira Kurosawa. It tells the story of a rōnin, portrayed by Toshiro Mifune, who arrives in a small town where competing lords vie for supremacy. The ...more

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15
The Italian Job is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Michael Caine, Benny Hill, Noël Coward

Released: 1969

Directed by: Peter Collinson

The Italian Job is a 1969 British caper film, written by Troy Kennedy Martin, produced by Michael Deeley and directed by Peter Collinson. Subsequent television showings and releases on video ...more

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16
The Flight of the Phoeni... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Ernest Borgnine

Released: 1965

Directed by: Robert Aldrich

The Flight of the Phoenix is a 1965 American drama film starring James Stewart, produced and directed by Robert Aldrich, and based on the 1964 novel The Flight of the Phoenix by Elleston Trevor. ...more

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17
Battle of the Bulge is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Robert Shaw

Released: 1965

Directed by: Ken Annakin

Battle of the Bulge is an American widescreen epic film produced in Spain that was released in 1965. It was directed by Ken Annakin. It starred Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Telly Savalas, Robert ...more

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18
The Professionals is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Claudia Cardinale, Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin

Released: 1966

Directed by: Richard Brooks

The Professionals is a 1966 American western starring Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Claudia Cardinale, Robert Ryan, and Woody Strode. The supporting cast includes Jack Palance and Ralph Bellamy ...more

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19
Ice Station Zebra is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Jim Brown, Rock Hudson, Ernest Borgnine

Released: 1968

Directed by: John Sturges

Ice Station Zebra is a 1968 suspense film directed by John Sturges, starring Rock Hudson, Patrick McGoohan, Ernest Borgnine, and Jim Brown. The screenplay by Alistair MacLean, Douglas Heyes, ...more

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20
Von Ryan's Express is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Frank Sinatra, James Brolin, Trevor Howard

Released: 1965

Directed by: Mark Robson

Von Ryan's Express is a 1965 WWII adventure film about a group of Allied prisoners who after Italy's armistice with the Allies in September 1943, conduct a daring mass escape by hijacking a ...more

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21
The Comancheros is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
John Wayne, Lee Marvin, Jack Elam

Released: 1961

Directed by: John Wayne, Michael Curtiz

The Comancheros is a 1961 Western Deluxe CinemaScope color film directed by Michael Curtiz, based on a 1952 novel of the same name by Paul Wellman, and starring John Wayne and Stuart Whitman. ...more

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22
Our Man Flint is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
James Coburn, James Brolin, Lee J. Cobb

Released: 1966

Directed by: Daniel Mann

Our Man Flint is a 1966 American action film that parodies the James Bond genre. The film was directed by Daniel Mann, written by Hal Fimberg and Ben Starr, and starring James Coburn as master ...more
23
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Ma... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Mickey Rooney, Spencer Tracy, Buster Keaton

Released: 1963

Directed by: Stanley Kramer

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is a 1963 American epic comedy film produced and directed by Stanley Kramer and starring Spencer Tracy with an all-star cast, about the madcap pursuit of $350,000 ...more

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24
The Train is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Burt Lancaster, Jeanne Moreau, Paul Scofield

Released: 1964

Directed by: John Frankenheimer, Arthur Penn

The Train is a 1964 black-and-white film directed by John Frankenheimer from a story and screenplay by Franklin Coen and Frank Davis, based on the non-fiction book Le front de l'art by Rose ...more

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25
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! ... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Tura Satana, Susan Bernard, Stuart Lancaster

Released: 1965

Directed by: Russ Meyer

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! is a 1965 exploitation film directed by Russ Meyer, who also wrote the script with Jack Moran. It stars Tura Satana, Haji, and Lori Williams. The film features ...more