Entertainment

The Best '60s Action Movies  

Ranker Film
1.3k votes 298 voters 6.9k 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. 
list ordered by
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26
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Worl... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Mickey Rooney, Spencer Tracy, Buster Keaton
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
27
The Incredible Journey is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Rex Allen, Jan Rubeš, John Drainie
The Incredible Journey is a 1963 live-action Walt Disney film based on the novel, The Incredible Journey, by Sheila Burnford. Narrated by Rex Allen, the film follows the adventure of three pets, ...more
28
Coogan's Bluff is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Clint Eastwood, Lee J. Cobb, Don Siegel
Coogan's Bluff is a 1968 American action film directed by Don Siegel, and starring Clint Eastwood, Lee J. Cobb, Don Stroud and Susan Clark. The film marks the first of five collaborations ...more
29
The Naked Prey is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
T.B. added Cornel Wilde, Patrick Mynhardt, Ken Gampu
The Naked Prey is a 1965 adventure film starring Cornel Wilde, who also served as director and producer, which was released by Paramount Pictures. Set in the South African veldt, the film is a ...more
30
Sanjuro is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Tatsuya Nakadai
Sanjuro is a 1962 black-and-white Japanese samurai film directed by Akira Kurosawa and starring Toshiro Mifune. It is a sequel to Kurosawa's 1961 Yojimbo. Originally an adaptation of the Shūgorō ...more
31
The Green Berets is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
John Wayne, George Takei, Vera Miles
The Green Berets is a 1968 American film set in Vietnam, featuring John Wayne, George Takei, David Janssen, Jim Hutton and Aldo Ray, nominally based on the eponymous 1965 book by Robin Moore, ...more
32
The War Wagon is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Sean Connery, John Wayne, Donald Sutherland
This film is a 1967 Western film starring John Wayne and Kirk Douglas, released by Universal Pictures, directed by Burt Kennedy, produced by Marvin Schwartz and adapted by Clair Huffaker from ...more
33
Danger: Diabolik is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Michel Piccoli, Marisa Mell, Adolfo Celi
Danger: Diabolik is a 1968 Italian-French action film directed by Mario Bava based on the Italian comic character Diabolik. The film is about a criminal named Diabolik who plans large scale ...more
34
The Mercenary is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Jack Palance, Franco Nero, Tony Musante
The Mercenary, also known as A Professional Gun, is a 1968 spaghetti western film directed by Sergio Corbucci. The film stars Franco Nero, Jack Palance, Tony Musante and Giovanna Ralli, and ...more
35
North to Alaska is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
John Wayne, Stewart Granger, Fabian
North to Alaska is a 1960 comedic Western film directed by Henry Hathaway and John Wayne. The picture stars Wayne along with Stewart Granger, Ernie Kovacs, Fabian, and Capucine. The script is ...more
36
Destroy All Monsters is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Haruo Nakajima, Kenji Sahara, Akira Kubo
Destroy All Monsters, released in Japan as Kaijū Sōshingeki, is a 1968 Japanese science fiction Kaiju film produced by Toho. The ninth entry in the original Godzilla series, it stars Akira Kubo, ...more
37
Tokyo Drifter is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Eimei Esumi, Tamio Kawaji, Eiji Gō
Tokyo Drifter is a 1966 yakuza film directed by Seijun Suzuki. The story follows Tetsuya Watari as the reformed yakuza hitman "Phoenix" Tetsu who is forced to roam Japan avoiding ...more
38
Branded to Kill is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Kōji Nanbara, Annu Mari, Isao Tamagawa
Branded to Kill is a 1967 Japanese yakuza film directed by Seijun Suzuki and starring Joe Shishido, Koji Nanbara, Annu Mari and Mariko Ogawa. It was a low budget, production line number for the ...more
39
The Sword of Doom is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yūzō Kayama
The Sword of Doom, is a jidaigeki film released in 1966. It was directed by Kihachi Okamoto and stars Tatsuya Nakadai. It was based on the serial novel of the same title by Kaizan Nakazato.
40
The Brides of Dracula is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Peter Cushing, Martita Hunt, Freda Jackson
The Brides of Dracula is a 1960 British Hammer Film Productions Horror film directed by Terence Fisher. It stars Peter Cushing as Van Helsing; David Peel as Baron Meinster, a disciple of Count ...more
41
Youth of the Beast is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Seijun Suzuki, Eimei Esumi, Misako Watanabe
Youth of the Beast is a 1963 Japanese yakuza film directed by Seijun Suzuki. Much of the film is set in Tokyo.
42
The One-Armed Swordsman is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Jimmy Wang, Chung-Hsin Huang, Lisa Chiao Chiao
One-Armed Swordsman is a 1967 Hong Kong wuxia film produced by the Shaw Brothers Studio. Directed by Chang Cheh, it was the first of the new style of wuxia films emphasizing male anti-heroes, ...more
43
Three Outlaw Samurai is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Tetsurō Tamba, Mikijiro Hira, Makatari Fujiwara
Three Outlaw Samurai is a 1964 Japanese chambara film by director Hideo Gosha. The film is an origin-story offshoot of the original Japanese television series of the same name. The film involves ...more
44
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Mon... is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Takashi Shimura, Akiko Wakabayashi, Akihiko Hirata
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, released in Japan as San Daikaijū: Chikyū Saidai no Kessen, is a 1964 Japanese crossover science fiction kaiju film produced by Toho. Directed by Ishirō ...more
45
The Big Gundown is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Lee Van Cleef, Tomas Milian, Walter Barnes
The Big Gundown is a 1966 spaghetti western, written by long-time Sergio Leone collaborator Sergio Donati and directed by Sergio Sollima. The film stars Lee Van Cleef and Tomas Milian. It was ...more
46
Come Drink with Me is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Jackie Chan, Cheng Pei-pei, Elliot Ngok
Come Drink with Me is a 1966 Hong Kong wuxia film directed by King Hu. Set during the Ming Dynasty, it stars Cheng Pei-pei and Yueh Hua as warriors with Chan Hung-lit as the villain, and ...more