Entertainment

The Best '60s Action Movies 

Ranker Film
1.4k votes 312 voters 7.4k 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
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
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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#6 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #14 of 47 The Greatest Western Movies of the 1960s

2
For a Few Dollars More ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
RobLein added
Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, 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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#816 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #8 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #143 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

3
Goldfinger is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Sean Connery, Honor Blackman, Garry Marshall
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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4
Dr. No is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Jack Lord
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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5
The Wild Bunch is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan
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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#15 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #5 of 47 The Greatest Western Movies of the 1960s

6
From Russia with Love is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Sean Connery, Robert Shaw, Daniela Bianchi
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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7
Where Eagles Dare is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton, Michael Hordern
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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#58 of 382 The Best War Movies Ever #70 of 194 The Best Movies of the '60s

8
Jason and the Argonauts ... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Honor Blackman, Patrick Troughton, Nancy Kovack
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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#1,131 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #160 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

9
You Only Live Twice is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Sean Connery, Donald Pleasence, Lois Maxwell
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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10
Thunderball is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Sean Connery, Luciana Paluzzi, Claudine Auger
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
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
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
The Italian Job is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Michael Caine, Benny Hill, Noël Coward
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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14
Yojimbo is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Tatsuya Nakadai
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
On Her Majesty's Secret ... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Diana Rigg, Joanna Lumley, Telly Savalas
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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16
Battle of the Bulge is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Robert Shaw
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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#91 of 194 The Best Movies of the '60s #59 of 212 The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked

17
Ice Station Zebra is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Jim Brown, Rock Hudson, Ernest Borgnine
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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18
The Flight of the Phoeni... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Ernest Borgnine
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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#104 of 568 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time #54 of 194 The Best Movies of the '60s #9 of 23 The Best Action & Adventure Movies Set in the Desert

19
The Professionals is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Claudia Cardinale, Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin
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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#81 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #15 of 47 The Greatest Western Movies of the 1960s

20
The Comancheros is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
John Wayne, Lee Marvin, Jack Elam
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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#59 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #28 of 99 The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked #12 of 47 The Best Lee Marvin Movies

21
Von Ryan's Express is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
Frank Sinatra, James Brolin, Trevor Howard
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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#110 of 382 The Best War Movies Ever #56 of 194 The Best Movies of the '60s

22
In Like Flint is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
James Coburn, Lee J. Cobb, Anna Lee
In Like Flint is a film directed by Gordon Douglas, the sequel to the parody spy film Our Man Flint. It posits an international feminist conspiracy to depose the ruling American patriarchy with ...more
23
The Green Berets is listed (or ranked) 23 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

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24
Our Man Flint is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '60s Action Movies
James Coburn, James Brolin, Lee J. Cobb
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
25
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Ma... is listed (or ranked) 25 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

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