The Five Best Underrated Action Movies of the 70s

It’s a shame when movies are underrated but it does happen. A lot of the old movies from the 70’s don’t seem to get much of any play these days since they’ve been kind of left in the dust. But the reason they’re still so important is that they paved the way for the movies of today, which is why they’re still worth watching. The movies might seem a little more simplified, the effects aren’t all CGI and the stunts don’t offer as much thrill as those of today, but the filming was a lot more honest since it had to work within the confines of what was possible. In fact it seems like stuntwork and everything else that went into a film back then was a little more dangerous simply because today’s methods hadn’t been thought up yet.

In any case, here are a few films that seemed to have slipped under the radar over the years.

5. Assault on Precinct 13

The story doesn’t change too much from the older to the newer version, but instead of the newer version’s story line that the corrupt cops are trying to break out a wanted criminal, the original is a straight up revenge story as the gang is out to prove who runs the streets and what will happen when their people are targeted. The end result is about the same since as the gang continues to storm the precinct they get taken out by the last few defenders, who are the lucky ones that survive the assault. In the remake however the cops don’t go around killing innocent people just to prove their authority.

4. The Warriors

Implicated in a murder they didn’t commit, the Warriors have a long ways to go and just one night to return to Coney Island, their territory, before the other gangs in New York cut them down. As they make the perilous journey they lose a couple of their number to misfortune but in the end they make it home. Even better, the Riffs, the gang whose leader they were accused of killing, are finally able to find out who really killed their leader and apprehend the Rogues, who were responsible for trying to ruin the Warriors and have them executed. The Riffs salute the Warriors and go on to attend to the fate of the Rogues.

3. The Big Boss

It’s tough to think that any of Bruce Lee’s movies would ever be underrated, but a lot of his other movies get a lot more attention than this one. Maybe it’s because they don’t have the same big names as other films, but this one is still a classic since it involves him ultimately losing in the end. He wins by avenging his family and finally taking down the Big Boss, but thanks to his actions he has to surrender to the local police, which is a loss in any book really. It’s a hard pill to swallow since watching Bruce Lee usually meant you were going to watch him kick some major butt and then resolve the situation and still be a free man.

2. Escape from Alcatraz

This has to be one of Clint Eastwood’s better movies simply because it was a thinking man’s action film. The most real action in it comes when he has to fight off Wolf more than once, but the film is still great since it requires a lot of thought, effort, and most of all the right conditions for the escape. This was loosely based on a real story, but if you check every possible history book there was absolutely no way that they could have escaped and made their way to shore. At least that’s what history tells us….

1. Mad Max

If you asked someone today they might tell you that the Mad Max franchise started with The Road Warrior, which is obviously wrong but is still something that gets confused from time to time. The Road Warrior gets a lot more credit than any of the films largely because it was the most popular, but it wasn’t where Max got his start. It’s amazing really how many films that start off a franchise are either the best film of the lot or are so completely looked over after a while that people tend to forget about them. This one however was crucial to the rest of the franchise and shouldn’t have been given this kind of treatment.

Movies from the 70’s are actually still well-respected for the most part but those that don’t get watched a whole lot are typically those that were fading from the public consciousness back in the day not long after their release. Bringing them back now is a chance to remind people of how the action genre used to look and what made it possible for things to continue on as they are.


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