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The Best Action Movie of Every Year in the 70s

Action cinema in the 1970s sat in a peculiar midway between the classic westerns of earlier decades and the explosive blockbuster spectacles of the 80s. It was a time of transition across Hollywood as studios were struggling to understand the tastes of a new generation. It allowed up-and-coming filmmakers to push the envelope on what could be displayed on-screen.

The cultural environment during the decade was such that audiences were in complete harmony with this trend, as the 70s was a time of rising crime rates and a sense of political disillusionment pervaded the air. In response to this, action cinema in the 70s would replace the archetypal western hero with a gritty, relatable one that operated in urban spaces.
Action heroes like Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson moved on from their western roots to become the face of action films that were grounded in urban settings. Meanwhile, filmmakers like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg wrote their own history during this decade with more fantastic works that gave audiences much-needed respite. Here’s a look at the best action movie of every single year in the 70s.

1970: Two Mules for Sister Sara

Two Mules for Sister Sara

Universal Pictures 

The Mexican-American production Two Mules for Sister Sara was a snug fit in the western genre with its cross-desert adventure, flirtations, and firefights aplenty. However, it saw favorable responses by audiences and critics alike, who found in the movie a balanced and entertaining narrative bolstered by its humor and plot twists.
Clint Eastwood starred in the movie as the familiar mysterious stranger-type character, who rescues a nun, played by Shirley MacLaine, from a group of bandits. The nun, who introduces herself as Sister Sara, is helping the local Mexican revolutionaries in their fight against the French occupying forces. Eastwood’s character agrees to accompany her to the Mexican camp, which is where their adventure begins.

1971: The French Connection

The French Connection - Gene Hackman 20th Century Fox

The year 1971 saw the release of not one, but two cop action films that would go on to influence Hollywood action in a major way. Eastwood returned with Two Mules director Don Siegel for Dirty Harry, an iconic movie that is still remembered to this day for the star’s magnetic performance and dialogues. At the same time, neo-noir action thriller The French Connection captivated its audiences by demonstrating a very different kind of mastery.
Based on the eponymous book by Robin Moore, The French Connection starred Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider as two police detectives in New York on the hunt for a large shipment of narcotics. Rather than being a run-of-the-mill crime action film, however, the movie delivered a unique thrill through a documentary-like realism, something director William Friedkin went to great lengths to achieve.
Shooting prominently in real-life locations, the movie came with a series of intensely thrilling chases that serially outdid each other, with a key scene being considered one of cinema’s greatest car chases. Its gritty realism is something that has to be personally experienced, as its tone is unlike anything else that is seen in modern action cinema.

1972: Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance

lone wolf and cub - sword of vengeance - 1972 Toho

1971 saw the birth of an enduring classic among Japanese samurai films, a movie that would go on to directly influence celebrated works in Hollywood. Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance was based on a popular manga series of the time and introduced a new hero among the Japanese — one that would be as iconic as the Man with No Name in the west.
Tomisaburo Wakayama starred in the movie as Ogami Itto, a former samurai-turned-sword for hire, casting an unforgettable image anywhere he went with a wooden cart that held his infant son, and often hid weapons of the outlandish variety. With gritty, beautifully choreographed action sequences and gore aplenty, the movie went on to spawn an entire franchise with five more sequels.

1973: Enter the Dragon

Enter the Dragon Warner Bros.

Regularly counted among the greatest martial arts movies of all-time, Enter the Dragon was sadly the last movie of martial arts star Bruce Lee. At the same time, it proved to be his most popular. The Robert Clouse directorial took the Hong Kong martial arts genre a step further by combining it with strong elements from spy and Blaxploitation films. Lee appears in the movie as an adept martial artist who is recruited by a British intelligence agent to enter a martial arts tournament organized by a crime lord in order to gather evidence against him.
Related: The 10 Best Martial Arts Movie Performances of All Time

1974: Death Wish

Bronson in Death Wish Paramount Pictures

Death Wish was a page-turner for both the Hollywood action genre and the career of its star, Charles Bronson, who appeared in the movie as a successful architect that turns to vigilantism after his wife is murdered by petty criminals. The movie found success with its overflowing displays of violence. At a time when rising crime rates were a topic of concern in urban America, it also struck a chord with its portrayal of a regular, middle-class man who decides to fight back. Critics objected to the movie for its messaging, but a new hero image was born: one of an everyday, relatable person capable of heroic feats.

1975: Jaws

jaws-1975 Zanuck/Brown Company

Jaws may be considered more of a thriller than an outright action movie, but its impact is too big for it to not be included on this list. The Steven Spielberg classic is the original summer blockbuster, one of those important films that changed cinema in a single stroke. Spielberg was the perfect director to helm this movie, demonstrating his mastery over the foundational beats of cinematic storytelling to make a movie that stands the test of time.
Jaws isn’t remembered simply because of its three-ton sharks; some argue that its goofy practical effects would only have elicited laughs if the movie was directed by anyone else. Spielberg managed to create an iconic work of cinema by bringing the best in every single aspect, from the sound design to the way its terrors were drafted.

1976: The Enforcer

the enforcer - clint eastwood - 1976 Warner Bros.

Eastwood’s Dirty Harry film series continued in 1976 with its third entry, The Enforcer. The movie polarized critics, with some commenting on its relative lack of thrill compared to the original, but it nevertheless was a hit among audiences and became one of the top 10 grossing movies of the year. It followed Harry Callahan on the trail of a dangerous terrorist group operating in the USA.
The Enforcer made interesting additions to the original Dirty Harry formula, adding a measure of humor to its proceedings that worked nicely with the action. The movie also featured actress Tyne Daly in a prominent role as Harry Callahan’s new partner, and her performance as Kate Moore was widely praised.
Related: 17 Most Famous Movie Lines and Quotes in Action Films

1977: Star Wars

Han Solo, Leia Organa and Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope 20th Century Fox

The Star Wars franchise today is one of the biggest media franchises in the world. But in the beginning, creator George Lucas had a hard time convincing studios of its potential. He envisioned an elaborate fictional world and knew that bringing it to life would take special effects that had never been seen before.
Following many setbacks in production, the very first Star Wars movie released in 1977 with a leading trio that were far from household names. But Lucas’ adamance on staying true to his original vision delivered unimaginable dividends in the end, offering the perfect antidote to the post-Vietnam War era disillusionment and single-handedly reviving the science fiction genre.

1978: Superman

reeve-superman-1978-wb Warner Bros. Pictures

The 1978 Superman movie was the very first time that the DC superhero was portrayed in a feature film, and is considered relevant to this day. Starring Christopher Reeves as the titular hero, his performance in the movie is still considered by many to be the definitive take on the character, embodying not just Superman’s comic-book look perfectly but also his persona as a gentle, inherently good hero. The movie was praised for its enjoyable telling of a classic hero story, bolstered by its groundbreaking special effects.

1979: Alien

Alien (1979) - Chestburster 20th Century Fox

Dan O’Bannon and Ridley Scott created one of the most influential works of sci-fi cinema with Alien, bringing to life a unique vision that combined science fiction and horror in an extremely effective way. Utilizing the otherworldly creations of artist H.R. Giger, the movie utilized sci-fi in the best way to tell a horror story, narrating how a hostile alien organism terrorized a team of astronauts in the helpless setting of a spaceship.
The creature designs introduced in the movie are still considered to be among the greatest in cinema history, and have continued to fascinate audiences with their appearances in sequels and crossovers with the Predator movies.

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‘I am officially off the market’: When Margot Robbie revealed she made the ‘conscious’ decision of not dating actors

Margot Robbie revealed her decision to not date actors because of the media scrutiny that came with a public relationship of two high-profile actors
Back in 2015, A-lister Margot Robbie made a declaration that she would not be dating any actors. The actress may have alluded to her fiance Tom Ackerley, who she married the following year in 2016. In an exclusive interview with Marie Claire, she revealed that being in a relationship as an actor herself came with its own set of challenges. She believed that dating someone who was popular would add on to the media scrutiny.

Margot Robbie opened up on why she made a conscious decision to not date actorsTalking to Marie Claire, she claimed, “I am officially off the market.” She then shared the reasoning behind her decision and added, “I made a conscious decision not to date actors.” She continued to explain, “But not because I hate actors. That’s a nasty generalization to make, and that’s not the case. People take such an interest in your love life when you have a profile, it puts a lot of stress on a relationship.”
The Barbie actress continued, “So two people with profiles, I figure it’s just double the amount of scrutiny, and I’d like to avoid that at all costs.” This came after reports of her locking lips with Tarzan co-star Alexander Skarsgard started making rounds. It was reported that she was caught kissing the actor during the Sundance Film Festival.

Margot Robbie revealed she opted for a minimal lifestyle even after becoming an actorIn the interview, Robbie also opened up about how she was adapting to fame. She shared, “I have a normal 24-year-old life. If I were a waitress, I’d probably have the exact same lifestyle. I’d go to the same clubs I go to already, live in the same house with the same housemates, hang out with the same people.”
However, Margot Robbie tied the knot with Tom Ackerley who is an English producer and actor. The duo met on the sets of 2013 movie Suite Francaise where Tom was working as an assistant director. Post marriage, both of them launched their production company LuckyChap Entertainment.

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Monica Bellucci and Tin Burton at lunch in the restaurant in Selci Lama

For All Saints’ Day, the Hollywood star from Tiferno returned to his native Umbria to enjoy a moment of relaxation and then visit his parentsOn the occasion of the All Saints’ Day celebrations, the Hollywood star of Tiferno origin, Monica Bellucci, returned to her native Umbria to enjoy a moment of relaxation and to visit her father Pasquale and her mother Brunella.Flanked by her current partner Tim Burton, she went to lunch, together with about twenty old friends, at the Osteria del Musicista, which has always been her favorite restaurant, in Selci Lama.Menu dedicated to typical dishes of the area, which includes an appetizer with breadsticks lined with coppa, duck in porchetta and grilled pork livers, polenta with wild boar sauce accompanied by the very typical cappelletti in broth.To conclude, a dessert based on fried “ciaccia” with Nutella and roasted chestnuts.
Having paid the bill and greeted the restaurant owner and lifelong friend, Roberto Polchi, Monica brought home cappelletti and broth for a family dinner.

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‘Rocky’ Was Quite Different In His Original Screenplay, Sylvester Stallone Claims

Sylvester Stallone took his friend’s advice on a rewrite of the original screenplay to Rocky. A few tweaks later, he was on his way to major success.
In the new Netflix documentary Sly, Stallone discussed how he initially conceived of the project, which had a much harder edge. In the early version, Rocky was depicted as a “thuggish” character, inspired by Martin Scorsese’s crime drama, Mean Streets.

But Stallone’s perspective changed when a friend read the script and thought the boxer was too cruel for audiences to actually care about him.
Stallone recalled her crying.

“She goes, ‘I hate Rocky. I hate him. He’s cruel. He hits people. He beats them up.’”
Stallone took it to heart, and asked what he could do to soften the character.

“I said, ‘what if you stop short of it?’ Like, maybe he almost did. He could have, that’s his job, but he doesn’t?’ ‘That’d be nice,’” he added. “I said, ‘What if he had a girlfriend or something?’ ‘Yeah, that’s nice.’ So I go back, start writing that: ‘Girlfriend. Nice.’”
$117 million in box office later, a franchise was born.

Stallone also revealed that actor Dolph Lundgren sent him to the hospital during one fight scene in Rocky IV.
“Dolph Lundgren… he pulverized me,” Stallone says in the documentary. “Later that night, my heart started to swell—which happens when the heart hits the chest—and then my blood pressure went up to 260, and they thought I was going to be talking to angels. Next thing I know, I’m in intensive care, where I’m surrounded by nuns, and I thought, ‘OK, that’s curtains.’”
Stallone was in the hospital for nine days following the incident, praying for “one more round.”
“For the first minute of the fight, it is going to be a free-for-all,” Stallone told Lundgren. The Swedish actor joked in a separate interview that all he did was “obey orders,” explaining, “[Stallone] was the boss. I did what he told me.”
Doctors allegedly told Stallone that he received a blow to the ribs that made his heart rattle around in his ribcage, a condition typically seen in head-on collisions. “I did hit a bus, of sorts,” Stallone joked.

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