Classic Tough Guys: 10 Old School Action Films to Revisit
They might not have the CGI of today, but man, they pack a punch!
1. "Point Blank" (1967) – A Heist Gone Haywire
Walker ( Lee Marvin) is double-crossed and left for dead by his partner-in-crime during a heist on Alcatraz Island. But who could truly kill a man like Walker? Resurrecting with vengeance, our anti-hero treks through Los Angeles, chasing his betrayer and his money. With punches thrown and bullets flying, the mob stands in his way. But is the mob ready for Walker's wrath? Raw and relentless, this film questions: can one man be an unstoppable force?
2. "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" (1974) – A Subway Showdown
New York City, 1974: four armed men hijack a subway car, demanding a million-dollar ransom. Can you imagine the city's pulse, the underground tension? The hostages are scared, and the clock's ticking louder with every second. Police Lieutenant Garber (Walter Matthau) races against time, negotiating with the icy and calculated Mr. Blue (Robert Shaw). Strategies shift, suspicions arise, and the Big Apple feels the squeeze. Through tunnels and tracks, this thriller rides: who will derail, and who will triumph?
3. "Rolling Thunder" (1977) – Hands of Vengeance
Major Charles Rane comes home from the Vietnam War, only to find another war awaiting on his doorstep. When thugs murder his family and maim his hand over some stolen cash, what's a man to do? With a hook for a hand and a thirst for revenge, Rane partners with his war buddy Johnny to hunt them down. Texas backroads see blood, as two veterans dispense their brand of justice. Swift. Brutal. Unforgettable.
4. "Walter Hill's The Driver" (1978) – Wheels of Fate
In the neon-lit streets, The Driver (Ryan O'Neal) is known for one thing: being the best getaway driver in the game. But every professional has a nemesis, right? Enter The Detective (Bruce Dern), obsessed with catching him. As cat chases mouse, heists spiral, cars spin, and allegiances shift like gears. With every revving engine and screeching tire, two men's destinies intertwine. It's a drive into the unknown: who will crash and who will cruise?
5. "Death Wish 3" (1985) – Vigilante's Return
Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson), the vigilante, visits an old friend in New York, but death always shadows Kersey. Grieving and angry after his friend's murder by local gangs, Kersey's vengeance is rekindled. The police, desperate and defeated, turn a blind eye as he cleans up the streets, one bullet at a time. Gangs, beware: for in this urban jungle, a lion prowls. Brutal and unforgiving, the city's dark alleys echo with the question: is revenge the best justice?
6. "Southern Comfort" (1981) – Bayou's Bloody Ballet
When a group of National Guardsmen procure local Cajun boats (without asking), what could possibly go wrong in Louisiana's swamps? Lost and hunted, these city soldiers face guerilla warfare from an unseen enemy. Trust dissolves, tensions rise, and the swamp waters run thick with paranoia. Walter Hill delivers another relentless chase, this time amidst trees and muck. It's a murky dance of survival: who will waltz out, and who will sink?
7. "Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins" (1985) – The Unarmed Arm
Cop Sam Makin's supposed death is merely a fresh start. Recruited and renamed "Remo Williams", he's trained in an ancient Korean martial art. His mentor, Chiun, teaches him to dodge bullets, walk on water, and harness his breath. Together, they tackle corruption within the U.S. military industrial complex. A deadly duo, mixing humor and high-kicks. Can the unarmed combat the armed?
8. "Code of Silence" (1985) – Eddie's One-Man Army
Chicago cop Eddie Cusack (Chuck Norris) prefers justice to protocol, making him unpopular with, well, almost everyone. When a drug deal goes bloody, Eddie's caught between warring gangs and a corrupt police force. But Eddie's got a trick up his sleeve: a crime-fighting robot! As bullets fly and karate kicks land, it's Norris versus the world. And let's be real: who'd bet against Norris? It's a symphony of punches and explosions, but who'll have the last blast?
9. "To Live and Die in L.A." (1985) – Counterfeit Cat & Mouse
After his partner's murder, Secret Service agent Richard Chance (William Petersen) swears revenge against counterfeiter Rick Masters (Willem Dafoe). Breaking rules and boundaries, it's a dive into the neon-soaked underworld of '80s L.A. Car chases rival bullets in intensity as lines blur between law and outlaw. With each fake bill and real bullet, the stakes skyrocket. An explosive question lingers: can you fake death, or is it the ultimate price?
10. "Hard Times" (1975) – Fists for Hire
Amidst the Great Depression, drifter Chaney (Charles Bronson) arrives in New Orleans, seeking something – anything. Discovering underground street fighting, his fists become his fortune. With a fast-talking promoter, Speed, by his side, each punch earns cash and raises stakes. But every fighter has a final round, right? As sweat drips and crowds roar, one question remains: will Chaney's fists falter or flourish?