Growing up in the 70s, martial arts seemed to be everywhere. Even on the small screen, there were occasional brushes with what at the time was deemed exotic.
Whether it was Marcia Brady on The Brady Bunch taking Karate or Laurie Partridge taking Judo on The Partridge Family you couldn't help but notice that martial arts were becoming more popular. Without mentioning the most often talked about film of the era…yes, that one, I was hoping to throw some light on movies that I have always found interesting and often overlooked. Here are some films that you may want to check out if you have an urge for bell-bottoms, silk shirts open to the waist, and some vintage action.
The Killer Elite (1975)<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://blackbeltmag.com/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTc0NjA1Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1OTU4ODA4Mn0.hgsFIW2DRPk53AeRcx5Sx4yZnoforEBCZ3ywZS6d0IE/image.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C14%2C57%2C18&height=700" id="e3fee" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f7834dd1bc538a503164e6c48a4ce489" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="The Killer Elite" data-width="1245" data-height="700" />
filmlinc.org<p>With secret agents, Ninjas, and plenty of gunplay, <em>The Killer Elite</em> is an action film that satisfies fans of the genre. Released in 1975, starring James Caan, Robert Duvall, and directed by a giant of action cinema and an artist of on-screen violence, Sam Peckinpah, <em>The Killer Elite</em> is a neglected action film classic. Caan and Duvall work as quasi-spies for a CIA-affiliated company. Caan is betrayed by Duvall who strategically injures Caan to force him to "retire." Caan embarks on the long road of recovery and ultimately seeks revenge. Shot in and around San Francisco there is some great cinematography plus it has both Mako and Tak Kubota in supporting roles. The climactic slow-motion Ninja battle aboard a mothballed warship is definitely worth seeing. It should be noted that James Caan is a legit Karate black belt and his work with the cane in the movie is an interesting twist.</p>