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Top Action & Adventure Movies of the 70s, 80s, 90s, and Today

It's June and summer blockbuster action movie season is in full swing. (We know, you know it's one of the best parts of summer.) Being a summer action blockbuster is one thing—but which action films stand the test of time? We wanted to know which ones libraries hold on to year after year. So we made a list of the Top Action and Adventure Movies Found in Libraries. How many have you seen? How many can you quote?

2000 - 2015

  1. Up directed by Peter Docter (2009)
  2. The Hunger Games directed by Gary Ross (2012)
  3. Avatar written and directed by James Cameron (2009)
  4. The Hurt Locker directed by Kathryn Bigelow (2008)
  5. Hugo directed by Martin Scorsese (2011)
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Part 1 directed by David Yates (2011)
  7. Inception directed by Christopher Nolan (2010)
  8. Pirates of the Caribbean. The Curse of the Black Pearl directed by Gore Verbinski (2003)
  9. Life of Pi directed by Ang Lee (2012)
  10. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince directed by David Yates (2009)

The '90s

  1. Apollo 13 directed by Ron Howard (1995)
  2. Double Jeopardy directed by Bruce Beresford (1999)
  3. Jurassic Park directed by Steven Spielberg (1993)
  4. Armageddon directed by Michael Bay (1998)
  5. True Lies directed by James Cameron (1994)
  6. Jumanji directed by Joe Johnston (1995)
  7. Lethal Weapon 4 directed by Richard Donner (1998)
  8. Fly Away Home directed by Carroll Ballard (1996)
  9. The Mummy directed by Stephen Sommers (1999)
  10. The Mask of Zorro directed by Martin Campbell (1998)

The '80s

  1. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids directed by Joe Johnston (1989)
  2. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade directed by Steven Spielburg (1989)
  3. Raiders of the Lost Ark directed by Steven Spielburg (1981)
  4. Romancing the Stone directed by Rober Zemeckis (1984)
  5. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom directed by Steven Spielburg (1989)
  6. Flight of the Navigator directed by Randal Kleiser (1986)
  7. Crocodile Dundee II directed by John Cornell(1988)
  8. 48 hrs. directed by Walter Hill (1982)
  9. F/X directed by  Róbert Mandel (1986)
  10. Above the Law directed by Andrew Davis (1988)
  11. The Living Daylights directed by John Glen (1987)

1979 and before:

  1. Spartacus directed by Stanley Kubrick (1960)
  2. Stagecoach directed by John Ford (1939)
  3. For Whom the Bell Tolls directed by Sam Wood (1943)
  4. Lord of the Flies directed by Peter Brook (1963)
  5. Deliverance directed by John Boorman (1972)
  6. The Man Who Would Be King directed by John Huston (1975)
  7. Planet of the Apes:
  8. The Dirty Dozen directed by Robert Aldrich (1967)
  9. The Guns of Navarone directed by J. Lee Thompson (1961)
  10. The Great Train Robbery directed by Michael Crichton (1978)

How the list was compiled

This list was generated by searching OCLC WorldCat via First Search for the genres "Action and Aventure Films" and "Feature Films." The list was then divided by decades based on the release date of the given movie and ranked based on the number of OCLC member libraries that hold it.

WorldCat is the world's largest and most comprehensive catalog of library resources from around the world, with more than 314 million bibliographic records that represent more than 2 billion items held by participating libraries, including books, movies, music, e-books, licensed databases, online periodicals, digital collections and more. Because of its scale, WorldCat can be used to represent a large part of the scholarly and cultural record.

At OCLC Research, we're exploring records and mining WorldCat data to highlight interesting and different views of the world's library collections each month. Be sure to check out our "What in the WorldCat?" page often to see what we come up with next.