The 100 Fights That Shaped Action Cinema

When thinking about action movies, fights, or scenes, chances are,Kick Ass, Fight Club, and Oldboy come to mind. These films paved the way for the action genre to explode and for audiences to become engrossed in a good old-fashioned brawl. But these fights rose to prominence as a result of many others that came before them. In celebration of the evolution of action cinema,Intelligencer has compiled a list of the 100 fights they deem most profoundly impacted the genre. From a fighting cat circus in the 1890s to a satirical take on bravado in 2021, here are the 100 fights that shaped action cinema.

The list includes fights that:

  • Shaped filmmaking techniques,
  • Realized a new trope,
  • Marked a step forward in the professionalization of stuntwork,
  • Served as a grand achievement in using physical violence as a creative and narrative tool,
  • Are simply remarkable performances of physical prowess.

Readers can skim through the list and decide for themselves whether they agree with the inclusions and omissions. Without further ado, let the battles begin! -Slot 1: The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight (1897) -Slot 2: The Fighting Cats (1894) -Slot 3: City Lights (1931) -Slot 4: The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933) -Slot 5: The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) -Slot 6: Gunga Din (1939) -Slot 7: The Mark of Zorro (1940) -Slot 8: The Fighting Seabees (1944) -Slot 9: Notorious (1946) -Slot 10: The Wild Bunch (1969) -Slot 11: They Live (1988) -Slot 12: Fight Club (1999) -Slot 13: Oldboy (2003) -Slot 14: Collateral (2004) -Slot 15: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) -Slot 16: V for Vendetta (2005) -Slot 17: The Host (2006) -Slot 18: 300 (2006) -Slot 19: The Dark Knight (2008) -Slot 20: 9 (2009) -Slot 21: The Mechanic (2011) -Slot 22: The Dark Knight Rises (2012) -Slot 23: John Wick (2014) -Slot 24: Deadpool (2016) -Slot 25: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) -Slot 26: Atomic Blonde (2017) -Slot 27: The Nice Guys (2014) -Slot 28: The Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017) -Slot 29: Deadpool 2 (2018) -Slot 30: Robin Hood (2018) -Slot 31: The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) -Slot 32: Parasite (2019) -Slot 33: The Irishman (2019) -Slot 34: Tenet (2020) -Slot 35: Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) -Slot 36: The Battle of Watergate (2021) -Slot 37: tick, tick... Boom! (2021) -Slot 38: The Power of the Dog (2021) -Slot 39: House of Gucci (2021) -Slot 40: RRR (2022) -Slot 41: The Batman (2022) -Slot 42: Bullet Train (2022) -Slot 43: Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022) -Slot 44: The Northman (2022) -Slot 45: Creed III (2023) -Slot 46: Shotgun Wedding (2023) -Slot 47: John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023) -Slot 48: Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) -Slot 49: Jesus Revolution (2023) -Slot 50: The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023)

For those interested in learning more about the evolution of the action genre, Intelligencer has you covered. Check out the link to stay up-to-date with the latest genre news.

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