During the 1920s and 1930s, action films were
often swashbuckling adventure films
which Douglas Fairbanks, used swords in
period pieces or Westerns.
In 1940s and 1950s action took a new form in the
shape of war and cowboy movies.
Alfred Hitchcock brought in the spy-adventure
genre, along with a war-adventure called The
Guns of Navarone, which was inspired by the
producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman.
They decided to invest in their own spyadventure, based on the novels of Ian Fleming.
The big success of the James Bond films or the
series (which was the best action films of the
1960s) introduced a new level of the modernday action film with a new type of cleaver hero.
During the 1970s films such
as Bullitt (1968), The French
Connection (1971) and Dirty Harry (1971)
competed with James bond.
Dirty Harry basically lifted its star, Clint
Eastwood, out of his cowboy
typecasting, and framed him as the hero
of the urban action film, proving that the
modern world offered just as much
glamour, excitement, and potential for
violence as the Old West.
The 1980s saw the action film take over
Hollywood to making them a dominant form
of summer blockbuster.
In the action time actors such as Sylvester
Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce
Willis, and Chuck Norris helped the genre to
really take off.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) was inspired by
1980s and 1990s saw the increase of both
budgets and the number of sequels a
film could generally have. This led to an
increasing number of film makers to
create new equipment that would allow
them to beat the competition and take
audiences to new heights. The success
of Tim Burton's Batman (1989) led to a
string of financially successful sequels.
In a single decade, they proved the
viability of a novel sub-genre of action
film: the comic-book movie.
In modern day with such big budgets the
action films are getting more and more realistic
and adventures making huge profits on release
and bring old actors back into the lime light.