introduction Action film is a film genre where one or more heroes is thrust into a series of challenges that require physical feats, extended fights and frenetic chases. They occasionally have a resourceful character struggling against incredible odds such as, life-threatening situations, an evil villain, and/or being chased in several ways of transportation (car, bus, truck, etc.), with victory achieved at the end after difficult physical efforts and violence. Story and character development are generally secondary to explosions, fist fights, gunplay and car chases.
1920’s and 30’s• During the 1920s and 1930s, action-based films were often "swashbuckling" adventure films in which Douglas Fairbanks wielded swords in period pieces or Westerns.
1940’s and 50’s• The 1940s and 1950s saw "action" in the form of war and cowboy movies. Alfred Hitchcock almost single-handedly ushered in the spy-adventure genre, also firmly establishing the use of action- oriented "set pieces" like the famous crop-duster scene and the Mount Rushmore finale in "North by Northwest". That film, along with a war-adventure called "The Guns of Navaronne" directly inspired producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to invest in their own spy-adventure based on the novels of Ian Fleming.
1940’s and 50’s pics Alfred Hitchcock Albert R. Broccoli
1960’s• The long-running success of the James Bond series (which easily dominated the action films of the 1960s) essentially introduced all the staples of the modern- day action film.• The "Bond movies“ bought a new breed of action to the table with larger-than-life characters, such as the resourceful hero: who was able to dispatch villainous masterminds and their somewhat awful henchmen.• The Bond films also utilized quick cutting, car chases, fist fights, a variety of weapons and gadgets that had never been seen in the action genre before.
Early bond pics Sean Connery the 1960’s James BondConnery’sDB5
1970’s• In the 1970s, Bond saw competition as gritty detective stories and urban crime dramas began to fuse themselves with the new action style, leading to a string of maverick police officer films, such as those defined by Bullitt (1968), The French Connection (1971) and Dirty Harry (1971).• All of which featured an intense car chase inspired by the popular stunt work of the Bond films. Dirty Harry essentially lifted its star Clint Eastwood out of his cowboy background and became the urban-action films first true archetype. Dirty Harry signaled the end of the prolific cowboys and Indians era of film westerns.
1970’s cont…• Also inspired by the success of James Bond; specifically the Asian-influenced "You Only Live Twice", martial- arts-themed action movies exploded onto the western cinema screens with Bruce Lees Enter the Dragon (1973), and his imported films like Way of (or Return of) the Dragon (1972).• The latter also introduced action fans to then-rising star Chuck Norris as well. Though Jackie Chans Rush Hour is often credited as popularizing the martial arts action film in the United States, Chuck Norris had been blending martial arts with cops and robbers since Good Guys Wear Black (1977) and A Force of One (1979).
Other national action movies.• From Japan, Sonny Chiba starred in the Karate Kiba in 1973. It was the first movie for him about martial arts. Chibas breakthrough international hit was The Street Fighter series (1974), which established him as the reigning Japanese martial arts actor in international cinema.• He also played the role of Mas Oyama at the next three movies of martial arts, Champion of Death, Karate Bearfighter and Karate for Life (1975 - 1977).
1970’s pics Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry famous for its one-liners
1980’s• The 1980s would see the action film take over Hollywood to become a dominant form of summer blockbuster; many actors such as Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Chuck Norris. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas even paid their homage to the Bond-inspired style with the mega-hit Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).• In 1982, veteran actor Nick Nolte and rising comedian Eddie Murphy smashed box office records with the action-comedy 48 Hrs, which is credited as the first buddy-cop movie. That same year, Sylvester Stallone starred in First Blood, the first installment in the popular Rambo film series.
Mid-Late 1980’s• The Rambo: first blood film proved to be successful and was followed with a sequel in 1985, Rambo: First Blood Part II which became the most successful film in the series and made the character Rambo a pop cultural icon.• In 1987 Lethal Weapon a low-budget action film proved to still be as popular as the big-budget action packed films (like a maverick cop with martial arts skills fighting drug traffickers), given the "Hollywood A-list" treatment (bigger budgets, more talented casts, etc.) could prove to be financial windfalls for the studios.• The 1988 film Die Hard was particularly influential on the development of the action genre staring one of actions most famous faces Bruce Willis.
1990’s• The 1990s was an era of sequels and hybrid action for example the western genre, the spy-movies and urban-action films. The growing improvement in CGI (computer generated imagery), to imitate the "real- world" settings began to give way to increasingly fantastic environments.• Along with the new technology becoming available the budgets of the 1990’s films were like none other seen in the history of action films in.• The success of the many Dirty Harry and James Bond sequels had proven that a single successful action film could lead to a continuing action franchise. As a lead on to the success of these films the 1990s saw a rise in both budgets and the number of sequels a film could generally have. Where in earlier decades, sequels were frowned upon by most directors and actors.• With the increase of technology this lead to directors almost competing with each other to see who could create the best up to date action film of not only the 1990’s but of the history of action films.
1990’s notable actors Matt Damon most famous for his roles in good will hunting and the Bourne films. Jean Claude VanDolph Damme wellLundgren well known for hisknown in the prelific role in1990’s for timecop whichappearing in generatedUniversal $ 103,646,581soldier along world wide atside Jean the box office.Claude VanDamme .
More notable actors Jet Li who came onto the action scene with his role as a villain in the English hit Lethal weapon 4 The world famous Jackie Chan made his Hollywood breakthrough in the successful Rumble in the Bronx.
1990’s notable directors James Cameron responsible for directing Titanic and the terminator films. Larry (left) and Andrew Michael Bay most Wachowski most famous for directing the famous for 90’s hit bad boys and the directing the massive Armageddon matrix flims. film.
2000’S• Action movies were really beginning to find some power in the film industry with massive budgets and incredible special effects. CGI has taken the action films by storm with movies like avatar smashing records at the box office.