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Action movie

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Action movie is a movie genre in which the protagonist is put into a series of events that usually have violence and physical actions.

The genre is usually about a resourceful hero fighting against high odds. These movies often have life-threatening situations, a villain, or a chase which usually ends in victory for the hero. Action movies became cheaper and easier to make as computer-generated imagery (CGI) changed. Action sequences and other visual effects that needed stunt crews were more expensive in the past. Reactions to action movies with a large amount of CGI have been mixed. Some movies use CGI to create events that are not realistic and are unbelievable.[1] Action has been a part of movies for a long time but the "action movie" genre did not start until the 1970s along with the increase of stunts and special effects.

Action movies usually have a lot of violent things, like explosions, blood, and fight scenes.

This genre is often used with the thriller and adventure genres. It can also have elements of comedy, drama and spy fiction.[2] Screenwriter Eric R. Williams says action movies are one of 11 super-genres in his screenwriters’ taxonomy. He says that all feature-length narrative movies can be classified by these super-genres. The other 10 super-genres are Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Romance, Science Fiction, Slice of Life, Sports, Thriller, War and Western.[3]

History[change | change source]

Early action movies[change | change source]

Douglas Fairbanks in the 1922 movie Robin Hood

Some historians say The Great Train Robbery (1903) was the first action movie.[4][5] During the 1920s and 1930s, action-based movie were often swashbuckling adventure movie. In these movies actors such as Douglas Fairbanks used swords. Indian action movies of this time were known as stunt movies.[6]

The 1940s and 1950s saw "action" in a new form. Many movies were war and cowboy movies. Alfred Hitchcock started the spy-adventure genre. He also began the use of action-oriented "set pieces" those used in North by Northwest (1959). The movie led producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to create their own spy-adventure in the James Bond series. These movies were based the novels of Ian Fleming.

In Japan, the 1950s saw the jidaigeki action movies. The most notable of these were the samurai movies made famous by Akira Kurosawa. His 1954 movie Seven Samurai is said to be one of the greatest action movie of all time.[7] The movie is often seen as one of the most "remade, reworked, referenced" movie in cinema.[8] It made the "assembling the team" trope popular. It has become a common trope in many action and heist movies.[9] The look, plot and dialogue of the movie have affected many people who make movies. They range from George Lucas and John Landis to Quentin Tarantino and George Miller.[10][11] Kurosawa's Yojimbo (1961) was also remade as Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars (1964). Fistfull of Dollars created the "Spaghetti Western" action genre of Italian cinema/ Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress (1958) later inspired Star Wars (1977).

The James Bond movie series were the most popular action movies of the 1960s. They created the "resourseful hero". This character type is used in most modern-day action movies: . These larger-than-life characters were a "one-man army". They could defeat the villians in many creative ways.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Action Top rated Most Viewed - AllMovie". Allrovi.com. Archived from the original on 2012-04-21. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
  2. Rainer, Peter (June 27, 1993). "FILM COMMENT : Endangered Species : The American action-fantas epic is in danger of becoming terminally musclebound and knuckle-headed". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2011-05-11. Retrieved 2010-10-27.
  3. Williams, Eric R. (2017). The screenwriters taxonomy : a roadmap to collaborative storytelling. New York, NY: Routledge Studies in Media Theory and Practice. ISBN 978-1-315-10864-3. OCLC 993983488. P. 21
  4. "The Great Train Robbery". Rottentomatoes.com. Archived from the original on 11 March 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  5. "What's the First Action Movie Ever Made? | The Action Elite". theactionelite.com. Archived from the original on 2016-11-09. Retrieved 2017-09-06.
  6. Valicha, Kishore (1999). The Moving Image: A Study of Indian Cinema. Orient Blackswan. p. 123. ISBN 9788125016083. Archived from the original on 2021-04-14. Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  7. "The 100 best action movies". Time Out. April 29, 2016. Archived from the original on November 6, 2014. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  8. Desser, David (Nov 1998). "Reviewed Work: The Films of Akira Kurosawa by Donald Richie". The Journal of Asian Studies. 57 (4): 1173. doi:10.2307/2659350. JSTOR 2659350. S2CID 159855562.
  9. Billson, Anne (30 October 2018). "Why is Seven Samurai so good?". BBC Culture. BBC. Archived from the original on 14 August 2020. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  10. Winfrey, Graham (2 May 2017). "'Seven Samurai': How Akira Kurosawa's Masterpiece Continues to Influnce Filmmakers Today — Watch". IndieWire. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on 1 June 2020. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  11. Karkare, Aakash (September 19, 2016). "What keeps drawing filmmakers to Akira Kurosawa's decades-old 'Seven Samurai'?". Scroll.in. Archived from the original on 25 June 2020. Retrieved 1 June 2020.

Further reading[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]