1. Action films history
During the 1920s and 1930s, action-based films were often adventure films in which actors, such as
Douglas Fairbanks, fought with swords in period pieces or Westerns.
The 1940s and 1950s saw action in a different way through war and cowboy movies. Alfred
Hitchcock led in the spy-adventure genre while also establishing the use of action-oriented films like
the famous crop-duster scene and the Mount Rushmore finale in North by Northwest. The film,
along with a war-adventure called The Guns of Navarone, inspired producers Albert R. Broccoli and
Harry Saltzman to put their money together and make a spy series of action
films based on the novels by Ian Fleming.
The long-running success of the James Bond films or series which dominated
the action films of the 1960s, introduced a ‘norm’ of the modern-day action
film: the resourceful hero. Heroes who were so unbelievably amazing were
introduced and could take on about 10 bad guys at once with superior fighting
and strength skills. Such heroes are ready with one-liners, puns, and great
comebacks. The Bond films also used fast cutting, car chases, fist fights, a
variety of weapons and gadgets, and elaborate action sequences.
During the 1970s, the Bond films faced competition as gritty detective stories
and urban crime dramas began to evolve and take on some of the characteristics themselves with
the new action style. This lead to a series of police officer films, such as Bullitt 1968, The French
Connection 1971 and Dirty Harry 1971. Dirty Harry signaled the
end of the iconic cowboys and Indians era of Western films.
Restrictions on language, adult content, and violence had
become more lenient, and these elements became more
widespread and used across the whole film industry. In the
1980’s films which were joint genres were introduced like action
drama and romantic comedy.
In the modern day while action films continue grow as a genre as they are the medium budget film
genre films. For example in 2009 Star Trek had several science fiction traits and concepts like time
travel through the concept of a black hole. However, most of the film was structured around action
sequences, many of them quite conventional .While the original Star Wars featured some of this
kind of fighting, there was just as much concentration and focus on star-ship chases and fights in
outer space. The newer films featured more light-saber duels, sometimes more intense and
acrobatic than the originals. Some fan films also have similar duel scenes like those the prequel
It was action with a science fiction twist. The trend with Star Trek and
even the grittier Dark Knight Trilogy, is that of fist fighting and martial
arts incorporated throughout.