For many movie buffs, nothing beats sitting down over a bowl of popcorn for some heart pounding excitement with blockbusting action movie. Action films have been around since the earliest days of the film industry and are generally considered to have the largest box office draw of any film genre. Despite the fact that some movie aficionados like to look down their nose at action movies, there is considerably more technical trade craft present in the top action movies than any other genre of film. Let’s take a quick look at the history of the action film industry, as well as some of the top action films of all time.
History of Action Films
Action films first appeared during the 1920s in the form of swashbuckling adventures that were centered around sword wielding heroes and villains. During World War II, war films came to dominate the silver screen, followed by the classic western films. Today, the action genre is almost exclusively centered around plot lines involving science fiction or crime.
Rather than arguing over which action films are the greatest from a subjective point of view, it is worth taking a look at which action movies have enjoyed the highest box office draw while continuing to be culturally relevant over the years. If we limit the scope of what we consider to be an action movie to films that are driven by physical action than actual story telling, then it is difficult to argue that action classics like Rambo, The Terminator and Gladiator are clearly at the top of the list. As far as action movies which are also considered to be great overall films, most critics agree that the Lord of the Rings and Star Wars trilogies have had the greatest impact, as well as important films like The Matrix and Apocalypse Now.