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A look at the Action Movie Genre

Updated: May 29, 2023

by Rico San Poco


Action movies are a genre of film that feature fast-paced action, usually involving guns or martial arts. Action movies can be categorized as either being an action/adventure film or a drama/thriller film. The first major action movie was released in 1903 by Edwin S Porter called The Great Train Robbery and featured Thomas Edison's Vitascope machine which allowed for one of the earliest forms of moving pictures. The evolution of the genre began with silent films such as those made by Georges Melies who created fantastic worlds filled with magic and wonder where anything could happen at any time without explanation; this style was later adopted by directors such as Akira Kurosawa who used it to great effect in his samurai films such as Seven Samurai (1954). Action movies have had an enormous impact on society since their inception; they've shaped our culture through their influence on fashion trends like leather jackets worn by Sylvester Stallone's Rocky Balboa character or sunglasses worn by Bruce Willis' John McClane character from Die Hard series

The First Action Movie Star

The first action movie star was Harold Lloyd, who starred in comedies like Safety Last! and The Freshman. His most famous role was as a bank teller who accidentally gets caught up in a robbery while trying to impress his girlfriend (and ends up getting chased by cops). Lloyd's films were so popular that they inspired many imitators--including Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. He also had an impact on modern-day filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, who said that he'd watched The Kid many times as a kid and used it as inspiration for Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The Highest Grossing Box Office Action Movie Star

The highest grossing box office action movie star is Jackie Chan. He has starred in over 100 films and has been nominated for multiple awards, including an Oscar award for his performance in Rush Hour 2. His most iconic role is probably Inspector "Tequila" Yuen from the Police Story series of films, which were released between 1985 and 2007.

Gender in Action Films

The representation of gender in action films has been a topic of great debate. In many cases, female characters are portrayed as secondary to their male counterparts, or they are simply not present at all. However, there have been some notable exceptions to this trend that offer an alternative view of how women can be portrayed in these movies. In addition to being strong fighters themselves, many female action stars have also played key roles behind-the-scenes on sets where they were able to help create more opportunities for other women working behind the camera as well as in front of it (such as Angelina Jolie).

Race in Action Films

Race has always been a part of the action genre. However, the way it is represented has changed over time. In the early days of cinema, black actors were often cast as slaves or servants. For example, Hattie McDaniel won an Oscar for her role as Mammy in Gone With The Wind (1939). Later on in Hollywood history, there were more opportunities for African American actors to play lead roles but these characters were usually written as stereotypes and caricatures that reinforced negative racial stereotypes about blacks being violent or unintelligent. In recent years though things have improved with more complex characters being written into films such as John Shaft from Shaft (1971), Wesley Snipes' Blade trilogy or Will Smith's Hancock (2008).

The Best Action Movies of All Time

The best action movies of all time are, in no particular order:

  • Die Hard

  • The Matrix

  • The Dark Knight Trilogy (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises)

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

  • The Bourne Identity Series (The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum)

The Most Iconic Action Movie Scenes

The most iconic action movie scenes are the ones that have had a lasting impact on the genre. They've become synonymous with the films they were in and have been referenced by countless other movies, TV shows and video games. These scenes are also memorable because they were so exciting to watch at the time of their release. If you were lucky enough to see them in theaters when they first came out, then you know exactly what I'm talking about! So what makes these scenes so great? Well, there are many reasons why certain moments stick out in our minds long after we've seen them:

The Impact of Action Movies

Action movies have had a huge impact on society. They've influenced culture and changed the way we think about action, violence and what it means to be a hero. The first action movie ever made was The Great Train Robbery in 1903. It was only 12 minutes long but still managed to include two gunfights, one fistfight and an explosion! Since then there have been thousands of other movies that follow this same pattern: lots of violence mixed with some humor or romance thrown in for good measure.

The Future of Action Movies

The future of action movies is bright. The genre is constantly evolving, and it's only a matter of time before we see some exciting new developments. The first thing to expect from the future of action movies is more advanced technology, which will allow filmmakers to create even more realistic fight scenes and explosions than ever before. For example, imagine if you could watch an entire movie where all the characters were played by robots with CGI faces--that would be something! Another thing you'll see more of in the future is female heroes kicking ass on screen (and maybe even saving the world). There are already plenty of great examples out there like Wonder Woman or Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens; but as more women get involved in making movies themselves (like Patty Jenkins), we're sure that this trend will continue into infinity and beyond!


Action movies are an important part of our culture, and have been for decades. They allow us to escape the mundanities of everyday life and experience the thrill of adventure. Action movies can also be used as a form of escapism from real-world problems, or even as a way to learn about them in a safe environment. There are many types of action movies that have been made over the years, but one thing is certain: they will continue being made for years to come!

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