My feelings on action scenes in films.
Too far from the opponent. Too impersonal.
Which is why of the some 2000 films I've seen. 200 of which have good action. I have seen only a half dozen good gunfights.
Alias Jesse James: the climatic shootout.
Dick Tracy: the climatic shootout.
How the West Was Won: the climatic fight aboard the train.
Logan's Run: Michael York vs. the Sandmen.
A Rough Night in Jericho: the saloon gunfight.
San Antonio: the climatic gunfight in the saloon.
Swordfights and Knifefights
Better. Nearer the opponent. More personal.
Which is why there are twice as many good ones as the previous category.
The Black Swan: Tyrone Power vs. George Sanders
Candleshoe: David Niven vs. Leo McKern
Dune: Kyle Machlachlan vs. Patrick Stewart or Kyle Machlachlan vs. Sting
The Four Musketeers: Michael York vs. Christopher Lee
Lionheart (1987): Eric Stoltz vs. Gabriel Byrne
The Parent Trap (1998): Lindsay Lohan vs. Lindsay Lohan
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl: Johnny Depp vs. Orlando Bloom
Princess Bride: Cary Elwes vs. Mandy Pantinkin
Quentin Durward: the swordfights
Scaramouche: Stewart Granger vs. Mel Ferrer
Siren of Baghdad: Hans Conried vs. Charlie Lung
Zorro (1974): Alan Delon vs. Stanley Baker
Note that while there are a fair number of Americans listed. There are more foreigners, as foreigners have normally been better swordsmen than we Americans.
Fistfights and Foodfights and Piefights
Best. Nearest the opponent. Most personal. ("Now it gets personal!") Which is why there are more of these than the other two categories combined.
The Bounty: the brawl aboard the "Bounty."
Brannigan: the pub brawl.
Bringing Down the House: the bar brawl.
Bugsy Malone: the climatic piefight.
The Fuller Brush Man: the warehouse brawl.
Giant: Rock Hudson vs. Mickey Simpson.
The Great Race: the piefight.
Ichabod and Mr. Toad: the Toad Hall brawl.
The Last Remake of Beau Geste: the orphanage brawl.
Max Keeble's Big Move: the foodfight.
Necessary Roughness: the bar brawl.
North to Alaska: the bar brawl.
Play It to the Bone: Antonio Banderas vs. Woody Harrelson.
The Prizefighter and the Lady: the climatic prizefight.
Real Steel: Atom vs. Twin Cities.
Robin Hood (1973): the archery tournament brawl.
The Set-up: the climatic prizefight.
Shadow of the Thin Man: the cafe brawl.
The Undefeated: the 4th of July brawl.
101 Dalmatians 2: the barnyard brawl.
Always thinking outside the box.
Excellent points,all of them. A good blood and guts fist fight wins out for me most of the time. Especially those of Bruce Lee,my favorite martial artist of all time. I also really enjoyed the scenes in "Blood Sport" with so many styles in action. Can't forget Jackie Chan....that character can make a weapon out of anything. Plus I just love to watch John Wayne get after it because there's something very satisfying about an in-the-dirt Western.
Special honorable mention to Cary Elwes and Mandy Pantinkin in "Princess Bride",a seriously well staged sword fight. And John Wayne in "A Quiet Man"....a wonderful Irish vs. Irish fist fight that covered the whole village.