Best Fight Scenes

Posted on 09 March 2010

This article was written awhile back but never posted so I’m not including it in the “Historical Perspective” category. I’m sure I could add more movies and scenes to the list

While watching the director’s cut of Aliens and, when the final fight between Sigourney Weaver and the Alien queen came on (“Get away from her, you bitch!”) I started thinking about what I would consider to be the “best” movie fight scenes. For some of these, I based my opinions on the pure rock-em-sock-em-ability of the fight scene itself (like the final fight in Aliens), whereas I based my decision for others on the scenes “lasting” effects, like how many of us know the crane position from the Karate Kid, even though the actual fight isn’t that great (IMHO). I know I am probably missing some big ones from this list but, after compiling this over a couple weeks, I think I’ve run to the end of my film knowledge (or my memory, at least) so feel free to offer recommendations for what I should add — especially if it’s a movie that I haven’t seen, I’m always open to watching new movies with a good fight scene! This list isn’t in any particular order, I didn’t want to rank these but you’ll probably figure out which ones I like more than others based on my analysis (if you can call it an analysis).

  • Aliens — Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) vs. the Alien queen
  • Rocky — the final bout between Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) and Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers)
  • Braveheart — William Wallace (Mel Gibson) vs. the Earl of Surrey (
  • The Hustler — Fast Eddie (Paul Newman) vs. Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason)
  • Dune — Paul Atreides (Kyle MacLachlan) vs. Feyd-Rautha (Sting)
  • An Officer and a Gentleman — Zack Mayo (Richard Gere) vs. Gunnery Sgt. Emil Foley (Louis Gossett, Jr.)
  • Brotherhood of the Wolf (Le pacte des loups) — Grégoire de Fronsac (Samuel Le Bihan) and Mani (Mark Dacascos) vs. the highway men
  • Romeo Must Die — Han Sing (Jet Li) and Trish O’Day (Aaliyah) vs. motorcycle assailant (Françoise Yip)
  • Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones — Yoda (voice of Frank Oz) vs. Count Dooku (Christopher Lee)
  • Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back — Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) vs. Darth Vader (David Prowse) in Cloud City.
  • Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi — Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) vs. Darth Vader (David Prowse) in the Emperor’s Throne Room on the second Death Star
  • Watership Down — final fight between Hazel (voice of John Hurt) and Bigwig (voice of Michael Graham Cox)
  • The Princess Bride — Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) vs. Count Rugen (Christopher Guest)
  • Cool Hand Luke — Luke (Paul Newman) vs. pretty much everybody
  • Karate Kid — final fight between Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) vs. Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka)
  • King Kong — King Kong fighting the biplanes from atop the Chrysler Building
  • Godzilla…Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster, Godzilla vs. King Kong, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, Godzilla vs. Mothra, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Godzilla vs. Megalon, etc.
  • Highlander — final duel between Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) and Victor Kruger/The Kurgan (Clancy Brown)
  • Bloodsport — last match pairing Frank Dux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) vs. Chong Li (Bolo Yeung)
  • Serenity — River (Summer Glau) goes ballistic in the bar

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