David Lean’s The Bridge on the River Kwai came out on Blu-ray a few weeks ago, the latest in a series of classic movies recently given the HD upgrade. Film snobs know that this is one of the greatest action/adventure movies ever made – and since I’m feeling generous, here are seven classic action films that can satisfy both the boring-film snob and the action-craving frat boy in all of us.
In addition to being a classic action film featuring one of the all-time great screen ‘splosions, The Bridge on the River Kwai has many things a true film snobs will appreciate: immaculate compositions, a refined sense of tension and suspense, great performances from William Holden, Alec Guinness, and Sessue Hayakawa, and a classic and unforgettable score. On the other hand, action fans will appreciate the exciting plot and the famous railroad explosion at the climax of the movie.
Akira Kurosawa‘s pioneering action movie has the battle scenes that both film snobs and their less-evolved brethren will appreciate, albeit for possibly different reasons. They’re exciting, dramatic, and technically impressive. But they’re also highly influential among later action movies. Just one example of this is Kurosawa’s use of slow-motion, now a familiar device in action movies to make something look extra badass.