The Action Cinemarathon

I'd like to go on an Action Cinemarathon. 

My goal is to watch every movie recommended in each article in the very excellent ongoing column on action film history written by Tom Breihan over at AVClub: 

A History of Violence
With A History Of Violence, Tom Breihan picks the most important action movie of every year, starting with the genre’s birth and moving right up to whatever Vin Diesel’s doing this very minute.

In his first article, titled "Action cinema begins with Steve McQueen and one incredible car chase" Breihan identifies 1968's Bullitt as his starting point for action cinema. Other noteworthy mentions from the article include Coogan's Bluff, western Once Upon A Time in The West, and war movies The Green Berets, Ice Station Zebra, Where Eagles Dare

Already you can see that this is going to be a tremendous list. I'm going to watch all of them, chunked out by article or year of release. One movie a week would be nice, and I think achievable. At 800+ movies this amounts to a decade-long project. I like it.

I have already seen several of these movies, but I will rewatch them for this Cinemarathon. Watching them in order (or more precisely, by year) is the point. So if, for example, I watch Blood and Bone (2009) in the next few months, while the Action Cinemarathon is still in the early 70s (and this is a somewhat likely scenario) it won't count towards the Cinemarathon.

I don't really planning on writing systematically about these movies, but I might write about how Briehan's recommendations and my experience of watching these movies reflects the emergence of genres. I also want to explore alternative starting and inflection points of the action genre.

I'll also maintain a sheet tracking my progress that I will publish as a microblog at

Follow along on twitter @cinemarathon1