Blog: Bar Wars

Anyone who’s been in Norwich city centre on a Saturday night will know that alcohol and crowds are the perfect combination for a fight. It’s almost part of the fun. That’s why the bar fight is a staple of Western cinema which transcends genres. Here are some of the classic bar fights.

Mean Streets

Means Streets has about half a dozen bar fight scenes as the cocky young  (Robert De Niro) rubs people up the wrong way. There are so many, in fact, that they get boring and repetetive. Here’s one of the better ones.

Donnie Brasco

Fast forward to the 1990s and gangsters are still getting on each other’s nerves in Donnie Brasco. When Lefty has been swindled by a man selling him a “fugezi”, a fake diamond, Donnie takes matters into his own hands to get Lefty’s money back.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day

A bar can be a dangerous and hostile place, so where better to demonstrate a super robot’s killing potential than against a gang of angry bikers? In T2 the T-800 goes to a bar not for a drink but for some clothes. And boots. And a motorcycle. The rest is history.

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

The original Star Wars was a classic action-adventure transposed to space, so featured a classic bar fight scene, but in the alien-packed Mos Eisley Cantina. Check out the groovy music!

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Setting the scene for Indiana Jones in the 1950s and setting up his relationship with the mysteriously parented Mutt is done here in one tidy scene, which is also a great example of a retro bar fight.

Foxy Brown

In this scene from Foxy Brown, a high class escort on her way home from a job wanders into what seems to be a lesbian bar. The women present can’t get enough of this lovely lady, clad in what appears to be a knitted bra. So much so they don’t want to let her leave, so when Foxy shows up to find her friend, they don’t respond well. This whole scene is quite confusing and fairly redundant to the film, probably put in because there hadn’t been any action for a while. It’s good fun though.


With all of these, it’s clear the role bar fights have played in cinema, leaving them wide open to parody. Over to Airplane!.

What’s your favourite bar fight scene?


2 responses to “Blog: Bar Wars

  1. Pingback: A Bronx Tale | Screen Goblin·

  2. Pingback: Happy Birthday Screen Goblin! | Screen Goblin·

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