50 Best Movie Bar Brawls

Road House (1989)

The Brawl: "Pain don't hurt," growls Patrick Swayze's 'cooler' in this classic, which offers an embarrassment of riches when it comes to bar scraps. The best one comes after a guy's been feeling up the boobs of another guy's girl…

Coolest Scrap: A stool-launching, beer-bottle-smashing cacophony, which Swayze presides over with cool aloofness.

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

The Brawl: A typically claret-soaked eruption of violence from Quentin Tarantino, who sets up a characteristically talky scene in a Nazi bar which explodes into a spray of bullets and blood.

Coolest Scrap: Shots are fired below the table. Which has GOT to hurt…

Mean Streets (1973)

The Brawl: A pool hall fight! As shonky and bite-yer-fist unglamorous as they come, this little number looks and feels totally unchoreographed as a tussle breaks out in a pool hall before the cops show up and quieten everything down.

Coolest Scrap: Robert De Niro swipes up a pool cue and brandishes it like a katana sword, taking on numerous attackers with it. This guy's got balls…

The War Wagon (1967)

The Brawl: Any bar brawl involving the late, great John Wayne is worth a look, but this one's exceptional - a scrap involving swaggering cowboys and Indians. Despite the fact that it's a fight that's over 50 years old, it still holds up today.

Coolest Scrap: One poor old fella wanders in the bar only to get smacked right in the face. What's he ever done to you?!

Near Dark (1987)

The Brawl: Basically, a massacre as Severen's (Bill Paxton) bad behaviour riles the locals so much that they decide to turn him and Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) out. Except that's no quite how it pans out…

Coolest Scrap : Severn turns things to his favour when a biker attempts to strangle him, pinching the biker's shades and snapping his neck.

Airplane! (1980)

The Brawl: A couple of girl scouts act in a very unladylike manner by unsheathing their fists for a girl-on-girl (scout) scrap.

Coolest Scrap:
The fisticuffs come to a climax when one of the girl scouts is sent rocketing across the bartop and into a jukebox - which promptly starts playing 'Stayin' Alive'.

Top Secret! (1984)

The Brawl: Deserves a special mention because it's the only bar fight we can recall that actually happens under water. Nick (Val Kilmer) and the Torch's (Christopher Villiers) spoof scuffle takes them to an underwater saloon.

Coolest Scrap: Nick's finisher move is spinning one fist while punching with the other - and sending Torch crashing through a window.

Trainspotting (1996)

The Brawl: "Who the fuck are you?!" Begbie (Robert Carlyle) lives for the fight, and he kicks off one messy big-screen brawl by chucking a beer glass into a crowd of people and then getting stuck in the middle of the ensuing carnage.

Coolest Scrap: Begbie screams jubilantly and buries his foot in some guy's soft bits.

Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)

The Brawl: "Well, Jones, at least you haven't forgotten how to show a lady a good time." Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) comes to the aid of Marion (Karen Allen), whose bar has been well and truly crashed by Nazi chumps.

Coolest Scrap: The gunfire trade-off. Result? The entire bar ends up burning to a crisp.

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

The Brawl: Well, the entire second half of Robert Rodriguez's genre-bending mayhem-maker is basically one big brawl - though there are some great moments in the Titty Twister that are pure bar-scrap gold.

Coolest Scrap: Just one little moment, as the codpiece gun from Desperado makes a cameo when Sex Machine (Tom Savini) pinches a guy's drink using his lasso…

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.