Question of the Day: Is This the Best Gunfight Scene in Movie History?

The story goes that Harrison Ford had the flu when he was supposed to shoot a fight scene for The Raiders of the Lost Ark. The result was an on-the-spot script change that will live forever in movie history as the best ever-gunfight. Of course, you may beg to differ. Don’t beg! Paste. Just paste the YouTube url in a comment below – without adding text. Anyway, why would you? Great gunfight scenes speak for themselves. And us.


    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Sums up my response to all anti-self defense critics.

    2. avatar Hoystory says:

      No guns actually fired. I don’t think this qualifies as a gunfight video.

    3. avatar Noishkel says:

      Well this isn’t a gun fight, but it’s definitely weapon related. :p

  1. avatar bmworld says:

    Tombstone the ambush down by the river

    1. avatar BDub says:

      Oooo, good one!

  2. avatar Steve says:

    Open Range

    1. avatar Vince Peyton says:

      Open Rang is my first pick by far but Act of valor is second.

    2. avatar Tyler Kee says:

      This one

  3. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    1. avatar DrVino says:

      Is that covering fire or suppressing fire?

      1. avatar Jim R says:

        Looked more like suppressing fire to me.

      2. avatar DonS says:

        With an M134, it’s “shred whatever I’m pointing at” fire.

        Covering and/or suppressing is a side effect.

    2. avatar Mike says:

      Am I the only one who screamed “YEAAAHHHH” at the top of their lungs when that boat comes into view and lets loose?

  4. avatar JaxD says:

    Wouldn’t they both need a gun for it to be a gunfight?

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      It was a gunfight–it’s just that one guy brought a[n] [overgrown] knife to it.. 😉

    2. avatar Wayne B says:

      Ok, let’s get picky eh! Merriam Webster defines “gunfight” as “A fight in which people shoot guns at each other”. But. like the fellow said, “The guy forgot and brought a knife to a gunfight!”

    3. avatar S.CROCK says:

      Nah it was still a gun fight, just they both broke some of the rules. Guy with sword broke rule #1 (have a gun) and Indiana Jones broke rule #2 (have a long gun).

  5. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    1. avatar Gene says:

      Not only a great sequence, but a valid response for the caliber wars post.

  6. avatar Bigred2989 says:

    That ROTLA scene was shot that way because Ford and half the cast and crew had Dysentery. Ford was ready to crap his pants so he asked if he couldn’t just shoot the guy instead of fighting him with a sword.

    1. avatar Dr_EluSive says:

      This one has to be one of my favorite. More realistic than most.

    2. avatar Taylor TX says:

      Yea Heat is one of my favs as well, the first Payday: The Heist game has a map called Heat Street, fun as hell.


      1. avatar Slick says:

        Hey, in payday 2 you can get robert de niro’s glasses as a “mask”. Awesome game!

        1. avatar Taylor TX says:

          yea the shades for Infamy I are OK, but I love my plague doctor infamy 2 mask 🙂

    3. avatar Noishkel says:

      Oh hell yeah… the thing that really impressed me about that scene was how sound of the gun fire just reverberated through the city.

      1. avatar Matt says:

        I love the shootout from Heat for the same reason; the sound is intense and one of the few movies that I think get it right.!

    4. avatar OakRiver says:

      ‘Heat’ was my first thought too. Amazing film

    1. avatar Peter says:

      I like how the gunfight in Shane is shot, so you can’t tell the difference in height between Palance and Ladd.

    2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      The really bad part though is that the shot to the guy on top of the staircase was into the floor…

      1. avatar Taylor TX says:

        haha upon further review of the massive cloud of powder/smoke, I would concur 🙂

    3. avatar MothaLova says:

      Excellent choice. Not to be forgotten is any part of the gunfight from High Noon:

    1. avatar the ruester says:

      +10 thousand billion

      William Munney rides again!

  7. avatar Gunr says:

    Ya gotta remember, Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight, no matter how big it is!

  8. avatar QuantumZen says:

    1. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

  9. avatar Another Robert says:

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      Sorry for the duplicate post, I was a long time putting this one up I guess…

  10. avatar Han Shot says:

    Another classic Harrison Ford moment.

    1. avatar SGC says:

      HELL YES!

      1. avatar Slick says:

        Back when Dorkly was awesome…..

    2. avatar slicer87 says:

      Reminds me when Obi-Wan shoots Grievous in Revenge of the Sith.

    1. avatar the ruester says:

      Very careless of you, old man…

    2. avatar MJJ says:

      To this day, those Eastwood Spaghetti Westerns still get to me. *Sigh* I may have to do some binge watching soon…

    3. avatar NJ2AZ says:

      beat me to it. i love this movie and especially this scene.

      go ahead and shoot me colonel…just try

  11. avatar Cameron B says:

    Toss up between “Charlie don’t surf” and hospital sence from “hard boiled”

  12. avatar Christian Lowe says:

    Not even a question…

    1. avatar MJJ says:

      Eli Wallach just died during the last week or two. Another great, gone from us.

    2. avatar Cameron B says:


  13. avatar Duder McDude says:

    Appaloosa – Fight at Jailhouse.:

  14. avatar MJJ says:

    Sadly, the stuntman who wielded the sword in Raiders died, recently. Speaking as a professional fight director/choreographer, that scene is my favorite movie fight scene.

  15. avatar the ruester says:

    Awesome. Figures that TTAGers love westerns.

    1. avatar Taylor TX says:

      Yea it seems the few things we can agree on, are westerns, and Steve McQueen.

      Then again, I grew up with my dad watching anything that had the Duke or Clint Eastwood in it…

  16. avatar Another Robert says:

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      Two things: just before this opens Gibson’s character placed several loaded rifles behind several different trees nearby, and the shooting pretty well stops at 2:07.

      1. avatar BDub says:

        One of my favorite scenes from any movie.

  17. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Inglorious Bastards bar scene

    1. avatar Sian says:

      You know, fighting in a basement offers a lot of difficulties. Number one being, you’re fighting in a basement .

    2. avatar Gunr says:

      Do you suppose there’s anything left to drink after all that shooting?

    3. avatar Matt says:

      Another of my favorites realism wise for just how fast it goes down. You beat me to posting it!

  18. avatar Michael B. says:

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Somebody taught TC well for this

    2. avatar 80 D says:

      Yeah, just rewatched this flick recently and had forgotten about this scene. Watched it again in slo-mo. Pretty bad ass!

    3. avatar Gunr says:

      Really great scene, short, but great! I love the way he keeps the one dude from “testifying” later.

      1. avatar Big B says:

        This was the scene I was thinking was one of the best. I believe it was Taran Butler that was Cruise’s coach in this movie.

  19. avatar Cesare says:

    For my money, the gun fight at the end of To Live and Die in LA. It’s fast, close range, and confusing. It also makes the excellent point that even though you have hit your opponent they may in fact not actually die in a timely fashion, say, before they hit you, and powerfully as well. If there was ever a stark visual refutation to the anti’s perennial query of, ‘couldn’t they just have wounded him?’ this is it. Like the redhead too.

    1. avatar Avid Reader says:

      Come to think of it, I agree with you on that one.

  20. avatar Hannibal says:

    Yes. the simplicity and anti-climactic nature was just great.

    And Indy shot first, at least until there’s a re-release.

  21. avatar Texas Jon says:

    One of my faves, totally classic. Silverado near the end, Paden (Kevin Kline) and Cobb (Brian Dennehy). The good guy wins. A great gunfight!!

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

  22. avatar Charles says:

    LOL I have to admit Robert that was the absolute best fight scene in it’s day 🙂 Sure there have been others since that are close, but none equal, the look on Harrison Ford’s face is priceless.

    1. avatar Nurse K says:

      That is one thing about Blackhawk Down that wasn’t very clear in the movie. Those Little Birds were running all day long. Multiple trips to reload. The movie only showed them run once but they were mowing the Somalians down almost the whole time.

  23. avatar Dr_EluSive says:

    The Heat scene is probably my favorite “real” scene.

    But this one i could watch over and over again..

    1. avatar Taylor TX says:

      Yea the Omaha scene is great, but nothing like throwing a mortar round at someone!

  24. avatar Joe R. says:

    I am too uncool to do the video clip, but my favorite is Bruce Willis’ character taking back the bridge of the Floston Paradise Cruise Ship in the Fifth Element, I think a close top-twenty honorable mention, is the shoot-out in the lobby (same movie).

    1. avatar Javenis Mydaus says:

  25. avatar former water walker says:

    My vote goes to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The battle between humans and apes with a chimpanzee shooting 2 machine guns on horseback is priceless. And hilarious. If the filmmakers were going anti-gun message they FAILED miserably. Arm up…the apes are coming!

  26. avatar Stephen M. says:

    The church scene in The Killer.

    Archetypal John Woo at his finest.

  27. avatar SGC says:

    Can’t leave Harry out…:)

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      I love this scene, except I doubt that Harry would have come in the place and confronted these dudes, with his 44 mag still in it’s holster??

  28. avatar Pulatso says:

    I’d also like to throw out the ending of The Man From Nowhere. There’s only about a minute of shooting before they run out of bullets and it turns into a knife fight, but it’s an intense scene nontheless.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      Not to mention it’s just a great movie…

    1. avatar bontai Joe says:

      You beat me to it. I love “Quigley Down Under”. There are so many great westerns and military movie gun fight scenes to pick from, that I would have a very difficult time picking just one scene. The finale of “Act of Valor” is the ultimate scene in sheer volume of fire, but classic westerns like “High Noon”, “Silverado”, “Shane”, and more obscure movies like “Valdez is Coming”, “The Professionals” and so many more. It is really hard for me to pick one and say it’s the best, so having to pick only one, It’s Quigley.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        The best payoff ever: “I said I never had much use for one. Never said I didn’t know how to use it.”

  29. avatar GuntotinDem says:

  30. avatar Broken 3ight says:

    1. avatar Broken 3ight says:

      This too.

    1. avatar Taylor TX says:

      I knew this one had to make it on there, love the free cheese in a mouse trap line.

  31. avatar GuntotinDem says:

  32. avatar Maineuh says:

    How about the final scene in Reservoir Dogs? Everybody gets a bullet.

    1. avatar Bernard says:

      That guy hates guns, even though…

  33. avatar Southerner says:

    1. avatar TTACer says:


    1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      Onece Upon a Time in the West is one of my favorites. The final duel was and reveal was great too.

      1. avatar NJ2AZ says:

        Claudia Cardinale…hummahumma..

        Also, a tip of my cap to you for fleeing the NY/NJ area for the desert as well. I was born in NJ and lived there for 25+ years and i can’t possibly imagine ever moving back…

        1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

          I made the stupid mistake of going back for a while after college. I realized right away that I made a mistake and booked it back to Free America. My wife is from NJ, she feels the same way.

        2. avatar NJ2AZ says:

          You n me got a lot in common. I’m from NJ and the old ball and chain is from NY. Next you’re gonna tell me you studied a STEM area in college.

        3. avatar NYC2AZ says:

          Yep. I don’t think the colleges were calling it STEM way back in 2005, but my degrees fall into that category.

    2. avatar tdiinva says:


  34. avatar PA rez says:

    Wow, too many great ones to point to one as being the best. See many of my favorites referenced already. I do remember however being a kid and laughing out loud in the movie theater when ‘Indiana’ whipped out his Webley and blasted that swash-buckling sword dude. (we all laughed, it turned out to be a classic scene)

  35. avatar John in Ohio says:

    One of my all time favorites and a valuable life lesson. 😉

    1. avatar Taylor TX says:

      I always wondered about that wet bathtub pistol, in the TV series Hell on Wheels, there is a very similiar scene but the guy in the bathtub gets his blaster dropped in the bathtub.

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        IDK. What I did take from that scene years ago was:

        1) Seeking vengeance can get you killed.
        2) Always be armed; always.
        3) There’s a time to talk and there’s a time to act. Confusing the two can be deadly.

  36. avatar alanhinMN says:

    1969 The Wild Bunch

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      That was going to be my contribution.

      Spoofed in Kelly’s Heroes.

  37. avatar Paul says:

    I don’t have the vid link but the best gunfight scene is the bar shootout in “The Unforgiven”.

  38. avatar Buddy says:

    Um… Why is that video in the OP of this post? Don’t you all realize how evil Dr. Jones was???

  39. avatar Rokurota says:

    L. A. Confidential — a very underrated movie and a classic gunfight, IMO

    1. avatar Former Water Walker says:

      Not underated at all…voted best movie of 1997 by movie critics. Should have beat the lame Titannic. That scene was awesome. It made me go out and buy a pump shotgun! LOL

  40. avatar Noishkel says:

    I think I’ll throw my vote out for this one from the movie Equilibrium.

  41. avatar dwb says:

    Picking the best gunfight scene is like picking the right caliber for your weapon. They are all good, but one is clearly king, and its the .357 magnum, like Indie is wielding in Raiders

  42. avatar TTACer says:

    Beginning of The Devil’s Own

  43. avatar MattG says:

    The gun fight between the LAPD and a group of bank robbers in Michael Mann’s Heat is by far the best IMO. Mann is a shooting enthusiast and his attention to detail/realism shows. He is also a certified firearms instructor.

  44. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    Since the best shootout is the one that never happens, you gotta consider the sheriff’s split personality scene in Blazing Saddles….

  45. avatar Michael Lines says:

    I can’t believe it – no one has put up this one?

    1. avatar Harrycarry says:

      Darn it, beat me too it.

  46. There is the bank robbery sequence in Heat

    Then there is everything else


  47. avatar David_TheMan says:

  48. avatar MontieR says:

    He broke the number 1 rule NEVER go to a gunfight with a knife.

  49. avatar 101nomad says:

    If Ford had the flu like the flu I have had, he would not have been there.

  50. avatar iam says:

    My Name Is Nobody Bar fight Funny Scene:

  51. avatar tdiinva says:

    Can’t find any clips but two scenes from the movie “The Wind and the Lion.” are great gun fights. The Marines march to the Palace and the Marines rescue Mrs. Perdicaras and her son.

    1. avatar Lord Wulfgen says:

      Grrrr…. what am I doing wrong? Embed, damn you!

    2. avatar Lord Wulfgen says:

      Hooray! I CAN work the internetz!

  52. avatar bob says:

    Star trek into darkness. Khan vs Klingons.

    NO Question. Best gun fight ever.

  53. avatar Tactical Dad says:


    1. avatar Travis says:

      I was scrolling to the bottom to see whether or not I had to posts this.

      Glad to see my work here is already done.

  54. avatar LeadSlinger says:

  55. avatar Mr Pierogie says:

  56. avatar pappy says:

    The scene at the end of The Kingdom is pretty good. Also in the middle of the movie when they were ambushed.

    1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      My old house was in that movie during the initial attack and chase sequence. “The western housing compound” was family housing for ASU Polytechnic.

  57. avatar Dave says:

    The entire Lone Survivor movie.

  58. avatar Matt B says:

    All the best ones were already posted, so I’ll choose this one. Even though Doc Holliday appears to have a few too many bullets in his pistols, I thought this was a well filmed shootout. [youtube

  59. avatar pcman312 says:

    Worthy of mention:

  60. avatar tony bologny says:

    Not “the best” but just an addition to an amazing list…

  61. avatar LJM says:

    Personally my vote is Heat, not even close.

    But since I don’t think this was mentioned, how about another Pacino classic

  62. avatar Alex says:

    Maybe not the best, but it’s a good one.

  63. avatar MiniMe says:

    Shootout scene on “The Professional”

    Vazquez going nuts on “Aliens”

  64. avatar Dox47 says:

    Never could figure out why he didn’t just use the shotgun on the door too, but the cattle stunner is definitely more sinister. Casually closing the shower curtain is probably my favorite part of the scene, it’s just so cold.

  65. avatar Dennis says:

    “Fill your hands you sonufabitch!”

  66. avatar Gecko46 says:

    This is a great one featuring the recently deceased Dave Legeno,


  67. avatar Gecko46 says:

    Desperado is another great one


  68. avatar Edward Zick says:

  69. avatar JuanCudz says:

    You Can't Hit Albert Finney! by cliporama2

    “The old man’s still an artist with a Thompson.”

  70. avatar Jeremy says:

    The street scene from Heat is awesome, most of Blackhawk Down qualifies, Shooter is one of my favorite movies (I’m a HUGE fan of the Bob Lee Swagger books), so this clip may not be the best of all time, but it’s badassery is undeniable.


  71. avatar dwr says:

    “Folks that throw dirt on you aren’t always trying to hurt you, and folks who pull you out of a jam aren’t always trying to help you.” – Jack Beauregard

  72. avatar Raylan Givens says:

    I’d have to say the one from heat is by far the best. Puts you right into the action it feels like

    Also am kinda partial to the scene from the A-team movie outside the bank in Germany.

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