Dirty Harry (1971)

The ransom rescue sequence in Dirty Harry (1971) clearly reveals how filmmakers can innovate the rescue scenario. On the hand, the sequence exhibits the prototypical character roles associated with the rescue scenario. The sequence features the captive — the kidnapped girl buried in the ground, the rescuer — Inspector Harry Callahan entrusted to deliver the ransom, and the captor — Scorpio the kidnapper who demands $200,000 in ransom for the release of the girl. On the other hand, the rescuing action presented in the sequence takes on a significantly different form. Instead of literally liberating the captive from their state of captivity, the rescuer in this instance provides a ransom to the captor in the belief that they will follow through on the release of the captive.

Dodge City (1939)

One of the most interesting features of action scenarios is their ability to adapt to the genres in which they are situated. This is specifically the case with the western and how it refashions the speed, fight and transfer scenarios. All such genre specific variations can be found in Dodge City (1939), including the saloon brawl, a staple of the western genre.

Face/Off (1997)

The final act set piece in Face/Off (1997) features John Woo’s signature action staging, initially developed in the 1980s heroic bloodshed cycle, as noted in the action profile for A Better Tomorrow (1986), and offers amongst the most notable boat chases in film history. Along the way Woo offers a Mexican standoff and a pursuit sequence that not only reveals changes in mode of pursuit but also a clear illustration how action scenarios can combine horizontally.

Iron Man (2008)

One action scenario that is particularly showcased in Iron Man (2008) is the speed scenario. Tony Stark’s Iron Man armor is the principal reason for this emphasis that is not only weaponized in a variety of ways but is also fitted with arc-reactor-powered repulsors that allow Stark to travel at supersonic speeds.

Lethal Weapon (1987)

The El Mirage Lake shootout featured in Lethal Weapon (1987) closes in a manner typical of 3rd acts in mainstream films, namely through an all-is-lost moment. The moment is dramatically heightened given that it constitutes a reversal of Roger Murtaugh and Martin Riggs’ original rescue plan to save Murtaugh’s daughter Rianne from the hands of Shadow Company, an ex-special forces unit involved in drug smuggling.