If you are a lover of video games, you most certainly have. What makes this scene stand out is that it is shot as one continuous, side-moving tracking shot that bears greater similarity to what you see on a video game screen than a movie screen. The other thing that makes it such a great fight scene is you’ve got one guy with nothing but a hammer and himself taking on a massive gang of thugs and winning.
The great fight scene in “Raging Bull” does not take place inside the ring, but outside a swanky New York nightclub. The element that lifts this fight scene to classic heights and invests it with the quality of being memorable is how it combines horror, shock, and humor. It may not be the greatest fight scene of them all, but it certainly ranks up there as one of the best fight scenes ever shot in black and white.
The spark that ignites the fight takes place inside the nightclub when Joe Pesci cracks a glass upside the head of Frank Vincent. The combatants are separated and Pesci escapes outside first so he can pull a surprise assault when Vincent emerges. You cannot deny that the image of Vincent reaching toward the camera while Pesci is furiously slamming a taxi door against his body is disturbing and violent, but there is a quality of glee with which Pesci is defending the honor of his brother that can quite easily make you laugh.
A decade later Pesci would give another beating to a character played by Vincent that ends in murder in “Goodfellas.” Martin Scorsese finally gave Vincent the chance for payback when he has Pesci’s character take a beating from Vincent’s character.
“They Live” is, hands down, the single greatest science fiction movie ever made. Many of those who don’t go with “Oldboy” consider this to be the most memorable fight scene in movie history. The unnamed character portrayed by pro wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper gets into an alley brawl with a guy who will eventually become his partner in revolution. The fight itself brings nothing much that is new to the game: fists fly, wooden 2-by-4’s smash through windows, the two characters roll around on the ground, Piper fakes losing the fight, and then comes back for more.