Film The 10 Greatest Bitch Slaps in Movie History  

Ian Tindell
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The bitch slap is more than just a slap. It's one of the most famous slaps ever, an outright smack across the face and when it's delivered, you know it's important. bitch slaps are such a potent display of visceral power that movies have been using them since the beginning of the medium, and when used at just the right time and particularly when delivered unto a worthy recipient, they are some of the most satisfying wallops around. Here are the ten most powerful bitchslap in movie history. Honestly, only the best movies have a bitch slap in them!
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This slap gets number one on the list purely out of balls and social importance. Sidney Poitier plays a detective from the North who has to come down to racist Mississippi in the 1960s to help out with a murder investigation. Racial tensions are stirred, and when one rich white guy doesn't feel like being questioned by a black man at 00:53 of this clip, he slaps Poitier. What does Poitier do? He bitch slaps the guy right back without a moment of hesitation. What follows is a poignant examination on the aftermath of a bitch slap, and hesitation over the proper course of action to take upon being slapped like... well, like a total bitch.

The movie came out in 1967, at the height of Martin Luther King Jr.'s preaching of a non-violent approach to combat racism. Now, we're not exactly sure if he ever saw this scene but we feel pretty confident that, if he did, he would have pumped his fist in a celebratory motion just like the rest of us did.

This isn't just a bitch slap, it's a bitch slap that everyone in America can be proud of.

Also Ranked

#49 on The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies

#30 on The Best Movies of the '60s

#19 on Great Movies About Racism Against Black People

#22 on The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the 1960s

see more on In the Heat of the Night
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Kurt Russell has cemented his role as one of cinema's great badasses. Many consider his role as Wyatt Earp in Tombstone to be Russell at his most badass of all. So when Russell lives out every red-blooded heterosexual male's fantasy by bitch slapping the hell out of Billy Bob Thornton at 02:07 in this clip ("And THAT'S for cheating on Angelina Jolie!"), it may ultimately go down as Russell's baddest of ass moments of all time.

Did we mention that Kurt Russell is something of a badass? That's really the main bullet point of our thesis. If you're still confused, we have a pie chart around here somewhere...

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#8 on The Best Western Movies Ever Made

#49 on The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

#14 on The Greatest Movies for Guys

#12 on The Best Movies of 1993

see more on Tombstone
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For every other person to get on this list, they had to either deliver or receive a real, solid smack across the face. But not Don Corleone. All he had to do to get on the bitch slap list was to slap Johnny Fontaine in a bitchlike fashion at 00:15 in this clip, telling him to act like a man. The smack isn't hard, but it carries more weight than any other slap on the list, and do you know why? Because the Johnny Fontaine character is just a stand-in for Frank Sinatra, and anyone who bitch slaps the chairman of the board and gets away with it truly puts the "God" in "Godfather."

(Fun Fact: Did you know that any slap issued by the Godfather automatically qualifies as a bitch slap? It's true! The matter was decided in a committee led by John Cassavetes in 1982.)

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#3 on The Best Movies Based on Books

#2 on The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies

#32 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

#24 on 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

see more on The Godfather
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Slapping a hysterical woman to calm her down is a common occurrence seen in many movies, and is often perceived as the only "socially acceptable" bitch slap we have. (Actually their are 37 sub-genres of bitch slaps, but that's another list altogether.) The best example of this, however, would have to be Airplane's take on the matter when an actual line forms of people hoping to take a crack at the hyperventilating woman embodying this cliche.

The best of all the bitch slaps in this scene however (and there are many) would have to be Leslie Nielsen's second crack at her at 00:17, which is entirely unnecessary and therefore absolutely hilarious.

Incidentally, women don't actually appreciate this kind of bitch slap as much as you might think. Actually, women generally don't appreciate ANY kind of bitch slap, so even if you're just trying to calm someone down we recommend wearing a protective cup just to be on the safe side.

Also Ranked

#55 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

#2 on The Funniest '80s Movies

#3 on The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

#2 on The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

see more on Airplane!