The Top 10 Cinematic Sword Fights

page: 1
<<   2  3 >>

log in


posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 10:07 PM
Hi again ATS,

Ever since I was a little kid I have been a sucker for a good sword-fight. I have just finished reading a book about the history of dueling. In the book there is a large chapter on cinematic dueling and the many great fencing masters and sword-masters that trained the stars. One that stood out was Bob Anderson, a fencing and sword master that was responsible for one of my favorite sword fights in one of my favorite movies (my #1 selection at the end).

Well, unfortunately Mr Anderson has passed away. The last movie that he was working on was Peter Jackson's upcoming Hobbit, and he had worked on all three Lord of The Rings movies.

I also became aware of William Hobbs, who was the choreographer on another favorite, and then I found myself going back and checking out all of these movies, and thinking of others.

And so that's why I wanted to start this thread. These are my top 10 favorite cinematic sword fights. Most are movies but a couple are from favorite anime movies.

I will also add a couple of links so that you can check out William Hobbs and Bob Anderson if you wish.

But mainly, it's totally up for debate. It would be very hard to move me on number 1, however.

What do you think, ATS?


Samurai Champloo. Mugen Vs Jin. Fight #1

A great sword fight! I remember after seeing it for the first time, when it was over, my mouth was hanging open. I hope you are able to go full screen on this one. And turn it up for sure, the sound is really good.

Samurai Champloo


Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) Vs Jen Yu (Zhang Ziyi)

Choreographer: Yuen Wo Ping

I had seen plenty of Kung Fu movies and Hong Kong cinema before this movie came out. So I was not carried away quite as much as some folks by CTHD. But this fight scene just blew my mind. These actors are incredible athletes...

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon


Die Another Day. James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) Vs Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens)

Choreography: Bob Anderson

I am not a great fan of this film, but this is a vicious saber fight choreographed by the famous Bob Anderson. The swords seem really dangerous in this one...

Die Another Day


Rob Roy. Rob Roy (Liam Neeson) Vs Archibald Cunningham (Tim Roth).

Choreographer: William Hobbs.

This one is best seen within the context of the film so that the emotional impact builds. If you have not seen the film; Cunningham is the little foppish guy and he has basically taken everything that Neeson's character had.

Many folks consider this to also be one of the best and most realistic sword fight s ever put on film. Aside from the very skilled actors this is mostly due to sword-master William Hobbs. You will see more of his super down to earth choreography in my selection for #2.

Rob Roy


The Court Jester. Hubert Hawkins A.K.A. "The Fox" (Danny Kaye) Vs Lord Ravenhurst (Basil Rathbone).

Choreography: Fred Cavins

This sword fight left a deep impression on me as a child. In this scene The court jester played by Danny kaye, has been hypnotized to think he is the best fighter in the land. but the problem is, the skill gets switched on and off when he hears someone snap their fingers.

It's amazing to watch Kaye shift back and forth from inept to skilled. The fact is, Kaye had no fencing experience prior to making this film, but Basil Rathbone was an expert fencer. Danny Kaye picked up the ability so quickly on set that Rathbone, it is said, could hardly keep up.

The Court Jester


Kill Bill. The Bride (Uma Thurman) Vs O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu).

Choreographer: Yuen Woo-Ping

I like this one for its pathos and its panache. It always leaves me feeling a little haunted...

Kill Bill


Hero. Nameless (Jet Li) Vs Long Sky (Donnie Yen).

Choreographer:Zhang Yimou.

This is another favorite movie and this sword vs spear scene has always stuck with me. I really think this is one of the most beautiful scenes of this sort ever caught on film. It makes me think that these actors must have really good days, and this must have been one for everyone involved here.



Berserk. Guts and Griffith Vs Zodd the Immortal.

If you have never seen the Berserk anime series you ought to give it a watch. It's some of the best dark fantasy out there.

The series has been remade recently, so I am including both the original and new versions off the Zodd fight scene.

I love this one. Enjoy!





The Duelists. Saber Duel. Lieutenant Gabriel Feraud (Harvey Keitel) Vs Lieutenant Armand d'Hubert (Keith Carradine.

Choreographer: William Hobbs.

This is one of my favorite films. Anyone that has ever seen it knows how sick and tired Armand d'Hubert is of Keitel's character at this point.

The movie is based on a short story by Joseph Conrad which in turn is based on the true story of two professional French military men that had, essentially, an ongoing duel over nearly 20 years that includes 30 or more fights.

The Duellists


The Princess Bride. Inigo Montoya Vs The Dread Pirate Roberts.

Choreographer: Bob Anderson.

Here we have what is at the very least, Bob Anderson's most famous piece of choreography, possibly his masterpiece. Cary Elwes Roberts) and Mandy Patinkin (Inigo) performed the entire duel themselves.

This sword fight is number one on a lot of people's list and this may be the most famous sword fight ever committed to film.

The Princess Bride

Bob Anderson

William Hobbs
edit on 27-11-2012 by Xoanon because:

posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 10:13 PM
The Vikings (1958) Tower sword Fight between Tony Curtis and Kirk Douglas:

This clip is not quite complete. At the end Douglas asks for Curtis' sword, holds it before him, and yells out "Odin" as he dies and falls against the tower.

edit on 11/27/2012 by schuyler because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 10:17 PM
Sorry but this one takes the cake

posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 10:21 PM
reply to post by Xoanon

cool thead

Love the topic and the videos, thanks for posting.


posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 10:30 PM
I was hoping to see a cool Star Wars fight,

but I guess lightsabers don't count.

posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 10:39 PM
reply to post by DarkKnight21

It was hard not to include one. This scene is widely considered to be one of the best cinematic sword-fights ever. I just found it hard to post after having been touched in a bad place by George Lucas.

But here it is...

The Empire Strikes back. Luke Vs Dad Vader

Choreography: None other than Bob Anderson, who also stunt doubled for Vader...

The Empire Strikes Back

posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 10:45 PM
reply to post by Xoanon

Well, personally, I like the Highlander movies, they had some intersting sword fighting scenes;

This would be the last scene of the first movie, but Fasil's head coming off is short and sweet earlier in the movie. I collect older weapons and have my own katanas so I appreciate this kind of a thread ;-)

Cheers - Dave

posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 10:55 PM
reply to post by Xoanon

Wow, no Zorro or Highlander scenes. Very disappointing. S&F anyway.

posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 10:59 PM
I could not find the signature fight on you tube but go way back to the sixties and Shintaro, the Samurai, as he takes on a bridge full of black ninja.

This series was the start of great Far East sword fights. More importantly theu were done with no special effects and the sword play was very accurate.


posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 11:11 PM
Wasn't there some really cool ones in that movie where Tom Cruise played a white samurai?

posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 11:18 PM
Some other notable sword fight scenes.

The Matrix. This one is very slick.

The move 300 has some good sword swinging

Errol Flyn Robin Hood

The 13th Warrior

Lord of the Rings had some good sword fights

The sword fight from Troy here is pretty dang good as well.
edit on 27-11-2012 by grey580 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 11:51 PM
This sword fight always stuck with me. It's not graceful. It's not elegant, but wearing armor in a fight must have been exhausting.

posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 12:02 AM
Well, it's still a cool thread..

thank you all for the great sword fights!!

posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 01:10 AM
reply to post by Xoanon

All good fight scenes and I got to give number one to the princes bride just because he waited all that time for the masked man to climb the cliff. It sure was nice of him, second best part was the sword fight between him and the six fingered man, the freaking line is like burned in my head and most likely everybody who seen the movie.

Hello my name is Inigo Montoya you killed my father prepare to die.

Ya I confess its one of my favorite movies, but only because of the comedy and the sword fight scenes that and the ROUS. They do exist.

And the berserk scene I think I remember but not quite like that, It must of been from the newer version of berserk anime I got to watch that sometime as I watched the original berserk years ago.

The rob roy fight scene, rob roy is doing it all wrong hes trying to duel a duelist. He should of just garbed him from the beginning head butted him then swipe at him with his sword like he was trying to do and eventually he would of died from bludgeoning the way he was going at it. I mean really, and the guy in the wig, well that's why you don't showboat kids.

The rest are pretty cool to, I seen a few fight scenes I cant remember some off the top of my head, but the Zatoichi ones and the lone wolf and cub come to mind. Just scenes that I can think of in no particular order or categorization.

Awesome sword fight scene, one of the coolest and more real based fight scenes. Or as real as it can get in a movie.

Another one from one of the newer Zatoichi the blind swordsman movies. It also teaches an important lesson of why you dont waste time and energy talking or playing yourself up in a sword fight. At least not against Zatoichi.

Lone Wolf and cub, its like a sword fight every other scene.

Ninja assassin which came out a year or so ago had a bunch of cool and awesome sword fight scenes and crazy ninja action scenes.

Samurai Champloo cool anime up there with cowboy bebop only with swords instead of guns and spaceships.

Sword of the stranger, its swordtastic.

There more like samurai x, or ninja scroll, and the count of monte cristo fight scene, in fact there is just to many that it all gets jumbled in my head and cant focus on what is from which movie or scene.

And then there is this scene, newbs.

edit on 28-11-2012 by galadofwarthethird because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 03:30 AM
Let's not forget Errol Flynn in Robin Hood. He didn't just use the bow and arrow.

I can't find a clip for it but Bruce Campbell had one heck of a sword fight scene in Army of darkness.

posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 04:56 AM

Originally posted by happykat39
Let's not forget Errol Flynn in Robin Hood. He didn't just use the bow and arrow.

I am a sucker for an Errol Flynn movie, but in the majority of his sword fights, the real talent, as with Danny Kaye in The Court Jester, lay with the awesomeness that was Basil Rathbone.

Rathbone was an actual swordsman, and was so good that he could make anyone who fought with him look like they knew what they were doing...the same could be said for his acting ability too (on a side note, no-one will EVER surpass his Sherlock Holmes - genius).

But Errol was prettier...and damn did he look good in tights...

A little obscure, but not previously mentioned, the duel from the Polish film Deluge, is one of my favourites...

And, I also have to agree with an earlier poster who mentioned The Vikings...but I love that film anyway

ETA: A fuller clip of the Douglas/Curtis fight...

edit on 28-11-2012 by KilgoreTrout because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 10:59 AM
I couldn't find the actual fight scene but this movie (Samuari fiction) has some of the best and sometimes fun fight scenes along with Akakage (Red Shadow)

posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 01:24 PM
There are several good sword fights in this Robin Hood movie:

Some of the sword fights shown here, some of the faves, are enhanced by special effects. At least fights such as in this movie, though choreographed, are not fake in the sense they never took place or were done with actors in front of a blue screen where the fancy swordsmanship was added by computer.

posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 03:17 PM
Another oldie but goodie...The Three Musketeers...

And especially check out Gene Kelly's acrobatics and vaulting...ALL his own work...

I'm pretty nifty with a poly-foam broad sword myself, I've run my young son through on numerous occasions

I'm with schulyer, it's the athleticism that entertains me, the CGI stuff leaves me cold...but none of it is real of course, and faced with an actual combatant, all that fancy stuff would get their arms hacked off at the shoulder.

Which, speaking of flesh wounds...

Probably the most realistic of all in many ways

posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 03:31 PM
In my top ten list, Princess Bride would also be #1. But I think I may have included the battle scene from Army of Darkness as well, I'm a Bruce Campbell fan. Also, I would have given honorable mention to Raiders of the Lost Ark; the best way to win a sword fight is to shoot your opponet with a gun.

top topics

<<   2  3 >>

log in