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
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
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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 ;-)
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)
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)
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
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.
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
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