5) Ring of Steel— (1994 Directed by David Frost)
This movie which I discovered in the value section of the movie rental store a couple of years ago was a great
surprise. It featured the story of an Olympic fencer who inadvertently killed an opponent in a match and is forced to
enter an underground gladiatorial combat arena. One of the refreshing things is the hero uses a rapier and faces off against a katana wielding villain. While I like Katanas their proliferation after the success of Highlander did dismay
me. While a still a “B” movie it is funny and has a lot of sword fights between different styles and weapons.
4) Star Wars Episode 1- (1999 Directed by George Lucas)
Yeah I know it has Jar Jar Binks in it and it disappointed a generation of fans but it was first movie that conveyed what a battle between Jedi masters would be like. The fight between Obi-wan and Darth was okay but Return of the Jedi gave us a hint
of what a Jedi would be like in his prime and episode one for all its other failings showcased Jedi skills in the climactic battle between Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon and Darth Maul.
3) Hero (aka Ying Xiong) 2002 directed by Yimou Zhang)
With Jet Li in the starring role we know that the actions scenes are going to be first rate but this movie is also one
of the most cinematically beautiful martial arts films of all time. The fights are well choreographed and are made to flow in the breathtaking environments that they take place in. The story is as important as the fights and teaches a lesson about history and sacrifice without being preachy.
2) Zorro (1998 Directed by Martin Campbell)
Zorro has been starring in movies since 1925 and this update from the 90’s made it cool to be fencer again. Antonio Bandera brings out the serious and light hearted sides of the character well and provides a most interesting way to disrobe Catherine Zeta– Jones. A must see for all fans of classic swashbuckling movies.
1) Highlander (1986 Directed by Russell Mulcahy)
The one movie that has led to more bad sequels and more useless internet discussions then all other still it is by far
as the best movie with a sword in it. I went to see if at the movies having seen no previews and knowing nothing about the film and was blown away. The movie is original and the sword fights are great not just for action but each seems to have its own character and place in the plot. (And no I am not going to say there can be only one film– oops I just did).