En garde! Rousing Swashbucklers

Films of great daring-do and swordplay.
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1.
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard's absence, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army. (102 mins.)
“ Flynn's best, mixing humor, drama, swordplay and archery. There are evil villains and pretty maidens. Still unparalleled. ” - grendelkhan
 
2.
The Sea Hawk (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Geoffrey Thorpe, a buccaneer, is hired by Queen Elizabeth I to nag the Spanish Armada. The Armada is waiting for the attack on England and Thorpe surprises them with attacks on their galleons where he shows his skills on the sword. (127 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
“ The better of Flynn's pirate movies, with the actor more confident and the scenes more epically staged. ” - grendelkhan
 
3.
Captain Blood (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
After being wrongly convicted as a traitor, Peter Blood, an English physician, is sent to exile in the British colonies of the Caribbean, where he becomes a pirate. (119 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
“ Flynn in his early swashbuckling days. His acting is a bit off, but there are some great battles. The first of the Rafael Sabatini adaptations. ” - grendelkhan
 
4.
The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An Englishman on a Ruritarian holiday must impersonate the king when the rightful monarch, a distant cousin, is drugged and kidnapped. (101 mins.)
Director: John Cromwell
“ Ronald Coleman stars in the classic dual role, with Douglas fairbanks Jr playing the villain for a change. Court intrigue, romance and an epic sabre battle make this memorable. Created the "Ruritanian" adjective. ” - grendelkhan
 
5.
The Mark of Zorro (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A young aristocrat must masquerade as a fop in order to maintain his secret identity of Zorro as he restores justice to early California. (94 mins.)
“ In my opinion, the best of the Zorro films (sorry Douglas). Tyrone Power plays both the fop and the hero, while Basil Rathbone sneers as only he can. Rousing score adds to the excitement. ” - grendelkhan
 
6.
The Three Musketeers (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
D'Artagnan and his musketeer comrades thwart the plans of Royal Prime Minister Richelieu to usurp the King's power. (125 mins.)
Director: George Sidney
“ Gene Kelly as D'Artagnan adds a bit of dancer flare to things, while Lana Turner is the femme fatale. Pretty good, if a bit long. I prefer the Richard Lester films, but this is very entertaining. ” - grendelkhan
 
7.
Scaramouche (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
18th century France. A man sets out to avenge the death of his friend at the hands of a master swordsman. (115 mins.)
Director: George Sidney
“ Stewart Granger as the wronged man in search of revenge. Mel Ferrer is the villain and Janet Leigh the love interest. Granger is never as charming as Flynn, but the climactic sword battle is unequalled. ” - grendelkhan
 
8.
The Crimson Pirate (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Burt Lancaster plays a pirate with a taste for intrigue and acrobatics who involves himself in the goings... (105 mins.)
Director: Robert Siodmak
“ Burt Lancaster shows how a pirate should be played. Tons of fun, with the craziest battle ever unleashed in the climax. Nick Cravat, Lancaster's circus partner, plays the mute Ojo, to comic effect. ” - grendelkhan
 
9.
The Flame and the Arrow (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Dardo, a Robin Hood-like figure, and his loyal followers use a Roman ruin in Medieval Lombardy as their headquarters as they conduct an insurgency against their Hessian conquerors. (88 mins.)
“ Burt's earlier swashbuckler, an ersatz Robin Hood-meets-William Tell. Virginia Mayo is the love interest. Pretty good, but Crimson Pirate is much better. ” - grendelkhan
 
10.
At Sword's Point (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
In 1648 France, it's the sons (and daughter) of the Three Musketeers to the rescue! (81 mins.)
Director: Lewis Allen
“ Maureen O'Hara gets to wield a rapier, alongside Cornell Wilde, Alan Hale Jr., and Dan O'Herlihy. Nice bit of intrigue and some pretty good swordplay. ” - grendelkhan
 
11.
Against All Flags (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Brian Hawke of the Royal Navy versus the pirates of Madagascar. (84 mins.)
Director: George Sherman
“ Not Flynn's best, but Maureen O'Hara adds a nice twist, as a female pirate captain. her fencing won't win awards, but she has a decent lunge. ” - grendelkhan
 
12.
The Black Swan (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
An ex-pirate contends with rowdy buccaneers and a love-hate relationship with an aristocratic woman who's tougher than she seems. (87 mins.)
Director: Henry King
“ Tyrone Power, Maureen O'Hara, and George Sanders make for a great pirate film. Sabatini is there only in the title, but the film is fun, even if Power isn't quite the charmer that Flynn was. He is, however, very believable when he is deadly serious. ” - grendelkhan
 
13.
Blackbeard, the Pirate (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Honest Edward Maynard finds himself serving as ship's surgeon under the infamous pirate Blackbeard. (99 mins.)
Director: Raoul Walsh
“ Robert Newton really gets to chew some scenery. The hero is rather lacking, but Newton is entertaining enough to keep you interested. ” - grendelkhan
 
14.
Treasure Island (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The treasure seeking adventures of young Jim Hawkins and pirate captain Long John Silver. (96 mins.)
Director: Byron Haskin
“ Robert Newton stars in the Robert Louis Stevenson pirate classic. Much of the cast is rather wooden, but Newton carries things with the strength of his personality. Originator of the "arrgh" pirate jokes. ” - grendelkhan
 
15.
The Three Musketeers (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A young swordsman comes to Paris and faces villains, romance, adventure and intrigue with three Musketeer friends. (106 mins.)
Director: Richard Lester
“ By far the best of the Dumas adaptations, faithful to both the story and the characters, as well as the elements of humor, though played more broadly. The swordplay is far closer to reality than most films, with duels far less elegant and more brutal. Faye Dunaway is delisciously evil, aided by Christopher Lee and Charlton Heston is a rare turn as a villain. Oliver Reed is perfect as Athos and Frank Finlay a wonderfully boastful Porthos. ” - grendelkhan
 
16.
The Four Musketeers: Milady's Revenge (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The Four Musketeers defend the queen and her dressmaker from Cardinal Richelieu and Milady de Winter. (108 mins.)
Director: Richard Lester
“ More part two than sequel (it was filmed with the Three Musketeers). This is the darker half of the story, but still manages some great comedy, especially the breakfast amidst a battle. ” - grendelkhan
 
17.
Swashbuckler (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
A pirate and a hot-tempered noblewoman join forces to protect Jamaica from a tyrant. (101 mins.)
Director: James Goldstone
“ This tries hard, and succeeds for a great portion of the time, though mostly carried by Robert Shaw and James Earl Jones. Peter Boyle is pretty evil, but lacks the seductive charm that many of the great swashbuckler villains had. ” - grendelkhan
 
18.
The Fifth Musketeer (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
King Louis XIV has without his knowledge a twin brother, Philippe, but when he is told, he immediately locks up his brother in the Bastille... (116 mins.)
Director: Ken Annakin
“ Beau Bridges, along with father LLoyd, adapt the Man in the Iron Mask. Cornell Wilde and Alan Hale Jr. are back in their roles from At Swords Point, with Jose Ferrer as Athos. Ian McShane is the villainous Fouquet, while Rex Harrison is Colbert. It has its moments. ” - grendelkhan
 
19.
The Corsican Brothers (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
(111 mins.)
Director: Gregory Ratoff
“ Douglas Fairbanks Jr. stars in the classic tale of twin heroes. ” - grendelkhan
 
20.
The Man in the Iron Mask (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Despotic King Louis XIV discovers he has a twin brother who has grown up under the tutelage of his foster father, the patriotic musketeer D'Artagnan. (113 mins.)
Director: James Whale
“ Louis Hayward is the twin hero in this adaptation of Dumas. Not quite as rousing as the Musketeers. ” - grendelkhan
 
21.
The Count of Monte-Cristo (1975 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A young officer, falsely imprisoned by his jealous "friends," escapes and uses a hidden treasure to exact his revenge. (119 mins.)
Director: David Greene
“ Richard Chamberlain stars in this version of the Dumas' classic tale of revenge. Chamberlain gets more to do than he did in the Lester Musketeer films and handles it well. Tony Curtis didn't quite carry his weight here. ” - grendelkhan
 
22.
The Court Jester (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A hapless carnival performer masquerades as the court jester as part of a plot against an evil ruler who has overthrown the rightful king. (101 mins.)
“ Danny Kaye gets to play a bumbling Flynn wannabe. Lots of fun, with Kaye's signature wordplay, songs, and some pretty good stunts. ” - grendelkhan
 
23.
The Man in the Iron Mask (1977 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The story of Louis XIV of France and his attempts to keep his identical twin brother Philippe imprisoned away from sight and knowledge of the public... (100 mins.)
Director: Mike Newell
“ Chamberlain returns in another adaptation of Dumas, with Patrick McGoohan as Fouquet and Ralph Richardson as Colbert. Jenny Agutter is lovely as Louise. ” - grendelkhan
 
24.
The Mask of Zorro (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A young thief, seeking revenge for the death of his brother, is trained by the once great, but aged Zorro, who also pursues vengeance of his own. (136 mins.)
Director: Martin Campbell
“ Antonio Banderas gets to live out a dream as a modern Zorro and does it quite well, with Catherine Zeta Jones as the love interest. Very well done. ” - grendelkhan
 
25.
Zorro (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
In the New World, a new Spanish governor finds the province of Nueva Aragón under the iron fist of the corrupt Colonel Huerta and vows to bring justice under the guise of a masked avenger. (124 mins.)
Director: Duccio Tessari
“ Alain Delon dons the black mask, while Stanley Baker assumes the villainous role. Rousing fun, with Moustache adding some comic touches. great battle at the end. ” - grendelkhan
 
26.
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader. (121 mins.)
Director: George Lucas
“ Mixing elements of the swashbuckler with westerns and war films. The swashbuckling stufff is mostly on the Death Star. ” - grendelkhan
 
27.
The Son of Monte Cristo (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
In 1865, General Gurko Lanen is dictator of "Lichtenburg" in the Balkans. Rightful ruler Zona hopes to get aid from Napoleon III of France... (102 mins.)
Director: Rowland V. Lee
“ One of several Monte Cristo films, it has more in common with the Prisoner of Zenda and succeeds mostly due to George Sanders' villainy. ” - grendelkhan
 
28.
The Great Race (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A grand adventurous race takes place between the heroic Leslie and the despicable Professor Fate across three continents. (160 mins.)
Director: Blake Edwards
“ Not really a swashbuckler, but it has a great send-up of the Prisoner of Zenda in the second half, with a nice recreation of the climactic sabre battle; this time, with Tony Curtis and Ross Martin. Jack lemmon steals the film as Prof. Fate and it has probably the single greatest pie fight in cinema history. ” - grendelkhan
 
29.
The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A noblewoman discovers her husband is The Scarlet Pimpernel, a vigilante who rescues aristocrats from the blade of the guillotine. (97 mins.)
Director: Harold Young
“ Leslie Howard as Sir Percy Blakeny, with Raymond Massey as the villain. A bit low key for modern tastes, but good. ” - grendelkhan
 
30.
The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
During the French Revolution, a mysterious English nobleman known only as The Scarlet Pimpernel (a humble wayside flower)... (142 mins.)
Director: Clive Donner
“ Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour star in this update of the Baroness Orczy classic, with Ian McKellan in the villain role. Andrews shows a bit more here than in some of his other roles, carrying off the fop well. ” - grendelkhan
 
31.
The Scarlet Pimpernel (1999 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
During the turmoil of the French Revolution, English aristocrat Percy Blakeney, often aided by his League of friends, secretly undertakes various daring missions as the Scarlet Pimpernel. (540 mins.)
“ TV series, with Richard E Grant. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Grant captures the adventure elements and the swashbuckling well, while Martin Shaw is an excellent Cheuvelin, though somewhat less fanatical than in the stories. The Blakeny's are quite nicely essayed, as a couple, by Grant and Elizabeth McGovern. ” - grendelkhan
 
32.
La fille de d'Artagnan (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
The story begins on the autumn of 1654 in South France. Eloise lives in a cloister. Her famous father left her there... (125 mins.)
“ Nice modern take on the Musketeers, with Sophie Marceau as the daughter of D'Artagnan (Phillipe Noiret). Much better than the Randall Wallace Man in the Iron Mask and Marceau is pretty wild with the sword. There is a nice "curtain bow" at the end, featuring the main performers. ” - grendelkhan
 
33.
The Mark of Zorro (1974 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
In the 1840s, the foppish Don Diego de la Vega returns from Spain to his family in California to find... (78 mins.)
Director: Don McDougall
“ Frank Langella stars in this remake of the Tyrone Power classic, using the same script and score. Ricardo Montalban easily steals the film as the villain, stepping into Rathbone's boots. Fostered a love of Zorro in my childhood. ” - grendelkhan
 
34.
The Sign of Zorro (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
In this film, edited from eight episodes of Disney's hit TV series, Don Diego returns home to find his town under the heel of a cruel dictator... (91 mins.)
“ Feature version of the Disney TV series, starring Guy Williams. It does a decent job, even if it is a bit slower than the orignal theatric versions. The favorite of baby boomer swashbuckler fans. ” - grendelkhan
 
35.
Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The charismatic swordsman-poet helps another woo the woman he loves in this straightforward version of the play. (113 mins.)
Director: Michael Gordon
“ Jose Ferrer in his Oscar winning role. More a romance than a swashbuckler, but with some great sword scenes, especially the famous theater duel, where Cyrano delivers much better insults, while cutting his opponent to ribbons. ” - grendelkhan
 
36.
The Prisoner of Zenda (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An Englishman vacationing in a Ruritarian kingdom is recruited to impersonate his cousin, the soon-to-be-crowned king when the monarch is drugged and kidnapped. (96 mins.)
Director: Richard Thorpe
“ Remake of the classic. Granger isn't as good as Coleman, but the Technicolor really brings the costumes and sets alive. James Mason is excellent as Rupert of Hentzau. The sabre battle is as well done as the original. ” - grendelkhan
 
37.
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
After a daring mission to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, the rebels dispatch to Endor to destroy a more powerful Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Vader back from the dark side without falling into the Emperor's trap. (131 mins.)
“ Luke gets to walk a plank, swing on a rope, do some swordplay, and jump around on a sailing ship that hovers over the desert terrain. Not too shabby. ” - grendelkhan
 
38.
The Princess Bride (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
While home sick in bed, a young boy's grandfather reads him a story called The Princess Bride. (98 mins.)
Director: Rob Reiner
“ Great fun, as Rob Reiner delivers William Goldman's script, based on his own book. Cary Elwes gets to play Errol Flynn and does it well, while Mandy Patinkin gets to swing a sword as well. The duel between the pair is up there with anything from the golden era oof swashbucklers. ” - grendelkhan
 
39.
Plunkett & Macleane (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Will Plunkett and Captain James Macleane, two men from different ends of the social spectrum in 18th-century England... (99 mins.)
Director: Jake Scott
“ More than a bit silly and anachronistic; however, it is a lot of fun. It tells the tale of a pair of highwaymen; Johnny Lee Miller as the high born MacLeane and Robert Carlysle as the more humble birthed Plunkett. Plunkett has the brains and uses MacLeane's position in society to get close to their targets. It's pulpy fun and not to be taken seriously. Alan Cumming steals the film, though. ” - grendelkhan