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By the Sword (1991)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,132 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 2 critic

A mysterious man, Suba, gets himself a job at a fencing academy, and as he learns the way of the students, the school, and its maestro, they learn that there's more to him than meets the ... See full summary »

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(as Jeremy Paul Kagan)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Christopher Rydell ...
...
...
...
Hobbs
Sherry Hursey ...
Tanos
...
Johnson
...
Tatiana
Peter Cohl ...
Calder
...
Williams
Ennalls Berl ...
Dana
Dharvi Darrell ...
Landlady
Eve Kagan ...
Daughter
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Storyline

A mysterious man, Suba, gets himself a job at a fencing academy, and as he learns the way of the students, the school, and its maestro, they learn that there's more to him than meets the eye. He gains (or regains?) his fencing skills and his philosophy of teaching clashes with the maestro's. As they are thrown into conflict, Suba and the maestro's past appear to be linked. And the resolution of their mysterious relationship may be a duel to the death. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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They come from everywhere to challenge their fate...

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

7 October 1992 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Espada da Justiça  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Alexander Villard: Do you ever get the feeling that you were born in the wrong age?
Max Suba: No. I appreciate modern plumbing.
Alexander Villard: You don't like me much, do you?
Max Suba: I think you are the greatest fencer that I've ever seen.
Alexander Villard: Ah. You don't like me at all.
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User Reviews

 
Excellent "life lesson movie" about redemption- almost
3 December 2001 | by (Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

Masterfully acted by F Murray Abraham (Amadeus) and Eric Roberts; this movie attempts to uncover one of the deep lessons of life. As such it is one of my favorite movies. The movie is tastefully done and underplayed- not a sports movie at all, but a spiritual one. Alas the directing is not quite up to snuff and the movie leaves me with a vaguely unsatisfied feeling.

The theme of the movie is very real- redemption. A young fencer (Suba) makes a terrible mistake and pays for it with years in prison. When he gets out he feels driven to make amends and he goes straight to the place where he can do that- which is also the only world he still knows, the fencing school run by the son of the man whom he killed.

When he confronts the man who he has come to redeem (Villard), he can only stammer "I have come to teach"- but his skills are so rusty he is offered only a humble janitor position. In Villard's school Suba regains enough strength to face his task... but this is where the movie lets us down a bit. It never explains why Suba must best Villard in combat in order to teach the lesson.

That, is the critical failure of the movie. It is the central thesis of the film, yet it is not explained!! Why must they fight??! If you know, please drop me an email. This is the critical piece of the lesson- without it the movie is incomplete. I can't help but wonder if the critical piece is lying on a cutting room floor somewhere, or whether the director intentionally left it out or whether the writers were content with asking the question without answering it.

Alas, I remain unsatisfied-- until and unless I become enlightened.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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