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Sword of War (2009)
"Barbarossa" (original title)

 -  Drama | History | War  -  9 October 2009 (Italy)
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Ratings: 4.3/10 from 887 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 14 critic

German Emperor Barbarossa will stop at nothing to conquer and build his empire. But a young man from Milan, along with his army of 900 men known as the Company of Death, is prepared to challenge the Emperor.



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Title: Sword of War (2009)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alberto da Giussano
Siniscalco Barozzi
Gherardo Negro
Alberto dell'Orto
Beatrice di Borgogna
Ildegarda di Binden (as Angela Molina)
Hristo Shopov ...
Rinaldo di Dassel
Federica Martinelli ...
Maurizio Tabani ...
Giovanni da Giussano
Riccardo Cicogna ...
Lorenzo della Pigna
Robert Alexander Baer ...
Alberto as a Child


German Emperor Barbarossa will stop at nothing to conquer and build his empire. But a young man from Milan, along with his army of 900 men known as the Company of Death, is prepared to challenge the Emperor.

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Drama | History | War


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Release Date:

9 October 2009 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Sword of War  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


€9,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (2 parts) (TV)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

Well worth watching
25 September 2010 | by See all my reviews

Let me first say that I watched this film with no preconceptions about it whatsoever - what I knew was that it was about emperor Friederich I, "Barbarossa" ("some German king from the dark ages, wasn't he?"). So, I watched this as a very entertaining view into a sadly forgotten part of history, this fight over the lands how they had become when the Roman Empire was crumbling leaving a massive power vacuum and the German tribes had begun to finally become united.

The film depicted this fight over the desolated areas in northern Italy as far as I can tell very well, showing both the reasoning of Emperor Barbarossa and his queen Beatrix (who appears to have been his personal cheer-leader) and the opposing side, the Company of Death, a loosely formed army from the Italian city states. This opposing side bears a strong resemblance to both the historical American Revolution from which it seemed like they loaned half of the freedom slogans, as well as from Braveheart, which probably provided the other half. Don't get me wrong, I like freedom, but one can only do so much with it, and the cries for freedom became a little silly at times - especially since it appeared to me that they only went to war because they didn't like to be taxed by a German emperor...

Speaking of which: The film is called Barbarossa, but most of the film and the very evident sympathies, lies with Barbarossa's enemies. This is not a biography film, but it would have earned even better marks if it would have been.

So, how was it then? It was grand in scope, ranging in at several years and the SFX - especially the 'Bagdhad by Night - medieval style' sequences were great. However, using such large time frames makes one loose sight on events and details, which is a shame.

Rutger Hauer makes an excellent, if somewhat downplayed Barbarossa, and the rest of the cast make solid performances - no one mentioned, no one forgotten.

It will take a couple of hours to sit thorough this film, but those are hours well spent.

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