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Sword of War (2009)

Barbarossa (original title)
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.


Renzo Martinelli


Renzo Martinelli (story), Giorgio Schottler (story) | 3 more credits »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Rutger Hauer ... Federico Barbarossa
Raz Degan ... Alberto da Giussano
F. Murray Abraham ... Siniscalco Barozzi
Christo Jivkov ... Gherardo Negro
Antonio Cupo ... Alberto dell'Orto
Cécile Cassel ... Beatrice di Borgogna
Kasia Smutniak ... Eleonora
Ángela Molina ... Ildegarda di Binden (as Angela Molina)
Elena Bouryka ... Antonia
Hristo Shopov ... Rinaldo di Dassel
Federica Martinelli Federica Martinelli ... Tessa
Maurizio Tabani Maurizio Tabani ... Giovanni da Giussano
Riccardo Cicogna ... Wibaldo
Gian Marco Tavani ... 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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Let battle commence! See more »


Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for bloody violence and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Part of the budget came from the Lega Nord, an Italian political party that wants separation between north and south Italy and has in the symbol the legendary warrior Alberto da Giussano. The leader of this party, Umberto Bossi, had a small part. in the movie. See more »

User Reviews

Spectacular and epic movie about Federico I and his fights against a league of Italian cities
31 August 2019 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Rousing movie based on historical events , including impressive battles , intense drama , love stories and noisy action . It deals with German Emperor Barbarossa who wants to return the Holy Roman Empire , following his ascendant , the great emperor Charlomagno. Federico I Barbarossa , Rutger Hauer , of the dynastic Hohenstaufen (1122-1190) married a very young Queen called Beatriz , Cecile Cassel . Federico I of Suabia will stop at nothing to conquest , and defeat his enemies and to build his powerful empire . However, a young man from Milán called Alberto de Giussano : Raz Degan, along with his troops of 1000 men known as the Company of Death , is prepared to challenge to the emperor . Battlefields run Red with warriors' blood .

Breathtaking and overlong miniseries dealing with historical happenings , about a merciless war between Emperor Federico I and the bustly city of Milan. It delivers acceptable interpretations from Rutger Hauer as the cruel emperor , Cecile Cassel as his wife Beatrice , Raz Degan as Alberto da Giussano , Angela Molinas as a rare clairvoyant and F. Murray Abraham, the Oscarized Salieri, as traitor Barozzi , the latter gives overacting , as usual . The picture contains spectacular scenarios , being shot on several locations from Bucharest , Hunedoara, Transylvania , Alba Lula , Romania .Being sponsored by Italian Cultural Ministry and partially financed by the Northern league or Lega Nord , a political party presided by Umberto Bossi that wants the Italy separation between North and South. Having as main symbol the famous rebel warrior Alberto de Giussano. The motion picture was professionally directed by Renzo Martínelli, though it has some flaws , gaps and failures. Martinelly subsequently made another epical, historical film in similar style : "Day of siege, September Eleven 1683", about the Vienna siege by the Ottoman Empire, also starred by F. Murray Abraham.

Based on facts , these are the following ones : Emperor Federico I carried out 6 campaigns in Italy . In the first Federico battles Armando Brescia rebellion in exchange for being appointed Emperor by Pope Adriano IV. In second one Federico battles Milán , he supported anti-Pope Victor V , against Pope Alexandro III . In third campaign combats Italian cities headed by Verona. In fourth campaign (1166-1168) Imperial army was vanquished by the Lombard league supported by Pope Alexandro III. In fifth campaign (1174-1178) Federico was again defeated in battle Legnano . Later on , Federico I headed third Crusade (1189-1193), accompanied by known kings as Felipe August II of France and Richard LionHeart of England . Federico I embarks in Ratisbona , after crossing Balkans and arrives in Asia Minor . There he defeated the Muslims in batalle Iconio (1190). A bit later on , he died drowned in River Salef , Asia Minor. Federico I was succeeded by his son and heir Henry IV , being crowned in Italy , he married a daughter of the Normand King of the two Sicily kingdom.

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English | French

Release Date:

9 October 2009 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Sword of War See more »

Filming Locations:

Transylvania, Romania See more »


Box Office


EUR30,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (2 parts) (TV) | (Blu-ray)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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