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This Sword Fight Montage is Epic

Shootouts are cool, fists fights are neat, but there are few things in action cinema more riveting than a great sword fight. In some ways, they’re the best of both worlds. They’re over the top, elegant, violent, subtle and often display the best cinematic choreography and cinematography the medium can muster. But, how do we celebrate such feats? How do we honor the Darth Maul battle with Obi Wan and Qui-Gon? The Beatrix vs. Cottonmouth duel in Kill Bill? The glory of Hellboy’s blade skills? The hilarity of Jack Sparrow’s “talent?” Well, how about an epic montage that brings them all together with a host of other blade battles throughout movie history?

You have to love the editing in this one. It’s just the perfect kind of video that allows you to sit back and admire something we all take for granted far too often. And that music… really, it’s the Santa Esmeralda track – “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” – that really sells this one for us. It’s joyous, but also complicated. Elegant, but powerful. You know, like a sword fight.

Come to think about it, it’s been a while since last we got a really great sword fight on screen lately. There’s plenty of decent fist fights and gun battles that come to mind, but sword play? Sure, there’s a handful of examples on the likes of Game of Thrones, but what about the silver screen? Perhaps in addition to a new Avengers and Star Wars film, 2015 can also bring a fresh take on the sword fight to the movie theater.

What’s your favorite cinematic sword fight? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. Asherett says:

    Great video, though I’d have chosen another track. My favorite sword duel is somehow from Rob Roy (1995), which is in there for a split second. The Duellists (1977) is also excellent for classical fencing.

  2. Tanith says:

    Where is the list that tells me what all those fantastic films are!  I know what some of them were but not all of them!

  3. Joshua says:

    Where is the scene of the Black knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail?

  4. OgreRod says:

    My favorite can be summed up in 3 words “As you wish”

  5. sean says:

    There can only be one

  6. Axelsanx says:

    3 Zhang Ziyi movies!  But some great oldies missing.

  7. Karl says:

    Great editing in this montage.  I would have loved more Kurasawa, especially from “Yojimbo” and “The Seven Samurai”. 

  8. Jason says:

    Good montage. Terrible song.

  9. Maurice says:

    Predator vs Hanzo should have made this list

  10. Reno says:

    Best post I have seen from Nerdist

  11. Blair says:

    Totally confirms that the Lightsaber is THE coolest weapon in movie history.

  12. Gary says:

    I can’t believe they left out Yoda vs Count Dooku.

  13. Colin says:

    That fight between Michelle Yeoh and Ziyi Zhang still takes my breath away. 

  14. Robert says:

    Very cool montage. I have to admit with the “cover image” of Maul when I first started watching I had my sound off and I was humming Duel of the Fates and I actually think that music would work just as well with clip (i’m sure there is a licensing issue…)

    • Robert says:

      Ok, actually decided to test that theory, and it actually works really well! Start the tune and after the initial vocal parts (0.15) start the video. It doesn’t fit perfectly at times (especially the ending), but it’s really close and some of the moments are spot on! Brings a new tone to the video which I think is better (sword fights are usually to the death so very serious!), but that’s just me. Wonder if anyone else would try this and what they might think….

    • P. Buchan says:

      Good montage, but you left out the great Toshiro Mufune.  I’d recommend the four-against-one fight at the beginning of Yojimbo that was adapted as the first spaghetti western, A Fistful of Dollars.