Video Essay – How to Film a Good Sword Fight

I half wish I hadn’t watched this video before seeing Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It made me a little more critical of the lightsaber fight scenes than I otherwise would have been. But, by all means, if you’re a fan of Star Wars, or sword fighting, action choreography, or just simply a fan of good cinema, then watch this video at some point. It does a fantastic job of showing what makes or breaks a great fight scene.

I’m not exactly a connoisseur of sword fighting, but I know what I like. Here’s a few clips of my favorite sword fighting scenes from various movies.

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Brad Pitt as Achilles in Troy 

I love how this battle is hyped as if it’s going to be epic. But Achilles ends it with one fatal stab and then the classic line, “Is there no one else?”

This serves to build to the truly epic battle later on with Hector.

Yu Shu Lien Vs. Jen Yu in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 

I have the utmost respect for these two actresses performing such a magnificent sword fight. No point in telling you how great it is. Just watch and admire.

Westley Vs. Inigo in The Princess Bride

There’s not a better combination of sword fight and humorous dialog in any other movie.

Uma Thurman in Kill Bill 

This is epic sword fight is way, way, way, over the top. But such a delight to watch as it goes on and on and on.

Keanu Reeves in The Matrix Reloaded

I wonder if the Wachowski brothers/sisters were almost finished with the script and realized, “Wait a second, there’s no sword fight in any of our movies.” They certainly fixed that, and then some. And not just this scene. The knife fight (does that count as a small sword?) scene between Morpheus and the Twin in the car is easily the best fight scene inside a car, ever.

What are you favorite sword fight movies/scenes? Let us know down in the comments.

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