The Best Swordfight Scenes in Cinema History

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The Princess Bride

“My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” So goes the mantra of the best swordsman in the history of all time. Inigo from The Princess Bride has travelled the world in the twenty years since his father was killed by a six-fingered man, learning the art of the sword with all the masters until he is, without doubt, number one. Searching for the six-fingered man, Inigo encounters the Dread Pirate Roberts, who knocks his confidence by besting him with steel. His confidence returns later in the film, however, as he finds his mortal enemy. A chase on foot through a castle culminates with Inigo receiving what should be a fatal wound to the stomach. Repeating his mantra over and over, Inigo plugs the wound with his own fist, and proceeds to continue the fight one-handed, finally avenging the death of his father.

Kill Bill: Part 1

Perhaps one of the most epic swordfights occurs as the finale to Kill Bill part one. Black Mamba (Uma Thurman), using steel crafted by the legendary Hatori Hanso, single-handedly defeats dozens of opponents. Coming at her with a plethora of weapons, the Crazy88 are no match for her prowess with the blade. In one of the most blood soaked scenes in cinema history, Black Mamba defends herself against Japans most powerful underground fighters, including Gogo, a half-mad schoolgirl bodyguard wielding a deadly ball and chain combination and determined to defend her mistress to the end. After almost twenty minutes of on screen action, this scene culminates in a battle of swords and wills, in a beautiful snow-covered garden, as Black Mamba finally decapitates O-Ren Ishii, queen of the Japanese underworld.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon uses a masterful combination of classic sword-fighting techniques coupled with fantasy abilities, such as the capacity to leap the height of buildings in a single move, to create a visual masterpiece. There are too many fights in this film to distinguish one as the best, but Jen vs Shu Lien in the weapons room has to be a contender. Changing swords almost as often as they cross them, the characters demonstrate awesome skill as they fight against each other and the power of past legacies.

Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones

Any piece about sword-fights would of course be incomplete without a Star Wars reference. George Lucas brought the light-saber into public consciousness in 1977, and it has become the most famous and certainly most emulated sword ever since. From Yoda duelling Count Dooku, through the epic battles of the Jedi Knights, to the final battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, countless scenes are offered up for viewing pleasure. Now with six films to choose from, it is impossible to select the greatest battle, so we advise you to watch them all.

The best swordfight scenes was compiled and brought to you by Vue Cinemas.

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Updated: May 3, 2012 — 8:39 am