Earlier, I made a list of my 10 favorite swashbuckling movies. These are the ones I really wanted to put in my list, but they don’t entirely fit the bill…
Some films listed here are not actually swashbuckling movies in the pure sense, but rather were selected because they reflect the swashbuckling spirit and contain duels, adventures, and daring rescues. Also, some of them are parodies… but as with James Bond films, sometimes it’s hard to see the fine line where a swashbuckling film becomes a parody of itself.
Zorro the Gay Blade
Spanish nobleman Don Diego Vega is on his way to a costume party, when he witnesses injustice being commited upon the peasants. Thus he becomes the defender of the oppressed. An ankle injury puts him out of commission, but his long-lost twin brother “Bunny” is happy to step in to the Zorro costume, to which he adds his own special touch, opting for plum, sacrlet and yellow outfits. “There is no shame in being poor! Only in dressing poorly!”
The Scorpion King – More of a “swords and sandals epic,” it nevertheless has that je ne sais quoi that makes me want to categorize it as a swashbuckler. It’s probably the overall optimism and humour that sandal epics aren’t known for.
Streets of Fire – In a weird dystopian world that looks a lot like 1950s America, a rock star is kidnapped, and her ex-boyfriend is called in to rescue her. He is a tough guy, an ex-soldier, and a self-described “tequila man.” (There is some kind of connection between 80’s action movies and swashbucklers which should probably be explored in a later post.) This is an obscure film that didn’t do too well at the box office but it has a cult following that consists mostly of myself. Lots of action and great music, and a sledgehammer duel as a finale!
Mad Dog Time – This movie is set in some alternate universe run by gangsters who enjoy listening to their alternate universe equivalent of Frank Sinatra. There is also a very strange mode of dueling in this world. The main character would seem sleazy if he were not so daring, charming and charismatic. Sound like a swashbuckler?