Working at A&A - The Movie List

German bastard sword used in Seventh Son.

A&A German Bastard Sword in the Seventh Son

When you work in a confined space for a long period of time with a small group of people you usually develop certain forms of shorthand communication.  Sometimes it seems like half of our banter at A&A is movie quotes ("On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place."). Since other people occasionally visit us we've decided to share our guide to the movies that we recommend to new employees. Some of these flicks had profound influence on us and others are guilty pleasures.

One of the sad things about getting older is that younger folks often have no idea some of these films exist. To this day it stuns me that people who like swords have no idea who Errol Flynn was, that there are many versions of the Musketeer movies, and the best ones were made in the 70's.

Thrust by Errol Flynn

Errol drives a point of contention home.

Below we have the full list sorted chronologically. While It used to take some serious dedication to watch all of these, the internet has made it easier than ever to watch these and join the banter. Back in the early days of the modern sword market, some makers where passing around a video tape of highlights from some of the obscure films on this list, and we thought we were in heaven with grainy multi copy stills to work from :-)

So watch some of the bad, good and great movies listed below. We do not discriminate, if there are swords and we can use the dialog to get a point across :-), we use it. We recommend that you open this link in another window and listen to the best pirate score ever while you read the rest of the blog.

 the 4 musketeers 1973 movie.

Of course, some of these films are better than others, and there are also some real stinkers included.  Which ones are the very best is a point of bitter contention, so watch them and make up your own mind.

Arms & Armor Essential Viewing List-

1920's  Alexander Nevesky film poster

Robin Hood (1922)

The Viking (1928) all color silent film


Captain Blood (1935)

The Tower of London (1935)

Prisoner of Zenda (1937)

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

Alexander Nevsky (1938)


The Sea Hawk (1940)

The Mark of Zorro (1940)The Adventures of Robin Hood film poster

The Corsican Brothers (1941)

The Black Swan (1942)

The Spanish Main (1945)

The Exile (1947)

The Pirate (1948)

The Black Arrow (1948)

The Three Musketeers (1948)

The Prince of Foxes (1949)


Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)

The Black Rose (1950)

Ivanhoe (1952)

Scaramouche (1952)

Against All Flags (1952)  The Hidden Fortress movie poster

The Prisoner of Zenda (1952)

The Master of Ballantrae (1953)

Knights of the Round Table (1953)

Seven Samurai (1954)

The Black Shield of Falworth (1954)

The Court Jester (1955)

The Dark Avenger/The Warriors (1955)

The Hidden Fortress (1958)

The Vikings (1958)

Ben Hur (1959)


Spartacus (1960)  The Seven Samurai movie poster

EL CID (1961)

Yojimbo (1961)

Sanjuro (1962)

Zatoichi (1962-1989) 26 films

The Longships (1964)

Samurai Assassin (1965)

The War Lord (1965)

The Sword of Doom (1966)

The Lion in Winter (1968)

Romeo and Juliet (1968)

1970's   The Three Musketeers movie poster

The Last Valley (1971)  

Lone Wolf and Cub (1972-1980) 7 films

The Three Musketeers (1973)

The Four Musketeers: Milady’s Revenge (1974)

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Royal Flash (1975)

The Duelist (1977)

Jaberwocky (1977)

The Norseman (1978)


Excalibur (1981)

Conan (1982)   Conan the Barbarian movie poster

The Black Arrow (1985)

Ladyhawke (1985)

Flesh+Blood (1985)

Highlander (1986)

The Mission (1986)

The Princess Bride (1987)

Willow (1988)

The Navigator (1988)

The Return of the Musketeers (1989)

Henry V (1989)


Hamlet (1990)    R&G are Dead movie poster

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1990)

Cyrano de Bergerac (1990)

The Advocate (1994)  Also known as The Hour of The Pig.

Renaissance Man (1994)

The Revenge of the Musketeers (1994)

The Viking Sagas (1995)

Braveheart (1995)

Rob Roy (1995)

DragonHeart (1996)

The 13th Warrior (1999)


Gladiator (2000)

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Just Visiting (2001)   Fellowship of the ring movie poster

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

Captain Alatriste: The Spanish Musketeer (2006)

Elizabeth the Golden Age (2007)

Arn: The Knight Templar (2007)

Arn – The Kingdom at Road's End (2008)

note: two above combined in English release.


13 Assassins (2011)

Ironclad (2011)

Season of The Witch (2011)

Seventh Son (2014) 

We do not have all sword movies on the list of course, and there are probably some we have missed, but it is a good start. This post will be the start of two threads of posts over time. One will highlight some of the bits and pieces of what it's like to do what we do. The other will be selected, subjective and possibly impaired reviews of some of the movie's we like to watch. 


Some tidbits to wet your whistle

The Fights of Errol Flynn

Epic Movie Montage

Rob Roy Final Duel

Musketeer Duel (1921)

Musketeer Duel (1935)

 Now if you need a sword?



Nathan Clough, Ph.D. is Vice President of Arms and Armor and a member of the governing board of The Oakeshott Institute. He is a historical martial artist and a former university professor of cultural geography.  He has given presentations on historical arms at events including Longpoint and Combatcon, and presented scholarly papers at, among others, The International Congress on Medieval Studies.

Craig Johnson is the Production Manager of Arms and Armor and Secretary of The Oakeshott Institute. He has taught and published on the history of arms, armor and western martial arts for over 30 years. He has lectured at several schools and Universities, WMAW, HEMAC, 4W, and ICMS at Kalamazoo. His experiences include iron smelting, jousting, theatrical combat instruction and choreography, historical research, European martial arts and crafting weapons and armor since 1985.

Another blog post on one of the best fight choreographers to ever take sword to hand.

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