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.
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.
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-
note: two above combined in English release.
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
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.