The strong hero, fully committed to the woman and prepared to do everything possible to protect her, is a common theme in the movies we romance authors like.
From contemporary time, there's Speed starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.
Most examples are movies set during historical times—movies like Braveheart and Rob Roy and all those pirate movies. All of those have swords.
But swords aren't necessary sometimes. Look at The Last of the Mohicans starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe.
But movies with swords really capture romance authors' attention.
Sword fighting in movies has been vastly popular since the 1930s.
Ever watch any of those old black and white pirate movies like Captain Blood starring Errol Flynn? After the 1950s, I don't think there were any sword fighting movies.
I'm not an expert, but the one that caught my fance was the 1981 epic medieval fantasy film, Excalibur. Wow!
The mythical sword, the best retelling of the Arthurian myth, the amazing cinematography, and Carmina Burana in the soundtrack.
That said epic in so many ways, and the film holds up today. When it premiered, audiences didn't get it. I guess it was ahead of its time.
Now, it's a cult film that fans and critics alike think is awesome. Sometimes, it's tough finding an audience for something totally different.
Highlander starring Christopher Lambert found an audience that embraced the film. Made in 1986, the film cost $19 million but only grossed $12 million.
However, as viewers found it, the film was embraced and became a cult classic that inspired more movies and a couple of TV series too.
Enter the Dragon
Not the Bruce Lee film, but the first installment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy that debuted in 2001. We were all hooked.
The other 2 films broke box office records, and the Pirate movies with Johnny Depp took full advantage of the thrill of sword fighting.
All of these movies from the last 2 decades had more than sword fighting going for them, but there was something thrilling and romantic about the ancient weapon, the sword.
Reclaiming the Blade
All of this is a long way of explaining why you should watch the documentary Reclaiming the Blade: History of the Sword a must-see for anyone interested in swords and European and Asian martial arts using swords.
If you're surprised by the reference to European martial arts, you're not alone. The history of European martial arts using swords has been mostly ignored.
However, those bewitched by the blade are shining a spotlight on archaic books and manuscripts that describe sword fighting from as done in Europe in from ancient times through the Renaissance to the era of gunpowder which made sword fighting obsolete.
Reclaiming the Blade, a documentary released in 2009, was written and directed by Daniel McNicoll and produced by Galatia Films. The film features interviews with Viggo Mortensen, Karl Urban, Richard Taylor, and famous Hollywood sword master Bob Anderson.
Mr. Anderson was actually the fencing instructor for Errol Flynn, Johnny Depp, Viggo, and many others. Paul Champagne, a swordsmith, is interviewed as an expert on swordmaking.
Narrated by John Rhys-Davies, the documentary was produced with the support of Peter Jackson, Weta Workshop, Skywalker Sound and the Royal Armouries. When released on iTunes, this film was the #1 rental.
Reclaiming the Blade just came to Amazon Prime so put it on your list. If you're not a subscriber, you can probably rent or buy it.
Fascinating, compelling, and educational is what I call Reclaiming the Blade. Don't miss it.