This lovingly compiled selection of swordfight sequences from Errol Flynn movies is tremendous fun to watch, but it does show how by-the-numbers Hollywood could get with its blade choreography. How many recurring themes can you spot? The nose-to-nose clinch between hero and sneering villain? The attempt to add suspense by having the hero tumble down stairs or stumble over furniture? The gallantry of the hero, who returns the villain’s dropped blade rather than put an end to it? Did every cinematographer’s contract require the use of huge shadows in the background?
Now compare all that with the emotional intensity and character revelation in this sequence:
Here is my argument for why Rob Roy is the best swordfight movie of all time, and why those duels in Errol Flynn movies never rise above standard flash and clash.