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The Duelists 

One of the great directorial debuts, Ridley Scott's The Duellists is an extraordinary achievement which weaves an epic-in-miniature set around the edges of the Napoleonic Wars. Based on a story by Joseph Conrad, in turn inspired by real events and filmed in part where those events took place, this is the tale of a 15-year conflict between two French army officers: the level-headed Armand D'Hubert (Keith Carradine) and the obsessive Gabriel Feraud (Harvey Keitel). Each time they meet they duel, until the original purpose of the conflict is all but lost.  

The Three Musketeers

Not the rubbish 90's remake but Richard Lester's 1973 opus. Realistic sword fights and swashbuckling aplenty, coupled with a wry sense of humour to make this film a joy to watch. Oliver Reed was never better than as the tortured Athos.

Die Another day

Ok, so it's not Bond at his best but this film certainly helped to bring fencing back into the public consciousness, so it is worth a look for this fact alone. The fight scenes were choreographed by the masterful Bob Anderson and the Paul brothers supplied the skills.

The Adventures of Robin Hood

Think about why you are interested in fencing and chances are a film like this is probably responsible. With the notable and very worthy exception of Richard Lester's Robin and Marian most modern incarnations of Britain's favourite freedom fighter are rubbish. Errol Flynn's Robin was thigh slappingly perfect;  the final swordfight on a shadowy staircase with the wonderfully evil Sir Guy is a true movie classic. Sir Guy was played by Basil Rathbone who, unlike Flynn, was an expert fencer in real life.  

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