This year has been the resurgence of sword and sandal movies. There have been two sword and sandal films out so far this year. The Legend of Hercules starring Kellan Lutz and Pompeii starring Kit Harrington. In March 300: Rise of an Empire the sequel to 300 comes. Later this summer the second Hercules movies comes out starring Dwayne The Rock Johnson. In November Noah comes out starring Russell Crowe as Noah. That’s makes five sword and sandal movies out this year with some big names in them. With this in mind I wanna talk about some of my favorite sword and sandal movies through out the years.
Now Sword and Sandals is a broad title but, it includes Biblical movies, Roman,Persian or Egyptian movies, Fantasy and Animated movies. What follows is a list of some of my favorite sword and sandal movies of all time. Some of my favorites include TV shows as well as movies. Also they may include remakes or reboots.
20. Alexander is great director, Oliver Stones first and only foray into the Sword and Sandal genre. Its about Alexander the Great. Colin Farrell,Angelina Jolie,Val Kilmer, Jared Leto, Rosario Dawson and Anthony Hopkins star in this historical film.
19.Prince of Persia is based on a video game and is Producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s one and only Sword and Sandal film to date. Jake Gyllenhall ,Ben Kingsley and Gemma Arterton star in this action paced thrill ride based in Persia.
18. Immortals is a fictional telling of the Greek gods. Its stars Henry Cavill as Theseus and Micky Rourke as King Hyperion and Frieda Pinto as Phaedra.
17. The Gospel of John is a great mini-series based on the gospel of john. Narrated by Oscar winner Christopher Plummer and stars Henry Ian Cusick as Jesus.
16. There have been three Conan movies over the years. The first two starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Hyborian warrior. They also spawned another movie based on Conan’s girlfriend Red Sonja starring Brigitte Nielsen.The third stars Micheal Mimosa as Conan the Barbarian.
15. There have been many incarnations of Hercules. I already talked about the two new movies out this year this year starring Kellan Lutz and Dwayne The Rock Johnson. My favorite Hercules movie though is the Disney version that came out in 1997. Hercules was voiced by Tate Donovan and also stars James Woods,Danny Devito and Rip Torn.
14. Once again there have been multiple version of Clash of the Titans. The first came out back in 1981 and starred Henry Hamlin as Perseus and Lawrence Olivier as Zeus. This is a classic by Ray Harryhausen of mixing stop motion animation or clay-mation. The Original Clash of the Titans also starred Judi Bowker, Burgess Meredith, Maggie Smith, and Ursula Andress. The second Clash of the Titans came out in 2010 and stars Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Mads Mickkelson and Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes. This new version spawned a sequel called Wraith of the Titans that came out in 2012 also starring Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson.
13. Julius Caesar has been portrayed in multiple movies through out the years but, not better then Marlin Brando in Julius Caesar.
12. One of my favorite TV shows of years past was Rome from HBO. It was a very well done show. There were two seasons of Rome. The shows stars James Purefoy, Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker and Linzay Duncan.
11.Cecil B. Demille has crafted a couple great Sword and Sandal films on my list. The First being the classic Cleopatra starring Claudette Colbert. Cleopatra was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture.
10. The two theatrical movies about Jesus have been fantastic. The acting portrayal by both Willem Defoe and Jim Caviezel of Jesus have been great. Both director’s, Martin Scorses and Mel Gibson were passionate about about telling the story of Jesus in The Passion of the Christ and The Last Temptation of Christ.
9.Lawrence of Arabia is the winner of seven Academy Awards. It won the Best Picture Oscar in 1962. It stars Peter O’Toole as T.E. Lawrence. It is widely known as one of the best films ever made.
8.300 is based on the comic book series of the same name from Writer/ Artist Frank Miller. It is the second movie from Director Zach Snyder, It stars Gerard Butler as King Leonidas and Rodrigo Santoro as Xerxes. 300 is an exhilarating feast for the eyes. Its about the battle for Thermopylae. It has a sequel out in March called 300; Rise of an Empire.
7. Troy tells the story of Achilles and Helen of Troy as written in the Iliad Trojan Horse and all. Troy stars Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Diane Kruger, Eric Bana, Brian Cox, Brendan Gleeson and Peter O’Toole in his last role as King Priam.
6. The Bible was an epic 6 hr. mini-series on the History channel in 2013 but, was cut down into a two hr. feature film length movie that comes out February 28th 2014.
5.The Ten Commandments is considered one of the greatest films of all time. There was a 1923 black and white version and a 1956 color version. Cecil B. Demille directed both versions over 30 years apart from one another. The Ten Commandments tells the story of Moses played by (Charlton Heston).
4.Now Spartacus was a TV show on the Stars channel and lasted three seasons. The first season was called Blood and Sand and the second season was called Gods of the Arena. Andy Whitfield portrayed Spartacus in the first season and second seasons of Spartacus.
3.Spartacus the movie is widely considered Kirk Russell’s best role ever. It has some of the greatest stunt work of its time.
2. Ben Hur is another Best Picture winner. It won 11 Academy Awards and is also considered one of the greatest films of all time. This also stars Charlton Heston. The stunts in this are groundbreaking for the times as well.
1. Ridley Scott used some special effects to create the crowd scenes but the story was what made this movie so great! Russell Crowe plays Maximus a general turned slave, a slave turned Gladiator, a Gladiator that defied an empire!!! Joaquin Pheonix play the evil Commodus and he is the man Maximus wants to kill because he killed Marcus Aurelius the Emperor of Rome. Everything about this movie is great! It is another Best Picture Academy Award winner and Russell Crowe also won the Oscar for Best Actor.
I hope we get to see more of these kinds of films again in the next few years. If these movies coming out this year do good then we will get more of these historical sword and sandal movies. Until then I recommend the films and TV shows on my list.
Dan Skip Allen