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Sword of War

22 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Feb 22, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Brandishing his unstoppable sword of war, German Emperor Barbarossa will stop at nothing to conquer enemy lands and to revive the empire that once belonged to Charles the Great. But a young man from Milan, along with his army of 900 men known as the Company of Death, is prepared to challenge the Emperor and his relentless dominance.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Rutger Hauer, F. Murray Abraham
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: February 22, 2011
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004FHCH8C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,712 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By William Amazzini on February 27, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It seems that Hollywood in the past few years has been content in releasing to the American filmgoer bathroom humor comedies, angst ridden dramas and CGI action movies overly populated either by the comic book genre or popular for their time Sixties television series. European filmmakers, however, have taken up the gauntlet of the Epic film genre and this one 'SWORD OF WAR' , an Italian Romanian co-production, is the latest and deals with an historical subject never treaded on before. The film is an accurate depiction of 12th Century Italy when German Emperor Frederick 1 Hohenstaufen named by the Italians as Barbarossa decided to revive the ancient empire of Charlemagne by conquering all of Italy and how a Milanese peasant named Alberto Da Giussano formed an army of 900 men from different parts of Italy called 'the company of death' and put the Germans to the test on the battlefield. The film stars Rutger Hauer back in the action saddle as the emperor and Raz Degan in an extremely mumbled voice over as Alberto. F. Murray Abraham supplies the villainy and Kasia Smutniak plays Eleanora, the visionary seer who bridges the action between prophecy and coincidence and aids Alberto. Written, Produced, and Directed impressively by Renzo Martinelli, the film supplies the goods with excellent production values by Rosella Guavna ,sweeping cinematography by Fabio Ciancetti and symphonic orchestration by Pivio and Aldo De Scalzi. The film has some wild touches such as Barbarossa secretly seeking the occult advice of the abbess Hildegard Von Bingen, black plague enveloping Rome and extremely graphic battle scenes. It's also good to see Rutger Hauer looking extremely regal and enjoying himself in his role. Lionsgate deserves kudos for releasing this film in a beautiful 2.35 widescreen transfer with 5.Read more ›
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By JLL on May 26, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The quality of the DVD is poor. The first third of the movie the voices and mouth movement don't match up at all. The basic premise of the story is similar to Braveheart (except without good action or acting). Especially early on the story is choppy and uninteresting. The first fight scene is horrifically bad (laughable). You can see the actors hesitating and waiting until the guy they are fighting is ready. The battle scenes do get better as the movie goes on. The siege of Milan is pretty good but can't save the poor acting and unlikable characters. Intertwined in the choppy story is just plain weird, silly, and sick scenes. Examples: 1. Rutger Hauer's character Barbarossa, catches the blacksmith assassin who somehow manages to get through thousands of German troops and into his tent. So, what should you do with this guy who is threatening you and just tried to kill you? Well, of course it just makes sense to let him go so he can organize the resistance to your kingdom! I should say the blacksmith guy had saved his life when he was young but I think when he just tried to kill you and is threatening you you go ahead and kill him. 2. The blacksmith is unconscious after the initial fight scene and this "witch" lady who has random "visions" does the rational and sane thing, she fondles and kisses him when he is unconscious? Ew! That isn't necrophilia but its unconsciousaphilia and still just plain sick. 3. During the siege of Milan the German forces capture a food scavenging party from Milan and plaster them to the front of the siege engines-OK that's a cool idea if your a German I don't have a problem with that.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By francisca zayas on April 18, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
I'm a history buff & I've seen many 1520's historical dramas. But...This movie is outstanding & inspirational. It made me laugh, cry, and angry all at the same time. But...Most of all I truly enjoyed the movie. I highly recommend watching this movie!!!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 8, 2011
Format: DVD
Twelfth century Italy is the setting for this massive turkey of an historical farce. It stars Rutger Hauer as the legendary `Red Beard', who wanting to re establish the Holy Roman Empire decides to conquer all of Italy; one big problem is the uppity city state of Milan. It wont roll over and pay him homage and even worse is prepared to fight him. That is where the siege bit comes in and we do have some impressive trebuchets as well as other siege equipment and some nice CGI battle scenes.

The Milanese are led by Alberto Da Giussano, who forms `The Army of Death' to fight off Mr Barbarossa and his German hordes. This guy scores quite high on the annoyance Richter scale, with a performance that lends itself more to nativity /am dram than historical fiction.

Where it really falls down is the bad dubbing which is like one of those gross Italian 1970's horror types where all the voices are being acted (badly) into the same microphone and the worst sound effects team on the planet have got out the coconut shells for the horse riding bits. That is something else, we all know films can have montages, but this one has horse riding montages, that go on for ages. Yes even Rocky had a montage but this one is just riding your horse, we know that is how they travelled and it does nothing to take the plot further.
This does for the history of Italy what `Braveheart' did for Scotland, and there are some tragically pitiful similarities, with the aforementioned Mr Da Giussano leading more than one rousing chant of `freedom!!!' I wont even mention the ending which is so bad that even the Disney Studious would have balked at such over the top levels of mawkishness. There is not a single reason to see this film, and hundreds why not to, this is one where spending two hours making shadow puppets with your own arse would have been time better spent.
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