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Complete Guide to Great Sword Fighting Movies

A guide by kybernetes "kybernetes" (Centreville, VA USA)

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Great sword fighting movies come from many different genres. I have tried to capture realistic, swashbucking, comedic and all out hacking movies. I'm limited to 50, but hopefully all the best are represented here, along with a few hidden gems. This guide is categorized into the following lists, each in prioritized order for best sword fighting.
- Gladiator Movies
- Mythological Fantasy Movies
- Sword and Sorcery Movies
- Medieval Movies
- Pirate Swashbucklers
- Asian Sword Fights
- Zoro and the Musketeers
- Modern Sword Fighting
- Sci-Fi Sword Fighting
_______________________________________________________


Gladiator Movies
Gladiator Signature Selection (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) This has some of the best sword fighting duels ever filmed. If you haven't seen this you are truly missing out on one of the all time great movies.

Spartacus Great movie with Kirk Douglas that still holds up well. Nice gladiator fights.
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Mythological Fantasy Movies
The Thief of Bagdad (Deluxe Edition) See why Doublas Fairbanks is the Greatest Swashbuckler of the silent era.

Jason and the Argonauts The fight with the skeletons alone makes this a necessity. This technically amazing feat has to be seen to be believed.

The Sinbad Collection (7th Voyage / Golden Voyage / Eye of the Tiger) All three movies in this collection have terrific sword fighting against both men and monsters. Superb extras
_______________________________________________________



Sword and Sorcery Movies
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Four-Disc Special Extended Edition) Aragorn's fight at the end with the Uruk'hai by himself puts this movie in as one of the great sword fighting movies.

Excalibur This is the best Arthur movie out. There are a number of good sword fighting scenes, but the ending battle is truly something to behold.

Conan - The Complete Quest Conan with a massive sword. What's not to like! These 80s Sword and Sorcery romps should please most looking for barbarian style sword fighting.

Ladyhawke This is one of the really good Sword and Sorcery movies. Rutger Hauer is a terrific knight and kicks major butt with his family sword.

The Sword and the Sorcerer This list would be incomplete without the bizarre three-sword weapon that our hero uses here. This is a solid "B" Sword and Sorcery movie.

The Scorpion King (Widescreen Collector's Edition) Good ending swordfight between the Rock and Steven Brand, the bad guy. Fun Romp.

Willow (Special Edition) Val Kilmer has some amusing sword fights in this fun S&S movie.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Special Edition) For comedic value, NOTHING beats the fight with the black knight.

_______________________________________________________



Medieval Movies
The Adventures of Robin Hood (Two-Disc Special Edition) The original Robin Hood is still the by far the best. Flynn and Rathbone are both masters at the swashbuckling style of sword fighting. This DVD has terrific extras.

The Princess Bride (Special Edition) One of the great sword fighting scenes is in this absolute classic movie.

Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves (Two-Disc Special Extended Edition) Nice ending brawl between Costner and Rickman.

Rob Roy Great fight between Liam Neilson using a broadsword vs. Tim Roth armed with his rapier.

Braveheart Great movie with very realistic, gritty, large scale medieval battles. This movie clearly shows that war back then was brutal.

A Knight's Tale (Special Edition) Great Jousting and a few nice sword fights in full armor as well. Gives you a sense that the sword didn't do a lot to someone in full armor

Robin and Marian nice ending fight. Sean Connery is good in this.

The 13th Warrior Great suspense, nice plot building and very realistic fighting scenes.

The Court Jester Danny Kaye and Basil Rathbone have a hilarious duel at the end of this terrific movie.
_______________________________________________________



Pirate Swashbucklers
Captain Blood [VHS] The original swashbuckling film. This turned Erol Flynn into a star. Basil Rathbone is good as the villain.Sea Hawk [VHS] Flynn is actually better in this than Captain Blood. Although I miss Rathbone, there is superb swordplay here.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) Great Pirate fun. Depp, who carries the movie, is up for an Oscar for this performance. Lots of fun swordfights here.

Cutthroat Island Fun movie with Geena Davis. Bombed at the Box Office, but has some fun pirate sword fighting scenes.

The Crimson Pirate Lancaster is an excellent swashbuckler in a movie with a terrific 18 minute acrobatic battle.

Swashbuckler Light hearted, high energy romp. Lots of pirate fighting.
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Asian Sword Fights
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon This movie raises sword fighting to an art form similar to high dance. The fights are as artful as they are visually stunning.

Seven Samurai (Criterion Collection Spine #2) The 17th Century Japanese Classic. Great movie with terrific samurai sword play

Iron Monkey Not as good as crouching tiger, but still very good sword fights.

Swordsman II The best in asian sword fighting camp. Lots of limbs lost in this one.

Ninja Scroll ***Bonus Movie*** Best Anime for sword fighting. Very violent movie.
_______________________________________________________



Zoro and the Musketeers
The Mark of Zorro Original: Tyrone Power and Basil Rathbone square off in the movie that made Zorro a household name. Definitely worth getting.

The Mask of Zorro (Special Edition) Banderas: Antonio Banderas does a nice remake of Zorro in this movie. The sword play training with Banderas and Anthony Hopkins is great fun.

The Complete Musketeers (The Three Musketeers / The Four Musketeers) Both of these movies have wonderful swashbuckling sword play. These are among the best of the many musketeer movies out.

The Count of Monte Cristo Very good sword play on exotic locations in this movie. Far better than the Musketeer.

The Man in the Iron Mask [VHS] Intriguing version of the musketeers with good fights

The Three Musketeers This 1993 version with Charlie Sheen and Keifer Sutherland is worth watching, but is not as good as the 70s version.

The Musketeer [VHS] Bad movie with ok fighting sequences
_______________________________________________________



Modern Sword Fighting
Highlander My all time favorite great sword fighting movie. Highlander is simply filled with awesome sword fights. The TV Series is great as well.

Kill Bill, Vol. 1 Watch a seriously violent use of a sword. Good movie. Can't wait for the sequel.

Die Another Day (Widescreen Special Edition) Nasty rapier sequence between Brosnan and Toby Stephens

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution Nice ending duel at the top of a moving train between homes (Nicol Williamson) and the villain (Keremy Kemp)

Versus (Director's Cut) Good low-budget action with great final duel
_______________________________________________________



Sci-Fi Sword Fighting
Star Wars Trilogy [VHS] The best in space opera ever. These light saber battles are now the stuff of legend. The one in Empire Strikes Back is probably the best sword fight ever.

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition) The battle with Darth Maul and his double light saber is an absolute must-see.

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (Widescreen Edition) Terrific light saber fights in this. Some say the Yoda scene was overdone, but I liked it.

Equilibrium Good movie with a Great ending sword fight.

Blade Snipes carries around a cool silver sword for wasting Vamps

Products mentioned include:
Gladiator Movies
1.  Gladiator Signature Selection (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [DTS Surround Sound] [Widescreen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Russell Crowe
Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars   (2,179) | 23 customer discussions
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2.  Spartacus [Multiple Formats] [AC-3] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [Dubbed] [Letterboxed] [NTSC] [Subtitled] [Widescreen]  DVD ~ Kirk Douglas
$9.63 Used & New from: $3.49
4.3 out of 5 stars   (485) | 6 customer discussions
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Mythological Fantasy Movies
3.  The Thief of Bagdad (Deluxe Edition) [Black & White] [NTSC] [Silent]  DVD ~ Douglas Fairbanks
$19.92 Used & New from: $12.97
4.4 out of 5 stars   (87) | 1 customer discussion
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4.  Jason and the Argonauts [Multiple Formats] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Letterboxed] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Todd Armstrong
$37.97 Used & New from: $11.98
4.5 out of 5 stars   (310) | 2 customer discussions
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5.  The Sinbad Collection (7th Voyage / Golden Voyage / Eye of the Tiger) [Box set] [Color] [Letterboxed] [Subtitled] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Kerwin Mathews
Used & New from: $68.47
4.6 out of 5 stars   (49)
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Sword and Sorcery Movies
6.  The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Four-Disc Special Extended Edition) [Multiple Formats] [Anamorphic] [Box set] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Widescreen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Elijah Wood
$99.99 Used & New from: $19.26
4.5 out of 5 stars   (4,642) | 4 customer discussions
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7.  Excalibur [Multiple Formats] [Anamorphic] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [NTSC] [Subtitled] [Widescreen]  DVD ~ Liam Neeson
$4.64 Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars   (668) | 3 customer discussions
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8.  Conan - The Complete Quest [Multiple Formats] [Color] [NTSC] [Widescreen]  DVD ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger
$25.00 Used & New from: $1.40
4.4 out of 5 stars   (117) | 1 customer discussion
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9.  Ladyhawke [AC-3] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [Full Screen] [HiFi Sound] [Letterboxed] [Widescreen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Matthew Broderick
$74.95 Used & New from: $7.97
4.3 out of 5 stars   (585) | 2 customer discussions
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10.  The Sword and the Sorcerer [Anamorphic] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [Widescreen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Lee Horsley
$99.99 Used & New from: $22.96
4.0 out of 5 stars   (89)
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11.  The Scorpion King (Widescreen Collector's Edition) [Multiple Formats] [Closed-captioned] [Collector's Edition] [Color] [NTSC] [Widescreen]  DVD ~ Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
$8.97 Used & New from: $0.01
3.6 out of 5 stars   (327)
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12.  Willow (Special Edition) [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [NTSC] [Special Edition] [Subtitled] [THX] [Widescreen]  DVD ~ Val Kilmer
$33.95 Used & New from: $6.17
4.5 out of 5 stars   (830) | 4 customer discussions
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13.  Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Special Edition) [Multiple Formats] [Anamorphic] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [NTSC] [Special Edition] [Subtitled] [Widescreen]  DVD ~ Graham Chapman
$8.98 Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars   (1,372) | 10 customer discussions
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Medieval Movies
14.  The Adventures of Robin Hood (Two-Disc Special Edition) [Multiple Formats] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dubbed] [NTSC] [Original recording remastered] [Special Edition] [Subtitled]  DVD ~ Errol Flynn
$13.82 Used & New from: $0.01
4.8 out of 5 stars   (686) | 2 customer discussions
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15.  The Princess Bride (Special Edition) [Multiple Formats] [Anamorphic] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [Special Edition] [Subtitled] [Widescreen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Cary Elwes
$9.86 Used & New from: $0.01
4.7 out of 5 stars   (3,149) | 17 customer discussions
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16.  Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves (Two-Disc Special Extended Edition) [Anamorphic] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [Dubbed] [NTSC] [Special Edition] [Subtitled] [Widescreen] [DTS Surround Sound]  DVD ~ Kevin Costner
$17.99 Used & New from: $0.01
3.7 out of 5 stars   (748) | 2 customer discussions
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17.  Rob Roy [Multiple Formats] [Anamorphic] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [DTS Surround Sound] [NTSC] [Widescreen]  DVD ~ Liam Neeson
$5.00 Used & New from: $0.31
4.4 out of 5 stars   (293)
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18.  Braveheart [Multiple Formats] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [Widescreen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Mel Gibson
$4.99 Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars   (1,640) | 7 customer discussions
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19.  A Knight's Tale (Special Edition) [Multiple Formats] [AC-3] [Anamorphic] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [DTS Surround Sound] [Dubbed] [NTSC] [Special Edition] [Subtitled] [Widescreen]  DVD ~ Heath Ledger
$13.81 Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars   (721) | 2 customer discussions
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20.  Robin and Marian [Multiple Formats] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [NTSC] [Subtitled] [Widescreen]  DVD ~ Sean Connery
$22.45 Used & New from: $5.92
4.2 out of 5 stars   (109)
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21.  The 13th Warrior [Multiple Formats] [AC-3] [Anamorphic] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [NTSC] [Widescreen]  DVD ~ Antonio Banderas
$4.90 Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars   (711) | 5 customer discussions
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22.  The Court Jester [Anamorphic] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Widescreen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Danny Kaye
$49.99 Used & New from: $24.26
4.8 out of 5 stars   (695) | 2 customer discussions
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Pirate Swashbucklers
23.  Captain Blood [VHS] [Black & White] [Closed-captioned] [Original recording reissued] [NTSC]  VHS Errol Flynn
$3.00 Used & New from: $0.01
4.7 out of 5 stars   (209) | 1 customer discussion
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24.  Sea Hawk [VHS] [Black & White] [EP] [NTSC]  VHS Errol Flynn
$9.99 Used & New from: $2.05
4.5 out of 5 stars   (107)
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25.  Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) [Multiple Formats] [AC-3] [Anamorphic] [Closed-captioned] [Collector's Edition] [Color] [Dolby] [DTS Surround Sound] [Dubbed] [NTSC] [Subtitled] [THX] [Widescreen]  DVD ~ Johnny Depp
$9.06 Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars   (2,420) | 11 customer discussions
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26.  Cutthroat Island [AC-3] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Full Screen] [Letterboxed] [Widescreen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Geena Davis
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27.  The Crimson Pirate [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Subtitled] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Burt Lancaster
$40.95 Used & New from: $13.98
4.5 out of 5 stars   (115) | 2 customer discussions
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28.  Swashbuckler [Multiple Formats] [Anamorphic] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [Live] [NTSC] [Widescreen]  DVD ~ Robert Shaw
$9.08 Used & New from: $4.95
4.2 out of 5 stars   (72)
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Asian Sword Fights
29.  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon [Multiple Formats] [Closed-captioned] [Subtitled] [Dolby] [Dubbed] [Widescreen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Chang Chen
$8.13 Used & New from: $0.01
4.1 out of 5 stars   (1,469) | 6 customer discussions
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30.  Seven Samurai (Criterion Collection Spine #2) [Dolby] [NTSC] [Black & White] 
Used & New from: $3.76
4.7 out of 5 stars   (731) | 10 customer discussions
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31.  Iron Monkey [Anamorphic] [Color] [Widescreen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Rongguang Yu
$2.01 Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars   (238) | 1 customer discussion
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32.  Swordsman II [AC-3] [Color] [Letterboxed] [Widescreen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Jet Li
Used & New from: $14.99
3.9 out of 5 stars   (43)
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33.  Ninja Scroll [Animated] [Color] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Stephen Apostolina
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4.5 out of 5 stars   (587) | 2 customer discussions
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Zoro and the Musketeers
34.  The Mark of Zorro [Multiple Formats] [Black & White] [Closed-captioned] [Full Screen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Tyrone Power
$19.74 Used & New from: $2.46
4.7 out of 5 stars   (191) | 3 customer discussions
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35.  The Mask of Zorro (Special Edition) [Multiple Formats] [Anamorphic] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Full Screen] [Special Edition] [Subtitled] [Widescreen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Antonio Banderas
$10.88 Used & New from: $0.01
4.6 out of 5 stars   (636) | 1 customer discussion
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36.  The Complete Musketeers (The Three Musketeers / The Four Musketeers) [Anamorphic] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Full Screen] [Widescreen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Michael York
Used & New from: $24.99
4.4 out of 5 stars   (214) | 1 customer discussion
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37.  The Count of Monte Cristo [Multiple Formats] [Anamorphic] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Widescreen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Jim Caviezel
$9.09 Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars   (1,216) | 2 customer discussions
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38.  The Man in the Iron Mask [VHS] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [Original recording reissued] [NTSC]  VHS Leonardo DiCaprio
$5.99 Used & New from: $0.01
4.1 out of 5 stars   (512)
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39.  The Three Musketeers [Multiple Formats] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [DTS Surround Sound] [Letterboxed] [NTSC] [Widescreen]  DVD ~ Charlie Sheen
$9.53 Used & New from: $4.08
4.3 out of 5 stars   (404) | 1 customer discussion
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40.  The Musketeer [VHS] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [NTSC]  VHS Justin Chambers
$1.99 Used & New from: $0.01
2.2 out of 5 stars   (123)
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Modern Sword Fighting
41.  Highlander [Multiple Formats] [Anamorphic] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [DTS Surround Sound] [Widescreen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Christopher Lambert
$4.11 Used & New from: $0.01
3.8 out of 5 stars   (587) | 2 customer discussions
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42.  Kill Bill, Vol. 1 [Multiple Formats] [Anamorphic] [Color] [Dolby] [DTS Surround Sound] [Widescreen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Uma Thurman
$7.00 Used & New from: $0.01
3.9 out of 5 stars   (1,817) | 5 customer discussions
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43.  Die Another Day (Widescreen Special Edition) [Multiple Formats] [Anamorphic] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [DTS Surround Sound] [Dubbed] [Special Edition] [Subtitled] [Widescreen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Pierce Brosnan
$6.00 Used & New from: $0.01
3.4 out of 5 stars   (642) | 1 customer discussion
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44.  The Seven-Per-Cent Solution [Color] [Full Screen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Alan Arkin
$52.00 Used & New from: $14.95
4.2 out of 5 stars   (19) | 2 customer discussions
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45.  Versus (Director's Cut) [Multiple Formats] [Color] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Tak Sakaguchi
Used & New from: $0.01
3.6 out of 5 stars   (154)
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Sci-Fi Sword Fighting
46.  Star Wars Trilogy [VHS] [Box set] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [NTSC] [THX]  VHS Mark Hamill
$32.97 Used & New from: $1.17
3.7 out of 5 stars   (4,524) | 69 customer discussions
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47.  Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (Widescreen Edition) [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [Dubbed] [Widescreen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Ewan McGregor
$79.71 Used & New from: $11.99
3.6 out of 5 stars   (2,958) | 6 customer discussions
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48.  Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (Widescreen Edition) [Multiple Formats] [Anamorphic] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Ewan McGregor
$39.33 Used & New from: $1.81
3.5 out of 5 stars   (2,319) | 6 customer discussions
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49.  Equilibrium [Multiple Formats] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [Widescreen] [NTSC]  DVD ~ Christian Bale
Used & New from: $0.01
3.7 out of 5 stars   (1,917) | 3 customer discussions
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50.  Blade [Multiple Formats] [AC-3] [Anamorphic] [Closed-captioned] [Color] [Dolby] [NTSC] [Special Edition] [Subtitled] [Widescreen]  DVD ~ Wesley Snipes
$4.90 Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars   (656)
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kybernetes "kybernetes" (Centreville, VA USA)
Qualifications: Sword Fighting Movie Buff
Last updated: 2/21/04
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