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Jeruba's avatar

Recommend a good sword-and-sorcery movie?

Asked by Jeruba (51564points) July 18th, 2010

This question has put me in the mood. I’d love to sit back right now, quaff some mead, and watch a good, entertaining medieval fantasy complete with warriors and wizards and damsels and forces of evil.

— Live action, not animated
— Good storyline
— Real actors (well, at least one or two with known names)
— Decent sfx
— Not just for juveniles

LOTR fills the bill, but I’m after 2 hours’ worth, not 9 or 12.


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23 Answers

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Ladyhawke….not sure about wizards…but it is a medieval fantasy. It got mixed reviews (more positive, than negative) when it came out, but I recall enjoying it for sheer escapism and really found it entertaining. 1985, Michelle Pfeiffer, Matthew Broderick and Rutger Hauer.

It was nominated for two Academy Awards…Best Sound Editing and Mixing (winning neither.)

mrentropy's avatar

Your list of limitations kind of weeds out the majority of this mostly unpopular movie genre. Off the top of my head I can only think of Conan, Red Sonja, and Willow. Although it depends on if “good storyline” also requires good acting.

Beastmaster is a cult favorite. The Sword and the Sorcerer probably doesn’t have anyone you’ve ever heard of in it. Dragonslayer has Peter McNicol in it…

Oh, yeah, Ladyhawke was a good one (kudos to @DarlingRhadamanthus ).

Excalibur… There was that crappy Dungeons & Dragons movie… Eragon

In The Name of the King, which I won’t watch. Krull. Kull the Conqueror, which I keep forgetting to see. The Warrior and the Sorceress.

Most fantasy and S&S films fall into the sub-B movie category.

filmfann's avatar

Jason and the Argonauts

mrentropy's avatar

Oh, I forgot Yor. Good luck finding that. It’s probably worth it to watch just so you can see how badly a movie can be made.

ipso's avatar

Conan the Barbarian (1982) writen by John Milius & Oliver Stone, w/ James Earl Jones and Max von Sydow!
Beowulf & Grendel (2005)
Excalibur (1981)
The 13th Warrior (1999)
Shadow of the Raven (1988)

Blondesjon's avatar

I would opt for The Princess Bride or Krull.

mrentropy's avatar

Dragonheart, maybe?
@Blondesjon I was going to recommend Princess Bride, but wasn’t sure if it fell into S&S or not.

I’m having a hard time finding a list of even the crappy 80s movies.

mrentropy's avatar

@ipso Thanks, that’s a pretty good list. Although it has titles on there that shouldn’t be, like Shrek. I liked Stardust but I don’t think that’s an S&S film, either.

Otherwise, it seems almost complete.

talljasperman's avatar

Highlander 3

Jeruba's avatar

Great ideas! Thank you. My definition of this genre is very loose and would definitely allow for things like The Princess Bride.

I rewatched Excalibur a few months ago and didn’t like it as well as I remembered. Ladyhawke was good when I saw it new. I love Willow and just got on my knees digging through our old VHS tapes searching for it; we used to watch it a lot when my kids were young, and I enjoyed it with them. There are some scenes in it that are still lol good. Didn’t find it, but I did find The Princess Bride, which I didn’t remember buying. I think that’s where I’ll take myself this evening.

Some things in this thread and the linked list (thanks, @ipso) are new to me. I’ll check them out.

Arisztid's avatar

I was going to list Ladyhawke, Willow, and Conan but they are already listed.

If you want a wee bit of laughter, toss in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Lessee, according to your checklist:

— Live action, not animated… yup
— Good storyline… time tested storyline, a little bit twisted
— Real actors (well, at least one or two with known names)... all of the Python crew
— Decent sfx… ehhh. Well, they do lob things over walls.
— Not just for juveniles… well, unless you count Python fans as juveniles, check.

The movie includes the black death, witches, “damsel” in distress, and all sorts of other goodies. No wizards through.


I am one of those guys who knows enough about the medieval period to “enjoy” a movie by picking out historical inaccuracies unless it is a good enough movie for even me to set my nitpickiness aside and enjoy it for the plot.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Soloman Kane

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I’d watch “Camelot” simply to watch Franco Nero prance alot ;)

aprilsimnel's avatar

Not quite canon to Arthurian legend, but Merlin might fit the bill for you, @Jeruba. It’s 174 minutes long and stars Sam Neill as Merlin.

Jeruba's avatar

@aprilsimnel, that sure does sound like one for me. Anything that’s been on TV is probably completely off my radar. I love Sam Neill. I’ll put this one in my Netflix queue.

@Arisztid, good pick! I love that movie too. Maybe it’s time to watch it again—even though I always wind up getting caught up in it to the point that the ending is a surprise…

Haven’t seen Camelot in a long while either. Say, I guess if you live long enough and your memory gets bad enough, you can get double or triple duty out of almost any movie that was worth seeing once.

Aethelwine's avatar

Dragonslayer was my first experience with S&S films. I think I may have watched it at least 15 times when I was younger. I really enjoyed the film, but I haven’t seen it in years.
oops, I see @mrentropy recommended this film already.

chels's avatar

The Sword and the Stone .

Jeruba's avatar

My son dug to the back of the drawer for me and found Willow, and I’ve just watched it again. That was really fun. Thanks for reminding me! And now I have The Princess Bride for another night, and Merlin is in my queue.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

The Color of Magic starring Sean Astin. Movie version of the Discworld books by Terry Prachett (I think?).

Inkheart. Book was better but the movie wasn’t TOO terrible.


Mists of Avalon.


Dungeons and Dragons (It’s terrible but it makes me happy).

Just Visiting. Isn’t really a medieval fantasy but it’s hysterical and I love it.

actuallery's avatar

Dungeons & Dragons (2000)
Directed by Courtney Solomon. With Jeremy Irons, Bruce Payne,

weeveeship's avatar

monty python and the holy grail
They got tim the enchanter in the movie. That counts as magic right?

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