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Thread: WMA Films

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    WMA Films

    So, tonight I ended up watching a film a friend of mine had picked up for a pound at a charity shop, usually a recipe for disaster, but tonight was a surprise. It was "By the Sword" which despite its rather cheesy plot I fully recommend to anyone with an interest in fencing / general sword play.

    Anyway this film got me thinking, it was the first movie I can recall seeing where the central focus was on a western martial art in the same way that CMA is the centerpiece of any decent kung fu flick. Anyone have some suggestions of other films that showcase WMAs in a similar way?

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    Boxing movies, are their any old time boxing movies? If not they could make some really really cool ones... Maybe some rough and tumble ones

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    DdlR's Avatar
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    Other than the hundreds of swashbuckling and boxing movies, those that I can think of in which WMA themselves play a central part in the plot (q.v. Chinese MA in kung fu movies) include:

    Scaramouche, the classic '50s adaptation of Raphael Sabatini's novel. It plays very much like a king fu movie; a revenge piece in which the hero's quest includes mastering the art of fencing. See the old-school trailer at YouTube - Scaramouche (1952) Stewart Granger, Eleanor Parker

    The Fencing Master: 1992 film adaptation of Arturo Pérez-Reverte's novel, only available on VHS these days - Amazon.com: The Fencing Master (El Maestro de Esgrima) [VHS]: Omero Antonutti, Assumpta Serna, Joaquim de Almeida, José Luis López Vázquez, Miguel Rellán, Alberto Closas, Elisa Matilla, Ramón Goyanes, Juan Jesús Valverde, Francisco Vidal, Tomás Repila, Marcos Tizón, Alfredo F. Mayo, Pedro Olea, Antonio Cardenal, Antonio Larreta, Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Francisco Prada: Video

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    Conde Koma's Avatar
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    Raging Bull.
    Martin Scorsese, starring Robert DeNiro.
    Possibly the best boxing movie ever made?

    Also, you've got the Rocky Movies, Ali, Cinderella Man, maybe the Wrestler, if you consider that a WMA.

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    The Duelists & Rob Roy have some of the most credible sword fights in movie history. Of the 2, Rob Roy is also a very good movie. Watch Rob Roy.

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    DdlR's Avatar
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    Both Rob Roy and the Duelists feature fight scenes choreographed by William Hobbs (the best in the business).

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    Ming Loyalist's Avatar
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    umm, highlander?
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
    "When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
    "Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
    "Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj

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    DdlR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ming Loyalist View Post
    umm, highlander?
    The sword fighting is Highlander was a sort of generic Hollywood smash and bash; it didn't represent historical European swordplay, which seems to be part of the OP's question.

    On the other hand, the fight choreography in Scaramouche - while well done - also didn't much resemble 17th century rapier fencing. I suggested that one because, as in many kung fu movies, the hero's study of martial arts was central to the plot, which likewise seems to be part of the OP criteria.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    The sword fighting is Highlander was a sort of generic Hollywood smash and bash; it didn't represent historical European swordplay, which seems to be part of the OP's question.

    On the other hand, the fight choreography in Scaramouche - while well done - also didn't much resemble 17th century rapier fencing. I suggested that one because, as in many kung fu movies, the hero's study of martial arts was central to the plot, which likewise seems to be part of the OP criteria.
    wait a minute, you're telling me that no scottish immortals used proto-katana in historical european swordplay????

    and if we're using *kung fu movies* as a guide, why are we concerned with accurate portrayals of swordplay? they have about as much to do with historical chinese combat as highlander does with historical european combat.
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
    "When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
    "Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
    "Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj

  10. #10
    DdlR's Avatar
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    I'm just trying to answer the OP's question in the spirit it was asked. If we're really interested in historical authenticity, then "By the Sword" is hardly an exemplar; so, I was trying to come up with movies which featured either reasonably authentic WMA-inspired choreography, or plots in which HEMA (allowing for artistic license) plays a central role, in the same way that the hero's training in kung fu plays a central role in many chopsockey movies.

    I can't think of a movie that actually showcases historically accurate swordplay as a central plot device, apart from "The Fencing Master".

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