1. Nornan Tucker

    The best I’ve ever seen is in “SCARAMOUCHE” = Stewart Granger & Jose ferrer,
    Also the remake of “PRISONER OF ZENDA” =

    • Just watched some fights from both movies. Scaramouche is really great! The environmental gags they pulled to show that the weapons were sharp were clever, and there was a nice plot through-line clearly visible in both fights. The actors maintained strong characterization and showed the dramatic conflict through the events of the fight. Plus, I love all the acrobatic stunts! In terms of cinematography, camera placement was mostly unimaginative, with a couple of exceptions, but the lighting and blocking were both good, giving us a very clear idea of what was happening and where.

      Prisoner of Zenda is less successful in terms of cinematography—the hero’s black costume sometimes got lost in the darkness of the set, and the entire scene was flat. In addition, although the camera moves were more daring, the blocking wasn’t as good, leading to many situations where the actors’ stances weren’t as clear, and the environment was not as well defined for the viewer. However, I liked that the purpose of the duel wasn’t to defeat the antagonist, but to accomplish a side goal—the opening of the drawbridge. I wish that the comment at the start about using furniture as weapons had presaged a bigger role of improvised weaponry. Once the hero got a sword, he fell into the same style as the antagonist. It would have been great to see his unorthodox thinking play a role in his victory.

      I’ll let the swordy guys comment on the combat itself.

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