Pennants Flutter! Arrows Fly! Battlements are Scaled! Swords Clash and Clang!
The swashbuckler comes stocked with a level of visual riches few other genres can touch.
And in the best of them, that’s fortified, amplified, buoyed and bolstered by an atmosphere of sheer aspirational zest. Dreams of adventure and gallant deeds seem not just pleasing but plausible. Without yielding a bit of their fervor. Antique settings and motifs suddenly bristle with an exciting immediacy.
Every frame overflows with tantalizing images:
Knights and their ladies, pirate kings, Viking hordes, highwaymen, musketeers and masked avengers.
Silver goblets, jewelled crowns, brocades, velvets, dueling cavaliers and rearing steeds.
Skulls, crossbones, treasure maps and treasure chests.
Turrets, moats, drawbridges and dungeons.
Round tables and square-rigged galleons.
Daggers, rapiers, crossbows, lances, shields and gleaming armor.
Throne rooms, monarchs, pretenders, rightful heirs and scheming regents.
Chivalry, chicanery, gallantry and guile.
All for one and one for all!
I’ve been watching swashbucklers all my life. So I've explored a great deal of what’s out there.They haven’t all been classics. But I still get excited when I come across one I haven't yet seen.
Here’s my personal Top 40. These are the titles closest to my heart. The ones I never tire of watching.
If you’ve been reading this, chances are you’re a swashbuckler fan too and have watched many of them. It’s my hope this list might steer you toward one or two you don’t know - possible future favorites of your own.