Tuesday, January 3, 2012

An Artist Passes

Question:  What do the following movies have in common?

  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • The Princess Bride
  • Highlander
  • The Empire Strikes Back
  • The Return of the Jedi

Answer:  They all had swordplay choreography and some actual swordplay acting by the same man, Bob Anderson.

If you've watched a movie with swashbuckling or someone swinging a mighty broadsword around in the past 50 years, you've probably seen Mr. Anderson's work.  His work as a stuntman goes back even further.  He was also an Olympic fencer for his home country, Great Britain.

I didn't know this, but he stood in as Darth Vader during the light-saber duels in Empire and Jedi.  To me, those scenes were the best in the original trilogy, and were a damn sight better than the CGI kung-fu Yoda in the second.

It's not often that one man has such an impact on the best action scenes in so many of my favorite films, and now he has passed on.  Tonight, I'm raising a glass to a sword master who got a kid from the middle of the prairie to believe that he could be a pirate, if only for just one snowy afternoon.


bluesun said...

Just watched a documentary on Netflix called "Reclaiming the Blade" (I think that's what it was called, at least) that he was interviewed quite a bit for. Man, considering he started out on Errol Flynn...

Auntie J said...

I love the swordplay in The Princess Bride.

I believe I'll raise my Dr Pepper in toast of a man whose brilliance is, to me, quite obvious.

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