Weird History The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made  

Ranker Film
5.5k votes 579 voters 13.6k views 47 items

What are the best sword and sandal movies of all time? This list of great sword and sandal films runs the gamut, featuring mythic figures like Hercules, Goliath, Samson, and Ursus, as well as classic movies like Spartacus and The Ten Commandments, along with modern swashbuckling adventures like Gladiator, Troy, The Scorpion King, and both versions of Clash of the Titans!

Whether the sword is mightier than the pen or the other way around, we want to know which movies you think are the best in the genre (also known as the peplum genre after the Greek word for "tunic").

Vote below for your favorite sword and sandal epics and if you see any titles missing, feel free to add them so that other movie fans and Rankers can vote on your additions!
list ordered by

1
125 37
Jason and the Argonauts is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Honor Blackman, Patrick Troughton, Nancy Kovack Jason and the Argonauts is a 1963 British Columbia Pictures fantasy Greek Mythology feature film starring Todd Armstrong as the titular mythical Greek hero in a story about his quest for the ...more

2
189 91
Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen Gladiator is a 2000 American-British epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, ...more

3
86 24
Ulysses is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Fionnula Flanagan, Milo O'Shea, Maurice Roeves Ulysses is a 1967 British-American drama film loosely based on James Joyce's novel Ulysses. It concerns the meeting of two Irishmen, Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus, in the Dublin of 1904. ...more

4
88 26
The 300 Spartans is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Ralph Richardson, Diane Baker, Donald Houston The 300 Spartans is a 1962 CinemaScope film depicting the Battle of Thermopylae. Made with the cooperation of the Greek government, it was shot in the village of Perachora in the Peloponnese. It ...more

5
85 24
Hercules is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Luciana Paluzzi, Sylva Koscina, Steve Reeves Le fatiche di Ercole is a 1957 Italian epic fantasy feature film based upon the Hercules myths and the Quest for the Golden Fleece. The film stars Steve Reeves as the titular hero and Sylva ...more

6
149 76
Troy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Rose Byrne Troy is a 2004 American epic film written by David Benioff and directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It is loosely based on Homer's Iliad. Achilles leads his Myrmidons along with the rest of the Greek ...more

7
70 23
Hercules Unchained is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Sylva Koscina, Steve Reeves, Primo Carnera Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Hercules Unchained is a 1959 Italian-French epic fantasy feature film starring Steve Reeves and Sylva Koscina in a story about two warring brothers and Hercules' tribulations in the court of ...more

8
109 54
Conan the Barbarian is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow Conan the Barbarian is a 1982 sword and sorcery/adventure film directed and co-written by John Milius. It is based on stories by Robert E. Howard, a pulp fiction writer of the 1930s, about the ...more

9
136 76
300 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Lena Headey 300 is a 2006 American fantasy war film based on the 1998 comic series of the same name by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley. Both are fictionalized retellings of the Battle of Thermopylae which took ...more

10
85 43
Clash of the Titans is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Gemma Arterton, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes Clash of the Titans is a 2010 British-American fantasy adventure film and remake of the 1981 film of the same name produced by MGM. The story is very loosely based on the Greek myth of Perseus. ...more

11
118 74
Spartacus is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Tony Curtis Spartacus is a 1960 American epic historical drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay by Dalton Trumbo was based on the novel Spartacus by Howard Fast. It was inspired by the life ...more

12
75 39
Conan the Destroyer is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wilt Chamberlain, André the Giant Conan the Destroyer is a 1984 American sword and sorcery/adventure film directed by Richard Fleischer, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mako Iwamatsu reprising their roles as Conan and Akiro ...more

13
65 31
Red Sonja is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brigitte Nielsen, Ernie Reyes Red Sonja is a 1985 Dutch-American sword and sorcery action film directed by Richard Fleischer. The film features the sword-wielding Marvel Comics character Red Sonja, created by Roy Thomas, who ...more

14
76 42
300: Rise of an Empire is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Eva Green, Lena Headey, Rodrigo Santoro 300: Rise of an Empire is a 2014 American fantasy film directed by Noam Murro. It is a follow-up to the 2007 film 300, taking place before, during and after the main events of its predecessor ...more

15
78 44
Wrath of the Titans is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Rosamund Pike Wrath of the Titans is a 2012 film directed by Jonathan Liebesman.

16
53 24
Samson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Roman Polanski, Beata Tyszkiewicz, Władysław Kowalski Samson is a 1961 film made by Academy Award-winning Polish director Andrzej Wajda that uses art house aesthetics to tell a story about the Holocaust. Wajda's World War II film alludes to the Old ...more

17
58 30
Goliath and the Barbarians is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Steve Reeves, Bruce Cabot, Arturo Dominici Il terrore dei barbari is a film directed by Carlo Campogalliani released on November 1959.

18
103 73
Ben Hur is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
William S. Hart, Herman Rottger Ben Hur is a 15-minute-long 1907 silent film, the first film version of Lew Wallace's novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, one of the best-selling books at that time.

19
95 68
The Ten Commandments is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Charlton Heston, Vincent Price, Yul Brynner The Ten Commandments is a 1956 American religious epic film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille, shot in VistaVision, and released by Paramount Pictures. It dramatizes the biblical story ...more

20
52 28
Ursus is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Ursus Ursus is a 2011 animated short film written and directed by Reinis Petersons.

21
64 52
The Scorpion King is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Hu, Michael Clarke Duncan The Scorpion King is a 2002 American action film directed by Chuck Russell, starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Kelly Hu, Grant Heslov, and Michael Clarke Duncan. It is a ...more

22
64 56
Cleopatra is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Martin Landau Cleopatra is a 1963 epic historical drama film chronicling the struggles of Cleopatra VII, the young Queen of Egypt, to resist the imperial ambitions of Rome. It was directed by Joseph L. ...more

23
44 35
The Fury of Achilles is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
The Fury of Achilles Gordon Mitchell, Jacques Bergerac, Piero Lulli L'ira di Achille, internationally released as The Fury of Achilles, is a 1962 Italian historical drama set in the ninth year of the Trojan War, and is based primarily on Homer's Iliad. The film ...more

24
70 64
Seven Samurai is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Eijirō Tōno Seven Samurai is a 1954 Japanese Jidaigeki adventure film co-written, edited, and directed by Akira Kurosawa. It follows the story of a village of farmers that hire seven ronin to combat bandits ...more

25
49 41
The Last Legion is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Ben Kingsley, Colin Firth Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Last Legion is a 2007 film directed by Doug Lefler. Produced by Dino De Laurentiis and others, it is based on a 2003 Italian novel of the same name written by Valerio Massimo Manfredi. It ...more

26
57 51
Conan the Barbarian is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Morgan Freeman, Rose McGowan, Rachel Nichols Conan the Barbarian is a 2011 American sword and sorcery film based on the character Conan the Barbarian created by Robert E. Howard. The film is a new interpretation of the Conan mythology, and ...more

27
70 66
Clash of the Titans is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Ursula Andress, Maggie Smith, Laurence Olivier Clash of the Titans is an 1981 British-American fantasy adventure film involving the Greek hero Perseus, and features the final work of stop motion visual effects artist, Ray Harryhausen. It was ...more

28
68 73
Lawrence of Arabia is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British epic adventure drama film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It was directed by David Lean and produced by Sam Spiegel. The film stars Peter O'Toole in the ...more

29
49 55
The Fall of the Roman Empire is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Sophia Loren, Omar Sharif, Christopher Plummer The Fall of the Roman Empire is a 1964 epic film starring Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, Alec Guinness, James Mason, Christopher Plummer, Mel Ferrer and Omar Sharif. It was directed by Anthony Mann ...more

30
52 59
Immortals is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Mickey Rourke, Freida Pinto, John Hurt Immortals is a 2011 3D mythology fantasy film directed by Tarsem Singh and starring Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto, and Mickey Rourke. The film also stars Luke Evans, Steve Byers, Kellan Lutz, ...more

31
36 40
The Last Days of Pompeii is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Basil Rathbone, nm0129894, John Wood Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Last Days of Pompeii is a 1935 drama film directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack.

32
48 61
The Robe is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
The Robe is a 1942 historical novel about the Crucifixion of Jesus written by Lloyd C. Douglas. The book was one of the best-selling titles of the 1940s. It entered the New York Times Best ...more

33
49 67
Prince of Persia: The Sands of... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Gemma Arterton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Kingsley Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a 2010 American adventure action fantasy film written by Jordan Mechner, Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, and Carlo Bernard; directed by Mike Newell; produced by ...more

34
50 71
Centurion is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Michael Fassbender, Olga Kurylenko, Imogen Poots Centurion is a 2010 British historical action film directed by Neil Marshall, loosely based on the legend of the Ninth Legion in Caledonia in the early second century AD. The film stars Michael ...more

35
55 80
Alexander is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Colin Farrell Alexander is a 2004 action adventure biography film written by Oliver Stone, Christopher Kyle and Laeta Kalogridis and directed by Oliver Stone.

36
27 41
Rome Against Rome is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
John Drew Barrymore, Andrea Checchi, Ettore Manni Rome Against Rome is a 1964 peplum film directed by Giuseppe Vari.

37
33 53
Pathfinder is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Moon Bloodgood, Karl Urban, Clancy Brown Pathfinder is a 2007 American epic action film directed by Marcus Nispel, distributed by 20th Century Fox, and stars Karl Urban, Clancy Brown, Ralf Möller, Moon Bloodgood, Russell Means, ...more

38
35 62
Pompeii is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Kiefer Sutherland, Emily Browning, Jessica Lucas Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Pompeii is a 2014 German-Canadian-USA 3D historical disaster film produced and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. Inspired by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 that destroyed the Pompeii city ...more

39
22 45
Hercules is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Rachael Taylor, Leelee Sobieski, Sean Astin Hercules is a 2005 RHI Entertainment television miniseries, chronicling the life of the legendary Greek hero, Heracles, called Hercules in this series. It is most often aired on television as a ...more

40
30 61
Julius Caesar is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Marlon Brando, Deborah Kerr, John Gielgud Julius Caesar is a 1953 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film adaptation of the play by Shakespeare, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who also wrote the uncredited screenplay, and produced by John Houseman. ...more

41
40 79
Hercules is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Danny DeVito, James Woods, Charlton Heston Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Hercules is a 1997 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 35th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated ...more

42
25 59
Sanjuro is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Tatsuya Nakadai Sanjuro is a 1962 black-and-white Japanese samurai film directed by Akira Kurosawa and starring Toshiro Mifune. It is a sequel to Kurosawa's 1961 Yojimbo. Originally an adaptation of the Shūgorō ...more

43
22 54
13 Assassins is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Tsuyoshi Ihara, Kōji Yakusho, Goro Inagaki This film is a 2010 Japanese jidaigeki film directed by Takashi Miike. The screenplay was written by Daisuke Tengan. The film is a remake of Eiichi Kudo’s 1963 black-and-white Japanese film of ...more

44
24 60
Yojimbo is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Tatsuya Nakadai Yojimbo is a 1961 jidaigeki film directed by Akira Kurosawa. It tells the story of a rōnin, portrayed by Toshiro Mifune, who arrives in a small town where competing lords vie for supremacy. The ...more

45
15 48
The Arena is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Pam Grier, Paul Muller, Rosalba Neri The Arena is a 1974 gladiator exploitation film, starring Margaret Markov and Pam Grier, and directed by Steve Carver and an uncredited Joe D'Amato. Grier and Markov portray female gladiators in ...more

46
16 52
Cabiria is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Lidia Quaranta, Bartolomeo Pagano, Dante Testa Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Cabiria is a 1914 Italian epic silent film, directed by Giovanni Pastrone and shot in Turin. The film is set in ancient Sicily, Carthage, and Cirta during the period of the Second Punic War. It ...more

47
24 68
History of the World, Part I is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Mel Brooks, Orson Welles, Hugh Hefner History of the World, Part I is a 1981 comedy film written, produced, and directed by Mel Brooks. Brooks also stars in the film, playing five roles: Moses, Comicus the stand-up philosopher, ...more