Film The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made  

Ranker Film
4.6k votes 482 voters 11.1k 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!

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Jason and the Argonauts is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Jason and the Argonauts 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

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Ulysses is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Ulysses 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

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The 300 Spartans is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
The 300 Spartans 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

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Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Gladiator 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

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Hercules is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Hercules 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

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Hercules Unchained is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Hercules Unchained 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

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Troy is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Troy Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Rose Byrne Troy is a 2004 American epic war film written by David Benioff and directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It is loosely based on Homer's Iliad, which narrates the story of the 10 year Trojan War. ...more

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Conan the Barbarian is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Conan the Barbarian 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

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300 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
300 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

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Goliath and the Barbarians is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Goliath and the Barbarians Steve Reeves, Bruce Cabot, Arturo Dominici Il terrore dei barbari is a film directed by Carlo Campogalliani released on November 1959.

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Samson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Samson 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

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300: Rise of an Empire is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
300: Rise of an Empire Eva Green, Lena Headey, Rodrigo Santoro 300: Rise of an Empire is a 2014 American fantasy war 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 ...more

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Conan the Destroyer is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Conan the Destroyer 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

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Spartacus is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Spartacus 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

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Red Sonja is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Red Sonja Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brigitte Nielsen, Ernie Reyes Red Sonja is a 1985 Dutch-American sword and sorcery action film directed by Richard Fleischer. The film introduces Brigitte Nielsen as the title character with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sandahl ...more

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Ursus is listed (or ranked) 16 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.

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Clash of the Titans is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Clash of the Titans 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

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Wrath of the Titans is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Wrath of the Titans Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Rosamund Pike Wrath of the Titans is a 2012 film directed by Jonathan Liebesman.

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Ben Hur is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Ben Hur 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.

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The Ten Commandments is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
The Ten Commandments 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

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The Fury of Achilles is listed (or ranked) 21 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

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Seven Samurai is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Seven Samurai Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Eijirō Tōno Seven Samurai is a 1954 Japanese Jidaigeki adventure film co-written, edited, and directed by Akira Kurosawa. The film takes place in 1587 during the Warring States Period of Japan. It follows ...more

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The Last Legion is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
The Last Legion 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

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The Scorpion King is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
The Scorpion King 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

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Clash of the Titans is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Clash of the Titans 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

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Conan the Barbarian is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Conan the Barbarian 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

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Immortals is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Immortals 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

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Lawrence of Arabia is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Lawrence of Arabia 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 through his British company, Horizon ...more

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The Last Days of Pompeii is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
The Last Days of Pompeii 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.

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Cleopatra is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Cleopatra 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

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The Fall of the Roman Empire is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
The Fall of the Roman Empire 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

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Rome Against Rome is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Rome Against Rome John Drew Barrymore, Andrea Checchi, Ettore Manni Rome Against Rome is a 1964 peplum film directed by Giuseppe Vari.

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Prince of Persia: The Sands of... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time 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

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The Robe is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
The Robe 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

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Centurion is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Centurion Michael Fassbender, Olga Kurylenko, Imogen Poots Centurion is a 2010 British historical action-war film directed by Neil Marshall, loosely based on the legend of the massacre of the Ninth Legion in Caledonia in the early second century AD. The ...more

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Alexander is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Alexander 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.

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Pathfinder is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Pathfinder 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

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Pompeii is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Pompeii 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

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Julius Caesar is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Julius Caesar 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

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Sanjuro is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Sanjuro 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

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Hercules is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Hercules 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

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Hercules is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Hercules 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

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Yojimbo is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Yojimbo 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 crime lords vie for ...more

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The Arena is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
The Arena 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

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History of the World, Part I is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
History of the World, Part I 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

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13 Assassins is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
13 Assassins Tsuyoshi Ihara, Kōji Yakusho, Goro Inagaki 13 Assassins 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 ...more

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Cabiria is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Cabiria 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