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The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made 

Ranker Film
Updated June 14, 2019 7.8k votes 812 voters 20.5k 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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1
Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen

Released: 2000

Directed by: Ridley Scott

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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2
Troy is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom

Released: 2004

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

Troy is a 2004 epic period war film directed by Wolfgang Petersen, loosely based on Homer's Iliad. After Paris smuggles Queen Helen to Troy, Achilles leads his Myrmidons along with the rest of ...more

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3
300 is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Lena Headey

Released: 2006

Directed by: Zack Snyder

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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4
Jason and the Argonauts ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Honor Blackman, Patrick Troughton, Nancy Kovack

Released: 1963

Directed by: Don Chaffey

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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5
Conan the Barbarian is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow

Released: 1982

Directed by: John Milius

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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6
Hercules is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Luciana Paluzzi, Sylva Koscina, Steve Reeves

Released: 1958

Directed by: Pietro Francisci

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
7
The 300 Spartans is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Ralph Richardson, Diane Baker, Donald Houston

Released: 1962

Directed by: Rudolph Maté

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
8
Ulysses is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Fionnula Flanagan, Milo O'Shea, Maurice Roeves

Released: 1967

Directed by: Joseph Strick

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
9
Spartacus is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Tony Curtis

Released: 1960

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

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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10
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

Released: 2010

Directed by: Louis Leterrier

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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11
Hercules Unchained is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Hercules Unchained Sylva Koscina, Steve Reeves, Primo Carnera

Released: 1959

Directed by: Pietro Francisci

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

Released: 2014

Directed by: Noam Murro

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

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13
Wrath of the Titans is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Rosamund Pike

Released: 2012

Directed by: Jonathan Liebesman

Wrath of the Titans is a 2012 film directed by Jonathan Liebesman.

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14
Ben Hur is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
William S. Hart, Herman Rottger

Released: 1907

Directed by: Sidney Olcott, Frank Oakes Rose, H. Temple

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.
15
Cleopatra is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Martin Landau

Released: 1963

Directed by: Darryl F. Zanuck, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Rouben Mamoulian

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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16
Red Sonja is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brigitte Nielsen, Ernie Reyes

Released: 1985

Directed by: Richard Fleischer

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

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17
The Ten Commandments is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Charlton Heston, Vincent Price, Yul Brynner

Released: 1956

Directed by: Cecil B. DeMille

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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18
Conan the Destroyer is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wilt Chamberlain, André the Giant

Released: 1984

Directed by: Richard Fleischer

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
19
Conan the Barbarian is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Morgan Freeman, Rose McGowan, Rachel Nichols

Released: 2011

Directed by: Marcus Nispel

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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20
The Scorpion King is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Hu, Michael Clarke Duncan

Released: 2002

Directed by: Chuck Russell

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
21
Goliath and the Barbaria... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Steve Reeves, Bruce Cabot, Arturo Dominici

Released: 1959

Directed by: Carlo Campogalliani

Il terrore dei barbari is a film directed by Carlo Campogalliani released on November 1959.
22
Ursus is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Ursus

Released: 2011

Directed by: Reinis Petersons

Ursus is a 2011 animated short film written and directed by Reinis Petersons.
23
Clash of the Titans is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Ursula Andress, Maggie Smith, Laurence Olivier

Released: 1981

Directed by: Desmond Davis

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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24
Samson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
Roman Polanski, Beata Tyszkiewicz, Władysław Kowalski

Released: 1961

Directed by: Andrzej Wajda

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

Released: 1953

Directed by: Henry Koster

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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