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The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made

Updated June 14, 2019 10.0k votes 892 voters 22.6k views47 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
    Jason and the Argonauts is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    232
    80

    Jason and the Argonauts

    Honor Blackman, Patrick Troughton

    Released1963

    Directed byDon Chaffey

    Jason and the Argonauts is a 1963 British Columbia Pictures fantasy Greek Mythology feature... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    350
    148

    Gladiator

    Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix

    Released2000

    Directed byRidley Scott

    Gladiator is a 2000 American-British epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    300 is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    275
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    300

    Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender

    Released2006

    Directed byZack Snyder

    300 is a 2006 American fantasy war film based on the 1998 comic series of the same name by... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Conan the Barbarian is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    224
    84

    Conan the Barbarian

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones

    Released1982

    Directed byJohn Milius

    Conan the Barbarian is a 1982 sword and sorcery/adventure film directed and co-written by John... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Troy is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    286
    124

    Troy

    Brad Pitt, Eric Bana

    Released2004

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

    Troy is a 2004 epic period war film directed by Wolfgang Petersen, loosely based on Homer's... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    Hercules is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    162
    61

    Hercules

    Luciana Paluzzi, Sylva Koscina

    Released1958

    Directed byPietro Francisci

    Le fatiche di Ercole is a 1957 Italian epic fantasy feature film based upon the Hercules myths... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    The 300 Spartans is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    165
    64

    The 300 Spartans

    Ralph Richardson, Diane Baker

    Released1962

    Directed byRudolph Maté

    The 300 Spartans is a 1962 CinemaScope film depicting the Battle of Thermopylae. Made with the... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Ulysses is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    153
    62

    Ulysses

    Fionnula Flanagan, Milo O'Shea

    Released1967

    Directed byJoseph Strick

    Ulysses is a 1967 British-American drama film loosely based on James Joyce's novel Ulysses. It... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    300: Rise of an Empire is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    166
    77

    300: Rise of an Empire

    Eva Green, Lena Headey

    Released2014

    Directed byNoam Murro

    300: Rise of an Empire is a 2014 American fantasy film directed by Noam Murro. It is a... more on Wikipedia

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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
    176
    84

    Clash of the Titans

    Gemma Arterton, Liam Neeson

    Released2010

    Directed byLouis Leterrier

    Clash of the Titans is a 2010 British-American fantasy adventure film and remake of the 1981... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    Hercules Unchained is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    134
    55

    Hercules Unchained

    Sylva Koscina, Steve Reeves

    Released1959

    Directed byPietro Francisci

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  • 12
    Spartacus is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    218
    118

    Spartacus

    Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier

    Released1960

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    Spartacus is a 1960 American epic historical drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick. The... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    Cleopatra is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    156
    81

    Cleopatra

    Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton

    Released1963

    Directed byDarryl F. Zanuck, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Rouben Mamoulian

    Cleopatra is a 1963 epic historical drama film chronicling the struggles of Cleopatra VII, the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    Ben Hur is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    199
    118

    Ben Hur

    William S. Hart, Herman Rottger

    Released1907

    Directed bySidney 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... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Wrath of the Titans is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    151
    81

    Wrath of the Titans

    Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

    Released2012

    Directed byJonathan Liebesman

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

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  • 16
    The Ten Commandments is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    168
    109

    The Ten Commandments

    Charlton Heston, Vincent Price

    Released1956

    Directed byCecil B. DeMille

    The Ten Commandments is a 1956 American religious epic film produced and directed by Cecil B.... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Red Sonja is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    120
    69

    Red Sonja

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brigitte Nielsen

    Released1985

    Directed byRichard Fleischer

    Red Sonja is a 1985 Dutch-American sword and sorcery action film directed by Richard... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    Conan the Destroyer is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    126
    85

    Conan the Destroyer

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wilt Chamberlain

    Released1984

    Directed byRichard Fleischer

    Conan the Destroyer is a 1984 American sword and sorcery/adventure film directed by Richard... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    Conan the Barbarian is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    124
    85

    Conan the Barbarian

    Morgan Freeman, Rose McGowan

    Released2011

    Directed byMarcus Nispel

    Conan the Barbarian is a 2011 American sword and sorcery film based on the character Conan the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    The Scorpion King is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    127
    88

    The Scorpion King

    Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Hu

    Released2002

    Directed byChuck Russell

    The Scorpion King is a 2002 American action film directed by Chuck Russell, starring Dwayne... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    Clash of the Titans is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    131
    97

    Clash of the Titans

    Ursula Andress, Maggie Smith

    Released1981

    Directed byDesmond Davis

    Clash of the Titans is an 1981 British-American fantasy adventure film involving the Greek... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    The Robe is listed (or ranked) 22 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.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 23
    Goliath and the Barbarians is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    91
    69

    Goliath and the Barbarians

    Steve Reeves, Bruce Cabot

    Released1959

    Directed byCarlo Campogalliani

    Il terrore dei barbari is a film directed by Carlo Campogalliani released on November 1959.amazon_watch buy button
  • 24
    Samson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    85
    67

    Samson

    Roman Polanski, Beata Tyszkiewicz

    Released1961

    Directed byAndrzej Wajda

    Samson is a 1961 film made by Academy Award-winning Polish director Andrzej Wajda that uses... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Ursus is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made
    81
    64

    Ursus

    Ursus is a 2011 animated short film written and directed by Reinis Petersons.amazon_watch buy button
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