The adventurer. The word encapsulates one of the genre’s oldest and most enduring flavours. The Golden Age of Hollywood was its heyday in movies. Every now and then, a few full-fledged swashbucklers appear. Love affairs abound in swashbuckling literature and film, but no realistic appraisal of these exploits can deny that they aren’t all timeless romances. The romance itself may feel forced rather than natural, or it may be hampered by a lack of chemistry amongst co-stars. However, wonderful relationships can be created by chemistry, superb writing, or even both at the same time. Here are our picks for the top seven swashbucklers of all time.

1. The Adventures Of Robin Hood (1938)

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Director(s)- Michael Curtiz, William Keighly

King Richard joined the Crusades in 1191, but was afterwards captured by the Duke of Austria. His ambitious and cruel brother, Prince John, ascends to the throne and oppresses the Saxons, raising taxes and executing those who cannot pay. Robin of Locksley, a Saxon nobleman who hides in the Sherwood Forest and defends the people against the tyrannic John and his right hand Sir Guy of Gisbourne, is regarded as an outlaw. When he first meets Lady Marian, they immediately fall in love. Sir Guy and the dreaded Sheriff of Nottingham, on the other hand, are on the lookout for Robin Hood and his companions.

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2. Pirates Of The Caribbean, The Trilogy (2003)

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Director- Gore Verbinski

William Turner, a resourceful young blacksmith, teams up with the eccentric pirate “Captain” Jack Sparrow to save his love, the Governor’s daughter, Elizabeth Swann, who has been mistakenly captured by the cunning and treacherous Barbossa, a former ally of Jack, in order to make a blood sacrifice to end the curse that has been cast upon him and his crew. Will and Jack hijack a Royal Navy ship and sail to Tortuga, a pirate haven. There, Jack meets up with his friend Joshamee Gibbs and sets out with a crew of buccaneers and “able-bodied” men to save Elizabeth and reclaim the Black Pearl. Meanwhile, Barbossa realises that the sacrifice required the blood of someone other than Elizabeth.

3. Captain Blood (1935)

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Director- Michael Curtiz

Dr. Peter Blood is imprisoned in the West Indies and sold into slavery after being wrongly accused of treason during the Monmouth Rebellion. To annoy her uncle, Col. Bishop, who owns a big plantation, Arabella Bishop, the Governor’s daughter, buys him for £10 in Port Royal, Jamaica. For the men, as well as Blood, life is difficult. He fixes the Governor’s gout by happenstance and quickly becomes a member of the medical team. He yearns for independence, and when the chance arises, he and his pals seize control of a Spanish ship attacking the city. They quickly become the most feared pirates on the high seas, men without a nation assaulting all ships. When Arabella is kidnapped, Blood decides to bring her to Port Royal, only to discover that it is controlled by England’s new foe, France. They must must decide whether or not to fight for their new King.

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4. The Three Musketeers (2011)

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Director- Paul W.S. Anderson

Cardinal Richeliu disbands the Musketeers after they fail to steal Leonardo Da Vinci’s airship plans, leaving Athos, Porthos, and Aramis wandering the streets of Paris. Meanwhile, D’Artagnan, a youthful, rash, and ambitious young man, has set out from Gascony with the intention of becoming a Musketeer himself, oblivious to the fact that the Musketeers had been disbanded. D’Artagnan manages to insult Athos, Porthos, and Aramis on several occasions in a short period of time, and challenges them to duels. Guards try to arrest them for illegal duelling before the duels can take place. The ex-Musketeers and D’Artagnan defeat the troops, forming a band with the slogan “All for one and one for all.”

5. The Mask Of Zorro (1998)

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Director- Martin Campbell

After humbling the wicked Spanish ruler Don Rafael Montero once more in 1821 Old California, the enigmatic black-caped masked avenger of the oppressed, Don Diego de la Vega—Zorro—lands in jail. Don Rafael raises his only daughter as his own, and nearly two decades later, the veteran swordsman makes a daring escape, taking under his wing the untrained outlaw Alejandro Murietta to teach him the ropes and hopefully turn him into the next Zorro. As the fresh young rapier-wielder prepares to disrupt the nasty governor’s evil schemes, the stage is set for a furious last encounter.

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6. The Princess Bride (1987)

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Director- Rob Reiner

Return to a period when marshes were swamps and men were men. That is, fire swamps. Quicksand and Rodents of Unusual Size abound. Shrieking eels lived in the lagoons. And the world’s most beautiful woman was known as… Buttercup? It is, after all, a twisted fairy tale. Fencing, pursuit, escapes, and ridiculous accents are all there and correct. Inigo Montoya, for example, has spent his entire life dreaming of locating the six-fingered man who murdered his father. His massive sidekick is Fezzik. And the kvetching miracle man is Max. Blonde Buttercup has a thing for sad stable lad Westley. When he is kidnapped by pirates, the villainous Prince Humperdinck chooses her to be his princess bride. She is kidnapped and he is slain along the way.

7. The Count Of Monte Cristo (1934)

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Director- Rowland V. Lee

During the turbulent Napoleonic era, Frenchman Edmond Dantes is arrested and imprisoned for a fabricated crime. But, after years of incarceration, he escapes, securing a large treasure buried on the island of Monte Cristo off the coast of Italy. Edmond plans to collect scores with his erstwhile friend Mondego and the others who snatched his freedom and fiancée by rebranding himself as a man of nobility and means.