When Hollywood Actually Gets It Right

One of the most realistic fight scenes ever portrayed is the final fight between Rob Roy MacGregor (Liam Neeson) and Archibald Cunningham (Tim Roth). It is a fight between brute strength and size versus speed, skill and agility.

What makes this so realistic is that they aren’t pulling strikes and the filming is continuous, there are no cut away images, forcing the fencers to actually fence. Cunningham is clearly the better fighter, but is well aware of MacGregor’s strength and size advantage.

MacGregor uses the classic basket hilt Scottish broad sword found throughout Scotland. This is a heavy single handed sword with an added basket for hand and finger protection. Cunningham uses a rapier, a much lighter and more flexible blade, consistent with the time period and weapon of the English and French fighters in the early 18th century.

Basket-hilt Scottish Broadsword
Traditional Rapier and Dagger

What follows is one of Hollywood’s greatest fight scenes.

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