HomeEntertainment News10 Best Swashbuckling Heroes, Ranked

10 Best Swashbuckling Heroes, Ranked

Cinema has the power to give birth to iconic figures that are beloved around the world. Dashing, swashbuckling characters emerge from the screen with a flamboyant flair and undeniable charm. These larger-than-life characters take audiences on thrilling escapades that ignite the imagination and leave viewers in awe. These heroes captivate and inspire, becoming timeless icons of adventure.

With their impeccable wit and skillful maneuvers, these heroes transport us to exotic locales and treacherous high seas, where danger lurks at every turn. Whether fighting bad guys or uncovering hidden treasures, they inspire audiences to bring their sense of adventure even when the movie ended. From Indiana Jones, everyone’s favorite teacher-archaeologist-adventurer to Zorro, a masked swordsman helping those in need, these heroes are among cinemas best swashbuckling heroes.



10 Conan the Barbarian

Conan, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, brandishing a sword in Conan the Destroyer
Image via Universal Pictures

Conan the Barbarian, with his brawny physique, fierce determination, and brutal fighting skills, epitomizes the swashbuckling hero in a fantasy setting. From his battles against sorcerers and monstrous creatures to his quests for vengeance and conquest, Conan’s unwavering strength and indomitable spirit make him a formidable presence.

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Portrayed most famously by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan the Barbarianand Conan the Destroyer as well as also Jason Momoa in the remake, this towering figure is one of cinema’s most badass character.

9 Han Solo

Image of Han Solo from Star Wars

The galaxy’s favorite pilot Han Solo may not be a conventional swashbuckler but through his bravado and wit, he fit the type perfectly. With his quick-trigger blaster and undeniable charisma, he embarks on daring adventures across the galaxy with Luke and Leia Skywalker in Star Wars.

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Portrayed timelessly by Harrison Ford in the original and sequel trilogies, Han’s charm, loyalty, and undeniable skill as a pilot make him an audience favorite. Added with Alden Ehrenreich who brings his own spin in Solo: A Star Wars Story, the character is definitely one of the most iconic in the Star Wars universe.

8 Jack T. Colton

Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner as Jack Colton and Joan Wilder in Romancing the Stone
Image via 20th Century Fox

Jack T. Colton, the rugged adventurer from Romancing the Stone movie series, is a swashbuckling hero with a blend of charm and bravado. With his sharp wit, expertise in survival skills, and willingness to risk it all for a thrilling adventure, Jack embodies the spirit of a classic hero.

Colton, played by Michael Douglas is one of cinema’s endearing swashbuckling hero. The character’s encounters with danger, combined with his undeniable chemistry with his fellow adventurer has inspired countless adventure movies such as the recent Jungle Cruise.

7 Zorro

Antonio Banderas as Zorro in The Mask of Zorro
Image via TriStar Pictures

Zorro, the masked hero of justice, is a legendary hero known for his swordsmanship and unwavering fight against oppression. With his flamboyant black attire, his trusty horse Tornado and his signature “Z” mark, the hero’s tireless quest for justice makes him an enduring symbol of heroism and rebellion.

RELATED: 12 Best Antonio Banderas Performances From ‘Desperado’ to ‘The Mask of Zorro’

The character’s appearance in The Mask of Zorroand its sequel by Antonio Banderas is the most famous and recognizable outing for audiences worldwide. There is currently a reboot in the works starring Miguel Bernardeau (Elite, 1899).

6 Nathan Drake

Tom Holland as Nathan Drake in Uncharted.
Image via Netflix

Nathan Drake, the charismatic treasure hunter that originates from the Uncharted video game series, is a modern-day swashbuckling hero. With his agile physique, sharp intellect, and a touch of roguish charm, he embarks on daring expeditions to uncover hidden treasures.

Tom Holland most recently portrayed him in his younger days in the film adaptation, where he went on an adventure with a fellow swashbuckler Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg). Audiences who have wanted to go on another adventure with the duo are in for a treat because a sequel is currently in the works.

5 Benjamin Gates

Benjamin Franklin Gates holding a torch

Benjamin Gates, the history enthusiast/treasure hunter from the National Treasure films played by the one and only Nicolas Cage, is an adventurer with deep knowledge for history and an unwavering determination to protect his family name.

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With his intelligence and riddle-solving skills, he unravels hidden clues and faces dangerous adversaries to uncover said treasure. It has been rumored that audiences may be treated to one more adventure with Gates, his partner Abigail (Diane Kruger), and his man in the chair Riley (Justin Bartha) sometime soon.

4 Rick O’ Connell

brendan fraser featured
Image via Universal 

Rick O’Connell, the dashing adventurer from The Mummy film series played by Brendan Fraser, embodies the classic archetype of a swashbuckler, with his rugged charm and fearlessness in the face of otherworldly threats. As a former colonel himself, he may be experienced in battles he gained a new perspective after his encounters with mummies.

O’Connell was not alone in his adventures as he was accompanied by Evelyn (Rachel Weisz), a former bumbling librarian turned badass heroine herself. Both of them make a great duo that audiences love to this day.

3 Lara Croft

Lara Croft, the archaeologist and adventurer, is an iconic video game heroine. With her athletic prowess, sharp intellect, and fearless determination, she fearlessly traverses ancient tombs and battles ruthless enemies.

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Angelina Jolie and Alicia Vikander have both portrayed Croft in the movie adaptations, Lara Croft: Tomb Raiderand Tomb Raiderrespectively. Both actresses are amazing in the role but the video game curse still plagued their box office takings. It does not diminish that the character’s status as one of pop culture’s iconic heroes.

2 Captain Jack Sparrow

Jack Sparrow

Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), the pirate captain of the legendary Black Pearl, might be the most eccentric swashbuckler. With his flamboyant walk and unpredictable antics, he navigates treacherous seas with a flair for chaos and a hint of madness.

Audiences have witnessed in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies that the character can be quite selfish at times, but his resourcefulness and quick thinking in dire situations as well as his loyalty to friends make him an endearing hero.

1 Indiana Jones

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom'
Image via Lucasfilm

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), a professor who moonlights as an archeologist and gets his hands dirty to save valuable artifacts, is a true swashbuckling hero. From exploring ancient ruins to facing off against Nazis, he combines his intellect and battle skills to overcome his enemies.

RELATED: All the Spielberg Films Harrison Ford Almost Appeared In, From ‘E.T’ to ‘Jurassic Park’

With a new movie Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the character—complete with his iconic fedora, bullwhip and a beautiful John Williams theme song—is solidified as one of the greatest and most iconic cinematic heroes of all time.

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