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Zoethe

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A brilliant light goes out [Jan. 3rd, 2012|06:05 pm]
Zoethe
Sword master Bob Anderson has died at the age of 89.

Some of you may not realize the contribution that he's made to your world. But if you appreciate the weapons work in Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars, The Princess Bride, The Mask of Zorro, almost every Three Musketeers movies ever made, you've benefited from the mastery of Bob Anderson.

His work started in The Adventures of Robin Hood, where he worked with Errol Flynn, and he taught swordmanship to generations of actors. Many times his work was uncredited by the film's makers, but the people he taught spoke of him with great affection. He taught these actors to be comfortable with the blade, and he assisted in choreographing the epic fights that fill our movie memories.

He worked mostly behind the scenes (and thank goodness for the behind-the-scenes documentaries that finally introduced us to him), but also served as stunt double for a number of fight scenes, most notably at Darth Vader in the Star Wars Original Trilogy. Everything epic about those battles was Bob Anderson's work.

So farewell to one of films undersung heroes.

Crossposting from Dreamwidth now. Sigh. If LJ won't let you comment, you can comment here: http://zoethe.dreamwidth.org/789252.html?mode=reply:
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: merle_
2012-01-04 12:05 am (UTC)
If he's the guy who came up with sword selections for LotR, my belated applause. I had just read Oakeshott's "The Archaeology of Weapons" before seeing the first movie and found the movie to be impressively consistent with the match between sword and armour, something lacking in quite a lot of other movies.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-01-04 02:24 am (UTC)
He was not the sword designer, he was the fighting master. The sword designs were a combined effort of designers John Howe and Alan Lee, and the design team under the amazing Richard Taylor.
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[User Picture]From: roniliquidity
2012-01-04 08:08 pm (UTC)
The guy that made the main swords was a very nice man named Peter Lyons who is a friend of friends in NZ. I got to hang out with him at a couple of parties, and was very excited to see him in the Weta intro video.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-01-04 10:01 pm (UTC)
Yes, of course. I was sloppy about mentioning the actual swordsmith. Shame on me.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2012-01-04 12:05 am (UTC)
Heard this on NPR this morning, and I'm about to sit down to watch the Princess Bride...also one of his.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-01-04 02:27 am (UTC)
Yes, as I mentioned above.... ;-)
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2012-01-04 02:00 pm (UTC)
oops. NOt paying careful enough attention to detail. I watched the movie again last night, and the two sword fights were just ...wonderful.

Edited at 2012-01-04 02:01 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-01-04 02:20 pm (UTC)
"I am not lefthanded either."
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2012-01-04 03:08 pm (UTC)
'you seem a decent fellow, I'd hate to kill you.'

It really is one of my favorite movies.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-01-04 05:38 pm (UTC)
It's the ultimate in quotable movies.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2012-01-04 07:08 pm (UTC)
'We are men of action. Lies do not become us."

It's the only movie I ever really liked Carey Elwes in.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-01-04 07:19 pm (UTC)
I always wanted him to get more good work....
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-01-04 02:26 am (UTC)
Indeed he will be.
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[User Picture]From: mishamish
2012-01-04 02:25 am (UTC)
Much as I love Aldo Nadi, his style was too conformist to accuracy to do the kind of choreographic magic Anderson managed.

And let's not forget Bob Anderson's BIGGEST claim to fame: He stabbed Errol Flynn in the thigh during filming a movie. I just had to toss that one in there so it could ACTUALLY be said that he was remembered for it to his grave. :-)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-01-04 02:27 am (UTC)
Ah, yes, that too. LOL
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[User Picture]From: blessed_oak
2012-01-04 02:51 am (UTC)
I certainly appreciated his work before I knew who he was. I'm glad I know now.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-01-04 02:53 am (UTC)
He deserves appreciation. I'm glad you know now.
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[User Picture]From: mariadkins
2012-01-04 06:36 pm (UTC)
wow. :(
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-01-04 06:44 pm (UTC)
We got him for a good long time. But it's good to honor him.
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[User Picture]From: mariadkins
2012-01-04 07:07 pm (UTC)
mari concurs.
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