sportingkitchenmartial arts

The 50 Hottest Women Sword Fighters

Posted by Ken

Note: OnlyKnives may receive a small commission from our partner should you choose to purchase this item

10. Rachel Weisz

Looks: 4
Acting: 4
Swordplay: 4

Rachel does battle in "The Mummy Returns" without ever knowing where she got her training. It's a fun plot device, and gives the writers an excuse to pit her against another babe -- Patricia Velasquez. Rachel loses that fight in a split decision but by then has proven her skill beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Rachel has gotten some props for her acting, most notably by winning an Oscar for "The Constant Gardener". I don't know if she's entered any beauty contests, but she's a total fox so, if she did, I bet she'd win.

Rachel Weisz
Rachel WeiszRachel Weisz

9. Lucy Liu

Looks: 4
Acting: 4
Swordplay: 4

In some Bizarro universe, O-Ren Ishii takes down Beatrix Kiddo in "Kill Bill, Volume I" and then things start to really get interesting.

In that world, we get to see Lucy Liu hack her way through four hours of sword-fighting mayhem instead of Uma Thurman. Whaddya think, should we lobby Quentin Tarantino for a "Kill Beatrix, Volume I"? I say Lucy could pull it off.

Lucy's acting has come a long way from her "Ally McBeal" days. She hangs tough in the other categories as well, which is why she's near the top of this list.

Lucy Liu
Lucy LiuLucy Liu

8. Michelle Rodriguez

Looks: 4
Acting: 4
Swordplay: 4

As "Blood Rayne" opens, we see Michelle Rodriguez in a captivating sword fight with a candle. The candle puts up a good fight, but is no match for Michelle. Unfortunately, neither is the movie.

"Rayne" is a gruesome tale of vampires, half-vampires, and non-vampires. Meat Loaf makes an appearance here, so you know it's quality cinema. I don't know what possessed Michelle and Sir Ben Kingsley to sign up for it, but at least we get to see Michelle wreak some havoc.

Michelle, of course, has kicked some tail in other action movies as well. And she made a nice career choice by sitting out the "Blood Rayne" sequel.

Michelle Rodriguez
Michelle RodriguezMichelle Rodriguez

7. Keira Knightley

Looks: 4
Acting: 5
Swordplay: 3

Keira Knightley gets most of her sword fighting points for quantity, if not quality. I count at least three movies where she's done some slashing, including "King Arthur" and two of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies.

She's also a great actress and quite easy on the eyes. Here's hoping she gets to swing her sword again in the upcoming "King Lear". If she can manage to draw in Gwyneth Paltrow and Naomi Watts, I'll have to rewrite this list.

Keira Knightley
Keira KnightleyKeira Knightley

6. Aishwarya Rai

Looks: 5
Acting: 3
Swordplay: 4

Can a swordswoman get a perfect score for looks just based on her eyes? I don't know, since Aishwarya Rai's looks are about more than just her eyes. But it's the eyes that reach out and grab you. And it's her sword that finishes you off.

She's made a smooth transition from Bollywood to Hollywood, more than holding her own in the otherwise-forgettable "The Last Legion". As she continues to hone her acting skills, she'll likely move up even further on this list. Her swordplay's pretty convincing too. One more swashbuckling performance and she might just ascend to the top spot.

Aishwarya Rai
Aishwarya RaiAishwarya Rai

5. Michelle Yeoh

Looks: 4
Acting: 4
Swordplay: 5

Michelle was Miss Malaysia in 1983, so she's got the looks aspect covered. She's aged quite gracefully too.

As far as acting goes, she delivered a stellar performance as the leading lady in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". And she was the best part of "Tomorrow Never Dies", becoming one of the greatest Bond girls in the process.

And her skills with a sword? No question about that. She was amazing in "Tiger" and has been in so many great action movies -- with and without a sword -- it's impossible to name them all here.

No surprise Michelle is right near the top of this list.

Michelle YeohMichelle Yeoh
Michelle Yeoh

4. Uma Thurman

Looks: 4
Acting: 4
Swordplay: 5

Uma certainly deserves her place near the top of this list. She slashed her way through two full-length sword fighting flicks, she's been nominated for an Oscar, and she's a total babe.

"Kill Bill, Volumes 1 & 2" were, of course, two of the best sword fighting movies of all time, thanks to Uma, Lucy Liu and some guy named Quentin Tarantino.

So, while we're waiting for Volume 3, we'll just have to get by on watching "Gattaca" and "Les Miserables" a few more times. C'mon Uma, don't make us beg!

Uma Thurman
Uma ThurmanUma Thurman

3. Maggie Cheung

Looks: 4
Acting: 5
Swordplay: 5

Maggie brings one thing to this list that many other martial arts specialists can't: subtlety. No only is she gorgeous, but she makes you want to watch the slow parts between action sequences. On this list, that's quite an accomplishment.

My only fear is that she might get addicted to the whole "acting" thing and then stop making sword fighting movies. She's done a ton of incredible sword fighting to date, most notably in the recent hit "Hero". But if you insist on checking out her acting skills, watch her in "In the Mood for Love". There's no sword fighting in that one but you won't mind since there's plenty of Maggie.

Maggie Cheung
Maggie CheungMaggie Cheung

2. Catherine Zeta-Jones

Looks: 5
Acting: 5
Swordplay: 4

Catherine pretty much has it all -- amazing looks, top-notch acting talent and convincing sword-handling skills. No wonder she's an A-list Hollywood actress. And she gets bonus points for appearing in two of the best Zorro movies.

In "The Mask of Zorro", she goes toe-to-toe with Antonio Banderas. The emphasis is as much on the cheesy romance as it is on the swordplay, but this is light years better than "Zorro, the Gay Blade".

Her return to action seven years later in "The Legend of Zorro" cemented her place as one of the best sword-fighting babes in big-screen history.

Catherine Zeta-JonesCatherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones

64 Responses

  1. Darren Says:

    Uma Thurman was way too high on the list. She has giant man-hands.

  2. xenafan Says:

    Where’s Lucy Lawless, one of the sexiest sword fighters on TV, ever.

  3. admin Says:

    Movies only for now. TV swordswomen coming soon. The intro mentions that, but it’s not in bold or anything ;)

    Update: now it is in bold. Sorry it wasn’t clearer earlier!

  4. G Says:

    Meiko Kaji, star of Lady Snowblood. Noteworthy for doing her own swordwork plus starring in two sequels, but also famous as the character the world’s highest paid plagerist, Quentin Whatanassho, stole when he “made” Kill Bill.

  5. Yoyo Says:

    I prefer Uma Thurman to the rest! Beautiful but great in action (using swords).

  6. Schwertkämpferinnen - Cynx Cynical World Says:

    [...] Die 50 Hottest Women Sword Fighters auf Only Knives. Viele bekannte Gesichter, aber auch Filme von denen ich noch nie gehört habe (was vielleicht auch [...]

  7. Karsten Says:

    Well done list, mate. Now go over it and give us the best swordfighting scene of each girl as a Youtube vid…

    (Thanks for the great work)

  8. Chuckie Says:

    Where’s Maureen O’Hara? (At Sword’s Point – 1951)

  9. Mike in Ambler, PA Says:

    Where’s Summer Glau?

    She was crazy-hot in Serenity.

  10. Baz Says:

    You Kate Beckinsale ranked lower than some absolute mongrels. Should be at least top 20. Some of them have faces like a bag of hammers.

  11. Tim Says:

    Kate Beckinsale should be way higher. She’s hotter than Uma by far.

  12. Ironman Says:

    Maybe because it was a show it wasnt considered, but Xena Maybe?

  13. Ian Says:

    lucy lawless…as xena?

  14. Bozjam Says:

    Having Kate Beckinsale #38 is a crime. Way too low.

  15. Mdans Says:

    LUCY LAWLESS?! PSSH! You suck for not including her in the list.

  16. Danny Says:

    regarding Shu qi: The picture in the middle is actually Vicky Zhao Wei holding the sword, not Shu Qi :-)
    Shu Qi didnt do any swordfighting in So Close, for reasons i wont spoil here.
    Zhao Wei did all of it, and shes way hotter. So maybe she should be number 22 instead :<

    Author’s Note: Great catch, Danny, thanks! And nice call on Vicky. I’ve updated number 22.

  17. D4v3 Says:

    Elizabeth Gracen, from Highlander the series (for your TV list, of course).

  18. Holodeck Says:

    When you compiled this list and proclaimed that these were the top 50 hottest women sword fighters, I assumed you would have sword fighters. A sai is not a sword, so say goodbye to Rachael Weiss and Jennifer Garner, both of whom are using sais. And where the hell is Cynthia Rothrock, Cat Sasoon, and Karen Sheperd ??

  19. TsuKata Says:

    This list is a rip-off. This is the 50 hottest actresses who happen to have held a sword in a movie once…this has nothing to do with being a hot sword-fighting female character. Blech.

    1) It should have been by character, not by actress.
    2) If you held a sword for less then ten seconds of film time, IT DOESN’T COUNT!

  20. Buh Says:

    I have nothing but scorn for this obvious “I-love-somewhat-ugly-brunettes-only” list. I mean really. Every good-looking blond or brunette is rated lower than those actresses who are generally acknowledged to be “okay-looking”.
    Since the author is obviously playing extreme favorites within his/her narrow experience, the list is a waste of time for all those people who really wanted to see a good, definitive list.

  21. dawn Says:

    Thanks for the tip :)
    But according to Google I’m more of a Slayer not a sword woman!!!

    http://totally-pissed-off.blogspot.com/2008/08/dawn-needs-miracle.html

  22. >.> Says:

    Aya Ueto as the title character in Azumi. Amazing sword fighting by a super-hottie. How did you miss this one?

  23. Swordbabes! « Geek Related Says:

    [...] 1, 2008 · No Comments Courtesy “Only Knives,” here’s a list (with copious pics) of the 50 hottest female sword-swingers from movie history.  Let’s make [...]

  24. lisa_mynx Says:

    Where’s Kelly Hu??? She’s hotter than at least 45 gals on this list and is quite skilled with a sword…

  25. Brian Says:

    Great list. You’re not going to EVER please everyone, though.
    Gotta throw another vote for Summer Glau in Serenity, though. Now THAT was an awesome scene…

  26. Devin Says:

    You have done a good job in making a list of something that was very hard to do.
    No doubt you will have others complaining about who they want on the list but if they were to really think about their choice and place them against the ones on your list. They should realize their choice was a bad one.
    With Uma and Catherine, I would move them further down the list and move Ziyi,Yeoh, Cheung and the others further up the list. Mind you Ziyi is beautiful but her swordplay would put her below Yeoh.
    Otherwise you did a kick ass job with a very hard subject.
    P.S. Rai is hot as hell, no wonder she won the Miss World contest at the age of 19 back in 1994.

  27. SGT Mac in Iraq Says:

    Hatge to diappoint the creator of this list, but Kate Garner did NOT weild a bladed weapon in Daredevil or Elektra. They were sai. Sai are daggers, not swords, plus they don’t have an edge for cutting, they’re for stabbing. She did look hot in Daredevil, though, I will agree.

  28. SGT Mac in Iraq Says:

    Oops, I should have read the whole list first. Those weapons in Rachel Weisz’s hands in The Mummy Returns? They look an awflu lot like sai daggers like the ones Kate Garner weilded. And, as I satated before, sai daggers are thrusting weapons,not blades.

  29. Something a little different | Neptunus Lex Says:

    [...] about women of the world. With swords. Keira Knightly finishes [...]

  30. DYSPEPSIA GENERATION » Blog Archive » The 50 Hottest Women Sword Fighters Says:

    [...] Read it. [...]

  31. QuickLinks vom 4. August — instant-thinking.de Says:

    [...] The 50 Hottest Women Sword Fighters – [...]

  32. cjpt Says:

    Asummpta Serna (“Wild Orchid”; Theresa in BBC “Sharpe” series; a ton of Spanish stuff) stared in the 1992 Spanish film “The Fencing Master” (“El Maestro De Esgrima”); her sword work was incredible and she is stunning;

  33. devakar Says:

    michelle yeoh is the best swords performer, if we observe in crouching tiger and hidden dragon she plays with every kind of sword and instrument. that proves her skill in swords play

  34. DJ Rick Says:

    Where’s Lucy Lawless?

  35. Jim Shoe Says:

    Sarah Carter is very underrated in this list. Probably not so much with the acting, but her cuteness deserves her 5 stars in looks, and her moves in DOA is 5 stars in swords or all around fighting

  36. Queen of swords Says:

    Where is Tessie Santiago? She is the best!

  37. GRK BLOG/ZINE » Blog Archive » The 50 Hottest Women Sword Fighters Says:

    [...] list of hot sword fighting movie actresses. The women are ranked by three factors: looks, acting ability and, most [...]

  38. The 50 Hottest Women Sword Fighters « Here and Back Again : A Human’s Tale Says:

    [...] 50 Hottest Women Sword Fighters The 50 Hottest Women Sword Fighters The women are ranked by three factors: looks, acting ability and, most importantly, their skill [...]

  39. attitude Says:

    Great list but need an update. There are some girls on this list who just touch a sword for a moment. I missed some really sword role women. What about Elizabeth Gracen? Amanda from Highlander.

  40. priest Says:

    soooo, where’s Aya Ueto .. After two great Azumi pictures she should be in!

  41. Charley Says:

    Aya Ueto really should be on this list.

  42. “Got Fish?” Says:

    [...] The 50 hottest women sword fighters. [...]

  43. jill Says:

    why are they all white and blonde?

    this list sucks.

  44. some guy Says:

    Sarah Carter was hotter than most of the girls on that list… why such a low rank?

  45. Roy Says:

    Geena Davis above Kate Beckinsale!!!!? Are you NUTS??

  46. Cass1dy Says:

    @ jill
    Aishwarya Rai is not white
    9/50 Asians are not white
    18/50 blondes is not “all” (and most of them are dyed)

    sorry to be picky
    this is a good list

  47. Angelsfire.nl » The 50 hottest women sword Fighters Says:

    [...] dan maak ik er een post van, zodat jullie er ook van mee kunnen genieten. Wat dacht je van The 50 hottest women sword Fighters? Speciaal voor mensen die graag naar mooie vrouwen kijken. Op ons plaatje zie je trouwens Brigitte [...]

  48. angela Says:

    No Lucy Lawless/Xena? I don’t care if she wasn’t in a film, she still has to be on the list!

    And Jennifer Garner/Elektra uses sais, not a sword.

  49. Cobrastyle Says:

    Hi…
    im new at this
    anybody from mexico??

    Uma Thurman is the best with her yellow outfitt

  50. Nepenthos Says:

    No way did you leave out Xena! Lucy Lawless is the sexiest sword-wielding, scantily-dressed woman out there. I expected her to be in the Top 10.

  51. silentsurfur Says:

    Cool collection of top 50 women sword fighters… :)

  52. GeekVox Says:

    [...] off a LOT of women fighters, so please comment and add your own! I also found this amazing list of 50 swordfighting women in movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, [...]

  53. Johan Says:

    Kate Beckinsale should be much higher, and the actress from Azumi should definately be on the list.
    Likewise I think you missed Kristanna Loken in “Curse of the Ring: Ring of the Nibelungs” where she plays the Warrior Queen Brunnhilde (although she doesn’t fight that much). In that movie she’s good enough to earn one more star for her acting, and move into the top 10.

    But it was still a great list, and I’ve found many movies that I want to see =)

  54. Em Says:

    Previously mentioned, but I’ll add my own observation also – Tessie Santiago DIDN’T make this list?
    (gimme a break)

  55. wingsofshadow Says:

    I know t.v. is supposed to be another list and I know the series kinda sucked, but Yancy Butler in “witchblade” should be on there somewhere.

  56. Chris R Says:

    I know I’m late to this thread, but, what about Devon Aoki, the sword-wielding assasin-enforcer Miho for the prostitutes in Sin City.

  57. Dan R Says:

    Well, Bridget Regan has been in a few flicks, but I guess her fineness only swings her Legend of the Seeker sword on the tube.

  58. CherieO Says:

    Lucy Lawless, Xena by far!!!!!!

  59. Reggie Says:

    bull! Lucy Lawless is so f***** hot! you should’ve added her in the list!

  60. Kauai Tom Says:

    SUMMER GLAU SUMMER GLAU SUMMER GLAU!!!
    Serenity and The Sarah Conner Chronicles, and more to come we pray…

  61. Anonamous Says:

    What about Summer Glau? Her role in Serenity, I believe, earns her a spot on the list.

  62. JuciyJJ..xox Says:

    i think tht swordfighting woman in a film would be a strong character to play and show tht woman dont necessarily need men in their lives ! girl power all the way ! xxx <3 xxxx

  63. billiam Says:

    I agree….no Yancy Butler bad form and also no LeeLee Sobieski? come on….. the best Joan of Arc next to Ingrid. No Liv Tyler???

  64. M.T. "Bull" Jones Says:

    Great work on a tough list to build. My only complaint is that that you missed one that should have been fitted in there somewhere… Chiaki Kuriyama.