A legendary fight choreographer; the man who single-handedly changed Hollywood sword fighting from bullshit to realism (or in many cases cinematic pseudo-realism; still showy, yet far more plausible). With the exception of the duel scene in The Princess Bride, he designed pretty much every famous sword fight in modern film. His major works are The Duellists, Rob Roy, The Three Musketeers from 1973 and its sequel The Four Musketeers; in the humble opinion of your interlocutor, all of these films are well worth watching, for the fencing alone but also in general. »His« single most famous fight is no doubt the duel finale in Rob Roy, often cited as the best sword fight in movie history. It shows many of Hobbs' signature characteristics: authentic use of arms, frequent minor injuries before the fatal blow, and crucially, how quickly fighters tire in a hand-to-hand fight.

Hobbs himself can be seen fencing in The Three Musketeers; he's the scalawag with the bagpipe who accosts Porthos at the inn. This appearance is remarkable in that he appears as a joke to have accoutered himself as historically inaccurately as possible; he wears a studded leather jack, which is a Victorian misinterpretation of drawings of brigandine or a jack of plates, and fences with two rapiers, a style which even now is often thought total invention, but which in reality was sometimes fought by fencing masters as a demonstration of their skill.

More than a professional or an enthusiast, Hobbs could be considered an early scholar (albeit to my knowledge he has never taught at a university, »only« other fight choreographers) of Western martial arts, and is certainly considered a pioneer by that community.


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