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  • Swashbuckler films are a subgenre of the action film genre, often characterised by swordfighting and adventurous heroic characters, known as swashbucklers, often set in Western Europe in the period between the late Renaissance and the Age of Reason with appropriately lavish costumes. Real historical events often feature prominently in the plot, morality is often clear-cut, heroic characters are clearly heroic and even villains tend to have a code of honour. There is often a damsel in distress and a romantic element. The genre is related and interlinks itself with the sword-and-sandal genre, the two being among the very early cinematic genres. The series is called capa y espada in Spain. Right from the advent of cinema, the silent era was packed with swashbucklers. The most famous of those were the films of Douglas Fairbanks, which defined the genre. The stories came from romantic costume novels, particularly those of Alexandre Dumas and Rafael Sabatini. Last but not least, triumphant, thrilling music was an important part of the formula.

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