Author Topic: Bows in the movies  (Read 4923 times)

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Offline Matt S.

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Bows in the movies
« on: February 21, 2011, 01:19:04 pm »
What are some movies that feature extensive archery and bow screen time? Which movies catch your eye with the bows in them?

I usually sit on the couch when making my bow strings, and sometimes I want to watch a movie that features some good shots of bows in action.

Here are some movies that I can think of off the top of my head:

-The Lord of the Rings trilogy. For the most part a pretty good representation of bows with a few exceptions. It's obvious the bows are very light weight by how quickly and effortlessly the actors draw them back. I also don't think Aragorn's tiny bow would be very useful against armored foes. It is nice to see many different styles of bows, from straight stave selfbows to reflexed composites.

-Gladiator. The opening battle scene uses lots of archers loosing flaming arrows to great effect. The archers in the chariots using long composite bows to pick off the gladiators is also interesting.

-Robin Hood: Men in Tights. The best Robin Hood movie I've seen IMO 8) Lots of simple selfbows.

-Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. I don't honestly remember much from this movie except there were lots of burning arrows flying around during the opening credits. I think it did have some nice selfbows though.

-Robin Hood (Russel Crowe). I haven't seen it yet, but hear it has some good archery clips.

-Dragon Heart. I remember when the bad guy shoots some poor bloke and you get a nice long view of the bad guy's bow. It's a flatbow with some Meare Heethe style leather wrappings. When I saw it I thought "cool!, oh wait, I'm supposed to hate this guy."

-300. Comic book style (i.e. ridiculous) Persian bows. They creak loudly when drawn and their arrow heads are shaped like beetles or something. Definitely not a good movie to watch if you want realism (but I guess that's pretty obvious).

-Timeline. There's one scene towards the end where the French and English are exchanging volleys of arrows. It looks like both sides are using English Longbows. The first volley of arrows are on fire (it is night). Then the sly English bad guy gets clever and orders "Night arrows", aka arrows that aren't on fire. It took the French by surprise since they apparently were expecting the English to ignite any arrow sent their way.

-Conan the Barbarian. Subati, Conan's thief and archer friend, uses a short composite bow with good success. The evil guy uses seeking arrows "made" from snakes.

-The Gods Must be Crazy. The little bushman of the Kalahari uses a tiny little D-bow with unfletched poisoned arrows. Pretty cool.

Those are all that I can think of right now. Do you have any movies you could add?

Offline stevey

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Re: Bows in the movies
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2011, 02:07:14 pm »
What are some movies that feature extensive archery and bow screen time? Which movies catch your eye with the bows in them?

I usually sit on the couch when making my bow strings, and sometimes I want to watch a movie that features some good shots of bows in action.

Here are some movies that I can think of off the top of my head:

-The Lord of the Rings trilogy. For the most part a pretty good representation of bows with a few exceptions. It's obvious the bows are very light weight by how quickly and effortlessly the actors draw them back. I also don't think Aragorn's tiny bow would be very useful against armored foes. It is nice to see many different styles of bows, from straight stave selfbows to reflexed composites.

-Gladiator. The opening battle scene uses lots of archers loosing flaming arrows to great effect. The archers in the chariots using long composite bows to pick off the gladiators is also interesting.

-Robin Hood: Men in Tights. The best Robin Hood movie I've seen IMO 8) Lots of simple selfbows.

-Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. I don't honestly remember much from this movie except there were lots of burning arrows flying around during the opening credits. I think it did have some nice selfbows though.

-Robin Hood (Russel Crowe). I haven't seen it yet, but hear it has some good archery clips.

-Dragon Heart. I remember when the bad guy shoots some poor bloke and you get a nice long view of the bad guy's bow. It's a flatbow with some Meare Heethe style leather wrappings. When I saw it I thought "cool!, oh wait, I'm supposed to hate this guy."

-300. Comic book style (i.e. ridiculous) Persian bows. They creak loudly when drawn and their arrow heads are shaped like beetles or something. Definitely not a good movie to watch if you want realism (but I guess that's pretty obvious).

-Timeline. There's one scene towards the end where the French and English are exchanging volleys of arrows. It looks like both sides are using English Longbows. The first volley of arrows are on fire (it is night). Then the sly English bad guy gets clever and orders "Night arrows", aka arrows that aren't on fire. It took the French by surprise since they apparently were expecting the English to ignite any arrow sent their way.

-Conan the Barbarian. Subati, Conan's thief and archer friend, uses a short composite bow with good success. The evil guy uses seeking arrows "made" from snakes.

-The Gods Must be Crazy. The little bushman of the Kalahari uses a tiny little D-bow with unfletched poisoned arrows. Pretty cool.

Those are all that I can think of right now. Do you have any movies you could add?

I've seen and liked almost all of the movies you mentioned. I thought Gladiator was awesome, but I'm not sure how realistic the opening scene was. I've often wondered about what I call the "Hollywood shower of arrows"... One movie you didn't mention that is my favorite was BraveHeart... and it seemed very realistic. Excellent list, in any event.

Offline Matt S.

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Re: Bows in the movies
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2011, 02:18:35 pm »
I forgot about Braveheart because I haven't seen it in such a long time. I'll have to rent it sometime soon :)

Offline Lemos

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Re: Bows in the movies
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2011, 02:20:53 pm »
What about The Scorpion king and the one with Keera Knightly in blue paint( I think it was King Arthur related)

Offline medicinewheel

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Re: Bows in the movies
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2011, 02:35:02 pm »
Last Samurai has some archery scenes; Jaap Koppedrayer made all the bows in the movie.

I guess Tim Baker made the bow for scorpion king.
Frank from Germany...

Offline jonathan creason

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Re: Bows in the movies
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2011, 02:37:41 pm »
Burt's recurve had a pretty important part in Deliverance.
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Offline Matt S.

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Re: Bows in the movies
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2011, 03:01:55 pm »
Burt's recurve had a pretty important part in Deliverance.

Was that a recurve or a compound? I was thinking it was a compound bow but my memory isn't the best!

I'll have to check out the bow in the Scorpion King. That was the sequel to the Mummy, right?

Offline Mechslasher

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Re: Bows in the movies
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2011, 07:14:19 pm »
Avatar!
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Offline sailordad

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Re: Bows in the movies
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2011, 07:55:39 pm »
Dances With Wolves
not alot of bow shooting
but alot of bows being carried
alot of osage by the lakota


Burts bow in deliverance was a recurve  ;)
when that movie was made i dont think wheelies were real commom yet

scorpion king wasnt realy a sequel to the mummy
the mummy returns was
scorpion king was more or less just another adventure of the same characters
i always wanted a harley,untill it became the "thing to ride"
i ride because i love to,not to be part of the crowd

Offline mullet

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Re: Bows in the movies
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2011, 09:31:46 pm »
 I'm pretty sure Burt's bow was a Bear Grizzley.

How about, 300, Apopalypto, and Shogun.
Lakeland, Florida
 If you have to pull the trigger, is it really archery?

Offline Dane

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Re: Bows in the movies
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2011, 02:07:07 pm »
You guys are missing a few.

The Hunt is a cool, little fairly recent low budget horror film about a bow hunt gone very bad. They use compounds, which donít help them. At all :) Oh, donít trespass either in creepy fenced off areas deep in the woods. It could end badly for you.

The Lost Boys: The Tribe Ė you only see it for a second, but Edgar Frog has a strung recurve bow just inside the door to his mobile home. I think they used a bow and arrow to kill a vampire in the original Lost Boys film, too.

Diary of the Dead, the last good George Romero zombie movie has a scene where the professor character pins a zombie kiddie to the wall with a fiberglass recurve.

Predator has Arnold making and using a bundle bow, if I remember right.

A bow and exploding arrow is featured in the sequal to Rambo.

There are fantasy arrow firing catapults in the sequel to Underworld. Even if you donít like vamps vs. werewolves, just watch it for Kate Beckinsale in skintight outfits.

Van Helsing is not wonderful, but kinda fun, and the Hugh Jackman character uses a crazy rapid fire crossbow against harpies.

Hero has some amazing archery sequences. An amazing movie, period.

The remake of 13 Ghosts doesnít have a bow per se, but, one of the evil ghosts is a little boy in a 1950s cowboy outfit who had the misfortune of having a broadhead tipped arrow shot through the back of his head to end his life, with the bloody head and shaft protruding from his forehead. Definitely the coolest of the ghosts in that movie.

Dane
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Offline NTD

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Re: Bows in the movies
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2011, 02:27:48 pm »
Book of Eli

Offline Dane

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Re: Bows in the movies
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2011, 02:46:45 pm »
Oh, a bit of trivia related to these movies that just came to mind.

The Scorpion King is indeed a prequal to the Mummy movies, but barely related. If you have seen Gladiator, you may recall the big gladiator who helps train Russell Crow after he is enslaved. He plays an evil henchman to the main villain in Scorpion King, the guy who stabs The Rock with the poisoned weapon. And indeed, Tim Baker built the kingís bow. (Tim seems to have dropped out of sight lately, as well Ė anyone know why?).

There is also some archery in that crusader movie (canít think of the name of it) that the elf from Lord of the Rings stars in. One guy gets a French crossbow bolt in the throat in an early scene, and later, I think there is archery used by both sides in the movie.

Archery is also used in that recent remake of 10,000 BC (the one without Rachael Welch).

In the remake of House of Wax (by the same guys who made House on Haunted Hill and 13 Ghosts, and in this one you see Paris Hilton get a pole driven through her head), the hero uses a crossbow from an abandoned sporting goods store to shoot one of the bad guys. As always in these kind of movies, they never make sure the bad guy is really dead, like cutting their throats, and so regret it later.

Quite a bit of archery in the recent movie Centurion.

No one mentioned that not only are their bows and arrows in King Arthur (with the lovely Kiera Knightly), but the Saxons use the gastrophetes or belly bow. That is how one of the main knight heroes dies in the final battle. I think a belly bow is used to kill the guy who was Titus in the HBO series Rome..

Dane
Greenfield, Western Massachusetts

Offline Matt S.

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Re: Bows in the movies
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2011, 03:13:27 pm »
I was getting the Scorpion King and the Mummy Returns confused. I've seen the latter, but not the former and was thinking "where the heck is there a bow in this movie?" Now I'll have to see the Scorpion King if for no other reason to see Tim Baker's bow!

If you include the Rambo bow, you can't forget the Hot Shots Part Deux bow (that shoots a chicken no less).

10,000 BC: I haven't laughed so hard in a long time while watching that movie. Or maybe I should say laughing at the movie. That's probably why I don't remember any bows in it, I just remember that the pyramids were made by woolly mammoths ;D

Val Kilmer's (sp?) character in Willow used some crossbows in an ambush, but I think that movie was rather devoid of archery in general.


I love the list of all the movies people are coming up with. Gives me movie watching ideas.

Offline jackcrafty

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Re: Bows in the movies
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2011, 03:22:35 pm »
Most of the time when I see archery in a movie, I get a headache.

Any critter tastes good with enough butter on it. :::.

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