Knives in Cinema redux

knives in cinema

Happy Boxing Day to our Anglotype friends. I am chilling at home with my son, watching El Dorado. I have broached the topic of bad-ass knife users in cinema before, and have always held Red (James Coburn) in Magnificent Seven as the king. I don’t know if James Caan’s Mississippi in El Dorado knocks Coburn from the top spot, but I had forgotten about how he deserved mention in the conversation when discussing knives in cinema.

Reader Tom in Oregon had mentioned Mississippi, but the conversation was long enough ago I had forgotten the whole thing. Not only the knife-throwing scene in the saloon, but when Robert Mitchum asks “do you have a knife” and Caan draws it from behind his back and cuts off Mitchum’s pant leg.

Bonus mention to Deputy Bull, the “old Indian Hunter’s” bow-and-arrow kill in the movie’s climactic gunfight. Shades of Mad Jack Churchill.

I had a few minutes, and figured the topic of knives in cinema was worth revisiting.

Of course there is another famous knife-scene with James Caan, but he was not the wielder.

Misery still creeps me out.

Be well folks.


  1. dph says:

    What about Danny Trejo, seems he always has a knife in his roles?

    1. Snatchums says:

      Part of his M.O. with acting is that he almost always plays the bad guy, and he always dies when he does. That eats into his “badassery” onscreen. He does this because (he makes a fantastic bad guy in any movie) he never wants the bad guys to win. He’s trying to set an example of “do bad things, bad things will happen to you.”

      I agree though, he loves his knives in many roles. My favorite is with his vest of 3 dozen throwing knives in “Desperado.”

  2. Dennis says:

    Time to get on Netfix and find that movie:)

    1. If they don’t have it try Rio Bravo. Same move just swap Caan with Ricky Nelson, Deano for Mitchum, and Walter Brennan is the comic relief.

      Same movie otherwise 🙂

  3. Sam L. says:

    The knife fight in “Butch Cassidy”, which didn’t work out for the knife guy. “There are no rules in a knife fight.”

    The guy in Magnificent Seven was James Coburn, not “Colburn”.

  4. John F. MacMichael says:

    I’m surprised nobody has cited Crocodile Dundee yet: “Call that a knife? This is a knife!”

  5. Russ Jackson says:

    Let’s not forget David Carradine as Cole Younger facing off with James Remar as Sam Starr , Bowie knives and Belle Starrs silk stocking clenched in their teeth in The Longriders. Now that is some badassery

    1. Sean Bean while chained to a Spanish Partisan in one of the Sharpes movies is another I forgot.

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Knives in Cinema redux

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