The top-shelf video release BY THE SWORD depicts a contest of wills between an old master and a young disciple, set in the world of championship fencing. This generally well-produced formula film is enhanced by the caliber of acting talent enlisted, as well as by the rich,
turn-of-the-century texture of the New York settings.
Fencing maestro Alexander Villard (Eric Roberts) is an undefeated Olympic champion, a second-generation master swordsman who walked away at the top of his game. Now he instructs Olympic hopefuls at a gym in lower Manhattan. Chief among these is his young protege Trebor (Christopher Rydell), whom
he criticizes for lacking the innate ruthl...