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Many works of popular culture feature knife fights.
Knife fights, as well as knife-throwing stunts, are staged for dramatic effect in action films. In Under Siege, Commando, and Gangs of New York, knife fights are shown as climactic battles. A common theme in such films is for the hero to discard a gun or similarly superior weapon, in order to engage the otherwise unarmed villain in "fair" knife-to-knife combat. In the 2002 film version of The Count of Monte Cristo, the main character, Dantes, agrees to engage in a knife fight against Jacopo, a member of a smuggler's crew (the captain of which calls Jacopo "the best knife fighter I have ever seen"). Dantes defeats Jacopo but spares his life, gaining a pivotal ally in his future endeavors.
One of the most famous cinematic knife fights occurs in From Here to Eternity. The scene—occurring in a back alley—is stark and realistic, lacks background music and uses pitch black shadow.
The penultimate fight scene in SPL: Sha Po Lang (Kill Zone in the US) features Donnie yen's character using a collapsible baton, presumably of the Monadnock design, against Wu Jing's character, wielding a tanto. The encounter lasts four minutes and ends brutally. Notably, almost all the action did not involve special effects.
In the movie Force 10 from Navarone, a knife fight appeard between Sgt. Weaver, a African-American M.P. Soldier, played by Carl Weathers, and Capt. Drazak, a officer of the Chetniks, allies to Nazi Germany, played by Richard Kiel. The fight ended with Drazak's death.
West Side Story in both the stage and 1961 film incarnations features a well-known knife fight between gang leaders Bernardo of The Sharks and Riff of The Jets. The entire fight is choreographed as an acrobatic dance set to musical score.
In Kill Bill, a knife-fight occurs between the Bride and Vernita Green, during which the pair severely damage Green's living room, only to abruptly halt when Green's daughter is dropped off by the school bus and seen walking towards the house. Shortly thereafter, Green sneakily pulls a gun, and the Bride responds by throwing her knife, to deadly effect.
The Hunted (2003, William Friedkin) was a unique film that put an emphasis on showing knife combat. Starring Benicio del Toro and Tommy Lee Jones, each character has a special affinity for knives, due to participating in various special operations missions under military service, which required use of a knife as a primary weapon. Also Friedkin's Bug (2007) features a knife-fight.
A Grande Arte (1991) along with the above mentioned The Hunted, is one of the rare films to focus on knife combat and features training scenes as well.
Dune (1984, David Lynch) and the 2000 Dune miniseries, based on Frank Herbert´s bestselling science fiction novel Dune, show a world where a corporeal shield (a force-field projector) makes laser and projectile weapons useless. Because of that, wars and duels are settled by knife-fighting, which is altered by the presence of the shield: a fast-moving knife bounces off the shield; a slow-moving knife can penetrate the shield to reach a vital organ. The climactic duel, between Paul Muad´dib and Feyd-Rautha, used only knives (no shields) and martial-arts abilities.
Video games Edit
One of the few more detailed knife fight scenes (And also one of the more frustrating "quick-press" or "quick-time" sequences) is in Resident Evil 4 (Gamecube, Playstation 2, Wii, PC), wherein the main character, Leon Kennedy, is ambushed by another character named Jack Krauser. During the fight, each combatant switches from reverse and forward grips on their knives, and Leon even switches hands during a spin to land a glancing blow upon Krauser. However, the knife-fight nearly met disaster for Leon before another character showed up and shot Krauser's knife away.
Failing to press the correct buttons in the "quick-time" sequences in this scene leads to a bloody death for Leon, which can include being stabbed in the torso, his throat being slit, or his trachea pierced to name a few. These reflect some very effective places to aim with a knife if going for a kill.
In one of the game Team Fortress 2 trailers, a knife fight between the Sniper and the Spy appeared. The Sniper used a Kukri and The Spy a butterfly knife. The Spy was more agile and was able to kill the Sniper.