The Headsman

The Headsman

A poster bearing one of the film's alternative titles: Shadow of the Sword
Directed by Simon Aeby
Produced by Mike Downey
Sam Taylor
Helmut Grasser
Marcel Hoehn
Sam Lavender
Péter Miskolczi
Zorana Piggott
Peter Rommel
Claude Waringo
Written by Susanne Freund
Steve Attridge
Starring Nikolaj Coster Waldau
Peter McDonald
Anastasia Griffith
Cinematography Vladimír Smutný
Distributed by Allegro Film
Eurofilm Stúdió
Film and Music Entertainment
Samsa Film
T&C Film AG
Release dates
  • 2005 (2005)
Running time
115 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Headsman (aka Shadow of the Sword, Au. Henker) is a 2005 film directed by Simon Aeby. Set in early 16th century Tyrol, it is set before the background of the turmoils of the Lutheran Reformation.[1] It was filmed in Austria and Hungary.[2]


The Headsman tells a story of loyalty tested by two friends during Europe's 16th-century Inquisition. Orphans Martin (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Georg (Peter McDonald) bond as children, but walk very different paths as adults. Georg follows his calling to join the church, while Martin becomes an army captain. When fate places Martin in the role of executioner, he must choose between friendship and fundamentalist doctrine.



Montréal World Film Festival - 2005


  1. "Shadow of the Sword (The Headsman)". MEDIEVALISTS.NET. 21 May 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  2. Cockrell, Eddie (9 September 2005). "Review: 'The Headsman'". Variety. Retrieved 22 June 2016.

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