Steel Dawn

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Steel Dawn
DVD cover
Directed by Lance Hool
Produced by Conrad Hool
Edgar Bold
Lance Hool
Written by Doug Lefler
Starring Patrick Swayze
Lisa Niemi
Anthony Zerbe
Brion James
Christopher Neame
Music by Brian May
Cinematography George Tirl
Edited by Mark Conte
Distributed by Vestron, Inc.
Release dates
  • November 6, 1987 (1987-11-06)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Steel Dawn is a 1987 American post-apocalyptic feature film, with elements of western science fiction.


An enigmatic swordsman named Nomad (Patrick Swayze), wanders through the remains of a post-World War III world. He travels the desert, in search of his mentor's killer, the assassin Sho (Christopher Neame).

The war itself is never described, but there are hints that a new government rose soon afterwards. Nomad had a position of privilege as a soldier and as part of the elite guard assigned with protecting the upper heads of the new government. Since firearms are no longer available, edged weapons have been revived as the standard fighting tools. The elite guard mastered the use of swords and carried them in an unusual, upright fashion. Eventually, the post-war government collapsed as well. Nomad's family were in some way killed and the regret runs deep within Nomad. He is reminded that, "It wasn't his fault" by his old commanding officer and teacher early in the movie.

Nomad runs into a group of settlers in the town of Meridian. Damnil (Anthony Zerbe), a local landowner, and his gang are attacking the town to gain a monopoly on the local water supply. Nomad stays at a local farm owned by Kasha (Lisa Niemi) who is Nomad's love interest (and Swayze's real life wife). Nomad teams up with Kasha's foreman Tark to oppose Damnil and his bullying tactics. After Tark determines that he has outlived his use to Kasha as a foreman and protector, he proceeds to go into town and get very drunk. He has a very one sided fight with Nomad as he comes to retrieve him from the bar. Sho and some of Damnil's men show up in town where Sho and Nomad have a brutal staff fight. Tark gets in the way and is stabbed in the abdomen by Sho and dies. The boy Jux is taken by Damnil's men and Nomad has his wounds treated by Kasha. Nomad proceeds to Damnil's farm to retrieve Jux and Kasha and have the final showdown with Sho.


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