Ladder of Swords

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Name: Ladder of Swords
Abbreviation(s): none
Creator: Norman Hull
Date(s): 1990
Medium: Film
Country of Origin: UK
External Links: IMDB
Don DeMarco, by Lorraine Brevig, 2009, oil painting on canvas board, 12" - h x 9"-w
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Ladder of Swords was an independent movie from the early 1990s, starring Martin Shaw, of The Professionals fame. He played a wanted convict hiding out as a circus performer named DeMarco, on the outs with his wife/partner (Eleanor David), followed by a British police inspector (Bob Peck) and losing his dancing bear.

At the time the movie came out, Shaw hadn't been on the screen much recently, and Pros fans were hungry for new source they could cross over with The Professionals, in stories and vids. Shaw is very pretty in Ladder of Swords, which probably added to the avidity with which fans became attached to his character.

The Ladder of Swords milieu was rich enough that there were fan works based solely on it, as well, though most or all of those fanworks were made by fans who already knew Shaw through his role as Ray Doyle in The Professionals.


  • Czardas (1994), Professionals crossover, Bodie/DeMarco. CI5 agent Bodie, partnerless since Doyle recently married and stopped being a field agent, accepts a dangerous one-man assignment in Eastern Europe, where he meets and becomes involved with Don DeMarco, a member of an itinerant travelling circus.
  • Who Dares Wins (1994), same-actor crossover. Characters: Bodie, his 1/2 brother Peter Skellon (a character from the movie "The Final Option" or "Who Dares Wins"), his cousin Robin Wesley (a character from the movie: "Codename: Wildgeese"). Doyle and his non-related as far as they can figure, look alike Nilolai Rozhkov (a character from the movie "Intrigue"), his brother Sean Doyle who has used the alias Don DeMarco (from the movie "Ladder of Swords") and his cousin James Griffin (from the movie "Cassidy").

Sample Fanart