Capitalizing on Larry Parks' "overnight" success in The Jolson Story, Columbia Pictures rushed their hottest new star from one picture to another, whether he was suited to the role or not. In The Swordsman, Parks makes a valiant stab at swashbucklery, playing an 18th-century Scottish aristocrat named Alexander MacArden. The plot revolves around the "forbidden" romance between Alexander and Barbara Glowan (Ellen Drew) of the hated Glowan clan. Managing to effect a truce between the MacArdens and the Glowans, Alexander has his hands full when a couple of hot-headed clansmen starts up the feud all over again. Full-scale warfare explodes between the rival families, but so long as Alexander has his wits about him and a sword in his sheath, the audience can be assured that he'll straighten things out by the ninth reel. Famed dancer-choreographer Marc Platt is uncomfortably cast as a pugnacious member of the Glowan clan, moving one critic to postulate that Columbia must have had a grudge against Platt. The Swordsman was directed by Joseph H. Lewis, who'd previously helmed the production numbers in The Jolson Story.