So in this article we go, the finest 10 films about ‘magic’ of ‘all time’. Which is a tall buy and will of training course come to be a list that will be challenged by lots of.
What I have experimented with to do is collate a list of videos that aspect movies which have magical themes or extremely evident magical references in them. Of course the rash of Harry Potter films, the great Lord of the Rings trilogy and even Star Wars could be incorporated. Having said that, from a motivation to extend the list of magician inspired or magically themed movies I have still left these out as currently being ‘too obvious’.
For causes of brevity I have also not bundled entirely animated flicks in this record, so the likes of Fantasia, Sword in the Stone and even The Illusionist (Sylvian Chomet’s 2010 film) are not considered.
I’ve also dismissed television sequence, these types of as The Magician (Bill Bixby properly trained by Mark Wilson), Jonathan Creek, the quirky 1970’s Television set collection Ace of Wands as nicely as particular Colombo, Midsummer Murders, A person Foot in the Grave episodes that had been based about magic and magicians.
So this brings us to a fast spherical-up of some of the very best of the magician-in-the-flicks films I am knowledgeable of. Starting up with those just exterior the Prime 10 – not because of any absence of quality, just due to the fact they are a tiny peripheral to the major checklist.
Passport to Pimlico (1949) directed by Henry Cornelius and featuring wonderful performances from Stanley Holloway and Margaret Rutherford. This excellent Ealing comedy consists of a sequence on the tube coach the place magician of the working day The Wonderful Masoni, drops his situation allowing for his doves to escape adding to the surreal nature of the comedian moment.
Useless of Night time (1945) directed by Alberto Cavancanti is a exceptional Ealing portmanteau horror movie which contained a sequence of tales about a dream advised by a visitor arriving at remote farmhouse. The movie is mentioned to have motivated cosmologists Hoyle, Gold and Bondi to produce the ‘steady point out theory’. They were being encouraged by the circular mother nature of the movies narrative. However the movie is made up of a tale about a ventriloquist and a a lot less than charming dummy. Ventriloquism is linked to the magical arts, for this reason its inclusion here. The tale is the forerunner of a single that is really in the list, Magic, starring Anthony Hopkins.
Thirty Nine Techniques (1939) directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The primary and maybe greatest variation of this movie the climax of which is normally takes location as in a theatre the place a ‘memory man’ is undertaking. The Memory Act can be considered as a subset of the magical art of Mentalism. The excellent magician Harry Lorraine is globe well-known not only for his ‘magic’ act but also for his contribution to the coaching and improvement of the human memory.
The Raven (1963) directed by Roger Corman sees the fantastic Vincent Value, Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff as medieval magicians included a magical duel. This exciting, camp and vibrant movie loosely based mostly on the Edgar Allen Poe poem The Raven, is not the biggest case in point of the Corman-Selling price collection, but is excellent entertaining.
Night of the Demon (1957) Jaques Tourneur. This wonderful movie is an adaptation of M R James’ tale “Casting the Runes”. Starring Dana Andrews as a sceptical psychologist ‘cursed’ by the Faustian looking magician and ‘cult’ chief Julian Karswell (Nial MacGinnis). In a person sequence Karswell dressed as Dr Bobo performs magic at a kid’s celebration. The dialogue which then ensues among the psychologist and the magician holds inside of it a host of functionality frames and strategies for budding bizarrists out there!. Tourneur apparently in no way preferred the audience to ‘see’ the demon. I quite a few strategies I desire he experienced had his way. The movie would be even creepier and scarier if the terror was remaining to the imagination – yet again weird magicians choose take note!
The Magician (1958) directed by Ingmar Bergman. The only reason that movie is outdoors the best 10 is since of the chance of becoming regarded as currently being ‘pretentious’ if it is placed wherever I imagine it belongs – in the prime 5 at minimum! Max von Sydow performs a travelling magician and ‘magnetic-healer’ (harkening again to the times of Mesmer) caught up in a tale about prejudice, honesty, the class technique and….. perfectly the entire factor is multilayered. Sydow is outstanding, he hardly ever speaks, and Bergman’s visuals are wonderful. The film has been named a ‘thinking mans horror movie/. It is creepy surreal and brilliantly acted and directed.
The Excellent Buck Howard (2008) directed by Sean McGinly is built close to John Malkovich’s character who is in flip primarily based on the mentalist Kreskin.
Following (2007) directed by Lee Tamahori sees Nicholas Cage as a gentleman who can see a number of minutes into the upcoming and disguises his present by doing the job as a lounge magician. Cage is seen as one more form of ‘magician’ in the fantasy movie The Sorcerers Apprentice (2010 directed by Jon Turtletaub) which tends to make direct references to the Disney Sorcerers Apprentice in Fantasia.
Magic Gentleman (2010) directed by Roscoe Lever stars Billy Zane who plays Darius, the Magic Man of the title. Billed as a thriller, this film has not been given the best of reviews. As I’ve not witnessed it but I are unable to remark – but probably a foreseeable future critique of this listing might see it provided.
So on to the Prime Ten
10. Excelsior Prince of Magicians 1901 directed by Georges Melies. This pioneer of film earning was a magician ahead of turning his hand to cine-magic. He developed quite a few small movies of which this is only 1, but a lot of of which highlighted motion picture variations of phase tricks that magicians would love to be equipped to in fact do. He was a person of the initially movie makers to characteristic prevent body, time lapse and numerous exposures. He also hand painted several of the black and white movies he shot. A genuine innovator.
9. The Grim Match 1919 directed by Irvin Wilat. Not the biggest of flicks to observe, but from a magician’s point of check out a must. It highlighted Harry Houdini in the title part showcasing his feats of escapology. Houdini, not only a fantastic magician but a excellent entrepreneur embraced early cinema but to be quite genuine he designed minimal lasting contribution to cinematic art. In some means, maybe, Melies before ‘trick photography’ lessened some of the dramatic effect Houdini’s are living performances will have experienced.
8. Lord of Illusions (1995) directed by Clive Barker and dependent on his novel of the exact same name. This movie is notable for its magical references. Not only does the ‘evil’ lead character Nix have supernatural powers, but his disciples have them. A single of his disciples, Swann, just after Nix’s early demise (prior to his later on resurrection) uses his magical powers to become a popular illusionist. The staged magic sequences are perfectly done, there is a cameo look by the excellent Billy McCombe and the Magic Castle is represented as a location of insider secrets. The essential concept that ‘magic is a hazardous reality’ is a wonderful theme for the Weird Magicians out there.
7. Forged a Deadly Spell (1991) directed by Martin Cambell, sees Detective, Harry Philip Lovecraft (played by Fred Ward) dwelling in a 1940’s Los Angeles in which magic is widespread area. He is recruited by a wealthy guy to obtain a lost ebook – yeap, you have bought it… The Necronomicon! It is really actually a Bogart-esque movie-noire with a magical flavour, of study course by definition then there are magicians. It truly is witty, enjoyment and entire of Lovecraftian references. Unfortunately at the time of crafting it, contrary to its significantly less sharp sequel (Witch Hunt) is not offered for invest in on DVD.
Witch Hunt (1994) directed Paul Schrader. A sequel to Solid a Lethal Spell in which detective, H. Phillip Lovecraft played by Dennis Hopper combats the evils and corruption of a magic wielding senator. As a sequel not shoddy, but maybe not quite as enjoyment as the initial film.
6. The Great Kandinski (1995) directed by Terry Windsor. This ‘made for TV’ film should be integrated in this list, not only for its allure and humour, but for its sensitivities. Richard Harris (whose operate is admirable) plays a retired escapologist living in a nursing home. The story revolves all over Kandiski’s motivation to ‘chase a person additional secret’ and do a person ‘final show’. The escape featured is Houdini’s Drinking water Torture mobile, which is a testomony to the iconic mother nature of that a person illusion.
5. Nightmare Alley (1947) directed by Edmund Goulding. An impressive film and perhaps one particular of the all time best examples of film noire. Tyrone Electricity performs a ‘psychic con man’ Stanton Carlyle whose path of deceit and self deceit acquire from rags to riches to rags. Of system the magicians out there will right away see a website link to a performer who utilised to go out underneath the name Rinaldo, but was better identified skillfully and now to mentalists’ globe extensive as Stanton Carlisle. (1928 – 1990). Stanton insisted, inspite of many excellent natured troubles, that that was his serious identify and was not affected by the Goulding film.
4. Home of Video games (1978) directed by David Mamet. Okay not really a magic film, but attributes a performance of a single of my all time magic heroes, Ricky Jay. Ricky is a single of a group of con-gentlemen in this Hitchcockesque thriller. Mamet, as often does a terrific position in capturing mood and the film explores human motivations and behaviours. Ricky Jay is of training course no stranger to the huge display screen, with roles in the Bond Movie, Tomorrow Under no circumstances Dies, Magnolia, Buck Howard, The Status and many far more. This, I consider nevertheless was his initially venture on to the ‘big screen’
3. Houdini (1953) directed by George Marshall with Tony Curtis in as Houdini. This movie does have a great deal to response for in that it creates some of the longer long lasting myths about the lifetime of the truly ‘mythic’ Houdini. His dying on phase as a end result of performing the ‘water torture cell’ is not reality, but the film surely hints at it. The ‘brush with death’ in a frozen river the 1st overall performance of the ‘straight jacket’ at a Magicians Modern society supper practically undoubtedly in no way occurred – but the romance and innocence of the minute will save it. The magical advisor on this motion picture was Dunninger.
I suppose it is really worth mentioning in passing that in 1998 there was a Tv set film about Houdini (directed by Pen Denshem) and an before endeavor at a biopic remake in 1976 with Paul Michael Glaser in the title part (directed for tv by Melvile Shavelson). The movie Loss of life Defying Acts (2007) directed by Gillian Armstrong focuses on Houdini’s documented desire in mediums and psychics and he is genuinely the motor vehicle via which one more story can be told.
2. Magic (1978) directed by Richard Attenborough and staring Anthony Hopkins. In the movie Hopkins’ character begins out as a magician, but sees success as a ventriloquist. The movie charts the slide into madness as the romantic relationship Hopkins has with his dummy ‘Fats’. It really is a traditional film with some of the creepier overtones remaining softened by, what some declare to be, slower sequences of sentimentality.
1. The Illusionist (2006) directed by Neil Burger and staring Ed Norton. The rate and the truly feel of this movie is great. It is a appreciate tale with some good performances from a excellent cast. The magical guidance came from Ricky Jay and Michael Webber. Norton as Eisenhiem is the great phase magician. The cinematography is excellent, the plot nicely associated and with, probably a number of surprises.
1. The Status (2006) directed by Christopher Nolan. Whilst The Illusionist is luxurious and partaking and at its main ‘hopeful’ and ‘romantic’, The Status is darker and deals with revenge, envy and competitiveness. Good performances from Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale as the feuding magicians every single with a ‘secret’ and a narrative that is non-linear make the movie partaking and nicely well worth the small hard work you need to retain up with the tangled website of intrigue. The ‘prestige’, the finale of the film, consists of revelations that may possibly surprise. Smart scripting delivers the psychological pressure to lifestyle and the abundant magical references (Chung Ling Soo, The Bullet Capture, The Water Torture) make this film a will have to for magicians. Ricky Jay seems as an set up stage performer and Michael Caine is fantastic as the illusion builder – despite the fact that I would in no way check with him to develop me a vanishing chook cage!
I genuinely can not different these two movies in conditions of top quality of acting, way and story so they share 1st area billing with the considerably less serious….
Magicians (2007) in fact justifies a Gold Star in this record. Directed by Andrew O Connor and with script created in collaboration with David Britland, Andy Nyman and Anthony Owen and many others this is a magical tour de force. Opting for a comedian glance at the globe of the conjuror, Magicians, sees Mitchell and Webb rattle through some great 1-liners fork out homage to some essential magicians and have a genuine knock at some of the oddness that is portion and parcel of the magic scene. The wonderful Pat Web site will make an look, and most of the magic ‘stalls’ at the magic convention web hosting the competition at the centre of the films plot were supplied by well recognized magic dealers.
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