The Best 10 Movies About Magic of All Time

So here we go, the ideal 10 movies about ‘magic’ of ‘all time’. That is a tall order and will of training course turn into a checklist that will be challenged by quite a few.

What I have tried to do is collate a checklist of movies that function movies which have magical themes or pretty noticeable magical references in them. Of training course the rash of Harry Potter films, the outstanding Lord of the Rings trilogy and even Star Wars could be involved. Even so, from a desire to extend the record of magician encouraged or magically themed films I have left these out as getting ‘too obvious’.

For good reasons of brevity I have also not involved thoroughly animated videos in this list, so the likes of Fantasia, Sword in the Stone and even The Illusionist (Sylvian Chomet’s 2010 movie) are not deemed.

I have also dismissed tv collection, this sort of as The Magician (Bill Bixby skilled by Mark Wilson), Jonathan Creek, the quirky 1970’s Tv set collection Ace of Wands as properly as distinct Colombo, Midsummer Murders, A single Foot in the Grave episodes that ended up centered around magic and magicians.

So this delivers us to a quick spherical-up of some of the very best of the magician-in-the-flicks films I am conscious of. Starting up with individuals just outside the Top rated Ten – not for the reason that of any deficiency of high quality, just due to the fact they are a little peripheral to the primary listing.

Passport to Pimlico (1949) directed by Henry Cornelius and that includes terrific performances from Stanley Holloway and Margaret Rutherford. This terrific Ealing comedy is made up of a sequence on the tube train in which magician of the working day The Great Masoni, drops his circumstance allowing for his doves to escape incorporating to the surreal mother nature of the comedian minute.

Useless of Night time (1945) directed by Alberto Cavancanti is a superb Ealing portmanteau horror film which contained a sequence of stories about a dream informed by a guest arriving at remote farmhouse. The film is claimed to have motivated cosmologists Hoyle, Gold and Bondi to build the ‘steady point out theory’. They were being motivated by the round mother nature of the films narrative. Nonetheless the motion picture includes a tale about a ventriloquist and a fewer than charming dummy. Ventriloquism is linked to the magical arts, consequently its inclusion below. The tale is the forerunner of just one that is essentially in the listing, Magic, starring Anthony Hopkins.

Thirty Nine Actions (1939) directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The original and perhaps greatest edition of this movie the climax of which is requires location as in a theatre where a ‘memory man’ is doing. The Memory Act can be considered as a subset of the magical artwork of Mentalism. The wonderful magician Harry Lorraine is planet famed not only for his ‘magic’ act but also for his contribution to the teaching and advancement of the human memory.

The Raven (1963) directed by Roger Corman sees the good Vincent Price tag, Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff as medieval magicians associated a magical duel. This fun, camp and colourful motion picture loosely based mostly on the Edgar Allen Poe poem The Raven, is not the greatest example of the Corman-Value assortment, but is terrific fun.

Night of the Demon (1957) Jaques Tourneur. This great motion picture is an adaptation of M R James’ story “Casting the Runes”. Starring Dana Andrews as a sceptical psychologist ‘cursed’ by the Faustian hunting magician and ‘cult’ chief Julian Karswell (Nial MacGinnis). In one particular sequence Karswell dressed as Dr Bobo performs magic at a kid’s party. The conversation which then ensues between the psychologist and the magician retains in just it a host of efficiency frames and thoughts for budding bizarrists out there!. Tourneur apparently hardly ever wished the audience to ‘see’ the demon. I a lot of means I desire he experienced experienced his way. The movie would be even creepier and scarier if the terror was still left to the creativity – yet again weird magicians just take be aware!

The Magician (1958) directed by Ingmar Bergman. The only purpose that film is outdoors the best 10 is since of the likelihood of getting regarded as currently being ‘pretentious’ if it is positioned wherever I believe it belongs – in the top rated 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 course method and….. well the entire matter is multilayered. Sydow is good, he almost never speaks, and Bergman’s visuals are excellent. The film has been termed a ‘thinking mans horror film/. It is creepy surreal and brilliantly acted and directed.

The Great Buck Howard (2008) directed by Sean McGinly is created around John Malkovich’s character who is in transform centered on the mentalist Kreskin.

Next (2007) directed by Lee Tamahori sees Nicholas Cage as a male who can see a several minutes into the long run and disguises his reward by doing the job as a lounge magician. Cage is observed as yet another sort of ‘magician’ in the fantasy film The Sorcerers Apprentice (2010 directed by Jon Turtletaub) which makes immediate references to the Disney Sorcerers Apprentice in Fantasia.

Magic Man (2010) directed by Roscoe Lever stars Billy Zane who performs Darius, the Magic Guy of the title. Billed as a thriller, this movie hasn’t been given the finest of assessments. As I have not observed it nonetheless I can’t remark – but maybe a upcoming assessment of this checklist could see it provided.

So on to the Top rated Ten

10. Excelsior Prince of Magicians 1901 directed by Georges Melies. This pioneer of film creating was a magician ahead of turning his hand to cine-magic. He manufactured many brief movies of which this is only one particular, but numerous of which showcased film variations of phase tips that magicians would really like to be able to truly do. He was a person of the 1st movie makers to element end body, time lapse and a number of exposures. He also hand painted several of the black and white movies he shot. A real innovator.

9. The Grim Sport 1919 directed by Irvin Wilat. Not the best of flicks to observe, but from a magician’s point of look at a have to. It highlighted Harry Houdini in the title part showcasing his feats of escapology. Houdini, not only a excellent magician but a excellent entrepreneur embraced early cinema but to be fairly truthful he created very little long lasting contribution to cinematic artwork. In some means, maybe, Melies earlier ‘trick photography’ lessened some of the remarkable effects Houdini’s reside performances will have had.

8. Lord of Illusions (1995) directed by Clive Barker and dependent on his novel of the same name. This film is notable for its magical references. Not only does the ‘evil’ lead character Nix have supernatural powers, but his disciples have them. One particular of his disciples, Swann, following Nix’s early demise (prior to his later on resurrection) makes use of his magical powers to become a well-known illusionist. The staged magic sequences are nicely accomplished, there is a cameo physical appearance by the excellent Billy McCombe and the Magic Castle is represented as a spot of techniques. The essential concept that ‘magic is a hazardous reality’ is a terrific topic for the Strange Magicians out there.

7. Cast a Deadly Spell (1991) directed by Martin Cambell, sees Detective, Harry Philip Lovecraft (played by Fred Ward) living in a 1940’s Los Angeles wherever magic is popular place. He is recruited by a abundant man to come across a dropped guide – yeap, you’ve got acquired it… The Necronomicon! It is really genuinely a Bogart-esque film-noire with a magical flavour, of system by definition then there are magicians. It is witty, enjoyment and whole of Lovecraftian references. Regretably at the time of composing it, in contrast to its a lot less sharp sequel (Witch Hunt) is not out there for acquire on DVD.

Witch Hunt (1994) directed Paul Schrader. A sequel to Cast a Fatal Spell in which detective, H. Phillip Lovecraft performed by Dennis Hopper combats the evils and corruption of a magic wielding senator. As a sequel not shoddy, but probably not really as enjoyable as the to start with movie.

6. The Great Kandinski (1995) directed by Terry Windsor. This ‘made for TV’ movie need to be incorporated in this checklist, not only for its appeal and humour, but for its sensitivities. Richard Harris (whose function is admirable) performs a retired escapologist living in a nursing household. The tale revolves all-around Kandiski’s desire to ‘chase just one additional secret’ and do a person ‘final show’. The escape featured is Houdini’s Drinking water Torture cell, which is a testomony to the iconic mother nature of that one particular illusion.

5. Nightmare Alley (1947) directed by Edmund Goulding. An amazing movie and perhaps just one of the all time best illustrations of movie noire. Tyrone Electrical power performs a ‘psychic con man’ Stanton Carlyle whose path of deceit and self deceit just take from rags to riches to rags. Of course the magicians out there will right away see a hyperlink to a performer who utilized to go out underneath the title Rinaldo, but was far better regarded professionally and now to mentalists’ earth vast as Stanton Carlisle. (1928 – 1990). Stanton insisted, inspite of several great natured worries, that that was his actual identify and was not motivated by the Goulding movie.

4. Residence of Game titles (1978) directed by David Mamet. Okay not really a magic movie, but options a functionality of 1 of my all time magic heroes, Ricky Jay. Ricky is one particular of a group of con-adult men in this Hitchcockesque thriller. Mamet, as normally does a excellent career in capturing mood and the film explores human motivations and behaviours. Ricky Jay is of study course no stranger to the major monitor, with roles in the Bond Film, Tomorrow Never Dies, Magnolia, Buck Howard, The Prestige and lots of additional. This, I imagine even so was his initial enterprise on to the ‘big screen’

3. Houdini (1953) directed by George Marshall with Tony Curtis in as Houdini. This motion picture does have a lot to answer for in that it creates some of the more time lasting myths about the life of the genuinely ‘mythic’ Houdini. His loss of life on phase as a end result of doing the ‘water torture cell’ is not simple fact, but the film unquestionably hints at it. The ‘brush with death’ in a frozen river the first general performance of the ‘straight jacket’ at a Magicians Culture meal virtually certainly under no circumstances transpired – but the romance and innocence of the instant saves it. The magical advisor on this movie was Dunninger.

I suppose it is truly worth mentioning in passing that in 1998 there was a Television set film about Houdini (directed by Pen Denshem) and an previously endeavor at a biopic remake in 1976 with Paul Michael Glaser in the title part (directed for tv by Melvile Shavelson). The motion picture Loss of life Defying Acts (2007) directed by Gillian Armstrong focuses on Houdini’s documented interest in mediums and psychics and he is definitely the car or truck via which a different story can be explained to.

2. Magic (1978) directed by Richard Attenborough and staring Anthony Hopkins. In the film Hopkins’ character begins out as a magician, but sees good results as a ventriloquist. The movie charts the tumble into insanity as the romance Hopkins has with his dummy ‘Fats’. It is really a common movie with some of the creepier overtones being softened by, what some assert to be, slower sequences of sentimentality.

1. The Illusionist (2006) directed by Neil Burger and staring Ed Norton. The tempo and the sense of this film is fantastic. It is a like tale with some great performances from a outstanding solid. The magical suggestions came from Ricky Jay and Michael Webber. Norton as Eisenhiem is the suitable stage magician. The cinematography is outstanding, the plot nicely included and with, perhaps a several surprises.

1. The Prestige (2006) directed by Christopher Nolan. Even though The Illusionist is luxurious and partaking and at its main ‘hopeful’ and ‘romantic’, The Prestige is darker and bargains with revenge, envy and competitiveness. Great performances from Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale as the feuding magicians just about every with a ‘secret’ and a narrative that is non-linear make the movie engaging and effectively value the minor hard work you require to preserve up with the tangled internet of intrigue. The ‘prestige’, the finale of the film, includes revelations that may possibly shock. Clever scripting provides the psychological stress to life and the loaded magical references (Chung Ling Soo, The Bullet Catch, The Drinking water Torture) make this movie a should for magicians. Ricky Jay appears as an established phase performer and Michael Caine is wonderful as the illusion builder – even though I would in no way question him to develop me a vanishing hen cage!

I really can not individual these two movies in terms of top quality of acting, path and tale so they share 1st put billing with the less major….

Magicians (2007) in fact deserves a Gold Star in this list. Directed by Andrew O Connor and with script prepared in collaboration with David Britland, Andy Nyman and Anthony Owen and other people this is a magical tour de drive. Opting for a comedian glance at the world of the conjuror, Magicians, sees Mitchell and Webb rattle via some fantastic 1-liners spend homage to some critical magicians and have a true knock at some of the oddness that is component and parcel of the magic scene. The wonderful Pat Web page makes an visual appeal, and most of the magic ‘stalls’ at the magic conference web hosting the opposition at the centre of the movies plot had been supplied by very well recognized magic dealers.

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