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My Favorite Fantasy Films

  • Aug 8, 2009

In NO PARTICULAR ORDER OF PREFERENCE.
3
Beastmaster (movie)
An endearing movie starring Marc Singer in the titular role. If Disney made an heroic fantasy it might have come out looking something like this.
4
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad
There's gonna be more Harryhausen here, you can bet on it.
5
Ladyhawke
Mathew Broderick as a pickpocket known as Mouse becomes involved with a Knight (Rutger Hauer) who was cursed to become a wolf by night and his lady-love (Michelle Pfeiffer) who by day becomes a hawk. Even a terrible musical score by Tangerine Dream can't ruin this one.
6
Clash of the Titans
Time for a little more Harryhausen.
7
Hearts and Armour
Sadly this is still (to the best of my knowledge) only available on VHS. It's a shamelessly romantic Italian production starring Tanya Roberts in which Christians and Moors cross more than just swords. . Let me quote the box on this one; "...the myths of southern Europe...a rhapsody of swordplay...searing passions, and hellbent barbarians in stylized armour, men and women play out their entangled destinies...and become legends."
8
Secret of Roan Inish
Some may argue with my inclusion of this film on a list of fantasy films, but to me it seems the perfect category for a film about 2 Irish children who believe their baby brother was taken by sylkies. Written and directed by John Sayles.
9
The Court Jester
Danny Kaye plays a simple man who masquerades as a famous court jester in order to infiltrate the royal court and save the infant prince who's been captured by the evil pretender to the throne. 'The chalice from the palace holds the brew that is true." =)
10
Into the West
Two young boys living in violent housing projects of Belfast, Northern Ireland (the sons of the much despised Travellers) come into possession of a horse they believe to be a magical horse of legend.--Tir Na Nog. This may be about children but it may not be suitable FOR children unless you don't mind the fact that they swear like longshoremen.
12
A Chinese Ghost Story
Probably more of a horror movie since it does involve ghost and rotting corpses, but the fantastical elements make me want to call it just that, a fantasy film for the purposes of this list. A young man seeks refuge in a haunted temple and winds up falling in love with one of the life-draining spirits.
13
The Lost Empire
Sort of a re-telling of Journey to the West with the addition of a Western businessman. Bai Ling is the goddess Kwan Ying and Russell Wong is the Monkey King. Not to horrible if you take into consideration that it was made for American television.
14
Magic Sword
I seem to recall that this was Rathbone's last film and people joked that he died of embarrassment, but it's really not that bad. It's a harmless little comedy/fantasy/adventure aimed primarily at kids. You've got Gary Lockwood as a knight on a valiant quest to save a princess and thus win her hand in marriage. The trick is he's a son of a witch (no that's not a typo) and the princess is being held by his mother's longtime rival, the evil sorcerer Lodac--Rathbone.

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September 22, 2009
I enjoy most of these films, but the moment I saw Ladyhawke I thought to myself, "I remember seeing that movie because I immediately asked... what was up with that soundtrack."  It's crazy!  But it's also a really good story!
September 22, 2009
You're right; great story, shitty soundtrack. Someone should considering redoing it with a new track.
 
September 22, 2009
Wow, there are actually some films here that I've never seen. "Hearts and Armour" and "Into the West" sound interesting. I'm stunned that "The Dark Crystal", "Pan's Labyrinth", and any of "The Lord of the Rings" didn't make it on here though.
September 22, 2009
So that means you've seen SECRET OF ROAN INISH? DARK CRYSTAL was okay. PAN'S LABYRINTH has fantastic elements but I'm weird with my classifications--I include on but exclude another. LORD OF THE RINGS? Just not me. While I can admire it, it doesn't speak to me. That's the kind of peculiarity that makes lists like these interesting.
September 23, 2009
I did see "The Secret of Roan Inish" a long time ago. It was put out by the BBC and based on a children's book, right?

Oh, that reminds me, since you're an authority on obscure films maybe you can help. There's a foreign film (either French or Italian, I can't remember) about a woman who turns out to be her own mother reincarnated because her mother died in child birth and I've been trying to remember the name of it for years. I saw it on TV back in my teens and thought it was one of the best fantasy films for adults.
September 23, 2009
That film is too obscure for me. Sorry I can't help you out there. But I don't thin you've seen ROAN INISH. It was based on a novel but I don't think it was a children's book and it had nothing at all to do with the BBC. It was an American independent film written and directed by John Sayles. Quite a departure for his normal material. It came out in 94.
September 23, 2009
Hmmm, I wonder if there was a made-for-TV version that came out before then, because I'm thinking that this was from the lat '70s or early '80s. The BBC is known for small yet entertaining productions based on fantasy books.
September 23, 2009
I looked around a bit and couldn't find anything to indicate there was another version on the BBC. I found one that claimed there a film of the same title directed by Anthony Minghella from a novel of the same name by another woman named Highsmith--not the woman who wrote the book this film was based on. But when I clicked on it, it took me straight to a review of the John Sayles film.
September 26, 2009
Are these ones in order?
September 26, 2009
No, I never put anything in order.
September 26, 2009
Oh, well then I'll have to take back all the thumbs up for being "well organized". LOL! Just kidding.
September 26, 2009
);-P
September 26, 2009
(whines like a brat) Ooooh, nobody liked my jokie-joke. Boo-hoo! : (
 
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karen ()
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I am the poster child for inertia. Where ever I am is where I plan to stay FOREVER.   So much so in fact that it took me decades to understand the punchline about why   the chicken … more
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