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Classic Fantasy: 5 Movies That Shaped the Genre

By    |   Wednesday, 30 Mar 2016 08:11 PM

Unlike science fiction, which extrapolates our world, the fantasy genre offers a complete break from the world in which we live — and there are few better places to escape than the big screen.

Here are five classic fantasy movies that shaped of silver screen fantasy genre.

1. "The Wizard of Oz" (1939)

The best-remembered screen adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s tale presaged the use of special effects to signal a change of world, switching from black-and-white Kansas to Technicolor dream scenes of Oz and back again. But “Wizard’s” visual influence continues to show to this day.

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Blogger “Ring Lord,” on the "Lord of the Rings" fan site The Land of Shadow, noted the visual similarities between “Wizard” and the “Lord of the Ring” movies: “(M)any artists, illustrators, filmmakers and writers … including (“Ring” author J.R.R.) Tolkien himself, were probably influenced by the visual cues found in this film.”

An academic study tried to quantify a movie’s influence
on other movies, by tracking the Internet Movie Database to see how often a movie was mentioned in discussion of other movies.

“Wizard of Oz” was in first place. In distant second was another classic fantasy movie and the next entry on this list.

2. "Star Wars" (1977)

Yes, we know. Spaceships. But science fiction purists, who insist on logical extrapolation of known science, place “Star Wars” and its magical Force firmly in the fantasy camp.

Pop culture critic and novelist Charlie Jane Anders said "Star Wars" mixed genres from epic fantasy to space opera. “Lucas aggressively borrowed from everywhere, but the result wound up being distinctive enough that generations of creators, in turn, borrowed from Star Wars.”

3. "The Princess Bride" (1987)

A comedic tale of lost love, mistaken identity (and how!), confusion, and revenge. This classic fantasy movie gave audiences a plethora of memorable lines to quote and requote.

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“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya,” the swordsman says, earning a nomination for the American Film Institute’s “100 Years, 100 Movie Quotes” list. “You killed my father. Prepare to die!”

In ealier sequences, the kidnapper Vizzini repeatedly uttered his trademark expression of disbelief, "Inconceivable!" Montoya replied: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

4. "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (1974)

King Arthur and company go on a quest for fantasy-comedy as social commentary.

“Grail is as funny as a movie can get, but it is also a tough-minded picture — as outraged about the human propensity for violence as it is outrageous in its attack on that propensity,” wrote Richard Schickel in TIME magazine.

5. "Conan the Barbarian" (1981)

Arnold Schwarzenegger is the star of this adaptation (by Oliver Stone, no less) of Robert E. Howard’s tales of the hero of the Hyborean Age.

This sword and sorcery epic went on to influence countless low-budget sword-and-sorcery tales of the 1980s.

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Unlike science fiction, which extrapolates our world, the fantasy genre offers a complete break from the world in which we live — and there are few better places to escape than the big screen. Here are five classic fantasy movies that shaped of silver screen fantasy genre.
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2016-11-30
Wednesday, 30 Mar 2016 08:11 PM
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