What is a fantasy film? Most people would likely think of swords and sorcery, hack and slash, or magic and mythology story-lines. This would be a correct assumption. Movies with ghosts might also be considered in the fantasy realm.
Here is a list of some of the top fantasy films.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Based upon the J.R.R. Tolkien novels, Peter Jackson’s live action adaptations have been among the most successful fantasy films. It took over a year and a half to shoot the principal photography at locations in and around New Zealand. Actors and crews had to agree to be in New Zealand for the entire time of the production. All three films were shot back to back, and were among the most successful fantasy films of all time. Viggo Mortenson, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Liv Tyler, Christopher Lee, Ian McKellan, and Hugo Weaving were among the stars of the films. The three movies won 17 out of 30 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture for the third film, “The Return of the King” (2003). The two-part prequel to the trilogy, “The Hobbit” will be released in 2011, and 2012.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
This British comedy troupe wrote, produced, and starred in this hilarious and sometimes droll version of the legend of King Arthur. John Cleese, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin are the members of the troupe, and all played multiple parts. The film has taken on cult classic status over the years. One of the funniest sketches in the film involved King Arthur (Chapman) and his manservant (Gilliam) using coconut halves to simulate riding horses. The bit is famously discussed in a breaking down of the fourth wall. The reason behind this actually came about because of the lack of a budget for horses.
The Princess Bride (1987)
Book ended by Peter Falk as a grandfather reading a fairy tale to his sick grandson, (Fred Savage) The Princess Bride tells the story of Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn) and Westley (Cary Elwes) whose great love story is interrupted by Westley’s apparent death. Prince Humperdink, (Chris Sarandon) who is determined to marry her, pursues Buttercup. However, is Westley truly dead? Aided by Inigo Montoya, (Mandy Patinkin) Fezzik, (Andre the Giant) and the powers of Miracle Max, (Billy Crystal) Westley, now known as The Dread Pirate Roberts seeks to stop Humperdink from marrying his true love! This hilarious film was directed by Rob Reiner, and like many fantasy films has become a classic.
Field of Dreams
Based on the novel by W.P Kinsella, this film tells the story of Ray, an Iowa corn farmer and baseball fan, who begins hearing a voice telling him; “If you build it, he will come.” He realizes the voice wants him to build a baseball field in the middle of his field of corn. Against advice from his brother in law who keeps his books, Ray builds it. Soon Shoeless Joe Jackson, (Ray Liotta) and the other seven Chicago Black Sox players from the 1919 World Series appear on his baseball diamond to play. Other dead players appear as well. Ray continues to hear the voice with other messages, and seeks the help of a reclusive author. (James Earl Jones) The story is one of reaching for your dreams no matter what. Amy Madigan plays Rays somewhat understanding wife, Annie, and Burt Lancaster has a supporting role.