Five of the Most Memorable Movies About Magic and Magicians

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Five of the most memorable movies about magic and magicians

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When assessing the various movie reviews throughout the history of cinema, movies that feature magical elements tend to pull in the crowds and do well. Perhaps it’s due to the endless abilities certain characters have or because it enables an audience to transport themselves to a magical land, but movies from this genre are popular.

From master illusionist Harry Houdini offering a large cash prize to any wannabe psychic who can accurately tell him his late mother’s exact last words in Death Defying Acts, to the illusionists known as The Four Horsemen in Now You See Me, where deception and magic are on show throughout, it’s a genre with plenty of excellent movies to its name. Even away from cinema, magical games are in demand, with these magic-themed slot games appealing to casino gamers, alongside the variety of party themes with a magic element too. Even in music, bands like Queen and Coldplay have released magic-themed tracks, with Queen’s ‘A Kind of Magic’ being a timeless track. It’s the movies and a selection of characters from this particular genre that we’re focussing on, though. So, without further ado, let’s take a brief look back at five of the most memorable movies about magic and magicians.

The Mad Magician (1954)

It’s worth remembering that not all magic is used for good. That’s perfectly on show in this classic production from 1954, as a failed magician turns into a murderous maniac. The Mad Magician might not provide you with the uplifting, magic-filled adventures of other movies out there and on the list, but the story alone makes it an intriguing watch, particularly as it showcases the darker side of magic and how the mad magician utilizes tricks to kill.

The Great Magician (2011)

While this particular shout isn’t the best movie you’ll ever see, the magic on show throughout makes it a fascinating watch. The Great Magician’s plot is fairly straightforward also, as a wave of talented Chinese magicians assemble in Beijing in the early 1920s to showcase their skills in a competition. The main aim of the competition, though, is to pull off the mightily impressive and incredibly rare, the Eight Immortals’ Treat, a magic trick that would eventually land the winner a humongous prize.

The Prestige (2006)

A magic-themed battle between two 19th-century magicians, Alfred Borden and Rupert Angier, The Prestige highlights the egos present in magicians, particularly when they have similar powers and claim to be the ultimate magician. In the movie, the pair come to blows following an illusion gone wrong, resulting in an ugly feud with magic at the forefront.

The Escape Artist (1982)

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A much-loved classic from 1982, The Escape Artist follows the story of a grieving escape artist’s son who is a talented magician in his own right. While struggling to come to terms with his father’s death, a man named Harry Masters, his son, Danny, comes to blows with the local mayor, before challenging the police to arrest him so he can showcase an escape routine that will rival his father’s stunts. A great movie on the whole, The Escape Artist is well worth watching if you haven’t done so already.

The Illusionist (2006)

A love story with a magician involved, The Illusionist is a story about a master magician named Eisenheim coming up against Crown Prince Leopold of Vienna as they both aim to win over noblewoman Sophie in a truly memorable love war. Given his array of powers, Eisenheim has the upper hand, with his magic coming in handy on occasions, before a local police inspector gets involved.

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