Saturday, May 8, 2010

Favorite Movie Wizards

Sometimes movies and the fantasy genre seems like a wasteland. For every standout there several duds. The same for mages, sorcerers, and wizards. These are my five favorites.

#5 Michael Gambon as Albrus Dumbledore
(Honorable Mention to Richard Harris)

As headmaster of Hogwarts, He molded several generations of Wizards including the most famous Harry Potter. J.K. Rowlings writes a convincing character that is brought to life by Richard Harris followed by Michael Gambon.

#4 Ralph Richardson as Ulrich of Craggenmoor

Ailing Ulrich tricks his apprentice into transporting him to Urland for the final showdown with the dragon Vermithrax Pejorative. Craggenmoor is only exceeded by Hogwarts as a cool place for a wizard to live.

#3 Bruce Spencer as Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander

The newest entry in the bunch. Legend of the Seeker may be a series that just OK but the actors really give it there all and Bruce Spencer as Zed tops them all. Unlike the other four wizards Zeddicus comes off more human. He definitely got the "I know the secrets, you don't" vibe but he also knows when to take a break and just be a person.

#2 Ian McKellan as Gandalf the Grey/White

Ian McKellan does a standout job as Tolkien's Gandalf the Grey. Buoyed by excellent directing, a good script,and a standout cast for many he THE wizard.

#1 Nicol Williamson as Merlin

Despite Ian McKellan acting and the quality of the film version of the Lord of the Rings, the best wizard of all time for me is Williamson's Merlin. Excalibur is a great film and the cast is as well. But is it is Williamson's Merlin that steals the show. Probably helped that Nicol Williamson and Helen Mirren disliked each other.

Do you dare look into the eyes of the Dragon?!


Jayson said...

Williamson and Mirren played Lord and Lady Macbeth together. Can you imagine?

Great choices. I really need to check out that "Seeker" now that I've just found out Spence is in it.

You ought to do wicked sorcerers next. My suggestion: Julian Sands in Warlock.

Jed said...

I am a fan of Akiro the Wizard in the Conan movies (Played by Mako) Wizards should be pretty cranky.

James said...

Great list! I've been watching Legend of the Seeker lately and like Zed as well.

Anonymous said...

My favorite cinematic sorcerer is probably Tom Baker as Koura in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad.

Wheggi said...

I would have to toss in Tim as well (MP&tHG). He was just rad, horns and all.

James Maliszewski said...

You know, I'm not sure I've ever seen a wizard in a film that quite worked for me. Probably it's because I have strange standards when it comes to these things, but, even so, I have a hard time naming one that sticks with me as exemplifying the archetype as I imagine it.

scottsz said...

I had to think about this...

Sir Ralph Richardson as Ulrich
in Dragonslayer

Victor Wong as Egg Shen
in Big Trouble in Little China

Dan said...

I think Mako should be on the list, probably as No. 3. I definitely agree with 1 and 2, though. Ian McKellan and Nicol Williamson were both great in their movies.

Anonymous said...

#3 is Bruce Spence, not Spencer. Classic Aussie actor who played the gyrocopter pilot in Mad Max 2.

Anonymous said...

One of my personal favourites is Tim from Monty Python & The Holy Grail!

Norman J. Harman Jr. said...

> who played the gyrocopter pilot in Mad Max 2.

Wot? No way, really? Zorander stole Max's car/wagon and sold it in barter town. He seems like such a nice old man in LotS.