Harry Potter Who? 4 Classic Movie Wizards

Wednesday, November 16 by Houlihan Macaco

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Most classic movie wizards would whoop Harry Potter's butt in just about any category. Maybe that's because the wizard genre is exhausted—all the good stories are told already and Harry is just an annoying dweeb. If you're sick of the stupid "Harry Potter" bonanza, try some of the following movies that feature much cooler wizards. 

Classic Movie Wizards Tim the Enchanter

Tim the Enchanter in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" King Arthur (Graham Chapman) and an army of knights go on a quest for the Holy Grail in a 1975 British comedy classic directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones. During their journey they discover a wizard with a helmet that sports ram horns, shooting neighboring mountains with his fire shooting magic staff. After much hesitation, Tim the Enchanter guides the crew to a cave where the grail was last seen. Guarding the cave is a homicidal rabbit. John Cleese plays this eccentric movie wizard as well as the Black Knight, Sir Lancelot, a French soldier and a peasant. One of the funniest things about his movie is that there are many times more characters than actors. Get a good look at this wizard and tell me he won't win a fight with that geeky witch kid any day of the week. 

Classic Movie Wizards Gandalf

Gandalf the Grey in "The Lord of the Rings" The noble wizard of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic novel series has come to life in numerous movies, including the series that begain in 2001 with "The Fellowship of the Ring" which stars Ian McKellen as Gandalf. A hobbit named Frodo discovers a mysterious ring that brings great power to whomever possesses it. Gandolf finds out early in the film that the ring belongs to an evil and powerful being named Sauron. Gandalf, portrayed as a loving, helpful and somewhat aloof guide, sends Frodo and his crew to the one place where they can destroy the ring and catalyze a revolution of epic proporations. 

Classic Movie Wizards Merlin

Merlin in "Excalibur" Just like Gandalf, both cinema and television is bustling with Merlin characters. Even Bugs Bunny foiled a dimwitted wizard named Merlin. Nicol Williamson plays this character of King Arthur Lore in the 1981 movie, "Excalibur." Merlin gives a magic sword to Uther (Gabriel Byrne) who, in turn, buries it in a stone so that the next king of England will be the guy who pulls it out. Uther is kind of a playboy who mistakenly acquires an illegitmate son named Arthur (Nigel Terry) and this guy happens to become king after removing the stone. Merlin becomes Arthur's wise and helpful guide. 

Classic Movie Wizards Ergo the Magnificent

Ergo the Magnificent in "Krull" David Battley plays this wizard from the planet Krull in a hilarious and memorable B-rated movie from 1983. When a legion of aliens ruled by The Beast attack the planet, Ergo becomes very cowardly. However, he does assist a seer, a group of ex-cons, a one-eyed giant and a little boy in a mission to rescue an abducted princess whom The Beast wants as his bride. Cowardly as he is, Ergo would still bust that pansy Harry Potter's ass. 

Classic Movie Wizards Dr. Craven

Dr. Craven in "The Raven" Vincent Price plays a wizard in a 1963 film inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's poem of the same name. Dr. Craven helps his friend, Dr. Adolphus Bedlo (Peter Lorre), become a human again after the evil Dr. Scarabus (Boris Karloff) turns Bedlo into a talking raven. Dr. Craven is the son of a deceased wizard and realizes his own wizard powers as he takes on Scarabus with magical green light beams shooting from his fingers, rubber bat dolls, confetti and other clever weapons that Harry would never even think of. If you want to chuckle for a couple hours to both Vincent Price and Jack Nicholson in the same flick, this is your film. 

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