The Golden Years: Fantasy Films of the 70s & 80s

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by Vortigern99, Jan 15, 2008.

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  1. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
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    Miracle Max in The Princess Bride is a magician according to the spoken dialogue of the film itself. His cure -- the Miracle Pill, which brings back "mostly dead" persons -- is magical in nature, not medical science. The life-sucking Machine used by Count Rogan is also quite obviously fantastic in nature, not scientifically plausible in the least. It's widely known that PB is a fairy tale satire, not merely a swashbuckling adventure with an evil prince and a pirate and an unhappy princess, but also having that all-important element of enchantment. All of your protests to the contrary cannot erase this simple and decisive fact.

    You assert that you took offense at what you termed my "attitude of 'It's not a fantasy because I say it's not a fantasy'". Why you continue to ignore my thrice-repeated exhortions to other members to come in and support your claim, as evidence of my willingness to be flexible on this point, remains a mystery to me. I have never said or implied that somehow my opinion were all that mattered. Yet despite my calls for others to show their agreement with your position, two other members have now come forward in support of my position, one of them citing a popular website, which mentions the movie's "science fiction elements". It appears that at this point it might be you, Kimball_Kinnison, who are danger of being perceived as harboring the attitude of "It's a fantasy because I say it's a fantasy", when all evidence and testimony of opinion is to the contrary.

    The difference between the IP time warp and the FG ring of power is this: A "time warp" is a science fiction concept, introduced into fictive literature at some point in the 19th or 20th centuries. It's not a folkloric or fairy tale motif deriving from ancient or medieval times. A ring of power is. It's just that simple.
  2. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Just a a point, before I leave this thread alone forever, Miracle Max is never referred to as a magician in the movie. He's always referred to as a "miracle man". The word "magic" and its derivatives (magician, magical, etc) do not appear in the film at all. You can check the script itself if you don't believe me. I should know. I spent many a family car trip stuck between my two sisters who could both quote the entire movie from beginning to end (and did, repeatedly).

    In the film, he is treated like a doctor, not a magician.

    But then, this is your thread, so I can't possible be right, can I? Just forget it. It's not worth it. Be as inconsistent as you want.

    Kimball Kinnison
  3. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    Miracle Max employs a bellows that, when placed into a persons mouth and stoked, elicits a final word or phrase from the dead person, presumably descriptive of the person's goal in life, the matter of his heart's desire. This device and its results constitute a marvel, an element of the fantastic, a bit of magic. The Miracle Pill, which resurrects "mostly dead" persons, is not medical science. The life-sucking Machine used by Count Rogan is also quite obviously fantastic in nature. Insofar as it drains one's life essence via suction cups starpped to the head and body, eliciting howls of pain attendant with the level of life sucked, it is not scientifically plausible in the least. Its operation and results clearly constitiute a marvel, an element of the fantastic, a bit of magic. For all of these reasons, plus the common popular and critical understanding that the film is a fairy tale satire, combine to make it eligible for inclusion on our List of Fantasy Films of the 70s and 80s.

  4. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    Here is the most recently updated List. Let it be known that I welcome any and all additions that adhere to the criteria of being a film released in the 1970s or 1980s that is either Heroic Fantasy (aka Sword & Sorcery and/or Mythologically-Based Magical Adventure) or Fairy Tale. There is also a general suggestion that the films be of a certain degree of cinematic quality, though this is of course subjective, and if enough members praise a movie I originally rejected, I will certainly be glad to add it to the List:

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1974 - The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (Harryhausen).
    1977 - The Hobbit (animated -- Rankin/Bass). WIZARDS (animated -- Bakshi). Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (Harryhausen). The original Star Wars[subsequently retitled SW Episode IV: A New Hope] (Lucas).
    1978 - Lord of the Rings (animated -- Bakshi).
    1980 - The Empire Strikes Back (Lucas). Flash Gordon (DeLaurentiis). Return of the King (animated -- Rankin/Bass).
    1981 - Excalibur (Boorman). Clash of the Titans (Harryhausen). Time Bandits (Gilliam). Heavy Metal (animated).
    1982 - Conan the Barbarian (Milius/DeLaurentiis). Dragonslayer (Robbins). The Dark Crystal (Henson/Oz). The Sword and the Sorcerer (Chase/Pyun). Beastmaster (Coscarelli). The Last Unicorn (animated -- Beagle/Rankin/Bass). Hercules (Cotzi, with Lou Ferrigno).
    1983 - Krull. Return of the Jedi (Lucas).
    1984 - The Neverending Story. Sword of the Valiant.
    1985 - Labyrinth (Henson/Oz/Jones/Lucas). Conan the Destroyer (Fleischer). The Black Cauldron (animated -- Disney). Ladyhawke (Donner). Highlander.
    1986 - Legend (R. Scott). Red Sonja (Flesicher). Robin Hood (BBC/Showtime).
    1987 - Masters of the Universe. The Princess Bride (Reiner).
    1988 - Willow (Lucas/Howard).
    1989 - The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (Gilliam).

    ... and any other film you care to discuss that seems to meet the definition of 'Fantasy'.
  5. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Are you not adding Heavy Metal or did you forget to?

    How about The Secret of NIMH, science that gives way to magic, a fairy tale in and of itself?

    How about Splash? A comedy to be sure but it is a magic film with not only a mythical creature but a fairy tale ending.

    Howz aboutBig Trouble in Little China? Too modern? If not I think it fits well as a fantasy film.
  6. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    Well, the defintion of Fantasy we're working with here is "Heroic Fantasy (aka Sword & Sorcery and/or Mythologically-Based Magical Adventure) or Fairy Tale". In essence, there has to be a magical element, and it helps if the story is based on ancient material or folkloric motifs. Heavy Metal rates because of the heroic fantasy elements (I've now included it on the list; my apologies for forgetting), and the magic-like power of the stone that ties all the stories together, even though some of those stories (such as Harry Canyon and Hanover Fist) are pure science fiction.

    Secret of NIMH? I do love that movie, but I tend to shy away from including it because of its modern setting and science-fiction basis (ie, laboratory animals gain human-level intelligence through weird experiments), even though one of those animals (Nicodemus) acquires sorcery-like powers with which he imbues an amulet that is later used by the protagonist, Mrs. Brisby. There's also the neat-o swordfight at the climax between the two rat rivals. It's great stuff, but is it Fantasy in the sense that we've defined it? This is a democratic thread, and I'll gladly put the matter to vote: Does NIMH belong on the List?

    My first reaction to Splash is one of refusal, but on closer inspection it must contain magical elements because well, she's a mermaid, and also, he can breathe underwater with her nearby. It's the modern setting -- scientific laboratories, dinners at posh Manhattan eateries, shopping in department stores with TV sets, etc. -- that puts me off. It may technically be fantasy, but it's not really the kind of fantasy I'm purposing to discuss here. Again, if the weight of popular opinion is against me, I'll gladly eat my words and add it to the List.

    One film that definitely applies, and which I've added to the List, is Sword of the Valiant (1984) with Miles O'Keefe as Sir Gawain and Sean Connery as the Green Knight. It's not a very good movie, but it's based on the amazing 14th-century poem by an anonymous British author, and it's filled with swordplay, sorcery and cheesy special effects! I haven't seen it in ten or twelve years, so I can't give a satisfactory review, but I include it here nonetheless for the sake of completeness. Anyone who's watched it recently, please give us a review....
  7. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    It has been many years since The Sword and the Valiant has crossed my mind. I recall the joke of the knight needing to pee and his squire giving him a special key for undoing that part of the armor, "a knight's best friend".
  8. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    Are you going to include some of the movies that I mentioned?

    Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze (1975)
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
    Oh, God! (1977)
    Heaven Can Wait (1978)
    Superman (1978)
    Somewhere in Time (1980)
    Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
    E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
    Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)
    Ghostbusters (1984)
    Supergirl (1984)
    Back to the Future (1985)
    Enemy Mine (1985)
    Explorers (1985)
    The Boy Who Could Fly (1986)
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1998)
    Wings of Desire (1988, W. Ger./Fr.)
    Batman (1989)

    All of these are listed as fantasy films on filmsite.org
  9. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Well as he said right there it's heroic fantasy, swords and sorcery.

    And what in the world would be wrong with that filmsite.org? Close Encounters of the Third kind is fantasy? That's stupid. I mean hell, I'll go with the flow on Star Wars as fantasy but Close Encounters does not qualify at all.
  10. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I know I said I would leave this thread alone, but right here you have almost perfectly described my complaint with how this thread has been handled.
    You don't really have a definition of fantasy for this thread, at least not one that you apply consistently.

    On one hand, you say that setting doesn't matter, because you include the sci-fi setting of Star Wars, or the modern-day setting of Masters of the Universe. On the other hand, you express the desire to exclude films because of nothing more than their being set in the modern day. Would you consider the recent film Enchanted to not be fantasy either because of its setting?

    So, does something being fantasy depend on the setting or not?

    Similarly, you could have the same story told in two different settings, and by the criteria you've given have one be fantasy and the other not be. Compare the story of Pinocchio with Isaac Asimov's The Bicentennial Man. In the former, the subject is a toy wanting to become human. In the latter, that toy is instead a robot. Is the latter no longer fantasy because the change is caused by a "random variation in his positronic brain" as opposed to being caused by magic? The idea of animated, human-like objects reaches all the way back to ancient folklore (such as the Jewish stories about golems). They served (in part) as Tolkien's basis for the creation of the Dwarves. Robot stories are simply a modern version of those ancient folk stories.

    I would submit that you can't define what is or is not a fantasy movie because that implies clear-cut limits and definitions, which simply don't exist. Instead, all you can do is define what some of the elements of a fantasy movie are, and then discuss how well a movie includes those elements. By that standard, there would be no problem with discussing the fantasy elements of The Secret of NIMH, Splash, or even the several Indiana Jones movies, without sparking an argument over whether they are or are not "fantasy enough".

    Raiders of the Lost Ark clearly has strong fantasy elements to it, even if it's set in a fairly modern time. Star Wars is a clear mixture of sci-fi and fantasy. As you pointed out yourself, were it not for the modern setting, you would consider The Secret of NIMH or Splash to be fantasy.

    I think that there's room enough for all of those views without the need to beat down anyone's opinions.

    Kimball Kinnison
  11. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    RX Sith and Kimball_Kinnison, the definition of Fantasy for the purposes of this thread is Heroic Fantasy or Fairy Tale. Heroic Fantasy includes Sword & Sorcery and Mythological Stories. Fairy Tales encompasses any Folkloric Story with an element of Magic and Marvels.

    The filmsite movies that RX lists, and the movies Kimball mentions above (Raiders, Splash, etc.) do not meet this definition and so are not subjects of discussion for this thread. If anyone can make a case for any movie's inclusion, and it's generally agreed upon by the users of this thread, I'll be happy to include it.

    Let's move on and discuss the listed films now, please.
  12. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Splash clearly meets your definition of "any Folkloric Story with an element of Magic and Marvels". You yourself admitted that it includes the magic elements, and mermaids are an element of folklore stretching back for millennia (including the Sirens of Greek legend). Essentially, Splash is a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid in a modern setting. Are you again saying that the setting alone is sufficient to disqualify a movie as fantasy? In that case, you need to remove Star Wars because of its setting.

    That is my exact problem with how you are handling this thread. You aren't being consistent, and you try to shut down anyone who disagrees with you. All I have asked is that you apply a consistent definition across the board for proposed movies.

    (If anything, both Splash and The Secret of NIMH should be included by the same standard that you used for excluding The Ice Pirates. You seem to be the only individual voting against them, and both VadersLaMent and I argued in favor of them. That makes it 2 to 1 in this "democratic" thread, and a vote between the three of us was considered sufficient when you agreed with the majority.)

    Incidentally, Disney's The Little Mermaid from 1989 would definitely fit the definitions you've given. Others that are often considered fantasy that you have neglected would include Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), or the anime classics Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (released in 1984) and Castle in the Sky (originally released in 1986).

    Kimball Kinnison
  13. Jedimarine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2001
    star 5
    Time out!

    [face_peace]

    Let's take a look at what's going on here:

    1) We have an ongoing debate as to the merits of a film to be considered within a genre.

    2) the point of the thread was to review and debate the merits of a films related to the genre.

    ergo...while debating the merits of whether a film should be included in the debate, we have essentially included it in the discussion.

    I can say personally that I couldn't tell you the name of every film on the original list, but I have heard of "the Ice Pirates" now. So I think we can safely say that whether you agree of not, that film has been discussed and the topic should be able to go on.

    that said...If someone can tell me where the holy book of genre definitions can be found, i'd love to read it? is it a missing book of the Bible? Who established such things? I think my concept of "fantasy" is even more narrow then the rest of you, but it doesn't mean anything...I also have about 12 sub-genre's that no one else follows or even cares about. But I'm not about to thrust that into the discussion here...cause it doesn't really matter all that much.

    Vortigern: Can't your rubric stretch a little? what does allowing a couple movies that you find "dubious" in definiton really do to your thread? Instead of arguing for posts, there could be a review or 2 and it's on and forgotten...

    Kimball: Is it really that imperative to your universe that "Ice Pirates" be included? And if so, why not create another thread with the list as you would see it.

    Are we truly achieving something here to the benefit of the thread, or is this a battle to force the other side to relent?

    I have a compromise suggestion...why not, rather then tie this all together in one thread, slapping a genre tag on it and declaring "off limits"...we just start individuals threads for all the titles mentioned...then the discussions about each can go on as interest and discussion dictate, and we don't have to argue over something that is hijacking the post...from both sides of the argument.

    Peace, my brothers!
  14. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
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    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
  15. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    As I said, I'm mostly looking for a consistent standard to use. That's why I proposed instead of trying to define films as a fantasy film or not, we look at the fantasy elements within individual films. That makes it easier to avoid that sort of debate.

    Kimball Kinnison
  16. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    Put them all on the list! Discuss them to your heart's delight! Far be it from me to shut down discussion or stop people from having fun. As the creator of this thread, I have a specific kind of film in mind, and I've tried to establish a consistent definition by explaining it as Heroic Fantasy and Fairy Tale. Magic and Marvels are essential to that definition. In that mold, STAR WARS fits because it is Heroic Fantasy, wherein the Force acts as a magical power. Splash does not, because it's set in modern day New York, involves laboratories and scientists in the main plot, and really, as far as we know she could be a naturally existing creature. There is no magic seen visibly onscreen. But whatever! Let's talk about it. It does seem to have echoes of Andersen's original tale. Incidentally, I left out Disney's Little Mermaid because it was released just on the cusp of the 90s (Novermber 1989) and leads directly into the Disney Renaissance of the 90s, including the awesome Beauty & the Beast and the not-so-awesome Hercules, both of which would be included in this discussion except that they are of a different decade. But yes, technically Mermaid qualifies, and yes it is one of my all-time favorite films. From now on, don't let my narrow definition stop anyone from discussing any film they consider fantasy released between 1970 and 1989. Okay? Problem solved. Have fun!!!!!

    EDIT: I've added the following to the bottom of the List: "... and any other film you care to discuss that seems to meet the definition of 'Fantasy'."
  17. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    Of the above films, I do want to say that WIZARDS is already on the List and is one of my all-time faves. I saw it in some kind of second release in the early 80s, around the time of Conan and Clash of the Titans. It had a profound effect on me; the levels of sexuality and especially violence in that film are pretty egregious by today's PG standards. Bakshi still insists it's a children's film, but I disagree: no one under the age of say 12 or 13 should see it. There are some interesting stories about its release -- in May of 1977 by 20th Century Fox -- that I will relate later. Suffice to say now that its original title was WAR WIZARDS....

    Ator the Fighting Eagle and The Barbarians are so godawful I hesitate to even mention them except to excoriate them as worthless pieces of drek. I saw Ator in the theater in 1982 and rejected it as incoherent and lame. Barbarians I saw on cable a few years later; same response. If we never mention them again in this thread, it will be too soon IMO!

    I am a fan of Terry Jones' Erik the Viking and I would love to revisit it as it's been a while. It was one of Tim Robbins' first movies, I believe. Sort of an odd playscape within the realm of Nordic mythology. Funny and weird and genre-bending. I really should rent this one and see if it holds up to my memory.
  18. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    I'm not going to beat a dead horse here -- or, as my friends say, to "milk a dead chimp". If this thread is destined to be driven mercilessly into the dusty back-pages of the SFF Forum by the processes of natural selection, so be it. This will be the last time I post here, unless someone else re-engages the discussion.

    But in parting, I do find it ironic -- and slightly comical -- that over the preceding pages we had very earnest, even impassioned debate over whether certain films "deserved" to be dicussed in this thread. Finally, surrendering to what appeared to be the majority opinion, I threw my arms open to welcome any and all even vaguely "fantasy"-related film-talk -- and at that instant, everyone scattered to the Four Winds (the gods, of course, to which Subotai prays), never to be heard from again.

    What I wouldn't give to be talking about Ice Pirates again! I loathe that movie, but at least it has people growing old (magically perhaps, but definitely without verisimilitude), with fake gray beards and everything! My, how the wind does change....
  19. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Sorry. I have actually been back and forth, in and out of town over the past few weeks to the point where I've been meaning to come back to this thread, but never found the time.

    I actually thought of this thread a bit because my brother-in-law is shipping off to Afghanistan, and asked me if I had any good movies I could let him take with him on his iPod. Several of the movies in this thread (including Ice Pirates :p) are in my collection, and I've ripped many of them to my computer for my own iPod.

    For example, I've got Krull, IP, the Princess Bride, and all of the Star Wars films for him. I've been debating whether or not to include the animated version of The Hobbit, but I'm not sure I'd wish that on anyone. (Have you heard the music in that thing? I used to love itasa kid, but then I learned better. Please, spare me!)

    Kimball Kinnison
  20. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    There is something mesmerizing for children about the Rankin/Bass Hobbit. Many people my age and younger with whom I've spoken say they saw the movie in elementary school and were deeply affected by it -- not merely as an entertainment, but as something that touched their hearts or inspired their creative minds. As an adult I've watched it, trying to recapture the magic that it once wove in me, but I've got stuck on the awkward animation and goofball folk songs. What was it that once so enraptured my young mind? Why can't I reach it now? Will the New Line/Warner Hobbit movie even hint at that secret enchantment? I counsel sharing the Rankin/Bass cartoon with anyone willing to watch or re-watch it, to see if some of that old magic still abides.
  21. Koohii Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Heh, if you miss it, try the DragonLance cartoon. The animation is the same quality, except for the CGI spliced in Draconians & Dragons. It's like the creators were trying to ignore the last 20 years of animation development and take a collossal step backwards. DragonLance the cartoon is very much in the flavor of 70s & 80 fantasy movies in all things except the release date.

    Didn't Seigfried & Roy have a fantasy cartoon? When was that released? Or would 70s/80s fantasy cartoons be their own catagory--I can think of a lot of them...

    I remember watching Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger about a dozen times the summer it came out. Why? Because movies stayed in the theaters that long back then. There was 1 summer movie, maybe 2, and that was it. And the 1-screen theater in the town I grew up would show that movie for at least a month, if not two or even three. Why? Because it was that kind of town. We didn't have the 30-screen monstrosities that kids have nowadays. God I'm feeling old suddenly. Ok. It was a mildly entertaining movie. Watching it now is a little painful. At the time, I kept expecting to hear the Rocky IV song, because it was that time & a very popular song. Thank goodness Weird Al saved us from it.
  22. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    Dragonlance animated: I haven't seen it yet, but I plan to buy it soon. I was a big fan of the books in the 80s, and it will be fun to see all my fave characters on-screen in the retro-80s style!

    Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (It's the eye of the tiger/it's the thrill of the fight/rising up from the 'something' to do 'something'...): Good film, but not Harryhausen's best, nor even the best Sinbad film. That honor goes to the Golden Voyage (1974), which among other spectacles has a lightsaber-like sword, a centaur, a griffin, a multi-armed animated statue of Kali, Tom Baker of Dr. Who fame, and Caroline Munro of Starcrash fame! Much better than the Neanderthal Man and golden sabre-tooth tiger of the later movie.

    Eye of the Tiger came out in 1977 -- the same year as the original Star Wars, the R-B Hobbit (TV), and Ralph Bakshi's WIZARDS (which was originally titled WAR WIZARDS until, according to Bakshi, Lucas convinced him to change the name!). That was a damn fine year for fantasy films.
  23. Koohii Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Ah, but Eye of the Tiger had Patrick Troughton (2nd Doctor)...
    Haven't seen Golden Voyage.
    Would recommend renting before buying, well, anything.
    And buy it used.
  24. Koohii Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    A friend and I were discussing movie soundtracks yesterday. We came across an interesting point. We both had lots of 80s soundtracks and scores, but very few 90s, and even fewer from the current decade. Mainly we attributed this to the fact that almost all of the soundtracks sound alike, or are just variations on a theme now.
    Or is it that we're getting older?
    Memmorable scores from 2000 on: PotC (all three sound pretty much the same), Small Soldiers, Snake-Eyes, The 6th Day, and a couple others. That's about all that come to mind.
    90s: Gremlins2, Tarzan (Disney), Muppet Treasure Island, the over-chorused Phantom Menace, The Shadow, The Rock, Hunt for Red Oktober, Army of Darkness, X-Men, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet (Brannah), Arachnophobia, Little Mermaid, Aladin, and more.
    80s: Raiders of the Lost Arc, Back to the Future, Flash Gordon, Empire Strikes Back (while similar to StarWars, was very different and had several new themes), Return of the Jedi (Williams begins the trend of over-chorusing), Batman, Jurassic Park, Highlander Black Hole, Star Trek: TMP, Star Trek 2&3 (very similar to the point of being the same movie and score), Lionheart (very memmorable for those who actually saw it), Gremlins, Blade Runner, Conan, Last Starfighter, Robin Hood:poT, and on and on.

    Seems like the earlier decades had more and more flavors, and music for soundtracks is bleeding more and more into monotony. Anyone else feel that way?

    (If I've messed up and put a movie in the wrong decade, please accept my appologies. It was more about proving a point than total accuracy)


    Is Sword of the Valient the same movie as Legend of Prince Valient? If not, we may have a new movie to add to the list./>
  25. soitscometothis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2003
    star 5
    The Bourne films have a distinctive theme, at least.

    Sword of the Valiant has nothing to do with Prince Valiant.
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