Steampunk in the movies

I am hunkering down and dividing my time between writing and reading for a steampunk article I’m working on. My big question today is, what are the most beloved steampunk movies or television shows and why are they so beloved? I have some ideas and of course, my favorites, but am very interested in what others think. Feel free to add your favorites and why in the comments here. I’m also asking this on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, so I may get some answers in comments there as well.

My first thought is whether the movie/series is really steampunk, or is it millennial action with velvet suits and a few gears strapped on. One of my favorites is both a movie with Will Smith and a late 60s-early 70s television show: The Wild, Wild West.  Despite the lack of women without abbreviated spangled  costumes (or some plot excuse to get them into said costumes) in the television show, I was a big fan when this show was on. It had more than enough adventure to draw that audience in, but the reinterpretation of history to include fabulous gadgetry and Union spies with a  fabulous custom train car really worked for the much younger me. The movie was also great for gadgets and had that heigh-ho, let’s make it work attitude that can permeate steampunk. Brisk pacing, too.

Clearly, I have a preference for adventure within this genre, but is it always so? Time to do some digging.

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Author of the poetry collection The Tethered Ground and Professor of English at Missouri State University. Contact me for readings or for workshops on writing/publishing and on teaching writing online.

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