MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 2,931 this week

Magic Town (1947)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  7 October 1947 (USA)
6.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 876 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 8 critic

An opinion pollster finds a town which is a perfect mirror of U.S. opinions.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

IMDb Picks: August

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in August.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 227 titles
created 06 Oct 2011
 
a list of 36 titles
created 19 Dec 2012
 
a list of 127 titles
created 01 Jan 2013
 
a list of 182 titles
created 02 Jan 2014
 
AJ
a list of 43 titles
created 2 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Magic Town" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Magic Town (1947)

Magic Town (1947) on IMDb 6.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Magic Town.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

On a quick trip to the city, young university professor Peter Morgan falls in love with nightclub performer Francey Brent and marries her after a whirlwind romance. But when he goes back ... See full summary »

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Ginger Rogers, James Stewart, James Ellison
Certificate: Passed Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Truck Cross, played by Jimmy Stewart, isn't an enlisted soldier. He is an enlisted man in the Navy and therefore a sailor. Otherwise, Harold Thornton's review is excellent.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Robert Young, James Stewart, Florence Rice
Ziegfeld Girl (1941)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Discovery by Flo Ziegfeld changes a girl's life but not necessarily for the better, as three beautiful women find out when they join the spectacle on Broadway: Susan, the singer who must ... See full summary »

Directors: Robert Z. Leonard, Busby Berkeley
Stars: James Stewart, Judy Garland, Hedy Lamarr
Thunder Bay (1953)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Shrimpers and oilmen clash when an ambitious wildcatter begins constructing an off-shore oilrig.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Joanne Dru, Gilbert Roland
Certificate: Passed Thriller | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A bounty hunter trying to bring a murderer to justice is forced to accept the help of two less-than-trustworthy strangers.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan
Broken Arrow (1950)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Tom Jeffords tries to make peace between settlers and Apaches.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: James Stewart, Jeff Chandler, Debra Paget
Certificate: Passed Musical | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Mary and Larry are are a modestly successful skating team. Shortly after their marriage, Mary gets a picture contract, while Larry is sitting at home, out of work. To prove that he can ... See full summary »

Director: Reinhold Schünzel
Stars: Joan Crawford, James Stewart, Lew Ayres
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Kent, the unscrupulous boss of Bottleneck has Sheriff Keogh killed when he asks one too many questions about a rigged poker game that gives Kent a stranglehold over the local cattle rangers... See full summary »

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, James Stewart, Mischa Auer
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young married couple's relationship becomes strained when he is assigned overseas as a foreign correspondent and she becomes a major stage star.

Director: Edward H. Griffith
Stars: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Ray Milland
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An Army Major stationed in East China in 1944 is ordered to blow up instillations to slow up advancing Japanese Army.

Director: Daniel Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Lisa Lu, Glenn Corbett
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A Parisian sewer worker longs for a rise in status and a beautiful wife. He rescues a girl from the police, lives with her in a barren flat on the seventh floor, and then marches away to ... See full summary »

Director: Henry King
Stars: Simone Simon, James Stewart, Jean Hersholt
Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Jim Fletcher, waking up from a coma, finds he is to be given a court martial for treason and charged with informing on fellow inmates in a Japanese prison camp during WWII. Escaping from ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Bill Williams, Barbara Hale, Richard Quine
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Kent Smith ...
Hoopendecker
Ned Sparks ...
Ike
Wallace Ford ...
Lou Dicketts
...
Ed Weaver
...
Mrs. Weaver
...
Mr. Twiddle
E.J. Ballantine ...
Moody
Ann Shoemaker ...
Ma Peterman
Mickey Kuhn ...
Hank Nickleby
...
Nickleby
Harry Holman ...
Mayor
Mary Currier ...
Mrs. Frisby
Mickey Roth ...
Bob Peterman
Edit

Storyline

Rip Smith's opinion-poll business is a failure...until he discovers that the small town of Grandview is statistically identical to the entire country. He and his assistants go there to run polls cheaply and easily, in total secrecy (it would be fatal to let the townsfolk get self-conscious). And of course, civic crusader Mary Peterman must be kept from changing things too much. But romantic involvement with Mary complicates life for Rip; then suddenly everything changes... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The guy with the dynamite heart meets the girl with the firecracker eyes!

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 October 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Cidade Mágica  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"Screen Director's Playhouse" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on January 6, 1950 with James Stewart reprising his film role. See more »

Quotes

Lawrence 'Rip' Smith: I've been searching for a town like this for years. You know, when I got off that train this morning, I said to myself "This is it." I've just walked through your town, folks, with its shade trees and its lovely parks. I stood before your impressive buildings mellowed with age, and I said to myself "Here is a sturdy challenge to the evils of the modern era." I watched your people on the street, and I felt their vitality and their sense of security. Your children are happy. They're happy. You ...
[...]
See more »

Soundtracks

MAGIC TOWN
Mel Tormé (as Mel Torme) Robert Wells (as Bob Wells)
Used instrumentally
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The only film I know of based on a classic sociology study
26 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Magic Town" is a film about something that we nowadays take as normal but which was a novelty in 1947. It was about the new "science" of public opinion polling. This was only understood poorly and not only by the public but by those who actually mattered: the politicians who would grow to need them. In 1936 the Literary Digest, a popular magazine of the day, had conducted a poll of it's membership on who would win the Presidency. It concluded that Governor Alfred Landon of Kansas, a capable man, would beat incumbent President Franklin Roosevelt. Unfortunately the readership of the Digest were upper class, and basically Republican (as Landon was). In November 1936 FDR won one of the biggest landslides in political history, with three quarters of the popular vote and all the electoral votes except for those of Maine and Vermont. Literary Digest went out of business shortly afterwords. In the decade since Roper and Gallup had been improving polling techniques, but the full system was still uncertain. In the 1948 election there would be another polling snafu, with most of the polls awarding the election to Governor Thomas Dewey of New York, as opposed to incumbent President Harry Truman. Harry won a remarkable come-from-behind over Tom, and enjoyed showing off a headline from the Republican "Chicago Tribune" saying that Tom won.

In the midst of all this there was a classic sociology study entitled "Middletown". Set in the typical mid-American town (it was in the Midwest) the authors (a husband and wife team) showed how it's citizens opinions mirrored what mid-America believed. Ten years later the same authors published a follow up study of the town, and it turned there was little change in the opinion differentials between the town and the country.

It is with the "Middletown" study that the background of this film was based. Jimmy Stewart and his assistants (including Ned Sparks and Donald Meek - in his last role) are pollsters, and Stewart has a theory he has been working on that would save pollsters millions. He believes there is a perfect community in the middle of America that can be used for polling it's citizens. He has been studying the problem for several years, and he has found a town where the percentages of the opinions of the citizens perfectly mirror those of the American people as a whole. Stewart goes to the town and sets up there with the intention of using the citizens as his poling guinea pigs, but (as the movie progresses) he gets involved with Jane Wyman and the others in the town. When Wyman discovers Stewart's plans she reveals them, and the town goes crazy. Their sudden unofficial power goes to their heads, and instead of giving the sensible polling answers to questions they give outlandish ones. This causes the crash of their reputation, and the crisis of the film.

It is a first rate film and has some nice touches (including Gabriel Heater intoning on the radio). As an early story regarding the polling industry it is unique, and the film is well acted and directed (by William Wellman). Perhaps not a Capra movie, but it is a nice one all the same.


23 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Magic Town (1947) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?