19 user 9 critic

Magic Town (1947)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 7 October 1947 (USA)
An opinion pollster finds a town which is a perfect mirror of U.S. opinions.



(story), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lou Dicketts
Ed Weaver
Mrs. Weaver
Mr. Twiddle
E.J. Ballantine ...
Ma Peterman
Mickey Kuhn ...
Hank Nickleby
Harry Holman ...
Mary Currier ...
Mrs. Frisby
Mickey Roth ...
Bob Peterman


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


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


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 October 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Cidade Mágica  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


"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 »


Mary Peterman: The air becomes charged with electricity around desperate men.
See more »


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

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User Reviews

Stewart and Wyman are great
27 August 2003 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

Maybe the silliest story ever to make it onto the silver screen. James Stewart plays a pollster looking for a town of such mathematical perfection that, whatever you polled its people, it would reflect exactly what the entire nation would feel about a give subject. He finds this place in Grandview, and there he takes his team. When Stewart finds local newspaper editor Jane Wyman trying to convince the town council to build a new civic center, he butts in. If the town were to change at all, its magical polling phenomenon could fade. Similar to The Music Man, Stewart develops a relationship with Wyman to keep the town as it is. Fortunately, it's less cynical and fake than the relationship between the two main characters of The Music Man, and, where Robert Preston's love still seems suspicious by the end of that film, Stewart's feels genuine quickly. He doesn't want the miracle to end, but he is utterly seduced not only by Wyman, but also by the small town. When the town discovers their perfect polling ability, they screw it up pretty much instantly (79% of the population say they would vote for a woman president!). The town goes down the toilet, and it's up to some faithful citizens, joined by the reformed Stewart, to save it. As ridiculous as the initial concept for Magic Town is, it gets even worse near the end. Stewart did this film directly after It's a Wonderful Life, and the small town sentiment is nearly identical in both films. While the first touches me, it's simply schmaltzy in Magic Town. The performances by Stewart and Wyman, as well as many decent supporting performances from many ever-reliable character actors, are better than the movie deserves. Stewart, in particular, is great. I've never seen this guy give a bad performance, and he throws himself behind this awful script with his full soul. He almost got me to buy it. Wyman's beautiful eyes enchanted me. But in the end, the story was just too ludicrous. 6/10.

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