6.5/10
1,161
23 user 10 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.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Jackpot (1950)
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Bill Lawrence wins a slew of prizes on a radio quiz program. His happiness is short-lived when he discovers he'll have to sell the prizes in order to pay the taxes on them.

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: James Stewart, Barbara Hale, James Gleason
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Indecisive heiress Dee Dee Dillwood is pushed into marrying her sixth fiancée, but unable to face the wedding night, she flees into the adjacent hotel room of commercial pilot Marvin Payne,... See full summary »

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Joan Fontaine, James Stewart, Eddie Albert
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When a tycoon is accused of murder, the private eye tracking him finds himself roped in as an accessory and attempts to evade police, kidnapping a poetess along the way.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Claudette Colbert, James Stewart, Guy Kibbee
Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Three short stories revolving around the topic of the daily question posed by the roving reporter to the readers of a daily newspaper.

Directors: Leslie Fenton, King Vidor, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Paulette Goddard, James Stewart, Henry Fonda
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An aeronautical engineer predicts that a new model of plane will fail catastrophically and in a novel manner after a specific number flying hours.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, Glynis Johns
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Seeking US citizenship, a Viennese refugee arranges a marriage of convenience with a struggling writer.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: James Stewart, Hedy Lamarr, Ian Hunter
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An executive lets an attractive cook talk him into taking a job as butler.

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Herbert Marshall, Jean Arthur, Leo Carrillo
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
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Star major league pitcher Monty Stratton loses a leg in a hunting accident, but becomes determined to leave the game on his own terms.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: James Stewart, June Allyson, Frank Morgan
Certificate: Passed Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

This is a story about family relationships, set in the time before and during the American Civil War. Ethan Wilkins is a poor and honest man who ministers to the human soul, while his son ... See full summary »

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Walter Huston, James Stewart, Beulah Bondi
The FBI Story (1959)
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A dedicated FBI agent recalls the agency's battles against the Klan, organized crime and Communist spies.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: James Stewart, Vera Miles, Murray Hamilton
Pot o' Gold (1941)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Jimmy, the owner of a failed music shop, goes to work with his uncle, the owner of a food factory. Before he gets there, he befriends an Irish family who happens to be his uncle's worst ... See full summary »

Director: George Marshall
Stars: James Stewart, Paulette Goddard, Horace Heidt
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Professor Frederick Hoopendecker
...
Ike
...
Lou Dicketts
...
Ed Weaver
...
Mrs. Weaver
...
Mr. Twiddle
E.J. Ballantine ...
Moody
...
Ma Peterman
...
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

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

 
This needed a lighter touch.
14 February 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I have to admit the premise behind Magic Town was a really good and original one. The fact that small time pollster James Stewart discovers a town that is a microcosm of American thinking. What a shortcut, just move in there and poll the citizens on any question. But you have to do it with subterfuge and the town can never have any marked growth of any kind or the goose that's laying Stewart's golden egg is cooked.

Enter Jane Wyman, acting editor of the small town paper who has some ideas about getting the town to grow. That sets up the conflict with Stewart and then the romantic complications set in. Their romance and their differing agendas set the tone for the rest of the film.

I think with a lighter touch this could have been a classic film. It's not a bad film, it's moving in spots, but the subject matter doesn't lend itself to Frank Capra type populism. I'm sure this is a property that Capra himself must have rejected.

Stewart and Wyman are ably supported by the usual group of great character performers that usually populate a Capra film. William Wellman directed this and I think he was out of his element. He's so much better in action films.

It's also so old fashioned in its view of small town America. I can't believe that such a place like Grandview could possibly exist. Think about it, a cross section of America would have its bad people too among the population. Not a bad person in the whole town.

And they even list a U.S. Senator in their population. That would in and of itself make it atypical by his mere presence. In fact when this film was made Harry Truman was president and certainly Independence, Missouri has never been "typical" since he came to political prominence.

My favorite scene is the dance where the whole crowd except the outsider Stewart sing the high school song. It's sung to the tune of I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen. It's a nice moment and it demonstrates just how alien big city slicker Jimmy Stewart is in this environment. It's good, but it does tip over into the saccharine.

Both Stewart and Wyman have certainly done better, but fans of both these performers will like it. But can you imagine what someone like Preston Sturges would have done with this material?


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

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?