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The Magic Box (1951)

 -  Biography | Drama  -  21 January 1952 (UK)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 753 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 11 critic

The story of William Friese-Greene, a British inventor who (this film would have you think) made the first movie camera.

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(based on the biography: Friese-Greene, Close-Up of an Inventor), (screenplay)
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Title: The Magic Box (1951)

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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Renée Asherson ...
Miss Tagg (as Renee Asherson)
...
Jack Carter
...
Martin Boddey ...
Sitter in Bath Studio
Edward Chapman ...
Father in Family Group
John Charlesworth ...
Graham Friese-Greene
Maurice Colbourne ...
Bride's Father in Wedding Group
Roland Culver ...
1st Company Promoter
John Howard Davies ...
Maurice Friese-Greene
Michael Denison ...
Reporter
...
Joan Dowling ...
Maggie
Henry Edwards ...
Butler at Fox Talbot's
Mary Ellis ...
Mrs. Nell Collings
Marjorie Fielding ...
Elderly Viscountess
Edit

Storyline

Now old, ill, poor, and largely forgotten, William Freise-Greene was once very different. As young and handsome William Green he changed his name to include his first wife's so that it sounded more impressive for the photographic portrait work he was so good at. But he was also an inventor and his search for a way to project moving pictures became an obsession that ultimately changed the life of all those he loved. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A rich and deeply moving story of a man whose achievement opened up a new world, and of the two women whose love and sacrifices made it possible!

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 January 1952 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Caixa Mágica  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD) | (edited) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor) (as Colour by Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Ronald Neame in his memoirs, Alec Guinness was only actor to refuse a role in this. See more »

Goofs

In 1915 when Green's three eldest sons join the army, the landlord's agent mentions that the Spanish influenza is going around. In actuality the Spanish influenza did not begin until 1918. See more »

Quotes

William Fox-Talbot: The original thinker - the innovator - mustn't mind seeming a little foolish to his contemporaries. He must always look to his star... In the end, he may still fail. That's unimportant. If he is true to himself, he won't be too unhappy or embittered, even in failure, and will still speak for what is good.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Great Performances: Laurence Olivier: A Life (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Choral Concert
(uncredited)
Words and Music by William Alwyn
See more »

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User Reviews

A Terrific Movie
19 December 2001 | by (Hopatcong, N.J. USA) – See all my reviews

The most enjoyable and very emotional scene was when Robert Donat (Wm. Friese-Greene) finally succeeds in producing moving images on a sheet he's hung in his studio...he runs like a madman into the street in the middle of the night desperate to find someone to witness this miracle. Who does he find? Sir Laurence Olivier..a Police Constable . Donat ushers him into his lab, sits him down and proceeds to ramble on about what he's invented. Sir Laurence, the ever vigilant and cautious policeman thinks he's some kind of nut and slowly reaches for his night stick..that's when Robert Donat flicks on the first moving pictures of Hyde Park...Olivier is flabergasted..gets up moves to the sheet and looks behind it.."That's Hyde Park!' After rambling some more Robert Donat breaks into tears..finally explaining what he has accomplished..Olivier replies "You must be a very happy man"..a terrific scene and one I'll never forget. A cameo appearance by Lord Olivier and a very memorable scene.


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