MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 6,159 this week

The Magic Box (1951)

 -  Biography | Drama  -  21 January 1952 (UK)
7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 785 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 11 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(based on the biography: "Friese-Greene, Close Up of an Inventor"), (screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 36 titles
created 11 Dec 2011
 
2do
a list of 185 titles
created 29 Oct 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 09 Oct 2013
 
a list of 85 titles
created 25 Feb 2014
 

Related Items

Search for "The Magic Box" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Magic Box (1951)

The Magic Box (1951) on IMDb 7.1/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Magic Box.
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Ivan Kouznetsoff, a Russian engineer, recounts during World War II his stay in England prior to the war working on a new propeller for ice-breaking ships. Naïve about British people and ... See full summary »

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Penelope Dudley-Ward, Marjorie Fielding
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

David Wilton, John Aynesworth, and Smith are among a group of cadets hoping to become pilots in the Royal Air Force. David, however, has poor height perception and cannot master his ... See full summary »

Director: John Boulting
Stars: Richard Attenborough, Jack Watling, David Tomlinson
I Walk Alone (1948)
Film-Noir | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Frankie Madison leaves prison expecting a share from his ex-partner. But Prohibition bootlegging didn't prepare Frankie for Big Business.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In pre-WW1 England, a youngster is expelled from a naval academy over a petty theft, but his parents raise a political furor by demanding a trial.

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: Robert Donat, Cedric Hardwicke, Basil Radford
Term of Trial (1962)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Graham Weir is an alcoholic schoolteacher whose criminal record for refusing to fight during the Second World War has prevented him from progressing further in his teaching career. He is ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Glenville
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Simone Signoret, Sarah Miles
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An egocentric artillery captain and his venomous wife engage in savage unremitting battles in their isolated island fortress of the coast of Sweden at the turn of the century. Alice, a ... See full summary »

Director: David Giles
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Geraldine McEwan, Robert Lang
Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Pluto, having seen the earth, comes back home amazed at the success of that well-known dance, the "cake-walk." He has brought back with him two noted well-known dancers, who start their ... See full summary »

Director: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès
The Smugglers (1947)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Told in flashback, the film opens on a brutal scene of a 17-year-old boy, Francis Andrews, being brutally lashed during a police interrogation in which the boy thinks back to the past that ... See full summary »

Director: Bernard Knowles
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Jean Kent, Joan Greenwood
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Vincenzo Denizot
Stars: Alex Bernard, Filippo Boutens, Giovanni Casaleggio
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Directors: Robert Donat, Alexander Shaw
Stars: Robert Donat, Renée Asherson, Marjorie Rhodes
Uncle Vanya (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Stuart Burge
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Max Adrian, Lewis Casson
Europe '51 (1952)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Irene Girard is an ambassador's wife and used to always live in luxury. After the dramatic death of her son, she feels guilty of having neglected him and feels compelled to help people in ... See full summary »

Director: Roberto Rossellini
Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Alexander Knox, Ettore Giannini
Edit

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:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Laurence Olivier's first acting role in a film that he did not direct himself since Adventure for Two (1943). 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 »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits superimposed over the tablet bearing the following: WILLIAM FRIESE-GREENE 1855 - 1921 A PIONEER OF THE CINEMA See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag, and Smile, Smile, Smile
(1915) (uncredited)
Written by George Asaf and Felix Powell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Magic Box is Magic ****
16 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Superb film often overlooked when we talk about the accomplishments of the late Robert Donat. Donat proved to be a fine character actor and too bad that he died so early; otherwise, there would have been more brilliant performances in store for him.

This film is the autobiography of William Friese Greene, who by the account of this fine film, made the moving picture literally move by camera.

The film is splendidly detailed and boasted a cast of every well known British star of that period.

If you blink an eye, you don't realize that the film goes back to his first marriage. Notice that nothing is really said about what happened to his children from both marriages.

Friese Greene was a kindly, devoted inventor who should never have married. He allowed his work to neglect his responsibilities as a husband and father. The man was a dreamer and Donat captured every movement of that dream.

This was certainly a stellar film.


6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
TCM will show Jan. 5, 2009 rcs8
On TCM: Sep 06, 08:00PM 2009 STUPOR
Looking for memorable lines HilcoKlinkert
British DVD plurality-1
Uncredited cameo? jeannash8-1
Discuss The Magic Box (1951) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?