7.1/10
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30 user 11 critic

The Magic Box (1951)

Approved | | Biography, Drama | 21 January 1952 (UK)
A chronicle of the life of William Friese-Greene, a British inventor and early pioneer in cinema.

Director:

Writers:

(based on the biography: "Friese-Greene, Close Up of an Inventor"), (screenplay)
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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:
...
Miss Tagg (as Renee Asherson)
...
Jack Carter
...
...
Sitter in Bath Studio
Edward Chapman ...
Father in Family Group
John Charlesworth ...
Graham Friese-Greene
...
Bride's Father in Wedding Group
Roland Culver ...
1st Company Promoter
John Howard Davies ...
Maurice Friese-Greene
Michael Denison ...
Reporter
...
Joan Dowling ...
Maggie
...
Butler at Fox Talbot's
...
Mrs. Nell Collings
Marjorie Fielding ...
Elderly Viscountess
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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 »
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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:

(Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Thora Hird (Housekeeper) was the real life mother of Janette Scott (Ethel Friese-Greene). See more »

Goofs

The middle-aged Friese-Greene is shown meeting William Fox-Talbot, who actually died when the former was only 22. 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

Referenced in London Entertains (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Till the Boys Come Home
(1914) (uncredited)
Written by Ivor Novello and Lena Guilbert Ford
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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