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The Mad Magician (1954)

Unrated | | Horror, Thriller, Mystery | 19 May 1954 (USA)
A master magician murders his greedy employer, who legally owns every trick he can invent, and finds himself having to kill again.



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Complete credited cast:
Don Gallico / Gallico the Great
Karen Lee
Claire Ormond
The Great Rinaldi
Donald Randolph ...
Ross Ormond
Alice Prentiss
Lt. Alan Bruce
Frank Prentiss


Don Gallico is a master at designing magical illusions which are sold by his employer, Mr. Ormond, to famous magicians such as Rinaldi. He is also a master of disguise and realistic mask design. When Don embarks upon his own career as Gallico the Great, showcasing his own masterful illusions, his dreams are shattered by Ormond and he turns to murder to vent his frustrations. Written by Jeff Hole <jeffhole@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


3D THRILL! Fuel for the human bonfire! See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 May 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Máscara do Mágico  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The first movie to be broadcast on television in 3-D. See more »


When the mad magician is performing on stage and about to appear the girl from the table, you can see the magicians cape reflect in the mirrors that are hiding the girl around the legs of the table. See more »


Frank Prentiss: Good luck on your murder. Oh, I say,
[takes out a newspaper]
Frank Prentiss: there was a very nice one in the Fall River thing. The killer used an axe and...
Alice Prentiss: Oh no no, don't tell me now, Frank, save it.
Frank Prentiss: I shall.
[leaves the room]
Alice Prentiss: Oh, Frank! Do they know who did it?
Frank Prentiss: Know who... oh no no, some neighbors saw him, but he was wearing a mask.
Alice Prentiss: [writing, narrating] His impersonation of the man he had killed was perfect. The mask he wore was equally perfect. Another face that fitted him like an outer skin. Thin as tissue ...
See more »


Referenced in Michael Jackson: Thriller (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Master of Masks
28 October 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

This early Vincent Price horror film, borrowed quite liberally from The Phantom Of The Opera, has Price playing the role of a master magician who for some reason is tied to a contract whereby he creates various tricks and illusions for other name magicians, but can't go out on his own. Sounds to me like he needed a good lawyer.

Set in the Gay Nineties, The Mad Magician has Price finally snapping with that insane arrangement and starting to reek some vengeance on those who are responsible for his predicament as he sees it. Several murders have the police baffled because Price is a master of illusion. He's also a master of masks, the kind that would not be really developed until a few generations passed, the kind that is used in Hollywood today.

Price gives his usual professional performance. I wonder why in his career he never did tackle The Phantom Of The Opera. I'm guessing he thought that between them Lon Chaney, Claude Rains, and Herbert Lom did just about all there could be done with the part.

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