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The Magician (1958)

Ansiktet (original title)
Approved | | Comedy, Drama | 27 August 1959 (USA)
When 'Vogler's Magnetic Health Theater' comes to town, there's bound to be a spectacle. Reading reports of a variety of supernatural disturbances at Vogler's prior performances abroad, the ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Albert Emanuel Vogler
...
Manda Vogler (alias Mr. Aman)
...
Dr. Vergerus, Minister of Health
Naima Wifstrand ...
Granny Vogler
...
Johan Spegel
...
Sara Lindqvist
Gertrud Fridh ...
Ottilia Egerman
Lars Ekborg ...
Simson, the coach driver
Toivo Pawlo ...
Police Superintendant Starbeck
...
Consul Egerman
Åke Fridell ...
Tubal
Sif Ruud ...
Sofia Garp
Oscar Ljung ...
Antonsson, burly stableman
Ulla Sjöblom ...
Henrietta Starbeck
Axel Düberg ...
Rustan, young manservant
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Storyline

When 'Vogler's Magnetic Health Theater' comes to town, there's bound to be a spectacle. Reading reports of a variety of supernatural disturbances at Vogler's prior performances abroad, the leading townspeople (including the police chief and medical examiner) request that their troupe provide them a sample of their act, before allowing them public audiences. The scientific-minded disbelievers try to expose them as charlatans, but Vogler and his crew prove too clever for them. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Into the Nether-World! You'll Gasp At This Occult Hypnotic Experience Into the Supernatural! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

27 August 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Magician  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Swedish title is "Ansiktet" which means "the face". It was released theatrically in the United Kingdom as "The Face". See more »

Quotes

Granny Vogler: Why do you cry, my little ant?
Sanna: Are you a witch?
Granny Vogler: Perhaps I am.
Sanna: I'm so scared of all that's happening and you're so old and ugly.
Granny Vogler: You'll be ugly too when you're almost 200 years old.
Sanna: Are you really that old?
Granny Vogler: Yes, indeed.
Sanna: Can you cast spells too?
Granny Vogler: On occasion. But nowadays no one believes in my secrets, so I must be careful.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Siskel & Ebert: Remembering Gene Siskel (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
I didn't die, but I haunt the living.
5 June 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Vogler's Magnetic Health Theater rolls into town and is promptly summoned for a meet with the town big wigs. Hoping to expose all involved in the theatre as charlatans, the disbelievers request a personal show before allowing the show to go public. With very interesting results.

There is a belief amongst many Ingmar Begman fans that Ansiktet (The Magician) is far too accessible a piece to be considered one of his greatest pieces. And whilst it does find Bergman more easy to understand for the casual viewer, it's however still complex enough to thrill and niggle the mind in equal measure. Taking two factors that he very much adored, masks and magic, Bergman threads them off into various directions, and in the process testing us the audience as to just what to expect from the story. The mysterious wonder of it all is naturally aided by Bergman's use of light and shadowy trickery, symbols loom heavy without dampening the theme on offer, with nothing of course actually quite being as it seems.

As is normally the case under the master director, the cast are uniformally strong. With Gunnar Bjornstrand and Ingrid Thulin particularly standing out. But really this is all about tricks and ideas relating to magic and its blending in with reality. So much so that with the end comes an awakening that we the audience are indeed props in one of Bergman's shows, and that can never be a bad or even an accessible thing.

A fascinating picture from a very fascinating director. 8/10


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