7.8/10
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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:

Spine-Chilling! Suspenseful! Mind Shattering! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 August 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Magician  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Avid Bergman fan Woody Allen says this film is his recommended starting point for watching Bergman. See more »

Quotes

Tubal: Venus Aphrodite touches their hearts with her fingertips and sets the devil loose!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.11 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly Superb
19 March 2003 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

I didn't expect to like this movie, given its period, headline subject matter etc. But don't let those factors put you off, there is real depth and some top notch scenes in this surprisingly superb movie.

Max von Sydow, Gunner Bjornstrand and Ingrid Thulin are three of Bergman's most consistent quality performers and all three have major roles in this film. There are a fair number of stereotypical character parts, mostly performed by ensemble quality character actors. Bibi Andersson is capable of far more than her giggly girl part enables her to show in this film. Indeed, there is some comedic material in this film reminiscent of Smiles of a Summer Night, but don't mistake this movie for one of Bergman's less masterful light pieces, this has real depth and substance.

There are some amazing bits of cinematography, especially the early scenes. The pacing of the movie is masterful, as is the clever use of parallels in the story - the failed actor "dying" and then reviving is a prelude to the pivotal incident around Vogler's "demise".

Top notch scenes include Mrs Egerman opening up to Vogler - she seems so lost - also both scenes in which Bjornstrand's character (Vergerus) insists that he was not taken in by the "magic".

This is now in my Bergman top 5, which makes it a "must see" in my book.


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