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:

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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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

The character of Vogler was based on Bergman himself. See more »

Quotes

Granny Vogler: Gash in the eye, blood in the mouth, fingers gone, and broken neck. He calls you down, he calls you out, beyond the dead, beyond the living, the living dead, with their upraised hands...
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
satisfying on many levels: a reflection on Bergamn as illusionist
3 October 2005 | by (Tokyo, Japan) – See all my reviews

Many people may have missed the satisfaction of reading the extra layer of meaning in this film: that the "magician" is the the filmmaker or visa versa, in this case Bergman himself. Without giving anything of the plot away, I can say that The Magician is a reflection on Bergamn's role as a creator of illusions. He uses the story of a roving theatrical troupe with an magician to illuminate the metaphor. The apparently abrupt turn of events at the end is Bergman's signal that he is the master of your perceptions in this medium, that he compares to the experience of dreaming.

It is interesting to compare this film with Fellini's 8 1/2, another filmmaker's reflection on the process and meaning of film-making. Two very different sensibilities are at work in these two films, but with surprisingly close parallels in their endings, and involuted plots.

I found this film highly satisfying on many levels, even taken at its apparent face value, as a romp. Seen a second time the illusionist begins to emerge more clearly, from the moment the film opens, with the lighting of the arc lamp of a film projector.


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