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The Magician (1958)

Ansiktet (original title)
Not Rated | | 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:
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Consul Egerman
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Oscar Ljung ...
Antonsson, burly stableman
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Henrietta Starbeck
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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>

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A haunting journey into the netherworld between reality and the unknown. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

27 August 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Magician  »

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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

Ottilia Egerman: I've longed for you. My thoughts have been constantly with you. I've lived your life. Yet today's the first time I've laid eyes on you. Perhaps you're silently laughing at me. It doesn't matter. My love is strong enough for the both of us. Now I understand why you've come. Feel how my heart is beating. You're here to explain why my child died. What God meant. That's why you've come. To ease my sorrow and lift the burden off my shoulders.
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Connections

Referenced in The Siskel & Ebert 500th Anniversary Special (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
I didn't die, but I haunt the living.
5 June 2009 | by 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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