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The Magic Christian (1969)

M | | Comedy | 12 December 1969 (UK)
Sir Guy Grand, the richest man in the world, adopts a homeless boy, Youngman. Together, they set out to prove that anyone--and anything--can be bought with money.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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Hon. Esther Grand
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Captain Reginald K. Klaus (as Wilfrid Hyde White)
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Oxford Coach
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Laurence Faggot
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Ship's Vampire
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Traffic Warden 27
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Solitary Drinker
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Priestess of the Whip
Tom Boyle ...
My Man Jeff
...
Hot Dog Vendor
Terence Alexander ...
Mad Major
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Storyline

Sir Guy Grand adopts homeless bum Youngman to be heir to his obscene wealth, and immediately begins bringing him into the intricacies of the family business, which is to prey upon people's greed by use of the vast holdings of the Grand empire. They leave no stone unturned as sporting events, restaurants, art galleries, and traditional pheasant hunts turn into lurid displays of bad manners and profiteering. Things climax at the social event of the season, the inaugural voyage of the new pleasure cruiser The Magic Christian. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Magic Christian is: antiestablishmentarian, antibellum, antitrust, antiseptic, antibiotic, antisocial & antipasto. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 December 1969 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Um Beatle no Paraíso  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Grand refers disparagingly to prospective "Magic Christian" passengers Simon and Deborah Devonshire as being "hardly Burke's"; a reference to "Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage", an authoritative genealogy guide to British blue-blood families. See more »

Goofs

When the flock of birds flies into the air at the grouse shoot, the hand of the person releasing them is visible at the bottom of the screen. See more »

Quotes

Hon. Esther Grand: [as all hell breaks loose, aboard the Magic Christian] Youngman, what IS going on?
Youngman Grand, Esq.: [innocently] Ship's concert, I shouldn't wonder.
See more »

Connections

Spoofs Battleship Potemkin (1925) See more »

Soundtracks

Come and Get It
Written by Paul McCartney
Performed by Badfinger (as Bad Finger)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"Just Wanted to See if You Had Your Price...Most of Us Do..."
3 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

No one slices comedy with an obsidian knife the way Terry Southern does. Guy Grand changes from the American zillionaire in the novel to an English gentleman tycoon (Sellers) & gains a soulmate when he adopts scruffy vagrant Youngman (Starr), but Southern's unique low-key, vicious zaniness remains. The pair's purpose in life is to skewer institutions in particular & society in general by bribing, with their unlimited wealth, professionals, experts & officials to humiliate themselves and/or their employers. Some of the novel's funniest scenes make it to the screen, including: free cash given away to those willing to wade into vats of hideous filth to get it; Big Fang, the "Congo Black Dog," wreaking havoc at Crufts; Guy's dining experience at Chez Edouard; a traffic officer (Milligan) paid to eat Guy's parking ticket; and, of course, the "Magic Christian," the cruise ship from Hell. Worthy additions include Laurence Harvey turning Hamlet's soliloquy into a striptease ("with a bare, bare bodkin!"), Attenborough helping to turn the Oxford & Cambridge crew race into a "punch-up," and Guy collecting "French noses" at Sotheby's art auction. Sellers is perfectly deadpan & dignified as the tycoon whose determination to find everyone's price is even more believable today, the age of "Fear Factor" & "Big Brother," than in the 1970s. Starr, at the height of his creativity before his solo career spun into jaded dissolution, is just right as Guy's sounding board (as in their ambition to rewrite great books, including the Bible, with the nouns left blank for the readers to fill in). Graham Chapman & John Cleese demonstrate their trademark Python casual nonsequiturs ("the crowd seems sickened by the sight of no blood!") as well as playing small parts: Chapman as the (nearly) incorruptible Oxford crew captain & Cleese a pompous art expert. But it's the "Magic Christian"--Guy's ultimate prank--with her all-star, wacky crew that puts the film over the top. Hyde-White is the clueless captain (or is he?), Welch the chief engineer, AKA "Priestess of the Whip," Frey the cloying shrink, Lee the bloodthirsty steward & Polanski the silent drinker. And don't miss that lounge singer! Like most Southern & Python films (and Marx Bros. films before that), "The Magic Christian" doesn't so much wrap up as end simply when it runs out of gags. It's best appreciated for the sum of its parts, but in that it never misses a beat. No collection of satirical films--or Python or Sellers movies--is complete without it.


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