IMDb > The Magic Christian (1969)
The Magic Christian
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The Magic Christian (1969) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.2/10   2,218 votes »
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Down 21% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Terry Southern (screenplay) &
Joseph McGrath (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Magic Christian on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 December 1969 (UK) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The Magic Christian is: antiestablishmentarian, antibellum, antitrust, antiseptic, antibiotic, antisocial & antipasto.
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Still entertaining after all these years See more (80 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Peter Sellers ... Sir Guy Grand

Ringo Starr ... Youngman Grand

Isabel Jeans ... Dame Agnes Grand
Caroline Blakiston ... Hon. Esther Grand

Wilfrid Hyde-White ... Captain Reginald K. Klaus (as Wilfrid Hyde White)

Richard Attenborough ... Oxford Coach

Leonard Frey ... Laurence Faggot

Laurence Harvey ... Hamlet

Christopher Lee ... Ship's Vampire

Spike Milligan ... Traffic Warden 27

Roman Polanski ... Solitary Drinker

Raquel Welch ... Priestess of the Whip
Tom Boyle ... My Man Jeff
Victor Maddern ... Hot Dog Vendor
Terence Alexander ... Mad Major
Peter Bayliss ... Pompous Toff
Joan Benham ... Socialite in Sotheby's
Patrick Cargill ... Auctioneer at Sotheby's

John Cleese ... Director in Sotheby's

Clive Dunn ... Sommelier
Fred Emney ... Fitzgibbon
Kenneth Fortescue ... Snob in Sotheby's
Patrick Holt ... Duke in Sotheby's
David Hutcheson ... Lord Barry
Hattie Jacques ... Ginger Horton
Jeremy Lloyd ... Lord Hampton
David Lodge ... Ship's Guide
Ferdy Mayne ... Edouard

Dennis Price ... Winthrop
Robert Raglan ... Maltravers
Graham Stark ... Waiter
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Carmel Stratton ... Rowing girl
Michael Aspel ... Himself - TV Commentator (uncredited)
Michael Barratt ... Himself - TV Commentator (uncredited)
Sean Barry-Weske ... John Lennon Lookalike (uncredited)

Yul Brynner ... Transvestite Cabaret Singer (uncredited)
Harry Carpenter ... Himself - TV Commentator (uncredited)
Pauline Chamberlain ... Spectator at Boxing Match (uncredited)

Graham Chapman ... Oxford Crew (uncredited)
Kimberley Chung ... Yoko Ono Lookalike (uncredited)
Jimmy Clitheroe ... Passenger on Ship (uncredited)
George Cooper ... Losing Boxer's Second (uncredited)
Roland Culver ... Sir Herbert (uncredited)
W. Barrington Dalby ... Himself - TV Commentator (uncredited)
Freddie Earlle ... Sol (uncredited)
Maria Frost ... Slave Girl (uncredited)
Gail Gilmore ... Girl in Bar (uncredited)
Peter Graves ... Lord at Ship's Bar (uncredited)
James Laurenson ... Oxford Crew (uncredited)

John Le Mesurier ... Sir John (uncredited)

Rick Lester ... Taxi driver (uncredited)
Guy Middleton ... Duke of Mantisbriar (uncredited)
Peter Myers ... Lord Kilgallon (uncredited)
Nosher Powell ... Ike Jones (uncredited)
Roy Scammell ... Bodybuilder (uncredited)
Birthe Sector ... Slave Girl (uncredited)
Edward Sinclair ... Park Attendant (uncredited)
John Snagge ... Himself - TV Commentator (uncredited)
Leon Thau ... Engine Room Toff (uncredited)

Frank Thornton ... Police Inspector (uncredited)
Michael Trubshawe ... Sir Lionel (uncredited)
Edward Underdown ... Prince Henry (uncredited)
Rita Webb ... Woman in Park (uncredited)
Alan Whicker ... Himself - TV Commentator (uncredited)
Polly Williams ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Joseph McGrath 
 
Writing credits
Terry Southern (screenplay) &
Joseph McGrath (screenplay)

Terry Southern (novel)

Graham Chapman (additional material) &
John Cleese (additional material) &
Peter Sellers (additional material)

Produced by
Denis O'Dell .... producer
Anthony B. Unger .... executive producer
Henry T. Weinstein .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Ken Thorne 
 
Cinematography by
Geoffrey Unsworth (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
Kevin Connor 
 
Casting by
John Merrick 
 
Production Design by
Assheton Gorton 
 
Art Direction by
George Djurkovic 
 
Costume Design by
Evangeline Harrison  (as Vangie Harrison)
 
Makeup Department
Harry Frampton .... makeup artist
Joyce James .... hair stylist
 
Production Management
Victor Peck .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Roger Simons .... assistant director
Raymond Becket .... third assistant director (uncredited)
Ray Freeborn .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Peta Button .... set dresser
Alf Pegley .... property master (as Alfred Pegley)
Roger King .... assistant art director (uncredited)
George Lack .... draughtsperson (uncredited)
Peter Woods .... scenic artist (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Brian Holland .... sound editor
Gerry Humphreys .... dubbing mixer
Peter Sutton .... sound mixer
David Badger .... boom operator (uncredited)
Peter Burgess .... first assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Brian Hunter .... sound maintenance engineer (uncredited)
Dave Maiden .... sound effects mixer (uncredited)
Robin O'Donoghue .... assistant dubbing mixer (uncredited)
Ken Reynolds .... sound camera operator (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Brian Gamby .... special effects (uncredited)
Garth Inns .... special effects (uncredited)
Curly Nelhams .... special effects (uncredited)
Jimmy Ward .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Wally Veevers .... visual special effects
 
Stunts
Rick Lester .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Nosher Powell .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Peter MacDonald .... camera operator
John Campbell .... follow focus cameraman (uncredited)
Cedric James .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Bruce McBroom .... still photographer (uncredited)
Peter Saddington .... camera maintenance engineer (uncredited)
John Young .... stills photographer (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Stewart Brown .... film laboratory contact (uncredited)
Rita Burgess .... first assistant editor (uncredited)
Amanda Palmer .... second assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Ken Thorne .... conductor
 
Other crew
Lionel Blair .... choreographer
David Griffith .... location manager
Maggie Unsworth .... continuity
Gerry Butler .... stills laboratory (uncredited)
Gladys Pearce .... production secretary (uncredited)
Louise Stein .... assistant production secretary: New York (uncredited)
Tony Tweedale .... production publicist (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
92 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Iceland:L | Netherlands:14 (1970) | UK:A (original rating) | UK:15 (video rating) | USA:PG | USA:M (original rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Final film of Isabel Jeans.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: At Auchengillen Station, Guy Grand's car is blocked by a police car which pulls to a halt across its path. After a brief conversation, Grand's car drives off unimpeded. The Police Car has shifted to the side.See more »
Quotes:
Sir Guy Grand KG, KC, CBE:[Lawrence Harvey performs a strip tease while playing Hamlet] This chap's taking licence in my view?See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Will the Real Mr Sellers.....? (1968) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Carry On Till TomorrowSee more »

FAQ

Who or what is the Magic Christian?
What is antisocial?
What is antibellum?
See more »
19 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
Still entertaining after all these years, 23 October 2001
Author: mfisher452 from Oklahoma

After more than 40 years, The Magic Christian still entertains. Its style is very much of the Sixties, but its profoundly cynical message---that anything can be bought, that everyone has his price---is, if anything, more relevant now than in 1969 when the film was released. The star, of course, is Peter Sellers as the obscenely wealthy Sir Guy Grand, who manages to seem almost childlike as he spreads his bounty of cynicism throughout London.

This is not a great film, or even necessarily a good one, but even second- or third-rate Peter Sellers may be preferable to a lot of first-rate work by others. The childless Sir Guy decides one morning to acquire an heir, so he goes to the park and picks up a homeless man played by Ringo Starr, and adopts him as his son, Youngman Grand. (Ringo actually doesn't have much to do in this film except react to Sellers.) Sir Guy then enlists Youngman in escapades that, in his hands, skewer the stuffed shirts of upper-class London society and turn the most solemn occasions into a carnival of absurdist nihilism. The most extreme comes at the end of the film, where he scatters money into a huge vat of blood, urine and excrement, and then watches as bowler-hatted City of London types wade into it for the money. This scene doesn't quite work. There is an extended sequence aboard a bogus cruise ship called The Magic Christian that tends to try one's patience because it degenerates into a very Sixties psychedelic montage. One moment from this sequence, however, is worth the whole thing: Raquel Welch as the Priestess of the Whip. Dressed as a dominatrix, she never looked more luscious or voluptuous. Film aficionados will appreciate the many old-line British actors who contributed supporting or cameo roles (Spike Milligan, Lawrence Harvey, Richard Attenborough, John Le Mesurier, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Christopher Lee, and others less well known outside the UK) as well as glimpses of younger now-famous faces, especially John Cleese in a hysterically funny scene at Sotheby's. Cleese plays the terminally smarmy, unctuous, patronizing curator Mr. Dougdale, whose supercilious mien is punctured beyond repair by Sir Guy in a scene involving the defacing of a priceless painting. There is a Monty Python skit that looks like it was directly inspired by this scene. This film was shot at about the time of the first season of Monty Python's Flying Circus, and what with the appearance in the film of at least two Pythons that I could identify, there are definitely echoes of Python in it. The other Python was (an uncredited) Graham Chapman as the leader of the Oxford team during the famous Oxford-Cambridge boat race. Watch also for an uncredited Yul Brynner playing a female impersonator who does a sexy torch song. Alert listeners---especially lovers of the classic 1950s BBC radio comedy program the Goon Show---will also notice that Sellers does almost all of the off-screen voices and several voices of characters seen only in long shot, reminiscent of the films of Orson Welles; so if you suddenly think you hear Henry Crun or Major Bloodnok off-screen, it's not your imagination.

All in all, a solid five or six stars out of ten.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Who here saw this when it first was 'at the Movies'? chumface
What do you think it's about really? apple_charmer
Despite being the wackiest cruise ship ever... s-gottlieb
referenced by 5th element tehpeterson
murder... x0xchelzx0x
Christopher Lee as the random vampire LynchNut77
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