A ventriloquist is at the mercy of his vicious dummy while he tries to renew a romance with his high school sweetheart.


(novel), (screenplay)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Corky Withers / Fats (voice)
Peggy Ann Snow
Ben Greene
E.J. André ...
Cab Driver
Lillian Randolph ...
Joe Lowry ...
Club M.C.
Robert Hackman ...
Father (as Bob Hackman)
Mary Munday ...
Brad Beesley ...
Scott Garrett ...
Corky's Brother
Beverly Sanders ...
Laughing Lady
I.W. Klein ...
Maitre d'hotel


Magician's assistant Corky performs disastrously at his first solo appearance. He is given a ventriloquist dummy called Fats to improve his act and within a few years Corky is at the height of fame. However, Fats has developed a mind of his own and wants to control his master. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Terrifying Love Story. See more »


Drama | Fantasy | Horror


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 November 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Magia  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Third of five movies directed by Richard Attenborough that have featured actor Anthony Hopkins. Others include Chaplin (1992), Shadowlands (1993), Young Winston (1972) and A Bridge Too Far (1977). See more »


Members of the crew are reflected in the cabin window when Corky gets his jacket before going out in the boat with Duke. See more »


Ben Greene: Is this why you wouldn't take the medical exam? you figured someone would find out?
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Crazy Credits

Credits: Fats Anthony Hopkins See more »


Featured in Magic: Fats & Friends (2006) See more »


Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life
Music by Victor Herbert
Lyrics by Rida Johnson Young
Portion sung by Anthony Hopkins
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The only commendable work of Attenborough, the director
20 March 2003 | by (Trivandrum, Kerala, India) – See all my reviews

While I admire Richard Attenborough the actor, I am not as enthusiastic about his work as a director. This is his best work as a director probably because as a good actor he realized the potential of the story that survives on the acting skills of the lead player. Attenborough's job was easy once he had a consummate actor in Anthony Hopkins to play the key role and provide the distinct voice of the dummy.

This film's highlights are the performances of Hopkins, Burgess Meredith and Ann-Margaret, in that order. Hopkins has matured over the years and in recent films like "Hannibal" and "Silence of the Lambs" is arresting to watch. Yet in "Magic", Attenborough is able to extract a superb performance in an otherwise above-average film.

The sequence between Hopkins and Meredith, where the dummy has to keep quiet for 5 minutes is the highlight of the film. Equally interesting is the editing (by John Bloom) of the two knifing sequences. To sum up, the acting, the low-budget direction (superior compared to "Gandhi" and "A Bridge too Far"), and the editing are the departments that are commendable in this film.

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