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Magic (1978) More at IMDbPro »

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Magic -- Academy Award-winner Anthony Hopkins (SILENCE OF THE LAMBS) is Corky, a painfully shy, failed magician who finds overnight success as a ventriloquist. With his star on the rise, talent agent Ben Greene (Burgess Meredith) arranges an important shot at national TV. But the pressure of failing the network's required physical sends Corky into a panic. With dummy Fats in tow, he flees the city to a nearly-deserted resort in the Catskills run by the love of his youth, Peggy Ann Snow (Ann-Margret).  After they make love, Corky confides to Fats that he may leave show business altogether. Fats becomes furious and lashes out at him, playing on his guilt and insecurity. Now under Fats' control, Corky is manipulated into a series of violent and unexpected confrontations.


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Up 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
William Goldman (novel)
William Goldman (screenplay)
View company contact information for Magic on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 November 1978 (USA) See more »
A Terrifying Love Story. See more »
A ventriloquist is at the mercy of his vicious dummy while he tries to renew a romance with his high school sweetheart. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations See more »
(95 articles)
User Reviews:
A Potpourri of Vestiges Review: A haunting work of cinematic art See more (91 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Anthony Hopkins ... Corky Withers / Fats (voice)

Ann-Margret ... Peggy Ann Snow

Burgess Meredith ... Ben Greene

Ed Lauter ... Duke
E.J. André ... Merlin

Jerry Houser ... Cab Driver

David Ogden Stiers ... Todson
Lillian Randolph ... Sadie
Joe Lowry ... Club M.C.
Robert Hackman ... Father (as Bob Hackman)
Mary Munday ... Mother
Brad Beesley ... Young Corky
Scott Garrett ... Corky's Brother
Beverly Sanders ... Laughing Lady
I.W. Klein ... Maitre d'hotel
Patrick McCullough ... Doorman
Stephen P. Hart ... Captain
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Michael J. Harte ... Minister (as Michael Harte)

Directed by
Richard Attenborough 
Writing credits
William Goldman (novel)

William Goldman (screenplay)

Produced by
C.O. Erickson .... executive producer
Joseph E. Levine .... producer
Richard P. Levine .... producer
Original Music by
Jerry Goldsmith 
Cinematography by
Victor J. Kemper 
Film Editing by
John Bloom 
Casting by
Jane Feinberg 
Mike Fenton 
Production Design by
Terence Marsh 
Art Direction by
Richard Lawrence 
Set Decoration by
John Franco Jr. 
Costume Design by
Ruth Myers 
Makeup Department
Cherie .... hair stylist
Lee Harman .... makeup artist
Hallie Smith-Simmons .... makeup artist
Production Management
C.O. Erickson .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mike Haley .... first assistant director: second unit
François Moullin .... second assistant director: second unit
Arne Schmidt .... first assistant director
Jerry Sobul .... second assistant director (as Jerald Sobul)
Art Department
John Rozman .... swing gang
Sal Sommatino .... property master
Michael White .... sketch artist
Benjamin Resella .... scenic designer (uncredited)
Sound Department
Clint Althouse .... sound boom
Jonathan Bates .... sound editor
Nigel Galt .... assistant sound editor
Gerry Humphreys .... dubbing mixer
Larry Jost .... sound mixer
Special Effects by
Bob MacDonald Jr. .... special effects (as Robert MacDonald Jr.)
Gregory J. Barnett .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Marta .... assistant camera (as Bob Marta)
Bruce McBroom .... still photographer
Robert C. Thomas .... camera operator (as Robert Thomas)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Michael J. Harte .... costumer: men (as Michael Harte)
Shirlee Strahm .... costumer: women
Editorial Department
Dennis Erkel .... assistant editor
Chris Ridsdale .... assistant editor
Douglas Robertson .... associate editor
Music Department
Leonard A. Engel .... music editor (as Len Engel)
Arthur Morton .... orchestrator
Transportation Department
Steve Bonner .... driver: grip truck
Other crew
Dennis Alwood .... ventriloquial consultant
Michael Bailey .... consulting magician
Robert Blair .... animal trainer: cat
Robert Easton .... accent consultant
Lew Horwitz .... consulting magician (as Lewis Horwitz)
Sandy McLeod .... script supervisor
Ann Skinner .... script consultant
Patrick Watkins .... dialect advisor
Michael White .... assistant to director

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
107 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M | Finland:K-16 | France:-12 | Iceland:16 | Netherlands:16 | Norway:16 (original rating) | Norway:15 (re-rating) | Singapore:M18 | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:15 (video rating) | UK:X (original rating) (1978) | USA:R | USA:TV-PG (cable rating)

Did You Know?

Magic was R.L. Stine's inspiration for the dummy Slappy in his Children's horror story series Goosebumps. In the TV adaptation of the books Slappy has the same sounding voice as Fats.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: 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 »
Corky:I tried to stop him.
Fats:Tried... tried... ya failed!
See more »
Movie Connections:
References Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)See more »
Ah! Sweet Mystery of LifeSee more »


How come in the final scene Peggy speaks in Fats' voice, is she possessed?
Can I watch the trailer online?
List: Ventriloquists who have disturbing relationships with their dummies
See more »
25 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
A Potpourri of Vestiges Review: A haunting work of cinematic art, 22 January 2013
Author: Murtaza Ali from India

Richard Attenborough's Magic (1978) is an exceptional work of cinema that has so much to offer to the viewer at different levels. It features Anthony Hopkins in the role of a shy ventriloquist named Corky Withers. Corky's act in which he uses a dummy to perform on-stage magic tricks is an instant success. Corky is at height of his fame and probably a single step away from becoming an icon. But, things are not as simple as they appear. Believe it or not, but Corky's dummy Fats has developed a mind of its own! And Corky must learn to control it before it's too late.

Anthony Hopkins, I daresay, delivers the best performance of his life. The role of Hannibal Lecter may have elevated Hopkins to apotheosis but Corky has a sense of vulnerability that makes it appear far more realistic than Lecter. A comparison between Lecter and Corky is inevitable for both the characters lie on the brink of insanity... while the former can control it to a great extent the latter is always at the mercy of his vicious alterego. Magic (1978) is a psychological thriller of the highest quality. And Hopkins' sublime portrayal makes it an experience of a lifetime. Ann-Margret is brilliant in the role of Peggy Ann Snow. Burgess Meredith as Ben Greene virtually steals every scene that he is a part of.

Magic (1978) is indeed magical. And the dream-like combination of two great Englishmen, Richard Attenborough and Anthony Hopkins, makes it possible. A necessary watch!

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Magic (1978)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Anyone else see the trailer for this on TV during the mid-80s? evilromero
Missed it again. chrisseeu
Is 'Fats' anyone else's nightmare? verdi_requiem
whats your *** rating ???? DawnRun
strange case of the dubbed last line... storm-the-dog
ending of Magic? katielongmcdowell
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