6.6/10
65
3 user

Dark Magic (1939)

Approved | | Comedy, Short | 13 May 1939 (USA)

On Disc

at Amazon

Joseph A. Doakes goes into a shop looking for a gift for his son, and the clerk shows him a box of magic tricks. After a store employee demonstrates several of them, Doakes purchases a ... See full summary »

Director:

Roy Rowland
Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

More Like This 

How to Behave (1936)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Benchley, a newspaper columnist who writes on issues of etiquette, receives a telephone call from two men working deep in a manhole, they who are arguing about what to do if a woman fell ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Ripley
Stars: Robert Benchley, James P. Burtis, James Flavin
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Benchley tries his best to demonstrate the routine one should follow to start the day right.

Director: Roy Rowland
Stars: Robert Benchley, Ernie Alexander
How to Read (1938)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Humorist Robert Benchley offers a tongue-in-cheek lesson on how to avoid eye strain while reading.

Director: Roy Rowland
Stars: Robert Benchley, Barbara Bedford, Marie Blake
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After a new dog owner decides on which dog to buy at the pet store, this short soon becomes a lesson in how NOT to train a dog.

Director: Arthur Ripley
Stars: Robert Benchley
How to Eat (1939)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Humorist Robert Benchley discusses the issue of food and how different situations can affect one's ability to consume and digest food, using his stock everyman and slightly bumbling ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Rowland
Stars: Robert Benchley, Ruth Lee, George Lessey
How to Sleep (1935)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A humorous look at the problems people have trying to sleep.

Director: Nick Grinde
Stars: Robert Benchley
Drama | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A teen boy is given advice on what to do, and what not to do, on a date.

Director: Ted Peshak
Stars: Jackie Gleason, John Lindsay
My Tomato (1943)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Joe Doakes is lamenting to his wife the lack of variety in his meals. In particular, he misses eating stewed tomatoes, the fruit which he believes incorrectly is being rationed as a war ... See full summary »

Director: Will Jason
Stars: Robert Benchley, John Butler, Monte Collins
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Short documentary presents the case that local schools in poor rural communities of Appalachia must provide an education that will improve people's lives directly such as how to farm correctly and what to plant so that they may eat better.

Director: Willard Van Dyke
Stars: Myron McCormick
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This Pete Smith Specialty showcases the Cristiani Family, a circus act. They mount and dismount moving horses and perform acrobatic feats while riding them.

Director: David Miller
Stars: Pete Smith, The Cristiani Family
Short | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In this Sportscope short, children from preschool age through age 14 are shown diving from various heights into a swimming pool. Lissa Bengston, of the Royal Academy of Physical Education ... See full summary »

Stars: Harry Wismer, Lissa Bengston
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

With his wife gone for the evening, a man is left alone at home. Left alone to their own devices, men tend to be more thoughtful and analytical in deciding what to do than women. This man ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Rowland
Stars: Robert Benchley
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Robert Benchley ... Joseph A. Doakes
Edit

Storyline

Joseph A. Doakes goes into a shop looking for a gift for his son, and the clerk shows him a box of magic tricks. After a store employee demonstrates several of them, Doakes purchases a number of them and starts demonstrating them for his son, who is totally bored. For some unknown reason, the tricks worked better in the store than they do at home, even though instructions are included. In the final trick, Doakes makes himself disappear. Where he ends up after the trick is over must remain a mystery until you see this short film. Written by David Glagovsky <dglagovsky@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

magic trick | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy | Short

Certificate:

Approved
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 May 1939 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Decent Benchley short
23 July 2009 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Dark Magic (1939)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

MGM short has Joe McDoakes (Robert Benchley) walking into a gift shop where he wants to look at some magic tricks. A pro shows him the tricks so Joe takes this home to perform in front of his son but of course things don't go as planned. This is a pretty good short that manages to get a few laughs even though the screenplay is rather lazy and goes for all the obvious jokes. Of course McDoakes isn't going to be able to do the tricks and when he does do one it just gets him into more trouble. The ending is pretty nice but the real highlights are in the shop when the tricks are actually being done. Whenever watching magic tricks I always try to catch how they're being done and the ones here are without question the easiest I've ever spotted. The easiest one is the ball under the cup trick, which is done repeatedly here but it's very obvious to see how they're doing it because of being able to see the balls.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 3 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed