6.5/10
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24 user 12 critic

Magic Town (1947)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 7 October 1947 (USA)
An opinion pollster finds a town which is a perfect mirror of U.S. opinions.

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writers:

Robert Riskin (story), Joseph Krumgold (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Stewart ... Rip Smith
Jane Wyman ... Mary Peterman
Kent Smith ... Professor Frederick Hoopendecker
Ned Sparks ... Ike
Wallace Ford ... Lou Dicketts
Regis Toomey ... Ed Weaver
Ann Doran ... Mrs. Weaver
Donald Meek ... Mr. Twiddle
E.J. Ballantine ... Moody
Ann Shoemaker ... Ma Peterman
Mickey Kuhn ... Hank Nickleby
Howard Freeman ... Nickleby
Harry Holman ... Mayor
Mary Currier Mary Currier ... Mrs. Frisby
Mickey Roth Mickey Roth ... Bob Peterman
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Storyline

Rip Smith's opinion-poll business is a failure...until he discovers that the small town of Grandview is statistically identical to the entire country. He and his assistants go there to run polls cheaply and easily, in total secrecy (it would be fatal to let the townsfolk get self-conscious). And of course, civic crusader Mary Peterman must be kept from changing things too much. But romantic involvement with Mary complicates life for Rip; then suddenly everything changes... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The guy with the dynamite heart meets the girl with the firecracker eyes!

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Screen Director's Playhouse" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on January 6, 1950 with James Stewart reprising his film role. See more »

Quotes

Mary Peterman: The air becomes charged with electricity around desperate men.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a colorized version. See more »

Soundtracks

MY BOOK OF MEMORY
(originally "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen")
Music by Thomas Payne Westendorf (uncredited)
Lyric: Edward Heyman
Sung by chorus with brief solos by Jane Wyman (uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

 
Stewart and Wyman are great
27 August 2003 | by zetesSee all my reviews

Maybe the silliest story ever to make it onto the silver screen. James Stewart plays a pollster looking for a town of such mathematical perfection that, whatever you polled its people, it would reflect exactly what the entire nation would feel about a give subject. He finds this place in Grandview, and there he takes his team. When Stewart finds local newspaper editor Jane Wyman trying to convince the town council to build a new civic center, he butts in. If the town were to change at all, its magical polling phenomenon could fade. Similar to The Music Man, Stewart develops a relationship with Wyman to keep the town as it is. Fortunately, it's less cynical and fake than the relationship between the two main characters of The Music Man, and, where Robert Preston's love still seems suspicious by the end of that film, Stewart's feels genuine quickly. He doesn't want the miracle to end, but he is utterly seduced not only by Wyman, but also by the small town. When the town discovers their perfect polling ability, they screw it up pretty much instantly (79% of the population say they would vote for a woman president!). The town goes down the toilet, and it's up to some faithful citizens, joined by the reformed Stewart, to save it. As ridiculous as the initial concept for Magic Town is, it gets even worse near the end. Stewart did this film directly after It's a Wonderful Life, and the small town sentiment is nearly identical in both films. While the first touches me, it's simply schmaltzy in Magic Town. The performances by Stewart and Wyman, as well as many decent supporting performances from many ever-reliable character actors, are better than the movie deserves. Stewart, in particular, is great. I've never seen this guy give a bad performance, and he throws himself behind this awful script with his full soul. He almost got me to buy it. Wyman's beautiful eyes enchanted me. But in the end, the story was just too ludicrous. 6/10.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 October 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Magic Town See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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