6.5/10
1,248
24 user 10 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 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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 October 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Cidade Mágica See more »

Filming Locations:

Chico, California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Robert Riskin Productions See more »
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on December 15, 1947 with James Stewart and Jane Wyman reprising their film roles. See more »

Quotes

Lawrence 'Rip' Smith: I've been searching for a town like this for years. You know, when I got off that train this morning, I said to myself "This is it." I've just walked through your town, folks, with its shade trees and its lovely parks. I stood before your impressive buildings mellowed with age, and I said to myself "Here is a sturdy challenge to the evils of the modern era." I watched your people on the street, and I felt their vitality and their sense of security. Your children are happy. They're happy. You ...
[...]
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 »

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User Reviews

 
Magic Town - It's A Wonderful Film!
18 March 2006 | by omalleypaSee all my reviews

I will comment on this film in general terms and try to avoid spoilers...

I have read through a lot of other people's comments and I think many of them missed the point of Magic Town. Yes, it's old-fashioned and a little corny, and yes it's not as good as It's A Wonderful Life, but in my opinion, IAWL is one of the most emotionally-stirring and profound films ever made. I have seen IAWL many times, but have never made it through the final scene without tears!

In very simplistic terms IAWL is about the positive effects one person can have on society, without even realizing it, while Magic Town is more about the negative effects one can have on the masses.

Someone previously commented "Not a bad person in the whole town".

The plot does not focus on purely "bad" people because that would detract from the point of the narrative. In this film, James Stewart is essentially the bad guy! He's selfish, greedy, manipulative and dishonest, and it is his actions, with a little bit of help from Jane Wyman, that cause a chain of events that virtually destroy the fabric of the town. When this happens, these "good" people become pessimistic, lazy and selfish.

However, I do agree with some of the other comments, including the one that says "People had to learn the perfect society has to be practiced individually, intentionally and daily for it to become a reality." That is at the core of this film, and it is illustrated beautifully.

I won't spoil it for people who haven't seen the film, but I think the way that the main characters turn this situation around is truly brilliant!

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that, on its own merits, Magic Town is a truly wonderful film. If you are a fan of IAWL, James Stewart or Jane Wyman - or just a fan of a good stories with depth, darkness, humor, personality and emotion - I recommend it highly.

I give it 8/10. (IAWL gets a 9/10.)


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