7.7/10
8,705
34 user 50 critic

The Magician (1958)

Ansiktet (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 27 August 1959 (USA)
A traveling magician and his assistants are persecuted by authorities in Sweden of the 19th century. Their captures, however, didn't bring victory to those in power.

Director:

Ingmar Bergman

Writer:

Ingmar Bergman
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Max von Sydow ... Albert Emanuel Vogler
Ingrid Thulin ... Manda Vogler (alias Mr. Aman)
Gunnar Björnstrand ... Dr. Vergerus, Minister of Health
Naima Wifstrand ... Granny Vogler
Bengt Ekerot ... Johan Spegel
Bibi Andersson ... Sara Lindqvist
Gertrud Fridh ... Ottilia Egerman
Lars Ekborg ... Simson, the coach driver
Toivo Pawlo ... Police Superintendant Starbeck
Erland Josephson ... Consul Egerman
Åke Fridell ... Tubal
Sif Ruud ... Sofia Garp
Oscar Ljung ... Antonsson, burly stableman
Ulla Sjöblom ... Henrietta Starbeck
Axel Düberg ... Rustan, young manservant
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Storyline

When 'Vogler's Magnetic Health Theater' comes to town, there's bound to be a spectacle. Reading reports of a variety of supernatural disturbances at Vogler's prior performances abroad, the leading townspeople (including the police chief and medical examiner) request that their troupe provide them a sample of their act, before allowing them public audiences. The scientific-minded disbelievers try to expose them as charlatans, but Vogler and his crew prove too clever for them. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Into the Nether-World! You'll Gasp At This Occult Hypnotic Experience Into the Supernatural! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character name Vergerus is one that recurs throughout Bergman's work and is generally associated with lack of emotion and heartlessness. See more »

Quotes

Johan Spegel: I've prayed for just one thing in my life. "Use me. Make me your servant." But God never understood what a strong devoted slave I was. So I went unused. That's a lie too, by the way. One goes step by step into the darkness. The movement itself is the only truth.
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Connections

Featured in Bergman: A Year in the Life (2018) See more »

User Reviews

 
Surprisingly Superb
19 March 2003 | by ian_harrisSee all my reviews

I didn't expect to like this movie, given its period, headline subject matter etc. But don't let those factors put you off, there is real depth and some top notch scenes in this surprisingly superb movie.

Max von Sydow, Gunner Bjornstrand and Ingrid Thulin are three of Bergman's most consistent quality performers and all three have major roles in this film. There are a fair number of stereotypical character parts, mostly performed by ensemble quality character actors. Bibi Andersson is capable of far more than her giggly girl part enables her to show in this film. Indeed, there is some comedic material in this film reminiscent of Smiles of a Summer Night, but don't mistake this movie for one of Bergman's less masterful light pieces, this has real depth and substance.

There are some amazing bits of cinematography, especially the early scenes. The pacing of the movie is masterful, as is the clever use of parallels in the story - the failed actor "dying" and then reviving is a prelude to the pivotal incident around Vogler's "demise".

Top notch scenes include Mrs Egerman opening up to Vogler - she seems so lost - also both scenes in which Bjornstrand's character (Vergerus) insists that he was not taken in by the "magic".

This is now in my Bergman top 5, which makes it a "must see" in my book.


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Details

Country:

Sweden

Language:

Swedish

Release Date:

27 August 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Magician See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

AGA Sound System

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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