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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 XIX century. Their captures, however, didn't bring victory to those in power.

Director:

Ingmar Bergman

Writer:

Ingmar Bergman
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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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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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Vergerus was based on critic Harry Schein who disliked Bergman's work. See more »

Quotes

Tubal: [the magician Vogler and his entourage have been detained at Consul Egerman's residence for an informal questioning before they will be allowed to perform their act in the town] All of you keep quiet. I'll do the talking.
Tubal: [goes and sits down by Granny Vogler] I must especially ask Granny to keep her trap shut. And another thing: Granny can make things jump around. Granny knows what I mean. Tables go flying, chairs fall over, lights go out. We all know Granny's tricks, but be good and behave... ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in At the Movies: Remembering Gene Siskel (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

definitely not bergman's best and a hypocritical message, but still great
31 October 2001 | by reasonbran234See all my reviews

ingmar bergman is, to me at least, one of the greatest directors of all time, but the ending of this one crushed me. obviously he's trying to make a comment on reality/illusion, as in all his films, but why take a shot at the aesthetic irrationality and maybe uncritical nature of the artist when bergman was himself an artist of first rank? that may sound like categorical complacency on my part, but i couldn't believe that bergman finished the movie by unmasking sydow's character as a money grubbing charlatan and the scientist as 'the wise one', who saw through it (for the most part) the entire time. of course all this is only my interpretation, but i pretty much sense bergman meant something like what i'm saying, and it is both puzzling and frustrating. most great artists may be lacking in the analytical faculty as sydow's 'magician' clearly is (while he is pretending) in this one, but without that passion for the imaginative and the irrational there really can't be art at all. the dissecting scientist is, no matter how much more intellectual integrity or 'noble' skepticism he may have than the artist, the antithesis of inspiring and affirmative (and there is a sense in which even pessimistic and despairing art can be affirmative, as nietzsche said many times)which all art should aspire, in one form or another, to be. the whole thing seems like a pretentious house of cards, considering that the considerable and undeniable appeal of bergman's work lies for the most part in his flair for the unspoken, the unconscious, the *irrational*. don't get me wrong, you might even call me an orthodox 'bergmanian' in that i find most of his work beyond criticism and absolutely masterful, but i just can't get behind 'the magician', although i may be intellectualizing too much. and to the movie's credit,it maintains a strong atmosphere and becomes impossible to stop watching halfway through, like nearly every film bergman made. don't watch it, buy it, but be a *little* wary of the veeeery contradictory message the movie tries to convey.


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