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.


Ingmar Bergman


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




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


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


A haunting journey into the netherworld between reality and the unknown. See more »


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The character of Vogler was based on Bergman himself. See more »


(at about 13 mins) When Tubal gets on in a carriage, a policeman hangs outside the carriage door but in the very next shot, the policeman is again seen to hang on the same door. See more »


Manda Vogler: Remember in Lyon when we earned lots of money, bought a country house, and intended to stop traveling? Then we sold the property and bought the carriage and horses. That's when you started acting mute. Remember the Grand Duke in Köten who was so taken by me that he promised to recommend us to His Majesty in Sweden? You thought I'd been unfaithful, and you gave the duke a thrashing. We sat in prison for two months until he forgave us. He was very magnanimous and promised to recommend us to the ...
See more »


Referenced in The Siskel & Ebert 500th Anniversary Special (1989) See more »

User Reviews

A Great Duel Between Science and Magic
29 March 2004 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In 1846, the Albert Emanuel Vogler (Max Von Sydow) and his magnetic health theater is moving in a coach to Stockholm, escaping from the accusation of charlatanism. By the way, they find a very sick drunken man on the road and give a lift to him. The drunk wants to die, to release his spirit from the spoiled body. The man dies along the journey. Near the border, they are forced to present their show to a group of skeptical persons, leaded by the local chief of police, the consul and the scientist Vergérus (Gunnar Björnstrand) and their families. There is a great confrontation between magic and science.

This movie has a great performance of the whole cast and a great black and white photography. The story, about reality x illusion, is very attractive. The VHS released by the Brazilian distributor Continental is a shame. It seems to be filmed from an English projection, having black stripes covering the English subtitles and trembling image. Unfortunately, this is the unique option I have in Brazil to possess such a film in my collection. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): 'O Rosto' ('The Face')

13 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 34 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

27 August 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Magician See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

AGA Sound System

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed