7.7/10
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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:

A haunting journey into the netherworld between reality and the unknown. 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

Production Co:

Svensk Filmindustri (SF) See more »
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

Avid Bergman fan Woody Allen says this film is his recommended starting point for watching Bergman. See more »

Quotes

Simson, the coach driver: One learns not to run around picking every flower by the wayside.
Sara Lindqvist: You can at least smell them.
Simson, the coach driver: I just bend over the fragile petals and then move on.
Sara Lindqvist: Why do you talk so much?
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Weaker Bergman?
2 June 2006 | by Django6924See all my reviews

It's not Bergman as his most tormented or saturnine, but it's thoroughly entertaining, more theatrical (in a good sense) than say Persona or In a Glass, Darkly, and still an unqualified masterpiece on a level of artistry that no one making films today seems to be able to achieve. It makes me think in some ways of Shakespeare's plays like the Henry IV with their mix of tragedy and comedy--all done with tremendous showmanship. I'll bet Orson Welles admired this film-- if he ever saw it.

Bergman seems almost forgotten today. Films like this one, Naked Night, Hour of the Wolf, Persona, etc., hardly ever crop up on TV or film festivals. When Bergman is represented, it's usually by The Seventh Seal (not my favorite, and a film that begs for a parody), Wild Strawberries, Smiles of a Summer Night (because of the musical version, no doubt), or Fanny and Alexander, which is more recent, and most important, in color. What a pity. The man created a body of work virtually unsurpassed in the second half of the 20th century.


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