5.7/10
1,498
33 user 18 critic

The Magus (1968)

A teacher on a Greek island becomes involved in bizarre mind-games with the island's magus (magician) and a beautiful young woman.

Director:

Guy Green

Writers:

John Fowles (screenplay), John Fowles (novel)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Nicholas Urfe
Anthony Quinn ... Maurice Conchis
Candice Bergen ... Lily
Anna Karina ... Anne
Paul Stassino ... Meli
Julian Glover ... Anton
Takis Emmanuel ... Kapetan
George Pastell ... Andreas-Priest
Danièle Noël Danièle Noël ... Soula (as Danielle Noel)
Jerome Willis ... 'False' German Officer
Ethel Farrugia Ethel Farrugia ... Maria
Andreas Malandrinos Andreas Malandrinos ... Goatherd (as Andreas Melandrinos)
George Kafkaris George Kafkaris ... Second Partisan
Anthony Newlands ... Party Host
Stack Constantino Stack Constantino ... Third Partisan
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Storyline

An English teacher arrives on a sleepy Greek island to take up a vacant teaching post. The last man to hold the post committed suicide under mysterious circumstances. Slowly but surely, he is drawn into a bizarre game engineered by a reclusive local magician. The deeper into the game he is drawn, the more he senses danger... yet cannot seem to untangle himself from the fascinating and compelling influence that the game is having on his mind. Written by Jonathon Dabell <barnabyrudge@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What is the Magus Game? The game is love. The game is lust. the vicious game is life itself...Or is it death?

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 December 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Magus See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Blazer Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Michael Caine lists this, along with The Swarm (1978) and Ashanti (1979), as one of the worst movies he ever made. This is mainly down to the fact that no one, least of all the audience, knew what it was about. See more »

Goofs

In the rented room where the English professor will live while to continue the teaching work of his predecessor in the "Greek" island, there is a rather conspicuous historical XIX century Spanish painting by José Casado del Alisal which represents the first defeat of Napoleon's armies in Spain, in the city of Bailén, where Marechal Philippe Antoine Dupont de l'Estang surrendered to inexperienced Spanish General Castaños on 19 July 1808. Not quite a Hellenic topic, really. See more »

Quotes

Nicholas Urfe: I've missed you.
Anne: Careful. You'll be in love next.
Nicholas Urfe: I never use four-letter words.
See more »

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User Reviews

A film that's better than its reputation
27 February 2002 | by ThreedeeSee all my reviews

I've read the Fowles novels-- including the original and the "new, improved" versions of The Magus (BTW the "new, improved" version was a bad move John, you should have left the damn book alone with its ambiguities intact), so it ain't like I are illiterate or somethin'...

Seems to me a lot of people expect a movie to be a book, and it doesn't happen. If you have a deep connection with the print, you have to be able to temporarily wipe the preconceptions from your brain and deal with it as a distinct presentation of material, or you're not going to like it.

I'm pretty sure this is what happened amongst the literati who were expecting to see the book version of The Magus on screen. So they did a snobbish hatchet job via criticism.

IMHO, this is one of Anthony Quinn's best screen appearances. I can't think of anyone else who could have filled the role as well. Green's direction keeps the film moving right along. The location settings are wonderful. Got no problems with the script. Michael Caine plays a terrific self-serving exploiter of women and relationships-- but in fairness Anne is a gutless wimp asking to be exploited-- incapable of making her own decisions (at least as rendered in the film). Candice Bergen does a very credible job in the schizo role of Lily.

This movie deserves restoration into its original aspect ratio and re-releasing on DVD. And maybe, like Eliot said in the bit from Little Gidding used in the flick, you might arrive where you started and know the place for the first time.


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