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The Magic Christian (1969)

M/PG | | Comedy | 12 December 1969 (UK)
Sir Guy Grand (Peter Sellers), the richest man in the world, adopts a homeless boy, Youngman (Sir Ringo Starr). Together, they set out to prove that anyone, and anything, can be bought with money.

Director:

Joseph McGrath

Writers:

Terry Southern (screenplay), Joseph McGrath (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Sellers ... Sir Guy Grand
Ringo Starr ... Youngman Grand
Isabel Jeans ... Dame Agnes Grand
Caroline Blakiston ... Hon. Esther Grand
Wilfrid Hyde-White ... Captain Reginald K. Klaus (as Wilfrid Hyde White)
Richard Attenborough ... Oxford Coach
Leonard Frey ... Laurence Faggot
Laurence Harvey ... Hamlet
Christopher Lee ... Ship's Vampire
Spike Milligan ... Traffic Warden 27
Roman Polanski ... Solitary Drinker
Raquel Welch ... Priestess of the Whip
Tom Boyle Tom Boyle ... My Man Jeff
Victor Maddern ... Hot Dog Vendor
Terence Alexander ... Mad Major
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Storyline

Sir Guy Grand (Peter Sellers) adopts homeless bum Youngman (Sir Ringo Starr) to be heir to his obscene wealth, and immediately begins bringing him into the intricacies of the family business, which is to prey upon people's greed by use of the vast holdings of the Grand empire. They leave no stone unturned as sporting events, restaurants, art galleries, and traditional pheasant hunts turn into lurid displays of bad manners and profiteering. Things climax at the social event of the season, the inaugural voyage of the new pleasure cruiser, "The Magic Christian". Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The world's richest man and the world's poorest boy are getting it ready now...and everybody, everywhere, will be a little worse off for it. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

M/PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Sellers gave Stanley Kubrick a copy of the original novel during the filming of Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), in the hope Kubrick would want to direct an adaptation. While Kubrick passed on the idea, author Terry Southern became a key contributor to the "Dr. Strangelove" script, as Kubrick changed his approach from drama to comedy. See more »

Goofs

In the "free money" scene, Guy Grand accepts a delivery of "100 gallons of blood, 200 gallons of urine, 500 cubic feet of animal manure", but the tanker truck and the vat it fills hold many thousands of gallons. Incorrectly regarded as goof: "500 cubic feet" of anything (manure in this case) would be 3,114 gallons (imperial), and therefore the fetid mixture would indeed fill a vat of "thousands of gallons". See more »

Quotes

Ginger Horton: Ah! My Second World War Nazi atrocity book came at last.
[turns to Youngman, dog in her lap, and browses the book]
Ginger Horton: Do you know what Bitsy and I do? We sit down and imagine all those atrocities being done to sex criminals. - Yes, sex criminals and the like. And that Dr Thorndike!
Sir Guy Grand KG, KC, CBE: [overhearing] What's that, Ginge? Bill Thorndike a sexy criminal?
Ginger Horton: The man you sent me to. He behaved VERY strangely.
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Alternate Versions

Also released in shortened (75 min. and 88 min.) versions. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Unknown Peter Sellers (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Come and Get It
Written by Paul McCartney
Recorded by Badfinger (as Bad Finger)
See more »

User Reviews

British satire at its best
21 December 2005 | by crel74See all my reviews

The Magic Christian is a wonderful piece of film making. It targets fairly & squarely all parts of the establishment and its aim is always true. The main theme of the movie (that everyone has their price) is shown again and again, no more truly than when the Peter Sellars character throws money into a vat of excrement & urine and hordes of "city gents" jump in to retrieve it! I have never seen another film quite like it and although it must be almost 30 years since last my last viewing, its memory is still crystal clear. Sellars, Spike Milligan and Ringo Starr all turn in fine performances and the soundtrack is great featuring Something in the Air and Come & Get It. Make sure you see this film; its message is even more pertinent today than when it was made.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 December 1969 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Magic Christian See more »

Filming Locations:

Barnes, London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$689,100
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Grand Films Limited See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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