6.1/10
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The Magic Christian (1969)

M | | Comedy | 12 December 1969 (UK)
Sir Guy Grand, the richest man in the world, adopts a homeless boy, Youngman. 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 adopts homeless bum Youngman 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 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 December 1969 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Magic Christian See more »

Filming Locations:

Barnes, London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Youngman (Sir Ringo Starr) wasn't in the original book. The part was written especially for him, with many of Guy's early exploits adapted as Youngman's. See more »

Goofs

When the flock of birds flies into the air at the grouse shoot, the hand of the person releasing them is visible at the bottom of the screen. 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.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The shorter version - largely altered for U.S. television - omits the scene where Guy & Youngman Grand fill a vat with manure, urine, blood, and then cash, to see who will jump in to collect it. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Laugh-In: Episode #3.23 (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Lili Marlene
(uncredited)
Music by Norbert Schultze
English lyrics by Tommie Connor
Performed by Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Appealing even if chaotic
6 October 1999 | by JasonS-5See all my reviews

Terry Southern's novel, "The Magic Christian" is very different from the film. However the film, which was written by Southern, among other, still maintains the spirit of the novel.

The film is simply a series of vigniettes centering around Sir Guy Grand (Peter Sellers), and his adopted son, Youngman (Ringo Starr), who goes about "making things hot for people," by using his vast wealth to perpetrate elaborate practical jokes largely aimed at seeing how many of their principles people will give up for money.

The movie is very silly, fragmented, and horribly dated. > Now that you have heard the case against, I have to say that this is one of my favorite movies of all time. The movie destroys or humiliates all social icons, from the police, to "the old school," to the snobbish upper class, to the art world. Its great to see, and once you make up your mind that the movie is just a series of sketches, its funny, and immensely satisfying, albeit somewhat vicious.

Look for cameos by Yul Brynner (in drag), Spike Milligan (Sellers' partner in "The Goon Show"), John Lennon and Yoko Ono, among many others.

Other notes: The novel, "The Magic Christian" was banned for a time, because it was viewed as obscene. Peter Sellers loved this book, and after he read it, he sent copies of it to all of his friends. It might say something about his tragic and depressed personality, that he found this book, with its many vicious stabs against society, so appealing.


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