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The Magic Christian (1969)

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
Edit

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:

PG | 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 (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

At Auchengillen Station, Guy Grand's car is blocked by a police car which pulls to a halt across its path. After a brief conversation, Grand's car drives off unimpeded. The Police Car has shifted to the side. See more »

Quotes

Sir Guy Grand KG, KC, CBE: [voiceover, as a £10 note appears onscreen] Ladies and gentlemen, this is what is commonly known as money. It comes in all sizes, colours, and denominations - like people. We'll be using quite a bit of it in the next two hours... luckily I have enough for ALL of us.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Spoofs Battleship Potemkin (1925) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Funny, But Unsettling
17 January 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

One day the fabulously wealthy Sir Guy Grand who is Peter Sellers with a much larger nose finds a young orphan kid in a park. On the spur of the moment he adopts young Ringo Starr, probably because Ringo has a well known honker in real life and Sellers sees something of himself in Ringo.

The idea is that Sellers has to have someone not just to leave his money to, but someone to impart his accumulated wisdom of the years which is boiled up into one single thought; that EVERYBODY has his price.

The rest of the film is a Monty Pythonesque group of skits in which Sellers tries to prove just that to Starr. They range from Laurence Harvey doing a striptease while doing Hamlet's soliloquy to a beat cop eating a parking ticket for 500 pounds. The title The Magic Christian refers to a Titanic like cruise ship that only caters to the upper crust. Sellers and Starr integrate that ship's maiden voyage in a most interesting fashion.

That the film is like Monty Python is no accident with Graham Chapman and John Cleese doing the writing. Ringo's former Beatle companero, Paul McCartney wrote The Magic Christian theme, Come and Get It which sums up the philosophy of the film.

After almost 40 years, The Magic Christian is acidly funny, but a still unsettling.


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