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The Magician(Ansiktet)

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Sweden · 1958
1h 41m
Director Ingmar Bergman
Starring Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Ingrid Thulin, Bibi Andersson
Genre Drama

A brilliantly conceived and executed tale of deceit from Ingmar Bergman, one of cinema’s premier illusionists. A nineteenth-century traveling mesmerist and potion-peddler’s magic is put to the test by the cruel, eminently rational royal medical advisor. A diabolically clever battle of wits that is by turns frightening and funny.

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Chicago Reader by

Set in the 19th century, it's one of Bergman's most tightly structured and frightening films.


The New York Times by Bosley Crowther

This picture is full of extraordinary thrills that flow and collide on several levels of emotion and intellect. And it swarms with sufficient melodrama of the blood-chilling, flesh-creeping sort to tingle the hide of the least brainy addict of out-right monster films.


Slant Magazine by Joseph Jon Lanthier

This piquant control over cinematic grammar doesn’t quite rescue the film from a laughably zombie-tinged climax and an anomalous deus ex machina denouement, but it makes The Magician one of Bergman’s more accessible failures, and collapses any suspicious connection between him and the fretful Vogler.


The A.V. Club by Scott Tobias

It’s haunting and beautiful at times, surprisingly playful at others, and like all great movies about magic, it has more than a few tricks up its sleeve.

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