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directed by Rex Ingram
USA 1926

 

"The Magician" {1926} is directed by Rex Ingram and stars Alice Terry as Margaret, Ivan Pétrovich as Dr Arthur Burdon and Paul Wegener as Oliver Haddo, the villainous practitioner of Black Magic.

If one is willing to make the necessary suspension of disbelief there isn't the slightest doubt but that the film provides loads of entertainment as a horror/thriller combination.

The two leads don't have very much to do in terms of acting. Burdon is the usual faithful hero and Alice Terry's character spends most of her time staring helplessly about in a trance and looking full of Angst. Paul Wegner (who directed "The Golum" (1920)} steals every scene he's in with a wonderfully spectacular over-the-top melodramatic portrayal of the Magician who needs the heart blood of a maiden to create life {hmm . . . I wonder who's supposed to provide that ingredient}.

Another star in the film is the great cliff-top, tower-castle of Hadoo himself, surrounded with bolts of lightning and filled with such items as strange potions which bubble and foam with a satisfactorily smoking violence, strange manuscripts and sinister props. When Hadoo picks up his box of sharp knives, one can't help noticing the nearby cupboard topped with a skull nicely festooned with cobwebs. There's the expected winding staircase to impede the heroic rescue and an open fully fired-up incinerator helps us along to the climax which ends with a suitable cataclysm.

Excerpt of review from lyrast for imdb.com located HERE

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Theatrical Release: 24 October 1926 (USA)

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:19:09
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.97 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital Stereo (Robert Israel)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: September 21st, 2010
Keep Case

Chapters 8

 

Comments

The Magician is a silent horror/drama hybrid based on a novel by Somerset Maugham and directed by Rex Ingram. Paul Wegener, the original Golem, steals the film as the title character who needs blood of a virgin (Alice Terry) to create new life. There are some wonderful set pieces including the faun dance and the explosive conclusion that takes some points from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

The made-on-demand disc from Warner Archive presents the film in a tinted transfer. There are many marks, lines and scratches, but considering the age of the film and its rarity, this is an acceptable presentation. The full on restoration would cost a lot. A new score by Robert Israel that references many classical pieces, is presented in stereo and fits film well. There are no extras, but the release is recommended if only for the wonderful performance by Paul Wegener and inspiring direction by Rex Ingram.

  - Gregory Meshman

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 

 




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