Magic Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 22, 2014
Though Magic scores no points for originality - old hat even then, the theme of a ventriloquist's personality being taken over by that of his dummy had been perfected over 30 years earlier in a segment of the Ealing portmanteau Dead of Night, starring Michael Redgrave, and had been recycled not once but twice since in different episodes of The Twilight Zone - it's still a well-crafted and solidly entertaining minor horror movie. If I'm honest, Anthony Hopkins has a tendency to overplay at times but Ann-Margret and Burgess Meredith offer excellent support.
Super Reviewer
January 7, 2014
Richard Attenborough crafts a disturbing psychological horror yarn with a good cast. The film stars Anthony Hopkins as a ventriloquist who can't separate himself from his dummy, and slowly loses his mind. At times there film could have been improved upon, and considering it's idea, should have been a far better film, but as it is it's a tense, atmospheric picture that manages to be entertaining due to the casts performances. Where the film lacks however is that it feels like it tries too hard with its interesting idea, therefore it loses sight of what's really going on. Luckily Hopkins is chilling in his performance and he makes the film watchable and good. However, at times the film does leave a lot to be desired in terms of sheer terror and memorable chills. The idea is disturbing, but the terror is never quite there. At least the film has some tense atmosphere to make up for the lack effective scares. Anthony Hopkins is very good here, but he would later deliver afar superior performance in his legendary role of Hannibal Lecter in the horror masterpiece Silence of the Lambs. Magic is a good film, but it does fall short of its potential. Worth seeing if you enjoy Hopkins' work, and Dummy/doll movies. However there are far better films in the genre to be watching than this one. Don't go into this one expecting a memorable horror film, because you won't find it. Like I said, the film is good, but doesn't hold up in the long run in terms of terror. It's atmospheric yes, and disturbing, but it never goes deeper in terms of trying to find what's really terrifying. Magic is a good little film, but don't expect to be terrified when you watch this.
Super Reviewer
½ February 2, 2011
Not too bad actually. Anthony Hopkins was good at being creepy before Silence of the Lambs. Not really a "horror" film more just creepy.
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2010
This story has been seen over and over, there is an episode of the Twilight Zone and about three movies with the story before this movie came out. Obviously it is predictable and overacted, and I wouldn't recommend seeing it.
Super Reviewer
½ October 23, 2007
I've always had a fascination with dummys, and a fear of them. Mix a super creepy one with Anthony Hopkins and you've got a winner! The interplay between the two characters was gold. I really liked what it was about (eventually), it was unique and reminded me a bit of Gollum.
Super Reviewer
February 15, 2009
Magic is a film I have been wanting to see for years. But every time I picked up the DVD I, for some reason, decided against it. Finally I watched it and it is one of the most incredible, terrifying and moving films ever made. When it comes to horror you need great talent like this. Not the cliche teens and 2D characters of today. A great actor, great director and great writer, combine their forces for a powerful and chilling tale. Hopkins plays a shy man who has dreams of being a successful magician. We are introduced via one of the best opening scenes ever shot. It has Hopkins lying about how well his first performance went. As his voice over contrasts with the on screen visuals, we immediately understand Hopkins' motivations. Once his puppet comes into picture everything changes. Hopkins is confident, he has success, but all is not well. As the film progresses the puppet begins to look and sound more like Hopkins (who does an excellent job as the voice of Fats) and it is Hopkins that becomes the puppet. The film may be light on kills and gore but it work because it spends time building upon those that will be killed. Each kill can be felt and has consequences emotionally for those in the story. It's also a love story. Perhaps the most tragic and horrific love story since King Kong. Hopkins (in easily his best role) creates someone who is scary and sympathetic. He captures the shyness of Corky, the malevolence of Fats but most of all he never lets us forget that they are one in the same. The human love story is also sweet, tragic and brutally honest. Ed Lauter plays the husband of the Ann-Margaret and even he is given his dues. He's not the alcoholic wife beater he could have been. He may be jealous but his actions are understandable. The film is a horror, psychological drama and heart shattering romance all at the same time. It also shows the cooperative nature of film. Take away or change one element and it probably would have failed. Whether that be the wonderfully designed dummy, the haunting score or the performances. The film relies on everyone and everyone has done their job damn well. Simply amazing.
Super Reviewer
October 28, 2007
Very tight thriller with a great ending. One of Anthony Hopkins' Best Performances Ever!
Super Reviewer
½ July 8, 2007
The #1 creepy puppet movie. A great psychological study of a ventriloquist who has gone insane. The setting of the remote lake house wasn't very interesting. It was hard to believe that Ann-Margret would be married to Ed Lauter. The scene where Burgess Meredith was ordering the puppet not to speak for one full minute was expertly directed to build great tension. It's spooky indeed. The trailer was scary as heck.
Super Reviewer
February 24, 2010
A gripping and disturbing tale based on the best selling novel by William Goldman which is marvelously directed by Sir Richard Attenborough. Sir Anthony Hopkins is absolutely mesmerizing in a virtuoso performance that truly demonstrates his extraordinary range, he plays a Corky a tormented ventriloquist & magician who dominated by his vicious dummy named Fats, who manipulates him into to a series of violent and deadly confrontations all leading to a shocking conclusion. It's edgy and suspenseful with terrific supporting performances from Ann Margret in a fine turn as Corky's lost love Peggy Ann Snow; and Burgess Meredith is a standout in a truly exceptional performance as Corky's agent Ben Greene. A haunting psychological horror story. Highly Recommended.
Super Reviewer
September 28, 2011
Suspenseful, terrifying and genuinely disturbing all contained in a 106 minute film. Anthony Hopkins delivers another amazing performance as a ventriloquist who is controlled by his dummy in more ways than one. The film is definitely worth a watch.
Super Reviewer
½ March 24, 2008
This is one of those films that defy genre. Yet if I had to, I'd put it in horror. An effing creepy film that gets under your skin, and for those who don't like dummies, well, aren't gonna like them any more. It's definitely a build, type of film that starts off innocent enough, then slowly tips, but you won't be disappointed as you get an uneasy feeling from the very beginning. It's nice to see a young Hopkins as his stardom seem to come in his elder years and really he's an amazing actor, there's no doubt that he is one of the fact that make this film.
Super Reviewer
½ June 11, 2007
It's been nearly 29 years since I seen this movie. The phobia against Ventriloquist dolls has seem to faze me at this moment. Magic is one of the early 70's thrillers which stars the great Anthony Hopkins in his young years. Starring as Corky the ventriloquist that has a slight condition that seems to make his alter ego "Fats" the dummy his only companion in this chiller. Anthony Hopkins is as sinister as his Hannibal the Cannibal character, as he makes "Fats" become his murderous self as he kills unmercifully in this thriller. Great 70's classic.
November 21, 2011
Good thriller/horror movie. Reminiscent of Psycho and The Collector. Hopkins and Ann-Margret are very good here, it's a shame Ann-Margret got such few opportunities to be in good movies. Stunningly beautiful woman, as I've said before. Interesting early role for Hopkins.
January 8, 2013
Anthony Hopkins acts his ass off as a ventriloquist who's dummy sidekick controls his mind. It was a huge influence on a project that I made in college but way different. Here Hopkins shines as someone who truly suffers from the personality of Fats. The dramatic tension is cool and well done. There is an amazing scene where Hopkins is tested on not going into Fats mode. This is like a long Twilight Zone episode
October 24, 2012
Anthony Hopkins plays a ventriloquist on the edge whose dummy torments him and holds him in a weird emotional bondage in an attempt to keep him as ostracized and lonely as he can, a situation that's threatened when he begins to develop feelings for Ann Margaret, an old flame who is trapped in a miserable marriage.

Well worth a look, give it a rental.
½ June 27, 2011
This movie is not that good. It is about a guy who uses his dummy to enhance his career. He becomes obsessed with the dummy afterwards and starts acting crazy. The dummy's name is "Fats" and he is adorable IMO. No dummy coming to life here just a crazy man making believe he does. A very young Anthony Hopkins in this feature.
Super Reviewer
½ October 30, 2009
Not to bad of a movie.Fats The Dummy & Anthony Hopkins kinda reminded of the Batman comicbook character who always has The Scarface dummy & cant do anything without him
½ July 17, 2009
Excellent horror thriller about a ventriloquist played by Anthony Hopkins who's dummy becomes evil and his own master as he orders his master to kill. Great thrilling movie with great acting and stuff including the scariest dummy this side of Fletcher from "Making Contact (a.k.a. Joey)".
February 9, 2009
Awesome mix of romance and horror. Manages to provoke great pathos at the same time as it provokes effective chills
November 6, 2008
Anthony Hopkins is a mentally unstable ventriloquist . The legendary William Goldman wrote the screenplay AND the novel it was based on (just like the Princess Bride). But this movie is not like the Princess Bride. His dummy develops an independant personality and before you know it, Hopkins is no longer in control. The dummy tells him to smile, spin around, pick up a knife... Good stuff.
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