The Magician (Ansiktet)

Critics Consensus

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 10

85%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,477
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Movie Info

A magician of dubious talents, Vogler (Max Von Sydow) and his traveling show are called to entertain at the home of the local police commissioner. Set in Stockholm in the 1840's, Vogler's powers are put on display for the commissioner, a doctor, and a civil servant. Despite the magicians questionable abilities, many strange and mysterious events transpire to illustrate man's fascination with the murky world of the unexplainable answers to love, life and death.

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Cast

Max von Sydow
as Albert Emanuel Vogler
Ingrid Thulin
as Manda Vogler/Mr. Aman
Bibi Andersson
as Sara Lindqvist
Gunnar Bjornstrand
as Dr. Vergerus
Toivo Pawlo
as Starbeck
Sif Ruud
as Sofia
Oscar Ljung
as Antonsson
Ulla Sjöblom
as Henrietta
Tor Borong
as Customs officer
Naima Wifstrand
as Grandmother
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Critic Reviews for The Magician (Ansiktet)

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (10)

Audience Reviews for The Magician (Ansiktet)

  • Dec 29, 2013
    every time i watch a bergman film for the first time, the thing i'm most excited for is encountering new, interesting characters. i think the characters in this film are among his absolute best and most interesting. in fact, i loved everything about this film until the very end, when the last ten minutes sort of fell a part for me, but the entirety of the film is still quite good, and the tension of the overall concept of empirical reality vs. the supernatural is one that needs to be explored in film more often.
    danny d Super Reviewer
  • Aug 23, 2011
    In "The Magician," Albert Vogler(Max Von Sydow), magician, is traveling through the countryside with his protege, Aman(Ingrid Thulin), grandmother(Naima Wifstrand) and manager, Tubal(Ake Fridell), when they come upon Johan(Bengt Ekerot), an actor who is very ill. Their new passenger dies but it is not his body that the authorities are curious about. Rather, Dr. Vergerus(Gunnar Bjornstrand), Police Superintendant Starbeck(Toivo Pawlo) and Consul Egerman(Erland Josephson) have some very pointed questions about the act and wish to see him perform on the following day. "The Magician" is a darkly engaging movie from Ingmar Bergman that does a neat job of keeping the audience off balance. By that I mean, both the audience in the movie and the one watching the movie. The movie is set in 1846 when reason was starting to take hold but superstition was still ingrained enough in the consciousness to give power to what Vogler is trying to do. On another level, it is about the fine line between performance and reality for an artist. As Kurt Vonnegut put it in the preface for his novel "Mother Night," we are what we pretend to be.(That sound you hear is Stephen Colbert having the mother of all existential crises.) By the way, this is probably also the first time a law enforcement officer is referred to as a pig.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • May 12, 2011
    All of Bergman's best actors are in this: Max Von Sydow, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin, and of course Gunnar Bjornstrand. Nykvist is absent but the photography is spectacular (misty gothic atmosphere works well as well as playing with light and darkness). The story isn't on par with some of Bergman's classics but it's a funny and haunting ride that you must take. The blue-ray release looks outstanding.
    Jonny B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 04, 2011
    I'm surprised this isn't more well known. I mean this is the same caliber as The Seventh Seal. Really. Tremendous direction from Bergman, especially the Gothic thrills and minuscule mannerisms, and the B&W cinematography is excellent. 98/100 More at: http://thegreatestreview.blogspot.com/2011/03/something-else-you-probably-havent.html
    Simeon D Super Reviewer

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