- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 28 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: September 21, 2010
- Originally Released: 1926
- Label: Warner Archives
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Sight and Sound - 04/01/2011
"[Ingram] was celebrated for his dramatic flair and visual flamboyance."
Description by OLDIES.com:
The heart blood of a virgin. That's what deranged medical student Oliver Haddo needs for his malevolent scheme to create life. He finds it in a lovely sculptor he hypnotizes and spirits off to an ancient sorcerer's tower, preparing to rip her heart from her living body. Filmmaker Rex Ingram (The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse) cast his wife and frequent leading lady Alice Terry and Paul Wegener, who terrified movie audiences in The Golem, in this seminal horror-fantasy film based on a novel by W. Somerset Maugham. Bizarre, nightmarish, enhanced by top production values and elegant European locations, The Magician is a must for any fan of the horror genre - or of imaginative moviemaking.
THE MAGICIAN was loosely based on the 1908 novel by Somerset Maugham -- which, in turn, was inspired by the controversial career of "Black Arts" practitioner Aleister Crowley. The great German actor Paul Wegener stars as Doctor Haddo, a self-styled sorcerer who has unearthed an ancient document revealing the formula for creating artificial life. The instructions are detailed and specific -- especially the one that lists "the heart's blood of a maiden" as a principal ingredient. Haddo selects the virginal Margaret Dauncey (Alice Terry) as the blood donor, first mesmerizing her into cooperating with his diabolical experiments then strapping her to the operating table in his crumbling, palatial laboratory. The film's literally explosive climax could not help but have influenced such future horror classics as THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, though THE MAGICIAN is itself less horrific than sensual, especially in the scene where Haddo convinces the hypnotized heroine that she is taking a journey into Hell. Dismissed as "tasteless" by critics in 1926, THE MAGICIAN remains one of director Rex Ingram's most fascinating films; alas, most currently available prints are dupes, robbing the film of its original visual magnificence. Among Ingram's talented assistants on this film were future directors Harry Lachman and Michael Powell.
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