Search This Blog

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Magic (1978)

A ventriloquist (Anthony Hopkins) is on the verge of a career breakthrough but unable to face a required medical exam that might reveal his severe psychological issues, he flees to the Catskills where he grew up and re-connects with the woman (Ann-Margret), now unhappily married, he had a teen crush on. Based on the novel by William Goldman, who adapted his book for the screen and directed by Richard Attenborough (GANDHI). By the time of Goldman's novel, stories about ventriloquists losing control of their lives to their wooden creations was hardly original. Perhaps the most famous examples are the Michael Redgrave episode in the 1945 film DEAD OF NIGHT and the 1962 TWILIGHT ZONE episode with Cliff Robertson. Despite his 2 Oscars (ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, BUTCH CASSIDY), Goldman is probably one of the most overrated screenwriters in Hollywood. What makes MAGIC work are the actors especially Hopkins who is terrific here. His out of control psychological breakdown is a direct contrast to the icy calm of his SILENCE OF THE LAMBS performance. Compare Hopkins' compelling performance here to the artificiality of Jack Nicholson's out of control breakdown in THE SHINING and you'll truly appreciate Hopkins' performance. There's a marvelous Jerry Goldsmith score to accompany the proceedings. With Burgess Meredith, David Ogden Stiers and Ed Lauter. 

No comments:

Post a Comment