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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Magus (1968)

An Englishman (Michael Caine) takes a position as a school teacher on a small Greek island replacing the previous teacher who died under mysterious circumstances. He is befriended by a wealthy Greek recluse (Anthony Quinn) who may be a doctor or perhaps a magician or possibly a film producer or even a WWII traitor ... or maybe none of those things. Let the psychological games begin! Based on the novel by John Fowles, who adapted his book for the screen and directed by Guy Green. While successful film adaptations of Fowles' THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN and THE COLLECTOR have made it to the screen, THE MAGUS is a failure. Rather than a cerebral puzzle that takes us on a unique cinematic journey, we get what feels like a big con job. Caine endlessly wanders around the beautiful island while Candice Bergen poses (she still seemed unsure of her acting at this point in her career) and Caine and Quinn speak in enigmatic existential bytes. "Why me?", "Why anybody?", "Tell me the truth" "What is truth?" ... get the picture? Even Fowles hated the film and he wrote the screenplay! On the plus side, Billy Williams Greek and Spanish location lensing is handsome and there's a nice score by John Dankworth. With Anna Karina, Julian Glover and Corin Redgrave.   

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