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Rough Magic (1997)

Bridget Fonda , Russell Crowe , Clare Peploe  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bridget Fonda, Russell Crowe, Jim Broadbent, D.W. Moffett, Kenneth Mars
  • Directors: Clare Peploe
  • Writers: Clare Peploe, James Hadley Chase, Robert Mundi, William Brookfield
  • Producers: Alain Mayor, Andrew S. Karsch, Declan Baldwin
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2002
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006AUHS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,916 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rough Magic" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

An introspective magician's assistant realizes her true powers while adrift on a fanciful journey through rural Mexico, pursued by a gritty P.I. hired by her eccentric millionaire fiance. A curious blend of outlandish magical realism and the standard "gumshoe" nostalgia, based on the novel "Miss Shumway Waves a Wand" by James Hadley Chase.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Russell Crowe is the reason to watch this odd film July 19, 2002
By Marilee
For some strange reason, only Bridget Fonda's name is mentioned in the listing, when Russell Crowe is the reason to buy this DVD. In a co-starring role, he brings attractive wounded dash to an odd film with mystical undertones. The movie is flawed, with an improbable story, but the interaction of the cool Fonda and macho Crowe, with the support of Jim Broadbent and Paul Rodgriguez, helps draw you in to a world populated by magicians and rogues.
While the movie didn't meet with much success in the theater, it deserves a new life in the home movie library. Crowe is charming and humorous, and as always, rises above the material to fully flesh out his character, a war vet trying to make a go of detective work. Fonda is a confused magician's assistant on the lam. Together, they find their way to Mexico where snake oil salesman Jim Broadbent makes their acquaintance. The road trip leads them to a roadside encounter with Rodriguez, who is deliciously smarmy as an annoyed petrol station owner. The unlikely adventures, encounters and errors can be forgiven on re-viewing this film, and one can enjoy the interplay of character, some beautiful scenery and an actor[Crowe] who as always, is on top of his game and joy to watch.
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47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CAPTIVATED BY ROUGH MAGIC June 30, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Can't believe so many professional critics heartlessly trashed this gem! As an art historian and world traveler who is especially fond of Mexico, I find 'Rough Magic' gorgeous, delightful, amusing, and romantic -- in all, utterly captivating, with flawless attention to every detail from first frame to last. Since purchasing this film recently I've watched it at least a dozen times. Bridget Fonda and Russell Crowe are a dynamic and delightful duo -- hope they'll team up for another movie. I had never seen Jim Broadbent ('Doc') before and would like to see more of his work; my lands, even the dog was well-cast! My advice: ignore the critics and follow your heart to a refreshing treat for the eye, for the soul.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't let the title fool you. October 27, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
I ran across this movie on cable and was pleasantly surprised. The plot is a little loose and out of the ordinary, but it kept me interested the whole way through. Russell Crowe is his usual talented self, as well as Bridget Fonda. The two have good chemistry with each other, which helps make this far out plot seem not so far out. It even ends with a little morality to ponder over. Definately a feel good movie if you're looking for it.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A strange little movie, but give it a chance September 9, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
It's the story about a magician's assistant, played by Fonda, who flees from her rich fiance after he apparently kills her mentor. Disappearing in Mexico, she hooks up with a quack medicine show salesman who convinces her to help him find a legendary magical formula only the ancient native people know how to make. Mix in a down on his luck reporter (Crowe) who's really working for Fonda's ex-beau, but finds himself falling for the woman he's trailing. The ending kind of wimps out, but I enjoyed the banter between Fonda and Crowe. Don't take this film seriously, but enjoy it for the romance if nothing else.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Rough At All February 27, 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I recently purchased this amusing movie. As a big Russell Crowe fan he has yet to disappoint me in anything he is involved in. The scenery in this flick was beautiful. The chemistry between Fonda and Crowe was magical. I loved the old cars, clothes and the dog. These two thespians are great comedians as well as actors. Just sit back and enjoy the movie, don't look for anything deeper. This is a movie I will watch over and over again.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Romp March 1, 2005
"Rough Magic" is a wild little romp. I like the twist of how it begins with a magician and all of his tricks and ends in Mexico with what in the reality of the film would be bona fide magic such as levitation during sex, a man who gets turned into a sausage and Bridget Fonda laying a blue egg. Bernardo Bertolucci's wife Clare Peploe directed this piece and has a mastery of pacing. I found her 2001 film "Triumph of Love" also to move quickly. Bridget Fonda is certainly beautiful; and we've missed her on screen for the last several years. Her characters as in "Lake Placid" or "A Simple Plan" always engage; and this outing is no different. As the edgy, confident con-artist who falls in love, she displays a good variety of conflicting emotions. Sharon Stone brought Russell Crowe to Hollywood for "The Quick & the Dead" the same year this movie was made and called Crowe, "The sexiest guy working in movies today." He certainly expresses depth and a world-weary sense as Alex Ross, the somewhat burned out detective. Jim Broadbent went on to win an Oscar as best supporting actor for "Iris" in 2001 and then appeared in "Moulin Rouge." As Doc Ansell, he does a nice job trying to steal the sorceress' secrets and carries the plot along in its improbable twists & turns. D. W. Moffatt who was in "Twisted" with Ashley Judd and "Traffic," plays the rich cad Cliff Wyatt that regards Myra Shumway as a trophy and pursues her to Mexico. Based on the story "Miss Shumway Waves A Wand" by James Hadley Chase, this film is an entertaining romp filled with magic, romance and improbability. Enjoy!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Usual Movie October 4, 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Not your usual movie - and the acting talents of Bridget Fonda and Russel Crowe contribute quite a bit to the unusual characters they play. She can turn someone into a pig and he is a private investigator that gets caught up in her magic. Of course Russel has his charm and charisma that works her over throughout the movie. He's arrogant and determined, but also warm and devoted. Bridget plays a woman in control - but doesn't realize she needs all the help she can get. She's an adorable mate for Russel's character.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great service and a great item.
Published 1 month ago by nancyjoan
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Published 1 month ago by mcboston
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It got here on time and we love the movie!
Published 2 months ago by Martha Torres
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, original film regarding women and the power of magic they...
Very original story involving real magic, trick magic, and the way in which magic can take on a life of it's own. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Charlotte P.
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
the first time I watched this movie something about it stuck in my mind I knew it was a movie that I would love watching many times and I sure do enjoy it.
Published 15 months ago by Gayla Aucoin
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good retro witch movie
It is a very good movie with Russel Crow and Bridget Fonda in good roles. It is a good movie as long as you like retro 40's era cinema.
Published 16 months ago by Hector A Joya
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky.
Certainly not perfectly written (the ending is a bit of a mess), but I enjoyed the symbolism and the performances. I suspect this is a movie that will reward further viewings.
Published 18 months ago by A. Martin
2.0 out of 5 stars Worth a look only for Crowe
Crowe fans may enjoy his scenes in this very odd flick which misfires quite a bit in an attempt to blend magic realism (?) with a love story and chase scenes. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Viva
3.0 out of 5 stars An off the wall movie
Very creative storyline. Filmed in Mexico. Mr. Crowe plays his part well. Ms. Fonda does okay for her. Not one of my favorites and not one I'd rewatch often. Read more
Published on April 8, 2011 by ricfan
3.0 out of 5 stars Quirky fun
As an adventure/romance, this works pretty well. The grasping, oily politico after Myra's (Bridget Fonda's) body is easy to dislike. Read more
Published on February 20, 2011 by wiredweird
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