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The Magician

5 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Jan 10, 2011)
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$12.81 $12.43
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Editorial Reviews

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.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media.'s standard return policy will apply.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Alice Terry, Paul Wegener
  • Directors: Rex Ingram
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: January 10, 2011
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00478ED6S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,130 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Brad Baker VINE VOICE on January 15, 2011
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W. Somerset Maugham's famous "The Magician" was crafted into a now obscure silent thriller by MGM in 1926. Produced and directed by Rex Ingram, who made Valentino a star, "The Magician" is now officially available from Warner Archives on DVD. Paul Wegener plays Oliver Haddo, a Parisian medical student obsessed with magic and the creation of life. Haddo discovers a beautiful subject for his experiments in young sculptor Margaret Dauncey(Alice Terry, Ingram's wife). Margaret is injured while fashioning a large faun sculpture; the edifice mysteriously cracks, and tumbles down on top of her, crushing her to the ground. Her uncle Dr. Porhoet rushes her into surgery, assisted by physician Arthur Burdon, a handsome young doctor. In the open operating theater,Haddo lays his eyes on Margaret for the first time. Haddo sneers and declares "true medical genius resides in the mastery of magic; the creation of life."Later, Haddo finds the arcane secret formula for creating life in a dusty old book of magic. A heart must be plucked from the breast of a young virgin. Soon, Haddo is invading Margaret's home, hypnotizing her with visions of Hell. In a clearly "Mock-Hell" recreation, an Ingram masterpiece, Margaret is seduced by a near-naked Pan(Hubert Stowitts); dancing nymphs, swirling winds, and eerie smoke surround the couple. Just behind them is Haddo. Smirking, his hair is slicked-up neatly into two twin "horns". Haddo spirits the girl away, and in a trance, marries her. Dr. Burdon and Porhoet follow them to Monte Carlo(filmed on location). Finally, they follow Haddo and his bride to the village of Latourette, where Haddo's towering castle is guarded by his evil dwarf servant.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Underwood on August 18, 2011
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The Magician is a high quality silent film with a high-profile cast and crew, and a story that has been retold in many ways throughout the decades. The film is based on W. Somerset Maugham's 1908 novel by the same name, which he based on the British occultist, Aleister Crowley, and although the subject of ancient black magic may not be as popular or fascinating to modern audiences as it was in the early decades of last century, this film is still quite gripping and thoroughly entertaining.
Veteran German actor, Paul Wegener, who already featured in some earlier horror films such as The Golem (1920) and The Student of Prague (1913), is perfect in the role of Oliver Haddo, the magician obsessed with creating new human life by means of alchemy and ancient magic. When the formula for such magic calls for the heart of a blonde and blue-eyed virgin, he plots the process of abducting such a young woman by means of hypnotism and mind control. The story is very reminiscent of the character, Svengali, who featured in an excellent early silent film, Trilby (1915) by Maurice Tourneur, and who was played by John Barrymore in the early sound film, Svengali (1931).
The young woman in question is played by Alice Terry, who starred in several outstanding productions in the 1920s, co-starring in some with silent screen legend, Rudolph Valentino, and often directed by Rex Ingram, who adapted this story for the screen and supervised the direction. This combination of skills and talent makes The Magician more than just a horror movie or average silent film, which is evident in the quality sets and charming street scenes of Paris, as well as the romance between the girl, Margaret, and the surgeon who saves her from being a cripple and then falls in love with her.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul Kesler on January 27, 2014
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“The Magician” is one of the masterpieces of silent horror cinema, on a par with “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (1919) “Nosferatu” (1923) and Jean Epstein’s “Fall of the House of Usher” (1928). Its quality draws from its plot, cast, and superior direction, linked with an almost Expressionistic art design, all of which were noted by earlier reviewers, so I won’t explore them further.

The film has a long and tortuous history. I first came across it in 1967, when Carlos Clarens’s pioneering book, “An Illustrated History of the Horror Film,” was published. Clarens’s evocative still from the film, showing Paul Wegener in his alchemist’s lab, whetted my teenage appetite. But this was long before the days of cable or home video, and the few network channels that existed did not show silent films, evidently deeming them of scant commercial value.

Lacking alternatives, I waited many years to see “The Magician,” only to discover that the sole archival print was locked up in a vault at The Museum of Modern Art. Out of frustration, therefore, I tracked down a bootleg copy with terrible resolution (but an excellent music score) from a former projectionist named Peter Kavel.

When you finally see a great film in such poor condition, however, a certain petulance sets in. As time rolled by I tried to interest an independent company, Kino-on-Video, into making this film available to the public. Kino had already issued a number of silent horror films on VHS and DVD, but they presumably lacked the resources to obtain “The Magician” (the leasing price must have been exorbitant).

So it was left, I assume, to the deeper pockets at Turner Classic Movies to obtain legal rights to this film, for their logo appears before the disc’s opening credits.
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