The Magic Christian
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Top Customer Reviews
The film is a series of excellently written and staged sketches, connected by Terry Southern's original concept of an aging billioinaire, bored with the world and his corporate life who turns his wealth and energies to proving that all things are corruptible. The individuals and groups then corrupted, and the settings for their betrayals are hilarious, including a strip-tease to Hamlet's "To be or not to be" at Stratford-on-Avon, a jaguar disguised as a dog at Cruft's dog show, two heavyweight boxers opting to neck in the ring rather than beat each other senseless, a sham of a Sotheby's rare art auction, and a riverine melee at the annual Cambridge v. Oxford rowing race.
Concealed in the comedy are some serious observations on the nature of modern society, growing more pronounced and direct as the movie continues. By the end, the shots at class systems, sexual repression, greed, religion, vanity and pretension, government, and the Vietnam War are plainly obvioius, and brutal.
This mix of serious satire and slapstick comedy come almost naturally from the cast. International comedy legend Peter Sellers is the lead, but he is not given the freedom to truly cut loose as Kubrick gave in ...Read more ›
The Magic Christian, in which he plays billionaire Guy Grand, is one of his best vehicles, and what a bonus it is to have Ringo Starr as his adopted son, Youngman Grand.
I liken the smattering of cameo appearances as an extension of the guest stars in that other movie based on a Terry Southern novel, Candy. As another note of interest, Candy also featured in a small role as a Mexican gardner, yes, Ringo Starr! But those of us in the know already knew that. Right? Right and double right, as Guy Grand would say.
I recognized Joan Benham, who intermittently played Lady Prudence Fairfax in the Upstairs Downstairs series, as a socialite discussing the maiden voyage of The Magic Christian to her friends.
Dennis Price, who starred in some Ealing comedies in the 1950's and who was the ill-fated Hector Snipe in Theatre of Blood, plays one of Grand's company executives.
There's David Hutcheson, one of the hunters, who gets frozen to death by a hail machine in The Abominable Dr. Phibes.
Among the most notable is John Cleese's role as Mr. Dugdale, a museum attendant with a supercilious attitude and voice to match, who is understandably shocked when Grand snips out the nose of a Rembrandt he has purchased. Ringo finishes the scene off with a sensory organ joke: "Keep your eye out for a good ear." Precious!
Raquel Welch is the whip-wielding queen of the Magic Christian galley. And finally there is Yul Brynner, who in drag, sings Noel Coward's "Mad About The Boy" before whipping off his wig to reveal his familiar bald pate.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This review is not of the movie itself, but of the Blu-ray release from Olive Films. The video quality is simply awful. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Everything Connoisseur
Movie is a bit on the weird side, however bought because I love Ringo and Peter Sellers. It does have some very profound statements on how money can buy anything if you are greedy... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Renee Mahlman
Sixties (well, sixty-nine) attempt to be socially conscious, so very heavy handed (Sellers even hangs a lantern on that at the movie's end). Read morePublished 9 months ago by Stephen Mann