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Rough Magic

3.8 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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(Jan 01, 2002)
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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.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Bridget Fonda, Russell Crowe, Jim Broadbent, Paul Rodriguez
  • Directors: Claire Peploe
  • Producers: Declan Baldwin, Laurie Parker
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    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
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2002
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006AUHS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,290 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rough Magic" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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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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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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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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By A Customer on February 27, 2001
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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Format: DVD
"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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Very original story involving real magic, trick magic, and the way in which magic can take on a life of it's own. Funny story with acknowledgment to the power of women and how the men who see recognize the women who have power.
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