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The Magician PG rating

Ingmar Bergman's excellent ensemble piece concerns a 19th-century mesmerist and a scientist and police chief out to discredit him.

Drama 1958 101 mins

Director: Ingmar Bergman


Underrated (perhaps due to its sly comedy and a chilling climactic scene that uses horror tropes), this excellent ensemble piece concerns the hostile encounter between a 19th-century mesmerist (Max von Sydow) and the bourgeois authorities – a scientist and a police chief – bent on discrediting him. The film summarises Bergman’s preoccupations to date, while offering further wry reflections on the illusionistic aspects of art and entertainment.