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The Mad Magician

3D THRILL! Fuel for the human bonfire!
The Mad Magician
Don Gallico is an inventor of stage magic effects who aspires to become a star in his own right. Just before his first performance his act is shut down by capricious manager Ross Ormond who wants Gallico's brilliant buzz saw effect for the act of The Great Rinaldi, an established star. With this defeat, and the humiliation of having already lost his wife Claire to Ormond, Gallico decides it is time to take matters into his own hands.

Reviews

John Chard
Tails you win, heads you lose! The Mad Magician is directed by John Brahm and written by Crane Wilbur. It stars Vincent Price, Mary Murphy, Eva Gabor and Patrick O'Neal. Music is by Arthur Lange and Emil Newman and cinematography by Bert Glennon. Magician Don Gallico (Price) is incensed when his attempts at stardom is scuppered by a contract he signed, so much so he takes matters in to his own hands... One of the eras 3-D productions, The Mad Magician sees Columbia recycle Warner Brother's 1953 release of House of Wax. The familiarity of it all is impossible to shake off, with a key scene even stolen from one of director Brahm's more notable productions. Yet it's still a fun movie, watching Price turn in a good one, as he gradually gets more dastardly with each passing quarter, all set to Victorian style backgrounds. There's some ghoulishly enjoyable macabre moments, played straight but with tongue in cheek evident, and while the scenes shot for 3-D gain obviously lose impact, they hold well enough in 2-D for story enjoyment. Performances around Price are fine, the girls (including Murphy's outstanding legs) add colour to the otherwise weak plot, and although the absence of Brahm's skilled Gothic/noir touches is a blow, the look of the piece is suitably moody. More one for Brahm and Price completists, this is still enjoyable fare (it was a commercial hit upon release) that's worth tracking down. 6.5/10

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