HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Worst Person in the World, The
Whirlpool
Hunter Will Get You
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Revolver
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Faye
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Saint-Narcisse
Souvenir Part II, The
Knockabout
400 Blows, The
Virus: 32
Studio 666
Great Movement, The
Lost in La Mancha
Cellar, The
Sacred Spirit, The
Chess of the Wind
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Scream
   
 
Newest Articles
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
   
 
  Magus, The Pull The Strings
Year: 1968
Director: Guy Green
Stars: Michael Caine, Anthony Quinn, Candice Bergen, Anna Karina, Paul Stassino, Julian Glover, Takis Emmanuel, George Pastell, Corin Redgrave, Danièle Noël, Jerome Willis, Ethel Farrugia, Andreas Malandrinos, George Kafkaris, Anthony Newlands, Roger Lloyd-Pack
Genre: Drama, Romance, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Nicholas Urfe (Michael Caine) arrives in Greece hoping to forget about the love affair he has had with French air hostess Anne (Anna Karina), which has ended badly. He is to be an English teacher on one of the islands there, and learns on landing from his new colleague Meli (Paul Stassino) that the previous holder of the teaching position committed suicide. Nicholas hopes he won't end up the same way, although he is English too and will be staying in the dead man's room, but soon he finds himself locked in a baffling plot - and the wealthy local "magus" Maurice Conchis (Anthony Quinn) could be behind it all...

After writer John Fowles' novel The Collector was filmed, he didn't think he received the credit he deserved from it; it was all his story after all. So when the option came to adapt his bestseller The Magus for the big screen, he thought he'd have a go at it himself, with what were regarded at the time, and indeed today, as disastrous results. And yet, there were a small amount of fans, perhaps of the book, perhaps not, who enjoyed the film's endless game playing and pulling the rug out from under its main character, and were not put off by what was really something of a trudge through the novel's edited highlights.

It's not simply that there appear to be pages missing from the film version, but a spirit is missing too, an intrigue that might set a spark across the sunbleached landscapes and glittering seascapes seen here. Caine is supposed to be fascinated by this labyrinth he is lost in, but not it's not so much that his Nicholas appears confused, but that he doesn't seem to be especially bothered about any of it. Was the Englishman not used to the heat? He certainly looks as if he doesn't function well in high temperatures during this.

In the title role, Quinn should have a twinkle in his eye at the very least, but he's a doughy presence, adding to the leaden atmosphere that hangs around like a heavy fog. The frequent fooling and misdirection doesn't help much either, as at first we are meant to wonder if Conchis has anything to do with the previous teacher's death, but later it apparently doesn't matter as the layers of meaning are peeled away. At first, he claims to have been in England during the First World War, and played by Roger Lloyd Pack no less, where he romanced a mystery woman, Lily (Candice Bergen, inadequate).

It's then that Nicholas encounters this woman, though how he knows she's supposed to be the same one is unclear, like a lot of aspects to this. She talks elliptically, so he never gets a straight answer, but after an hour of thinking she is somehow Conchis' partner, it turns out that she is a schizophrenic and he is her doctor. But it doesn't end there, as after that the possibility is this is all a kind of theatrical experience for Nicholas's benefit, to the extent that he is playing one of the roles. Drag in a subplot about Conchis' possibly traitorous involvement in a local massacre during World War Two and you have a film obsessed with testing its characters to the point that we are never convinced any of it is sincere. Frankly, by the finale the whole project has enigmatically disappeared up its own arse. Music by Johnny Dankworth.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5199 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: