Ingmar Bergman

The Magician

The Magician

With The Magician, an engaging, brilliantly conceived tale of chicanery that doubles as a symbolic portrait of the artist as a deceiver, Ingmar Bergman proved himself to be one of cinema’s premier illusionists. Max von Sydow stars as Dr. Vogler, a nineteenth-century traveling mesmerist and peddler of potions whose magic is put to the test in Stockholm by the cruel, eminently rational royal medical adviser Dr. Vergérus (Gunnar Björnstrand). The result is a diabolically clever battle of wits that’s both frightening and funny, shot by Gunnar Fischer in rich, gorgeously gothic black and white.

Film Info

  • Ingmar Bergman
  • Sweden
  • 1958
  • 101 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • Swedish
  • Spine #537

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New visual essay by Bergman scholar Peter Cowie
  • Brief 1967 video interview with director Ingmar Bergman about the film
  • Rare English-language audio interview with Bergman conducted by filmmakers Olivier Assayas and Stig Björkman in 1990
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring excerpts from a 1990 tribute to the film by Assayas, a new essay by critic Geoff Andrew, and an excerpt from Bergman’s autobiography Images: My Life in Film
    New cover by Michael Boland

Purchase Options

Collector's Sets

Collector's Set

Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema

Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema

Blu-Ray Box Set

30 Discs

$239.96

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New visual essay by Bergman scholar Peter Cowie
  • Brief 1967 video interview with director Ingmar Bergman about the film
  • Rare English-language audio interview with Bergman conducted by filmmakers Olivier Assayas and Stig Björkman in 1990
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring excerpts from a 1990 tribute to the film by Assayas, a new essay by critic Geoff Andrew, and an excerpt from Bergman’s autobiography Images: My Life in Film
    New cover by Michael Boland
The Magician
Cast
Max von Sydow
Albert Emanuel Vogler
Ingrid Thulin
Manda Vogler/Aman
Gunnar Björnstrand
Dr. Vergérus
Naima Wifstrand
Vogler's grandmother
Bengt Ekerot
Johan Spegel
Bibi Andersson
Sara
Gertrud Fridh
Ottilia Egerman
Lars Ekborg
Simson
Tovio Pawlo
Starbeck
Erland Josephson
Consul Egerman
Åke Fridell
Tubal
Sif Ruud
Sofia Garp
Credits
Director
Ingmar Bergman
Camera
Gunnar Fischer
Production design
P. A. Lundgren
Music
Erik Nordgren
Editing
Oscar Rosander
Sound
Aaby Wedin
Sound
Ake Hansson
Costume design
Greta Johansson
Costume design
Manne Lindholm

From The Current

A Portrait of the Artist: Olivier Assayas on Bergman’s The Magician
A Portrait of the Artist: Olivier Assayas on Bergman’s The Magician

This essay originally appeared in the October 1990 issue of Cahiers du cinéma. Translated by Stephen Sarrazin. The Magician is one of Bergman’s most enigmatic films, perhaps his underground masterpiece, one of the keys to his cinema. Traveling a…

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The Magician: Through a Glass Drolly
The Magician: Through a Glass Drolly

Ingmar Bergman’s Ansiktet (1958)—the title literally translates as The Face, though in North America it was released as The Magician—is arguably one of his most underrated achievements. Its undeservedly lowly standing may perhaps be attribute…

By Geoff Andrew

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Liv Ullmann and Bibi Andersson, Sisters in the Art

Ingmar’s Actors

Liv Ullmann and Bibi Andersson, Sisters in the Art

The powerhouse actors at the center of Persona became two of Ingmar Bergman’s most essential collaborators, bringing a remarkable emotional range to their performances.

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Eva Dahlbeck, a “Battleship of Femininity”

Ingmar’s Actors

Eva Dahlbeck, a “Battleship of Femininity”

This diva of the screen brought a touch of elegance and no-nonsense wit to her roles in Waiting Women, Smiles of a Summer Night, and other Bergman gems.

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The Looming Gravitas of Max von Sydow

Ingmar’s Actors

The Looming Gravitas of Max von Sydow

Ingmar Bergman scholar Peter Cowie explores how the great actor’s authoritative screen presence allowed him to embody the director’s fears and ideals.

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The Eerie Intensity of Ingrid Thulin

Ingmar’s Actors

The Eerie Intensity of Ingrid Thulin

A performer of great psychological force and control, Ingrid Thulin embodied some of Ingmar Bergman’s darkest obsessions with her intimidating screen presence.

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The Brilliant Careers of Sven Nykvist and Gunnar Fischer

Flashbacks

The Brilliant Careers of Sven Nykvist and Gunnar Fischer

The author recalls the two great cinematographers and their work.

By Peter Cowie

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The Fierce Candor of Bibi Andersson

Flashbacks

The Fierce Candor of Bibi Andersson

The author recalls his encounters with the great Swedish actress.

By Peter Cowie

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Caption Contest Winners
Caption Contest Winners

Last month, we asked you to give us a hand in creating brief ad taglines for our October titles. The response, in comments on the Criterion Current, was so overwhelming that we had trouble narrowing it down. Congratulations to the winners, Andy J., …

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Explore

Ingmar Bergman

Writer, Director

The Swedish auteur began his artistic career in the theater but eventually navigated toward film—"the great adventure," as he called it—initially as a screenwriter and then as a director. Simply put, in the fifties and sixties, the name Ingmar Bergman was synonymous with European art cinema. Yet his incredible run of successes in that era—including The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, and The Virgin Spring, haunting black-and-white elegies on the nature of God and death—merely paved the way for a long and continuously dazzling career that would take him from the daring “Silence of God” trilogy (Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, The Silence) to the existential terrors of Cries and Whispers to the family epic Fanny and Alexander, with which he “retired” from the cinema. Bergman died in July 2007, leaving behind one of the richest bodies of work in the history of cinema.