The Magician (1926)

Article #529 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 8-26-2002
Posting date: 1-19-2003

A hypnotist trying to discover the secret of life takes control of the will of a young woman.

It’s a crying shame this movie is languishing in obscurity and remains difficult to find; it’s fascinating to watch it in the light of certain movies that appeared afterwards. In particular, the lab scenes and the castle in the last part of the film are astoundingly reminiscent of those in FRANKENSTEIN six years later; between this and the existence of certain themes that also bear similarity to both movies, I’ve noticed that certain people like to describe the movie as a variation on the Frankenstein story. If it is, it never gets off the ground; actually, it is far more similar to another movie, namely SVENGALI, only in this case our villain has much nastier designs on the Trilby character than making her a famous singer. Plotwise, it seems a little shaky in some ways, but it is well acted and has a truly satisfying ending. It’s high time someone took an interest into reviving, restoring, and making generally available this forgotten classic.

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