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Magic (1978, Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret)



Anthony Hopkins stars in creepy psychological thriller Magic as a ventriloquist who slowly loses his grip on reality. Failed stage magician Corky Withers (Hopkins) tries one last time to make it in showbiz when he adds a foul-mouthed ventriloquist’s dummy named Fats to his act. With Fats, Corky hits the big time and discovers a new self-confidence in his skills, but soon he gets scared of his new fame and runs off to hide in his hometown with his childhood sweetheart (Ann-Margret).

When his agent (Burgess Meredith) tracks him down and then ends up dead, Corky becomes convinced that Fats is the murderer, although the truth may be much more terrifying. Dark and suspenseful, the film is a rare venture into horror by director Richard Attenborough (Gandhi) with a screenplay by the ever-versatile William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President’s Men) based on his own best-selling novel. The plot though, it has to be said, owes more than a little nod to the Michael Redgrave segment from 1945 portmanteau movie Dead of Night.

production details
USA | Twentieth Century Fox | 107 minutes | 1978

Director: Richard Attenborough
Producer: C. O. Erickson, Joseph E. Levine, Richard Levine
Original Story: William Goldman
Editor: John Bloom
Composer: Jerry Goldsmith
Screenwriter: William Goldman
Production Designer: Terence Marsh
Costume Designer: Ruth Myers
Art Director: Richard Lawrence
Cinematographer: Victor J. Kemper

Ann-Margret as Peggy Ann Snow
Jerry Houser as Cab Driver
Ed Lauter as Duke
E.J. André as Merlin
Anthony Hopkins as Corky Withers / Fats (Voice)
Burgess Meredith as Ben Greene
David Ogden Stiers as George Todson
Lillian Randolph as Sadie
Joe Lowry as Club M.C.
Robert Hackman as Father
Mary Munday as Mother