Magic – 1978
Review by Wayne Malin
Not that good,
“Corky” Withers (Anthony Hopkins) plays a very successful ventriloquist with a particularly foul-mouthed little dummy called Fats. He realizes he’s slowly losing his grip with reality (he’s starting to think Fats is alive) ands runs away to a secluded cabin. He runs into an old high school flame Peggy Ann Snow (Ann-Margret) and starts to fall in love again. But she’s married to a very jealous husband and Fats doesn’t like it either…
So-so. The book by William Goldman was great. For instance you don’t realize until halfway through the book that Fats is a dummy! However the film is slow and pretty boring. Hopkins and Margret (both good actors) give their worst performances. Ed Lauter too. The dummy Fats shows more animation than them! Only Burgess Meredith gives a good performance as Ben Greene.
It’s not a total washout–Hopkins did learn to become a ventriloquist for the role (that’s really his voice for Fats) and pulls it off. There are two pretty gory killings and the scene were Greene tells Corky to shut Fats up is well done but, all in all, this is just pretty dull. Director Richard Attenborough just did this to get funding for “Gandhi”. His heart wasn’t in it…and it shows. A 5.