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Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Mad Magician (1954)

Starring Vincent Price, Mary Murphy, Eva Gabor, John Emery, Donald Randolph
Directed by John Brahm
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

Gallico, a designer of death trap illusions for magic shows, seeks vengeance when his employer prohibits him from starting his own career as a magician.

One of Vincent Price's lesser known films, and one hard to see until it was recently released on video, for me it's a personal favorite among all his movies.  Following his triumph in House Of Wax, it was Price's lone outing afterward as an out and out horror villain for a number of years, and despite the absence of his trademark mustache, he's well worth watching here.  I really like the behind the scenes magic backdrop of the film, and although Price's impersonations of other characters beneath so-called masks aren't always convincing, the dark villainy he's engaged in is on a par with what we're used to in his more popular efforts.  I liked the supporting cast too, as actor John Emery, who plays a rival magician, is marvelous sneering at Price in a French accent, and Lenita Lane is colorful as a murder mystery author and busybody who grows suspicious of Price.

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