The Magus  [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Top Customer Reviews
I came to the DVD re-release of `The Magus' like many people, having last read the book quite a few years previously, and with this reputation had fairly low expectations, but in the event viewed the film with interest, and at this distance in time believe there is a case for a reappraisal.
The book is probably impossible to film, certainly within the context of a 2 hour feature, but the production was obviously constructed to be a major work, especially when John Fowles himself came on board as screen writer.
The greatest obstacle is that the film is almost incomprehensible to those who have not read the book, and those who know the book are disappointed; the atmosphere and subtlety of the book are not carried through into the film. But it couldn't, it's like saying Mozart's 40'th loses depth when rendered down into a pop single using synthesizers.
However the film contains all the essential elements of the book, there are no savage edits to the written material, even the execution scene is well presented. Take it on face value with an open mind. It's probably the only film treatment that will ever be made of The Magus, so make the most of it - consider it as a collection of parts which comprise the main elements of the book, some fit well, other less so, some are downright embarrassing. It is technically well filmed, and for the most part the scenery and staging fits well well with the book.Read more ›
As with any film, one cannot hope to portray the book exactly. Some movies give the feel or outline. Moreover, some movies actually improve on the book. In this case, the movie squeaks by with the basic story and feel.
Michael Caine did a pretty good Nicholas Urfe as I think the person and the character are quite similar. Candice Bergen did a great Lily and could have been the one in the book. The only person that looked physically out of place and tried but did not quite pull it off was Anthony Quinn as Maurice Conchis.
It took years to make it to DVD and if it had not been for the DVD proliferation would never have been made available.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good film but in wrong format. US suppliers need to remember that most of the rest of the world does not conform to US standards.Published 3 months ago by Ian D. Robb
Very disappointing. After reading the book and loving it I found the film very poorPublished 12 months ago by Mark Little