The Magician Of Lublin

  • 1979
  • Movie
  • R
  • Drama

The unlikely blending of Israeli filmmakers and West German locations proved a financial bust in this more than $6 million picture that failed to get any notice from critics or audiences. Excecutive producer Harry N. Blum (OBSESSION, SKATEBOARD, AT THE EARTH'S CORE) said: "Had it come after YENTL, it might have had a different reaction." Perhaps. The fact...read more

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The unlikely blending of Israeli filmmakers and West German locations proved a financial bust in this more than $6 million picture that failed to get any notice from critics or audiences. Excecutive producer Harry N. Blum (OBSESSION, SKATEBOARD, AT THE EARTH'S CORE) said: "Had it come

after YENTL, it might have had a different reaction." Perhaps. The fact that Singer won the Nobel Prize for literature as the picture was being made didn't help a bit. There were many subtle nuances in the book that were glossed over by Golan in favor of more commercial factors; the writers did

not know how to take an essentially spiritual and intellectual novel and turn it into a film. In place of the philosophical musings, Shelley Winters' breasts were seen. Arkin is a good magician who travels the back roads of Europe with his small act. He is never satisfied with his work and takes

great pains to improve himself at every turn. As he travels, we are treated to a fairly accurate look at the Eastern European customs of the era, which, when combined with the metaphysics and mysticism of the characters, serve to make the movie more than passingly interesting. But we wonder if

Singer, whose works revolve around this time in history and these complex subjects, could have been pleased with the outcome of this film. The performances of Winters and many of the others are way overboard. Jacobi, as the man who sponsors Arkin, is excellent, but veteran Berlinger is lost, and

Perrine is wasted. Arkin's performance is a curious mixture of subtle renderings and his patented hysterical shouting. The photography by Gurfinkel made the movie look its best when there were no actors on the screen.

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  • Released: 1979
  • Rating: R
  • Review: The unlikely blending of Israeli filmmakers and West German locations proved a financial bust in this more than $6 million picture that failed to get any notice from critics or audiences. Excecutive producer Harry N. Blum (OBSESSION, SKATEBOARD, AT THE EAR… (more)

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