Leonard Maltin gives it a BOMB and Michael Caine hates it. Nevertheless, “The Magus” is one of the most interesting films of the 1960’s. Caine plays a man who ends up on an island presided over by the great Anthony Quinn, an island where nothing is as it seems. Quinn’s character, who seems inspired by Alastair Crowley and Prospero from “The Tempest” in equal parts, puts Caine and the audience through a constant psychological and intellectual mind.
Assumptions are continually uprooted, as Candice Bergen and Anna Karina romance and bedevil Caine. By the end, both Caine and the audience have been on quite a journey. This little-seen gem, written by John Fowles from his famous novel, comes from 1968, when it was considered OK to challenge an audience. This film is strange enough to rival “The Prisoner” and David Lynch. If you enjoy the cast and Bizarro Cinema, by all means rent or buy the DVD and give it a go!