Original Columbia Pictures theatrical trailer for “The Mad Magician” (1954).
“The Mad Magician” (1954) was directed by John Braham. Braham would later direct 12 episodes of Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone” (from 1959-64), five episodes of Alfred Hitchcock’s hour-long version of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour” (from 1962-65), eight episodes of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (from 1966-67) and the spin-off series, “The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.” (from 1965-67).
Braham’s film was produced by veteran film producer Bryan Foy, who was one of the original “Seven Little Foys” (who toured with his father, Eddie Foy in the days of vaudeville stage entertainment long before entering the film industry).
Who was in “The Mad Magician” (1954)?
The players who appeared in Braham’s film were Vincent Price (as Don Gallico, a.k.a. “Gallico the Great”), Mary Murphy (as Karen Lee), Eva Gabor (as Claire Ormond), John Emery (as the “Great Rinaldi”), Donald Randolph (as Ross Ormond), Lenita Lane (as Alice Prentiss), Patrick O’Neal (as Lt. Alan Bruce), Jay Novello (as Frank Prentiss), Tom Powers (in an uncredited role as an inspector) and Robert B. Williams (in an uncredited role as a carriage driver).
One year before production began on “The Mad Magician” at Columbia Pictures, Vincent Price appeared in another smash successful 3-D thriller at Warner Bros. Pictures, “House of Wax” (1953, Price played the lead role of Prof. Henry Jarrod).
Price was not the first choice to play “Gallico the Great”
According to the American Film Institute’s database entry on Braham’s film, Anthony Quinn was originally considered for the role of Don Gallico (“Gallico the Great”) in “The Mad Magician” before Vincent Price was cast in the lead.
A reunion for Price, Foy and several behind-the-scenes members of the production team
“The Mad Magician” (1954) also served as a mini-reunion for Vincent Price, Bryan Foy, cinematographer Bert Glennon and screenwriter Crane Wilbur. Price, Foy, Glennon and Wilbur previously worked on “House of Wax” (1953) at Warners (according to additional details from the AFI database article).
Columbia encouraged Foy to emulate the same success that he had at Warners with “House of Wax,” according to John M. Miller’s article on the film for Turner Classic Movies.
One of Columbia’s last features in 3-D
According to the Twilight Time synopsis for their limited edition (now out-of-print) 3-D Blu-Ray disc of “The Mad Magician” (1954), this was the final 3-D feature film that was co-produced and released by Columbia Pictures.
Later re-issued for the home market in Super 8mm 3-D
According to Super8Warehouse, Columbia re-issued the 1954 Vincent Price thriller for the home market in the Super 8mm film format (which was processed in the anaglyph 3-D format, the film came with 3-D glasses). The Super 8mm box art for “The Mad Magician” appears to be from the mid-to-late 1970s, as Columbia Pictures was using their “Sunburst” print logo on the box.
Don’t miss out on Svengoolie’s upcoming St. Patrick’s Day premiere of “The Mad Magician” (1954), this Sat. on Me-TV!
With an ensemble cast (Vincent Price, Eva Gabor, Donald Randolph, Mary Murphy, Patrick O’Neal, Lenita Lane, Jay Novello Tom Powers and Robert B. Williams), you won’t want to miss out on Svengoolie’s premiere of “The Mad Magician” (1954), this St. Patrick’s Day Sat. on Me-TV (highly recommended for all fellow SvenPals and fellow Vincent Price’s horror film aficionados)! Hooray for Sven, Doug and Kerwyn!
Happy (early) St. Patrick’s Day to those who celebrate to all fellow SvenPals from the writer of “Silver Screen Reflections!” Have a safe celebration! -C.H.
In the Frederick, Maryland/Washington, D.C. area: WTTG-5.3/Cable 196/FiOS 489/Antietam Cable 194 (also on QAM digital 68.6 for Antietam cable subscribers)*
In the Baltimore, Maryland area: WBAL-TV 11.2/Cable 208
In the Hanover/Gettysburg/York, Pennsylvania area: WGAL-TV 8.2/Cable 248
Have fun with all fellow SvenPals everywhere by live-tweeting along with #Svengoolie’s premiere of “The Mad Magician” (1953) this Sat. on Me-TV (via Twitter)!
Sidebar: Sven announced on his official Twitter feed yesterday that “The Mad Magician” (1954) will be airing in place of his Feb. 17/St. Patrick’s Day showcase of Jack Arnold‘s Universal Studios sequel to “Creature From the Black Lagoon,” “Revenge of the Creature” (1955) on Me-TV due to scheduling circumstances beyond the network’s control. Kudos to all fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals (led by fellow super SvenPal Chris A. Filippone) for also informing about this)! Peace/”Hi-Keeba!” -C.H.
Sven’s Birthday (from March 12)!
Sven just celebrated his birthday several days ago on March 12! Hope you had a wonderful birthday, Sven! -C.H.
In relation to “The Mad Magician” (1954):
The film is also included on the “Classic Horror 4 Movie” vintage Columbia horror film DVD compilation set from Mill Creek Entertainment (by arrangement with Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Entertainment/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment).