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The Magic Box (Boulting Brothers Collection)

Released on 25 June 2007

Featuring: Robert Donat, Margaret Johnston & Maria Schell

Format: DVD | Rating: Universal Suitable for All

4.0 out of 5 (1 customer review) | Write a review

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The story of one of the men responsible for the invention of motion pictures. It depicts his life and the effect of his concentrated passion for photography on it.

Now old, ill, poor, and largely forgotten, William Freise-Greene (Robert Donat) was once very different. As young and handsome William Green he changed his name to include his first wife's so that it sounded more impressive for the photographic portrait work he was so good at. But he was also an inventor and his search for a way to project moving pictures became an obsession that ultimately changed the life of all those he loved.

customer Reviews

 Average rating (1 review)

 A wonderful, if slightly twee and inaccurate biography

| | See all Motorhead's reviews (25)

William Friese Green was one of the major contributors to the invention of moving pictures. He started off as a stills photographer in Victorian England but his curiosity led him to risk (and lose) everything as he sought to be the first to show the possibility of moving pictures.

Friese Green may or may not have invented the moving picture, depending on which country you are in, but his dedication to the process wreaked havoc on himself and his family. This is certainly not a glamorous story but a brave one. Robert Donat is superb as the mild mannered but dedicated British inventor. The rest of the cast are also wonderful, especially his doting family. And this film is famous for the amount of cameo appearances by established British actors so watch out for some familiar faces.

The Magic Box was made to help celebrate the Festival of Britain in 1951 and as such it is a wonderfully made film (in Technicolor). It also helps to keep the name of Friese Greene from slipping into total obscurity and is a worthy watch for lovers of British films.

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ActorsRobert Donat, Margaret Johnston, Maria Schell, Renee Asherson, Richard Attenborough & Robert Beatty
DirectorJohn Boulting
CertificateUniversal Suitable for All
Year1951
LanguagesEnglish - Dolby Digital (1.0) Mono
Duration1 hour and 58 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.