The Magic Christian (1969)

35mm film, Technicolor
mono (RCA Sound Recording), English

A British/American fantasy film directed by Joseph McGrath.

Plot Summary

Homeless layabout Youngman is adopted by the immensely wealthy Sir Guy Grand who plans to make him heir to his vast fortune. Together, they expand Grand's already impressive business empire and prepare for the social event of the season, the maiden voyage of the cruise ship The Magic Christian, which comes complete with its own vampire…


* = uncredited

Directed by: Joseph McGrath
© MCMLXIX Grand Films Limited
Commonwealth United presents a Grand film. Made by Grand Films Limited London, England. Released by Commonwealth United Entertainment, Inc.
Executive Producers: Henry T. Weinstein, Anthony B. Unger
Produced by: Denis O'Dell
Production Manager: Victor Peck
Screenplay by: Terry Southern, Joseph McGrath
From the novel by Terry Southern
Additional Material by: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Peter Sellers
Assistant Director: Roger Simons
Continuity: Maggie Unsworth
Photographed by: Geoffrey Unsworth
Camera Operator: Peter MacDonald
Editor: Kevin Connor
Colour by: Technicolor
Music Composed and Conducted by: Ken Thorne
Sound Mixer: Peter Sutton
Dubbing Mixer: Gerry Humphreys
Sound Editor: Brian Holland
Costume Designer: Vangie Harrison
Make Up: Harry Frampton
Hairdressing: Joyce James
Visual Special Effects: Wally Veevers
Production Designer: Assheton Gorton
Art Director: George Djurkovic
Set Dresser: Peta Button
Property Master: Alfred Pegley
Choreography: Lionel Blair
Film on location [London, England, UK] and at Twickenham Film Studios, Middlesex, England
Location Manager: David Griffith
Casting Director: John Merrick

Peter Sellers (Sir Guy Grand KG, KC, CBE)
Ringo Starr (Youngman Grand ESQ.)
Isabel Jeans (Dame Agnes Grand)
Caroline Blakiston (Hon. Esther Grand)
Wilfrid Hyde-White (Captain Reginald K. Klaus)
Richard Attenborough (Oxford Coach)
Laurence Harvey (Hamlet)
Leonard Frey (Laurence Faggot)
Christopher Lee (ship's vampire)
Spike Milligan (traffic warden 27)
Roman Polanski (solitary drinker)
Raquel Welch (Priestess of the Whip)
Tom Boyle (My Man Jeff)
Victor Maddern (hot dog vendor)
Terence Alexander (mad Major)
Peter Bayliss (pompous toff)
Joan Benham (socialite in Sotheby's)
Patrick Cargill (auctioneer at Sotheby's)
John Cleese (Mr Dougdale)
Clive Dunn (Sommelier)
Fred Emney (Fitzgibbon)
Kenneth Fortescue (snob in Sotheby's)
Patrick Holt (Duke in Sotheby's)
David Hutcheson (Lord Barry)
Hattie Jacques (Ginger Horton)
Jeremy Lloyd (Lord Hampton)
David Lodge (ship's guide)
Ferdy Mayne (Edouard of Chez Edouard restaurant)
Dennis Price (Winthrop)
Robert Raglan (Maltravers)
Graham Stark (waiter at Chez Edouard restaurant)
Michael Aspel, Michael Barratt, Harry Carpenter, W. Barrington Dalby, John Snagge, Alan Whicker [TV commentators] *
Roland Culver [Sir Herbert] *
Freddie Earlle [Sol] *
Peter Graves [Lord at ship's bar] *
John Le Mesurier [Sir John] *
Peter Myers [Lord Kilgallon] *
Leon Thau [Engine Room Toff] *
Frank Thornton [police inspector] *
Michael Trubshawe [Sir Lionel] *
Edward Underdown [Prince Henry] *
Sean Barry-Weske [John Lennon lookalike] *
Yul Brynner [transvestite cabaret singer] *
Graham Chapman [Oxford crew] *
Kimberley Chung [Yoko Ono lookalike] *
Guy Middleton [Duke of Mantisbriar] *

See also
Ben-Hur (1959)
Dracula (1958)



  • Castle of Frankenstein no.17 p.29
  • The Dark Side no.73 (June/July 1998) p.25 – review
  • Films and Filming vol.16 no.4 (January 1970) p.43 – review
  • Films in Review vol.40 no.8/9 (August/September 1989) pp.405-413 – article
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.205 no.10 (14 March 1969) p.12 – credits
  • Kine Weekly no.3203 (1 March 1969) p.16 – article
  • Kine Weekly no.3244 (13 December 1969) p.8 – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.37 no.433 (February 1970) pp.27-28 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Studies in Popular Culture vol.15 no.1 (1992) – article (The Southern Journey: Candy and The Magic Christian as cinematic picaresques by Robert Dassanowsky)
  • Today's Cinema no.9643 (3 March 1969) p.8 – credits
  • Today's Cinema no.9761 (12 December 1969) p.4 – review
  • Today's Cinema no.9771 (16 January 1970) p. 6 note (Around with Ronnie Cowan)
  • Variety 17 December 1969 pp.24, 26 – credits, review


  • American International Pictures: A Comprehensive Filmography by Rob Craig  p.243
  • The Christopher Lee Filmography by Tom Johnson and Mark A. Miller pp.195-198
  • Dracula in Visual Media: Film, Television, Comic Book and Electronic Game Appearances, 1921-2010 by John Edgar Browning and Caroline Joan (Kay) Picart pp.116-117
  • Feature Films, 1960-1969: A Filmography of English-language and Major Foreign-language United States Releases by Harris M. Lentz III p.271
  • The Films of Christopher Lee by Robert W. Pohle and Douglas C. Hart pp.133-134
  • The Illustrated Vampire Guide by Stephen Jones p.53 – credits, review
  • Film Review 1970-71 by F. Maurice Speed (ed) p.226
  • Kine & TV Year Book1971 p.111
  • The Monty Python Encyclopedia pp.105-107 – credits, synopsis, review (by Robert Ross)
  • by Walt Lee p.277 – credits
  • Shakespeares after Shakespeare: An Encyclopedia of the Bard in Mass Media and Popular Culture Volume One by Richard Burt (ed.) p.159 – credits, note (Film Spin-offs and Citations: Entries play by play by Douglas Lanier)
  • Walking Shadows: Shakespeare in the National Film and Television Archive by Luke McKernan and Olwen Terris (eds.) p.57 – credits, note