A cult film and very much a product of its time, The Magic Christian is an oddity indeed. Those who "get it" relish every moment, taking special pleasure in the cynical world-view promoted herein and enjoying the sight of dozens of drab-suited British businessmen throwing themselves into a vat of blood and excrement in order to retrieve the money that is floating in the swill. They appreciate the oddball logic, the at times free-form feel of the proceedings, and bizarre sights, such as Laurence Harvey stripping while spouting Shakespeare or Raquel Welch wielding a whip. Others may miss the appeal of all this, or may find that it doesn't make up for the heavy-handed and overly obvious manner in which all this is presented; indeed, it's hard to argue with those who feel that Magic Christian makes its point within the first few minutes and simply keeps reiterating it without ever expanding or building upon it. Both camps, however, will likely agree that Peter Sellers helps to keep things lively and certainly knows just how to approach material of this sort, and that Ringo Starr is agreeably (and appropriately) vacuous. In 1969, Magic Christian certainly scored points for its irreverence, but most modern audiences will probably find it more valuable as a curiosity than as a movie.
by Craig Butler review