Before Hannibal Lector there was Corky and his foul-mouthed ventriloquist dummy, Fats. 1978’s Magic is an amazing movie for many reasons, not just because it's about a killer doll. It boasts and impressive cast including Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret, Burgess Meredith, and the creepy Fats voiced by Hopkins. Magic was directed by the Right Honorable Lord Richard Attemborough, who also won the Academy Award for Gandhi. This "psychological thriller" is definitely not a film for dummies.
Fats and Corky have an unusual relationship for a dummy and a ventriloquist. Corky was a shy failure of a magician until Fats came along. But Corky rebels against stardom, taking a job in the Catskills instead of a TV show. He is afraid that people will discover the truth about his situation: that Fats is the manifestation of Corky’s dark side and completely in control of the relationship. When Corky attempts to reunite with his high school sweetheart Peggy Ann Snow (played by Ann-Margret), Fats stops at nothing to keep them apart. When Corky’s manager discovers his fragile mental state, Fats takes care of the situation. Fats really, really loves to kill. His little dummy arm just wants to stab, and stab, and stab some more.
Director: Richard Attenborough
Lies They Tell: “Abracadabra, I sit on his knee, presto, chango and now he’s me!” Fats rockets Corky to ventriloquist stardom (apparently there is such a thing) but he doesn’t have Corky’s best interest at heart. He wants to remain in control, even if it means leaving a bloody trail in his wake.
Devilish Dolly Moment: Fats employs his best guilt-tripping mom routine when Corky tells him he wants to take Peggy to Paris, and leave him behind. When that doesn’t work, he gets a little nastier, and threatens to tell all. Watch the clip below.