The First Depiction of Aleister Crowley In Film

It’s well known that famed British author W. Somerset Maugham based the highly dubious character of “Oliver Haddo,” in 1908 novel The Magician on Aleister Crowley, with whom he had some acquaintance, both being members of the expatriate artists community (which also included Henry Miller and Anais Nin who both mention Crowley in their published writings) in Paris  in that heady “Gilded Age” before World War I. After it’s publication, Crowley accused Maugham of multiple instances of plagarism. No love lost between them.

In 1926, The Magician was made into a movie by director Rex Ingram with the German actor Paul Wegener cast as Haddo — still a very unflattering portrait. Crowley brought suit against MGM, hoping, to negotiate a deal allowing him to produce educational films on magick…something that didn’t come to fruition.

Here’s a link to some commentary about the film posted by Dr. Richard Kaczyanski:


Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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