Alfred Borden
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Quotes for
Alfred Borden (Character)
from The Prestige (2006)

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The Prestige (2006)
Alfred Borden: You went half way around the world, you spent a fortune, you did terrible things - really terrible things, Robert, and all for nothing.
Robert Angier: For nothing?
Alfred Borden: Yeah
Robert Angier: You never understood why we did this. The audience knows the truth: the world is simple. It's miserable, solid all the way through. But if you could fool them, even for a second, then you can make them wonder, and then you... then you got to see something really special. You really don't know? It was... it was the look on their faces...

Alfred Borden: So... we go alone now. Both of us. Only I don't have as far to go as you. Go. You were right, I should have left him to his damn trick. I'm sorry. I'm sorry for a lot of things. I'm sorry about Sarah. I didn't mean to hurt her... I didn't. You go and live your life in full now, all right? You live for both of us.
Fallon: Goodbye.

Sarah: I know what you really are. And Alfred, I can't live like this.
Alfred Borden: Oh, you think I can live like this? You think I bloody enjoy living like this? We have a beautiful house, lovely little girl, we're married, what is so wrong with your life?

Sarah: Alfred, I can't live like this!
Alfred Borden: Well, what do you want from me?
Sarah: I want... I want you to be honest with me. No tricks, no lies, no secrets.
[pause]
Sarah: Do you... do you love me?
Alfred Borden: Not today. No.

[after showing a little boy how to do a coin trick]
Alfred Borden: Never show anyone. They'll beg you and they'll flatter you for the secret, but as soon as you give it up... you'll be nothing to them.

Alfred Borden: The secret impresses no one. The trick you use it for is everything.

[first lines]
Alfred Borden: Are you watching closely?

Alfred Borden: He came in to demand an answer and I told him the truth. That I have fought with myself over that night, one half of me swearing blind that I tied a simple slipknot, the other half convinced that I tied the Langford double. I can never know for sure.

Alfred Borden: [realizes Fallon's buried after trading him back] Alive?
Robert Angier: How fast can you dig?

Olivia Wenscombe: You married her. You had a child with her.
Alfred Borden: Yes. Part of me did. But the other part... the other part didn't. The part that found you, the part that's sitting here right now.
Olivia Wenscombe: You could be in some other cafe saying the same thing about me right now. It's inhuman to be so cold.

Alfred Borden: Everything's going to be alright, because I love you very much.
Sarah: Say it again.
Alfred Borden: I love you.
Sarah: Not today.
Alfred Borden: What do you mean?
Sarah: Well some days it's not true. Maybe today you're more in love with magic. I like being able to tell the difference, it makes the days it is true mean something.

Alfred Borden: I love you.
Sarah: You mean it today.
Alfred Borden: Of course.
Sarah: It just makes it so much harder when you don't.

Alfred Borden: We both had half of a full life, which was somehow enough for us. But not for them.

Sullen Warder: How did you get so famous then, eh?
Alfred Borden: Magic.

[Borden is explaining how he used a double in his act]
Alfred Borden: What I didn't count on was that, when I incorporated this bloke into my act, he had complete power over me.
Gerald Root: Complete power, you say?

Sarah: No more lies. No more secrets.
Alfred Borden: Secrets are my life.

Robert Angier: What knot did you tie?
Alfred Borden: I don't know.
Robert Angier: You don't know?
[Alfred walks off]
Robert Angier: You don't *know*?

Robert Angier: [has Alfred at gunpoint] What knot did you tie?
Alfred Borden: I don't know.
Robert Angier: [shoots him]

[In reference to a bird from a trick]
Alfred Borden: See? He's fine!
Boy: But where's his brother?

Alfred Borden: The key! Where's the bloody key?

[repeated line]
Alfred Borden: Are you watching closely?

Officer: Do you have anything to say?
Alfred Borden: Abracadabra.

Alfred Borden: He's progressive, he's predictable, he's boring. I mean, Milton's got success, whatever that means, and now he's scared, he won't take any risks at all. I mean, he's squandering the goodwill of the audience with these tired, second-rate tricks...
Robert Angier: They're all favorites, please...
Alfred Borden: Favorites? Come on, give me something fresh, he wont even try a bloody bullet catch!
Cutter: A bullet catch is suicide, all it takes is some smart-ass volunteer to put a button in the barrel...
Alfred Borden: Fine, use a plant!
Robert Angier: You can't use plants for every trick!
Julia McCullough: There'll be no seats left for the punters!
[laughs]
Alfred Borden: Fine, no bullet catch, whatever, but the point is... a real magician tries to invent something new, that other magicians are gonna scratch their heads over, you know?
Cutter: Right, then you sell it to him for a small fortune?
Alfred Borden: All right...
Cutter: I suppose you have such a trick?
Alfred Borden: Actually, I do.

Cutter: I saw you, drop the knot again...?
Julia McCullough: I think I turned my wrist...
Cutter: Some nights you just don't get it, do you? I mean, if that knot slips and Julia's on the hoist, she'll break her leg!
Alfred Borden: It's a wrong knot.
[pause, Cutter stares at him]
Alfred Borden: Like I said, the Langfeld Double will hold tighter!
Cutter: The Langfeld Double isn't a wet knot! It's too dangerous - if the rope swells up, she won't be able to slip it!
Julia McCullough: I can slip a Langfeld underwater.
Alfred Borden: [looks at Julia] She can slip it, we can practice...
Robert Angier: Hey, Borden, he said no!
Alfred Borden: [scoffs] Oh well, you know knots better than me, do you?
Cutter: Listen! No more mistakes!

Alfred Borden: Does he enjoy taking his bows under the stage?

Alfred Borden: Simple maybe, but not easy.

[Olivia visits Alfred Borden in his workshop. Bernard Fallon is there too]
Olivia Wenscombe: I'm here to give your show what's still missing.
Alfred Borden: Yeah? What might that be?
Olivia Wenscombe: Me.
[Borden laughs]
Alfred Borden: I was just saying that; weren't I, Bernard? Woman's touch.

Sarah: I know what you really are, and Alfred, I can't live like this.
Alfred Borden: Oh, you think I can live like this? You think I bloody enjoy living like this? We have a beautiful house, lovely little girl, we're married, what is *so* wrong with your life?

Sarah: Alfred I can't live like *this*!
Alfred Borden: Well, what do you want from me?
Sarah: I want - I want you to be, honest with me. No tricks, no lies, no secrets.
[pause]
Sarah: Do you - do you love me?
Alfred Borden: Not today. No.

Alfred Borden: He's a sharp lad, your son.
Sarah: He's my nephew.
Alfred Borden: Oh.

Alfred Borden: You're not afraid to get your hands dirty anymore, are you?

Olivia Wenscombe: [referring to Angier] He wants me to come work for you and steal your secrets.
Alfred Borden: What does he need my secrets for? His trick is top-notch. He vanishes, and then he reappears instantly on the other side of the stage - mute, overweight, and unless I'm mistaken, very drunk. It's astonishing, how does he do it?

Burly Stagehand: Hey you! Where do you think you're going?
Alfred Borden: I'm part of the bloody act, you fool!

Alfred Borden: See, sacrifice, Robert. That's the price of a good trick. But you wouldn't know anything about that, would you?

[Borden shoots Angier in the waist, picking up the red rubber ball, when the two reveal their prestige to one another]
Robert Angier: A brother... a twin. You were Fallon... the whole time?
Alfred Borden: No. We were both Fallon. And we were both Borden.
Robert Angier: [panting] Were you - were you the one who went into the box or the one who came back out?
Alfred Borden: We took turns. The trick is where we would swap.
[we see the flashback of both twins performing The Transported Man]
Robert Angier: [breathing heavily] Cutter knew. Cutter knew. But I told him it was too simple, too easy.
Alfred Borden: No... simple, maybe, but not easy. There's nothing easy about two men sharing one life.
[we see the flashback showing one of the twins cutting the other twins' fingers off]
Robert Angier: Wh-What about Olivia? And your wife?
Alfred Borden: We each loved one of them.
[we see the flashback of both lovers]
Alfred Borden: I loved Sarah. He loved Olivia. We each had half a full life, really, which was enough for us. Just... but not for them. You see, sacrifice, Robert - that's the price of a good trick. But you wouldn't know anything about that, would you?
Robert Angier: [labored breathing] I've - I've made sacrifices.
[wheezing]
Robert Angier: Yes.
Alfred Borden: It takes nothing to steal another man's work.
Robert Angier: It takes everything.
[we see the flashback of Angier killing the clone of himself while doing The Real Transported Man trick]
Robert Angier: It took courage... it took courage to climb into that machine every night... not knowing... if I'd be the man in the box... or the prestige. Do you want - want to see. What it cost me? Y-you didn't see where you are, did you? Look. Look
Alfred Borden: Look here... you went halfway around the world. You spent a fortune. You did terrible things... really terrible things, Robert. And all for nothing.
Robert Angier: For nothing?
Alfred Borden: Yeah.
Robert Angier: You never understood... why we did this? The audience knows the truth - the world is simple... and miserable... solid all the way through. But if you could fool them, even for a second, then you can make them wonder. And then you... then you got to see something very special. You really don't know? It was... it was the look on their faces.
[Angier wheezes and exhales, collapsing dead, and Borden walks out of the theatre alone]