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: Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called "The Pledge". The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course... it probably isn't. The second act is called "The Turn". The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it, because of course you're not really looking. You don't really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn't clap yet. Because making something disappear isn't enough; you have to bring it back. That's why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call "The Prestige"."
: Now you're looking for the secret. But you won't find it because of course, you're not really looking. You don't really want to work it out. You want to be fooled.
: You're a magician, not a wizard.
: I never thought I'd find an answer at the bottom of a pint glass. Cutter
: Hasn't stopped you looking, has it?
: Could I talk to Lord Caldlow in person? Owens
: Out of the question, I'm afraid. Although I suppose if, in the course of your deliveries, your paths were to cross... I can't help you speaking your mind.
: Ready to meet yourself, Mr Angier?
: You settled on a name yet? Robert Angier
: Yes, I have. The Great Danton. Cutter
: Bit old-fashioned isn't it? Robert Angier
: No. It's sophisticated.
: I knew a sailor once, got tangled in the rigging. We pulled him out, but it took him five minutes to cough. He said it was like going home.
: I came here to beg Lord Caldlow to destroy that machine. I am not going to beg you for anything.
: What a way to kill someone. Cutter
: They're magicians, your honor. Men who live by dressing up plain and simple truths to shock, to amaze. Judge
: Even without an audience? Cutter
: There was an audience. You see, this water tank was of particular significance to these two men. Particularly dreadful significance.
[after finding Gerald Root, Angier's new double
: He's perfect. He needs some work, but when I get through with him, he could be your brother. Robert Angier
: I don't need him to be my brother, I need him to be *me*!
: How large do you think this tank was? Cutter
: Eh... 400, 500 gallons, maybe. Judge
: And how do you think he was able to move ta tank of this size? Cutter
: He's the magician. Why don't you ask him?
[Root is performing as Angier's double
: You can go back to being yourself now, Root. For nothing. Gerald Root
: I'd rather be him for now. I find it... amusing.
: He's a dreadful magician. Cutter
: No, he's a wonderful magician. He's a dreadful showman.
: Obsession is a young man's game
: I thought you said I'd have to get my hands dirty. Cutter
: Maybe someday you will; I just needed to know that you could.
: Take a minute to consider your achievement. I once told you about a sailor who drowned. Robert Angier
: Yes, he said it was like going home. Cutter
: I lied. He said it was agony.
: 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!
] 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.
: 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
] Oh well, you know knots better than me, do you? Cutter
: Listen! No more mistakes!
: [about Borden
] Where is he from? Cutter
: Where are *you* from?
: Every magic trick consists of three parts, or acts. The first part is called the pledge, the magician shows you something ordinary. The second act is called the turn, the magician takes the ordinary something and makes it into something extraordinary. But you wouldn't clap yet, because making something disappear isn't enough. You have to bring it BACK. Now you're looking for the secret. But you won't find it because of course, you're not really looking. You don't really want to work it out. You want to be fooled.
[Discussing Borden's trick
] Robert Angier
: How does he do it? Cutter
: He uses a double. Robert Angier
: No, no, no, no. It's too simple. This is a complex illusion. Cutter
: You only say that because you don't know the method. It's a double that comes out of the other end, I promise you. Robert Angier
: I've seen the show three times now, Mr. Cutter, and the prestige is the same man coming out of the second box. Cutter
: No, it's not. Olivia Wenscombe
: It's the same man. He wears gloves to hide his fingers, but if you look closely you can tell.