MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,682 this week

Penn & Teller Get Killed (1989)

5.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.9/10 from 1,449 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 9 critic

Penn & Teller enjoy playing jokes on each other. When Penn says on an interview show that he wishes he has someone threatening his life so that he "wouldn't sweat the small stuff," each of ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

,
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1019 titles
created 07 May 2012
 
a list of 31 titles
created 01 Jul 2012
 
a list of 28 titles
created 13 Oct 2013
 
a list of 28 titles
created 27 Dec 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 08 Jan 2014
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Penn & Teller Get Killed (1989)

Penn & Teller Get Killed (1989) on IMDb 5.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Penn & Teller Get Killed.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Penn & Teller: Bullshit! (TV Series 2003)
Comedy | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The comedy illusionist duo explore various topics and debunk what they consider misconceptions about them.

Stars: Penn Jillette, Teller, CJ
Target (1985)
Action | Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Chris Lloyd does NOT get along with his father Walter. Walter is too careful, cautious, and boring to Chris, and never tries anything new, and Chris had to live by the same standards when ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Gene Hackman, Matt Dillon, Gayle Hunnicutt
Mickey One (1965)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After incurring the wrath of the mob, a comic flees Detroit for Chicago taking the name "Mickey One." As he returns to the stage and becomes successful, he fears that the mob will track him... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Warren Beatty, Alexandra Stewart, Hurd Hatfield
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A cinematic adaption of Arlo Guthrie's classic song story.

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Arlo Guthrie, Patricia Quinn, James Broderick
The Portrait (TV Movie 1993)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

After a long absence, artist Margaret Church returns to her aging parent's home to finish a portrait of them. Her parents, Gardner and Fanny Church, unbeknownst to Margaret have sold the ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Gregory Peck, Lauren Bacall, Cecilia Peck
Night Moves (1975)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Former football player and present private detective Harry Moseby gets hired on to what seems a standard missing person case, as an aging Hollywood actress whose only major roles came ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Gene Hackman, Jennifer Warren, Susan Clark
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Penn and teller visit China, Egypt and India to see local magicians perform.

Stars: Penn Jillette, Teller, Lyla Pinch Brock
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After his employer is murdered by rival cattlemen, a troubled and uneducated young cowboy vows revenge on the murderers,

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Paul Newman, Lita Milan, John Dehner
Penn & Teller: Fool Us (TV Series 2010)
Game-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Penn & Teller go to the U.K to find a magician who can "fool them" If Penn & Teller can figure out the trick performed the magician is out but if they do not get it the magician wins a ... See full summary »

Stars: Penn Jillette, Jonathan Ross, Teller
Flesh and Blood (TV Movie 1968)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Edmond O'Brien, Kim Stanley, E.G. Marshall
Penn & Teller Go Public (TV Short 1985)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Penn reads "Casey at the Bat" while Teller escapes from a straight jacket; Penn does a not-wimpy card trick; Teller gives the illusion of reality with a cigarette; Penn eats fire; and the ... See full summary »

Director: Cordelia Stone
Stars: Penn Jillette, Teller
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Penn & Teller perform some of the routines they have used on American tours and specials for a British studio audience. A well-known, usually British, guest helps out. There are some forays... See full summary »

Stars: Penn Jillette, Teller, Dawn French
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Penn (as Penn)
...
...
Carlotta / Officer McNamara (as Celia McGuire)
...
The Fan
...
Ernesto
Celia McGuire ...
Officer McNamara
Bill Randolph ...
Floor Director
John Miller ...
Steve the bandleader
Ellen Whyte ...
Makeup Woman
Ted Neustadt ...
Bob the host
Tudor Sherrard ...
1st Frat Boy
...
2nd Frat Boy
...
3rd Frat Boy
Leonard Parker ...
Airport Porter
Christopher Durang ...
Jesus Freak
Edit

Storyline

Penn & Teller enjoy playing jokes on each other. When Penn says on an interview show that he wishes he has someone threatening his life so that he "wouldn't sweat the small stuff," each of them begins a series of pranks on the other to suggest a real threat. Then they find that a real psychopath is interested in them. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What more do you want?

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 September 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Con la morte non si scherza  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(one scene)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The elderly man and woman seated at a table on the right side of the screen during Penn and "Carlotta's" conversation in the Mexican restaurant were Penn's real-life parents, Sam and Valda Jillette. See more »

Goofs

When Penn, Teller, and Carlotta park and Teller replaces the magnetic sign he only changes one side when earlier we see there is a magnetic sign on the other side also. Why dosen't Teller change the other side too? See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
[narrating from beyond the grave as the camera pulls back]
Penn: [voice-over] Oh, yeah. We're dead and there's no way out. I mean, it couldn't be a gag, it couldn't be a joke. We're not gonna have one of the characters wake up from a bad dream; you'd hate us for that! I mean the movie is called 'Penn & Teller Get Killed.' We HAD to get killed at the end, there's no way out of that. We were married to that ending from the moment we thought of the title, and now we've actually killed off ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

To hide the fact that Caitlin Clarke played a dual role, she was also credited under the pseudonym 'Celia McGuire.' The closing credits reveal the pseudonym with the consecutive credits: Officer McNamara...Celia McGuire Celia McGuire...Caitlin Clarke See more »

Connections

References Dog Day Afternoon (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Subterranean Homesick Blues
(as"Mediterranean Homesick Blues")
Written by Bob Dylan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Works as an introduction and a terrific gift for fans
7 October 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's difficult to review and discuss Penn & Teller Get Killed as a typical comedy because, much like the duo it is profiling, the film attempts to subvert convention and defy the ordinary and is hard to judge on the basis of typical cinema. The film plays by its own rules, operates under the logic of illusionists, and provides the viewer with eight-nine minutes of unpredictability and ridiculousness.

We open on the set of a talk show, with magicians Penn Jillette and his silent-partner Teller hanging upside down in mid-air. The cameras themselves are upside, showing Penn and Teller allegedly sitting behind a desk on set right side up. Penn and Teller do a few levitation tricks in front of a studio audience, who obviously know the trick, and encourage them to respond enthusiastically when Penn asks, "are we live?" to assure the audiences at home that there is no camera trickery.

This is one of the many tricks Penn and Teller perform in the film, but this film isn't just a showcase for their tricks. When the gag is up, the two are interviewed on the talk show where Penn says he wishes somebody would try and kill him. What unfolds is Penn, his girlfriend Carlotta (Caitlin Clarke), and Teller going about their day-to-day lives filled with trickery and nonsense.

As stated, this is a tricky film to summarize. At times it feels more of a showcase for the duo's talents rather than a film and, mainly during its third act, it feels like a film more than a showcase. One of the issues is director Arthur Penn has a difficult time communicating the direction of the picture to the audience, and, to be fair, I think even the greatest cinematic auteur would find it a considerable challenge to do what Penn & Teller Get Killed sets out to do and do it without any reservations or confusion. The film is a satirical black comedy, and because of this, I think it has an inherently difficult time communicating itself because it would appear that it wants to make its motivations clear to the audience, which I can also understand. The film is a cult film, but makes the right move of trying to communicate itself on all levels. This way, there's none of that "singling out" process I see with some more mainstream cult films; ones that seem to try and pick and choose their audiences without giving everyone the ability to like the end product. Ironically, the fact that it struggles to make itself universally appealing is ultimately a large strength on its part.

I'm also a big fan of Penn and Teller in general, which can only help my positive feelings for this film. Their style of skeptic humor, illusionist humor, and logical discussion (used effectively on their Showtime show Penn & Teller: Bullshit!) has kept me a constant viewer of their work. It wasn't until I watched Penn & Teller Get Killed that I knew depressingly little about their stage magic and the work that they do as a duo in live shows. The film has the ability to provide you with a nice introduction to their work along with being a welcomed present for already self-aware fans.

Starring: Penn Jillette, Teller, and Caitlin Clarke. Directed by: Arthur Penn.


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
GET THIS RELEASED ON DVD! macgyver5
Released to DVD! Finally! stubadubb
underrated black comedy teejay6682
Cutting Teller in half underwater. SomethingSnappy
Find this and own it... you won't be sorry d-nowacki
Can anyone find a watchable version online? jardef1986
Discuss Penn & Teller Get Killed (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?