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Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants (1996)

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Quotes

Ricky Jay: "Booze and the Blowens cop the lot."
[the audience doesn't react]
Ricky Jay: Anybody have any idea what I'm talking about?
[the audience laughs]
Ricky Jay: This is the refrain from a fifteenth century poem. A poem by François Villon. It says no matter how you earn your money, you're unlikely to keep it whether you hustle or swindle or, con or cheat, because in the end "Booze and the Blowens" - wine and women - take it all. "Suppose you screeve or go cheap-jack or fake the broads or fig a nag or thimble-rig or knap a ...
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References The Hustler (1961) See more »

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More than just magic
27 December 2010 | by (Austria) – See all my reviews

I'm 26 and every time I see this it makes me be overcome with nostalgia. Nostalgia, because I feel there will be nothing even remote to this performance I will see in my lifetime. This man is telling a life story of the con-artist, the cheat, the swindler, the impostor, the jester and he tells them in the evening of the trade, he tells the tale of one who would perform for people in theatre for a ticket price three times the yearly wage of a normal worker and he tells the tale of one who would pass around a hat in bars in the darker end of town. He tells tales across centuries, he tells his own. And he performs the best slide of hand you will ever see.

He plays the audience and participants, so charmingly - that they allow themselves to be - played. He excels in providing absolute nonsense alongside the knowledge of generations. Sharper intelligence at work you'll never see. And he does it, never missing a beat, counting cards alongside, masking moves with words and - pauses, crafting a rhythm out of thin air -

When at the heart of this performance, he shows a truth where each profession is...

When he tells of the never to be fulfilled struggle of the plebeians to reach the upper circles he does it in the voice of a plebeian, startling the higher ups, outplaying them in whits, and he tells of what really matters - when "booze and the blowens" have "copped the lot".

No really, it is that multi-layered and more importantly it is that good. If you watch it for the first time, or for the twentieth - it keeps on giving. A true classic.


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