The Prestige (2006) Poster



Cutter: 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"."

[last lines]

Cutter: 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.

[first lines]

Alfred Borden: Are you watching closely?

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

Officer: Do you have anything to say?

Alfred Borden: Abracadabra.

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...

[In reference to a bird from a trick]

Alfred Borden: See? He's fine!

Boy: But where's his brother?

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.

Nikola Tesla: You're familiar with the phrase "man's reach exceeds his grasp"? It's a lie: man's grasp exceeds his nerve.

Cutter: 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.

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.

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.


Sarah: Do you... do you love me?

Alfred Borden: Not today. No.

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.

[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.

[repeated line]

Alfred Borden: Are you watching closely?

Nikola Tesla: Nothing is impossible, Mr. Angier. What you want is simply expensive.

Cutter: 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.

Alfred Borden: Simple maybe, but not easy.

[last lines]

Cutter: 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.

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

Gerald Root: You would drink, too, if you knew the world half as well as I do.

Nikola Tesla: I apologize for leaving without saying goodbye, but I seem to have outstayed my welcome in Colorado. The truly extraordinary is not permitted in science and industry. Perhaps you'll find more luck in your field, where people are happy to be mystified. You will find what you are looking for in this box. Alley has written you a thorough set of instructions. I add only one suggestion on using the machine: destroy it. Drop it to the bottom of the deepest ocean. Such a thing will bring you only misery.

Nikola Tesla: Mr. Angier, have you considered the cost of such a machine?

Robert Angier: Price is not an object.

Nikola Tesla: Perhaps not, but have you considered the *cost*?

Robert Angier: I'm not sure I follow.

Nikola Tesla: Go home. Forget this thing. I can recognize an obsession, no good will come of it.

Robert Angier: Why, haven't good come of your obsessions?

Nikola Tesla: Well, at first. But I followed them too long. I'm their slave... and one day they'll choose to destroy me.

Robert Angier: If you understand an obsession, then you know you won't change my mind.

Robert Angier: No one cares about the man in the box, the man who disappears.

Robert Angier: Which hat is mine?

Nikola Tesla: They are all your hat, Mr. Angier.

Gerald Root: Did you think you were unique, Mr Angier? I've been Caesar. I've played Faust. How hard could it possibly be to play the Great Danton?

Sarah: No more lies. No more secrets.

Alfred Borden: Secrets are my life.

Cutter: Obsession is a young man's game

Nikola Tesla: Things don't always go as planned, Mr. Angier. That's the beauty of science.

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

Nikola Tesla: Exact science, Mr Angier, is not an exact science.

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.

Robert Angier: [to Borden] You always were the better magician. We both know that. Whatever your secret was, you have to agree, mine is better.

[after finding Gerald Root, Angier's new double]

Cutter: 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*!

Robert Angier: He's a dreadful magician.

Cutter: No, he's a wonderful magician. He's a dreadful showman.

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!


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.

Robert Angier: Would I be the man in the box or the prestige?

Cutter: You're a magician, not a wizard.

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.

Robert Angier: But here, at the turn, I must leave you Borden. Yes, you, Borden, sitting there in your cell, awaiting your death. For my murder.

Judge: 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.

Judge: 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?

[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?

Nikola Tesla: Society tolerates only one change at a time.

Robert Angier: Man's reach exceeds his imagination!

Robert Angier: My passion is equal to the task.

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

Robert Angier: I never thought I'd find an answer at the bottom of a pint glass.

Cutter: Hasn't stopped you looking, has it?

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?

Robert Angier: Many of you may be familiar with this technique, but for those of you who aren't, do not be alarmed. What you're about to see is considered safe.

Hotel Manager: I thought they might work for the government.

Robert Angier: No?

Hotel Manager: Worse. They work for Thomas Edison.

Cutter: I came here to beg Lord Caldlow to destroy that machine. I am not going to beg you for anything.

Sullen Warder: How did you get so famous then, eh?

Alfred Borden: Magic.

Olivia Wenscombe: He says that it's even between you.

Robert Angier: Even? My wife for a few of his fingers?

Nikola Tesla: Don't forget your hat, Mr. Angier.

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]

Robert Angier: The man stole my life. I steal his trick.

Olivia Wenscombe: It won't bring your wife back.

Robert Angier: I don't care about my wife. I care about his secret.

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.


Sarah: Do you - do you love me?

Alfred Borden: Not today. No.

Robert Angier: [about Borden] Where is he from?

Cutter: Where are *you* from?

Burly Stagehand: Hey you! Where do you think you're going?

Alfred Borden: I'm part of the bloody act, you fool!

Robert Angier: He lives his act.

Julia McCullough: I thought up a name for you: The Great Danton. Do you like it? It's sophisticated.

Robert Angier: [scoffs] It's French.

Olivia Wenscombe: The Great Danton is a blind fool!

Alfred Borden: [realizes Fallon's buried after trading him back] Alive?

Robert Angier: How fast can you dig?

Sullen Warder: The only way Borden's going to disappear is if I leave him out there with the other inmates.

Robert Angier: I haven't had a chance yet to compliment you on your beautiful theatre.

Merrit: It'll be a lot more beautiful when it's full, Mr Angier.

Robert Angier: So what's going to be the climax of our show?

Merrit: Show? You don't have a show.

Merrit: I've hired a comedian. You know I hate comedians.

Cutter: 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.

Cutter: Ready to meet yourself, Mr Angier?

Cutter: 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.

Olivia Wenscombe: I *have* fallen in love with him, Robert.

Robert Angier: Then I know how hard this has been for you.

Ackerman: We'll have to dress it up a little. Disguise it. Give them enough reason to doubt it.

[Root is performing as Angier's double]

Cutter: You can go back to being yourself now, Root. For nothing.

Gerald Root: I'd rather be him for now. I find it... amusing.

Robert Angier: Where are the wires?

Alley: Exactly.

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

Robert Angier: 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.

Robert Angier: It was the greatest magic trick I've ever seen.

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!

[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.

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?

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