IMDb > Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay (2012)
Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay
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Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay (2012) More at IMDbPro »

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Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay -- Legendary magician Ricky Jay pulls back the curtain to reveal how he uses lies and deception to thrill audiences night after night in this thrilling joyride.
Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay -- Trailer for Deceptive Practices: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay


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Ricky Jay is a world-renowned magician, author, historian and actor (often a mischievous presence in... See more » | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
Two thirds of a great documentary See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order)

Ricky Jay ... Himself
Winston Simone ... Himself - Ricky Jay's Manager

Dick Cavett ... Himself - Narrator (voice)

David Mamet ... Himself - Writer & Director
Persi Diaconis ... Himself - Professor of Statistics and Mathematics, Stanford University
Michael Weber ... Himself - Ricky Jay's Partner
Fred Neumann ... Himself - Deputy Sheriff, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office
Suzie Mackenzie ... Herself - Journalist, The Guardian
Chrisann Verges ... Herself - Ricky Jay's Wife
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Roy Benson ... Himself - Magician (archive footage)
Francis Carlyle ... Himself - Magician (archive footage) (voice)
Hugh Fitzgerald ... Hugh Fitzgerald
Al Flosso ... Himself - Magician (archive footage)
Al Hirschfeld ... Himself - Artist (archive footage)

Steve Martin ... Himself - Comedian (archive footage)
Charlie Miller ... Himself - Magician (archive footage)
Richard Valentine Pitchford ... Himself - Magician (archive footage) (as Cardini)
David Roth ... Himself - Magician (archive footage)

Dinah Shore ... Himself - Television Hostess (archive footage)
Tony Slydini ... Himself - Magician (archive footage) (as Slydini)
Dai Vernon ... Himself - Magician (archive footage)

Directed by
Molly Bernstein 
Produced by
Peter Block .... co-executive producer
Philip Dolin .... producer
Alan Edelstein .... producer
Cathy Greenwold .... executive producer
Alicia Sams .... producer
David Simone .... associate producer
Winston Simone .... associate producer
Original Music by
Clare Manchon (co-composer) (as Clare Muldaur)
Olivier Manchon 
Cinematography by
Ed Marritz 
Art Direction by
Matt Garton 
Sound Department
Paul Hsu .... sound re-recording mixer
Deborah Wallach .... sound editor
Visual Effects by
Matt Garton .... motion graphics and title design
Camera and Electrical Department
Dave Dodds .... additional camera
Animation Department
Liesje Kraai .... additional graphics
Richard O'Connor .... additional graphics
Rose Stark .... additional graphics (as Kelsey Stark)
Editorial Department
John Dowdell .... digital intermediate colorist
Boon Shin Ng .... finishing artist
Paul Thomas Anderson .... special thanks
Dan Chariton .... special thanks
Stan Coleman .... special thanks
Terry Gross .... special thanks
Bill Kalush .... special thanks
David Rakoff .... special thanks
David Roth .... special thanks
Adam Schlesinger .... special thanks
Coco Shinomiya .... special thanks
Chrisann Verges .... special thanks
Scott Verges .... special thanks
David Wilson .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

88 min

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Two thirds of a great documentary, 27 December 2013
Author: runamokprods from US

A glass one-third empty, two-third full kind of film. The two-thirds that are rich and brimming is the wonderful introduction the various colorful artists who mentored Ricky Jay into arguably the foremost card magician of our time. It's a lineage we learn that is handed down very personally, from generation to generation and then only in bits and pieces. Jay tells great stories of the men who inspired and tutored him. And we occasionally see terrific glimpses of them performing in some great found old footage.

The second full third are the wonderful, if all too brief times we to watch Jay's amazing artistry with cards and card tricks. Slight of hand at this level is truly beautiful -- a dance of illusion. There's a silky smoothness to Jay's movements that works in wonderful tandem with this spikey, off-beat, almost dangerous on stage persona.

The third that's missing is a deeper exploration of the man himself. By his own admission Jay keeps the world at bay. We hear a very few tantalizing bits about his boyhood family life away from magic, but then that's put aside (even his manager of 20+ years admits he knows better than to ask Ricky about his childhood). Only near the very end of the film do we even learn that Jay is married, and that his wife seems to be a huge part of his life. Then this too is moved on from. I can accept that Jay and perhaps director Molly Bernstein wanted to keep the film focused largely on Jay's mentors, but, for my taste, they took the 'mysteries' part of the title a bit too seriously.

It's frustrating to watch a truly striking human being talk about their life and craft for 90 minutes, and realize you know little more about them at the end than at the beginning. Again, it seems intentional. Jay wants to keep his personal mysteries to himself. But it leaves a very entertaining and well made film feeling a touch incomplete. That said, this is still very worth seeing. I was never bored, sometimes astonished, and heard amazing stories I don't think I'll soon forget.

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