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Hustlers, Hoaxsters, Pranksters, Jokesters and Ricky Jay (1996)

A documentary about the life and work of sleight-of-hand artist Ricky Jay, with appearances by Ricky Jay, David Mamet and Steve Martin.


Rex Bloomstein


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Sleight of hand magician Ricky Jay, blends light comedy and close up magic to entertain a live audience. He discusses everything from the birth of the classic cup and balls trick to 14th century poetry.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Ricky Jay


Credited cast:
Ricky Jay ... Himself
David Mamet ... Himself
Steve Martin ... Himself


A documentary about the life and work of sleight-of-hand artist Ricky Jay, with appearances by Ricky Jay, David Mamet and Steve Martin.

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Release Date:

18 November 1996 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Hustlers, Hoaxsters, Pranksters, Jokesters & Ricky Jay See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

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User Reviews

The classic set em up and knock em down.
28 September 2012 | by grayzie5See all my reviews

I was surprised by this documentary. It began as you'd expect, a run of the mill tribute style show on conjurer, illusionist, master of slight of hand Ricky Jay.

He does a few tricks, others talk about his skills and knowledge in awed and glowing terms, including Steve Martin. Simply another forgettable 'TV spot' style film. But the documentary travels this familiar path until somewhere into the second half, when it suddenly asks the question of what type of person might be a magician.

And bam, it tugs aside the curtain and gives you a peak behind the facade, behind the showmanship. A momentary glimpse into precisely the type of person that Ricky Jay is. And it ain't pretty.

The film, despite a formulaic start, takes on a sinister twist that I found fascinating. It's worth hanging in for the peak behind the magic.

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