• Short Summary

    Magician Alan Alan shows us the secrets behind some simple tricks - try the pencil one!

  • Description

    London.

    Brief shots show magician Alan Alan hanging upside-down from a burning rope - see CP 252 - Burning Rope Escapologist for full details (*PM0097*).

    We then see Alan at a table, showing us several magic / conjuring tricks. He does some slight of hand tricks with four playing cards; they are all blank until a joker appears on one of them and the reverse changes from a red pattern to a blue one.

    He then shows us how to do some tricks, with the help of actress Maria Leonard. The first is to take a piece of paper from beneath a penny balancing on the edge of a glass, without the coin falling; Maria tries and fails; Alan shows us you have to hold the end of the paper and tap down smartly on the other end near the paper - it works!

    The next set-up shows a sixpence under a glass that is held just above the surface of a tablecloth by two other coins under the glass rim. Alan scratches the tablecloth gently and the sixpence moves out from under the glass.

    Alan shows us how to do a pencil 'juggling' trick - it is very hard to do, even in slow motion - I have tried!

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    99.08
    Media URN:
    2575
    Group:
    Colour pictorials
    Archive:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    07/12/1959
    Sound:
    Sound
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:51:00
    Time in/Out:
    01:11:16:00 / 01:14:07:00
    Canister:
    CP 258

Comments (2)

  1. MercMan W123 says

    The 4 card Trick being demonstrated is the creation of Alex Elmsley - a prominent Scottish Magician who is a very well known name within the magic community. However, there are a couple of stages of the trick missing - so this is an abridged version.

    I first learnt the routine as a 14 year-old back in 1978; and still perform it to this day. And just to add it is fully dependent upon sleight of hand - they are not trick cards (other than 3 of them simply being blank-faced).

    Alan Alan was a well-known magician, and as well as working professionally, later went on to become a demonstrator in London Magic Shops. He finally opened his own shop 'Alan Alan's Magic Spot' at 89 Southampton Row, in London's West End. He was an absolutely brilliant demonstrator of magic effects, and was very helpful with his advice to other magicians.

    Most recently, he was the receiver of a prestigious award from a The Magic Circle for his contribution to the Art of Magic.

    A truly exceptional guy!

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  2. paulios says

    The comment by Mercman is correct. Alex elmsley had only just created this trick in 1959 so I can only assume that Mr Alan hadn't become too proficient in the main sleight, called the Elmsley count. I say this as he does a rather shoddy execution of the sleight here.
    Perhaps the trick was expanded by Elmsley in due course. I'm sure he mentioned that it was a little different when he first created it, on his 'Tahoe Sessions' DVD.
    Also, it is worth noting that although the cards were indeed not really trick cards, In Alex' original patter, he says the line 'these are actually trick cards' as he shows the blanks for the first time. I wonder if the narrator was simply doing the same here.
    It didn't quite work because at the end of the trick he also refers back to them being trick cards just before revealing that one is a different colour. The narrator didn't help the viewer out on that, which left it seeming a little confusing.
    A great film, thanks.

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